It happens hugh when a starter fails and or the solenoid hits a (dead spot) no fire,even with a jump sometimes.A good example in short is my wife's 04 accord had a slow crank and I did some (research) to find this engine is prone to early starter failure due to heat.Her car soley cranked slow,no clicking,or drag from time to time.The short is on the day I took off to do a tune up it would not fire up in the garage.I tried the wrong approach.Jumping and nothing.Umm (dummy me) not thinking simple (HEY RON) just tap the solenoid and get it past the dead spot and sure enough hours later I realized my dum dum oversight thinking too hard for a common old problem.In short I replaced the starter and had already made some changes to account for some of the Real issue.As for you no cooling I will not say the compressor is going,BUT I know 1st hand at least on my car the ORINGS for the hardlines to the compressor dry out and leak and create the NON cooling affect not the dryer,hardlines,or compressor itself.I have replaced mine twice as this is the problem if the AC is not used a lot and the rubber orings just lose the Freon and done.I am not doubting your mechanics diagnostics but,I would first have checked the OVAL 8 connection like on my car for the 2 orings that dry out and cause the problem and not any other component.I say oval eight bc it looks like a 8 and each time I replace and recharged the system R134a things were A OK.I do not know how the 1.8 's are on the compressor but,that would have been my first choice to check however I have owned my car for years and learned quick of this typical issue.You might want to share the idea (before you guru) tears into this full on replacing components that are Not the problem and could be just some couple of bucks orings!!!!!!!! With a open thought I know not all of my ideas are to the letter for every car and each car has it own issue.I try to approach a problem the (common sense thought) and go SIMPLE 1st then get all high tech later.I could get more ramble's in here but this is heavy thoughts after a 13hr day and I am done.
Thanks, Ron, Orlen and Paul. Yeah - my mechanic was talking about "O rings" and I immediately thought of the shuttle. I'll ask, but I think he's replacing those as well. I did notice some rusty water spots on the driveway, so I wondered if that had something to do with a leaking AC system or if it was normal.
Okay: Back from the shop yesterday, June 5, 2015, and they:
Tested and replaced starter
Replaced A/C compressor
Replaced accumulator assembly
Replaced orifice tube (there wasn't too much discomfort)
Back flushed AC system
Recovered (?), evacuated and charged A/C
NOTE: Evaporator core may have slight leak.
And THAT'S ALL the money that was in my new car fund, but I'm NOT complaining: I'm having a ball with the car and now I don't have to park it for the summer as the A/C is blowing deliciously cold air.
Cost to get a 1983 Skyhawk, 69K miles, up to speed: $10,730. If it breaks down now, it'll become a lovely large planter on the front lawn until the well refills a bit.
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Hugh, putting over $10K into a 1st gen is an achievement not done by hardly anyone on here, and you deserve a hardy pat on the back and a hand shake for a job very nicely done! You have a machine that stands apart and should reward you with many years and miles of smiles as well as something that is easy to get fixed if it needs fixing. Hope you keep us along with you journey with your Skyhawk!
Thanks, Orlen. I'm not bitter - I figured it might cost that much, and I like the idea of having saved something from the junkyard! And I think a couple of guys on here said they've spent upwards of $18k!
I have no idea how much I have spent really.I have all my saved receipts and stuff in a container since 1998 till now.It has grown but,really for the car you have pouring money into it is nothing short of a avid car enthusiast.Heck last year I dropped right at 270.00 just to fix my fuel system (or fuel tank items) me doing all the labor.This is just one small area,and yeah the cost rise as you update,upgrade or add things.Enjoy the car
Okay - So to update:
The detailers worked a bit on the outside and a LOT on the inside, as mentioned before. They said there just wasn't much they could do for the paint and pointed out the "cracked" look of the paint on the hood. The idea was that if they made the sides and "new" paint on the top and truck shiny, it would look odd to have an opaque hood.
SO... I tackled it myself. I washed the car, clay barred it, used cleaner wax, used polish, then used a good carnuaba wax. I think the hood looks MUCH better - the cracked look is gone, although its not very shiny, but it and the nose cone look so much better.
I used "Back to Black" on all black trim - even some inside - with great results. I bought the right touch up paint, but it seems MUCH brighter and lighter than the paint on there now.
