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1998 ZX2
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10,079 Posts
White smoke is a sure sign that water is getting into the engine. Pull the spark plugs and look at them, if any look significantly cleaner than the others then you have a bad head gasket. It would also be a good idea to pull the plugs when your having the starting problem and check for moisture.

I believe there is a transmission cooler integrated into the radiator. Sometimes they rust through and the trans fluid and coolant mix. If it isn't poring out on the ground than this would be the next thing I would check. The trans fluid should float to the surface so you should be able to see it in the coolant bottle or under the radiator cap.
 

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1998 ZX2
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10,079 Posts
What exactly does a vacuum modulator do anyway? Would it perform the same function as a kickdown cable (which these transmissions have?)
 
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