1995 F-bird

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I just recently purchased a 1996 Firebird with the 3.4L V6 and an AT. I am experiencing an odd noise and am just curious if anyone might have a diagnosis. I am not sure if maybe the car just needs a good tranny flush or if it is something completely unrelated to the tranny. Anyways the noise is an odd whining noise which only comes when my foot is on the accelerator pedal. If anyone has any idea of what the problem could be please help a guy out.

posted by  Flame Roller

Well, my initial thought would be the auxillary drive belt, because if it is over tightened it will make a whining noise, Due to the fact that there is an unnesessary strain on the belt. As it only happens when accelarating, or when you rev the engine, which I'm guessing it does due to the fact that you say it only happens when your foot is on the accelarator, I'd check this first. Make sure that the belt can be twisted easilly with your fingers but not so much so that it's lose...if ya get what I mean lol. I wouldn't have though it would be anything transmission related though. On saying that though, I wouldn't dismiss the fact that a transmission problem might cause a whining..I say flush the fluid anyways. Just out of curiocity, what's the current mileage of the car? :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Noise problems, very hard to diagnose on line. Like Cliffy said, check your belt, to see if you have a deflection of 3/8 to 1/2 inch. If you don't it's to tight, which can wear on the pulleys, or to loose, which can produce a squeel. Have someone else use the accelerator and you listen to where the noise is coming from. Could be the idler pulley or harmonic balancer/dampner. If VWHOBO were here, he would probably rag my ass out over this post. :2cents:

posted by  lectroid

Lectroid - nothing wrong with your post - even when you have the car in front of you, finding the source of noises can be like a hemorrhoid - a pain in the butt

posted by  tbaxleyjr

First off I meant a 1995 Firebird, not 1996 like it says in my previous post. Secondly, if it is a belt that is too tight/loose which belt do you mean, and also how tight should it feel? I am new to dealing with that sort of problem and was hoping for more information. You said it was the aux drive belt, where would that be located in a 3.4 V6? (or even more specifically on a 95 f-bird). Once again any help is greatly appreciated and once I get more info on this belt thing I will go have a look and see what I can do.

posted by  Flame Roller

I'm assuming that the car is a rear wheel drive here..with that in mind the aux. drive belt should be at the front of the engine compartment, near the radiator. I'm not sure of the exact setup of the car, but the belt shouldn't be too tight (ie; you cant move it)..or too loose..(ie; it just feels really loose), It's very hard to explain exactly how it should feel, but when you twist it, it should just feel good to you...if that makes sense lol.

posted by  Cliffy

the 3/8 inch deflection is usually with about 25-30 lb pressure applied to the center of the belt on the longest span.

I did a little more thinking and want to interject a couple of comments.

The GM 3.4 L, it has a single serpentine belt automatically adjusted by a spring loaded belt tensioner. If GM tensioners are like Fords, most squeaking noises can be traced to either a weak tensioner or a squeaky idler pulley

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Yeah it is a serp. belt. What type of weak tensioner or pulley are we talking about, and where can I locate them? I know where the serpentine runs at and all, but I don't wanna dink around without knowing enough info so please keep the ideas coming, thanks a lot.

posted by  Flame Roller

The following URL (I hope it works) is for Autozone's on line repair manual for your car.

http://www2.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=az/cds/en_us/0900823d /80/1c/de/db/0900823d801cdedb.jsp has the belt routing and tensioner /pulley location for your 1995 firebird

The tensioners and pulleys as well as the belt can usually be found @ places like NAPA (I dont know if AutoZone has the tensioner or not)

I hope this helps

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I've been dealing with a tranny slip problem the last couple of days, which I think is probably just a band, my tech teacher thought so also. So if I bring it in maybe I can kill two birds with one stone, by the way I've checked my serp belt and it was tight to me, so it could be a faulty band on both problems, the whine and the slippage. I am bringing it to a tranny specialist my tech. teacher suggested going to. I will do that today and hopefully be back with results tonight . Wish the F-body luck :)

posted by  Flame Roller

I wished it was belts and tensioners instead of in the tranny - belts and tensioners are easier and cheaper to handle than tranny slipping.

Its tough to trouble shoot noise over the internet.

