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Old 11-08-2005, 12:29 PM
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Default What are all the Sensors on this car and what do they do? PART I

Q: What are all the Sensors on this car and what do they do? Part I

A: For more trouble code information, look here:

For more sensor location info, look here:

For more in depth information on various sensors:

Sensor Summary
Submitted by Doug Martin,

CALPACK-Part Number-16036503
AC Delco Number-Same

Diagnostic Alarm Code-52 CALPACK Error

Location-The CALPACK is the small computer chip located under the PROM access cover in the ECM.

Purpose-The CALPACK contains the limp home program information.
How It Works-If there is damage to the ECM or the PROM chip the computer will use the information contained in the CALPACK limp home program.

Cam Position Sensor-Part number-25518357

With drive-Part number-25516915, AC Delco number-213-143

Location-The cam position sensor is located on the top of the water pump cover, where the distributor would normally sit.

Diagnostic Alarm Codes- 41 cam sensor circuit failure

Purpose-The cam position sensor (cam sensor) lets the ECM know where #6 cylinder is in the firing order.

How It Works-The cam sensor uses a Hall Effect system. This system uses an interrupter ring and a magnetic pick up. The interrupter ring is bolted on to the top of the cam sensor shaft. The other end is connected to the camshaft and has one window notched out of its circumference. When the window passes through the magnetic pick up in the cap, the ECM knows where to begin the fuel injector sequence.

Quick Check- Disconnect the cam sensor wiring connector AFTER the car is started. Then take the car for a quick spin around the block. If your problem disappears after taking a ride your cam sensor has a problem. The cam sensor must be reconnected car or the car will not restart.

Specialty Tools-Caspers Electronics makes a Cam Tool (part number 102075) that has became a standard for setting the timing of the cam sensor.

Torque- The torque for the cam sensor hold down clamp is 20 ft-lbs.

Website-Caspers Electronics - Quality Engineered Electronic Performance Items

Coolant Temperature Sensor- Part number-3053190,

AC-Delco number-213-928

Diagnostic Alarm Code-coolant temperature sensor circuit 14 (High Temp) and coolant temperature sensor circuit 15 (Low Temp)

Location-The engine coolant sensor is located on the right front of the intake manifold under the fuel pressure regulator.

Purpose-This sensor tells the ECM what the coolant temperature of the engine is.

How it works-The coolant temperature sensor is a thermister that reads the coolant temperature. The ECM will send a 5 volt reference signal to the coolant temperature sensor. As the coolant temperature rises the sensor will offer less resistance allowing more volts to pass through to the ECM.

Coolant Temperature Switch-Part number-25036371,

AC Delco number-D1896

Location-The coolant temperature sensor is located on the front of the passengerís side of the intake manifold.

Purpose-The coolant temperature sensor will signal the coolant idiot light in the dash if the car starts to overheat.

How It Works- The coolant temperature sensor will signal the idiot light in the dash when the coolant temperature rises to 257˚.

Crank Sensor-Part number-12537109,

AC Delco Part number-213-292
Bracket-Part number-12537113,
AC Delco Part number-213-280
Complete-Part number-25525667

Location-The crank sensor is located on the driverís side behind the harmonic balancer.

Purpose-The crank sensor lets the ECM know when the pistons are at top dead center.

How It Works-The crank sensor uses a Hall Effect system. This system uses an interrupter ring and a magnetic pick up. The interrupter ring is connected to the back of the harmonic balancer and has 3 windows notched out of its circumference. When these windows pass over the magnetic pick up the ECM knows that the piston is at top dead center.

Torque-The torque on the two bolts holding the crank sensor bracket is 22 ft-lbs. The pinch bolt (AC Delco number 213-281) is 30 *in-lbs*.

Electronic Control Module-Part number-1227148

Diagnostic Alarm Code-55 electronic control module error

Location-The electronic control module (ECM) is located behind the passengerís side kick panel.

Purpose-The ECM is controlled by the PROM chip

How It Works-The ECM executes the information stored in the PROM chip. The ECM has the ability to learn, it can self diagnose (check engine light) the engine electrical system for any malfunctioning sensors. The ECM will then store the alarm codes and other changes that are made to the carís engine electrical system. If the battery is disconnected it will loose all of the codes and memory. It will take a while for the ECM to learn all of the info again. Also the ECM uses the MAF and the O2 sensor to maintain a constant 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio.

Electronic Spark Control- 1986 Part number-16022614,

1987 Part number-16051654
1986 AC Delco number-216-33,
1987 AC Delco number-216-42

Diagnostic Alarm Code-43 electronic spark control (ESC) failure

Location-The ESC is located on the passengerís inner fender.
Purpose-The ESC detects detonation and will retard the timing as needed.
How It Works-The ESC works in conjunction with the knock sensor. The knock sensor picks up frequencies and sends the information to the ESC. The ESC filters out all the unneeded frequencies. It looks for the frequencies associated with detonation. It will analyze the information and retard the timing accordingly. The ESC can retard the timing up to 20į in 1į increments.

Electronic Vacuum Regulator Valve-Part number-25527186

(Exhaust Gas Recirculation solenoid)
AC Delco Part number-214-307

Diagnostic Alarm Code-32 exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) Circuit

Location-The electronic vacuum regulator valve (EVRV) is located on top of the driverís side intake manifold.

Purpose-The EVRV controls opening and closing EGR valve.

How It Works-The EVRV uses engine vacuum to determine when the EGR valve should be opened or closed. The EGR valve is only used when cruising down the road. At idle or wide open throttle the valve will be closed.
Maintenance- There is a filter located at the back of the valve. The filter should be inspected and replaced periodically.

Idle Air Control valve-Part number-25527077,

AC Delco Part number-217-437

Location-The idle air control valve (IAC) is located on the front of the throttle body. It is below the up pipe from the intercooler.

Purpose-The IACs main function is to control the idle quality.
How it works-It controls the idle with a motor driven plunger. As the air enters the throttle body the throttle blade is basically closed. The air will then enter a hole in front of the throttle blade. Then the air will go through a tapered hole. This is where the IAC plunger is located. It will extend or retract the plunger as needed to maintain the idle. Then the air will exit on the backside of the throttle blade. At an idle the IAC should read somewhere in between 15-20. This may not on be true for all cars, sometimes the number may be higher.

Alternatives-Sometimes if a large MAF pipe is used it will compete for the same space as the IAC. BOP Engineering and Champion Racing Heads both sell a product to solve this problem. Both turn the IAC on a 45-degree angle towards the alternator.



Last edited by kenmosher; 11-11-2005 at 04:03 PM.
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