Keeping the white wording white is a little tricky, but I've learned to Armor-All the tires, then wipe off the white lettering.
I installed two, $4 exhaust tips to dress up the rusty pipes that are the exhaust, but they began to rust almost immediately, so I replaced them with $40 stainless steel exhaust tip ends. They're okay, but I don't like being able to see the little metal things that screw in to hold it in place. Still, it'll work.
The AC is working fine, although I do sometimes have a bit of a warm-engine starting issue, It stalls on warm startup, but if I can get it into drive fast enough, the stalling - or threat to - disappears. Even on cold starting it sometimes sounds like it's going to stall, but 20 seconds after starting, it seems fine.
I'm getting more compliments and comments on the Hawk than I did on my Porsche 911!
Following are some pics taken today, July 31, 2015. Oh - is it bad to show my license plate?
ALSO - Any advice on finding a factory center arm rest for this thing?
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Like the pics and I can share some paint tips later to help keep it up to par.Your sometime not starting does not baffle me,but will try to make it simple in suggestions and go from there.This problem could be several different things like a plugged or sticking egr valve,IAC (idle air control) even the TCC (torque convertor clutch solenoid) or even a weak fuel pump or blocked up fuel strainer in the fuel tank or even a coil or ignition module in the distributor cap.1st the easy check for the EGR is unhook the vacumm line going to the said item.Leave it unhooked for say a day and see if this make's any difference(easy NO cost) and will not hurt.2nd if #1 does not change the issue try unplugging the TCC solenoid on the trans( I need some help you auto guys on the exact location of this!!)The fuel pump issue can only be determined by a psi check using a inline Schrader valve to verify the proper psi which should be 13psi.The idle air control has to be removed and cleaned not hard,but some wrenching.The coil can be tested by voltage with a multimeter when hot or cold.I could write a novel but let me keep this simple for now.Things I need or want to know when the problem of not starting or hard to start are next.For instance car cold,doe's the car turn over quick and crank immediately or multiple cranking before it cranks.Next when hot or cold the hard starting is the starter clicking or dragging or waiting to engage.Last the car cranks up but then cuts out unless you throttle the pedal UP to keep it going soley while in park.I can go on however I do not want to overwhelm you too much info right now.I will follow up as you share some more specific details I asked about to narrow down the problem to save you $$$$$$ with your shop or you doing the work.If you want to talk to me direct I will glady share my phone info via a pm so I can make this quick and simple I think.In short your issue could be a variety of reason's some listed some not but,I do understand the 1st gen stuff pretty darn good.
It always fires right up regardless of whether the engine is hot or cold. No hesitation or clicking or two or three tries. Just fires right up.
When cold, it'll sort sound like it's about to stall, but that generally stops after about 20 seconds. Sometimes when I put it into reverse, it will stall.
When hot, it seems like it just runs rough and tries to stall - and will, sometimes - until I put it in drive and give it a little gas, then I can take my foot off the gas - like at a stop sign - and it runs fine. It's just rough running initially.
I did put some fuel injector cleaner into the gas tank at the last fill up, and I always use 93 octane. Maybe it's too rich?
i would be a little more patient when you first start it up. its a 30 yr old car , let it warm up and let the computer have a little time to figure out whats going on. give it a minute or two before you drop it into gear. mine is always a little shaky when i first start it up. it starts up in high idle and i wait till she kicks down, then i drop it in gear. after i get to highway speeds it runs like a dream. your car looks great, love the tires and rims. are those 13s or 14inch wheels? i did notice the hood of your car seems to dip down a little too much on the drivers side where it meets the nose. you can open the hood and screw out the front hood bumper a little bit to get it to raise up and line up closer.
Thanks, John. Yes - I think I will give it a little more time.
Odd - it wasn't nearly as bad today on the stalling thing.
Thanks for the hood suggestion. I didn't know that. Will do!
Hugh try unplugging the vacumm line to the egr for a day.I think you have a underlying issue.I know how my car runs from sitting and let it idle for a good 5 minutes and it will warm up on high idle but then drop down once at a certain temp and remain smooth.I think taking 1step on each area is simple and disconnecting the egr vac line will not harm it.I would not go so far as to rule out the Map sensor as it can def mess with the idle hot or cold.I do not want add more just try this and let me know what change or not it make's.R
Thanks, Ron, although when it comes to my mechanical ability, I once replaced my driver's side windshield wiper, which was the most mechanical thing I had ever done on my car. I was bragging about it to my two friends and turned the wipers on to show them and the driver's side wiper flew right never to be seen again.
