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Old 10-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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Electrical stuff from discount autopart stores

I've been trying to figure out if I purchased a dud coolant temperature sensor for my 1980 Fiat 2000 turbo Spider.

A few years ago I had this POS Nissan Sentra on my property. It did not have an OBD II system on it so I had to do the procedure to get the CEL to flash to know why it was flooding out. The CEL light said that the coolant temperature sensor was bad. This makes perfect sense. I've seen this before on other cars which use this system.

If this sensor goes bad, it causes the injectors to go wide open. When I used a test light to check the injectors to see what they were doing, it was a constant burn rather than a flicker. So I assumed I was on the right path.

So I replaced it along with the connector. By all accounts this new sensor should have fixed the problem but it didn't. I ended up selling the car.

Turns out my 1980 Fiat 2000 Spider which uses the Bosch L-jetronic system uses the same sensor. There are tons of cars that use this same sensor.

A few years ago I was loosing coolant and traced it down to this sensor. It appeared that coolant was leaking between the brass and plastic. Well I went to O'relielys and bought another one. Same store I had purchased the sensor for the Nissan.

Ever since then my Spider wants to stall within a few seconds of starting it when cold. Then other times even after it's warmed up, it takes 10 seconds of cranking to start it. Like a carbed engine after a hot soak.

Otherwise the car runs fine and doesn't stall at red lights as long as it's been running.

I realize I am milking a 40 year old electronic fuel injection system.

For some strange reason is I jack the idle speed up to 1500 rpms, both problems go away. Normally this have something to do with the idle circuit but this system really doesn't have an idle circuit. Well it does, the throttle position switch reads either idle or WOT but the fuel metering is basically done by the air flow meter and coolant temperature sensor.

Reason I ask is I once bought a defective GM HEI control module. In fact that was what brought me to this forum to begin with. Someone mentioned using the 5 pin GM HEI control module as an ignition boost retard alternative to an MSD system and it works.

Anyway the car wouldn't rev past 4000 rpms. I had ordered a spare and tested it and the car ran OK. Advance Auto replaced it but it appeared to be bad straight out of the box. That sucks.

I'm just trying to get a warm fuzzy feeling here. I am racking my brain trying to figure out this problem and I'm starting to wonder if this coolant temp sensor I bought is malfunctioning. If for some reason the ECU looses this signal (it measures resistance not voltage), the ECU dumps a crap load of fuel into the engine. I'm thinking that's what's going on. That's what's killing the engine at idle and possibly causing it to flood out.

It seems like the problem started after installing this sensor. I've ordered another one from a different source I am going to install and see what happens. I also have an original 40 year old Bosch sensor from a spare engine I could try that should be OK.

I'm going to be pissed if I found out this sensor is bad and I've wasted my time troubleshooting this problem.

Any of you guys have a similar story on electrical parts straight out of the box?

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Old 10-19-2019, 11:08 PM
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We own a 2004 Toyota MR2 that my wife is the primary driver on. On a trip to the beach, the engine suddenly started lugging and refusing to wind much over 4k. I was following in my truck and we switched vehicles - I then babied the final hour of the drive.


Checking things out, it seemed that the MAP was dirty or going in and out of circuit - I didn't have much in the way of tools with me and of course needed to get the car home something over 300 miles away. I went to an Autozone and purchased a new MAP - putting this one in was worse than my messed up one but of course I started to wonder if I had some other issue going on. I replaced the old one and the car improved back to its previous state. I then purchased some cleaner and that actually repaired the problem. Returning the one I bought was an act of congress but they finally agreed that it was no good out of the box.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:18 AM
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All the sensor does is provide a variable resistance that the ECM reads as a voltage against a standard which is usually 5 volts peak. If the sensor for any reason is not resulting in a voltage output inside the range of current engine operation, the computer takes what it gets and makes fuel schedule decisions be they right or wrong for that condition from the information supplied by the sensor.


Bogie
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:04 PM
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On the electrical parts, yes it can be hit or miss sometimes. Rebuilt hard parts, no, don't do it any more, had too many come backs. Electrical, several times had modules fail. The one at O Reilly's that runs about $40 is ok. Accel has same trouble, I don't buy the Accel parts any more either. Now that may change as more manufacturing comes back to USA. Most of the outsourced stuff is just too inconsistent.

In the earlier 80's stuff the control systems were very simple, but you are going to have to find the troubleshooting specifics on the Fiat Spider. In the early GM System you also had to have the O2 sensor hit a certain temp, otherwise it stayed open loop. I would not turn on the CEL, it would just be running a Pre-programmed default setting.

If changing the sensor caused the engine to start running poor, then I would back track to what change you made, and swap that sensor out with another one and see if that fixes the problem.

Yes; had many various electrical items bad straight out of the box. Its not a shock any more.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foperfoauto View Post
On the electrical parts, yes it can be hit or miss sometimes. Rebuilt hard parts, no, don't do it any more, had too many come backs. Electrical, several times had modules fail. The one at O Reilly's that runs about $40 is ok. Accel has same trouble, I don't buy the Accel parts any more either. Now that may change as more manufacturing comes back to USA. Most of the outsourced stuff is just too inconsistent.

In the earlier 80's stuff the control systems were very simple, but you are going to have to find the troubleshooting specifics on the Fiat Spider. In the early GM System you also had to have the O2 sensor hit a certain temp, otherwise it stayed open loop. I would not turn on the CEL, it would just be running a Pre-programmed default setting.

