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New to me 1986 Starion ESi-R Widebody - 56,900 miles


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#1 Matt888

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:17 PM

Iíve always been a sucker for silver with black interiors.  My 1967 fastback mustang is that combo with black lemans stripes, the F-150 is charcoal and black, and the wifeís GLE350 Benz is also that color setup.  Kind of ridiculous really.  Oh, and then thereís the 1989 Fiji TSi... but it does have black interior!

I stumbled across this Starion a few weeks back on ebay and while it clearly needed some paint work on the bumpers, it seemed to have a great interior, no rust, and only 56k on the odometer.  It didnít hit the reserve price on ebay and I contacted the owner after the auction, received many more photos of the undercarriage, and became more comfortable with making an offer after scrubbing carfax and studying all of the photos I had accumulated.

Smooth transaction and the car arrived last night and I drove her from the car transport trailer and into my driveway without issues.  Ran very well on the short trip home, boosted well, and shifted perfect.  As the sun came up this morning, I really started to smile because I was able to see all her imperfections...  which were essentially none on the interior.  A solid 9/10 on the inside for sure - very pleased.  The 1986 interior is unbelievably comfortable... I like the seats MUCH more than the 1989.  Honestly, some of the most comfortable seats Iíve ever been in.  The only gauge that needs attention is the oil pressure.  Not reading, but the seller and I discussed it before I bought it and pressure was verified at the sendor on the motor - there is good oil pressure.  The undercarriage has no rust issues, neither does the body.  The outside is maybe a 7/10 and that is because the front and rear bumpers need paint and thereís 3 dings in the car, along with faded black trim pieces here and there.  The tail lights are damn near mint.  The only major aftermarket part I can find on the car is the exhaust system and the seller was also straight forward about that ahead of time.  There are also trilogy injectors in the stock TBI setup.

The Starion will be going into the shop in the next month or so to get redone in factory paint code H43 Eiger Silver Metallic.  All black trim (including rear bumper and lower front valance) will be addressed.

After the paint work, I will get the rims refurbished.  They are not damaged, but need a serious polish job and clear coating.  Other than a stock cosmetic facelift, I will need to comeback and figure out a gameplan for the exhaust.  Not trying to make a concourse correct Starion, but this car deserves a stockĒishĒ exhaust again!  Will need all of your help sorting that out in a month or two please.

Hereís a few pics from day 1 home and Iíll update this thread accordingly with progress.

Matt

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Edited by Matt888, 02 June 2018 - 10:21 PM.






#2 croquest87

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 10:05 AM

Sweet ride man   wish l could have saved my 86 but was to far gone when l got it! Still have bunch of parts from it after parting it out.

#3 techboy

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 10:17 AM

Wow ... really nice!  I say this eveytime it comes up, but the silver/black combo is my favorite as well!  One day I will own one when the time is right.  (Secretly, I'd love to find an auto for the wife to drive. :P )

Manual seat belts too!!

Edited by techboy, 03 June 2018 - 10:18 AM.

1988 Starion ESi-R ... crushed by a tree 10/31/11 - back from the dead 8/2016
1988 Conquest TSi ... current driver - sold to Bigjoe 6/2016
1987 Conquest Flatty ... F/S thread - sold 8/2014
1987 Conquest TSi ... parts car - sold to Coldscrip 12/2011
1999 Eclipse 4G63 ... heavily modified.
Feeback Thread | Motor rebuild thread | Restoration thread

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#4 Goddard

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 10:31 AM

I saw that car on eBay and really wanted it. Looked very nice. Congrats and I agree that silver looks great on these cars! Def keep us posted on your progress
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#5 Matt888

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 03:54 PM

Thanks all.  I believe it reached about $5800 on ebay, but I had to go up another grand to get it.  Drove it more today and put some fresh 93 octane and made a few light pulls in the boost.  No major issues there.  Felt a bit of a wobble a few times on the brakes, so will need to sort that out.  I had ALOT of caliper issues on my Fiji when I first got it and resolved it by putting new calipers, pads, stainless flex lines, etc.  I probably will do the same with the Starion after paint work.

