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First Time Vette Owner

 
Old 05-13-2019, 09:04 PM
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Roger Sterling
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Good evening all,

A couple weeks ago, my Dad passed away, and left me his 88 Vette; Red, 118k miles, ZR-1 wheels(not a ZR-1 Car). It needs(hopefully) a little work, but all in all it seems to be in great shape. As the title states, this is my first Vette, and I know little to nothing about Vettes besides hearing him talk about them. With that being said, I am very excited to have the car! I am fairly mechanically inclined and my son is also into motor sports/hot rods so I'm pumped for us to have a "thing" to like together.

My questions are:

1: The car currently won't start. It will crank, and has zero fuel pressure at the rail. I'm assuming a fuel pump would be a good place to start? Looks like a fairly simple repair... tell me you can take the pump out without dropping the tank? (fingers crossed)

2. Just in general, what are some good things to know... good and bad about this era and this particular year car?

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints. I'm excited to be on this forum as well as the Corvette community! I'm the type of person that jumps in with both feet to any new adventure, so my quest to learn everything about Corvettes starts today!

Thanks again, have a great night.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Sterling View Post
Good evening all,

A couple weeks ago, my Dad passed away, and left me his 88 Vette; Red, 118k miles, ZR-1 wheels(not a ZR-1 Car). It needs(hopefully) a little work, but all in all it seems to be in great shape. As the title states, this is my first Vette, and I know little to nothing about Vettes besides hearing him talk about them. With that being said, I am very excited to have the car! I am fairly mechanically inclined and my son is also into motor sports/hot rods so I'm pumped for us to have a "thing" to like together.

My questions are:

1: The car currently won't start. It will crank, and has zero fuel pressure at the rail. I'm assuming a fuel pump would be a good place to start? Looks like a fairly simple repair... tell me you can take the pump out without dropping the tank? (fingers crossed)

2. Just in general, what are some good things to know... good and bad about this era and this particular year car?

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints. I'm excited to be on this forum as well as the Corvette community! I'm the type of person that jumps in with both feet to any new adventure, so my quest to learn everything about Corvettes starts today!

Thanks again, have a great night.
FP replacement is easy, it comes out of the tank through the top. I would replace the filter as well, especially if the car has sat for any length of time.
Welcome to the club, post some pics when you can.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:18 PM
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Condolences on your dad's passing.
Congrats on your "new" '88 Vette and welcome to the Forum.

Indeed sounds like your '88 has a fuel delivery issue, Could be a faulty pump or power to the pump, bad FPR.
If the dash shows fuel level on the display I'd guess it's a pump issue. Remove the vac. line from plenum to FPR to check for a gas smell from the FPR.
If the FPR seems ok I'd replace the pump & sock.

If your dad turned wrenches on his Vette look for the (2-volume red) FSM in his documents. It is an invaluable aid in trouble shooting a Vette.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:49 PM
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Roger Sterling
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Thanks for the replies! Regarding a "FSM"... I did find this at the house, is this what you're talking about?

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Old 05-14-2019, 02:50 PM
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That's the FSM (factory service manual). Probably the most useful thing you'll ever own for your corvette.

Last edited by flyingvette; 05-14-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:03 PM
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As 65Z01 said, it could be a power issue so checking the fuses might be a good idea. There is a panel on the passenger side of the dash (hidden by the closed door) and another under the hood by the battery.
Good luck, I am excited for you and your son to get cracking on this family car and have fun together
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:46 PM
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Yes sir, that is the part of the FSM that covers the mechanicals as well as diagnostics for your '88 Vette.
There is also a companion document, the Electrical Supplement, about 1/3-1/2 that thickness which contains all the electrical data on the car.
In 1988 the FSM came in those two volumes. In other years the FSM came with all the info in a single volume.

Those two volumes are indispensable aids when doing diagnostics, maintenance on your '88 Vette.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:33 AM
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Here's a couple of thoughts. On the fuel pump, you need to check the fuse and if it's good trace the wire and see if there's a break in it between the fuse block and the pump. When you turn the key on you should hear it run initially for a couple of seconds. There's a shrader valve on the fuel rail on the engine you can hook up a mechanical fuel pressure gauge to the rail and see if there's an indication of fuel pressure. If the pump runs but no indication of pressure, you could have a plugged fuel filter also. There are also tools at places like NAPA that can pinch off rubber lines, though I've heard of people using a couple of blocks of wood and a vice grip to do the same thing. Find a rubber portion of the fuel return line and pinch it off, now turn the key on and see if you have fuel pressure. If you do then it's likely the FPR that's failed.

