I have a question concerning paint schemes. I own a '94 Arctic White coupe that I purchased last year. It has been repainted sometime in the past, but I'm not sure how much of the car was repainted. My question pertains to the front parking/turn-signal light area. I see most C4s with this area painted black, regardless of the body color. Was this an option at the factory or dealership? I have seen very few with this area painted the same color as the body. Can you tell me what the factory paint scheme was intended to be?
Richard, Via e-mail
It looks like I'd better get ready for some feedback on this one. To my knowledge, the assembly line cars had the area painted black between the parking lights and the marker lights. I've looked at many C4s over the years, and to my best recollection, all of them had the area black. I have seen some custom cars that were painted the car color in this same area because they like the look, and that's fine with me. Subtle touches usually make the most impact when done correctly.
All of the literature I have shows no GM option to have that specific area painted the car color. If any readers have seen literature that states that was an option, let us know and we'll let everyone know.
My car runs great when it is running. The problem is the car may start or it may not. No spark and no fuel. Personally, I think it is the security system, but I am not sure. Is there a way to disable the security system so that I can use the car until I can locate the problem? I have not ruled out the ignition module in the distributor. I have not replaced it just yet, but the plan is to do so. Also, there is a faint beep inside the car while sitting in it and the engine not running. Is it part of the security system?
Mingo, Green River, Wy
If the starter turns the engine over-which from your description is happening-you can rule out the security system. The '84 and '85 Corvette antitheft system made noise and prevented the starter from engaging if the doors were breached, and the alarm went into antitheft mode. The system did not disable fuel or spark until the '86 Corvette was introduced with the pellet in the key. You can drive the car down the highway with the alarm honking the horn as long as the starter is jumped and the engine turns over to start the car.
The no-spark and no-fuel issue sounds like the ignition module is the culprit because a distributor pulse must be sent to the ECM (electronic control module) for the fuel-injector pulse. Keep in mind that something as simple as the Batt wire connector at the distributor could also have an intermittent connection causing the no-start. Another possibility is the distributor pickup coil has a bad connection at the module
The first test is to make sure you have 12-volts at the distributor Batt terminal, and then check the white distributor tach wire for a pulse with a test light while cranking. Connect the test light to ground and touch the test light probe to the tach wire. If there is no pulsating light, check the connections in the distributor. If they're OK, replace the module. The easiest way to check for distributor voltage and the pulsating light is to remove the ignition coil cover and the coil leads will be exposed.
You said there was no fuel either. Was this checked at the fuel injectors for a pulse? If the fuel injectors had no pulse, then the ignition could cause the problem. Or could there be no fuel pressure because the fuel pump wasn't working? For your info, the fuel pump only comes on for 2 to 3 seconds at start-up to charge the system, then the oil pressure switch takes over once oil pressure is above 3-5 psi. If you have no spark and the fuel pump isn't working at all, I'd check the ECM harness at the firewall and into the car for a broken wire that has an intermittent connection. Usually when this occurs, you can wiggle the ECM wire harness, and the car will shut down; another wiggle, and it starts and runs fine. The peculiar thing is it would require two wires to be failing at the same time, which is certainly possible but not likely.