Also, may need your help sorting out the ďAnti LockĒ light on the dash.  Still need to get my hands on an 86 Service Manual.

#6 Matt888

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 05:42 PM

View PostGoddard, on 03 June 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

I saw that car on eBay and really wanted it. Looked very nice. Congrats and I agree that silver looks great on these cars! Def keep us posted on your progress

Sure you aren’t confusing it with the silver one that went for like $12K on ebay?  That was a later model - believe it was an 88.  That one was near mint.  This one is nice, but will require probably another $3-4K to get close to that one.

#7 jonboyb

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 06:12 AM

You met Jerry over in Pinellas Park yet?  He's got some really nice SQ's.
87 Valencia Quest - MPI MSII
84 Mezzon Gold Dodge Conquest - Timecapsule
89 Dodge Raider - Turbo TBI MSII
11 Ecoboost F-150....Cause TT is Better than a V8

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#8 Matt888

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 11:29 AM

I have not.  

Iím toying with the idea of selling my 89 MPI Fiji due to my growing fleet of cars.  Probably need to sleep on it for a few months, but it just makes sense longer term.  Just spent $1300 putting gorgeous new leather in the Fiji too.  Doh!

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Original old seats next to another set I had redone...

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Edited by Matt888, 04 June 2018 - 11:33 AM.


#9 Preludedude

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 01:50 PM

Those look amazing

#10 croquest87

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 06:56 PM

Man they look nice!

#11 Matt888

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:18 PM

Ok all, I’ve haven’t driven the vehicle much lately due to trying to resolve drive ability issues.  The paint work will have to wait until I solve hesitation, stumbling, and slow throttle response.  I noticed a bit of hesitation a few trips around town and then the car just seemed to get worse and worse.  Parked it for a few weeks until I had time to troubleshoot.  Going to need some help here please sorting it out.

Here’s a few things I have done or checked:

- TPS after car was warm and turned off and keyed back on was .48v on the nose and when I pulled back on throttle cable, the voltage seemed to increase linearly, so I’m not inclined to think there’s an issue here
- I swapped in new 850cc injectors and it had no change to drive ability and behaved the same
- I put a fuel pressure gauge on my top hat port near injectors and when the car started driving poorly, there was NO change in pressure... stayed steady at 37psi
- Had an extra top hat with an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator on-hand that was set at stock pressure, so installed it real quick to just put fuel delivery (pump, regulator, etc,) to bed...  NO change
- Had a new O2 sensor in my parts box to try... NO change

Ok, what next?  CTS?

The only clue I have is that the car acts up when warn.  If it’s cold, I can turn it on and drive it for a few miles and get into the boost lightly without issues.  Once it fully warms up, I get hesitation and some bucking, with even an occasional stall.  It’s then all about getting the car back to the house (I keep it now in a 1/4mile radius through the neighborhood).

It has to be something simple since it drives well when it wants to and primarily when it’s cold.


#12 Preludedude

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:23 PM

When warm, if its idling funny or stalling. It may be the throttle plate not touching the ISC nose switch.  If its not grounding the switch at idle, the AFR will hunt from 11-15 and idle terrible....

Do a full TPS/ISC reset and make sure the switch is grounded when the car is fully warm....

#13 Matt888

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:31 PM

It will only stall when coming to idle if it is driving poorly.  I could see that being an issue if the car drove fine, but when coming to a stop, it idled and stalled.  When it’s cold and in the first few minutes of running, the idle and acceleration are smooth.  After the car is warm and I’m cruising, I’ll get signs of a hiccup, unresponsive throttle, hesitation, etc.  it will progressively get worse from that point on and I better be within a block of home.  Lol!

Now I remember why I went MPI on my Fiji!

#14 Preludedude

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 02:47 PM

Sounds like the exact issue I had with mine....I had to adjust the throttle so it grounded the nose switch....Mine would start to idle terribly after driving smooth...

