Cold Start Issue... ACT Sensor? '89 LX 2.3L

ChillPhatCat

5 Year Member
Apr 22, 2002
341
34
38
Syracuse, NY
Yeah I’ve read up on it and certainly will look around for a full swap. If it’s not available and I get serious about it then I’ll be putting forged pistons in and tap an oil return... and get the right computer and all that fun. Definitely not worth it for just 5 psi. Haha.

I sprayed a good bit of starting fluid in the intake to try and get it to fire quicker... I still hear the fuel pump prime, but it’s 35-40 degrees outside max now and I’m getting no start or kick now. I am not enthusiastic about the ACT sensor which is under the upper intake manifold so I may try and heat that up with a heat gun... simulate a warmer day maybe. My thought process is that the ACT is working partially, perhaps the resistance is just out of range when cold and it’s dumping extra fuel in when it is within range enough as the block warms. Otherwise I’ll still be hunting and/or actually dig it out to test and rule it out. I don’t have the equipment to test fuel pressure yet so I’m trying the other things... hence the starting fluid.
 
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ChillPhatCat

5 Year Member
Apr 22, 2002
341
34
38
Syracuse, NY
We will see, it’s still on my list because I have not checked it. I guess weak compression could present itself like this... I replaced coil, wires and plugs so everything short of cap and rotor and it runs fine once it is started... eventually will work this out. Just no time in the foreseeable future. Fall is kicking our butts up here.
 

ChillPhatCat

5 Year Member
Apr 22, 2002
341
34
38
Syracuse, NY
So it’s been 6 months and I’ve been just getting to chip away at this thing little by little and was a little short on funds at the beginning of the year. Just thought it was worthy of an update. I’ve come to terms that I was being a moron back in November and hadn’t even thought of opening the butterfly valve on the TB when I sprayed the starter fluid... don’t ask. lol The smarter side of my brain kicked in and I did this and it starts up with a quick hit of the starter and runs great for 10 seconds and dies. So it’s pretty much all down to fuel. I did end up pulling the upper intake to get at the ACT and replaced it. Didn’t help. Got the thing all back together and on another 80 degree day only a last week I managed to get it running in order to move it to the main driveway.

So long story short I bought a fuel pressure gauge on Amazon and it should be here tomorrow. I spent yesterday replacing the calipers, rotors, bearings and pads... to show the wife that I could actually use the pile of parts that had been sitting there peacefully for too long holding the garage floor down... next weekend is the master cylinder and then probably the fuel pump the weekend after once we find out that that was the problem all along. lol

Also, I just added a chapter to the book called previous owner lied. That 2 years it was supposedly sitting. It was probably more like 10. Some old paperwork shows it back in ‘06 with only a couple k miles less than it currently has... and some stuff just ain’t right for sitting 2 years... but it is what it is. Gotta remember I paid $500 for this heap. lol
 
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junkyardwarrior

Active Member
Jan 10, 2011
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might as well figure on replacing the pump, hose, tank, sock, filter, filler neck grommet, vent valve grommet, and sending unit if it's been sitting that long. Old gas does wonders. Also once it's all replaced and you have fuel pressure, if it runs out of fuel/falls on it's face, pull the injectors and replace the screens & o-rings. They plug too.
 

ChillPhatCat

5 Year Member
Apr 22, 2002
341
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38
Syracuse, NY
Yeah I got that list of crap to replace if/when I drop the tank. I did change the filter of course as a first effort on this renewed quest, and it didn't look as bad as one would think... It was murky on the tank side but I've seen far worse on cars that ran ok. I have no idea how old the gas was but I put in a bunch of dry gas when I got it and put in half a tank of new gas... it was nearly empty when I got it.

It seems to run fine once the block is warmed up so the one thing I'm really not concerned about is injectors.
 

ChillPhatCat

5 Year Member
Apr 22, 2002
341
34
38
Syracuse, NY
Not that anyone probably cares but I figured I’d bring this thread to full conclusion. I found some time and bit the bullet this weekend and dropped the tank and replaced the fuel pump I bought a couple months ago... put it all back together and fueled her up... sprayed a touch of starter fluid down her throat and she fired up and kept on running. Temp outside was 64 degrees. Now that I’ve installed a 340 lph pump I suppose I’ll just have to figure out a way to use a bit more of it. lol

Honestly this isn’t even in the top 5 worst jobs I’ve had to do on a car... straight forward and easily done with hand tools... and everything is right there out in the open. If anyone is intimidated by this job, don’t be, it’s not rocket science and it can easily be a one man or woman job.
 
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