1987 Merc. Sable Stalling


Old 09-15-04, 08:30 PM
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1987 Merc. Sable Stalling

Hi all,

My ex recently bought an '87 Mercury Sable (3.0L V6, Auto)that has some issues. The most pressing problems are that it has serious problems starting, and that it tends to stall when accelerating from a complete stop. The previous owner has installed a fuel fump shut off switch, and in order to start it, you often need to turn off the fuel pump, crank until it turns over and then turn the fuel pump back on. This sometimes requires several attempts. The stalling tends to happen most when the car is not completely warmed up, and occurs when you open the throttle after being stooped at a light. The car tends to hesitate in this situation even when it doesn't stallI also noticed today that the fuel gauge drops drastically whenever you accelerate, and rises again as soon as the rpms lower. The tank was between a quarter and an eigth of a tank when I noticed this occuring. I'm wondering if this might indicate a problem with the fuel pump sender assembly. Obviously, the engine is getting too much fuel in at least some of these situations, I'm inclined to think all. Not really sure how to approach this there are so many things that could be causing it, and the money she alloted for repairing it got swindled by some crook who decided it was her ignition coil. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-15-04, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So Cal
Posts: 248
Without knowing the maintenance history of the vehicle or performing a proper diagnosis, it's just a "guessing" game.

Some simple and easy DIY items you can do include; replacing the fuel filter and cleaning the throttle body bore. Yes, I know Ford doesn't recommend cleaning them because it can harm the coating, but I've done bunches without any problems.

Another relatively easy preventive maintenance item is replacing the O2 sensor. Although you really need a graphing meter to check its' operation, if it's old and hasn't been replaced in a while it could be biased lean causing the onboard computer to command a rich mixture thus causing your starting problems.

Just a few suggestions to get you started. There are lots of other sensors in the vehicle and they can only be diagnosed by an experienced technician with the proper equipment. See my sig line.


Old 09-16-04, 04:00 PM
Desi501's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 2,207
Originally Posted by smogtek
I know Ford doesn't recommend cleaning them because it can harm the coating, but I've done bunches without any problems.
No coating on an "88"

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