1995 Regal - Runs Rough and Hard to Start

My 1995 3.8L Regal has 114,00 miles. I understand that it is has an emission control system between OBDI and OBDII. The check engine light comes on every
now and then, but I can't pull codes with a rental tool from Autozone or Murray's and I believe that I can't use a test light to hook to the connector and count the number of flashes (can't find out where to hook it up on the under dash connector.) It runs rough every now and then, almost to the point where it wants to die. Other times, when I go to start the vehicle, it takes 10 or more turns of the key to get it to start. Changes filters, though still have the problem. I like to fix it myself. A friend suggest that the crankshaft positioning sensor was know to go bad on this vehicle. Could the problem be with this sensor? Any suggestions are really appreciated.
Joe
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You need to get this on the proper scanner, such as a snap on unit, to get the info from this pcm, otherwise it is all guesswork.

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Shep wrote:

Agreed, but I can diagnose a bit of this right here.

EGR valve or whatever it uses on this model(mine is the older version of the same engine) is shot. Can't hold idle, like the choke is constantly being messed with as it's running (say on a motorcycle).

Check. Mind did this too. Timing grear on these models are *synthectic* and wear down to nubs. In any case, the chain is stretched and the sensors are likely not working well. It's a known problem with them when they get to this age.

If the timing gear is off but the sensors are working, or it is loose and "hanging in there" and the computers are compensating, it won't generate anything reliable code-wise from the cheap scanners.
In my case, three mechanics scratched their heads. One said the engine was dead - no compression. One had no clue - his cheap scanner spat back a cryptic "do not run" message and no codes whatsoever. The other guy tweaked it and got it to run. Barely. Like a VW bug with a dead cylinder. Three weeks and it still didn't run right.
The GM garage scanned it, diagnosed it in an hour, and had it running perfectly by the end of the day. Replaced the MAF, the EGR valve, and the timing gear.(yes, it was a pricey repair - about $800 in total with the diag fee). I had the timing gear replaced with metal parts, though - teflon and plastic isn't my idea of proper engineering)
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Just a thought, on the starting issue. If it cranks good but won't start for a while, the next time, have a helper crank the engine, while you check for spark at the plugs and injector pulse. My info shows you have a crank and cam sensor, you might check for a sensor signal, while the problem is ongoing.
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