Ford van still stalling

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  #1  
Old 06-06-06, 03:55 PM
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Unhappy Ford van still stalling

I posted last week about my 1989 Ford E-250 (L6 EFI) stalling out after it gets warmed up.
I had previously done a complete tune-up (plugs, wires, cap, rotor, air filter, crankcase breather, pcv valve, oil and filter) but it still had the problem.

Today I replaced the Idle Air Control.
It ran a little better after, made it on and off the highway and sat at lights without sputtering and stalling.
But then I parked it in my driveway with the engine running for 2 or 3 minutes and when I backed out of the driveway it stalled.
It started right back up and although it ran a little rough (especially when I stopped) it didn't stall out completely again.

My mechanic disconnected the EGR valve this morning and plugged the vacuum line. It still wasn't running right. So the next try was the IAC.
I re-connected the EGR valve when I replaced the IAC.
Should I disconnect the EGR valve and plug the vacuum hose again and see if it's any better?

I'm running out of ideas and have an appointment on Thursday to take it into the shop.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-06-06, 05:49 PM
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What is happening to your rpm's just before it stalls out?
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-06, 06:41 PM
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No tach...but it sounds like it's going up and down between a little below normal idle and barely running.
The IAC seems like it smoothed this out somewhat...but not when it stalled after backing out of the driveway, it did it then. I re-started it immediately and drove off. It was a little rough the first block or two (not the 5mph sputter it has been in the past) but then got to the point of noticeable but not impending doom. I only drove it a couple of minutes though, no point in going farther since it obviously wasn't fixed.
 
  #4  
Old 06-06-06, 07:24 PM
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Did it stall out while in the motion of backing?...or when you got to the end of the driveway and applied the brake, when the engine rpm would come down? You did say "after backing out...", so it sounds like when you came to a stop.

This shoud be a good clue for further input from others.
 
  #5  
Old 06-07-06, 05:06 AM
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You are correct sir!

It was running a little rough backing out...and stalled when I stopped to put it in drive.
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-06, 09:28 AM
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Last Chance

This afternoon will be my last chance to try to fix the van before it goes into the shop tomorrow.

Although it might be a hairy drive (if the van acts up) I could try taking it to autozone and having them scan the codes (did I sound like I know what I'm talking about there?).

Or I can go the next logical route and replace the EGR valve (will have to call around to find one, nobody (except the place that was twice as expensive as the rest) had one in stock).

2 other suggestions I've gotten are the Fuel Pump (although I've been told probably not because when they go they just go).
And the TCC Solenoid on the transmission.

Any thoughts?
Any other ideas? Either for me to try or to pass on to my mechanic tomorrow.
 
  #7  
Old 06-07-06, 11:30 AM
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The first thing to do is pull the codes
Some Autozone's won't/can't do this vintage vehicle
It's an easy DIY with a VoltMeter
http://www.troublecodes.net/Ford/
You'll want the the Memory codes (sometimes called Continuous Memory), KOEO codes(Key in the On position but w/o starting -Engine Off- position), and KOER (Key On Engine Running) codes

The next thing is to not throw any more parts at it with out checking that they are the problem
Most parts can be tested before replacing

For example, this engine, is it the SEFI (sequential...has tubes) or the CFI (central...looks like a carb)
SEFI fuel pressure is easily tested by hooking up a fuel pressure gauge to the Shrader valve (bike tire valve) on the fuel rail
CFI you can look into the throat and see one or two big injectors and see if they are squirting fuel
With either test, you may be able to tell immediately if the fuel pump is a problem and/or warrants replacement or further testing

But first things first
Either call the AZ and ask if they can pull the codes on an '89 Ford, or pull them yourself

*don't worry if you mess up a little if you DIY it, we'll either get the gist of it right away, or we'll get a pass...a pass even tells us something
*don't by anything from AZ w/o posting up the codes
they are (a great help but) notorious for pulling a "O2 sensor reading lean" code and selling you an O2 sensor
That's literally blaming the messenger lol

Other things to do:

Check for vacuum leaks
Listen carefully and feel under lines, twist them around or take them off and look underneath
Especially any elbows, it's common to get out of sight cracks in the crooks of those
Check the vac routing against the VECI (under hood label with tune-up info...should have vac dia) or autozone.com if they have them