#15 Matt888

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 06:44 PM

Had a spare CTS in my parts bin and threw it in - no luck.  

I held off on my TPS reset for a few reasons...  I would like to throw in my fresh Mazda TPS, but need a donor TPS with the stock plug pigtail.  Doesnt need to be a working TPS, just want to cut and splice the Mazda on and not cut the existing stock TPS in the car.  

Ill do the complete ISC/TPS reset afterwards, but do not believe this is the issue.  It has got to be spark related, ignition, etc.  Fuel delivery is fine.  Have a spare coil to try also.  These cars can be such a pain in the rear on their factory setup!

Edited by Matt888, 17 June 2018 - 06:45 PM.


#16 Preludedude

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 09:03 PM

Well to put it to rest.   Get the car at full operating temp.     Put a test light clamp on the + terminal on battery and then check the nose switch connector and see if it's grounded during idle......

#17 BuGG

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 10:37 PM

From mike C.

Follow the rubber hose from the fuel pressure regulator's outlet (it's the larger hose clamped to the top/front of the throttle body assembly) and either undo it at the t-body end or follow where it hooks into the hardline going back to the fuel tank.  Run that hose, or another plugged into the regulator's outlet port, into a large glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid.  Tape it to the jar FIRMLY and then cover the jar's opening - gas will want to splash out.  Start the engine and let it idle for a second or two, enough to get the jar about 1/3 rd to 1/2 full.  Shut down and set the jar on a workbench for a couple hours - closed.  After several hours, see if there are two "layers" of liquids in the jar... if so, you've got water or some other contaminant in the gas and that's making a mess of things.

If not...  and you're injectors really are spraying properly AND STOP SPRAYING when the ECU says "stop" then I'd look for big air leaks someplace... like the hoses to/from the turbo, intercooler, and throttle body.  Or an intercooler that got damaged/busted and is a big air leak now.  StarQuests don't like vacuum leaks, especially big ones.  Spraying the whole intake manifold and the various air hoses with spray carb cleaner is a great way to find leaks.  I've found blown intake manifold gaskets this way.

Beyond that, I strongly suggest finding a mechanical fuel or oil pressure guage, some "fuel injection" rated hose that fits the guage, and a hose-to-thread adapter that'll screw into the top/rear port of the throttle body.  Verify 36 psi fuel pressure at idle and while putt-putt driving around town.  If it won't stay at 36 to 38 psi, you've got fuel pump/filter issues.  If it's above 40psi, the regulator isn't doing it's job or the hardline underneath the car is dented/kinked/blocked.

StarQuests "need" only a couple of the sensors working correctly to have a half-way decent chance of driving:
* Airflow sensor... this is the single most important one on the car.  Some 86s will run decently without it but not all.

* ECU coolant temp sensor: used by the ECU to know if it needs to run the engine in "choke" mode for cold-start/cold-idle.  With a half-way or better warmed up engine, you can replace this sensor with a 220 to 270 ohm resistor stuffed & taped to the the connector that would normally go to this sensor as a test/bypass.  220 to 270 ohms is "warmed-up engine" to the ECU.

* Firewall mounted vacuum/pressure sensor on pre-87 cars: this is how the early model year cars determine boost pressure.  The sensor has a small solenoid next to it; the solenoid connects the sensor to either the engine/throttle body or to outside (atmospheric) air.  Most of the time it's connected to the engine... but once every 2 minutes the ECU flips the solenoid to check outside air pressure so the ECU can get an idea of the altitude you're driving at.  If you let the car idle for several minutes you'll feel this 2-minute hiccup.  87-later cars have don't have this sensor at all; they "compute" boost from RPMs and airflow sensor output.  And they have a dedicated atmospheric air pressure sensor added to the airflow sensor assembly.

