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Old 02-11-2006, 03:41 PM   #1
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engine dies when shifting into reverse or drive

Hey folks, I need help. My Dad has an 87 Chevy pick up, 5.7L TBI Auto. I know not an F-body but please help, I have three F-bodies if that helps any!!!
Anyway I changed his ignition module, plugs, wires cap and rotor. And now the truck dies whenever he puts it in reverse, drive or if he sits at a light too long in drive. It has me stumped, I have checked the timing and it is at 3 degrees BTDC. Vacuum lines are good, truck is all stock with 92K miles. After it dies it starts right up and idles fine in park or neutral. Any help is appreciated as I have a TBI Formula and if this happens to it I want to know how to fix it.
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:42 PM   #2
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PS I did a search but couldn't find my exact problem.
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:43 PM   #3
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Anybody?
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #4
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Did you replace all of these ignition items because you were trying to cure the stalling, or, did the stalling occur after you replaced these items?
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:42 PM   #5
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You know, thats kind of what happened to me, and how my problem started.

I went replacing the coil and doing a tune up, and bam it happened to where the car started dying. Sometimes.

I replaced ignition parts few times after that and it did no help.

The only thing that kept the car running was adjusting the Idle screw up. It kept the car on.

Might wanna try that.

Let me know if the car is sluggish now!???
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:01 PM   #6
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I didn't have the vacuum lines hooked up right on my old camaro and it did the exact same thing, make sure you didn't knock any loose or switch any. Not sure if it can happen the same though since my camaro had a carb.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:18 PM   #7
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How does it run, otherwise? Did it have any sort of issues before you did the tune-up? Change the timing at all?
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:59 PM   #8
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Can i make this any harder?

My camaro is a 1988 350 TBI and its all rebuilt, its pretty decent, if i have my car in Reverse and rev it or try backing up a hill it stalls when i let off the gas...
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:41 PM   #9
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I dont know what the deal is with the TBI's lately??

I wish somebody had an answer!
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:40 AM   #10
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Sorry for length

Thanks guys, to answer the questions, other problems with the truck are the alternator is dying, but I would not think that is the problem with dying, but I could be wrong. The reason I know it is about to die is the lights constantly go dim, normal, dim, normal..... as the truck runs. The distributor had all kinds of yellowish dust crap built up on the base of the distributor. I knocked most of it out. The connector that has the green and white wire fell apart when I tried removing the module. I wrapped the ends in electrical tape to try and insulate it. Other than that when you go to WOT the truck just doesn't go. It seems to try and go with the consistency of the lights going dim, normal, dim, normal...... but just does not have any WOT power. I checked the timing with the EST connector disconnected and it was at 3 degrees BTDC. I am starting to grasp at straws and am going to try and replace the fuel filter this weekend and probably the alternator but just doubt that will fix the problem, I will try turning up the idle screw and see what happens, but the stupid truck doesn;t have a tach. Thanks guys, I appreciate the help, anything else I could be missing? Oh and I didn't mess with the vacuum lines and all are good, and the WOT problem was the reason I replaced ignition compnents.
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Old 02-15-2006, 03:40 PM   #11
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Was it 3* advanced or retarded?

Don't go turning the idle screw. It's set from the factory and if you go turning it, when you find the real problem and fix it, you will just run into another problem. The idle screw is not what is making your car run crappy.

Sounds like a classic case of a vaccum leak. Check all of your vaccum lines, especially the ones that go to the charcoal evap canister. That one gave me problems for about 3 months with your same exact problems before I found the culprit.
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Old 02-15-2006, 03:41 PM   #12
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actually a dying alternator defenetly will make the car run like crap.

You will be pleasantly suprised when the car starts driving like it used to. At least close to it.

Good luck.

I took my hi-6s ignition out so I can figure out how to hook it up right (there is inteference with cables).

THe tach does not bounce anymore, but its still idling very low, and its still not still. It jumps, more like shakes, about 20-50rpm and its annoying.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:31 PM   #13
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Thanks guys, I will reinspect the vacuum lines and get this alternator changed and let ya'all know, thanks for the direction, you guys rock!!!
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:07 PM   #14
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I had the same problem, I had a short in my wiring for my reverse lights.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:08 PM   #15
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update

- Replaced alternator and now runs smooth
- Replaced Fuel Filter and regained all lost power, and I mean alot of power, first time I ever had a fuel filter make a difference, feels like it has 100 more HP , no exaggeration!!!
- Rechecked ignition stuff to make sure all connected correctly and it is.

