1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

New 80 Series / Question

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by jjhancock, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. jjhancock

    jjhancock

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    As the title reads, I bought an 80 a few days ago :beer: It's a 97 with 99.5k on the clock. I do not have maintenance records, but it is very clean and appears to have been loved by the previous owner(s), although I know I have some PM to do...

    I really like the truck so far. I drove it ~800 miles home over two days and it ran pretty much flawlessly. I have had two issues however, thus the post.

    Drove 400 miles to my parents house, drove over some big snow drifts (which was really fun), then parked it for the night. Came out in the morning and all the lights and power locks worked, but no start, not even any clicking. Put it on the charger, started immediately.
    Scratched my head for a second, then drove home another 300 miles thinking I must have left the dome light on the night before or a door ajar.

    This morning I went to start the truck to see if I had juice, and it fired right up, but ran terribly. The idle was up and down, seemed almost like it was choking. The A/T light was on, as was the Oil light. At this point I was worried so after 15 seconds or so I shut her down. Scratched my head again, and decided if I was going to post a question here today, that I had better be able to explain what happened a little better. Started the truck up, and it ran perfect with the typical high idle that was steady like normal. Ran the truck for a few minutes and shut her down again, then took the train to work as I always do.

    I've spent some time searching for info on this strange start issue, and I've come up with the following as possible causes:

    1. starter contacts - I don't think this is the issue since I did not hear any grinding of any sort after the truck started or when I turned it off, but who knows.
    2. alternator / battery - after the no start yesterday, that may be my issue, and I know they can be intermittent from owning past vehicles. the battery looks to be brand new but that doesn't mean it's good... will double check the cables are tight this evening.
    3. air intake tube cracked? - I will be checking this first when I get home after work
    4. fuel pump relay - found out from searching that others described having a slightly similar issue with idling on start and that this relay was loose

    Anybody had this happen before? It *feels* like an electrical issue to me, like an alternator or battery type of issue, especially with the no start yesterday and considering it started and ran fine on the second start this morning.

    Thanks in advance to everyone.
     
  2. Driley

    Driley

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    My experience is when you disconnect the battery or pull the efi fuse, the truck needs about 5 or 6 start-ups to "relearn" all of the settings. During that time, the idle acts really strange and the truck wants to die if not revved up. If the battery needed to be connected to a charger, the charge may have dropped enough to throw everything off. How old is the battery?

    If there is a good auto electric place where you live, have them run a test of your battery and alternator (should be free of charge).

    I would start there and report back what you hear.

    Riley
     
  3. jjhancock

    jjhancock

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    I'm not sure how old the battery is but it looks very clean with no dirt or corrosion on it. Unfortunately the date stickers are all still there, so I cannot tell when it was put in the truck.

    Between pit stops and fuel fill-ups I have turned off and started the truck 6 or 7 times. I think even the start where it idled rough was enough starts to re-learn anything it needed to from what I've found from searching, but I could be wrong. I did not disconnect the battery when it failed to start yesterday, rather I just put the charger on it and plugged it in, then it started right up.

    I'm going to cruise by autozone or napa after work and get the battery and alternator tested... I think you're right and that should be the first test.

    Also, I did not give it any gas at all when it was idling roughly, just shut her down when it didn't smooth it out after 10 or 15 seconds.
     
  4. Driley

    Driley

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    I have heard that a low battery can cause some strange activity with the idiot lights. I have not experienced it myself on the LC (on my BMW, if the battery gets low it tells me that my transmission in going to die and the engine will explode!).

    Update after the check at Napa and I am sure that there will be more folks that can provide info.

    Riley
     
  5. Grench

    Grench SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    95
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    IMHO your battery is fried. You're on the right track. Be sure to let us know how it resolves at the parts store!
     
  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf

    Messages:
    12,529
    Likes Received:
    52
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere in the foothills...
    Starter stuck "on" is my guess based on your post where the dash lights are on and it was running poorly. Could also be an alternator problem but that seems unusual at your mileage. 100k is almost exactly where the starters fail.

    -B-
     
  7. DTAYLOR

    DTAYLOR

    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    Ditto the starter. Mine failed at about 115k, and symptoms were exactly the same.
     
  8. JZenger

    JZenger

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Definitely check the battery, but I would also check the batter cable connections. It sounds like you are getting intermittent contact, which would explain the rough running due to the computer re-calibrating. I would guess that your alternator is fine given that you don't seem to have been running down the battery while driving.

    Good luck.
     
  9. jjhancock

    jjhancock

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    At this point, from reading other threads, I'm hesitant to even try to start the truck for fear of melting it down along with my house! I'm headed home to investigate and will report back on what I've found. At the minimum I need the number from my starter before I can order the new contacts and plunger. Maybe I'll find a loose wire or a poor ground in the process. Thanks for all the replies, I'll keep you updated.
     
  10. jjhancock

    jjhancock

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    After gathering my tools so that I can at least remove the battery cables if the starter happens to stick, I started the truck. Just like I figured, being ready for the starter to hang, it didn't. Started it 5 times this evening and it's running great. Drove to the local auto parts place and had the battery and alternator tested, and he said they're both 100%. Sooo... it sounds as if it is in fact the starter acting up.

    I called CDan yesterday and ordered some goodies, including the new starter contacts and plunger. CDan was nice enough to turn his pc back on to fill my order as I had called right at closing time. He is certainly a stand-up guy :D
     
  11. jjhancock

    jjhancock

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Got this taken care of yesterday. It took me about 3 hours just taking my time. Overall, this was a breeze. I have not had one no-start since and it seems like the starter is cranking significantly better then before. Thanks for everyone's help :beer: