Old Cars/Trucks Restoration and Modding

greenpondmike

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Yes sir, vehicles that cost that much ought to have good suspension parts. People ought to inspect their own vehicles at least every year if not half a year or let a mechanic do it. Mine gets inspected every week- my truck forces me to do it. I'd like to at least go a week without lifting the hood and three months without crawling under it. Often people tell me how good my truck looks and some to name my price or offer thousands for it. I turned down $5000 once and if it wasn't for my promise I would have snatched the dude's arm off.
 
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greenpondmike

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Well, the fuel line has been totally replaced with fuel injection line and the carburator has been blowed out and inspected. I was afraid I'd damage the gaskets, but it seems all good. Truck runs the same- still spits and sputters on the highway at 45 or faster.

I'm in the process of rebuiding a junk yard distributor, but I needed more parts and they are ordered. It is either the distributor or the "new" carquest fuel pump from advance auto (probably made by airtex). It looked like old stock and was probably manufactored before the ethanol fuels became widespread. I guess once I replace enough things I will hopefully hit on the problem one.
These problems don't make any sense right now. It's like the trouble moves around and says ha ha you didn't get me.:nana:
 

bykfixer

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I chased a non functioning cooling fan on a 91 Honda Prelude for 3 weeks and finally towed it to my favorite mechanic who eventually found it. Fans worked sometimes, sometimes they didn't. There were 2 fans that operated independently of each other. One was strictly for when the AC was running and the other to add to the airflow if needed. After replacing two different sensors, two different motors and a timing box things worked normal...almost.
The timing box I used was from 88/89 version and my car was a 90/91 version. There was just enough difference in the timing box that when you shut the car off a cooling fan would run 5 minutes and stop. Everytime. Didn't matter if you drove 6 hours or ran it 10 seconds the fan would always come on when you shut the motor off.

The car had an electric antenna that had a toggle so you could decide to raise the antenna or not. The factory version was set up to raise the antenna when the radio turned on. I installed an antenna toggle from an Accord of that era. Later I used the antenna toggle switch as a battery cut off so that when I turned the car off the fan would not run. Reason being was that 88/89 timing box was known to randomly turn the cooling fan on and many people ended up with a dead battery. Oh it would have been easier to just install a 90/91 timing box but I figured "why not just do an anti theft mod" because at the time people were stealing that model Prelude fairly regularly.

Everytime I started the car the clock said 12 so I placed a stick on LCD over the factory one. When I gave the car to my son he wanted it back to stock so he switched out the timing box and removed the LCD clock. He stored the car in a garage while he had it then sold it to a collector.
 
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orbital

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..sold it to a collector.

+

or maybe someone who races them.

I'v seen Preludes' race in SCCA and a some really got on w/ the program.
They are stable in braking, solid mid corner speed & most important, get off the corner well for a front drive car.
also: they handle well in the straightaways*


*if you know what I mean FAST:devil:
 

bykfixer

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It's living in a climate controlled environment. It was a special car in that aside from living outdoors under a nice cover for about a year it lived in a garage its whole life. As far as I know the car had only been driven in the rain when a storm popped up while out on a jaunt. It failed a smog test in Maryland so it ended up in my driveway until we made a spot indoors for it. It still had some stickers on it from the factory in Japan like the "do not remove" sticker on the sunroof.

My son said he was talking about an idle issue at his work one day when a customer asked "wanna sell it?"…… my son said he replied "not to just anybody". It seems the guy whips out a phone and starts showing my son his Honda museum. A month later the guy trailored it home in a closed trailer and has apparently finished restoring it. My son and I were swapping out any part that was worn, rusted or faded stem to stern. We were almost done and had all of the parts.

The 4th gen Prelude was in my view the ugliest but man what a great handling car. It was light years ahead of the curve looks wise. But it was very well balanced. An outlaw racer once told me the 4 door Civic of that era was the best car to race with but nobody wanted to be caught dead racing a 4 door Civic. I think King Motorsport raced one for a while.
 
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greenpondmike

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I like all those japanese vehicles even subaru. I don't have much feelings toward mazda outside of their rotory stuff though. I don't doubt it's also dependable, but I'm just not into mazdas. Maybe their trucks a little. They did make the Ford curiour and have something to do with the ranger.
 

bykfixer

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It can be thought of two ways. My 95 Ford Ranger is a Mazda with Ford logos or my brothers 98 Mazda B2300 is a Ford with Mazda logos. Both are nearly identical. And aside from some rust issues both held up pretty well. I drove my 95 for 20 years with zero problems aside from the arm rest hinge point failing and headliner disintigrating. I moth balled it in 2015. My brothers 98 Mazda had a throttle sensor go bad but his interior still looks like new. Neither of us have had rust issues.
Their choice to use the V6 Explorer rear end gears with a 4 cylinder engine was kinda weird though. Lots of shifting 5th to 4 and back in hill country but other than that I liked it just dandy. I bought mine used from a dentist who had it built with 6 cylinder guts like heavy duty radiator but a 4 cylinder engine. I think my brothers has 200k+ miles on it. I parked mine with 79k.
 

greenpondmike

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Back in the past- I guess the mid 80s mazda and ranger were totally different. I thought they got to looking similar later on in the 90s. They are good trucks though. I think a lot of stuff was made better in the 90s. So far around the mid 90s is as new as I've owned and probably want to own. I might change my mind when the newer ones age 25-30 years.
 
