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 Page 1 of 2 12
Username Post: Problem with EGR Valve and/or ERG Solenoid        (Topic#200561)
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-08-08 04:58 PM - Post#1538009    

Truck is a 1987 350 TBI with 700R4. The truck had a bad engine in it when I bought it and I have install a new GM crate engine. I reused the intake, TBI, EGR, EGR solenoid from the old engine. I have removed the air pump and all associated pluming and plugged that vacuum line. The truck runs great now after sorting out the fuel pressure problems (thanks Vaughn). I took it for a spin on the highway the other day and the ECM set a trouble code for the EGR. I started looking around and found someone had put a ball bearing in the vacuum line that goes between the ERG solenoid and the EGR valve. I replaced the vacuum line and started the truck. Engine ran fine until it warmed up after about two minutes, then it started missing, no power, stalling.

Possible problems that I have thought of:
I have inadvertently connected the EGR to the wrong port on the EGR solenoid. I may have connected the EGR valve to the port on the solenoid for the air pump system and plugged the port that should go to the EGR valve.

EGR valve not operating. I don’t think that’s the problem, it’s obviously operating, that’s what’s causing the problem.

Have the wrong EGR valve installed on the engine. Clearly someone has worked on this system in the past and could have replaced the original EGR with the incorrect part.

Bad EGR solenoid


 
LMC Truck
Vaughn 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 15828

Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Reg: 08-08-04
10-08-08 05:32 PM - Post#1538025    
    In response to Don M

You have to be careful about what vacuum signal that you feed to the EGR. THe EGR is only supposed to be "open" when the motor is operating at running down the roadway speeds - in other words, when the throttles are at least partially opened - or not at idle speed.

If EGR gas is fed to the motor during idle, the motor will run rough and power will drop dramatically.

This is why you have to be fairly careful about how the vacuum lines are routed to the EGR - if it gets fed the wrong signal, well - you already know the result.

An EGR valve can also stick open and cause the same effect, even if the right signal is being fed to the valve. The pintle valve gets coked up, it sticks open and then feeds EGR gas to the motor all the time.

 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-08-08 05:47 PM - Post#1538038    
    In response to Don M

  • Don M Said:
Possible problems that I have thought of:
I have inadvertently connected the EGR to the wrong port on the EGR solenoid. I may have connected the EGR valve to the port on the solenoid for the air pump system and plugged the port that should go to the EGR valve.

EGR valve not operating. I don’t think that’s the problem, it’s obviously operating, that’s what’s causing the problem.

Have the wrong EGR valve installed on the engine. Clearly someone has worked on this system in the past and could have replaced the original EGR with the incorrect part.

Bad EGR solenoid



One port on the EGR solenoid should be left open; it's the vent. When new it has a little foam filter on it but I've never seen one still intact after a few years. The "TBI side" of the solenoid, where it gets vacuum from the TBI, just has the one port. Hook it to the supply on the passenger side base of the TBI unit from the injector harness. Then to the solenoid - figuring out which one is the vent and which is the supply to the EGR is easy: the nipple for the EGR has a barb on it to retain the hose, the vent does not.

Like Vaughn said, the EGR valve can stick open due to carbon crud. It could also have a weak or ruptured diaphragm.

As far as the incorrect valve, the TBI engines are very, very picky about them - the best way to ensure you have the correct one is to have the GM dealer look it up for you referencing your VIN. Compare the part number of the valve to the one in your truck. A word of caution: some EGR valve part #'s changed in the catalog/packaging; I bought one a while back that had a different part # on the box but the actual part had the correct # as my original.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-08-08 05:52 PM - Post#1538044    
    In response to Vaughn

Thanks for the response Vaughn, I value your advice greatly.

I don’t think the valve is sticking open, the engine runs fine if I plug the vacuum line to the to the EGR valve. Could I have the hoses to the EGR port and the air pump port reversed at the solenoid?


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-08-08 06:32 PM - Post#1538062    
    In response to Don M

Thanks for the response Richard, you and Vaughn are just geysers of great knowledge in my opinion. I owe you guys a beer!

I was very careful in noting where these vacuum lines were connected before I removed anything for the engine swap. From what you are saying the lines were not connected correctly before I got my hands into to mix. The next time I get a minute to look at this issue I will connect them per your instructions and see if that correct the problem. If that doesn’t solve the problem I will check with the dealer. Have you guys seen an abnormally high failure rate on the solenoids?


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-08-08 06:36 PM - Post#1538063    
    In response to Don M

In my experience, the valve itself goes bad far more often than the solenoid. I've personally never had a bad solenoid, and only read a few instances of it on the forums.

