Car missing/Back firing through throttle body at low rpm

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by cbcperformance, Apr 23, 2011.


  1. cbcperformance

    cbcperformance New Member

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    Hello Stangnet,
    I'm new to the forum and need some asstiance so I thought I would start a thread. I have a 87 Mustang GT pretty much stock besides a few bolts on( Exhaust, Cold air intake. Ive been having a miss at low rpm and at cruzing speeds on the highway. Its fine for about the first 10 min and then progresively gets worse. I thought it was the TFI mod but It tested fine. It has new plugs,wires,cap & rotor. I also replaced the fuel filter. After messing with it for a little bit I checked the codes. Not running im getting code 23 & 63 TPS. It checks out fine with .70 volts at idle and over 4.5 at WOT and I have a 5 volt reff. Im also getting code 33-EGR & 41- System lean. Has anybody else had this problem and if so your input would be greatly appriceated. Thanks Thad
     
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  2. Mustang5L5

    Mustang5L5 Car used in adult film "Highway Gangbang-InDaButt" SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Code 41 is an O2 sensor code. The other sensor is code 91. So only having one present is a sign you need to replace an o2 sensor. Good diagnostic method is to swap the sensors. The plugs "might" reach if you put some slack in the harness and swap them, but you might need to physically swap the sensors....or just replace it and cross your fingers. I gotta see which side 41 is

    Code 33 is egr sensor. Is your egr functional? Try removing it and cleaning the plunger and make sure it moves. Its spring loaded. Push the plunger in and put your finger on vac port and release. The plunger should be held in place by vacuum. If it springs back, the diaphragm is broken. Also check the vac lines to see if they are not broken.

    23 and 63 is tps voltage out of range - low. O.7 volts at idle should be enough, but try adjusting the tps higher. Check the wiring. You may have to pull the eec and check voltage at the pin as a short or pinched wore could increase voltage drop causing 0.7 v at the sensor to become 0.4v at the computer...which would trip the codes.
     
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  3. Mustang5L5

    Mustang5L5 Car used in adult film "Highway Gangbang-InDaButt" SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Code 41 is pass side O2 sensor

    Code 91 is drivers side.

    If you swap the sensors, the 91 should become a 41.
     
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  4. cbcperformance

    cbcperformance New Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I haven't had a chance to check egr since I ran the codes. I'm sure the vac lines need some attention since they are 24 years old. I probably won't get to it till the beginning of next week but I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the info.
     
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  5. RobsLX

    RobsLX New Member

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    My car is doing the exact same thing. I just did the normal tune up parts (all motorcraft) and it's still doing it. I am thinking injector.. but now you got me wanting to check the codes.
     
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  6. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Backfiring out the intake is either a valve stuck open or a lean mixture or spark plug wire(s) connected to the wrong cylinder(s). Check compression on all cylinders and then look for vacuum hoses loose, cracked, or misconnected. Check the line for the vapor recirculation system – it is easy to knock loose and not see it when you connect the air pump plumbing. If the vacuum line for the EGR valve and the air pump are cross connected, some very strange things can happen. Check the mass air flow electrical connection and see that it is tight, the same goes for the fuel injection wiring harness connectors up on top of the manifold near the firewall.

    Sticking valves: If a intake valve is bent, has a bad spring or is misadjusted, the engine will sometimes backfire through the intake. Use a vacuum gauge connected to any convenient spot on the intake manifold. Run the engine at 1000 RPM & look for 18-21 inches of vacuum with a steady needle. A problem intake valve will make the vacuum gauge needle sweep 5-10 inches.

    Lean fuel mixture breaks out into several sub categories:
    A.). Vacuum leaks
    B.) Air entering the intake without passing through the MAF on Mass Air cars (89-95 models).
    C.) Failure of the MAF, BAP/MAP (Baro or Manifold Air Pressure, same sensor, different name), ACT (air charge temp), or ECT (engine coolant temp). These should set a code in the computer.
    D.) Leaking exhaust gases from EGR valve at WOT or EGR opening when it should not be open.
    E.) Poor fuel delivery due to bad fuel pump, clogged filter or bad fuel pump wiring. Look for low pressure or fluctuating pressure. Standard injector pressure is 39 PSI at idle, with the vacuum line disconnected from the regulator and capped.
    F.) Clogged fuel injectors.- see the cylinder balance test below
    H.) Fuel injector wiring problems causing injector not to deliver rated flow.
    I.) Computer problems: (computer problems are not common like sensor problems)
    J.). ROM has bad data in fuel or timing table. This should also set a code in the computer.
    K.) Failure of one or more of the computer's driver transistors for the fuel injectors. No code set on this one. Use a noid test light to test the injector wiring & injector drivers,
    L.) MAF calibration off or mismatched to injectors.
    M.) ACT or ECT bad. Sometimes the sensors will be off calibration, but not bad enough to set a code. If they falsely read too high a temp, the engine will back off fuel delivery.

