Where we last left off...

Alright! Time for some more dumpster fire troubleshooting! When we last left off the dumpster fire arrived home on the back of a tow truck and was summarily ignored in favor of getting ready for Halloween. Exiting the Saab meet we knew two things: the fuel filter clogged up (but was repaired in the field) and there was a vacuum leak somewhere.

The Vacuum Leak

My first step was to begin investigating all of the wondrous fittings, hoses, and pipes that make clean air go, get compressed, and then shot into the engine where, hopefully, it is mixed with fuel. Unfortunately, all I found was a single, unimportant, disconnected vacuum hose. I plugged it and tried various starting methods, including manually manipulating the air plate, but still wasn’t getting any traction.

I’m not sure how I happened upon it, but why staring with hate love in my eyes at the throttle body, I noticed a... problem. The problem.

The fucking idle screw was missing! No idea when the little bastard decided to work its way out, but I now recall my idle seemed to creep up over the course of the drive. I’m betting I finally died when it fell out.


Ok jammed a bolt in there until I could find the correct part tried again, but I still didn’t have any luck starting.

The Distributor

All of my problems started, or so I thought, after I pulled the tach signal out of the distributor. After doing so, we noticed one of the wires was badly frayed and likely was not making good contact. Unable to solve this in the field, this was my next project.


Long story short on this one, but I quickly realized that the “frayed wire” with “no insulation” was actually the shield, despite it having a little bit of insulation towards the strain relief. Once I realized this, I had already damaged it a bit, so I spliced in a crappy repair and wrapped the whole thing in high temp electrical tape. I also went ahead and cleaned and tightened the contacts for good measure.


After that, I went to fix the oil in distributor problem. This was mostly easy, just needing to pull the distributor off (simple three bolts) and replace the o-ring. Unfortunately, while I did have a new cap and rotor, I forgot to buy a new o-ring. Luckily Oriely’s sells a generic “distributor o-ring pack” and it had one that was good enough. I flushed the cap and rotor with brake cleaner, reinstalled my replacement dust cap, and put everything back together.


To the surprise of no-one, I still had no start. NEXT!

Fuel Supply

Ok, so my pressure seems to come and go and the fuel pump sounds... weird. I figured it could be one of three things: filter, feed pump, or strainer.


To make a very long story short, when I went to check the flow out of the main pump I was shocked to get excellent flow. Until I suddenly didn’t. Yup. It went from good flow to suddenly none. So, either a problem with the pumps, or the filter.

Ignore the sludge, I do. The tank itself was actually pretty clean!


I went to check the feed pump and... nothing. Nada. Dead. Fineto.

Conclusion (for now)

Well I didn’t have a replacement feed pump, but one should be here tomorrow. I had a hunch that was the problem, so I ordered one a few days ago. Hopefully I’ll have time to install before I go camping this weekend.


Also hopefully it solves the problem, but we both know it won’t.

Burn on, little dumpster fire.