Check the fuel pressure
Like explained above

Check the spark plug wire routing

Check the coil
Pretty simple if you have a voltmeter
AZ.com should have the procedure and specs for that also
If not, post back whether you have the canister type or the electronic (more square) type

The TFI module
This is more complex
This engine does have the notorious Thick Film Ignition module
But it is not as easy to test
The easiest way I know is to replace it with a known good one
I can explain the test procedure if it comes to that (if you don't have a known good one on hand...or in the neighbor's driveway)

Q:
What happens if you disconnect the IAC electrical connector while it's idling?
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-06, 11:38 AM
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THANKS!

I'm checking out the link. I have a volt meter

When I disconnected the IAC with the van running it shut off. When I told my mechanic that (and what the AZ kid who suggested it said (that if it shut off it was working correctly)) he told me to just leave it alone and bring it in.

I couldn't leave well enough alone...so I put in the new IAC anyway.
 
  #9  
Old 06-07-06, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Handy-J
I have a volt meter
Great here's the TFI test:
http://www.geocities.com/mt83rd/TFI_Test.html

Oh, and test your Throttle Position Sensor (on the throttle body) too
Pierce the brown and green TPS wires and check the KOEO voltage
Should be somewhere around .85-.95 and not wavering
 
  #10  
Old 06-07-06, 06:10 PM
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I just ordered a code scanner from PartsAmerica (Autozone's online store for things the brick and mortar stores don't carry).
It was only 30 bucks so I figured what the heck.
And it's got a digital readout that stores and shows all the codes so I don't have to count flashing lights.

I'll tell my mechanic tomorrow and see if he wants to wait until it arrives.
(I'd bet he has one too and will just test it...but I figure it won't hurt me to have my own going forward.)
 
  #11  
Old 06-12-06, 10:20 PM
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Well...I dropped the van off with my mechanic Thursday and told him everything it had been doing and left the old plugs, wires, cap and rotor in case they would tell him anything. It was even running funny when I brought it by.

When I picked it up from him on Sunday (And don't ask me why he was working all weekend...but he was) he said he took it out for a 10 mile ride but it ran perfect for him the whole time. So he said he put in a couple of cans of fuel injector cleaner and sent me on my way (When I asked him what I owed him...he said, "Nothing...if it's still busted, you'll be back."
Well...I took it out and immediately drove it for 20 minutes on a highway and then in some stop and go traffic. Made a couple of stops while I was out and then another run on the highway home.
It ran fine the whole time. No hesitation, no stalling, no sputtering.

So at this point I have absolutely no clue.
I put a can of otc fuel injector cleaner in it when I was doing the tune-up. He said his was different from what I used.

I'm taking the van out for work tomorrow so it will have some weight in it and it'll be a longer drive (going to New Jersey (from PA)).
I'll be THRILLED (and a little confused) if it works without any problems.
I'll let you know how it goes.
I will also post the results when I pull the codes as soon as the scanner comes in the mail (hopefully tomorrow as well)

One last piece of info:
When I put gas in it, the pump cuts off WAY before the tank is full but will take several more gallons if I pump it a few cents at a time (this is my second Ford with this problem). And recently when I put gas in the gague goes all screwey going down to empty and then moving all over the place before eventually going up to full.
I don't know if this could have anything to do with it...but I wonder why it happens and if there is anything I can do about it.
 
  #12  
Old 06-13-06, 07:22 PM
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Thumbs up try this

fuel pump losing presure/vacuum line cracked
 
  #13  
Old 06-14-06, 11:21 AM
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Codes!

Once again I lost a long post when I clicked submit...

but here's a less wordy recap.

The van made it through a 100 mile drive yesterday without sputtering and without stalling. Still doesn't feel like it's running as well as it was before this started happening though.

I hooked up the Code Reader today and got the following.

KOEO Pass
Stored Code 31...EGR Valve Sensor...probably from when my mechanic disconnected it (I re-connected it when I replaced the IAC)
(the book says this could also be the EVAP Control System below minimum voltage)
KOER Code 77...says I didn't open the throttle up during the test (which I did).