Let us know what you find out anyway.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I brought the car to AAMCO, only to find out they all think it is misfiring plugs, so I am gonna try and change my plugs and see how that goes. However I am having trouble getting the spark plugs out, as my car has a casing over them which it appears I need to remove first, which seems like it is going to be very difficult, there are threee small bolts in the front, but I felt behind it (where I can not reach, let alone barely reach) and it seems as though there are more bolts in the back, if anyone knows anything about spark plug replacement on a F-bod like mine, or has a similar set up please respond.

posted by  Flame Roller

Good ol' GM :banghead:

posted by  DodgeRida67

If this is like the 3.8 L V-6, the oil filler tube may have to be moved as well.

Lets do this since we don't really know where to start. if we know the belts and pulleys, etc are in good shape (need to be checked if noise is what we are hunting for)

If we are hunting for a misfire which is a prerequisite for diagnosing a shuddering noise (Ford calls it tranny shudder) we have a different game we are playing

take a spark tester ($5.00 - $6.00 any autoparts store) preferable one which the gap can be changed for different ignition systems and make sure ignition system is producing enough voltage (each plug)

If the plugs haven't been replaced in about 60K miles, go ahead and change them as well as test and or consider replacing the plug wires (they deteriorate and usually need replaced @ 60-75K miles due to insulation failure or high resistance)

Check intake and fuel injector o-rings and throttle body for vacume leaks as well as check all vacume hoses.

Pull the trouble codes from the ECM. I suspect your 1995 F-bird has the 16 pin diagnostic connector instead of the 12 pin found on earlier GM's thus a code scanner is required to pull the codes (autozone my do it free or see if you have any friends with a scanner)

Once you have done these things, let us know what you find and we'll continue on

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I need assistance with the location of the plugs, I removed this one thing that had the number 1 thru 6 on it, and had things that appeared to be like spark plugs on it, but they cannot come off, and also they seem to short to be able to be the plugs for my 95 Firebird, so if anyone knows the location of the plugs on my car so I can begin removing them and testing this sort of things please reply.

posted by  Flame Roller

The rectangular thing with the numbers 1-6 on it is the ignition coil pack. It takes the place of the distributor. The wires from the cylinders/spark plugs must connect to the coil pack in the right place or the firing order will be messed up

Your spark plugs are where they typically are in the cylinder head at the sides of the engine -Trace the wires from the coil pack and they will terminate at a sparkplug


You may have to remove the plugs by removing the tire and wheel and working from the wheel well if there is not enough room to change the plugs from the top.

We can help with the diagnosis but if you are having problems finding the spark plugs, you probably should buy a Haynes manual before proceeding much further

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Hayned manual wasn't a big help, I was just missing them because they didn't have the kind of boot I was expecting them to have, as it was unlike the boots on the coil pack. Anyways I was able to change 4 of them so far as the two further back on the passenger side are practically impossible to reach, I have heard some rubber tubing will help and that will be the case if I cannot reach them from below the car by jacking it up, which I am going to try and do tomorrow. Anyways thanks for all the help.

Also one of the metal gaskets from in the boot came out when I removed the boot, my tech teacher seemed it was ok to just slide it back in, but I am curious if this could be a cause of misfiring? Or is it not a big deal?

posted by  Flame Roller

The "gasket" from INSIDE of the boot you are referring to if it is the size of the metal part on top of the spark plug is probably the connector which holds the plug wire to the top of the plug. If this came loose when removing the plug wire, the plug wire will need to be replaced (If the wires are over 60-70K miles old, they should probably be replaced anyway) Yes this will cause a misfire.

The 3/8 inch rubber tubing comes in when installing the plug - it is tight enough to start the plug but will slip if you start to cross thread the plug
preventing damage to the cylinder head

I would suggest using a dab of anti-sieze similar to Permatex 133K on the plug threads before installing and using a torque wrench if you have one to make sure the threads are tight enough to seal while ensuring they don't get stripped. Your Haynes will have the torque specs. I also liberally use silicone dialectric grease on the inside of the sparkplug wire boot to make it easier to remove the boot the next time I change plugs

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Got the plugs changed, and the wires, however one of the boots would not 'click' onto the plug like the rest, although I am sure that makes a difference I am not sure that is the only problem still remaining. So I am probably gonna bring it to a shop. Which I suppose would have saved me a lot of time to do in the first place, but self-fixing is always more assuring. I just want the car to run nice again though, after that I will worry about new problems that arise, however I am still always willing to hear people's opinions about what problem it could still be. It is possible some, or one of the plugs isn't firing, including the one with the boot, also what else could it be?

posted by  Flame Roller

I am curious as to a good place to bring it to get the OBD2 scanned, anyone have any suggestions? I was gonna bring it to an Auto Value this past friday but they would have been unable to check it out till Monday so I said screw that and drove off.

posted by  Flame Roller

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