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Old 04-30-2017, 09:09 AM   #1
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Help please 1995 Camaro 3.4L

I really do not know a lot about this car so some of my questions may seem simple. I tried searching for information in this forum before asking, but I don't know if my issues are the same. I don't know what an LT1 is, but I believe this is just a standard Camaro with some Z28 parts on it from what I am finding out.

We just got the car back from the auto shop. (there is still a lot wrong with it) When it is in park and we push on the gas it backfires as the RPMs go up. Sometimes white smoke comes out the exhaust when we are driving and it smells like gas. The RPMs also seem to run high (2000 when driving locally accelerating and then about 1100 when we let off the gas) to me when we are driving it around, but I don't know what really normal is for this car.

We replaced the spark plugs and wires and they said it had some vacuum leaks they fixed, as well. It doesn't seem right to me, yet so I am asking here.

Also where is the best place to get parts for this car? Most of the junk yards do not have any more.

Thank you for all of your responses.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Best place I've found to get parts for virtually any car is Rockauto. That's not an endorsement but they do have a great, wide selection of parts. I can't remember if that's where I ordered my vacuum line replacement last year.

On to your issues & questions...

First off an LT1 is an engine, it's a 350ci (5.7L) engine, but with some mods that make it different from an old school 350. Actually the Vortec 350 is more like a traditional 350. Z28s in 1995 had the LT1. If you have the 3.4L it is not a Z28.

White smoke could be coolant making its way through the exhaust. Smelling like gas makes me think your fuel is running too rich. Could be plugs even though you've replaced them -- what specific plugs did you put in there? How much white smoke? Is this only when the vehicle is up to operating temp, just at startup, or both? And how often is sometimes?

On the other hand, if you have coolant leaking into cylinders, it could be a bad sign of a head gasket failure or even a crack in the head. I've had to have my head gaskets replaced once, and the intake gaskets at a separate time. Both times it led to coolant mixing with the oil. When the head gasket went, this also resulted in misfiring. You might check the oil dipstick to see if it looks like oil or is thicker, milkshake-like. If it is milky, don't run that engine.

RPMs - we'd probably have to go back and forth a bit for me to understand what you mean by where the RPMs are. I mean it's all dependent on what gear you're in, how hard you're accelerating, etc. Are you expecting the numbers to be higher? Lower? For me, most of the time under normal driving it will shift at about 3,000 RPM. I have no idea what the RPM would be when I let off the gas.

In an automatic, you have a torque converter which allows the engine to run at a different speed than the input on the transmission.

Since you mentioned vacuum lines, let me ask you this, what idle speed do you get when first starting up? And what is it again when the engine is up to temp? (Both with the transmission in neutral or park, not in gear)
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:16 PM   #3
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Idle speed for a 3.4 is 1000RPM +- 100RPM.

Depending on your speed and your rear end gear ratio, your cruising RPM at highway speed (55-70MPH) will be between 1800 and 2200 RPM if I remember correctly from when I owned my 3.4.

White smoke is usually a sign of coolant or water mixing with your oil. The 3.4 is an over bored 3.1 with an all iron construction and is notorious for blowing head gaskets. Mine didn't blow until almost 210,000 miles, but I've heard of others blowing before the 100k mark.

Vacuum leaks will usually cause erratic idle and hesitation and will cause your engine to dump more fuel to keep a consistent air:fuel ratio of about 14:1. Your PCM can compensate for vacuum leaks up to a point, but once it can't your car will run terribly, gas mileage will plummet, and you should be getting SES lights.


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Old 04-30-2017, 12:20 PM   #4
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I also second the mention of RockAuto for replacement parts. They are usually cheaper than your big box stores like Advance or Oreilly's (even after discounts) and offer more options and better brands if you're willing to shell out for quality parts.

eBay and Craigslist are good for some parts, but remember that any used part may need machined before you install it. If you want to get really crazy, you can buy a new/remanufactured engine as well.


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Old 04-30-2017, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thank you plus responses

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoaRyan View Post
Best place I've found to get parts for virtually any car is Rockauto. That's not an endorsement but they do have a great, wide selection of parts. I can't remember if that's where I ordered my vacuum line replacement last year.

Thank you. I have used Rock Auto and Ebay thus far.

On to your issues & questions...

First off an LT1 is an engine, it's a 350ci (5.7L) engine, but with some mods that make it different from an old school 350. Actually the Vortec 350 is more like a traditional 350. Z28s in 1995 had the LT1. If you have the 3.4L it is not a Z28.

Very good information to know. I had a 350 in my 1974, but I had never heard the term LT1. Thank you.

White smoke could be coolant making its way through the exhaust. Smelling like gas makes me think your fuel is running too rich. Could be plugs even though you've replaced them -- what specific plugs did you put in there? How much white smoke? Is this only when the vehicle is up to operating temp, just at startup, or both? And how often is sometimes?

I thought it might be running too rich because of the gas smell, but you would have thought the auto shop would have fixed that issue, but who knows. As far as plugs, I have no idea the shop put them in so maybe I should replace them again. What brand do you recommend?

White smoke is usually after we have been driving, but when it happens the most when we are stopped at the light or stopping. Today it backfired after driving 50+ mph and then slowing down followed by the white smoke.


On the other hand, if you have coolant leaking into cylinders, it could be a bad sign of a head gasket failure or even a crack in the head. I've had to have my head gaskets replaced once, and the intake gaskets at a separate time. Both times it led to coolant mixing with the oil. When the head gasket went, this also resulted in misfiring. You might check the oil dipstick to see if it looks like oil or is thicker, milkshake-like. If it is milky, don't run that engine.

