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Discussion Starter #1
Ok... first things first. A year ago my car was running fine power wise, but the idle was erratic and would stall unless you gave it gas. I let the car sit for a year before working on it again about a week ago. I replaced the spark plugs w/ some Autolite ones that were not pregapped, so did that manually best we could to .8mm (my car is a 1986 Turbo 9000). Everything we replaced was:
Air filter
Spark Plugs
Spark Plug wires
Distributor cap
Fuel Filter

We managed to start it after some hassling around, & I noticed immediately that the it idled well, at about 1000rpm. When I put it in gear to move the car, I realized that the car had no power, and would not even move unless you got it to like 4000rpm. if you release the clutch fully, the car sorta clunks & then stalls unless it is on a completely flat surface. I can smell gasoline (petrol, in uk?) in the exhaust from the car, so I think it's not burning the fuel correctly?

There are two things under the hood that I noticed- there is a piece of plastic housing that sits right next to the distributer cap (the cap actually touches this piece of plastic). It was snapped off, and we had to attach the wires back manually. What does this control? I am not 100% sure we wired them back (3 small wires) correctly, but wondered if this can affect combustion anyway? also there is a wire that runs to a screw that screws in below the distributor cap? We assumed it was a ground-wire and rewired it to the body?
Could the problem simply be old gasoline/water in the tank that is causing this burning problem?

Also, a vaccum hose from the throttle body that runs to a plastic connector labeled "Carb" broke off, but we put it back on with no effect?

Thanks a lot, and sorry for such a humungous post.
-Matt
 

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This could be way off base because I'm not familiar with the distributor timed Saab engines and I don't have my EPC to hand but it that by any chance the air mass meter connection?

If so and if it's wired wrong then you'll end up with the fuel injection ecu misunderstanding the amount of air entering the engine and will provide incorrect fuel accordingly.

The only thing like you describe happened to me when my induction pipe popped off the throttle housing. Complete loss of power, the car would start, I could rev it momentarily then it would die again. Same type of problem, the AMM wasn't seeing any air going into the manifold and so fuelled wrongly, in my case cut fuel so the engine wouldn't run again.

David.
 

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Can you post a photo?

I'm wondering if it's the throttle position sensor which again would cause a problem because you're opening the butterfly to add air yet the TPS doesn't know what's going on (or you've got it wired wrong - it's a potentiometer).

That has 3 wires.

David.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, update-
I switched the old distributor cap back on, no good.
we tried multiple variations of the three wires and apparently if you wire them any way other than the way we had them originally, the tachometer needle will not budge when trying to start it. I still don't know what they control though. We did a compression test on the 4 cylinders and they all came out the same, around 170. So now I am stuck again.

Is it possible that having weak spark plugs could be the problem? I wasn't real confident with them to begin with.

also, I forgot to mention this before, but when you floor the accellerator in neuteral, it takes a few seconds for the engine to get to high revs. It is not responsive. The needle certainly doesn't jump when you gas it. It has to "build" before it gets anywhere.

Sorry, I can't post a pic for a bit, our digital camera isn't too good :(

Any help is greatly appreciated.
-Matt
 

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Trouble is i'm not sure which 3 wires your talking about. Any pic of any sort would help tremendously. The only one I can think of is the throttle position sensor and as I said, if you've wired it wrong, it will just not work right.

I wouldn't have said the problem you've got is due to poor spark. Just about the only other thing I can think of that would give you low power (assuming everything else is working just fine and i'm not sure that it is) would be that the distributor has moved and the timing has been retarded loads. This happened to me once when I had replaced an engine and the chain of the hoist, pulled the ditributor round. I hardly had any power to climb the hill outside the house yet the engine would start and idle just fine.

Really really need to post a picture of the bit with 3 wires, doesn't have to be good, just show the location.

David.
 
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