[200q20v] Final Update on 200 problems (long)

Gronberg fussball_200 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 13 19:58:00 EST 2001

As some may recall, back in November, I had some problems with my car- here is a
quick synopsis of what I have already posted, and then a continuation on what
happened afterward. 

 Late November: Car would not start after we had excessive rainfall for 4 days..
Finally pop started the car- and tried to drive to the dealership (45 mins away)
Made it about half way- car coughed the cats up through the exhaust. Red hot metal
chunks all over I-96, and a car that wouldn't run anymore. Towed to dealer, who
replaced distributorcap (due to heavy crossfiring). Also quoted $2400 for new cats.
Drove car home (ran fairly well). Got new cats @ Lentz for $375 or so. 

 Early December: No run situation again, after hard rain. Result, drive car to
dealer. Car used half a tank of fuel in 20 miles,  coughing plumes of black smoke
(think bonfire) the whole way. Fueled car up, but would not start after fuel-up.
Towed car to dealer. Dealer worked for a few days- found a lot of gasoline in the
crankcase. Compression tested- turned out perfect. Dealer calls, and says they
refuse to work on the car any more because it smokes to much. Rent trailer and tow
car home. When started to move on to trailer- ran fine- no smoke. 

Mid December: Car sat at home for 2 days- then went to Holland Imports (these guys
are GOOD mechanics, except they wont do ECU work) They found the following problems.

-power steering pump leaking fluid 
-crankcase breather hose eaten away by pwr steering fluid ( go figure)
- O2 plugs connected improperly (this was something the DEALER did...)
- plastic radiator connecter (to the upper hose) broke during servicing. 

They fixed this stuff, but the car still did not run properly. They ran tons of
diagnostics- and finally took the ECU out of my 200 20v and put it in another 200
20v. The 2nd car developed similar probelms to mine (in its case- intermittant
condition of running very rich, which is what mine was doing after thier initial
work) They recommend a new ECU. Since I just got an ECU upgrade by Keith Anderson
about a month or two before my problems started- I sent the ECU back to Keith for
further diagnostics. He opened it up, and guess what? Remember the heavy rains in
November? I had an inch of water in my ECU. Not good. Result, new (used) ECU from
Bernie Benz  (thanks again, Bernie!) New ECU recieved- Car runs PERFECTLY

So now- I am back to a stock ECU, but Keith said the upgrade boards were not damaged
by the water- so eventually the chip will go back into the car. 

How did the water get in? A wierd situation. The heater flap (the one with the
spring that always breaks and makes foggy windows) has a twin above it (either one
or the other is always open- unless the aforementioned spring is broken) the gasket
had deteriorated away on the flap- and water had entered/ It then fell in- ran down
a trim peice that acted like a water duct, and placed th water squarely between the
upholstery covering the ecu and the side of the car. The plastic bag usually
covering the ecu had been torn by one of the POs- so there were a few holes in it.
Enough water got in to damage the ECU severely. I also found two drainage holes (or
something like that) above the inner heater flap- which I covered in duct tape. I
have a new upper flap on order from the dealer ($25) and will put that in as soon as
I recieve it. In the interiem I have made an overhang over the flap to make sure no
more water gets in the car- and if it does- i have recovered the ecu with a better
plastic baggy. On a side note- my cruise went sour on me today- and the engine was
stuck at 4k rpm and would not slow down (aside from up-shifting, in which case I
would get <gasp!> unintended acceleration)  I got home, and I removed the criuse
control rod, which had gotten fouled. I will follow that up more tomorrow. 

At least now my car actually RUNS, just fix the cruise and I will hopefully be set!

      That's All for now ,

            John Gronberg

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