Engine 1991 5.0 lx randomly drops idle and loses power when hot

Joey Ison

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Jan 23, 2018
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I have a 91 foxbody with a 306 under the hood. Mild cam, 24lb injectors, 75 mm MAF to match injectors and throttle body. GT40 heads and Ford explorer upper and lower intake. Car runs great when cold for about 15 minutes. When driving in lower rpms or at idle it will lose power and start to sporadically low idle and sometimes stall. It will fire right back up. When driving it will randomly fall on its face and try to stall unless I give it a lot of throttle then it picks back up and hits hard after a few seconds. Any suggestions?
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Did you buy it with these mods or just put it together and start having problems? Check for codes, check fuel pressure, check for vacuum leaks.
 

jrichker

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@Joey Ison


Dump codes sticky

Look at the top of the 5.0 Tech forum where the sticky threads are posted. One of them is how to dump the computer codes. Codes may be present even if the CEL (Check Engine Light) isn’t on. You don’t need a code reader or scanner – all you need is a paper clip, or if your lady friend has a hair pin, that will do the job.
I highly suggest that you read it and follow the instructions to dump the codes. http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/how-to-pull-codes-from-eec4.889006/
 

Joey Ison

New Member
Jan 23, 2018
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I bought with all these mods besides the upper and lower intake. It had a cracked intake when I bought it so I put the explorer upper and lower on it for a little extra power. Car ran good with no issues then one day started doing what it is now. I will check codes tonight and get back on here thanks.
 

Joey Ison

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okay so I ran the codes last night. Heres what I got. 41, 81, 82, 83, 85, 91. EGR, canister purse solenoid have been deleted. Appears to be fuel pressure related or O2 sensors. I ordered a new fuel pressure regulator, idle air control valve and both O2 sensors last night. The car does have a full BBK exhuast long tube headers, H pipe running to flowmasters in the back. Cat has been deleted. Will this cause issues with the new sensors?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
17,302
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polk county florida
One thing I never understood was why is the purge canister tossed. Has no ill effects, in fact it is part of the fuel tank vapor system so it is essential for containing gas fumes when parked in an enclosed environment. I think it enriches the part throttle mode too.
 

jrichker

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okay so I ran the codes last night. Heres what I got. 41, 81, 82, 83, 85, 91. EGR, canister purse solenoid have been deleted. Appears to be fuel pressure related or O2 sensors. I ordered a new fuel pressure regulator, idle air control valve and both O2 sensors last night. The car does have a full BBK exhuast long tube headers, H pipe running to flowmasters in the back. Cat has been deleted. Will this cause issues with the new sensors?

The presence or absence of catalytic converters has no effect on O2 Sensors.


Code 41 or 91. Or 43 Three digit code 172 or 176 - O2 sensor indicates system lean. Look for a vacuum leak or failing O2 sensor.

Revised 20-July-2017 to add note that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.

Code 41 is the passenger side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 91 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 172 is the passenger side sensor as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 176 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 43 is not side specific according to the Probst Ford Fuel injection book.

The computer sees a lean mixture signal coming from the O2 sensors and tries to compensate by adding more fuel. Many times the end result is an engine that runs pig rich and stinks of unburned fuel.

The following is a Quote from Charles O. Probst, Ford fuel Injection & Electronic Engine control:
"When the mixture is lean, the exhaust gas has oxygen, about the same amount as the ambient air. So the sensor will generate less than 400 Millivolts. Remember lean = less voltage.

When the mixture is rich, there's less oxygen in the exhaust than in the ambient air , so voltage is generated between the two sides of the tip. The voltage is greater than 600 millivolts. Remember rich = more voltage.

Here's a tip: the newer the sensor, the more the voltage changes, swinging from as low as 0.1 volt to as much as 0.9 volt. As an oxygen sensor ages, the voltage changes get smaller and slower - the voltage change lags behind the change in exhaust gas oxygen.

