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Author Topic:   Daily Driver Problem...I'm stumped!
Dixon
Member
posted May 05, 2003 07:13 PM
I have a 1987 4WD GMC Jimmy (full-size)with a 5.7L V-8. The strangest thing started happening today. When I make left turns, and only left turns, the engine stalls. I think I have a good understanding of cars, but I can't figure out why this is happening.
The truck is fuel-injected (TBI), so it's not a carb float problem. At first I thought it might be a problem with the power steering, but the pump isn't locking up, and everything with the steering works fine if I'm standing still.
I asked a friend and he said that one time he had a battery that had some plates break internally, and when he turned they would touch and short. I checked all the connections, then took the battery mount loose and held the battery at different angles...the engine never stalled.
I thought it might be some weird kind of charging system problem, so I tested the charging system (at a friend's shop) as well as the battery...everything was just fine. I even tested it while shaking the truck back and forth as hard as I could, but nothing happend.
I thought it might be a computer problem, so I hooked the truck up to a Snap-On scanner. The computer had no trouble codes at all, and when I drove the truck and made it stall, the computer showed nothing then too.
The stall is too quick to be fuel starvation, but I checked that out as well. Both injectors flow like they should, and don't worry, I have plenty of gas in the tank.
All this leads me to believe that there is some kind of electrical short in the ignition switch or the coil. I'm thinking that there is some wire grounding out only when I turn left. The distributor cap, rotor, plugs, plug wires, and coil are all new (mostly Accel and MSD)as of a month ago. I've checked the connection to the coil (it has one of those clip-on harnesses) and it looks fine. I tried to jiggle it around to see if I could make it shut off, but that didn't work. I tried shaking the distributor connections, that didn't work. I tried shaking the steering column, that didn't work. I tried shaking the harness to the fuse box, that didn't work.
As you can see, I'm all out of ideas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dixon

Gene
Member
posted May 05, 2003 07:24 PM
My guess is something is moving aginst an electrical connector and cutting the power off. I'd jiggle every wire til the engine quits.


teamstertom
Member
posted May 05, 2003 07:30 PM
I am not sure if your 87 has the electric fuel pump in the tank,but my 96 Z71 would just quit because of that darn pump in the tank would short it self out and burn up. After replacing the 3rd pump,it was time to replace the truck.


racer17j
Member
posted May 05, 2003 07:39 PM
you have a short in your steering colum had it happen before to a buddy of mine


Dixon
Member
posted May 05, 2003 08:10 PM
Racer17j,

Could you tell me specifically what was wrong and how he fixed it?

Thanks,

Dixon

towmandan
Member
posted May 05, 2003 10:21 PM
Will it stall setting still when you turn the wheel that might tell us something about the column.All of the ignition power goes to the ignition switch and its mounted half way down the column under the dash and shouldnt be affected by turning the wheel. If you can think of any more info let us know maybe we can help.....towman


Dixon
Member
posted May 05, 2003 11:10 PM
Towmandan,

It doesn't stall if it's sitting still and I turn the wheel. I can even shake the truck and nothing happens. I'm all out of ideas.

towmandan
Member
posted May 05, 2003 11:38 PM
Gain access to the vehicles computor, with the truck running hold the computor in one hand and with the other hand thump the case of the computor with the handle of a s crew driver if it stalls theres a loose or bad curcuit in the computor if it doesnt stall it should be ok. If nothing else that will help rule out one more thing....Its not fool proof but i have seen it work....towman

[This message has been edited by towmandan (edited May 05, 2003).]

dirtracer7
Member
posted May 05, 2003 11:46 PM
you can also twist the ecm and see if it scruws up.But I think I'd go with gene's idea of wire rubbing somewhere.Or bad connection.


towmandan
Member
posted May 06, 2003 10:08 AM
Check and see if you have the 10ga. wire that runs into the side post of the pos. cable corosion causes a bad connection inside the rubber cover of side post and some of these other guys may comment on this but I think that wire powers up a leg of the computor related to fuel pump and injector pulse. Just trying to help.....towman


rico 08
Member
posted May 08, 2003 12:46 PM
I had this happen too and it was the tilt steering joint where it bends was loose and when you turned the right direction the rod that actuates the ignition switch turned the motor off.


towmandan
Member
posted May 08, 2003 12:57 PM
Rico that thought did cross my mind ,but the steering column has to be dangerously loose to do that, and I figured he would mention that. But i have seen that more than once. let us know ....towman


rico 08
Member
posted May 09, 2003 08:46 AM
I've seen 'em with the ign. switch not adjusted right and do it with hardly any slack at all but who knows,that sort of problem will make you pull you're hair out.


towmandan
Member
posted May 09, 2003 09:40 AM
You guys are pretty sharp...I didnt factor in somebody messing with the box.Back in the day when thats all that was on the road I would get 3 or 4 of those tilt columns in a week flopping around.Maybe Dixon will log on and let us know if hes found out anything....towman


Geffy95x
Member
posted May 09, 2003 03:41 PM
This may be reaching a bit but how many key's or gizmo's do you have on you key chain .
Had a friend who's ignition switch was warn so when he turned the keys would sway and kill the motor.
Good luck.


rico 08
Member
posted May 09, 2003 07:00 PM
We've got a helluva flow chart goin on here!


Eljojo
Member
posted May 09, 2003 08:35 PM
I'd be wanting to drive it onto an incline so tht it tilted simulating the "G's" of making a turn. At that point I'd turn the wheel til that bad boy went to acting up.


30rulz
Member
posted May 09, 2003 09:50 PM
seen this once in a 86 ltd and when you put it in gear it would roll the wire harness in the colum and when you turned the wheel it would short and kill the motor but it took the shifting linkage twisting the harness to do it. maybe this will help?


stormy
Member
posted May 09, 2003 09:59 PM
does everything shut off? jus like u are turning the key off or does just the engine stall? I sure would be looking at that fuel pump a little closer, those things are so notorious for causing problems.

[This message has been edited by stormy (edited May 09, 2003).]

Dixon
Member
posted May 12, 2003 01:11 AM
Hey Everyone,

I apologize for not writing earlier, but I've been real busy. Well, I finally solved the problem, and sure enough, it was the fuel pump. I guess the thing that threw me off was how fast the stall was. I've had fuel pumps fail before, but they were easier to diagnose. Anyway, thanks for all the advice, that's why I really like The Dirt Forum. I think everyone here gives good advice. -Dixon



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