Slowly getting the bugs worked out


In the Booster Seat
May 24, 2010
Hi All,

First of all, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your advice, experience, and for just plain humoring me. Internet diagnosis is a difficult task, but this board has been an extremely valuable resource during this project.

I'm learning that diagnosis is almost like debugging a computer program... The laws of proximity do not necessarily apply, and the root cause of an error may be in a completely different place than you would think. It makes it interesting. At least we have you guys on TB to point us in the right direction.

Now, on to the nitty-gritty. An update on some of the issues listed in the first post here:

1) Puff of smoke on startup, smells rich: Searches came up with multiple possibilities, but one common cause was vacuum leaks. Remember when I said I didn't have any vacuum leaks that I could detect? Well, I was wrong. I checked all the plenum bolts, TB nuts, and intake bolts for tightness. I found one intake bolt near the EGR that was loose; tightened it back down, and lo and behold, I did not get the giant plume of smoke when starting her up! I haven't hooked the PL back up yet to check BLM's (which were around 139 before), but she still idles a bit rough and seems a bit rich, so I need to check all the vacuum lines & hoses, and maybe test the HVAC vacuum reservoir. There's probably still a small leak somewhere.

2) Code 42 mentioned in my PL thread, I guess we'll see later today whether that's resolved or not...

3) SES coming on when hitting the brake pedal: This is intermittent, does not happen all the time. I kept the Hydroboost system with the new '87 style pump & reservoir. I think there may still be an air bubble in the system because sometimes when the engine stumbles, I hear a distinct whine in the PS pump that is not normally there and hear the belt slip a little when turning the wheel. Don't know whether this is directly related to the SES-light-when-tapping-brake-pedal issue or if that's a separate problem. That actually happened once or twice with the old motor & PS pump, but I thought it was a fluke. Maybe the booster is on its way out...

Please let me know if I should post these separately. I really appreciate all the help.