Engine Intermittent Hesitation/misfire

Grant32

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Aug 9, 2016
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Hey, guys. Just bought another foxbody, and started having some issues recently. It's a 1989 gt, 5 speed with 91k miles.
Car started missing/ hesitating at low rpm under load, with a rough idle almost as if it was cammed. This occurred no matter what the temp was. I read the codes, which got me absolutely nowhere since there were so many.
KOEO: 85 85 13 14 66 91 96 31 41 66 91 96

KOER: 21 41 91 33 21 41 91 33

That being said, I looked into everything, replaced the MAF, replaced all vacuum lines, put a new cap on the MAP nipple, and ran a new ground and extra ground for HEGO.
As of last night, when up to running temp, the check engine light illuminated and the car ran perfectly. First time this has happened.
This morning on cold start, it ran like crap again.
Thinking about replacing the coolant temp sensor to see if that does anything.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!
 
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Grant32

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Aug 9, 2016
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Just reset the ecu and drove about 25 miles.. ran crappy at first, cleared up, then started running crappy again. Checked the codes and got 32 and 85 KOEO
 

Grant32

New Member
Aug 9, 2016
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And for KOER I have 12 41 91 and 32.

A/C and EGR are deleted as well, forgot to mention. Also have an x pipe, no cats, and a BBK cold air. No other mods.
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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Run a cylinder balance test after the engine running codes. Once the codes have finished, blip the throttle 50%.

The engine will idle up and shut off fuel to injectors one at a time. At the end it will blink 1-8 identifying a cylinder, or 9 for all good.
 

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
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On a Mass Air car like yours, the MAP/BARO sensor vents to open air and actually senses the barometric pressure due to changes in weather and altitude. The short version is never put a cap on the MAP sensor and never connect it to engine vacuum.

The MAP sensor's purpose is to set a baseline for the computer to know the barometric pressure. As barometric pressure decreases, it leans out the fuel flow to compensate for less oxygen in the air. When the barometric pressure rises, it increases to add fuel since there is more oxygen in the air. The fuel requirements decrease as altitude increases, since the atmospheric pressure decreases.




Code 12 -Idle Air Bypass motor not controlling idle properly (generally idle too low) - IAB dirty or not working. Clean the electrical contacts with non flammable brake parts cleaner at the same time.

IAC doesn't work: look for +12 volts at the IAC red wire. Then check for continuity between the white/lt blue wire and pin 21 on the computer. The IAC connector contacts will sometimes corrode and make the IAC not work. The red wire on the IAC is always hot with the engine in run mode. The computer provides a ground for the current for the IAC. It switches the ground on and off, making a square wave with a varying duty cycle. A normal square wave would be on for 50% of the time and off for 50% of the time. When the idle speed is low, the duty cycle increases more than 50% to open the IAC more. When the engine speed is high, it decreases the duty cycle to less than 50% to close the IAC. An old-fashioned dwell meter can be used to check the change: I haven’t tried it personally, but it should work. In theory, it should read ½ scale of whatever range you set it on with a 50% duty cycle. An Oscilloscope is even better if you can find someone who has one and will help.

attachment.php?attachmentid=58887&stc=1&d=1247241098.gif


Recommended procedure for cleaning the IAC/IAB:
Conventional cleaning methods like throttle body cleaner aren’t very effective. The best method is a soak type cleaner used for carburetors. If you are into fixing motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles or anything else with a small carburetor, you probably have used the one gallon soak cleaners like Gunk or Berryman. One of the two should be available at your local auto parts store for $22-$29. Take the solenoid off the body and set it aside: the carb cleaner will damage some types of plastic parts. Soak the metal body in the carb cleaner overnight. There is a basket to set the parts in while they are soaking. When you finish soaking overnight, twist the stem of the IAB/IAC that sticks out while the blocker valve is seated. This removes any leftover deposits from the blocker valve seat. Rinse the part off with water and blow it dry with compressed air. The IAC/IAB should seal up nicely now. Once it has dried, try blowing through the bottom hole and it should block the air flow. Reassemble and reinstall to check it out.

Gunk Dip type carb & parts soaker:



Setting the base idle speed:
First of all, the idle needs to be adjusted to where the speed is at or below 600 RPM with the IAC disconnected. If you have a wild cam, you may have to raise this figure 100-150 RPM or so. Then the electrical signal through the IAC can vary the airflow through it under computer control. Remember that the IAC can only add air to increase the base idle speed set by the mechanical adjustment. The 600 RPM base idle speed is what you have after the mechanical adjustment. The IAC increases that speed by supplying more air under computer control to raise the RPM’s to 650-725 RPM’s. This figure will increase if you have a wild cam, and may end up between 800-950 RPM

Remember that changing the mechanical idle speed adjustment changes the TPS setting too.

This isn't the method Ford uses, but it does work. Do not attempt to set the idle speed until you have fixed all the codes and are sure that there are no vacuum leaks.

