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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all. I just went to look at a 1991 sierra 1.3l carby motor with 161000 kms and i have a couple of questions which need to be answered soon because it's on ebay and only has 2 and a half hrs left.

Firstly:
It had a fair bit of shuddering when taking off in first, second and into third, the guy told me that this is normal for a sierra is that true?

Second:
When i pulled the spark plugs they were all very white (lean right?), but the tip of the exhaust was really black (too rich?), and i could see on the driveway where it had been leaving a trail of black stuff when it's started. It was also detonating a fair bit under load, (too lean, timing?). He said that it has recently had the head machined so i'm guessing that must have something to do with these problems? He also said that lately it hasn't been driven much, just started and left to idle...

Can anyone give me a possible diagnosis? Is it stuffed? Is it worth buying?

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well i bought it, $2600 australian. Does anyone know about the shuddering on take off thing? I'm hoping that the spark/detonating is just an easy fix.
 

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I don't understand what do you mean by shuddering.

BTW, how do you know how much it's been, when the clock is only five digits long? It could be 261000 or 361000? Or does yours in Australia come with six digits?
 

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When accelerating at slow speeds there is a shuddering which seems to come from the rear end. Similar feeling to an unbalanced wheel. It only happens under load, and goes away at higher speed.

Yes we get 6 digits, where are you from that you only get 5?
 

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When accelerating at slow speeds there is a shuddering which seems to come from the rear end. Similar feeling to an unbalanced wheel. It only happens under load, and goes away at higher speed.

Yes we get 6 digits, where are you from that you only get 5?
Is your Sierra lifted or not? What kind of lift, is it a SPOA? I have the exact year model, 91.

I'm living in the Middle East. Arabian gulf, in particular.
 

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Is your Sierra lifted or not? What kind of lift, is it a SPOA? I have the exact year model, 91.
No not lifted its completely standard except for it has dual shock absorbers in the rear, and slightly larger wheels. Not sure why you would want two shocks on each side but someone has installed an extra set...
 

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No not lifted its completely standard except for it has dual shock absorbers in the rear, and slightly larger wheels. Not sure why you would want two shocks on each side but someone has installed an extra set...
If you don't have a lift on it, then it sounds like a bad tire only.
 

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if it has dual shocks in the rear, its most likely to provide adequate dampening for a heavy load. Perhapse it was used for hauling heavy material in the bed, or for pulling a heavy trailer. A stock sierra doesn't weigh enough to justify more than one set of shocks in the rear.

The shuddering sounds like it could be from your universal joints or maybe from your rear differential. There shouldn't be shuddering... at any speed.

White powder on your plugs indicate that it has worn valve guides and needs them replaced. Black soot indicates too rich a mixture and partially burnt fuel in the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Could it be the clutch which is causing it to shudder? Ive heard that sierras are very hard on the clutch but not sure if a faulty clutch would act like this?
 

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i had bad shuddering accompanied by a loud vibrating noise a while back. mine was worst at around 70-80km/h... turned out that one of my u-joints had one of its four ends snapped and that end was able to move around. have u checked your u joints?
 

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Havent checked the uni joints. I havent picked up the car yet but im thinking i might get this checked out before i buy it, seeing as he told me it was normal...
Has anyone had clutch problems with their sierra? What were the symptoms?
 

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Havent checked the uni joints. I havent picked up the car yet but im thinking i might get this checked out before i buy it, seeing as he told me it was normal...
Has anyone had clutch problems with their sierra? What were the symptoms?
I had some problems with Clutch. Gears didn't shift smoothly at all, and there was a loud noise from worn out bearings. Both bearings were completely worn out. I replaced the clutch with Petroworks clutch plate and pressure plate, both bearings, and the clutch cable, to rule out everything. Mechanic also found that the spring inside the clutch which holds the clutch peddle back was broken. All were replaced and the tranny became perfect. The transmission box itself was in perfectly sound condition, despite the mileage of the car.
 

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a worn out clutch will probably not cause shuddering. You just won't be able to egage the engine to the transmission as well and you will have slipping under load.

Shuddering under load is commonly caused by universal joints, bent shafts or worn bearings. The most frequent culprit is over powering the drivetrain, or over loading it. People who throw large power plants in without upgrading the drive train components, or people who put gaint size wheels on it with super low gearing or tow really heavy loads with the stock axles, shafts and universal joints, are all asking for something to break.

Anyone who is trying to sell you something that is broken and telling you that it's fine, is a liar and do not buy anything from them. Someone who is honest and can tell you what is broken and what needs to be fixed is someone that you should buy from. Then you can make the purchase knowing what needs to be repaired to make it safe and reliable instead of holding your breath waiting to see what falls off down the road.
 
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