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bykfixer

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I'm that neighbor who takes a serious look at cars once they turn 16. In my state that's the legal age to drive……
Anyway my neighbors whisper to one another "that sure is a nice looking car but I'll bet it's another junker"……then later they say "howdy neighbor, can you fix my car?" lol.
 

greenpondmike

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I like my vehicles to look like junkers but run good. There is so much to worry about when I own a nice looking one seeing I'm a class "A" perfectionist. I try to fight against my condition, but if something isn't just right it bothers me. Now I'm getting better at ignoring less important stuff and I'm no longer a slave to a "list".

On mechanical stuff, I used to be a fan of ported vacuum advance, but now that I better understand vacuum advance I'm starting to respect vacuum advance from manafold vacuum. I tried it on my truck today and whoa what a difference. My exhaust fumes smell more like they should instead of that rich smell. My carb is from a 1976 firebird and there was a place for manafold vacuum I had to pull out the little screw blocking it and install a vacuum port.

I mentioned the year of my carb because it is an emission carb and ported vacuum is an emission thing. Most manufactors used manafold vacuum before the crackdown on emissions. The difference is ported hole is above the throttle plates and the manafold vacuum is below the plates.
Ported advances the timing when the throttle plate is cracked open a little. Vacuum increases to a certain point and then drops off before the mechanical advance takes over at a certain rpm and wot. Maniford vacuum doesn't increase, but is already there and then it drops off the same as the ported does. The manifold port gives more vacuum at idle and low rpm cruising speeds and causes the air/fuel ratio to burn more completely providing a snappier throttle response and better mpg.

Manifold vacuum isn't for newer vehicles and most of them are electronically advanced anyway. I used to think manifold vacuum just added to your initial timing adjustment and then just hung around, but that isn't so and that there was the biggest thing I misunderstood. You can double your initial timing without pinging and hard starting because it decreases. I'm just learning all this, so if I'm not explaining it quite right (why do I think I always need to explain things) please bare with me.

Overall though, my truck runs way better and I need to also replace expensive e3 snakeoil plugs with just regular plugs with a decent heat range. E3 plugs seem like they somehow advanced my timing a little- maybe because they have a smaller air gap than what is recommended and the gap isn't adjustable. Some of mine are misfiring and it threw me off temporarily. I got to looking on the web about e3 troubles and I found a fair amount. I'm glad I never had to pay for them and will probably be using mostly stock plugs in the future.
My 1980 LTD had rapidfire plugs in it when I got it 13 years ago. I never changed them because they seemed to be doing a good job, so maybe rapidfire isn't snakeoil.
 

greenpondmike

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Been using shell gas in it and it seems to be hitting a good lick as far as running goes. It still pops and sputters every now and then but it seems to be running much, much better.

It doesn't shut off as much as it used to either. Maybe it was vapor locking or something.

My mileage seems better- I think it is getting 14-16 miles per gallon now.

Anyone else have any projects? Mine was supposed to be a project, but it became a daily driver.
 
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bykfixer

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My son called me recently to say his twin turbo engine in his Toyota has begun running really lousy and wreaks of gasoline smell while idling. So we are in the midst of diagnosing that one step at a time and also discovered one of the turbos has a slight oil leak. An hour here, two hours there we'll find the issue and also figure out why that turbo leaks.

I took off the map sensor and saw part of the rear cover had melted. Surely that means a vaccum leak and according to experts the very symptoms the engine exhibits. Swap that out and……no better. Dratz! He says it's likely the fuel pressure sensor has failed, while I'm thinking motor oil slung from the turbo all over the ignitor box connections may have allowed that thing to stop sending proper currents to the engine. Both parts are expensive so a proper diagnosis is in order rather than just randomly swapping parts.
 

bykfixer

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No cel, no codes. It's an all stock Japanese market motor to boot. But at least we aren't going behind some kind of hack job. Just trying to figure out which 29 year old part has failed.
It's a low mileage, all original car so it was just a matter of time before it began having troubles.

Once upon a time we learned what goes wrong with the Honda H22. Now it's time to learn the Toyota 2JZ and all of its dilemas.
 

