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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this is the 89 LX that i picked up recently. hell of a deal for 1600 bucks. when i bought it, it had some cold start issues, like cutting out if you didnt man the gas pedal for about a good two or three minutes. on a hunch, i went ahead and took cleaned out the throttle body with some carb cleaner. that fixed the problem. it had low RPMs in park - around 700-800 cold. i did a tune up - new plugs, wires, cap and rotor and the RPMs shot up to like 1100 when cold, and rock steady needle on the tach - the car was running perfectly.

the 164,000 mile motor was a real greaseball and i just couldnt stand not even being able to tell what color the valve covers were - so i took a couple cans of Engine Brite and a water hose to top of the motor and engine compartment. now i'm experiencing those old cold start issues again as well as low RPMs at start-up (choke - or EFI equivalent - isnt engaging. volt meter and tach get eratic in unison upon start-up.

so i'm assuming that the water or solvent must've fouled up something. any ideas as to what?
 

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An electrical connector probably got wet, once it dries out it should go back to normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
unfortunately, it's gotten worse. now the car dies when you come to a stop while driving.
 

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did you get your mass air sensor wet? i remember my uncles maf got wet and it started as idle problems then it would die at stoplights
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
did you get your mass air sensor wet? i remember my uncles maf got wet and it started as idle problems then it would die at stoplights
i dont think i did, but at this point the MAF sensor is the main suspect. i may have gotten the electrical connection wet, but it seemed to be dry when i checked it today.

i went ahead and disconnected the neg battery cable and am going to leave it disconnected over-night. and i also have the MAF disconnected.

i'll see what happens tomorrow.

check engine light is comming on intermittenly too. and, if i am to beleive the fuel guage, i've consumed half a tank of gas in just 68 miles. this further leads me to suspect a MAF sensor issue. if it is the MAF, it may not be particularly cheap, but at least it'll be easy. and i was gonna put a Granatelli unit on there anyway.

thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I always try to do that sort of cleaning w large amounts of water, while the car is running.
good point. i usually do as well. but this engine and engine compartment was so greasy that it somehow seemed more logical, at the time, to have the engine off and battery disconnected - i think due to the amount of Engine Brite and water that was to be used.

aside from the grease, there was plant debris, pine needles, ect. two inches deep in some places - and sunflower seed shells for **** sake. probably had mice living on the manifold.
 

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Fresh water by itself is a pretty good insulator. Fresh water and oil or grease are still good insulators. They only affect high voltage circuits.

Salts or chemicals or contaminants that have free ions turn water into a conductor. Then the water affects everything and can ruin things.

When I clean my engine or anything that has electronics I use water only, or water and a known non-conductive soap or solvent. I take whole antique radios and hose them out with clean water, blow them out with air, bake them with a spot light, and they still work with 50 or 75 year old parts.

Next time you hose an entire engine do it while it is warm and don't spray it down with solvents or chemicals unless you are sure they won't conduct when mixed with water.

I'd also look at the throttle position sensor voltages. It is one of the poorest sealed components on the engine, and is full of pressure contacts that can go permanently bad when contaminated. It could be a plug or some other sensor but that one is the poorest sealed.

I wash my car and truck engines down all the time and never have an issue but I do it while they are warm, avoid directly hosing the distributor or sensors, and never use anything but water.

Tom
 

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Glad you found it. So it was just wet?
 
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