Just some thoughts, Good Luck.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Sterling View Post
Good evening all,

A couple weeks ago, my Dad passed away, and left me his 88 Vette; Red, 118k miles, ZR-1 wheels(not a ZR-1 Car). It needs(hopefully) a little work, but all in all it seems to be in great shape. As the title states, this is my first Vette, and I know little to nothing about Vettes besides hearing him talk about them. With that being said, I am very excited to have the car! I am fairly mechanically inclined and my son is also into motor sports/hot rods so I'm pumped for us to have a "thing" to like together.

My questions are:

1: The car currently won't start. It will crank, and has zero fuel pressure at the rail. I'm assuming a fuel pump would be a good place to start? Looks like a fairly simple repair... tell me you can take the pump out without dropping the tank? (fingers crossed)

2. Just in general, what are some good things to know... good and bad about this era and this particular year car?

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints. I'm excited to be on this forum as well as the Corvette community! I'm the type of person that jumps in with both feet to any new adventure, so my quest to learn everything about Corvettes starts today!

Thanks again, have a great night.
My deepest condolences on the passing of your father

Can you hear the fuel pump energizing when you turn the key to on?
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:51 PM
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Roger Sterling
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Update, no sound when I turn the key on, but I do have a steady ~12 volts when cranking and for a second or two when the key is first turned on. I'm thinking at this point it's probably a slam dunk to do a fuel pump and fuel filter for good measure?
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Sterling View Post
Update, no sound when I turn the key on, but I do have a steady ~12 volts when cranking and for a second or two when the key is first turned on. I'm thinking at this point it's probably a slam dunk to do a fuel pump and fuel filter for good measure?

Most likely the pump. But what you can try since you can pull the pump without dropping the tank is hotwire the pump while still in the tank. Apply a 12V jumper wire to the harness and see if the pump runs. If the pump runs then you probably have a fuel pump relay or harness issue. Your service manual should tell you which wire is the hot.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:55 AM
  #12  
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When you do the FP, don't forget the sock that fits the bottom of the pump as well as a new retainer gasket.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:44 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by flyingvette View Post
That's the FSM (factory service manual). Probably the most useful thing you'll ever own for your corvette.
Absolutely. A must if you can turn a wrench on these cars.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:42 PM
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Roger Sterling
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IT'S ALIVE!!!!! Fuel pump did the trick. Went ahead and changed the sock and inline filter, and cleaned out the gas tank(it was NASTY).

Time to get some new tires, and take her out for a cruise! Any thoughts on a good after market exhaust system? I want my neighbors to KNOW when I'm coming home

Thanks so much for the help everyone, my journey as a Vette owner has begun!

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Old 05-17-2019, 02:05 PM
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I think you should be respectful of your neighbors (and everyone else) when considering a replacement exhaust system.
There are plenty of quality performance exhausts available that are not abusive to innocent bystanders. Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:55 PM
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My apologies for the way you came into Corvette ownership, but welcome to the forums!!

There are several good exhaust systems for these cars. Do some YouTube searches and you can get a feel for the sound you like. I ended up going with muffler eliminators and couldn't be happier, especially for the price. Great sound at start-up, idle and acceleration and very little drone.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:05 AM
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:01 PM
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Roger Sterling
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Thanks so much for the help so far.. now what can you tell me about headlights???

When I turn on the headlights, the passenger's side flips up perfect, and the driver's side flips up about half way then stops... If you turn the **** on top of the motor that actuates the headlights, you can get the light to manually roll to the "lights on" position, but that's only a one time fix since the lights retract back when you turn them off.

Not sure if this has already been covered, if so please direct me to the right place? Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:13 PM
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Make sure the screw to the cover is not out half way, it actually chipped my hood.
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:42 PM
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Get the headlights into the fully up "lights on" position and disconnect the motor wire connection. The headlights will always stay up even when you turn the switch off. Yes this is less than ideal but it's better than opening the hood and screwing the motor every time. Just a temporary solution until you can fix it properly.
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