What I see more often are bad EGR valves, and the mess that sometimes results when people buy the parts house brand to replace it.

Of course since the one from the dealer is typically around $75, you'll want to be really sure it's bad before replacing it.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-10-08 01:52 AM - Post#1538821    
    In response to someotherguy

I've been having the same issue with my truck. Just off idle, under load, missing and sputtering like it had a flat spot. Out of gear, runs fine. More than that bit of throttle, runs fine. Try to start gently from a stop, it tries to stall.

The only odd part about it was until today it only seemed to act that way when damp, and if it was actually raining out it was worse than if it was just wet. Sometimes playing with the throttle could make it go away for a short time.

I pulled and plugged the EGR line and it solved the problem as far as the off-idle stumble. But if I go very far at highway speeds it throws the check engine light at me.


Would the EGR be sticking partly open to cause this problem?


I've noticed along with it I'm putting out a lot of oil from the rear of the pan somewhere - probably not related, unless the PCV is screwed up and crankcase pressure is making it blow oil out someplace, but the inspection cover for the torque converter I notice is just about rusted out and I think I should check the oil pan itself for rust up in behind the flexplate.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-10-08 07:12 AM - Post#1538945    
    In response to Bill K.b

In both cases, the EGR could not be seating all the way due to carbon build-up, or could be weak and opening too easily.

Bill, as far as your rear engine oil leak might be as simple as the valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gasket where it seals against the lifter valley, or the oil pressure sending unit could be bad. Another suspect is the rear main seal but it's often mistaken as the source for the oil leak when it was really the sending unit or intake manifold gasket.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-10-08 04:52 PM - Post#1539328    
    In response to someotherguy

Update…. I checked the vacuum connections per Richard’s instructions and I did have the EGR hose on the wrong port. I corrected that and started the engine, same symptoms. I’m now thinking I have a bad EGR or the wrong EGR. Going to get the correct EGR or at least the correct part number from the dealer.

I have a question. Could driving the truck with the EGR valve disconnected and the vacuum hose plugged account for my poor gas mileage? I only get about 9 to 10 MPG around town even though the truck runs great.

Vaughn and Richard, thanks so much for your help!!!

Don


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-10-08 05:02 PM - Post#1539330    
    In response to Don M

It could, to a degree; without the EGR functioning, you're more prone to preignition. If you get spark knock, the knock sensor will tell the ECM to retard the timing, costing you power, and MPG.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-10-08 05:21 PM - Post#1539341    
    In response to someotherguy

I'm thinking I'm going to hit the local U-pull-it first. An EGR is $5. Even if it only works a short time, it aught to confirm the problem.

If I park the truck with the right side wheels lower it seems to leak a bunch more... it drips when sitting with engine turned off. Oil filter (and presumably the oil pressure sensor) is on the left side. I don't think you could push enough oil out the valve cover gaskets to make puddles like this thing is leaving.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Vaughn 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 15828

Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Reg: 08-08-04
10-11-08 02:08 PM - Post#1539778    
    In response to Bill K.b

I doubt that the EGR would have that much effect on mileage, it's probably due to something else.

Make a point of checking the oil pressure port next to the distributor on the back of the motor. This is where the oil pressure sender (or oil pressure gauge piping) is connected on a SBC motor. Those senders do leak after enough years in service, and can create an amazingly hard to find oil leak. 10 minutes looking at that can save you hundreds of dollars and tons of time spent on replacing gaskets, rear main seals, etc. Also be sure to check that the oil filter is snugged up to the block, if you can take it off and make sure the 2 oil bypass bolts are tight that would be a good idea also.

If you still haven't found it, you can get an ultraviolet dye that you put in the oil, it will show you exactly where the leak is coming out.

 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-11-08 05:38 PM - Post#1539945    
    In response to Vaughn

As far as the MPG, keep in mind he said around town, which I take to be city/stop-and-go driving. 10-11 MPG isn't all that off for a TBI 5.7 truck. Retarded timing from pings due to a bad EGR could shave a tiny bit off an already not-so-great number. A slowly failing CTS or bad O2 sensor could contribute, as well.

