New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk! - Page 2 - First Generation Forum

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Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, April 29, 2016 5:24 AM
wow, two new hawks in a week. great looking cars and very rare with those options and body styles.(hatch and hidden headlights) i have an 86 limited that i fixed up awhile back. check out the skyhawk resto thread if your intrested. now to the great fan issue debate. i put in a new radiator, waterpump and removed the ac condensor in front of the radiator to give it more air flow. i also put in a lower temp thermostat. this helped alot but if im driving 70 on the freeway and then get caught in slower traffic it gets mighty hot, scary hot. in all due respect i dont think some of the members on here drive their cars enough to realize this issue. iam either going to put in a manual switch or a lower temp sensor to switch that fan on. risking a blown head gasket is just not worth leaving the way it is. a while back another member stated he thought a fan that doesnt switch on till 225 degrees is crazy and i agree. just my two cents worth.

Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, April 29, 2016 10:02 AM
Agreed John. Take it with a grain of salt, I'm not trying to contradict anyone, just sharing my experiences. I'm also a daily driver of the SOHC and I really think keeping them cooler than that is a good thing. I've done head gaskets on every one, and a head on one also. Notably, these were all on a car without a manual fan switch, two of them needed a head gasket when I bought them, and I haven't had any (re)failures after doing a new gasket and switch, even after well over 100,000 miles put on. I really don't see what you have to lose by running the fan a bit sooner, it's easy insurance.
Just because the factory thought it was ok, doesn't necessarily mean it is. Some of that may have had to do with cleaner emissions etc. and also the head is prone to cracking and blowing head gaskets already, so they must not have known everything!


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC • 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC • 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:00 PM
Hi guys! Sorry for the silence but I went on vacation after finals were done and just came back. I really appreciate your comments and insight into my mechanical problems. I do intend to keep the Hawk for as long as she'll last! I also have quite a few updates.

First off the stalling issue. It kept doing it after I talked to my mechanic and actually did it with the engine hot, or cold, and very randomly. The mechanic was puzzled and since he only found a remote connection with the fuel leak I kept searching. Online I read of people with older fuel injected cars who had that issue after changing their air filter. And one person said if you reset your ECM by unplugging the battery it will reset injection data which may have been changed up by a clogged air filter. My mechanic is skeptical but I did it and it worked. Well so far, because I don't wanna jinx myself.
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 8:13 PM
I will not say that a dirty air filter may create some issue's but,I seriously doubt that would create the stall problem.I would suggest IF the problem re- presents itself just disconnect the Egr valve line from the egr itself.If the problem go's away completely that is your problem.What happens if the egr starts to fail is it is either gummed up with carbon around the pintal that move's up and down to operate the vacuum and if the diaphragm inside is brittle or not holding vacuum it can and will make the idle crazy or other run problems.It can vary sometimes on engine temperature but,this would be my focus as I think the air cleaner is just a band aid in my real opinion.I hope I made this as simple to understand as possible in a non mechanic description.Just based on the age of the car not necessarily the mileage a egr can stick and or lose vacuum especially yours being the age of the part(rubber over times dries out)



Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 13, 2016 12:11 PM
I'll keep an eye on it! Again, I don't wanna jinx myself but it hasn't done it since. Fingers crossed! Thanks very much for the input though, my mechanic is a very nice guy but he hasn't seen an older car in a long while so I'm sure in case of problem your explanations will help me put him on the right track!

*thumbs up*

Another update was my fan problem. Shortly after writing my post about it, I talked to a friend who suggested the same thing with regards to the air conditioning. Turns out, yup, the fan appeared very much toast. Problem is that there was a couple of very warm days here and while taking the car to the mechanic on wednesday it started overheating - going into the red zone, so I pulled over and waited for it to cool.

I can't say if the damage really happened that day, that other day in traffic, or at another moment really, but by the time the mechanic got to look at it, the fan was indeed dead, but the relay had fried, and a vacuum hose and a wiring harness cover had started to melt. Yikes!! I wish I could have taken the car sooner, ie the first day it overheated three weeks ago but with exams and then a vacation I didn't get to, and I had to run a few errands around town before my appointment on Wednesday...

The car is currently still there while they're working on it, I'm going to call soon for an update.
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 13, 2016 12:39 PM
Well, I called and he told me it's taking longer because they're in a bit of a pickle: obviously the GM engine fan unit has been discontinued by GM and is unavailable in their network of spart parts suppliers; they tried to use a universal fan but it didn't fit; so now he did find an engine fan motor which he will try to use with the original fan unit. Let's hope that it works!
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Sunday, May 15, 2016 8:19 PM
I will do some researching (not tonight) but this week if you do not find a replacement part for the fan.I myself have had some health issue's which are straight Now,but I have laid low on the computer the the last two days.I will say a lot of general shops are not fluent with the 80's stuff as a lot of those guys have retired or not touched dated stuff like we own.Being a 1st gen owner along with many other solid knowledge wise guys on here this is simple to understand and fix.Key reason I never take my car anywhere as I am very mechanical and get it.I do understand you might not be mechanically savy but that is A OK as you dig the 1st gens and that is fine!!!! Let me do some checking and see what I find if nothing gets done before that.



Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 9:28 AM
Hope you're feeling better, thanks for the help and advice!

I'm definitely not mechanically savvy, I'm more of a book nerd lol, but I fell in love with the car and I'll be damned if I don't do my best to get her whatever she needs. The first mechanic I saw was a crook as it turned out, but the one I have now I feel really keeps me updated well, explains to me what I need to know, and always does a solid job. He actually apologised for invoicing me a whole new fan assembly when he said he should have first tried to just change the fan motor.

Either way the car now works like a dream! I will look into the fuel filter soon because I'm due for a regular oil change anyway. Plus I found on the Internet an original LeBra front end cover that requires to mount so brackets inside the engine bay so they can do that for me. After that, the last gremlin will be the headlamp covers... and that's still a problem WRT parts availability.

What you say about guys not being used to 1980s cars is true haha. It reminds me of something funny. Shortly after getting the car I had a problem while driving that required me to limp to another Canadian Tire, not the one I usually go to near my house. And while they were working on the car I grabbed new wipers and asked them to put them on while they were at it. It was a young kid working on my car, 20ish years old, and while he found the car super cool, he came back really bewildered and said he had no idea how to put the wipers on because he had never seen that kind of latching system. It took the oldest guy in the shop (who remembered these cars from new) to go and show him that it just looked a little different but essentially worked the same way as today's cars.


Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:16 PM
Glad you have the fan issue done.I will say I do have a line on a new OEM fan assembly but since you had that corrected done.The primary benefit you have is the group on this board that can assist you with things that might pop up later to make it easy.I am just wiped out tonight and done.



Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 20, 2016 11:09 AM
Very nice Skyhawk!


https://www.yourmechanic.com/pro/mbevacqua
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:01 AM
Adrien T. wrote:

What you say about guys not being used to 1980s cars is true haha. It reminds me of something funny. Shortly after getting the car I had a problem while driving that required me to limp to another Canadian Tire, not the one I usually go to near my house. And while they were working on the car I grabbed new wipers and asked them to put them on while they were at it. It was a young kid working on my car, 20ish years old, and while he found the car super cool, he came back really bewildered and said he had no idea how to put the wipers on because he had never seen that kind of latching system. It took the oldest guy in the shop (who remembered these cars from new) to go and show him that it just looked a little different but essentially worked the same way as today's cars.



Forgive me, but I'm lost... '80s cars are old?


-Matt

82 Skyhawk Convertible: https://goo.gl/j7R6Cu
83 P/2K Turbo: http://goo.gl/EVKPX6
86 Firenza Cruiser: "Jack-Wagon" https://goo.gl/bWP2uK
87 Skyhawk Custom: http://goo.gl/krdDeU
90 Sunbird GT: "Turbo-Turd"
93 Sunbird Convertible: "FrankenBird"
(and a pair of Cavaliers I'd rather not talk about)

Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 27, 2016 9:14 AM
Haha! Well, it is basically as old as me and I feel old enough so eh.

More updates: the weather here is warmer yet now, which means it was time to turn on the A/C. Turns out, the car doesn't seem to like that very much. I had tried the air conditioning just once a while back on a much cooler day for the sake of knowing if it worked and it kicked in great, blowing ice cold air. On wednesday, I was driving and felt like I was baking in an aquarium so I turned on the A/C and: a) wasn't ice cold but cool, b) temperature gauge rose quickly, c) at some point it seemed the A/C just turned off and regular warm and stale air came through the vents.

Turning off the A/C, the temperature gauge went back to normal. I was driving home so didn't feel like futzing with it too much, now I'm going to take the car out specifically to try to recreate the same situation. Then back to the mechanic it goes: good thing is since the engine fan, relays and hoses were checked and replaced two weeks ago, work is still under warranty.
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 27, 2016 2:56 PM
Update: Given how many different factors were going on in my drive home on Wednesday, I did a little trouble-shooting drive today.

Reminder: two weeks ago-ish, big overheating incident while running errands. Made it to the mechanic just in time. Coolant was "boiling/bubbling" inside the coolant tank, the level of which was near the very top. Fan motor, fan relay, wiring were replaced. Thermostat, water pump and radiator were not. Engine coolant was changed a month go.

#1: When idling the car, the engine fan does come on, although it kicks in a little late. Temperature gauge is over a 100 degrees C. when it kicks in (I'd say 110?), at a pretty high speed it seems. But once it's on, temperature drops at normal operating levels (under the 100 degrees C. notch on the gauge). A second idling test a little later confirmed that the fan does not come on until temperature gets higher than I'd like. I'll check tonight but I think the shop manual says fan comes on at 91 degrees C. in theory?

