wagon update - First Generation Forum

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wagon update
Friday, July 10, 2015 5:52 AM
Thought I'd throw a mini wagon update up for fun. I've been daily driving it for about a month after getting it inspected (all it needed was a new tail light) and I even found (mostly) matching 82 cav wagon lights for it after getting an interim 86 Sunbird one just to pass. I also did a temporary fiberglass patch on my rocker hole and am hoping to get around to having my legitimate rocker panels welded on over the summer or fall. I ditched the 13" steelies for some 16" wheels which I sprayed black, got some new tires on and it looks and rides much better I think. Runs great and is a nice cruiser and can fit some serious stuff in the back with the seats down which is really handy. I even took it to a big cruise night a few weeks ago which was fun.

One question/issue I am having and I haven't even tried to troubleshoot it yet because it's so intermittent.. It's only happened twice, and it seems like it is after it has been sitting for maybe an hour after being run, or that could be totally coincidental. It won't fire right up instantly and doesn't want to start. Cranks good (new battery) but I have to hold the pedal open a little or mess with it until it chugs to life and will then be ok after a minute. 99% of the time it fires up quick and easy. My first wild guess was that something is heat soaking and then not wanting to work. Just thought I'd ask in case someone here had a similar experience or knowledge of a common problem.

Hauling a huge plotter.
Daily driving & new wheels + tires.


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC

Re: wagon update
Friday, July 10, 2015 9:09 PM
Wow i didnt notice the completely different taillights on the skyhawk! Rims look amazing, i cant wait to go shop for alloys next season!
Re: wagon update
Friday, July 10, 2015 9:36 PM
I am commenting on your issue.If your having to depress the accelerator to get it to start points to 1 of 2 things.Either your fuel filter is dirty or your fuel pump is going bad.I am betting the fuel pump is way OLD and the strainer is full of trash in the tank.I just tackled that issue last year due to age of pump and yes ethanol in the fuel gums things up.You can go cheap 1st with a new fuel filter,however I would be putting a pressure gauge on the fuel system and check the psi should be 13psi.Keep in mind our cars do not have a Schrader valve and this has to be put inline with the primary feed line on the tbi,to check.If it were the coil it would either turn the key and do nothing or starter drag,click and not fully engage to crank the car.I would not wait to get this checked.If it is giving the Tell Tell signs of a weak fuel pump as I suspect it is,once it dies your dead in the water period.My pump bit the dust twice over my years of owning and the 1st time in 98 slow or hard to crank,the 2nd in 14 bit the dust in my garage.I had no warning just ran for 15-20 seconds and done.And just in case your wondering yes a fuel pump can go out while driving as this is how my 1st pump the original bit the dust.



Re: wagon update
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 7:29 AM
Thanks for the compliment William, and yeah there are way more different tail lights than I realized for wagons.

Also, thanks for the input Ron, it wouldn't surprise me if it was original - almost everything else seems to be. I lost a fuel pump on my Mustang a long time ago where it had a "bad spot" and most of the time it would start and run just fine, but when it stopped at the right spot, it was done for, no amount throttle modulating or anything else would get it going. I'm certainly not interested in dropping the tank and just doing the filter to save a few bucks, may as well do it all. I also may hook up a fuel pressure gauge and see how it goes for now. I'm not super worried about it dying on me, not doing any road trips or anything, just work and back.


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: wagon update
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 9:23 PM
I will say doing my homework to replace my fuel sender I had a road block of sorts.The short is no one list a 85 fuel sender made anymore period.However I stepped up to the 1986 yr and there available with no issue.I will say the aftermarket fuel sender's come with a very short wiring harness,and I simpley bought new wiring to to add the length to reach the oem plug and spiced into and heat shrunk and used conduit.If it were Me I would just replace the entire unit meaning the fuel sending unit with a new AC DELCO fuel pump.Reason being the sending unit go bad and you will do twice the work.The wiring color is a touch different but very simple and I may kick up my thread to share so you can read thru the drama and get the general idea.The final thoughts are my fuel gauge read full all the time (bad sender) and pump was done,so I replaced literally everything and including my fuel hoses to the fuel fill spout and yes the fuel lines in the area.On recall I spent about $270.00 total but my stuff is all NEW and worth the time.I seriously would not drop the tank with out updating the fuel sending unit at the time of replacing the fuel pump imo.



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