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Old 03-05-2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default 97 camaro LT1 misfires

I bought the car(97 camaro SS) about six months ago with no cats it ran like a dream for about 2 months before i had to replace the water pump(acdelco), and of course after that followed the optispark(acdelco).

The car ran good for about a month and started to get a misfire. I changed the plugs and wires (msd wires, acdelco platinum plugs) and still a misfire, i took it to a shop and they told me my optispark was faulty again, already?! so i changed it out again and nothing has changed. so today i went and bought 2 new o2 sensors(before cats) and but them on. now the car runs fine at idle(with backfires) but when i try to accelerate it misses teribbly and backfires.

It seems to miss really bad whenever in gear at low rpm's.
PLEASE HELP!!! I'm about to sell this bitch its making me so mad!
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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Dont sell it damnit...

I've heard of something like this before.
First off, I dont let shops work on my shit unless I absolutely cant do it.
I know from many a story that the waterpump/optispark seal can be a bitch.
A faulty or inproper seal will cause the opti to short, and fail( or malfunction. but once it shorts once, it will never act right again.). It doesnt take much, the human body carries enough voltage to short out a distributor. Im not trying to give you a history lesson, but just tryin to show you how little it takes.

Also, the cam runs and spins the waterpump on the front of the motor. The timing is adjusted right there. One hair off and thats not good.

I've rode in a LT1 when the optispark was failing, and it would stutter around 1800 RPM at first, then it kept getting worse. No spark means no fire, and that will lead to your Motor poppin a ring because the other cylinders have to make up for the weight. Dont drive it if you dont have too.

MSD I think makes an opti now thats available either now or soon, thats the route I'd go. Check Everything. Plugs, Wires etc..., even scan your PCM for codes. Thats an awesome car ya got there, and it will be more than worth it in the end. As long as the motor runs good, its got to be something electrical. And there is only so much shit on a car.

Good Luck
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:43 PM   #3
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could it be timing?
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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I have a similiar problem! After my car has been running a bit it will start to like misfire or something at low rpms, for example when i was on the interstate keeping a steady rpm the car would feel like it was jumping up rpms then back down and so on, didnt seem to do it as bad when i was accelerating, and as i drove more it got worse and worse, is this similiar to your problem? i feel for you man! lets get this figured out, my car is going to the shop tomorrow ill let you know what they tell me. I hope it is not opti but if it is i guess i will try to upgrade to an MSD Opti.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:37 PM   #5
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Lets be clear there are two kinds of "timing" there is cam/valve timing, and there is ignition timing. Now they are related, but they aren't the same thing.

First question I always ask when somebody with an LT1 is having ignition problems is how old is your 1. Optispark, 2. Plugs & wires, 3. Coil and module?

Next question, did you search for "missfire" here? THere's been other threads with similar issues, might help to read up on them.

Considering that the opti is brand new and the plugs and wires are too, I'll go directly to the coil and module. The other thought I have is that the opti might not be installed correctly. Its hard to do on a '97 though, and my guess is if the opti was on there wrong it wouldn't even start.

Last question: What mods are on the car, if any?
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:46 PM   #6
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My 95LT1 has SLP Loudmouth, SLP CAI, Mystery hi flow cat, and i dont know the age of the opti,plug,wires,coil.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:17 PM   #7
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Nope, those mods are minor and maybe good for 30 hp, they would not affect the opti/coil/module/plugs/wires/ECM

But the opti/coil/module/plugs/wires/ECM all should be checked, throughly.
( Checked your O2 Sensor? ) Sometimes new parts can be faulty. One time I spent $130 on an alternator and fuel pump. They were both soft as butter. Yeah, those were " advanced auto parts" alright.

Here's a little something to cheer ya up.

http://www.drunkreport.com/media/america.htm

Im in the same boat, im thinkin of buying an MSD Optispark beforehand just to have it. wheee!
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cough black camaro owner cough
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:48 PM   #8
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My first post here.

I would check the basics first.
1. Are the wires properly seated on the opti, it their right location>>>do the header touch method or water squirt method for each header tube(on start up) is any one not as warm as the other. *****

2. Check that no plug wire got burned, it only takes 5 minutes, or cut by a pulley(last week)..how are they routed?
3. Header gasket leak can give a bad idle
4. MAF installed backwards (been there)
5. Any air leaks into the air stream after the MAF?/
6. What plugs did you use(heat range), are they tight

That's some and hit the Search
Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:24 PM   #9
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my mechanic thinks my fuel pump not holding pressure is the problem...
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:52 PM   #10
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i got it back today and this is what he said he did, took the coil off, checked voltages with new coil and and both were the same, he then put it back on started it and it ran alot better than it was before. But he the the scanner was showing an EGR code. So i went up to the shop and took it for a spin. I could instantly notice that it running for better than when i turned it in and wasnt missing hardly at all. He also said the scanner shows a random misfire every now and then.

I took it home and drove it around later that night and today it misses throughout driving range andat low rpm's and runs a little rough at idle.

I changed the EGR valve and that seemed to help a little but i still get a flashing SES light and i can tell its still missing.

To answer your question Chris 96 WS6: I'm not sure how old my coil and module are. my mods are headers,no cats(straight pipe).

To answer IROCAMY88 question:AC Delco Plugs

I'm taking it back to the shop tom. I'll be sure and keep progress posted. Again thanks for the helps guys
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:04 PM   #11
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Well, I own a 95 Z28, and if i was in your shoes, this is what I'd do, regardless of what I thought may be wrong.

Go buy NICE plugs, I spent about $45 on mine (for 8). Definitly get a new module.
You said the coil check out fine, so cross that off.
I'd buy new wires, because you can get nice ones fairly cheap, and might as well dress up the engine with a matching color.

Work your way down the list of possibilities. Having new parts can eliminate a good portion of the guessing game. Plus, you only have to buy this shit once.

The opti/coil/module/plugs/wires/ECM should last a long time, at least 80k if new. Well... maybe not the opti

And hey, there's youre tune up right there.
I dont know how helpful this will be, but its what I would do.
Preventive Maintenence while you are already in there is anything but a bad idea.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:10 PM   #12
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you could test the wires with an ohmmeter.... that way you could make sure they werent bummy. im not sure what MSD will read, but stock wires or taylors will read about 10k ohm from one side to another, i do believe. Youre looking for an open, or a short to ground.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:29 PM   #13
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I just burned two wires in the last two weeks. The minute they burn thru, the SES light will flash and then stay on.
Sometimes a loop of plugwire will contact under a header tube(out of sight) and burn thru.
Also run the car with the hood up in the dark(parked), any arching, sparks???
Please do the header touch, water squirt method, just to see if a cylinder is not firing.
NGK TR-55 plugs are very good ($2)
Keep us updated
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
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I'm not sure how the ignition control module is set up on the lt1, but on my truck, the ICM didn't have a good ground, and it acted similar. I had to take it off, clean the bottom, and apply thermal paste to it before reinstalling. Good luck, and don't sell the car.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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Well i took it in and my guy at the shop said i had a bad wire on cylinder #8, apperently when they installed the wires they didnt make sure there was enough clearance from the header. Sooo ill get it back tom and we'll see if that solved my problem.
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