The Day The Trans Am Died

I bought the Trans Am in September of 2007 and put about 4000 miles on it over the next few months.  When it reached full temperature the oil pressure would drop to about 5 psi at idle.  Knowing this, I was on the lookout for trouble and avoided driving it on long, in-town errands.

The engine quit working immediately after we got gas one day the following May.  I can’t say for sure if it was bad gas or just coincidence, but we put the gas from the tank in our lawnmower and it promptly died as well.

While driving, the engine wouldn’t go over 2000 rpms and was bucking and backfiring.  We limped it home and it has been parked since then except for a few short runs to try and troublesoot.  When the engine was cold, it seemed to run much better.  After driving and letting the car sit for a few minutes hot, the symtoms would return upon restarting.

After tearing the engine apart, we found the first lobe for the number 5 cylinder had wear on it and the corresponding lifter had some pits in it.  We think the lifter quit working and the camshaft would make contact with it, creating the strip of missing material in the camshaft.  Here are some picture of the camshaft and the lifter.