At any rate, my point was, 10-11 city MPG on a TBI V8 truck really isn't "bad." The EPA rating for the 1987 Chevy C10 2WD 5.7 automatic was 12 city/17 highway.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-12-08 03:03 AM - Post#1540146    
    In response to someotherguy

On a truck with factory full gauges, is there going to be a sender on the back of the block? The gauge is electric. I'd bet that's the problem if that's the case. (I don't even want to imagine what a nightmare that would be to change out...)
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Vaughn 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 15828

Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Reg: 08-08-04
10-12-08 06:11 AM - Post#1540204    
    In response to Bill K.b

There is only one place to get oil pressure readings on a sbc, it is at the back of the block next to the distributor - so even if the sender is electric, it will still be on the back of the block in that location. The early electric senders have a tendency to be a little bigger than normal low-oil-pressure senders, btw.

They aren't actually hard to change out. Just unscrew old sender and put in new sender (with teflon sealing tape or compound put on it before installation). Sometimes taking the distributor cap off give you more access room. It should only take a few minutes.

 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-12-08 12:59 PM - Post#1540420    
    In response to Vaughn

The problem is getting in there to do it, unless you're tall and have long arms. I should have done it the day I changed out the hood...

Seems odd that so much oil would come out of there and there not be any change in readings on the gauge, had an 88 new style years ago and the gauge on that would occasionally fluctuate all over for no apparent reason. This thing will leave a thick puddle 9 inches long by 4 inches wide at the widest if it sits a couple three days.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-15-08 03:30 PM - Post#1543052    
    In response to Bill K.b

I went to the dealer today and per the GM parts system the engine should have this EGR: 17113372. He also mentions something about I may need a spacer or washer type device to get the correct spring tension. Does this sound correct to you guys? I have only pulled off a couple of EGR valves in my time but I don’t remember seeing anything like that.

By the way, they want $116 for the valve. I’m going to see if I can find one from one of the on-line places that sell OEM parts.


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-15-08 03:59 PM - Post#1543070    
    In response to Don M

That's an awfully familiar part # to me; it's probably the most common EGR used on the "regular" TBI 350's. Different emissions and tonnage will vary that # but that's the common one, if I'm remembering the number correctly.

The washers he was describing are the things that aftermarket EGR valves use in an attempt to mimic the OEM.

Last EGR I bought from the dealer was about $70 and change; that was maybe 2 years ago? Prices seem to be going up on everything.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-15-08 04:05 PM - Post#1543075    
    In response to someotherguy

GMs version of a bailout plan!

Don

 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-15-08 10:53 PM - Post#1543272    
    In response to Don M

See if they'll give you a cash discount, the dealer here did for me when I needed a rearend yoke last year.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-17-08 08:54 AM - Post#1544248    
    In response to Bill K.b

Rock Auto seems to have it for 67.79, best price I saw.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-21-08 03:52 PM - Post#1547144    
    In response to Bill K.b

Update number 2; new EGR valve solved the problem.

Being the curious type I took the grinder to the old EGR. I wanted to see what failed inside the unit and was expecting to see a broken spring. The spring and the diaphragm were intact. I unscrewed and removed the ½ inch or so round piece that is around the actual valve, broke the valve off the end of the shaft and pulled the shaft out. Looking closely at the shaft I could see the diameter of shaft had worn slightly smaller where goes through the cast iron piece. I removed the three screws that held the diaphragm to the cast iron piece and found a small triangular seal with a hole in the middle for the shaft. I put the seal back on the shaft and could see a considerable gap between the shaft and the seal and the seal was very brittle. This is what caused the unit to fail. The seal is in place so that you don’t have a vacuum leak when the valve is activated. The reason for this longwinded explanation is to caution everyone about possible damage that you can do to an EGR valve. I know is a common practice to put your fingers under the diaphragm and push it up to see if it moves freely when troubleshooting. Be very careful to make sure you move the diaphragm straight up. If you cock it to one side you can damage the seal.


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-21-08 04:29 PM - Post#1547170    
    In response to Don M

Don, glad you got it working properly and thanks for posting back with the solution - and also the dissection of the old valve.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-24-08 11:59 PM - Post#1549458    
    In response to someotherguy

Finally swapped out my bad EGR. Seems to run fine now, no off idle stumble.

Now, what is the correct way to take the old one off? The bolts seemed to be 1/2" but almost impossible to get on with anything but a box end wrench - but my box end kept slipping. So I ended up using a pry bar to bend the old EGR to where I could get a 1/4" drive socket on it.


The P/N on the actual one I put on is a couple digits off from the one that was on the truck, should I be concerned? I think one ends in 4, the other in a 6.


