Fuel Pump - Resolved V6 Issues - Firebird Nation

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Fuel Pump


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#1 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:30 PM

So I bought a V6 Auto Firebird from my best friend about 7 months ago, which had trouble starting up, it would take a few attempts to get it to start up, but when it finally did, it'd stay on. My friend (being the mechanic, and not me) Determined it was that the fuel pump in it was weak. After replacing it and the fuel filter, the car would start up instantly and ran like a dream. Now, 3 months after we put that new fuel pump in, I parked it 2 days ago, and it was still running more than fine. Then yesterday, getting ready for work, I turned the key and ran into this problem again. The car will crank but won't start up. I turned the key to the on position, and can hear the fuel pump make a bump noise, but that's about it, then it just stops. :cry2: I have no idea what the problem is, as I said before, I am no mechanic, but slowly learning, if it helps any, I just filled the tank back up to full and put some STP Fuel Injection cleaner in it, that's about all. My friend told me his 2 Firebirds (90 and 91 Formula) ran into the same problem, and so did his dad's friend's Trans Am, saying it was a common problem for Firebirds and TAs and that Fuel Pumps need to be replaced many times with these. I hope this is not the truth as I can't afford to continue buying a new pump every 3 months, and would be sad to see my Firebird go. So any help or insight on this problem is greatly apprectiated. Thank you everyone for taking the time on reading this post and in advance for any help offered.

Edited by Heart of Darkness, 28 June 2010 - 01:31 PM.


#2 BlkBird408

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:34 AM

Welcome to FBN Zack.

When you turn the key to the first on position you should hear a buzzing sound that lasts about 2-3 seconds. That is the fuel pump pressurizing the system. Try that again and see what you hear. If you are not hearing a buzzing sound for 2-3 seconds I would start by checking your fuel pump fuse, fuel pump relay and wiring.

If the pump is buzzing you can also do a fuel pressure test to verify its your fuel system causing the problem. Heres how its done.

1- Relieve the fuel system pressure

2-Put A fuel pressure gauge on the pressure connector fitting on the end of the fuel rail

3- Turn key to first on position. While pump is priming for 2-3 seconds note fuel pressure reading. It should be 40-47 psi.


If all that checks out and your getting plenty of fuel pressure to the fuel rails then you might need to test your injectors.
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1989 Firebird--408 engine, Stage 4 700r4 tranny, Strange Engineering 12 bolt rearend,
GTA crosslace wheels, BFGoodrich drag radials, Spohn lca`s and relocation brackets, subframe connectors
adjustable TQ arm, wonderbar, adjustable panhard rod, driveshaft loop, extreme duty driveshaft
KYB shocks/struts, Eibach sportline lowering springs, 97 Firebird seats, 85 trans am steering wheel
B&M Ratchet megashifter, Autometer tach and gauges and a few other goodies!!

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#3 79/6.6

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 03:02 AM

We use to have a 98 3.8 litre bird. Replaced fuel pump once in 5 years worth of daily use. I would recommend doing what Lowell said, you cold also check your ignition fuse in the fuseblock under the hood. It should be located on the drivers side. I believe it to be a 10 amp fuse. If this fuse is blown, the car will crank until you kill the battery. It just won't start.
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#4 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:48 AM

Thanks for all the help, everyone :) I'll try what you all said, and let you know the outcome.

#5 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone :) Replaced the fuse and now the pump is working but... ran into another problem, it seems now that the spark plug wires aren't sparking, my friend said it could be either the ignition coil or rotor button, and now I'm starting to get extremely confused :waitasec:

#6 79/6.6

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 02:19 AM

I would start by checking every fuse to make sure it isn't blown. This is a relatively quick troubleshooting job, and fuses are inexpensive. If your engine cranks normally but will not start because it has no spark, or it stalls and won't restart because it has no spark, the problem may be due to any of the following:



A bad pickup inside the distributor (on engines that have a distributor), a stripped distributor drive gear (common problem with plastic distributor drive gears), broken, loose or corroded wires from the pickup to the ignition module or PCM.

A bad crankshaft position sensor (on engines that do not have a distributor), or broken, loose or corroded wires from the sensor to the PCM.

A bad ignition module (on engines that have a distributor or use an ignition module separate from the PCM)



A bad ignition coil (on engines that have a distributor and a single coil)


A bad rotor or distributor cap (cracks or carbon tracks that are allowing the spark to short to ground)
Faulty ignition switch.


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#7 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 12:37 PM

Awesome, thanks again. Definately going to check all the fuses first, would be great if that's all it is.

#8 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 12:46 PM

Update: It's not the Ignition Coil :( Can't seem to find the fuse block. (Like I said, I know nothing about cars) And there seems to be a disconnected wire, but I have no idea what it goes to as everything seems to be connected properly... Thanks again everyone :)

Edited by Heart of Darkness, 07 July 2010 - 12:46 PM.


#9 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:27 PM

Well the bird's up and running again, turned out that it was the Ignition Control Module that was out, my friend came over yesterday and had an extra one in good condition that he's letting me borrow until I can afford to get a brand new one. Running as good as the day I first got it again. I'm definately one happy FBN member now :D Thank you everybody for all the advice and help, maybe now that she's running, I might be able to make it to the next meet :)

#10 Formula71

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:12 PM

Glad to hear you got it running again. Congrats.


RIP Jay - So glad to have known you

#11 Heart of Darkness

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 07:13 PM

Thank you :smiling:

#12 chyzdad

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:34 AM

I am having the same problem u were. Lets c if mine is the same problem. Plus now I may also have to do a full rebuild on the car. Not really sure what its is :waitasec: . I do know I have a high idle...arnd 1000rpm....gonna take a stab at it tonight to c if it might be a vacuum leak.

Edited by chyzdad, 18 July 2010 - 11:35 AM.


#13 BlkBird408

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:24 AM

Glad to hear you got it fixed. !!
1989 Firebird--408 engine, Stage 4 700r4 tranny, Strange Engineering 12 bolt rearend,
GTA crosslace wheels, BFGoodrich drag radials, Spohn lca`s and relocation brackets, subframe connectors
adjustable TQ arm, wonderbar, adjustable panhard rod, driveshaft loop, extreme duty driveshaft
KYB shocks/struts, Eibach sportline lowering springs, 97 Firebird seats, 85 trans am steering wheel
B&M Ratchet megashifter, Autometer tach and gauges and a few other goodies!!

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#14 doowron21

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:39 AM

I have a similar issue. My car used to fire right up without completely turning over once. Now it seems it has to turn over for 2-3 seconds before it fires up. I hear the fuel pump kick in when I turn on the key, but if it has sat for any length of time it takes a bit to start. Once it has ran for awhile and shut off it will start right back up. Could this be the fuel filter perhaps? Ive had a newer truck for years and just got this 2000 FIrebird at a bargain price and havent worked on older cars in some time so I am thinking it could be the filter.




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