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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for a new cheap car, preferably another bull or sable :). I ran across one that looks nice but the ad states " starts but won't run, we think it's the timing chain". I already have a project going getting the truck set right (could be simple or a cascade failure) so I don't want anything too complex - but often enough it's a simple fix.

I have a Craftsman code reader (not real-time friendly), vacuum gage, timing light, basic tools in the truck. What can you recommend for quick diagnostics and potential solutions when I go to look at it? I don't mind doing a little work to save money if I can.

Thanks.
 

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I've been looking for a new cheap car, preferably another bull or sable :). I ran across one that looks nice but the ad states " starts but won't run, we think it's the timing chain". I already have a project going getting the truck set right (could be simple or a cascade failure) so I don't want anything too complex - but often enough it's a simple fix.

I have a Craftsman code reader (not real-time friendly), vacuum gage, timing light, basic tools in the truck. What can you recommend for quick diagnostics and potential solutions when I go to look at it? I don't mind doing a little work to save money if I can.

Thanks.
That sounds more like fuel pump. It starts with the fuel in the line but can't get enough to keep on going. Does not sound like timing chain.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was thinking vac leak or fuel myself. I've rarely heard of a timing chain going out or skipping (if it did the vac gage usually shows it or you can hear it). My other thought was ignition but it shouldn't start, at least not easily, if that's the case. If I can't test fuel pressure I can at least test for lean with tiny squirts of carb cleaner - if it stays alive it's a fuel issue.

It's a 2001 but no pics under the hood and it's an hour away, so I don't yet know which engine. I've had both, the perk of the dohc is noticeably better mileage but a bitch to work on. I've had two Vulcans and two dohc so far - I can attest to the Vulcan being easier. Rust and children killed them before 250k lol.

The other I'm looking at has just one rear wheel sagging, my bet is the springs but if it's as rusty as the '97 it might not be worth it.

Of the different forums and lists I'm on I have to say this is the most active and helpful. The internet only goes so far, it helps to tap experience particularly with new technology - some things could have a host of causes but often here if a person can say it does x when/under y conditions and someone can point to the probable cause.

When I know more if I buy it I'll let you know what I find. Might need to pick your brains more if I get stumpe
 

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2001, I had two of them and both had fuel pumps fail at 100k. That year was a special fuel system design not used on any other years. It uses a mechanical pressure relief valve inside the fuel tank to vent off excess pressure. Pump sends full pressure to fuel filter and there is a return line from the filter to the tank and also to the engine. That return line to tank vents pressure based on relief valve in tank. Fuel filter has three hose connections which is a bit unusual.

 

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2001, I had two of them and both had fuel pumps fail at 100k. That year was a special fuel system design not used on any other years. It uses a mechanical pressure relief valve inside the fuel tank to vent off excess pressure. Pump sends full pressure to fuel filter and there is a return line from the filter to the tank and also to the engine. That return line to tank vents pressure based on relief valve in tank. Fuel filter has three hose connections which is a bit unusual.

PIc of '01 one year only fuel filter. It is bolted to the frame, over the top where you can't see the bolt. Any chance of removing that bolt in 20+ year old frame = 0.
Tip: remove the new filter from this bracket, and the one on the car. Note the position of the filter nipples. New filter in old bracket. Been there, done that.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I figured I better wrap this one up. Got down to see the Sable and the frame was rotted from the front bumper to the back so I didn't end up spending a lot of time trying to diagnose this one. Thanks for all the info - back to bill hunting ;).
 
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