If changing the sensor caused the engine to start running poor, then I would back track to what change you made, and swap that sensor out with another one and see if that fixes the problem.

Yes; had many various electrical items bad straight out of the box. Its not a shock any more.
What's weird is one day I was wiggling the connector on this sensor and it caused the engine to stall. Since then I have not been able to recreate this by wiggling the connector. But it has occurred on it's own since. So it may have just been a coincidence.

I replaced the connector before replacing the sensor, see photo it is mounted in the coolant tee near the hood which is the worst possible location. This was causing the engine to misfire.

Later on I installed the sensor. What's weird is the new connector pops on tight to an old Bosch sensor but when connected to the one from O'reley's, it's a bit loose. It snaps on but I can wiggle it around. That leads me to believe it's not making good connection.

This system is so old, it doesn't even have a CEL. The tools of the trade is a test light and a multi-meter and that's it!
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:36 PM
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Yep feel your pain. I was tech for Pontiac then we began selling Renaults, this evoked road rage and the desire to drive a D9 Cat through the parking lot. Back then there was a lot of poke and pull and wiggle and see if it makes it better or worse.

See if there is a way to tighten up the connection, you might try some dielectric grease.

As Bogie said above, back probe the connector at different temps and see if there is a voltage change. You can do it out of the car, Ice water, cold water, warm water, hot boiled water, and see what the different OHMs values are at the different temps.

Last edited by Foperfoauto; 10-20-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:21 PM
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Is this the one
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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You just need a part number and refrence number. Your parts store is just a middleman. Now there are brand specific items. But generally everything comes from overseas and then to the east or west coast. From that point you can often use amazon to get the part at a fraction of the cost. I just replaced a hub that the cheapest was $65 locally for $23 via amazon to my door in 2 days. Exact same part just less markup by not being pulled from one box and placed in another.
Sometimes reboxing even involves a "Made in USA" sticker over a "Made in ETC" one.

For some items it is best to do it in person. An alternator, battery, or starter is worth buying locally. If you have a issue you can often simply exchange it if they have it in stock. If not in stock most stores will get it within 3-5 days(via Amazon or a warehouse) with you not needing to pay a cent.
If your buying stuff locally there is often discount codes or promotions that can be found via a quick search saving you 10-30%.

The discount parts stores are just that. They are just selling the same parts as the other guys at less markup. They are still making a nice profit. But a percentage of that goes into keeping the lights on and place heated.




Bad connections are one of my vices.

Often though a simple 4" zip tie to secure that wire to the harness or connection is enough to keep them from wiggling or pulling out from pins.
With single female/male blade connections. Onceou can crush female blades slightly which will keep them tight on the male blade with some connectiors. This does require you replace the female connection the next time you change the part. But it eliminates any wiggles.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:53 AM
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It's been years since I messed with those. I know that the k-tronic has a plug in the housing between the fuel metering head, and the air inlet that accesses an allen screw which affects idle mixture by raising or lowering the fuel metering rod slightly. Also, make sure the venturi plate moves up and down freely and doesn't have any dirt buildup around it's perimeter or it will throw off the metering.

You can usually find a chart for voltage readings on that temp sensor. On a 2 wire sensor one side should read 5v, and the other will vary with temp. I start out checking a cold motors voltage reading, then again with the engine warm. Those are the most important temps and compare it to the chart. If you aren't getting 5v in, then the output voltage coming out will be off as well.

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Old 10-22-2019, 03:03 PM
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So my replacement Facet (probably repackaged) coolant temperature sensor arrived yesterday.

I found in my tool box a 2 pin Bosch connector I rigged up with some alligator clips and hooked it up to three different coolant temperature sensors.

I tried touching the test leads from my multi-meter directly to the pins on the sensor but could not get any reading. Or much of a reading even with the old Bosch sensor and the new Facet sensor. So I connected the alligator clips to each other.

The sensor showing 1951 ohms is the new sensor
The sensor showing 1904 ohms is an old Bosch sensor

That's not important because I think it's plus or minus a couple hundred ohms.

But what really surprises me is the one I got from O'Reillys is showing an open circuit. HMMMM. I wiggled the clips, touched them together so my meter would show a closed circuit to make sure I had a good connection and I'm pretty sure as of right now the sensor is showing an open circuit.

I did not try to start the car today to see if it starts but did have idling yesterday just to see if it would stall. Usually the car will blow black smoke if the ECU get's no feedback from the sensor.

I'm baffled and dumbfounded!
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:02 PM
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EDIT:

A friend told me to just to make sure the reading with the O'Reley's sensor was not above 2000 ohms by setting my meter to the 20K ohms setting.

I got 1310 ohms. So all three sensors are within range. Bummer. I was hoping that might be the problem.

The sensor still could be malfunctioning. I'm at least going to swap it just to rule it out.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:54 PM
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Do you have the part number on the Bosch?
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:37 PM
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It's : 280 130 023
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:24 PM
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Its a basic variable resister. I attached what i found in rudimentary search.

You should notice in the tech sheet that the Resistance (OHMs) becomes lower as the temp increases.

This is why I mentioned to test at different temps.

Test it after it sat in the freezer over night, then room Temp, then Hot tap water and then after placed into boiling water...

The ohms value should be noticeably different.
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