Engine Reviving my '90

townethug

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May 17, 2004
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I'm prepared for the public shaming but after neglecting my 1990 for the last few years I finally got a bug up my butt to get her back on the road. After spending some time this weekend and last I have her running though not very well. Today I pulled some codes and noted a few things about how its running. I mostly learn as I go so I wanted to shoot this out there for some opinions before "doing stuff".

KOEO - 23
KOER - 12, 13, 23, 41

Engine is always running hard, idles typically between 1500-2000. Thinking this might have something to do with the TPS in the 23 codes above. With the jumper pulled it runs looks to run at the stock 10* BTC but with the jumper in it runs at 30* BTC. I don't know if that is normal or not.

I know I have replaced the O2 sensor on this before. Is it possible one of the other codes is triggering that or does it seem likely that needs to be replaced too?

Finally, I noticed a mouse has chewed through the neutral wire feeding one of the fuel injectors. Not sure what options I have there, replacing the whole line seems like a PITA.

Thanks to any help or suggestions. I'm looking forward to having her on the road in the spring!

-Ray
 
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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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The injector harness is not bad to replace, it's also a chance to recover it, the plastic cover gets brittle after so many years. You can google the codes then print a copy or save it on your pc for future reference, I think there is a list in the resources area, just hit the three bars in the upper left corner next to the stangnet logo, lots of good stuff in there and also in the technical/how to threads on the main fox tech page.
of course members are also eager to help and I'm sure some knowitall AH, I mean experienced member will chime in.
 

jrichker

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I'm prepared for the public shaming but after neglecting my 1990 for the last few years I finally got a bug up my butt to get her back on the road. After spending some time this weekend and last I have her running though not very well. Today I pulled some codes and noted a few things about how its running. I mostly learn as I go so I wanted to shoot this out there for some opinions before "doing stuff".

KOEO - 23
KOER - 12, 13, 23, 41

Engine is always running hard, idles typically between 1500-2000. Thinking this might have something to do with the TPS in the 23 codes above. With the jumper pulled it runs looks to run at the stock 10* BTC but with the jumper in it runs at 30* BTC. I don't know if that is normal or not.

I know I have replaced the O2 sensor on this before. Is it possible one of the other codes is triggering that or does it seem likely that needs to be replaced too?

Finally, I noticed a mouse has chewed through the neutral wire feeding one of the fuel injectors. Not sure what options I have there, replacing the whole line seems like a PITA.

Thanks to any help or suggestions. I'm looking forward to having her on the road in the spring!

-Ray
Code 12 & 412 -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.



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 13 &415 - Key on Engine off - ISC did not respond properly (extends to touch throttle then retracts for KOEO) – ISC

Key on Engine running - Idle Speed Control motor or Air Bypass not controlling idle properly (generally idle too high)

If your idle is above 725 RPM, the computer will set this code. Normal idle speed is 650-725 RPM. Higher than that means that someone has mechanically set the idle speed by use of the idle speed screw, and has effectively disabled to computer’s ability to control idle speed.



Code 23 - Throttle sensor out of range or throttle set too high - TPS needs to be reset to below 1.2 volts at idle. Keep in mind that when you turn the idle screw to set the idle speed, you change the TPS setting. [/b]


You'll need a Digital Voltmeter (DVM) to do the job.

Wire colors & functions:
Orange/white = 5 volt VREF from the computer
Dark Green/lt green = TPS output to computer
Black/white = Signal ground from computer

Always use the Dark Green/lt green & Black/white wires to set the TPS base voltage.

Do the test with the ignition switch in the Run position without the engine running.

Use the Orange/white & Black white wires to verify the TPS has the correct 5 volts source from the computer.

When you installed the sensor make sure you place it on the peg right and then tighten it down properly. Loosen the back screw a tiny bit so the sensor can pivot and loosen the front screw enough so you can move it just a little in very small increments. I wouldn’t try to adjust it using marks. Set it at .6.v-.9 v.

1. Always adjust the TPS and Idle with the engine at operating temp. Dive it around for a bit if you can and get it nice and warm.

2. When you probe the leads of the TPS, do not use an engine ground, put the ground probe into the lead of the TPS. You should be connecting both meter probes to the TPS and not one to the TPS and the other to ground.

If setting the TPS doesn’t fix the problem, then you may have wiring problems.
With the power off, measure the resistance between the black/white wire and battery ground. You should see less than 2 ohms. Check the same black /white wire on the TPS and MAP/Baro sensor. More than 1 ohm there and the wire is probably broken in the harness between the engine and the computer. The 10 pin connectors pass the black/white wire back to the computer, and can cause problems.

See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host)

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91eecPinout.gif

See the graphic for the 10 pin connector circuit layout.
68512.jpg




TPS Troubleshooting and testing

Revised 29-Jun-2018 to add increasing idle speed after engine start.