Now the truck runs geat and strong. But it STILL dies!!!!!
I checked timing and it is set 3 degrees advanced, which I thought these motors liked. Made sure that the distributor is correcting the timing by keeping the timing light on and est connected and it changed dramtically so I figure distributor is fine.
My experience has been if a coil goes bad then it just quits, can it be dying and cause the stalling when changing gears?
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:09 PM   #16
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checked and rechecked all vaccum lines and all are good
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:41 PM   #17
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Hey, I am glad you figured out what the problem was (well, somewhat).
In mine I replaced everything in the fuel system and it was still doing its thing.
When i switch it to reverse the car would'nt die, but it would drop under 500rpm and quickly get up.

With my new igntion it would buckle.

There is something thats holding it from working correct when shifted and when in low RPM's!
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Old 02-27-2006, 12:39 AM   #18
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Did you try to clean out your idle air control valve? My girlfriends Cavalier was doing the same thing and even the dealer couldnt find out what was wrong. So i pulled the IAC out and cleaned it and cleaned the throttle body and the problem vanished.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:13 PM   #19
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I pulled the connector on the IAC today; Dad works 2nd's so I will find out if out changed or not; I knowit is a closed loop situation and very possibly the IAC because when I pulled it nothing happenned and the truck only starts dying after it has run a couple minutes. O2 sensor is new so that is the only thing I can think, thanks for the advice, so you recommend cleaning over a new one?
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:19 PM   #20
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Any update to this problem?
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:07 AM   #21
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Not yet, alternator has been changed, IAC has been changed and fuel filter.
The fuel filter mad eit run 100% better. But it still dies when stopped in drive or reverse. I just got a vacuum guage so I wil test that next.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:41 AM   #22
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MAP sensor? u sure you have the vaccum lines routed correctly and are all in good condition, esp the capilary(hard) vaccum lines? sometimes they crack and u dont even know it.
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90FormulaWS6
MAP sensor? u sure you have the vaccum lines routed correctly and are all in good condition, esp the capilary(hard) vaccum lines? sometimes they crack and u dont even know it.
I was thinking that when i first read this. When ir emoved my AIR stuff I broke my MAP sensor and it made the car run like ****. It would flood super easy and felt like one side of the throttle body wasnt even injecting. Long story short there was a bad connection in my MAP sensor and whent he car was starte dbeside running like **** it would die if I let off the throttle or tryd to shift into reverse. Long story short I got it towed and the MAP sensor fixed for $100.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:44 PM   #24
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Did the map sensor set any codes? Will it with bad vaccum?
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:28 PM   #25
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It should send a code. I'm not sure if this is your problem cause it made my car run like abosulte **** on one start and fine on the next...I think it was rocking between on and off or something.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:43 PM   #26
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its quite possible the bulb on your SES is out... id try and pull codes... sounds like a MAP sensor problem man

r0nin... check out New Jersey F-Body Owners Association if your not on it already
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:04 PM   #27
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Ah cool shiot I'll check that out! Thanks see you at E-Town Sat? I'm the tall kid with the metallica shirt
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:07 PM   #28
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SES light works, I am going to check and recheck all the vacuum lines. I have a vacuum guage now. Helped my Firebird so we'll see what I can do with the truck. I will also lay with the Map I will let ya'all know what I find out. It is really odd becuase unless the idle is around 500-700rpm (drive and reverse)
it will not die.
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:51 PM   #29
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Any update on this?
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:12 PM   #30
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Best way to expain this, If i shift into Reverse and rev it real quick (not much of a rev) it will die, this also happens when im backing up... and it happens at the drag strip, There was me and another guy, we were both staged ready to go, i had gas and brake at 2400rpm, Ready to go, and then next thing i saw was smoke from then other lane, and two guys came over to me and were like, WAIT!! so i let off the gas and stalled.. so after that.. ive tried it some more, gas and brake (not spinning tires) and letting off the gas and it stalls....

Ive replaced Spk plugs and wires, Coil, Dist. rotor & cap, fuel filter, added open air element.. and what ever is in my sig...

