91 Regal...... no-start problem

i was wondering if anyone might be able to give me a liitle help with this problem car is a 91 regal limted... 3.8 litre egine.. 300,000 k on it.... was
given it from a family member. car looks pretty good in and out... but it would start and run for a few seconds and then die right away... would restart a few times and then die again, until after 3 or 4 cycles of this it wouldn' fire at all until i waited a while to try again. i bought the haynes book and found out how to read the obd codes by jumping the a & b connectors.... the following codes came back... i'm listing them in their order of appearance
24- vehicle speed sensor (makes sense 'cause i found out that the speedo didn't work for the last while) 26- quad driver circuit... i don't know what circuit this is... book says to see dealer 27- gear switch diagnosis.... again i have no clue on this 24- yup, it came up twice 41- cam sensor
so here's what i did...... i cleared the codes after i found out about the speedo problem, cause i figured i'd try starting it and see if i could eliminate any ones that didn't have something to do with the no start problem..... started the car and let it die, then got the new codes.... the only one that came back was the cam sensor .. i picked up a new sensor and installed it.... car would turn over but not fire at all now.... put the old sensor back in and car would fire and run for a few seconds as before.... so i thought maybe the new sensor was faulty and got another new one, put it in the car... turned over but no fire.... put the original old sensor back in and now it just turns over and no fire at all ...... each time i put the old sensor back in and had it fire i rechecked the codes and the only code that came up was the 41 cam sensor... except the last time when it returned a 17 code along with the 41.... (my book says the 17 code is for a '93 3.1 litre calif engine, so i'm a little puzzled by this... except it's still a cam sensor code)
would anyone have any information or ideas as to what i should try next? i'm fairly mechanically inclined and am able to do most things but i fall down when it comes to trouble shooting.. thx for any help you might have
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tnuc wrote:

Hopefully it's not like my car. Half a dozen things failed nearly all at once. First off, check the timing and fuel pump - if they are in bad shape/off, keeping the car running is very hard to do and usually it only takes one computer or sensor or module/etc to die and the thing can't compensate anymore.
With my car, when it was cold, the EGR system was also shot - so it would stay running if I kept the RPMS up around 2500 manually. Try that - it's a 2 minute check.
My guess would be that the timing gear is worn to the point where it barely works, given the mileage and age of the car, and is quite a bit off. In my case, the camshaft was wobbling around as the tensioner/button was all but gone and the timing gear and chain was all but in pieces.
In any case - my recommendation would be - sell it as I can't think of any $200 fix for an engine in this shape. It *may* be a simple fix, or but I'd not count on it as it's obviously something related to the timing and ignition system. The timing chain and upper cog is also in need of regular replacement in addition, no matter what else you do. $400 right there if the cover is salvageable. $600 if it's toast.
And it goes up from there. :(
It cost me $1100 for my car and it still needs a new fuel pump, O2 sensor, and fuel filter. Yeah I know - way too much money, but I'd just replaced the transmission, so I was stuck with keeping the car for 2-3 more years. I couldn't buy a better car for the $2000 I spent - or maybe one for $1500 that needed a new transmission soon, so I kept the problems that I know abou(heh).
Since this is a gift, though, let some DIYer deal with it would be my suggestion. Just get it back together to where it starts and runs for a few seconds - then you can at least get 1/2 of its normal value out of it instead of $500 for a non-running vehicle.
If you *love* the car, dropping a rebuilt engine in it might make more sense - then it would be good for 50K or so at least. If. :)
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 21:48:04 GMT, Joseph Oberlander

well that wasn't really the response i was hoping for lol.... was sort of hoping thats someone might have an idea as to what i could look for next... it ran very well up until it stopped wanting to. but thx for letting me know about your experinces :-)
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I've got an '88 3.8 with about the same number of kms as yours which had almost the exact same problems when I bought it just over 1 year ago. Not saying the cause is the same but here we go nonetheless:
No start, or hard start when cold. A myriad of false codes. Poor fuel economy. No speedo.
Here's what I did:
VSS was fine, replaced guage cluster- fixed. (from a wrecker- easy) $ranges
Replaced cam AND crank position sensors.(new, dealer) about $100 for both
Replaced timing chain. (new, aftermarket)
replaced coil packs (3 times in 1 year). then i replaced the c3I coil control module (which the coils sit on). (new, dealer) $550 for new coils and c3I
replaced fuel pump (new, aftermarket) $can't remember...
Performed FULL tune up. New plugs, wires, fuel filter, trans flush and fill, oil, air filter.
New O2 sesnor.
Cleaned IAC (idle air control) pintle. Located in the throttle body. Usually gummed up after this many k's.
Hope this helps.
Don't get caught up replacing unnecessary components. Be very careful that you can return what you don't use/need because these bills can add up quickly!
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tnuc wrote in alt.autos.gm

All the codes seem to relate to voltage or wiring problems. I would go over the wiring, especially looking for loose or bad grounds. Start at the computer itself and work from there. Also the cam sensor has 2 pieces, the sensor itself, and a magnet on the flywheel which may have fallen off.
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