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Schurkey

1998 Monte ABS, HVAC wiring, Air filter

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The ABS light on the dash has been on for awhile.  A popped tire, I think, tore the RF ABS harness.  I was too lazy to fix it right away.  I had the same problem on a '92 Lumina--RF sensor harness open to road splash.

What happens is that water gets inside the insulation of the broken wires, and corrodes the wire down towards the sensor, and up towards the engine compartment.  The corroded wire can't be soldered, solder won't stick to it.  And it's a mess to clean off with flux and heat.  If the wire corrosion is only a few inches, you can cut the section out and splice to clean wire.  In this case, the wire was rotted all the way down to the sensor connector, and all the way up to the engine compartment connector.  I disconnected that section of the ABS harness at both ends, and opened it up for inspection.  There was "no hope", so I visited my favorite Treasure Yard and grabbed a replacement harness complete with the bulkhead grommet that goes through the strut-tower.

Wheel sensor end of ABS harness.  Note corroded, blackened wire

Monte_ABS_01.jpg

 

Engine compartment end of ABS harness, almost to the strut-tower grommet.  Wire is still corroded black.

Monte_ABS_02.jpg

 

Replacement harness from Treasure Yard, including grommet and retainer clip where it goes through the strut tower

Monte_ABS_03.jpg

ABS repair entirely successful, I didn't even have to clear any codes.  I got in, drove it, and the ABS warning light turned itself off.  Scan tool shows all four wheel sensors providing the same vehicle speed to the ABS when I drive.

 

Next repair was due to a plugged air conditioning drain nipple (Duckbill).  The condensation wouldn't drain from the evaporator box.  When I'd take a left turn, the condensation would slosh into the blower fan and make noise, and also produce "fog" from the A/C vents.  If I'd gone under the car, found the silly little drain nipple very near the exhaust downtube, pulled it off and cleaned it, the water wouldn't have corroded the blower-motor resistor pack. 

Drain nipple, cleaned-out.  Pulling this off the stub-pipe on the firewall released about a quart of water--condensation from the A/C evaporator.

Monte_HVAC_01.jpg

By the time I got around to attending to this, the resistor connector had corroded so bad I couldn't get it off of the resistor pack, and there was no current flow through the resistors--so the fan speed switch had "off", "off 1", "off 2", "off 3" and "High". 

Monte_HVAC_02.jpg

 

Corrosion extends to the underside of the connector.  I couldn't get the connector to release--it's corroded together.

Monte_HVAC_03.jpg

Getting at the resistors is a bitch.  First I removed the interior hush panel on the far right side under the dash (two barbed connections hold it in place) and then there's three screws in the resistor pack WAY forward by the firewall, to the side of the blower motor.  The resistor pack faces "up", so there's almost no tool clearance to put a 7/32 socket on the screws next to the firewall.  Once I removed the corroded resistor pack I clipped the wire harness a few inches from the connector.  Again, the Treasure Yard supplied a replacement resistor pack and connector, with eight inches or so of wire harness. 

Monte_HVAC_04.jpg

I connected the replacement harness to the vehicle harness using a 4-prong weatherpack connector pair.   I could have soldered the wires directly, or crimped them without a connector.

 

Lastly, I decided that perhaps I should check the engine air filter.  No special reason, but I know I haven't done it in years.  Pulled an entire mouse-nest out of the filter box.  Car would still go 70 mph +.  There really didn't seem to be a problem with performance--but perhaps the next drive with a new filter will show improved performance I didn't know I was missing.

Monte_AirFilter_01.jpg

 

I gotta stop procrastinating on vehicle maintenance.  Each of these issues was made worse by not taking care of things right away.  Next up:  replace fuel filter, inspect spark plugs 'n' wires, inspect/replace radiator cap and coolant hoses.

Edited by Schurkey

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I've experienced all of those things with the Z34 and the old "Mouse in the air filter" restricted the air so much it destroyed the air Box... The box even had a ton of Acorns in it... The ABS was an EASY fix... I just took all of that SHIT off the car!!! I HATE ABS!!! Maybe a newer car or Mercedes or something would actually work... Older GMs always caused more trouble than it was worth... Driving in the snow (something I absolutely LOVE!!!) is the PITTS!!! when the ABS starts "stuttering" it's hard to  stop or even control the car... For me it's to my advantage to have a wheel or two to lock up when I need it... I can control how much and when lockup occurs... A friend of mine is into racing and takes numerous driving clinics such as Skip Barber school and safe driving courses for his job... He got into an argument with his instructor about ABS... They had 2 identical cars,,, one with ABS one without... Even on the Wet Skid Pad he consistently made faster more controlled stops with the NON ABS car... Maybe I was born too long ago but,,, most of these "Driver's Aids" are a waste of time/money... Gordon Murray didn't want ANY dreiver's aids when he designed The Mclaren F1... Nobody can fault THAT car!!! In it's day it shattered just about every record conceived!!! 243 MPH in a Normally Aspirated car is something that is nearly impossible to achieve ,,, even today,,, nearly 30 years later...

Well that's enough,,, I'm foaming at the mouth!!! I DO LOVE that car tho!!! I Think it's the best car EVER built!!!

AND I still HATE ABS!!!

Tom B...

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MOST drivers can't control the panic reflex to stuff their foot harder into the brake pedal, rendering the vehicle uncontrollable.

I see the advertising for vehicles with radar/sonar anti-collision monitoring, and I think "This is a car designed for people who can't drive."

 

Autonomous vehicles will make this situation much worse, very quickly.  We're already at or beyond "Peak driving skill".  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Edited by Schurkey

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Lotsa sh!t is gonna change when I become Emperor.  Among my first day's proclamations will be to E-N-D autonomous vehicle R&D, and to destroy all prototypes and existing vehicles.  Until every one of them is gone forever, the software and hardware engineers and their managers are personally liable for all collisions.

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Newest issues:

Monte wouldn't start when I came out from visiting Mom-in-Law.  Wouldn't crank--just clicked.  I immediately realized that I've had the car for four years and never put a battery in it.  Dear Old Dad never said anything to me about a battery when he was around.  I yanked it out, the date sticker on the side is saying it was made in 2010.  I put a new $160 NAPA battery in, and checked voltage.  So far, so good.  I obviously need to do a complete starting/charging power-team test soon.

Since I was dicking with the electrical system, I connected a scan tool "just for giggles".  The O2 sensor is showing single-digits for crosscounts:  0 to 7 is most common.  The engine still runs good, but clearly the sensor is probably original and lazy.  It's gotta go.  I just finished ripping four O2 sensors from my '97 K2500.  Three of them needed an Oxy-acetylene torch to get them to turn, and they all damaged the threads in the pipe.  I had to restore the threads before I could screw new sensors back in.

Not looking forward to that job on Monte.  The primary O2 sensor is kinda buried up by the engine, it'll be a mess trying to get the torch in there without burning the car down.  I didn't have too bad a time with the sensors on my first-gen Luminas, but they weren't nearly this old at the time.

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