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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! This morning my firebird died while I was leaving my work parking lot. I was just about to merge onto the interstate when my car shut off.. it happened right when I made the turn onto the exit ramp for said interstate and I was just giving it some more gas to keep up with traffic when the steering hardened up and the choke light illuminated..Luckily I noticed the loss of ps and these other instruments and I deduced the car was dead. Fortunately I successfully pulled off onto the shoulder before any traffic behind me had a chance to ram into me. It took a moment to get my heart started back up but ironically The car just started right up while I was resting there on the shoulder of this exit ramp. First try. I just booked it home after that harrowing incident..does anybody happen to have experienced random shutoffs similar to my experience this morning?
 

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Have you checked the battery terminals - tightened, battery hold down secured, not loose, no corrosion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you checked the battery terminals - tightened, battery hold down secured, not loose, no corrosion?
Yes I just checked, the positive and negative appear to be tightened down well. And I see no corrosion on the terminals or the battery for that matter. The battery does wiggle a little bit..but it’s not very drastic. It’s a bit rusty underneath so the battery has a slight wiggle..
 

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Did you actually unbolt the battery terminals, and inspect the metal surface of the connector that abut the metal terminal of the battery? That's where you need to insure there is no corrosion. Clean the surfaces up with a wire brush. Is there a nut missing on the hold down at the bottom of the battery? did you try rocking the battery from side to side to insure it is secure? The wiring and battery are pretty messy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you actually unbolt the battery terminals, and inspect the metal surface of the connector that abut the metal terminal of the battery? That's where you need to insure there is no corrosion. Clean the surfaces up with a wire brush. Is there a nut missing on the hold down at the bottom of the battery? did you try rocking the battery from side to side to insure it is secure? The wiring and battery are pretty messy.
I didn’t unbolt them no..I’ll do a more thorough inspection today. And it’s so rusty under the battery that it just moves a little bit. It looks like the rubber holder with the bolt are situated right, I think it’s all the rust under the battery that lets it rock back and forth. I can take the battery out and clean up the tray a little ; maybe I can shim it down tighter. ..
 

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DELCO NERD
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, LT1 5.7L V8
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The battery cable bolt is pretty rusty in one of those pictures...like Fred said, the cable terminal could be rusty too. You can purchase new battery cable bolts in pairs at parts stores. I'd recommend replacing them as well. For good measure, you can apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to the cable mating surface to stave off corrosion. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The battery cable bolt is pretty rusty in one of those pictures...like Fred said, the cable terminal could be rusty too. You can purchase new battery cable bolts in pairs at parts stores. I'd recommend replacing them as well. For good measure, you can apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to the cable mating surface to stave off corrosion. :)
Hi It happened to me again this morning. It’s three times total now. I was sort of prepared though, I pulled off of the exit ramp where the car shut off and I hurried on over to the gravel shoulder and I popped it up into neutral right quick then I turned the key and she started up immediately. Then I popped it down back into Drive and I carried on..I got home without another shutdown. What is wrong with my bird? .. This has become very frustrating. The interior lights and my headlights stayed on during this morning’s shut-down. Also the three times that this happened I was making right hand turns going from a slower speed out of my work parking lot to to the street while trying to accelerate a lot quicker because I am having to go straight out of the lot for about 30 seconds before I begin making a right hand turn onto my exit ramp in order to hit the 4 way. I-35 .. Also every time I only had the car running for about 10 minutes each time. I have to let it warm up for a bit and pump the accelerator a time or two to get it to idle down two separate times. Both high idles are idling slightly different from the other too. If I don’t wait for the second idle down to happen and I try to drive off instead then the car will die. Also I’ve double and triple checked the battery and the cables. I don’t think that’s it..also early last week I actually found some loose wires underneath the steering column after I had took off a couple of plastic covers. I pushed the two ends back together a Little better and I assumed that was that. I drove the car for about 6 days with no shut offs and everything seemed like it was going great..then this morning happened..
 

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DELCO NERD
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, LT1 5.7L V8
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What's the year and engine at issue (I don't see it in your profile)?

Is the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light on while the engine is running?

When the car dies and you crank the starter to re-start the engine, is it a long cranking period, or does the engine start easily?

Without some codes or data to look at, the diagnosis is going to be symptom-based.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What's the year and engine at issue (I don't see it in your profile)?

Is the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light on while the engine is running?

When the car dies and you crank the starter to re-start the engine, is it a long cranking period, or does the engine start easily?

Without some codes or data to look at, the diagnosis is going to be symptom-based.
I have a 1984 firebird with the 2.8 L , w/a carburetor. 80,100 miles. There have been no service engine soon lights that I have seen and the engine starts very easily after the shut-offs..
 

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DELCO NERD
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, LT1 5.7L V8
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2,093 Posts
Does the car have an EGR valve?
 

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DELCO NERD
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, LT1 5.7L V8
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2,093 Posts
Your symptoms could possibly be caused by an EGR valve that is stuck open, but I'd want to test the valve before I condemn it. It looks like a vacuum operated valve based upon the pictures I found...if they are accurate.
 

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84 T/A 301T T5, 3.73s
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This is me just thinking out loud, but if it were mine, when shutdown occurs, I wouldn't touch the accelerator, just coast off the road into a good spot, pop the hood, pull the air cleaner, and push the throttle lever back and forth a couple times and while looking down the carb throat, see if the accelerator pump shoots a stream of gas. To confirm there's fuel up there. If so, stick a timing light on one of the cylinders. If you're by yourself, try the one closest to the firewall so you can crank over the eng., and see if you get a flash from the light. (confirming you do or don't have spark). That way, you can isolate the fuel system, from the ign. system.
If your 4 silly winder has an HEI, (good luck), then the potential in there could be ign. module (like mentioned above), or the coil in the cap, and sometimes even the pick up coil, under the breaker plate. (Not fun to change). Of course, there's the possibility of a ton of wires involved, that could have crap connections, somewhere. another good luck needed to chase that one. One last thing. If it were mine, I would scrap the 4 sillywinder, and stick a good running V8. (Preferably, a Poncho) :) That way you'll have all new or fresh parts, and know what you're dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is me just thinking out loud, but if it were mine, when shutdown occurs, I wouldn't touch the accelerator, just coast off the road into a good spot, pop the hood, pull the air cleaner, and push the throttle lever back and forth a couple times and while looking down the carb throat, see if the accelerator pump shoots a stream of gas. To confirm there's fuel up there. If so, stick a timing light on one of the cylinders. If you're by yourself, try the one closest to the firewall so you can crank over the eng., and see if you get a flash from the light. (confirming you do or don't have spark). That way, you can isolate the fuel system, from the ign. system.
If your 4 silly winder has an HEI, (good luck), then the potential in there could be ign. module (like mentioned above), or the coil in the cap, and sometimes even the pick up coil, under the breaker plate. (Not fun to change). Of course, there's the possibility of a ton of wires involved, that could have crap connections, somewhere. another good luck needed to chase that one. One last thing. If it were mine, I would scrap the 4 sillywinder, and stick a good running V8. (Preferably, a Poncho) :) That way you'll have all new or fresh parts, and know what you're dealing with.
What is 4 sillywinder? 4 cylinder? I’ve got the 6 cylinder version and I’m probably going to keep it all stock because I don’t want to mess up my re sale value too much. I also have been driving my 2002 Mustang with a gas hog 4.6 L for the past 4 years so I kinda want a 6 cylinder to switch things up a bit.
 
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