I'm not 100% sure if I have a computer though I do have all the dash lights and plug ins on my carb. Going to keep plucking away and see what else I can findBKardell, when you come right down to it, our prized vehicles are old! Your vehicle is 39 years old! There is no telling what previous owners have replaced or modified and that is the hard part in getting your gauges, and your 81 as a whole, operating properly.
You seem to have the right temperament and drive needed to restore what is mainly troubleshooting.
Guys: have we established whether his 81 has an ECM? Did 81's have ECM? Some of the pictures with disconnected sensors (CTS, broken Q-jet carb, etc) appear to indicate a non-ECM vehicle. It could well be that this motor was from a later model vehicle which did have an ECM.
As an aside, I am in the process of upgrading from idiot lights to full gauges. This modernization requires swapping out the printed circuit board (PCB) behind the gauge pod. While in LA right before the COVID-19 shutdowns, I visited OPGI and purchased a new PCB (less than $100) along with the water temp and oil pressure sensors. When ordering, be aware and careful because there are 2 different PCB layouts...one is longer and narrower than the other. I will also replace the bulbs with LEDs.
theres 2 gears in there, drive gear and driven gear, and a retainer clip..So the gear in the tranny is bad (any idea where I can get one?)
theres 4-5 or different power sources in the pod, but only 1 ground,The lights work,
although this time pressing on the bottom right corner of the dash pod made the volts gauge jump around.
if I turn the coolant temp needle up to say 220 it'll stay there, and then when I turn the key on, it jumps back down under 100 which tells me it does seem to have power! So maybe the sender IS bad?
Now what next lol
theres 2 gears in there, drive gear and driven gear, and a retainer clip..
there not allways broke, sometimes the drive gear / clip just
slides down the shaft and falls out..
loosen the bolt/keeper and pull the speedo bullet out,,
see whats wrong, see if the drive gear is still there or not,
and go from there..
little different design, later model pic..
View attachment 129629
theres 4-5 or different power sources in the pod, but only 1 ground,
dash light power, gauge, turn indicator, clock,
so if the Gauge fuse power goes thru a light, switch, gauge,
all the power wires are connected thru the ground, sometimes
you get a lower voltage back-feed power.. just sayin electricity is strange..
you can put a ohm meter on the temp sender, see if it changes from hot to cold..
the range is like 1500 cold to 50 ohms hot.. could be several things..
i'v seen the wire break inside the insulation from vibration at the terminal too,
and could just be the dirt and oil on the sender grounding out the signal,,
or the sender to the block ground thru the sender threads..
the fact that the volt gauge bounces around when you wiggle the pod
says your getting closer, the connection could be better,,
could be wiggling the volt gauge too,,
or could be the power or the ground or the signal wire in the pod connector..
as for having a computer and it working or not ??
check the Distributor, see if it has the big extra 4wire connector going to
the computer harness that goes to the pass side firewall under the AC box..
the other connector goes to the distributor cap/coil in the cap..
and usually the distributor will-NOT have a vacuum advance can..
View attachment 129630
more pics cant hurt..
might save some of our questions later too..
I am planning on getting under there and making sure all the exhaust bolts are tight, as well as upon a cold startup checking for leaks before the motor gets hot. Also, going to try listening to the valve cover with a stethoscope to see if that's where all the noise is coming from!
Brandon Kardell is the name! And not a problem, I am glad the thread was of help to you and your Elco! Its nice to meet ya 🙂Yes, Bkardell, your perseverance and patience is paying off!! Good Job!!
As I mentioned, these cars are old and so are all of the plastic pieces in the housing. Be careful because they will break easily. Here's one tip I learned a while back. When re-installing screws into plastics, turn the screw slowly counter-clockwise until you feel a slight click or bump--that is the beginning of the old thread in the plastic. Once you find the beginning to the thread, proceed slowly and gently tighten the screw...do not over-tighten. You want to find the old thread path because, otherwise, the screws may cut a new thread and further weaken the attachment point.
Getting back to gauges...because of this thread, I fiddled with my gauges this weekend and installed the new PCB. It was kind of nerve wracking removing and reinstalling the clips that make the connection between the gauge pod and the PCB. Luckily, I had collected several dashes over the years and was able to swap stuff around. I didn't get around to installing the water temp and oil pressure sensors but I am glad to see voltage/recharge readings in lieu of nothing. Both the water and oil gauges are pegged to the right until I get the sensors installed.
