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Thread: Assorted ramblings and bolt-ons with Daniel and George

  1. #121
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    After some testing with HP Tuners and a trip to the junkyard, I am just about convinced I have a bad PCM. First thing to tip me off was another scan of trouble codes turned up a different set than before. For example, the throttle position sensor code was gone, and in its place was an oxygen sensor code. I swapped out the cooling fan motor with one from the yard, and it did not work. So I commanded it on in HP Tuners, but it didn't turn on at all. It is possible I got a bad motor from the yard.

    I also tested a few other functions, like increasing the idle speed on the fly, and setting timing at 20 degrees advanced static, and that worked. Commanding the transmission into a specific gear did not, however, which is in line with the three trans solenoid codes. The trans currently only has one gear (3rd) unless I put the shifter in 2. So I will be purchasing a new PCM from Mike Miller, since he's basically the only person making a '97 PCM run on a '96 car.

    I also have a transmission lined up. Regardless of the solenoid codes, it is making noises that indicate it is not long for this world. When I posted about the problems in one of the Facebook groups I'm a member of, someone in Ontario, CA, offered a unit from a '96 Grand Prix for less than I would pay locally from a yard. The only difference I know of between a Century and GP trans is the final drive: both have a 3.33, but the A-body has an overdrive chain ratio, while the W-body has a 1:1 chain, so the overall final is 3.33. I've been toying with getting a 3.33 final anyway, so this is a good opportunity to test an upgrade.
    Last edited by Duke George V; 11-28-2017 at 12:19 AM.
    Daniel
    Kaiser George IX: 1996 Buick Century Special wagon. 214-SFI. 194k miles. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. First documented LX9 swap in an A-body! Click here to read my build thread!
    Goldilocks: 1992 Buick Century Special sedan. 204-MFI. 116k miles. Will be mom's car soon.
    Susana: 1993 Buick Century Custom wagon. 204-MFI. 121k miles. Garage ornament. Waiting for... some fun!



  2. #122
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    That's frustrating about the PCM failure. I am not too familiar with the OBDII stuff -- but some of them have a removable chip (internal flash memory) which can be changed over to another unit in similar way to the old stuff. Have you looked into this possibility?

    I'm sure you will like the peppy performance of the 3.33 ratio! It makes a difference!

  3. #123
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    I'm going to try a couple other things before I fully commit to a new computer. Cooling fan relays are cheap (free) from the yard, and there are a few A-bodies in the yard closest to my house. If that solves the cooling fan issue, it may be that I don't need a PCM. I will also deactivate reporting of some other things, like the cruise lamp and low oil lamp, in the tune file.

  4. #124
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Finally got around to fixing George's face.

    Before.


    Disassembly in progress.


    Reassembly in progress.



    Done.




  5. #125
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    Looks great again!
    Jerry

  6. #126
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Hey Daniel - it's good to see the CrunchyBits replaced with NiceBits again! Good Christmas gift for George!

  7. #127
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Cooling fans still don't work after replacing both relays and both motors. Transmission is still a manual Powerglide. Without 4th gear or torque converter lock, the car is getting 17 mpg, which is objectively shit. Just biding my time until that sweet sweet tax refund drops. Then the fun will start.

    I'm considering changing the starter. It is currently running the stock (replacement) starter from the old 3.1, which has that old school sound, but requires more power to turn than the "high-torque" starter the 3.5 is equipped with. I think I'm going to switch to a high-torque unit. The mounting and wiring are the same, and I found one on fleabay for like $33, which is about half the price of the cheapest one on Rock Auto, and WAY cheaper than Vatozone. The reason I didn't change the starter to the new one is because I don't really care for the sound the new units make. Sounds... foreign. UnAmerican. But if it uses less battery power, so be it.

  8. #128
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    A lot of bullshit occurred over the last week with my fleet of hundred-year-old men. Tuesday morning, popped #3 spark plug out of the wagon when accelerating to get on the highway going in to work. That's a paddlin'. Then my backup car (yellow sedan) needed "new" ignition coils/module and a mass air flow sensor in order to run in any meaningful way. That was a frustrating $50 at the yard considering I replaced the ignition components last summer with new parts. I think the MAF has been a persistent issue since I bought the car 2.5 years ago though. It's running better than it ever has. Also had the wheels rebalanced to eliminate the highway shakes. It's great now.

    Since I don't feel like trying to helicoil a firewall-side spark plug hole on a transverse V6, I got quoted ~$260 at a shop, which I consider to be fairly reasonable. That'll occur when there's more than two nickels to rub together in the budget.

    And just to break up the monotony of me posting walls of text, here's the yellow sedan with the Eurosport VR wheels on it.

    Daniel
    Kaiser George IX: 1996 Buick Century Special wagon. 214-SFI. 194k miles. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. First documented LX9 swap in an A-body! Click here to read my build thread!
    Goldilocks: 1992 Buick Century Special sedan. 204-MFI. 116k miles. Will be mom's car soon.
    Susana: 1993 Buick Century Custom wagon. 204-MFI. 121k miles. Garage ornament. Waiting for... some fun!

  9. #129
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    Tuesday morning, popped #3 spark plug out of the wagon when accelerating to get on the highway going in to work. That's a paddlin'.
    Since I don't feel like trying to helicoil a firewall-side spark plug hole on a transverse V6, I got quoted ~$260 at a shop, which I consider to be fairly reasonable.
    Sorry to hear that, that sucks! That is a better price than I would have expected too.
    Jerry

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