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Automotive/1980 eldorado fuel injection


Im thinking of buying a 1980 eldorado H&E convertible conversion.Owner states car ran great before a small engine fire in the area immediately in front of the passenger that was due to a tranny fluid leak.He repaired everything with mostly used parts,now the car is hard starting and idles ok at first but upn warming up bucks and stalls.Im told ecm and other electronic parts are hard to find and for that reason,many have been converted to 4 bbl carbs.I assume I would need carb,manifold,fuel pump(s),(inj cars have 12-14 psi carbs about 6-7psi),linkage,from a 368 carb deville.I just dont know if the tranny on this thing will except the tranny linkage of the deville or if changing the tranny is also required?
Also does any aftermarket replacements for the transistor fuel inj. ecu and sensors exist?I cant imagine trying to find these parts used.Its a sort of rare car but not extremely  valuable so Im trying to figure out if its worth the cost of repair.(It could use about $2000 in cosmetics also)...thanks

I have no info on GM products, but I would make a general suggestion that effectively echoes one cardinal rule of troubleshooting: "check the history!"   ... this alludes to going through the maintenance log on a piece of equipment when a problem surfaces to see what was done in the time leading up to the problem.  In this case, there likely is NOT a log, but this car DOES have a recent history, one worth looking at in detail ...

In the case of your car, given its recent "adventure" and previous owner's attempt to recover from that, I would think that the most productive approach would be two pronged, one task being to check out each of the used replacement components, and the other to see if anything got missed in assessing the fire damage.  In regard to the first, used parts are just fine as long as they have been fully inspected, tested where possible or practical, and qualified by their supplier as being serviceable.  In respect to the second, some damage that can be missed on cursory inspection could be carbonised insulation, which can cause leakage paths which can spoil signal integrity.  Similarly, connectors or even devices which may appear on the surface to be okay, ie: not visibly burned, could nonetheless have developed intermittent connections or overheated semiconductors respectively; both can cause compromised and/or unreliable operation rather than just non-operation, the latter being the easiest to find.

This may be a real challenge to solve!  On the other hand, it could just as easily be one simple warped connector or previously unseen breach in the insulation of a wiring bundle that, once repaired or replaced, banishes the problem.  Most problems have simple causes.

Sorry not to get onto this earlier; I am on a working Christmas break, using the time to get four major deliverables out of the way for next week.  Two down, two to go.

Good luck ... EGK


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Ernest (Ernie) Kenward


The challenges I most enjoy are thoughtful technical questions of a trouble-shooting nature in both electrical, power electronic and mechanical systems, mainly automotive but also machine control and small-machine PLC applications. Please note, however, that I am NOT a walking shop manual! I DO, however, make it a point to have those manuals and other service literature for those vehicles I DO own, and highly recommend that anyone serious about maintenance or modification of their vehicles do the same; MOST of your answers WILL be found there. For that matter, I do NOT go out of my way to acquire shop manuals for any vehicle I do NOT own! That being the case, any general query to me along the lines of "What is the meaning of this code read from the ECU of my 2015 XYZ?" or "Where is the fuse for the windshield washer pump found?" (try your car's electrical distribution panel for a start!) will not go far. What I do offer is a pretty good collection of literature, insights and hands-on experience with 1950s to 1980's Ford products (plus a developing database of information and practice with the Mercedes diesel cars), along with an engineering perspective and the ability to design and implement custom control, electrical and mechanical subsystems for vehicles. For that reason, I am happy to make my thoughts and efforts available to those who are of like mind and/or are seriously making a point of learning about their vehicles. Use the Opportunity to Learn!


A key skill in my work and hobby pursuits both is STRATEGIC TROUBLESHOOTING. I am a senior instructor in Electrical Engineering Technology at a leading Canadian polytechnic, my areas being Electrical Power and Industrial Control, electrical and electronics design and manufacturing, and AutoCAD and related CAD/CAE software - plus equipment problem-solving and new equipment design and prototyping. Hobby-wise, I have 30-plus years of experience in auto restoration, mostly in electrical and mechanical systems. Ongoing projects include a 1959 Edsel Corsair, my 1978 Ford E250 class-B motorhome conversion, and the care and upkeep of my Mercedes 300CD. My vehicles become engineering test beds for electrical and mechanical upgrades as ideas present themselves. This includes the design and production of circuit boards to restore or enhance features for which no OEM replacement parts are obtainable, or where better specifications or reliability can be had via newer concepts. Regarding the E250 RV conversion, I designed and continue to revise a custom power distribution system, managed by a Programmable Controller (PLC); this has made most revisions as easy as uploading new firmware as I develop it. The "mini" PLC is a powerful device for custom automotive control systems. One good example (there are many) would be the Moeller "Easy Relay"; these offer a wealth of control, monitoring and variable-and-status display options for such projects. A good example project which has worked well is that one for my RV noted above, which has been on the job - revised in firmware only - for a decade now. It is a load management and charging control system to avoid the sulfation-induced early failure that often befalls deep-cycle batteries used in RV power applications. The battery installed in 2003 lasted long enough to more tnan pay for the PLC that contributed to its longer life ... and the PLC will be there for the next battery as well!

IEEE - senior member ... past WCC Student Activities; SME - senior member ... past chair, greater Vancouver chapter chair 318; Edsel Owners' Club - have served in various capacities on chapter executive during seventies; have been Power and Driveline resource on the Edsel Owners' Club "E-team" for more than a decade.

Graduate of UBC

Awards and Honors
Certificates of appreciation from IEEE and SME for work in student and chapter activities

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