Disconnect the battery negative terminal and turn the headlights on. Leave the battery negative terminal disconnected for 5 minutes or so. Then turn the headlights off and reconnect the battery. This erases the computer settings that may affect idle performance.

Warm the engine up to operating temperature, place the transmission in neutral, and set the parking brake. Turn off lights, A/C, all unnecessary electrical loads. Disconnect the IAC electrical connector. Remove the SPOUT plug. This will lock the ignition timing so that the computer won't change the spark advance, which changes the idle speed. Note the engine RPM: use the mechanical adjustment screw under the throttle body to raise or lower the RPM until you get the 600 RPM mark +/- 25 RPM. A wild cam may make it necessary to increase the 600 RPM figure to 700 RPM or possibly a little more to get a stable idle speed.
Changing the mechanical adjustment changes the TPS, so you will need to set it.

When you are satisfied with the results, turn off the engine, and re-install the SPOUT and reconnect the IAC. The engine should idle with the range of 650-750 RPM without the A/C on or extra electrical loads. A wild cam may make this figure somewhat higher.

An engine that whose idle speed cannot be set at 600 RPM with the IAC disconnected has mechanical problems. Vacuum leaks are the #1 suspect in this case. A vacuum gauge will help pinpoint both vacuum leaks and improperly adjusted valves. A sticking valve or one adjusted too tight will cause low vacuum and a 5"-8" sweep every time the bad cylinder comes up on compression stroke. An extreme cam can make the 600 RPM set point difficult to set. Contact your cam supplier or manufacturer to get information on idle speed and quality


Code 21 – ECT sensor out of range. Broken or damaged wiring, bad ECT sensor.
Note that that if the outside air temp is below 50 degrees F that the test for the ECT can be in error. Warm the engine up until you get good hot air from the heater and then dump the codes again.

The computer Engine Coolant Temperature sensor has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature gauge. They are different animals. The ECT sensor is normally located it the passenger side front of the engine in the water feed tubes for the heater. It has two wires that connect by a weathertight plastic connector.

The water temperature sender for the temp gauge is located in the driver's side lower intake manifold. It has a single wire that connects by a push on connector on the temp sender.
The ACT & ECT have the same thermistor, so the table values are the same

ACT & ECT test data:

Use Pin 46 on the computer for ground for both ECT & ACT to get most accurate readings.

Pin 7 on the computer - ECT signal in. At 176 degrees F it should be .80 volts

Pin 25 on the computer - ACT signal in. At 50 degrees F it should be 3.5 volts. It is a good number if the ACT is mounted in the inlet airbox. If it is mounted in the lower intake manifold, the voltage readings will be lower because of the heat transfer.



Voltages may be measured across the ECT/ACT by probing the connector from the rear. A pair of safety pins may be helpful in doing this. Use care in doing it so that you don't damage the wiring or connector.

Here's the table :

50 degrees F = 3.52 v
68 degrees F = 3.02 v
86 degrees F = 2.62 v
104 degrees F = 2.16 v
122 degrees F = 1.72 v
140 degrees F = 1.35 v
158 degrees F = 1.04 v
176 degrees F = .80 v
194 degrees F = .61
212 degrees F = .47 v
230 degrees F = .36 v
248 degrees F = .28 v

Ohms measures at the computer with the computer disconnected, or at the sensor with the sensor disconnected.

50 degrees F = 58.75 K ohms
68 degrees F = 37.30 K ohms
86 degrees F = 27.27 K ohms
104 degrees F = 16.15 K ohms
122 degrees F = 10.97 K ohms
140 degrees F = 7.60 K ohms
158 degrees F = 5.37 K ohms
176 degrees F = 3.84 K ohms
194 degrees F = 2.80 K ohms
212 degrees F = 2.07 K ohms
230 degrees F = 1.55 K ohms
248 degrees F = 1.18 k ohms

Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds



See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds
(website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/

Ignition switch wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/IgnitionSwitchWiring.gif

Fuel, alternator, A/C and ignition wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-91 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Vacuum diagram 89-93 Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangFoxFordVacuumDiagram.jpg


Code 32– EGR voltage below closed limit
Missing VREF (5v), 10 pin connector problems, EGR wiring connector problems; the sensor is rarely the cause of this code.

Let’s put on our Inspector Gadget propeller head beanies and think about how this works:
The EGR sensor is a variable resistor with ground on one leg and Vref (5 volts) on the other. Its’ resistance ranges from 4000 to 5500 Ohms measured between Vref & ground, depending on the sensor. The center connection of the variable resistor is the slider that moves in response to the amount of vacuum applied. The slider has some minimum value of resistance greater than 100 ohms so that the computer always sees a voltage present at its’ input. If the value was 0 ohms, there would be no voltage output. Then the computer would not be able to distinguish between a properly functioning sensor and one that had a broken wire or bad connection. The EGR I have in hand reads 700 Ohms between the slider (EPV) and ground (SIG RTN) at rest with no vacuum applied.