#2: When starting the car from cold, the A/C works actually perfect yet. Ice cold air blows out, all speed works, the compressor is a little noisy when it kicks in, but otherwise runs great. While the A/C is on and driving slowly through town, the temperature gauge does not move one bit, car stays at operating temperature. What happened on Wednesday must have been that the engine was running too hot because of its own problems, which affected the A/C and even maybe forced it to turn itself off due to high temperatures?

#3: When in trafic, the car really overheats quickly. I assume the fan is then on because of the idling test, but it's difficult to hear. Engine is a little noisy and with all the other cars' noises, even with the window open it's difficult to always tell if it's on. But as soon as the car gets moving, not necessarily at highway speeds but just fluid city driving, temperature drops down to less than 100 degrees C. in a matter of seconds. Car actually takes a while to get to operating temperature, the gauge stayed at around 40 degrees C. for a while, even with the A/C on, but then once the car gets warm/hot the gauge rises quickly. Sign of a failed thermostat?

I'm seeing the mechanic Monday morning.

Back when the overheating incident happened, on my way to the mechanic, nothing would cool the car down, not even highway speeds and large amounts of air coming into the engine. So that's good.
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Friday, May 27, 2016 9:00 PM
Have you tried running it without a thermostat? Since these pop out without any tools, that's an easy thing to check. You don't want to run it like that long term because the engine will run too cool for peak economy, but it's the easiest step in o-heat troubleshooting.

Also remember that the sensors that feed the dash gauge and ECM are in the bottom of the thermostat housing, but the fan is triggered by a different sensor in the driver's end of the head. The two are not necessarily seeing water of the same temperature, especially when the thermostat is closed.


-Matt

82 Skyhawk Convertible: https://goo.gl/j7R6Cu
83 P/2K Turbo: http://goo.gl/EVKPX6
86 Firenza Cruiser: "Jack-Wagon" https://goo.gl/bWP2uK
87 Skyhawk Custom: http://goo.gl/krdDeU
90 Sunbird GT: "Turbo-Turd"
93 Sunbird Convertible: "FrankenBird"
(and a pair of Cavaliers I'd rather not talk about)
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Sunday, May 29, 2016 4:19 PM



Nice Car Adrien,

They are rare , you have a nice one !

Pierre Vaillant
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Monday, May 30, 2016 1:07 PM
Merci Pierre! C'est la seule de Montréal c'est sur.

So guys, update! The mechanic just called me, after spending almot the whole day on it (he called it "an eternity") he said they found the culprit. Thermostat and water pump are fine apparently (though I'm definitely keeping an eye on those too at this point lol) and they pinpointed the problem as a faulty engine fan fusible link. A short-circuit in the part interfered with the fan's energising and speed. The part is on its way, and should be there tomorrow morning. I have yet to receive the official invoice but with the oil change that was also due today, he said I should be in for around 100 $CAD.

Fingers crossed that's going to solve the problem!
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 2:19 PM


Allo Adrien,

Two Cavalier hatchback 1982 first production, the black is a CL, 1.8 liter If you come to Gatineau your are welcome to see the cars,

Bonne semaine!

Pierre Vaillant
Attachments
May 28,2016 001.jpg (230k)

Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 7:55 PM
Sweet!!

I'm actually planning to take the car to Ottawa/Gattineau this summer. We're trying to organise a little get together with local members of the Facebook group The Brougham Society which is about older American cars.



Latest update on the Hawk: picked up the car today, took the car on a rush hour drive across town to Laval to pick up my new laptop. Temperature never went over 100 degrees C, which is great really! Throughout the entire run the air-con remained ice-cold, and I didn't have to keep a watchful eye on the temperature gauge.

Next project: headlight motors and hinges. Yikes!!
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Wednesday, June 01, 2016 4:04 AM
Très bon!


-Matt

82 Skyhawk Convertible: https://goo.gl/j7R6Cu
83 P/2K Turbo: http://goo.gl/EVKPX6
86 Firenza Cruiser: "Jack-Wagon" https://goo.gl/bWP2uK
87 Skyhawk Custom: http://goo.gl/krdDeU
90 Sunbird GT: "Turbo-Turd"
93 Sunbird Convertible: "FrankenBird"
(and a pair of Cavaliers I'd rather not talk about)
Re: New here, with a 1987 Skyhawk!
Wednesday, June 08, 2016 5:34 PM
Thanks!

When I got the car, the passenger side power lock was "sticking": it took several pushes on the button to get the latch to go far enough to unlock the door. I got the mechanism greased up when the power window in that door was starting to act up and it fixed the problem...

...and now it's doing it again! I hope the power lock assembly is not getting tired...! Should I just get it checked again? Power window is a little tired too on that side.
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