* Throttle Position Sensor (TPS): this sensor outputs a voltage in proportion to how far you've got the gas pedal pushed... and the ECU monitors the CHANGES in the sensor output: when the voltage rises quickly, the ECU knows you've just "mashed the gas" and want to accelerate so the ECU commands extra fuel just like a carb's accelerator pump.  If the TPS voltage drops, the ECU knows you want to slow down so it shuts off the injectors for a while.  There is a little plastic arm between this sensor and the throttle plates that can bust; when this happens the TPS output stays constant so the ECU gets conflicting info (TPS says "we're not accelerating" while the airflow sensor output increases as the car tries to accelerate) resulting in poor acceleration and a lot of hesitation.  Just like a bad accelerator pump.

* ISC/MPS sensor: used for idle control.  Unless this thing is shorted out, it generally won't make a car not accelerate.

* idle switch on the end of the ISC: if it doesn't work, the idle will suck because the ECU will stay in "closed loop" mode optimizing emissions... leading to a lumpy idle.  If the switch shorts out, telling the ECU "throttle plates are at idle" even when you mash the gas, then the ECU is getting conflicting info again and I don't know what it'll do.  Probably anything but the correct thing though!

* Oxygen sensor: used by the ECU when the TPS is reading a constant output voltage (i.e. you're not accelerating or decelerating) and the boost pressure is low or zero - i.e. steady-speed around-town driving.  This sensor doesn't even work until it gets heated up by the exhaust which takes a couple miles typically.  Thus it's obvious it's not essential to making the car start or idle/run... it only allows the ECU to go into "closed loop" mode after you've driving a few miles.  Before that, the O2 sensor output is zero volts, the same as if it were unplugged.  When this sensor fails, or the wiring goes bad, the ECU stays in "open loop" which is a bit rich but the car runs perfectly fine, just as it does for the first few miles while the sensor is still warming up.  The MPG will suck with a bad O2 sensor...

Just about every one of those sensors can be easily tested with a basic digital multimeter (or "DVOM" as they're often called) including the dinky yellow or red ones sold at Harbor Freight Tools for 7 to 15 bucks depending on what sale price they're running this week.  There's no excuse to NOT have a multimeter when owning a StarQuest; without one you'll never be able to test these parts nor properly "calibrate" them (the ISC/MPS/TPS idle adjustment procedure in the FAQ).  Be glad such a simple meter works so well on a StarQuest... many modern cars require specialized test rigs that cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.  A digital meter, and maybe a cheap analog one as well (helps when doing the TPS "sweep test" since it's easier to see drop-outs or jerkiness in a moving pointer compared to watching numeric digits blinking), and a couple "AA" batteries in a holder allow you to test almost all of the sensors.

mike c

Edited by BuGG, 17 June 2018 - 10:37 PM.

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#18 Matt888

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 02:31 PM

Thanks!  I’ve done a few of those things already but will make sure I go through the whole list and report back.  Going to swap out the coil with another to check that... they have been known to act up when hot.

#19 Matt888

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 08:54 PM

I’m reading through some older threads on here and there seems to be some similarities between my symptoms and people having bad knock boxes.  I have an 86 with the plastic black knock box.  Only have a spare 89 good knock box, but I see some folks have had luck using this metal knock box in the earlier years.  Any way to stick the metal one in and not modify the 86 plug by chance?

#20 Matt888

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:51 PM

Ok, good progress made with the 86 diagnostics.  I made my way through several other areas of the engine compartment including replacing a marginal main fuse link (napa has fuse links in a pinch and I also ordered an OEM one), checked all vacuum lines, and temporarily jumpered in a good 89 knock box.  Still could barely drive the car.  

In desperation and near defeat, I swapped over my NGK spark plug wires from my MPI Conquest that runs great.  Immediately I noticed an improvement with the 86!  Crap plug wires...

I still have a very light hesitation and stumble below 3000 rpms, but much better and with a nice idle now.  I will drive it like this for the next week several times to gain even more confidence in the findings.  Iím thinking that the remaining issue below 3000 rpms could be the turbonetic injectors, so will try some other 850ccs in a week or two.

Edited by Matt888, 25 June 2018 - 06:52 PM.





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