Need some help with a project I'm starting :'(

NewToLifeAndCars

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Short summary: I just graduated high school and my neighbor gave me his old 1993 Pontiac Sunbird 3.1L V6 for about $750 before he moved away. It's my first car and I'm working on fixing it so I can go to-and-from my job.

The car was in really bad condition when I got it, the interior was full of stains, the engine was really dusty, had no battery, both door panels are pretty messed up, the sunvisors are in bad condition, and the headliner is starting to fall apart. So far I've been working on the Sunbird for about 4 days, I vacuumed and cleaned the interior, dusted off the engine, bought and installed a new battery, and changed the engine oil. I tried to start the car but it won't start, yesterday I put 2 gallons of gas in it thinking that no gas might be the problem, car still won't start.

As my name on here says, I'm new to cars and life since I just graduated high school and spent most of my time in books and studying and all that, never really had time for cars so I'm stuck. I would appreciate any kind of help so much, I really want to transform this car later on after I can get it to run.

Thanks again to anyone who actually stayed to read the whole thing I typed XD
 

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melsg5

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congratulations on your graduation and your first car. So one of the first things you could do is go to the library and learn some basics about how engines run. The engine to start needs fuel and spark and air. One of the first two is not occurring. I'm assuming the new battery causes the engine to turn over and squirrels haven't formed a nest inside the air cleaner. Below is a link to a no start condition on a 3.1. Feel free to ask follow up questions after reading the link or while testing why it wont start.
https://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/gm/3.1L-3.4L/how-to-test-a-no-start-condition-1
 

92 Sunbird LE

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Welcome to the forum, You can get a Haynes JBody book off EBay for cheap to help you step by step to diagnose your problems.

You can spray starting fluid ( ether)into the intake ( disconnect the large rubber hose on top of the engine) to see if it
starts to eliminate it's the fuel system.

A screwdriver stuck in one of the spark plug wires and resting on any metal on the engine and someone turn the the key to crank the engine will let you if you have spark.

Nice looking bird, by the look of homes in your pics,Las Vegas or Arizona are your hometown?

These Sunbirds are built on the cheap as most of the interiors fall apart . But the drivetrains last forever if maintained properly.Expect Around 300k miles on the engine, automatic trans about 100k or so.


Doug in P.R.:)
 

NewToLifeAndCars

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Thank you for the information, I had to take the bus to an AutoZone earlier to get some fogging oil because I wanted to make sure the cylinders are lubricated. I'm going to head to the library on my next off-day when I'm not working and will definitely put more elbow grease in once I learn more about the problem!

P.S. that link helped me out a lot, thanks for sending it I appreciate that!
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NewToLifeAndCars

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Your sunbird looks pretty nice too, I'm gonna test out what you told me on my next off day. I like the nice red coat of paint on yours, repainting my Sunbird is on the last part of my project checklist. I might get it a nice dark blue or a different color to compliment the interior covers I'm gonna buy later on in the project.
 

NewToLifeAndCars

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Update: I installed a new fuel pump when I got off work and the engine starts now but it idles for about 5 seconds then stalls again and repeats this cycle. I checked if the air filter was the problem but it was pretty clean in there, I'm just glad I got to hear what the engine sounds like lmao, she roared like a monster when I revved the engine then I took my foot off the pedal and she stalled out :(
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92 Sunbird LE

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Did you change the fuel filter also?


Could also be the idle control
valve is dirty, need to purchase some throttle body spray, you need to remove it and clean the port it sits in , and the pintle and spring on it itself. Also check for vacuum leaks in your vacuum hoses also.


To reset it, turn the key on for 10 seconds then off for 10 seconds then start the car. It takes a couple of days for the computer to relearn the idle.

Doug in P.R.:)
 
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