I also tried to put the computer in cylinder test mode which I think I did successfully but after about 10 seconds the van stalled out.

I'm guessing my next xtep is to use the Reader to erase the stored memory, drive it around a little and try again to make sure that code (from disconnecting the EGR Valve) goes away.
 
  #14  
Old 06-14-06, 01:42 PM
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I would get a clear fuel filter and install it, make sure it fills up when the van is running. Thats how I figured out I have a clog in my fuel somewhere between the pump (hang off the engine kind) and the tank. My guess is the strainer in the tank.
 
  #15  
Old 06-14-06, 03:28 PM
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More testing

After I talked to my mechanic I used the Code Reader to clear the stored memory (The EGR Valve code)

Tested the codes...all clear.
Took the van out and drove it for about half an hour.
Plugged the code reader in again
KOEO Pass
CM Pass

Again tried the KOER test and about 30 seconds in after the van had revved up and settled back down to idle it sgut off again.
I tried re-starting it and driving it. Sputtered about half a block before quitting on me. Parked it for 5 minutes and managed to get it started again (not an easy task) and got it back to the house...sputtering and stalling the whole way.

Plugged in the Code Reader
KOEO Pass
CM Pass
KOER again made the van shut off.

I'm not 100% sure...but I don't think the fuel pump made it's usual sound when I first turned the key on (after the stall).
So would my next step be checking the voltage at the fuel pump? And if so, how do I do that? (I do have a typical $20 Sears electrical tester module...but I've never really used it).

 
  #16  
Old 06-14-06, 04:03 PM
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From reading all this I can tell you that the IAC wouldn't have even came to mind by your symptons. My first thing to check would be the fuel pressure regulator and fuel pump. You can't really just place a multimeter across the pump mainly becuase the voltage waveform is of a dc motor. The voltmeter will not read correct. It was designed for DC or AC not square waves. If you really want to check the fuel with testing rather than just geuss and replace (cheaper) you need to hook up a current clamp around the power line to the fuel pump and watch it on an oscilloscope so you can see the current draw of each bar on the motor and see if there is a bar with excessive current draw or a large variance in current.

With the volt meter all you can varify is that with the pump off (unplugged key on) is that it is getting the correct voltage which is battery voltage.

And while your at it replace the fuel filter to while you are under there

As for the fuel pressure regulator pull the vacuum line off it and inspect for gas leaking out, by reving it and turn the car on and off a few times with the vacuum hose off.

PS you also have every symptom of excessive carbon build up on the back of the valves and may need what they call at lube shops an injector cleaning which cost around $70
 
  #17  
Old 06-14-06, 05:56 PM
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I seem to have forgotten to put in my previous posts...I have already changed both the regular inline fuel filter and the funny cannister filter that is bolted on the rail about a foot behind the regular fuel filter.

And since we're back to the subject of fuel...another piece of the puzzle I left out....is that the first time this ever happened (2 months ago) the van was pretty low on gas. Today, it's pretty low on gas. Not that I really know because the gas gauge is totally screwey...but when it goes below 1/2 a tank I know it's gotta be really low.
Could there be crud in my gas tank?
Should I be thinking about taking it off and cleaning it? (or having that done)
 
  #18  
Old 06-15-06, 06:39 AM
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When my truck had the same symptoms, I got length of rubber fuel line, connected it to the fuel pump, and stuck the other end in the lawn mower gas can. It ran like champ.
 
  #19  
Old 06-21-06, 09:29 AM
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Thumbs up Sorta Better...

Well...I don't know what kind of injector cleaner my mechanic put in (told me he put in 2 bottles)...but it seems to have pretty much done the trick! (hopefully my tune-up, oil change and fuel filter helped too)

I ran the tank of gas through driving to work (mostly around town), ran another tank through and then took it on a long trip this weekend where I added a bottle of lucas fuel injector cleaner (the label says, "tune-up in a bottle")with the first fill-up. Most of the driving on the trip was highway.

Last night I did some of the typical driving where the van had been having problems in the past (sitting at long lights on an incline and then having to go uphill) and there was absolutely no problem.

So, thanks for all the help and suggestions!
I think I'm going to take it somewhere and have that 3M fuel system cleaning.
 
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