Ouch. I hope not, but I will look for leaks and check the consistency of the oil today.


RPMs - we'd probably have to go back and forth a bit for me to understand what you mean by where the RPMs are. I mean it's all dependent on what gear you're in, how hard you're accelerating, etc. Are you expecting the numbers to be higher? Lower? For me, most of the time under normal driving it will shift at about 3,000 RPM. I have no idea what the RPM would be when I let off the gas.

When we were driving 50-55 mph the RPMs were about 3000 with her foot pressing on the gas. They went down as she let off. I feel like it is making the engine work harder, but maybe it isn't and it just sounds loud because of the exhaust. It also shakes a little bit around 50 Mph.

In an automatic, you have a torque converter which allows the engine to run at a different speed than the input on the transmission.

I am familiar with a torque converter. I am assuming it is just the stock converter, but who knows for sure.

Since you mentioned vacuum lines, let me ask you this, what idle speed do you get when first starting up? And what is it again when the engine is up to temp? (Both with the transmission in neutral or park, not in gear)

We just tested it and at both park and neutral the RPMs are at 1000 both at first start up and when the temperature is at normal operating.


Thank you for your time making comments and suggestions.
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Old 04-30-2017, 04:27 PM   #6
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Thank you

Depending on your speed and your rear end gear ratio, your cruising RPM at highway speed (55-70MPH) will be between 1800 and 2200 RPM if I remember correctly from when I owned my 3.4.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BK047 View Post
Idle speed for a 3.4 is 1000RPM +- 100RPM.

It was running at 3000 RPM today at 50+mph


White smoke is usually a sign of coolant or water mixing with your oil. The 3.4 is an over bored 3.1 with an all iron construction a
Thank you. It was running about 3000 today.nd is notorious for blowing head gaskets. Mine didn't blow until almost 210,000 miles, but I've heard of others blowing before the 100k mark.

Thank you. I will have to check that out for sure.


Vacuum leaks will usually cause erratic idle and hesitation and will cause your engine to dump more fuel to keep a consistent air:fuel ratio of about 14:1. Your PCM can compensate for vacuum leaks up to a point, but once it can't your car will run terribly, gas mileage will plummet, and you should be getting SES lights.

Today, we are also having the problem where it is hard to start up. Once it is running it usually stays running, but starting takes about 3-4 times. I think the chip on the key may be worn if nothing else. No SES lights yet.Thank you for your responses and time. I really appreciate it.[COLOR="blue"]

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Old 04-30-2017, 07:05 PM   #7
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The misfire at 50mph is almost definitely plug related. Make sure they didn't damage the wires and that they are fully seated.

If it's a single plug, you can swap the coil for that plug to see if he misfire moves--that will tell you if it's plug or a bad coil



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Old 05-01-2017, 07:58 PM   #8
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I had another thought reading through the replies, and keanez your clarification about the RPMs @ 50mph+. I wonder if your torque converter isn't locking up. Mine will consistently lock at part throttle & 45mph. Above that, unless it disengages because I'm stepping on the pedal harder the RPMs will not vary.

My S10 was having trouble locking up and would shudder real bad at highway speeds, as a result the RPMs were up over 3k on the highway. I happen to know the S10 has a 3.42 gear ratio and my Camaro has 3.23, so the RPMs will be a little higher anyhow (with same transmission gears and wheel size), but when operating properly it should have been at around 2500. I can check tomorrow exactly what it is on the Camaro @ 55mph.

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The misfire at 50mph is almost definitely plug related. Make sure they didn't damage the wires and that they are fully seated.

If it's a single plug, you can swap the coil for that plug to see if he misfire moves--that will tell you if it's plug or a bad coil
Good point - no pun intended since we're talking about plugs, lol. There are 3 coils so one could easily be acting up. Also wires tend to burn when they touch hot things...
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoaRyan View Post
I had another thought reading through the replies, and keanez your clarification about the RPMs @ 50mph+. I wonder if your torque converter isn't locking up. Mine will consistently lock at part throttle & 45mph. Above that, unless it disengages because I'm stepping on the pedal harder the RPMs will not vary.

My S10 was having trouble locking up and would shudder real bad at highway speeds, as a result the RPMs were up over 3k on the highway. I happen to know the S10 has a 3.42 gear ratio and my Camaro has 3.23, so the RPMs will be a little higher anyhow (with same transmission gears and wheel size), but when operating properly it should have been at around 2500. I can check tomorrow exactly what it is on the Camaro @ 55mph.


Good point - no pun intended since we're talking about plugs, lol. There are 3 coils so one could easily be acting up. Also wires tend to burn when they touch hot things...
Thank you so much. I appreciate your time. I am taking it back to the shop tomorrow night to drop it off with my list of issues after the guy comes to replace the headliner. At least now with everyone's tips and suggestions I know they will not be giving me the run around. Hopefully,
we can get these issues resolved. I am guessing we are going to have a head gasket issue though anyway. I am hoping for the best with the least amount of money put out. Again, thank you for your responses and the for humor, as well.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #10
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Meant to get you this info sooner, I got wound up with getting my truck back from the transmission shop and driving it for a few days! Alright, at 55mph, with the torque converter locked, I'm sitting at about 1650 RPM. If it's winding up beyond that it would indicate the lockup isn't taking place. On the highway roughly 70mph, it's around 2000. Tire size is 245/50/16.

By contrast my truck, with slightly taller tires, 70mph is just under 3000.

Any progress on your work?
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