I can barely run the vacuum in the house, so I can only imagine the kind of mischief that could occur if I attempted to even find egr vac line!
I may suggest it to the mechanic who restored the whole thing, though!
Well, have been enjoying running around town and out to a neighboring town to cash in my casino coupons.
BUT... I found these guys, who I believe are local: http://www.712motorwerks.com/home.html
and I've asked them about the POSSIBILITY of converting the Skyhawk into a convertible. JUST ASKING. It would be ironic since I paid good bucks to get the current roof repaired. I told them that the Skyhawk had sister (or is it closer than that?) J bodies of that era that were convertibles and that MAYBE it doesn't make it such an outlandish proposition. COULD a non-convertible be reinforced enough to make it viable?
I told them that the top certainly doesn't have to be electronic, and I wonder... could they make the current hard top the "top" - one that I'd have to remove in, say, spring - and have a custom cover for the interior only if it rains? Or just not worry about the interior? A PERMANENT convertible? I guess SOME kind of roof would be good. I imagine any removable hard top would have to be fiberglass or something, right?
The guy said he'd "look at the car's schematics" and see what's up and if it's possible, and if so, to give me an estimate.
Well, we'll see. Maybe I need a hobby. Or a different hobby.
You'd just need a Sunbird convertible. Skyhawks and Sunbirds had very similar body panels so I imagine swapping a Skyhawk coupe's front fenders and fascia onto a Sunbird convertible of the same year would be easier than hacking off the roof of a solid coupe.
I agree with Spike.
The cost to convert a non convertible into one would be much greater than what it would cost to find a nice Sunbird and swap all the parts. Even if you have to swap the tail light assy.
I would just keep the car as it is.If your really wanting a vert find one that is just that.
You guys are probably right, AND I'll ask the body shop about the logistics and cost of making a Sunbird/Skyhawk swap.
hugh, if you get a chance, check out my thread on page 4 skyhawk resto. mine is a 86 limited one small difference i noticed between yours and mine is it looks like you have a power antenna . also i didnt blackout the headlight bezels because the the chrome was in such good shape i didnt want to mess with them. if i find another set i will definetly do that.
Well, the custom body guy said he thinks he could convert the Skyhawk to a convertible for about $8,000, including donor Cavalier. He said 225 hours at $30 an hour plus $1,100 for the Cav and a new top.
Interesting. I'd almost be tempted to get a second Skyhawk in case it doesn't work... And I'd have to see more of what this guy has done in the past and his "credentials."
I also asked about simply swapping the grill and tail lights and various body hardware/logos with a Sunbird. I'll see what he says.
The two issues with this are: Letting my car savings account rebuild for about eight or nine months AND a friend of mine wants to sell me his 1995 Mercedes E320 convertible which is just a dream. It has 84K on it and he'd sell it to me for $10k. I'd need to save for that as well, so it would pretty much be one or the other, and I'm sure the Merc is the slightly safer choice.
STILL, having the only drop-top Skyhawk ever - as far as I know - is intriguing...
Thoughts? Rotten tomatoes?
The short answer is leave your ride you have as it is.You can't do a DO OVER on something that is oem period correct.Keep in mind the memories you had trying to find the car you have now and the cost done to make it very enjoyable.2nd choice is go cheaper and find 1st or 2nd gen J vert and fulfill the convertible idea minus the extra cost and be done.The end.
Is the concern that they may screw it up and it'll wobble or the road and/or I won't like the look?
This would be a huge undertaking. GM didn't even make their cars convertibles, they were sent elsewhere to get the job done. I know a company known as ASC in southern California did F bodies; I don't know who did the J's
The next time you get a chance, look at your car next to a vert (even if it's a 2nd gen)--so many differences; and those are just the ones you can see (just look at the windshield and rear seats). What would concern me most are the ones you can't see.
Much cheaper and probably safer would be to find a vert Sunbird and swap the nose, tail lights, dashboard, steering wheel and call it a day.