As vacuum is applied, the voltage on the slider increases (EVP). As the voltage increases, the computer knows the how much the EGR valve is opened and how much exhaust gas is being recirculated. It uses the load table to calculate the amount of exhaust gas required depending on RPM, Mass Air Flow, ACT, ECT & TPS. It then sends a signal to the Electronic Vacuum Regulator to hold, increase or decrease the vacuum being applied to the EGR valve.

Theory class is over now, let’s spin up our propeller head beanies and get with it… Go Gadget, Go…

Measure the resistance of the EGR sensor between the two end pins. You should see between 3500 to 5500 Ohms. With the sensor removed, measure the resistance again while pressing on the plunger. You should see the resistance drop from its high value to a low reading of 200-700 ohms depending on the sensor. No resistance readings, or values way out of range, the sensor is bad.
If the Orange white wire has Vref, (5 volts =/-.25 volt) then you have some wiring problems because the computer isn’t seeing the minimum voltage on the EVR pin. Ohm the wiring back to the computer. Check for resistance between the brown/lt green wire on the EGR sensor and pin 27 on the computer: you should have less than 1 ohm. Repeat the process for the orange/white wire and pin 26. Do it again between the black/white wire and pin 46. In no case should you have more than 1 ohm. Remember that resistance checks are always done with the power off the circuit.



See the graphic for the 10 pin connector circuit layout.




Voltage and resistance checks are good: Here’s an EGR test procedure I copied from cjones

to check the EGR valve:
bring the engine to normal temp.
connect a vacuum pump to the EGR Valve
apply 5 in vacuum to the valve.
if engine stumbled or died then EGR Valve and passage(there is a passageway through the heads and intake) are good.
if engine did NOT stumble or die then either the EGR Valve is bad and/or the passage is blocked.
if engine stumbled, connect vacuum gauge to the hose coming off of the EGR Valve
snap throttle to 2500 RPM’s (remember snap the throttle don't hold it there).
did the vacuum gauge show about 5 in vacuum?

if not, check for manifold vacuum at the EGR vacuum valve.
if you have manifold vacuum then connect vacuum gauge to the EGR valve side of the vacuum valve and snap throttle to 2500 RPM’s.
should read about 5 in vacuum

End of cjones's test.

If the test procedure fails to provide proper vacuum, check vacuum feed lines for cracks & damage. If the vacuum lines are good, check the electrical wiring to the EVR. If the EVR electrical wiring is good, look for 12 volts on the red wire for the EVR. If the 12 volts is good, look for a varying voltage on the dark green wire on the EVR. Case of last resort, replace the EVR and then the computer


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 11-Jan-2015 to add check for fuel pressure out of range

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.

Backside view of the computer wiring connector:


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
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.

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.


Code 85 CANP solenoid - The Carbon Canister solenoid is inoperative or missing.

Revised 11 –Jan_2015 to add warning about vacuum leaks due to deteriorated hose or missing caps on vacuum lines when the solenoid is removed.

Check vacuum lines for leaks and cracks. Check electrical wiring for loose connections, damaged wiring and insulation. Check solenoid valve operation by grounding the gray/yellow wire to the solenoid and blowing through it.
The computer provides the ground for the solenoid. The red wire to the solenoid is always energized any time the ignition switch is in the run position.

If you disconnected the carbon canister and failed to properly cap the vacuum line coming from under the upper intake manifold, you will have problems. You will also have problems if the remaining hose coming from under the upper intake manifold or caps for the vacuum line are sucking air.

Charcoal canister plumbing - one 3/8" tube from the bottom of the upper manifold to the rubber hose. Rubber hose connects to one side of the canister solenoid valve. Other side of the solenoid valve connects to one side of the canister. The other side of the canister connects to a rubber hose that connects to a line that goes all the way back to the gas tank. There is an electrical connector coming from the passenger side injector harness near #1 injector that plugs into the canister solenoid valve. It's purpose is to vent the gas tank. The solenoid valve opens at cruse to provide some extra fuel. The canister is normally mounted on the passenger side frame rail near the smog pump pulley.



It does not weigh but a pound or so and helps richen up the cruse mixture. It draws no HP & keeps the car from smelling like gasoline in a closed garage. So with all these good things and no bad ones, why not hook it up & use it?


The purge valve solenoid connector is a dangling wire that is near the ECT sensor and oil filler on the passenger side rocker cover. The actual solenoid valve is down next to the carbon canister. There is about 12"-16" of wire that runs parallel to the canister vent hose that comes off the bottom side of the upper intake manifold. That hose connects one port of the solenoid valve; the other port connects to the carbon canister.

The purge valve solenoid should be available at your local auto parts store.

Purge valve solenoid:



The carbon canister is normally mounted on the passenger side frame rail near the smog pump pulley.
Carbon Canister: