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97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power

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New User

Sep 17, 2009, 1:26 PM

Post #1 of 5 (10594 views)
97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power Sign In

I have a 1997 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L that runs very rough & has no power as a constant condition. It idles as if it will stall but doesn't & is worse at op. temp. 171,000 miles on it & have tested & replaced many things. The only code is P0300. The engine light does not come on. Compression is 215-220-220-225. Fuel pressure at idle is 40, revving the engine, it goes up to 45. There is fuel spray in each cyl as well as spark to each cyl. Engine runs even worse when any 1 of the 4 plugs is disconnected. Vacuum gauge fluctuates rapidly around 10 +/- 4 at idle (500 - 600 rpm), at 1200 rpm it reaches 13 +/-2.
Here's what's been replaced, one at a time with litttle or no improvement: (coil packs & forward O2 sensor by previous owner) plugs & wires, crank sensor, TPS, MAP, ETC sensor, fuel filter, cat. conv. removed (inspected & is normal) & replaced with straight pipe, ECM replaced (& programmed to my VIN), gas replaced with fresh 90 octane. After a 20 mile drive, the engine light did not come on but I did retrieve a code P0172, indicating a rich fuel condition. Short fuel trim varies between -10 & -34 %. I can provide some more detailed info if needed, any ideas?

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DanD profile image

Sep 17, 2009, 1:38 PM

Post #2 of 5 (10559 views)
Re: 97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power Sign In

Install in fuel tank filler neck and run!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
OOPS; forgot to add light fuse.Blush

Have you checked ERG valve that it’s not leaking exhaust into the intake?


Canadian "EH"

(This post was edited by DanD on Sep 17, 2009, 1:48 PM)

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Sidom profile image

Sep 17, 2009, 3:13 PM

Post #3 of 5 (10541 views)
Re: 97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power Sign In

Hmmmmm gotta think about this.....

stft is low. What is the long term trim? Vacuum is low. Compression seems a bit high.

If you have a data stream go ahead and post it.

Obviously it's running rich..... Any black smoke out the back?


New User

Sep 17, 2009, 6:40 PM

Post #4 of 5 (10529 views)
Re: 97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power Sign In

EGR was removed & inspected for carbon build-up or stuck open. There was minimal carbon & it's not stuck open or closed. Also, checked intake & brake booster for vacuum leaks & found none. I have considered dynamite but not ready to give up just yet.

New User

Sep 17, 2009, 7:41 PM

Post #5 of 5 (10528 views)
Re: 97 chevy 2.2 runs rough & no has power Sign In

Long term fuel trim is 0.0 I thought compression seemed a little high but I'm not sure if this engine has been rebuilt or replaced, anyway, I bought a new compression gauge & got the same numbers, within 5 psi at each cylinder of the previous test. A friend followed me home from a 20 mile drive & said there was absolutely no smoke at all from the exhaust, accelerating from a stop, uphill (will only go 10 to 15 mph uphill) or decelerating. I haven't seen any smoke either, cold or hot start-ups & revving the engine...nothing. Oil & antifreeze are both clean & full
Should have mentioned it before, another finding on the scanner was the Load %: 35 - 39.6
Tried running the engine with the EGR unplugged, doing so tripped the engine light & DTC P0107, then recovered this freeze frame data: Fuel sys1 CL Load % 39.6 ETC 100*F ShrtFT1 -10.9% LongFT1 0.0% MAP 3.0inHg RPM 925
Later I borrowed a better scan tool (Snap-On Solus Pro) to get live data at op temp: TPS .67 O2 200 - 800 MAP 2.26 ST -14 to -30 Bar 4.82 INT 93% Inj. Pulse 2.5 - 30 IAC 24 RPM 500 - 600 Fuel Ind. 0% Fuel trim cell 21 Load 35 - 37% EGR 0% Spark advance 0 - 200 ETC 195 Increasing the throttle caused the timing to retard.
I checked the cam chain for excessive play by removing the valve cover & checking valve movement as I turned the crank over back & forth by hand. Movement of the valves was immediate when changing direction of the crank, definitely no slop in the chain. Also, fuel pressure regulator was replaced & all 4 injectors are working as fuel spray can be seen in each cyl. with plugs removed. The plugs have all been burning evenly but the last time I pulled the plugs I noticed a little bit of carbon on the tips of plugs 1 & 4, since they both share a coil pack, I thought there might be a problem there.

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