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Discussion Starter #1
My poor little car...
'88 GT - started out with a bit of a tick...
tick was getting worse and worse, although everything I did helped slightly it didn't stop or reverse the process of my car going down the sh!tter...
hit cruise one day on the highway, instrument panel went dead and cruise wouldn't work. stereo, head-lights, heater, and engine were running when it happened. kicked the fuse box and it came back.
Since then cruise refuses to stay on for more than half a second, and rarely more than a full one. If you manage to get it to stay on for almost 30 seconds, you relax a bit and then she dies again, leaving you rear ended.
Yesterday morning on the way to work - head-lights and engine running - nothing else at all. No change in speed, road surface, handling, or direction WHAT-SO-EVER - and out went the instrument panel again... Only this time, the engine went too! The only electrical I had in the whole car was the headlights, and the backlight on the digital instrument panel that the headlights turn on. Fortunately, when I almost wanted to stab myself in the eye, and rested my head on the steering wheel, everything came back on its own. Instruments were back, no warning lights were on, engine started itself up again (while in Drive?!?!?!?) and everything was... not working, obviously - but there.
But of course, I had to come home from work. The ticking was so loud, I actually had neighbors looking out the window to see what the noise is. Stalled again this time when I turned off the headlights to conserve my car's obviously precious power supply.
Power steering shut down, instruments shut down, and I'm assuming that something happened along the lines of the drivetrain, seeing as when I was in gear and hit the gas, she rolled down the hill like I was in neutral and basically topped herself out.
Stopped on the side of the road, turned it off, turned it on, everything was back. Every time I change something that uses the electrical system, she either lags really badly like she is about to stall, or she stalls. Thinking short, alternator, or PCM. Did spark plugs, did ignition wires, threw in injector cleaner and carb/valve cleaner. I don't want to, and can't, drive her in this condition - and I have more to do this week than any other!!
Somebody...
Anybody...
Help!!!
 

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Liking the bed of death ?

Somewhat dementedly sick...........but anyways, check over the electrical grounds and if need be try cleaning/retightening them to eliminate being the gremlin. If that doesn't help, pull the trouble codes.
 

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You should do a ground kit (there was a how-to for a 2nd gen but you'll get the idea) and check your alt. About the cruise thing, ALOT of peoples doesn't work so don't sweat it.
 

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I don't think its the cruise control "emexix" is worried about, is how unrelibale her electricals are being lately, I would check your ALT. check the output of your ALT. Then check you BATT. if its below 12V when the car's running I would replace the BATT. If its not your ALT. or your BATT. then its sounds like a short in the main wirring harness, electrical problems are a pain in the ass, I would just take it to an electrical shop and get her fixed.
As for the ticking That may be somthing tottaly unrelated, more than likly your HLA's or a bad fuel injector.

Methman
 

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Check the alternator output first; battery voltage should be 13.5-14.9volts with the car running. Also, you mentioned that you could kick the fusebox and stuff would come on again. ..Have you looked under there to see if there are any loose/damaged wires? Have you taken out the fuses to see if they are damaged/flaky? There is an important body ground in the area of the fusebox under the dash - see if you can find it and determine if it is loose.

As for the ticking, the problem is likely some HLA's that need to be replaced or cleaned out. An oil change may help as well. You could also have a bad exhaust manifold leak.

When this stuff happens, you need to get under there and start checking things. Being dramatic about it isn't going to solve a thing, and it's certainly not going to fix itself. Get a factory shop manual, read up on how electrical circuits work, buy a multimeter, and start some troubleshooting. Otherwise, take the car to an experienced mechanic and have them do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
definately will be taking the alt. apart this weekend... managed to hitch a ride to work, so she can sit there without it til monday. the reason I did mention the cruise control is because the instrument panel going out was co-inciding (sp?) with that when I was still trying to use it. As for the injectors being the prob, it is possible but they were done before when my gas mileage was down. Could the alternator cause the dissy to not get enough power, leaving one or more plugs mis-firing and causing the tick? Everything did seem to happen all at once, so I am leaning more towards one solid issue here... Any opinions?
 