Question for Bill and JJ: My new water temp sensor is a single wire while my old, current connector has 2-wires (yellow and black). Is the switch over as simple as using only the yellow wire with a spade connector? As for the oil pressure sensor, the new sensor has only a single connector while the old connector has 4-wires. Because my '87 has a computer, is there an engine cut-off circuit when oil pressure drops? Again, since the new oil pressure sensor has only a single wire, which one do I use and how do I address the other wires, if indeed, there is an engine cut-off circuit?
My apologies to Bkardell for tapping into Bill's and JJ's expertise. BTW, is Kardell your last name? What's your first name... I'm Blaine. Thanks.
very good tip, everyone should write that down..When re-installing screws into plastics, turn the screw slowly counter-clockwise until you feel a slight click or bump--that is the beginning of the old thread in the plastic. Once you find the beginning to the thread, proceed slowly and gently tighten the screw...do not over-tighten. You want to find the old thread path because, otherwise, the screws may cut a new thread and further weaken the attachment point.
87 wiring is different, never had one, I don't have a book/diagram..my old, current connector has 2-wires (yellow and black). Is the switch over as simple as using only the yellow wire with a spade connector?
oil pressure switch by the distributor on aoil pressure sensor, the new sensor has only a single connector while the old connector has 4-wires. Because my '87 has a computer, is there an engine cut-off circuit when oil pressure drops?
UPDATE!there is places where a stethoscope works good and there is
places where the old 3or 4ft piece of heater hose works better, try both..
very good tip, everyone should write that down..
87 wiring is different, never had one, I don't have a book/diagram..
the yell/blk connector on the intake is for CTS coolant temp sensor for the computer,
it just goes to the ECM not the gauge on CCC Carb and V6 EFI cars..
the gauge or temp light should be a green wire, on the sender or switch in the head..
oil pressure switch by the distributor on a
V8 CCC Carb was a 3wire switch for the oil light, choke light
and/or a engine warning light, I forget..
the oil switch would kill the choke heater with the key on and no oil pressure..
the oil pressure had its own sender with 1 tan wire, down by the oil filter..
the V6 is different, maybe a 4wire switch, never had one..
on a V6 EFI and later V8 EFI cars/trucks i'v had, they have no choke so it powers
the fuel pump / relay also, fuel pump gets power/relay trigger from the ECM too..
PS.. I really hate this new reply editor sometimes.. ok most of the time..
I think I lost something in there, but cant remember what it was..
better than the old one tho, it would delete the whole post when you hit post reply..
might need to soak them for a week or so, may take some heat too..
if you have a impact turn it down, and bump the nuts in and out to work them loose..
check for vacuum leaks too, lots of hoses on there they get hard and brittle / crack..
Don't mess with the trans cable yet (this could control line pressures in transmission and can cause serious issues if set wrong). This seems like a fuel problem. There are idle, off-idle, power, accelerator circuits,etc. in the carburetor. On your carburetor, it looks like it is electronically controlled also. I would try some fuel cleaner in a tank of gas as a quick easy first step. Wait for some experts to weigh in here.
Turns out that starting cheap is always the way to go. Took my father in law on a ride (has owned over 60+ cars, many from the 70s-80s back when you could pick them up for $50 and drive em till they died!) He said, "it sounds like you are starving for fuel, have you checked your fuel filter?". We pulled that thing out, and it basically fell to pieces. The inside of the filter looked like someone had painted it with tar! $1.99 later and VOILA! SHE RUNS LIKE A MILLION BUCKS!!! I will replace this new fuel filter with oem one soon, just want to make sure i clear all that old gunk out first. I have a good amount of seafoam (my personal favorite) in the gas tank and now in the fuel pump, lines and carb. Beyond happy with how the project is going so far, and can't wait to enjoy the hell out of this thing. Now to find some leaks (I know the timing cover seal is leaking, as well as power steering leak but the lines look dry? Maybe a seal?). Overall, for buying my first classic car, I dont regret 1 dime of the money I paid. Thank you all for the help. Will continue updating as time goes on 😀Brandon, if your carb is a Quadra-Jet that could be your problem. A QJet carb has different fuel circuits for low and high speed situations. Try some carb/fuel cleaner in the gas tank. If that doesn't clear things up, maybe time for a carb rebuild or replacement. If you do decide on a replacement, check with Mountain Man Carbs.
For all the people that have seen post about mountain man carbs. Here is a few pics of his work !! Everybody says how good they run, I just wanted to show how good they look !! Came with both Gaskets ! Can't wait to put it on !! Here is his info if you need it !! Mountain Man Fuel Systems Ted &...www.elcaminocentral.com