1991 Mercury Sable

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  #1  
Old 04-26-08, 07:11 AM
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Unhappy 1991 Mercury Sable

I got a 1991 Mercury Sable. The car starts fine then after maybe 15 min it quits. I wait fron 5 to 30 min later and it starts again like nothing happens. What that can be? Could it be a clogged fuel filter? It is so, where it is & how to change it or get rid of the problem.
Please help.
Very respectfully
John
 

Last edited by i_tsounis; 04-26-08 at 09:01 AM. Reason: More info.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-08, 10:56 AM
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First step will be to determine if it's an ignition problem or a fuel problem. This is fairly easy and costs nothing; next time it does it, remove a spark plug wire and check for spark. Insert a screw driver up into the plug boot to make contact with the cable end and hold it so that the metal shaft of the screwdriver is close to a ground (metal on the engine). Alternatively, if you have an old spark plug laying around you can push it into the loose plug wire and lay it on a metal surface. Have someone crank it and see if you have spark and then we'll take it from there.

On the fule side, could be filter or pump. Could be junk in the bottom of the tank; after driving for a while the pump may be sucking enough debris into the pre-filter sock to cause shutdown. After sitting a while the debris can fall off and allow fuel to pass. This can be checked with a fuel pressure gauge.
 
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Old 04-26-08, 02:45 PM
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Agreed.......Check for spark and fuel pressure when it fails,There is no way for a DIY'er to check These Items..(Or lack thereof) with the vehicle functioning properly....

Common Issues........

Most ford products after the mid -80's ,Share a common problem with the Hall effect sensor, or for general purposes.....Ignition Pickup...It is located inside the distributor. It can overheat and fail, and function normally when it cools.

It is possible for "JUNK " in the tank to be sucked up into the screen, and when suction is eliminated, fall back down and settle. It is rare , but on several occassions I have found a broken "Tank Baffle", just floating around , Jamming whatever gets in its way.

An electric fuel pump may overheat and Jam, and return to functional when it cools.....

A step at a time, and process of elimination are your best tools here.
 
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Old 04-27-08, 12:50 PM
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Question 1991 Mercury Sable quits after 5 min

Hello, thanks for the imput. I checked the spark thing & I believe there's none. I put it close to the engine top, screws & even peel some of the body paint to test for spark & I didn't saw none. Anything to refine my search? Now it is doing it sooner. Today I got the car on & whent to the store. Turn off the car & didn't want to start. 5 min after it starts & die. Got it on & maybe 5 to 10 min it dies again. Thanks for all the help. I'm not rich & I can't afford a mechanic. My wife is Cancer 4 & all the money is going to make the doctors & pharmacy rich. Again, thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 04-27-08, 01:07 PM
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Do you have an aftermarket manual where you can read up on certain things and look at wiring diagrams?

Got a multimeter (voltmeter) tester?

Does car have a coil wire you can pull out of a distributor and hold next to shiny metal?

Can you test to see if 12+ volts is coming into any PRIMARY terminal at the coil (not at tower in miuddle of coil where high voltage spark is) when key is turned to "start" and also "on"? (You could leave off the coil's high voltage wire when testing.).

If no power there - if when you catch it and no spark, do you get that humming sound from the fuel pump, as you should, if you turn the key to on? It be nice to know if you get or don't get that sound when the car does NOT start to rule out a joint electrical problem that affects both electrical and gas, as some cars have auto shutdown relay that kills power to both at the same time. Has car been in any kind of accident?
 
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Old 04-27-08, 02:05 PM
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The car has not been in an accident as I know, I do hear the humming sound from the pump. No diagrams & no tester, How do I know if I got a coil. Is a 1991 Mercury Sable V-6. I can build a comp. or wire a house from scratch but cars & me don't mix.
Thanks
John
 
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Old 04-27-08, 02:16 PM
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So then we are probably back to the spark issue. Where do your spark plug wires all converge at? And then is there a big wire that comes out of that place and goes to something else?

If you can wire a house, you are a hand-on person, and I'd think you could catch onto cars. A multimeter used to test home wiring can be used to test cars on the DCV setting at a setting above 12 volts DCV.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 02:07 PM
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i had 91 sable and mine had distributor and 6 wires.
somewhere on the web i read that you can spray spark pl;ug wires with soapy water, probably simply for adhision, and the leaking wire will be making cracking noise and sparks can be seen.
also, if it's distributed, as i can speek only fo mine, it'd have been worth changing distributor cap and rotor. leaking caps with microcracks are oh so full of surprises.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 06:02 PM
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Unhappy 1991 Sable quits after 5 min

The previous owner of the car told me that it got a tune up recently. I'll check everything you are telling me. I did observe that all the wires goes to the big cap & from the cap there's a short wire at the top that goes to a big black thing that really looks like an electrical coil. When I put the car on the start or on position, I hear the humming sound for maybe 2-5 seconds & then stops I think. Again, thanks for all the input & help. The good Lord takes care of us.
Thanks!!!
 
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Old 04-28-08, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by i_tsounis View Post
The previous owner of the car told me that it got a tune up recently. I'll check everything you are telling me. I did observe that all the wires goes to the big cap & from the cap there's a short wire at the top that goes to a big black thing that really looks like an electrical coil. When I put the car on the start or on position, I hear the humming sound for maybe 2-5 seconds & then stops I think. Again, thanks for all the input & help. The good Lord takes care of us.
Thanks!!!
yes, you do have ditributor and ignition coil. that's the big cap and large black cylinder, with central wire connected to it.
sellers are tellers, you know that, right? his understanding of tune up might have been oil change and new spark plugs.
change cap/rotor. do soap test on wires, esp during the night, leaking wires really show in the dark. quite cool a view.
also, in the distributor, rotor sits on top of a large metal round piece. i apologize, like i said, my distributor times date back to 2000. anyways, underneath that piece should be a brown looking piece, kind of kidney shaped. it has tendency to go bad over time. guys, help me with terminology, please. was it pick up coil? if it goes bad, your ignition dies. also, there should be a tiny condensor on the side of distributor, that sometimes goes back either.
 
  #11  
Old 04-29-08, 04:33 AM
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I think you're probably describing an ignition module. Not sure of the config on that Sable, but failing modules will sometimes first exhibit problems when they are hot.
 
  #12  
Old 06-22-08, 03:43 PM
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Smile 1988 Mercury Sable-THANKS!

I have to thanks all of you professionals & guest for the help with my car. It was the distributor cap (it had a hair line crack in it). The car is working again like a dream. The only problem now is that sometimes it shakes & I don't know were to start looking. Please help!
Thanks again!
John
 
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