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I think I'm going to do a tune up on my Acclaim (1994 2.5L, 3spd tranny). We didn't change anything on the motor we installed, so it's been behaving pretty good considering it is on junk yard parts of unknown age. I did a bit of tune up work on my old engine and had it running very well in the months before it lost the head gasket, so I have a full set of most of this stuff that is only a few months old sitting around. I think that I will use this as the opportunity to test what's on both engines, compare to specs in the manual, use the better of the two if it makes sense, and throw out the worse one. Here's my list of what I'm checking, please let me know if I'm missing something:

-Spark plugs
-Wires
-Cap and rotor
-Make sure distributor isn't obviously bad
-Check ignition timing and set properly if off
-Check resistance on coil
-Fuel filter
-Air filter

The reason behind this is that my car has been feeling "heavy" while accelerating on on-ramps or driving in town lately. When moving at highway speed and going to accelerate, the gas pedal is kind of hard to push as well. Revving the engine in neutral isn't as smooth as I think it should be either, it sort of stumbles before revving. There are no codes, and it doesn't sputter like it's not getting fuel or anything like that while accelerating, so I'm thinking that it's just tune up time. If anybody has any insights on what else to look for to find the heavy feeling, I'll add it to the list.
 

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Make sure to disconnect the CTS when setting the timing and check your PCV valve and hose too. Looks like you've got it pretty well covered to me.
 

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Yeah, I think you've got it covered. I'd recommend checking all fluid levels as well - coolant, oil, windshield wiper, transmission.
 

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Also replace the breather filter in the airbox. To get at it, you remove the airbox, invert it and use a T-20 torx bit on the 6 screws to undo the lower half of the airbox. Be careful not to break the vacuum tubing to the flapper on the air pre-heater. Remove the wire mesh where the breather hose connects to the air cleaner, pull the old filter out. Oil the new one with engine oil and install, then put the mesh back over it. Re-assemble the airbox and re-install.

Before you remove the plugs, get some spray EFI cleaner and shoot short bursts of it down the throttle body throat to dissolve the varnish, at idle. Then run the engine at about 2000 RPM to blow out the smoke. Then you can install the new plugs.

Also clean and inspect the battery terminals, clamps and cables. Measure the voltage at idle and engine off.

My tuneup schedule is:  every 15K miles - new plugs, rotor, air filter, PCV valve, breather filter, TB cleaning; remove the dist wires from the cap, rotate the prongs 180 degrees to face fresh metal toward the rotor and reinsert.  On top of this, every 30K miles I replace the wires, cap and fuel filter.
 

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Might be a good time to check your transmission fluid as well. The A413 doesn't really need much in the way of frequent service, and chances are, you're fine, but if the fluid hasn't ever been replaced, it's time. It should look like cherry Kool-Aid. Dark fluid needs to be replaced. I've heard that these transmissions have a quirk that gives an erroneous fluid level if checked in Park, so set your parking brake and check the fluid in Neutral. Use ATF+4 for the TCC's sake; these transmissions aren't picky about fluids like the A604/41TE, and I've heard they'll take Dex/Merc and Type F with no problems, but the spec is for Type 7176 (ATF+3) which was superseded by ATF+4. As for the sticky throttle, I would try squirting a bit of WD-40 on the throttle spring and the kickdown linkage on the transmission and mashing the accelerator (with the engine off, of course) a few times. The springs on these linkages do get rusty over time, and the WD-40 will coat them and help to keep them lubricated. That, plus the cleaning Bob L. mentioned should help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
B10alia said:
Might be a good time to check your transmission fluid as well. The A413 doesn't really need much in the way of frequent service, and chances are, you're fine, but if the fluid hasn't ever been replaced, it's time. It should look like cherry Kool-Aid. Dark fluid needs to be replaced. I've heard that these transmissions have a quirk that gives an erroneous fluid level if checked in Park, so set your parking brake and check the fluid in Neutral. Use ATF+4 for the TCC's sake; these transmissions aren't picky about fluids like the A604/41TE, and I've heard they'll take Dex/Merc and Type F with no problems, but the spec is for Type 7176 (ATF+3) which was superseded by ATF+4. As for the sticky throttle, I would try squirting a bit of WD-40 on the throttle spring and the kickdown linkage on the transmission and mashing the accelerator (with the engine off, of course) a few times. The springs on these linkages do get rusty over time, and the WD-40 will coat them and help to keep them lubricated. That, plus the cleaning Bob L. mentioned should help you out.
Has anybody else heard that we should check the transmission fluid level in Neutral? I'm pretty obsessive about the fluid level since it is a junk yard unit with unknown history, but I don't think I've heard that.

And about the heavy feeling, it's not the throttle itself, the pedal moves nice and smoothly, it just felt like the car wasn't making power or getting it to the ground like it should. I think I might have found that problem though. I went to do the "turn the plug wire" trick that Bob mentioned above just to see, and I noticed that the wires said Mopar on them in bright white letters, like someone had replaced them not long before taking the donor car to the junk yard. With that in mind, I wondered what the cap looked like inside, so I removed the two screws (which came out very easily), and looked at the underside. I noticed that the prongs for two of the wires were not poking down past the plastic of the cap, and one of those had a layer of crud over it like the spark was trying to jump to get to it. I cleaned up the crud, adjusted the boot so the prongs could poke down a little bit more. I think that I was actually able to get the wire to click into place, but it seemed like it was down really far, so I brought it back up a little bit and adjusted the boot so it didn't move and put it back together. On the test drive, the car seemed to behave much better, so I'm going to keep an eye on it and see what we get.

In the mean time, on to the next project. The front tires toe out a little bit, so I'm going to check it out and see what I can find.
 

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The prongs must click into place to reach the rotor. Make sure you feel and hear a click. Replace the wires if both sides of the prongs are charred, or if the rotor tip is charred.
 

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I heard it on here somewhere, I thought. Maybe it only applies to the older RWD Torqueflites, I don't know. That's how I've always done it. If what I'm thinking isn't true, it shouldn't matter anyways, as the only difference between Park and Neutral should be the reverse pawl.
 

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The difference between Park and Neutral is more than the parking pawl. Some transmissions don't run the pump in park and the reading in park would be erroneous. The dipstick should state whether to use park or neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just wanted to give an update on the "heavy" feeling I was getting, the left front brake hose was letting the piston retract, but only very slowly. I found it out when the left front started burning a little bit when I was stuck in some stop and go traffic. My driving style is very fuel-economy oriented in this car, so I tend to brake very lightly, so the caliper never pushed out enough to get stuck and feel hotter than the other brakes, so I never would have noticed it.

Of course, the brake line broke at the fitting when trying to replace the hose, so tonight's project is to get a few feet of brake line and some fittings and learn the craft of bending brake line. Luckily, I have a pro to walk me through it tonight.
 
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