Poppy

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My son called me recently to say his twin turbo engine in his Toyota has begun running really lousy and wreaks of gasoline smell while idling. So we are in the midst of diagnosing that one step at a time and also discovered one of the turbos has a slight oil leak. An hour here, two hours there we'll find the issue and also figure out why that turbo leaks.

I took off the map sensor and saw part of the rear cover had melted. Surely that means a vaccum leak and according to experts the very symptoms the engine exhibits. Swap that out and……no better. Dratz! He says it's likely the fuel pressure sensor has failed, while I'm thinking motor oil slung from the turbo all over the ignitor box connections may have allowed that thing to stop sending proper currents to the engine. Both parts are expensive so a proper diagnosis is in order rather than just randomly swapping parts.

Melted MAP sensor means a vacuum leak? I wouldn't think so. Not to mean there isn't one.
If swapping out the melted MAP sensor didn't do the trick, you might want to back track the electrical components to see what may have caused it to melt. OTOH a failed MAP should have sent a code.

I have never worked on a Toyota. There should be a way to test the fuel pressure with a gauge. Many chain auto part supply stores will offer a tool borrowing program, and a fuel pressure test gauge is often one of the offered tools.

Good luck, and have fun bonding with your son.

I have an electrical and vacuum trouble-shooting manual for my bronco and grand marquis. If you can get one for your son's car, you'll find that there is a wealth of information, in there, not found any where else.
 

greenpondmike

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I've seen many burnt spots on the highway lately and some burnt vehicles also. This is in a half year period or less. Its more than anything I've ever seen since I started driving kinda regular back in 84. When you said something about a gas smell bykfixer, I thought of this. Makes me wonder if the fuel has changed recently with the new summer blend or if they decided to just use the winter blend year round.
 

bykfixer

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On this particular motor the map sensor has a silicone (or similar) cover on the back that melts after a while and when the cover is "missing" it becomes similar to a broken vacuum hose.

We confirmed a bunch of stuff is ok and today discovered a fuel leak on a line we suspect is a fuel return line. Hence the strong smell of gasoline. The car sits low to the ground in stock form and we saw a puddle while looking for a dropped screw. So we pushed the car back 5 feet and sure enough the puddle was gasoline. So this weekend the car will go up on jackstands for a closer look.

My son has a trouble shoot manual for a '96 Toyota Supra, which has been great for torque specs, how many psi for proper fuel pressure regulator etc, but the car is an Aristo and the search is on for what exactly it is that is leaking fuel as what we saw is not on a Supra. I may try a Toyota Crown manual since that is pretty much the same car, just not the factory hot rod type car.
 

Poppy

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bykfixer,
I suggest that you use your flashlight to highlight the leaking part, and take a picture of it, then post that picture to a Toyota forum and ask... what is this part?

Then you'll have something to post in the "What did you use your flashlight for today" thread. :D

Good luck with fixing that leak.
 

bykfixer

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Man, we both looked and looked through e-manuals and forums galore for information and last evening I found a diagram with a how to on a site discussing how to diagnose bad fuel injectors. It appears it could be an inline fuel filter junction and could be as simple as an o'ring that seals a bulkhead where the fuel takes a 90 degree turn in a tee and the straight path side has what appears to be a cleanout feature similar to a sewer pipe that runs from the house to the street. We'll jack up the car when he's off work and give it a look-see.

I'm astounded at how complicated the automobile combustion engine had become in the early 1990's. They had sensors for sensors and it seems like those all had computers sensing them. Yet the car runs ridiculously bad right under the nose of all those gizmos and gadgets without detection.

I work with a car guy who told to forget about relying on the computer for everything and re-learn how to use the vacuum guage. Music to my ears. I told him of a time a few years back when a Honda was giving me grief without any warnings from the computer and how the vacuum tester found my exhaust valves were out of spec enough to cause the issue. A simple valve adjustment got the car running like new (that time). My sons car acts like it could have a vacuum leak and we are supposing if that o'ring has failed it could be allowing just enough loss to cause the issue.

When we installed an engine on one of his cars a few years back the power steering pump had a chronic bubbling after several hours of trying everything to rid the line of air. He even swapped in a new pump to no avail. He just drove it like that for a time, power steering pump all whining like it was low on fluid. Then one day while changing a headlight bulb we saw the end of a tiny hose was wet. We changed the clamp from the factory type you squeeze with pliers to the type you tighten with a screwdriver and viola……no more air issue. So that showed me a line can be losing fluid and sucking in air at the same time. There was no puddle(s) under that car because the fluid was falling onto a plastic shield between the radiator and the oil pan. He said "I told you I didn't want to put that back but you insisted" lol. (He had installed a higher performing engine model that was not stock for that car and I was trying to disguise it as the stock engine because I like the sleeper look.) (Sleeper meaning looks and sounds stock until you hit the accelorator pedal, then it wakes up.) He removed the shield later.
 
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