Because the oxygen sensor generates its own voltage, never apply voltage and never measure resistance of the sensor circuit. To measure voltage signals, use an analog voltmeter with a high input impedance, at least 10 megohms. Remember, a digital voltmeter will average a changing voltage." End Quote

Testing the O2 sensors 87-93 5.0 Mustangs
Measuring the O2 sensor voltage at the computer will give you a good idea of how well they are working. You'll have to pull the passenger side kick panel off to gain access to the computer connector. Remove the plastic wiring cover to get to the back side of the wiring. Use a safety pin or paper clip to probe the connections from the rear.

Disconnect the O2 sensor from the harness and use the body side O2 sensor harness as the starting point for testing. Do not measure the resistance of the O2 sensor , you may damage it. Resistance measurements for the O2 sensor harness are made with one meter lead on the O2 sensor harness and the other meter lead on the computer wire or pin for the O2 sensor.

Computer wiring harness connector, computer side.
88243.gif

Backside view of the computer wiring connector:
a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.gif


87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor
The computer pins are 29 (L\RH O2 with a dark green/pink wire) and 43 (LH O2 with a dark blue/pink wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.

91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
The computer pins are 29 (LH O2 with a Gray/Lt blue wire) and 43 (RH O2 with a Red/Black wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


Testing the O2 sensors 94-95 5.0 Mustangs; note that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.
Measuring the O2 sensor voltage at the computer will give you a good idea of how well they are working. You'll have to pull the passenger side kick panel off to gain access to the computer connector. Remove the plastic wiring cover to get to the back side of the wiring. Use a safety pin or paper clip to probe the connections from the rear. The computer pins are 29 (LH O2 with a red/black wire) and 27 (RH O2 with a gray/lt blue wire). Use pin 32 (gray/red wire) to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


Note that all resistance tests must be done with power off. Measuring resistance with a circuit powered on will give false readings and possibly damage the meter. Do not attempt to measure the resistance of the O2 sensors, it may damage them.

Testing the O2 sensor wiring harness
Most of the common multimeters have a resistance scale. Be sure the O2 sensors are disconnected and measure the resistance from the O2 sensor body harness to the pins on the computer. Using the Low Ohms range (usually 200 Ohms) you should see less than 1.5 Ohms.

87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Dark blue/Lt green wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Dark blue/Lt green wire on the computer pin 43
From the Dark Green/Pink wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Dark Green/Pink wire on the computer pin 29

91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 43
From the Dark Green/Pink Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 29

94-95 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 29 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 27 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 29
From the Dark Green/Pink Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 27

There is a connector between the body harness and the O2 sensor harness. Make sure the connectors are mated together, the contacts and wiring are not damaged and the contacts are clean and not coated with oil.

The O2 sensor ground (orange wire with a ring terminal on it) is in the wiring harness for the fuel injection wiring. I grounded mine to one of the intake manifold bolts

Check the fuel pressure – the fuel pressure is 37-41 PSI with the vacuum disconnected and the engine idling. Fuel pressure out of range can cause the 41 & 91 codes together. It will not cause a single code, only both codes together.

Make sure you have the proper 3 wire O2 sensors. Only the 4 cylinder cars used a 4 wire sensor, which is not compatible with the V8 wiring harness. The exception is that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.

Replace the O2 sensors in pairs if replacement is indicated. If one is weak or bad, the other one probably isn't far behind.

Code 41 can also be due to carbon plugging the driver’s side Thermactor air crossover tube on the back of the engine. The tube fills up with carbon and does not pass air to the driver’s side head ports. This puts an excess amount of air in the passenger side exhaust and can set the code 41. Remove the tube and clean it out so that both sides get good airflow: this may be more difficult than it sounds. You need something like a mini rotor-rooter to do the job because of the curves in the tube. Something like the outer spiral jacket of a flexible push-pull cable may be the thing that does the trick.

If you get only code 41 and have changed the sensor, look for vacuum leaks. This is especially true if you are having idle problems. The small plastic tubing is very brittle after many years of the heating it receives. Replace the tubing and check the PVC and the hoses connected to it.
 
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