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89 Bird won’t start

Old 03-14-2019, 01:13 AM
  #1  
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Car: 89 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305/5.0 LO3 TBI
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89 Bird won’t start

Particulars: 1989 Firebird Formula, 5.0 TBI. 5 speed.
problem: put gas in car then it wouldn’t start. Have healthy spay of fuel at the fuel line (loosened the line) into the TB but no spray out of injectors, not even a drip. Car turns over, security light goes out while cranking. It throws codes 14,15,24, and 53.
Any ideas, please?

Last edited by Txpo; 03-14-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:32 AM
  #2  
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Check for the distributor reference pulse. That is the only way the ECU knows the engine is turning and to inject fuel.

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Old 03-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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Car: 89 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305/5.0 LO3 TBI
Transmission: T5 5 speed
Axle/Gears: 3.08 limited slip
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Autozone checked the ECM and said it was good. I’m not sure how to check the pulse but I’m leaning tword that being the issue. How do you check that and replace if bad?
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:29 PM
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

53 is vats
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:36 PM
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Check for power at b6 it might be a blue wire instead of purple.


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Old 03-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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Car: 1989 Firebird
Engine: 5.7 LS1
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

If you pour a little gas or starter fluid in the throttle body will it fire up at all?

Take some rubbing alcohol and clean the pellet in the key (the metal not the plastic part) based on the code 53, but typically if the security light will go off if if you go from off, to run (not crank) and let it sit for a few seconds then VATS is seeing the key. I'm trying to remember but I think it goes off during the crank cycle in any state. Also once tripped it stays deactivated for several min, I once had a piece of pocket lint stick to the pellet at the gas station and it wouldn't crank had to push it away from the pump since there was a line and wait for it to reset to crank the car. The VATS in my car is still active as a starter disable system with my LS1 swap.

Ignition control module would also be suspect or the pickup coil as pointed out above.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:59 PM
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Car: 1989 Firebird
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Also check to see if you are getting spark.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:25 AM
  #8  
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Car: 89 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305/5.0 LO3 TBI
Transmission: T5 5 speed
Axle/Gears: 3.08 limited slip
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Tuned Performance, are you sure about that “53 is vats”? Some charts say 43 is vats while others say 53 is vats or over voltage or EGR and several others just show it as over voltage or EGR. I’m confused.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:33 AM
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Originally Posted by Txpo View Post
Tuned Performance, are you sure about that “53 is vats”? Some charts say 43 is vats while others say 53 is vats or over voltage or EGR and several others just show it as over voltage or EGR. I’m confused.
53- System over voltage – over 17.1 volts OR EGR sensor fault, improper
EGR vacuum OR VATS alert.

Egr fault on 53 is for carborator cars so either your ecm is seeing over volt or a vats fault.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:42 AM
  #10  
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Car: 89 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305/5.0 LO3 TBI
Transmission: T5 5 speed
Axle/Gears: 3.08 limited slip
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Thanks everyone. Next chance I get to look at her, y’all have given me a direction. I’ll let you know what I find.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:27 AM
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Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Here it is in your $61 mask


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Old 03-15-2019, 04:24 PM
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Engine: Lb9
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Axle/Gears: J65 pbr on stock posi 10bolt
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

One quick way to see if it’s vats . Remove the prom from the ecm. The car will start but run poorly if this is vats.
The ecm goes into limp home mode since there is no prom. Code 51 will appear.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:57 AM
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Axle/Gears: J65 pbr on stock posi 10bolt
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Any progress diagnosing it ?
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:44 PM
  #14  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 29
Car: 89 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305/5.0 LO3 TBI
Transmission: T5 5 speed
Axle/Gears: 3.08 limited slip
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

Not much progress. I remembered I have a key without the resistor in it, so I tried that. It won’t even crank with that key. Both of the “good” keys, the security light comes on for a few seconds then goes out. Car will crank with those keys but no fuel from the injectors. Would a bad vats module cause this?
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Car: 1967 Camaro, 91 z28
Engine: Lb9
Transmission: M20
Axle/Gears: J65 pbr on stock posi 10bolt
Re: 89 Bird won’t start

It could, check voltage at the ecm post 5 . If that’s fine it could be a icm.
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