1996 3.8 v6 Sputter while acc., ticking noise!

10-04-2009, 12:15 PM
hi guys, i have a 1996 3.8 Firebird, and Well, i guess ill start from the beggining, about 2 months ago, i started up my car one day, as i was trying to starting it it made a huge THUMP noise, then died, had to jump start, then i noticed i had a loss of power, cat was clogged, before i replaced the cat, i replaced my plugs with e3 gapless plugs, replaced cat, noticed i still had loss of power, then, many other engine problems started, and i was trying to fix the loss of power at the same time, things such as, lower intake gasket, fuel filter, plug wires, egr valve, maf sensor, all o2 sensors, radiator (it leaked), cleaned injectors, and had fuel pressure tested, and some other things i cant remember, and yet nothing... then i replaced the gapless e3 plugs, and that gave me most of my power back not all, and now, well, and i still have a couple of problems left to fix yet, and one of them is a tapping, clicking, whatever you wanna call it. but anyways, when im cruising going bout 30mph, and it goes into a higher gear (i think 3rd), it starts to shake and like miss on me until i let off the gas a bit, like sputter, and when im on the highway, going about 55mph, its really really noticible, it just misses very frequently, like really bad, but when i put on the cruise it stops. it also does this at idle, in a nutshell though, it just misses, or sputters, kinda like missing a heartbeat, or a piston not firing at all or at the wrong time, it vibrates really bad when it does, even at idle. any help will be greatly appriciated, long i know, sorry, BUT I REALLY WANT TO FIX THIS PROBLEM! any help is very very greatly appriciated, Thanks.

10-23-2009, 08:39 PM
What do you have for DTCs? I got a problem with my 97 3.8 auto. P0303 which is a misfire on cylinger 3. Replace plugs, wires, coil. Engine overheated real bad prior to this as water pump was leaking on trip home from seller and I should have stopped earlier. Hoping injector partially plugged due to heating as it is in the middle of front and rear cylinders. May have fuel rail cleaning done $80 at PB. After that will pull the injector and swap with other one. Will do a compression test to front and rear cylinders.. maybe might be slight head gasket leak allowing antifreeze into cylinder.

My wires and plugs were a mess when I got the car. Now runs well above 2k but at idle, it seems to miss.

Have you replace these easy items first?

10-25-2009, 11:23 PM
Well, if you got the right plugs gapped to proper specs, could be your wires. What type of wires did you get? Cause I never heard of those 'e3 gapless' plugs that sounded like a waste of money.
Could be a lifter tapping or an exhaust leak, they both result in a tapping noise.
But it sounds like an electrical problem, a miss fire. Check your distributor, maybe get a new cap and rotor.

11-07-2009, 02:41 PM
first and formost, your car does not have a cap or a rotor. it has coil packs and a crank sensor. the ticking noise you are prob hearing is a small valve/sensor located under the hood,passenger side,up under the winshield. it will have one plug and some hoses attached. it makes a loud ticking sound from idle to w.o.t. when you start the car and its ticking just feel the sensor and you will feel it. obviously there are many things that can make a tick,but i had the identical problem. 55 bucks at the dealer, cant remember what they called it. you will need the numbers off the side of the valve, it does make a difference. they look the same but they read different. best bet,bring it with you. as far as your misfire, sounds like wires, the coils, the module(what the coils attach to) or the crank sensor. i would lean to wires,or a coil pack. hope this helps.

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