    Cylinder balance test:
    Warm the car's engine up to normal operating temperature. Use a jumper wire or paper clip to put the computer into test mode. Start the engine and let it go through the normal diagnostic tests, then quickly press the throttle to the floor. The engine RPM should exceed 2500 RPM's for a brief second. The engine RPM's will increase to about 1450-1600 RPM and hold steady. The engine will shut off power to each injector, one at a time. When it has sequenced through all 8 injectors, it will flash 9 for everything OK, or the number of the failing cylinder such as 2 for cylinder #2. Quickly pressing the throttle again up to 2500 RPM’s will cause the test to re-run with smaller qualifying figures. Do it a third time, and if the same cylinder shows up, the cylinder is weak and isn’t putting out power like it should. See the Chilton’s Shop manual for the complete test procedure

    Dump the codes and see what the computer says is wrong…Codes may be present in the computer even if the Check Engine light isn’t on.


    Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

    Be sure to turn off the A/C, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.

    Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

    Here's the link to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

    See Troublcodes.net Trouble Codes OBD & OBD2 Trouble Codes and Technical info & Tool Store. By BAT Auto Technical

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.

    [​IMG]

    The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

    89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.

    [​IMG]

    The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


    WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

    What to expect:
    You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems.

    Codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

    Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

    Alternate methods:
    For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

    Or for a nicer scanner see Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader (3145) – It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $30.
    Or for a nicer scanner see http://www.midwayautosupply.com/p-7208-equus-digital-ford-code-reader-3145.aspx– It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $30.


    Vacuum leak due to slipped lower intake manifold gasket...

    Ask Nicoleb3x3 about the intake gasket that slipped out of place and caused idle and vacuum leak problems that could not be seen or found by external examination. Spay everything with anything you have, and you won't find the leak...


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. cbcperformance

    cbcperformance New Member

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    Well I had a little bit of extra time today to work on the stang. I didn't get much done but I switched the o2 plugs around and got code 91. So I will be replacing the pass side u2 sensor. I also ran the codes again and did the cylinder test three time and had code 9 all three times. I still need to check the egr and find a pin out of the EEC wiring so I can check the tps signal at the EEC. I also found so dry rotted vac lines. I'm going to take off the upper plenum and rerun all the vac lines and replace the gasket. I'll keep you guys posted with my progress. I just wish I had more time to mess with it.
     
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  8. hoopty5.0

    hoopty5.0 Mustang Master

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    Dead thread revival!

    I got a 91, but looked it up on Google and it said lean condition. But you say it could mean dead O2 sensor? I have the same issue op had above.
     
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  9. Mustang5L5

    Mustang5L5 Car used in adult film "Highway Gangbang-InDaButt" SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    It could be lean, but usually the code means that the O2 sensor on that side is not reading what it should.

    Now, this could be due to a bad sensor, or it could be due to a problem upstream of the sensor (bad injector not firing, no spark, vac leak, etc) and that you need to diagnose.

    That's usually why I suggest swapping the O2's if the engine is running well. If the code swaps to the other side, replace the sensor.

    Rockauto does have motorcraft sensors pretty cheap
     
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  10. hoopty5.0

    hoopty5.0 Mustang Master

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    Ok, thanks. Ill switch them this weekend and see where it gets me. I just find it odd that it's intermittent, and usually only at low rpm. My knee jerk reaction was a bad injector, but I'll start from scratch and mark stuff off the 'possible' list.
     
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  11. Mustang5L5

    Mustang5L5 Car used in adult film "Highway Gangbang-InDaButt" SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    If you think it's a bad injector, do a Cylinder Balance test procedure after running the engine codes. See if that ID's a weak cylinder
     
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  12. 85rkyboby

    85rkyboby Active Member

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    What's protocol if it's a cylinder reading low? Rings?
     
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  13. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    Low compression could be a few things like

    rings
    valve springs
    head gasket

    If you do a compression test and it's low, then squirt a few shots of oil in it and then when you redo the compression test the number goes up, chances are it's the rings.
     
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  14. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Cylinder balance test: use this to find dead or weak cylinders:

    Revised 25 March 2012 to add necessity allowing the KOEO tests to finish before starting the engine and the need for a properly functioning IAB/IAC to run the cylinder balance test.

    The computer has a cylinder balance test that helps locate cylinders with low power output. You’ll need to dump the codes out of the computer and make sure that you have the A/C off, clutch depressed to the floor and the transmission in neutral. Fail to do this and you can’t do the engine running dump codes test that allows you to do the cylinder balance test.

    Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

    Be sure to turn off the A/C clutch depressed to the floor, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.


    Here's how to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.

    [​IMG]

    The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

    89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.