I looked all around and I still can't sort out where the oil leaks from, would seem like if it's coming out of the pressure sensor on the rear of the block, there'd be visible oil on the top of the trans case and other places which I don't see (it seems to all collect on the bottom of the oil pan and drip off that). I can't even see where the sesnor is located, or even a wire lead going to it. Does anyone have a photo of a motor out of the truck that shows what I am looking for? (come to think of it, I probably should just look in my shop manual....)

Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
Vaughn 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 15828

Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Reg: 08-08-04
10-25-08 08:22 AM - Post#1549601    
    In response to Bill K.b

It's normal to bend up the diaphragm to get at the bolts when removing it.

DON'T assume that you should see oil sitting at the top of the block. It doesn't take much to make all puddled oil to drain away from the top of the block. If you go around one corner, that is enough lateral force to make the oil drain away.

Back in the 80s I replaced a real main seal on an engine that didn't need it done - it took a lot of time and effort on my part, and money that the owner didn't have to spend - to replace that rear main seal. After I finished 2 solid days of work splitting the motor/trans and dropping the crank to replace the rear main, the motor still leaked as much oil as before - then I found the oil pressure sender leaking on the top of the motor. It was a 5 minute/less than $20 fix.

There was no oil pooled around the sender - ever. The only reason I saw the sender leaking was because I watched it for several minutes with the engine running.

Now, you can spend a couple days dropping out the trans, removing the crank, replacing the rear main seal and bolting it back together (or spending $1000+ to have a shop do it for you) - or you can take the chance that it is a 5 minute/$20 fix.

 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-26-08 07:17 AM - Post#1550206    
    In response to Vaughn

It just seems to me that if it was leaking from the top, back of the block, the oil would run down the sides of the trans bellhousing and drip off the bottom of the inspection cover. As much oil as I see out of this thing, I aught to be able to follow where it's coming from. But I need to get one of those inspection mirrors or something, so I can see, I can't even find where the sensor is as it stands now.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25969
someotherguy
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
10-26-08 07:24 AM - Post#1550212    
    In response to Bill K.b

My goofy alleged buddy just went through the same thing, and it was on an engine he had put a new rear main seal in before it went into the truck. He was convinced he put the seal in wrong and was getting ready to fight it again, and through much persuading I convinced him to double-check the oil pressure sending unit. Which was a good thing, because that turned out to be the problem.

Now Bill, have you checked by your oil filter mount, does yours have the sensor down there? Or have you already spied it hiding (and it DOES hide) on the back of the block behind the intake/under the distributor?

Richard
94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Don M 
Contributor
Posts: 152

Loc: Tampa, Fl. USA
Reg: 09-22-07
10-26-08 03:20 PM - Post#1550483    
    In response to someotherguy

Bill, FYI on my 87 350 EFI the oil pressure sending unit is down by the oil filter and under the distributor is an oil pressure switch. The switch looks like the ones used with an idiot light but instead it provides power to the fuel pump once the truck has started and the ECM releases the fuel pump relay.

Don


 
Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4289

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
10-27-08 10:51 PM - Post#1551653    
    In response to Don M

I crawled under it on both sides and sat on the battery the other day, changing that EGR and trying to find where that sensor goes. I didn't see any sign of wires even going near the filter. But I also couldn't see where anything branched off to go like below the distributor - the sensor Rock Auto sent me looks like it takes a 4-prong plug. And the gauge is working, so.. like I said I need to round up a mirror of some sort, even an old compact makeup case mirror might do it.

I'd suspect a rotted oil pan before the sensor, just because of the way the leak slows down to almost nothing after a while. It was low the last I checked, so I added a quart to bring it up, and that's when I noticed big puddles under it. Now that's stopped. (on the bright side it looks like there's enough room to pull the pan without unbolting the motor mounts..maybe... if I have to do that...)
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.


 
emccarthy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 6

Reg: 07-26-09
07-26-09 04:27 PM - Post#1742373    
    In response to someotherguy

Hi, me and my husband are kind of backyard mechanics. The problem we thought was the EGR valve. To recap, we had a new basepan put in and brought the truck "93 Chev 1500 v8" home and parked in driveway. Three weeks later we went to start it and all we saw was black smoke and she would not idle at all and finally stalled. We took off the EGR soaked in carb cleaner and thought it worked - but after 2 mins of idling back to square 1. We did this several times and finally gave in and payed 135.00 for a new one. Still having the same problem. Check the hoses to the EGR valve and all seems fine. Not sure if it the solenoid. We can blow through one side but air doesn't come out through the other end of the solenoid. Can someone please give me some direction. What would cause this to happen. I really don't want to spend too much more money and second hand parts are hard to come by. Your help is appreciated.

 
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