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dude, i feel your pain. my gt sat for 4 months because of an electrical problem.

the story goes like this...a bit of ticking and decided to change the hla's , started it up , 5 min later the car shuts off. The problem was that the car was not getting any spark... it turned over but no spark. I'm thinking ground. checked everything!!! i even yanked out the cheesestick alarm that the car came with(had a cutoff to the starter). changed the coil, igniter, ecu, relays...no luck (thank god i am near a u-pick junk yard!)

anyway, the guy who sold me the car used to be a mechanic for mazda dealer. he five fingered the shop manual, both electrical and general mechanics, and threw them in with the sale of the car. let me tell you, if i did not have these manuals, there would be NO way i could have figured out how to fix the problem.

i gave up trying after the first 2 months. had three 'mechanics' look at the problem, before i finally broke down to sit my lazy ass down to figure out the electrical schematics.

well, now that i told you my boring story, it turns out that it was the power steering sending unit , under the driver's seat that was the root of all evil. due to my leaking sunroof( which i have fixed as well ), water shorted a resistor inside this 'mysterious' black box.

when i figured this out, i disconnected the wires to it (just for the hell of it) and what do you know, i got spark. the same day i shot on over to the junk yard and pulled a working unit off another gt ($10.00 and change :D)...and the rest is history...

all i can say man is, get the electrical manual for the car and follow the diagrams...have a multimeter handy and don't give up!!!
 

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service manuals

If you want to save some money doing your own repairs, a service manual is the place to start as mentioned. It'll pay for itself many times over, not only in money, but also your time and frustation. So don't make the mistake of hesitating, unless you want to elevate your level of anxiety.
Even if you're not comfortable with electricals, a manual can be helpful narrowing down a problem before taking it to a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well i am perfectly comfortable with electricals, and i have ALL the manuals. the owners manual, the original mazda service manual, and the haynes manual. i also have all the wiring diagrams for everything ive added (stereo-wise) and the original warranty/maintenance/service books. they basically didnt tell me squat.
and as far as power steering being evil, YES it is. Before around '92, electronic fuel injection was crap. the idle up system literally needs to be BROKEN in... my car was almost stalling every time i came down to an idle while in gear. finally, while on my way to fill her up with premium gas, injector cleaner, and octane boost, she almost stalled in oncoming traffic and i said "f*ck it" and floored it. choked, almost stalled, then took off like a dream. 35-87 kph in less than 2 seconds. only problem - i lost my power steering!! finally had to floor it and crank the wheel at the same time, and both came back.
But here is what fixed everything, just for anyone's reference if theyre stuck in the same spot :
Panel going out - pull out the meter fuse and check it for a burnt spot. If its burnt, that means its too loose in the fuse box and/or its shorting out, but not blowing the fuse - both are not the best situations!!! easiest solution - replace the fuse, bending the prongs in opposite directions and closer together. expensive solution - replace the fuse box.
Tick - tap the injectors with a wrench... if any one of them causes a stutter, spray it with some WD-40. if it still stutters after that then its not an injector. check the spark plugs and ignition wires. then, check your oil. IF EVERYTHING ELSE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AND ITS STILL THERE, THIS IS VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!! if its burnt or low at all, or even just doesn't look quite right, do an oil/filter change RIGHT AWAY. fill it to the full line on the dipstick, then add "high end lube concentrate" on top of that right into the crankcase. let her run for a good 30 min. to an hour, being sure to accelerate every so often. let it rest overnight, then take a long drive on a cold start. if that doesnt fix it, be prepared to deal with a piston slap, collapsed lifter, or the oh so lovely knock.
Stutter and P/S loss - disconnect the battery terminal for about 10 minutes, then reconnect it and start her in park. leave it. come back 20-30 mins later and throw on the A/C while turning the steering wheel back and forth. watch to see if the idle goes up. If it doesn't, leave the A/C on and slip it into gear. she won't like that at first, but slowly run every other accessory in the car until you can almost hear her dying. slip it back into park or neutral. idle go up. the best way to find your optimum idle - sit there for 20 min. or longer, and just leave it in park while accelerating at different levels. eventually youll find one that sounds about right. mine sounds beautiful at 900 RPM when the A/C is running.

Just make sure that if you lose your P/S, you check the switch first. Should be in the engine compartment on the fire wall, right above where your steering column comes through. If it was off, and you have those ****ty injectors, disconnect the battery and reset the comp. If you don't, your idle up won't adjust properly to the P/S and you'll regret it when you stall on a sharp turn. Trust me. That was scary.

But I hope you've all learned something from my misadventures... That sooner or later, something is gonna break. Its going to be cheap, easy, and fast to fix - but you'll never think of that until you've spent at least $50 on other things. But everythings fixed now, and my 6 is all happy... but theres only one thing left that i know i cant help, but it still makes me mad.

-------------------------- CRUISE CONTROL STILL WON'T WORK!!!
arg
anyway, ciao
- C
 
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