    [​IMG]

    The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


    WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

    What to expect:
    You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems. This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and drivability problems

    Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

    Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, clutch depressed to the floor and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

    Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

    Cylinder balance test

    If you have idle or IAC/IAB problems and the engine will not idle on its own without mechanically adjusting the base idle speed above 625-750 RPM, this test will fail with random cylinders pointed out every time it runs. The IAC/IAB must be capable of controlling the engine speed to run in the 1400-1600 RPM range. Playing with the base idle speed by adjusting it upwards will not work, the computer has to be able to control the engine speed using the IAC/IAB.

    Warm the car's engine up to normal operating temperature. Use a jumper wire or paper clip to put the computer into test mode. Let it finish the Key On Engine Off (KOEO) code dump. Start the engine and let it go through the normal diagnostic tests, then quickly press the throttle to the floor. Remember to keep the clutch pedal (5 speed) depressed to the floor during the test. The engine RPM should exceed 2500 RPM's for a brief second. The engine RPM's will increase to about 1450-1600 RPM and hold steady. The engine will shut off power to each injector, one at a time. When it has sequenced through all 8 injectors, it will flash 9 for everything OK, or the number of the failing cylinder such as 2 for cylinder #2. Quickly pressing the throttle again up to 2500 RPM’s will cause the test to re-run with smaller qualifying figures.
    Do it a third time, and if the same cylinder shows up, the cylinder is weak and isn’t putting out power like it should. See the Chilton’s Shop manual for the complete test procedure


    Do a compression test on all the cylinders.
    Take special note of any cylinder that shows up as weak in the cylinder balance test. Low compression on one of these cylinders rules out the injectors as being the most likely cause of the problem. Look at cylinders that fail the cylinder balance test but have good compression. These cylinders either have a bad injector, bad spark plug or spark plug wire. Move the wire and then the spark plug to another cylinder and run the cylinder balance test again. If it follows the moved wire or spark plug, you have found the problem. If the same cylinder fails the test again, the injector is bad. If different cylinders fail the cylinder balance test, you have ignition problems or wiring problems in the 10 pin black & white electrical connectors located by the EGR.

    How to do a compression test:
    Only use a compression tester with a screw in adapter for the spark plug hole. The other type leaks too much to get an accurate reading. Your local auto parts store may have a compression tester to rent/loan. If you do mechanic work on your own car on a regular basis, it would be a good tool to add to your collection.

    With the engine warmed up, remove all spark plugs and prop the throttle wide open with a plastic screwdriver handle between the throttle butterfly and the throttle housing. Crank the engine until it the gage reading stops increasing. On a cold engine, it will be hard to tell what's good & what's not. Some of the recent posts have numbers ranging from 140-170 PSI. If the compression is low, squirt some oil in the cylinder and do it again – if it comes up, the rings are worn. There should be no more than 10% difference between cylinders. Use a blow down leak test (puts compressed air inside cylinders) on cylinders that have more than 10% difference.

    I generally use a big screwdriver handle stuck in the TB between the butterfly and the TB to prop the throttle open. The plastic is soft enough that it won't damage anything and won't get sucked down the intake either.

    A battery charger (not the trickle type) is a good thing to have if you haven't driven the car lately or if you have any doubts about the battery's health. Connect it up while you are cranking the engine and it will help keep the starter cranking at a consistent speed from the first cylinder tested to the last cylinder.

    See the link to my site for details on how to build your own blow down type compression tester.
     
    #14
  15. hoopty5.0

    hoopty5.0 Mustang Master

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    @jrichker for the test, I am assuming when you push the throttle, you release it immediately instead of keeping it to the floor? Silly question, but just checking.

    And as usual, thank you (and also @Mustang5L5 ) for the help. It's keeping me on the road!
     
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  16. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    You are correct. :)
     
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  17. Mustang5L5

    Mustang5L5 Car used in adult film "Highway Gangbang-InDaButt" SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    \

    Well the test just means the cylinder isn't firing correctly.

    From there, you need to troubleshoot a bit more. A compression test will tell you if the sealing is bad, but other causes could be a dead/weak injector, a fouled spark plug from oil leaking past the valve, bad plug wire. Etc.

    It really just ID's a cylinder than you need to check out.


    For example, I randomly did the CBT one day and discovered my #4 cylinder was completely dead. After investigation, discovered the injector was bad. Swapped it out and finally had a car that ran on 8 cylinders after about a year of wondering why I had a slight vibration at 1500 RPM.
     
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  18. 85rkyboby

    85rkyboby Active Member

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    Alright, thanks for clarifying. I have low compression in a cylinder but when oil was added to that spark plug cylinder the compression came back up.
     
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  19. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    That is a symptom of rings that don't seal like they should. That may be caused by worn rings, damaged piston, or damage to the cylinder wall itself.
     
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  20. 85rkyboby

    85rkyboby Active Member

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    Thanks @jrichker. Idk if it's worth checking or just buying a new motor. I got a 90 5.0 out of a exploder for $300.
     
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