Im still alittle Befuggled on this..
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:41 PM   #31
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Well unfortunately not. I am still trying. It is my Dad's truck and he is in the Reserve's and works second shift, plus I just got engaged so as you can imagine the future wife takes up alot of attention. I am definately leaning towards vacuum OR Map sensor, it doesn't give a code though. I did find one small vacuum leak but it is small. I promise I will post my reults if I ever cure this.
I think I need to check minimum air as well, if it idles higher it doesn't die and of course no tach on this beast. We did already replace the IAC, no change at all.
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:44 PM   #32
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Maybe the TPS is going bad. Might want to check any ground straps from the engine to firewall .
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:49 PM   #33
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make sure the dizzy is in good conditon, we just did a truck at my work (88 454 3500 tbi chevy) u put it into gear it would die, but it idle fine. turned out the dizzy was worn, put a new one in, thing ran like brand new
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:07 PM   #34
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Forgive me but what is a "dizzy"??
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:40 PM   #35
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distributor(sp?) i call it dizzy for short, also if u hook it up on a drill and spin it, u can get dizzy lol
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:27 AM   #36
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Do you mean the timing was off? Or did you replace the Whole Dist.?
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:11 PM   #37
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Oh my bad. I need to check it too then.
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:08 PM   #38
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before you go any further, the yellow stuff you mentioned on your distributor a while back is probably coolant.

about 2-3 months after I bought my car, the same thing started happening to me, I did a full tuneup, nothing.

about 3 months later I did another one, the distributor was all f'd up, it was a mallory w/ brass terminals too(not the best, but not bad), it shouldn't have gone bad that quick, no distributor should've. I noticed that same yellow stuff building up on it though.

after removing that rubber lining on the back of my hood, I started seeing smoke come out of the back of the hood after my car had gotten up to running temps(220 on my car), so I lifted the hood and low and behold, coolant spraying right on my distributor.

after the car cooled off me and my dad went to check the coolant lines it was coming from (to the heater core) and they broke immediately, so we did a basic cut-clamp thing, got the car running.

didn't stall after that for a good 2 years, now it's doing it again. no yellow buildup.

basically I guess I'm saying check it, it may not be the problem, but it couldn't hurt to fix it if that's the problem.

oh, and replace the hose, don't just cut and clamp it, the first time we did it, it only lasted a month, had to re-clamp it about 2 more times to get it right.
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:34 PM   #39
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Cool, thanks for the info, I will definately check that out.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:42 PM   #40
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THE ANSWER!

It was the distributor! Replaced it and no more dying. Idle is a little low so still need to check minimum air but hasn't died !!!!!! And that thing was worn! Very sloppy.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:34 PM   #41
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My car has done that for 40,xxx miles. It would die when ever you would go to back up, and would occasionally do it when you started the engine. IT acts like its flooded. If i hold the pedal to the floor and try to start it, it eventually will, but then blows black smoke. I have always thought the reverse thing was strange.
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:07 PM   #42
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You test or replace the ignition module?
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:09 PM   #43
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Would the EGR valve or the silonoide being bad cause this problem as well? I have same problem, and when I scan for codes I get a code 32 which is a code for the EGR.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:23 PM   #44
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it can.

I honestly can't go into details, but i know the egr can cause quite a few problems, sometimes problems that seem entirely unrelated.

regardless if it is or not though, the egr needs to be taken care of.

you should either clean it out, replace it, or remove it.

being as cleaning it out is sitting right next to free, and won't cause anything else to **** up, i'd say that sounds like the best route.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:18 PM   #45
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I'm surprised in all the time this post has been on here that no one mentioned the possibility of the converter clutch locking up.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:45 PM   #46
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I could see that and it crossed my mind but I knew it was unlocking, plus just to make sure I did the TCC button test going down the road.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:50 AM   #47
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Hey Shawn have you thought about the neutral safty switch?
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:18 PM   #48
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No I didn't mess with that, like I said, it was the distributor, the distributor pickup was very worn and the the distibutor itself had alot of slop. Once I replaced the dizzy it hasn't died since.


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Old 09-16-2006, 01:30 AM   #49
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Here's something you can try that has worked for me. Get a can of Seafoam and run it through all of the vacuum line inputs in front of the TBI. That will clean out those vacuum ports and the bottom of the TBI. Add a can to your fuel tank also. Your engine will run smoother and have more vacuum. You might also want to check for vacuum leaks at the cruise control servo and the brake switch if your truck has cruise control. Another thing is buy another pair of TBI injectors. Send your old ones away to be cleaned and keep them as a spare pair until the next time.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:36 PM   #50
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Again, changing the distributor fixed the problem. Thanks.
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