The TPS signal ground is not the same as the engine block or car body ground. Do not use the engine block or car body as a ground when checking the signal ground wiring or the TPS voltage!!! You will get incorrect readings that will vary with the amount of electrical load on the electrical system.


Setting the TPS: you'll need a good Digital Voltmeter (DVM) to do the job. Set the TPS voltage at .5- 1.1 range. Because of the variables involved with the tolerances of both computer and DVM, I would shoot for somewhere between .6 and 1.0 volts. Unless you have a Fluke or other high grade DVM, the second digit past the decimal point on cheap DVM’s is probably fantasy. There is no advantage to setting it to .99; that is a BOZO Internet myth, complete with red nose and big floppy shoes.

Since the computer zeros out the TPS voltage every time it powers up, playing with the settings isn't an effective aid to performance or drivability. The main purpose of checking the TPS is to make sure it isn't way out of range and causing problems.


Wire colors & functions:
Orange/white = 5 volt VREF from the computer
Dark Green/lt green = TPS output to computer
Black/white = Signal ground from computer

TPS troubleshooting steps:
1.) Use the Orange/white & Black white wires to verify the TPS has the correct 5 volts source from the computer.
2.) Use the Dark Green/lt green & Black/white wires to set the TPS base voltage. Try this... All you need is less than 1.0 volt at idle and more than 4.25 at Wide Open Throttle (WOT). You'll need a voltmeter with a 1 or 3 volt low scale to do the job.

The Orange/White wire is the VREF 5 volts from the computer. You use the Dark Green/Lt green wire (TPS signal) and the Black/White wire (TPS ground) to set the TPS. Use a pair of safety pins to probe the TPS connector from the rear of the connector. You may find it a little difficult to make a good connection, but keep trying. Put the safety pins in the Dark Green/Lt green wire and Black/White wire. Make sure the ignition switch is in the Run position but the engine isn't running. Set the voltmeter on the 2 volt range if it doesn’t auto range.

Here’s a TPS tip I got from NoGo50

When you installed the sensor make sure you place it on the peg right and then tighten it down properly. Loosen the back screw a tiny bit so the sensor can pivot and loosen the front screw enough so you can move it just a little in very small increments. I wouldn’t try to adjust it using marks.

(copied from MustangMax, Glendale AZ)

A.) Always adjust the TPS and Idle with the engine at operating temp. Dive it around for a bit if you can and get it nice and warm.

B.) When you probe the leads of the TPS, do not use an engine ground, put the ground probe into the lead of the TPS. You should be connecting both meter probes to the TPS and not one to the TPS and the other to ground.

C.) Always reset the computer whenever you adjust the TPS or clean/change any sensors. I just pull the battery lead for 10 minutes.

D.) The key is to adjust the TPS voltage and reset the computer whenever the idle screw is changed.

TPS voltage should be less than 1.1 volt at closed throttle and 4.25 volts or more at WOT

The TPS is a variable resistor, must like the volume control knob on a cheap radio. We have all heard them crackle and pop when the volume is adjusted. The TPS sensor has the same problem: wear on the resistor element makes places that create electrical noise. This electrical noise confuses the computer, because it expects to see a smooth increase or decrease as the throttle is opened or closed.

TPS testing: most of the time a failed TPS will set code 23 or 63, but not always. Use either an analog meter or a DVM with an analog bar graph and connect the leads as instructed above. Turn the ignition switch to the Run position, but do not start the engine. Note the voltage with the throttle closed. Slowly open the throttle and watch the voltage increase smoothly, slowly close the throttle and watch the voltage decrease smoothly. If the voltage jumps around and isn’t smooth, the TPS has some worn places in the resistor element. When the throttle is closed, make sure that the voltage is the same as what it was when you started. If it varies more than 10%, the TPS is suspect of being worn in the idle range of its travel.

TPS will not go below 1 volt

Note: Make all resistance checks with the ignition switch in the OFF position. Failure to do so will result in incorrect results and may possibly damage the meter.

Engine mounted sensor circuit: Check the resistance between the black/white wire on the TPS and battery ground. It should be less than 1 ohm. Higher resistance than 1 ohm indicates a problem with the 10 pin connector, computer or the splice inside the main harness where the wire from the 10 pin connectors joins the rest of the black/white wire.




See the graphic for the location of the 10 pin connectors:
Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds

TPS_IAB_Pic.jpg


See the graphic for the 10 pin connector circuit layout.
68512.jpg


Unplug the white 10 pin connector to do some resistance testing. It is good time to clean the connector pins and examine the connector for corrosion, broken wire or other damage. See http://www.themustangstop.com/tech-articles/cleaning-10-pin-connectors-mustang for help in this department.

If the resistance on the TPS Black/White wire and pin 1 of the white engine fuel injector harness 10 pin connector is more than 1.0 ohm, you have bad connection or broken wiring. Repeat the test using the pin 1 of the white body side 10 pin connector and battery ground. You should have less that 1 ohm. More than that is a damaged signal ground inside the computer or bad connections or wiring.[/b]


Idle speed increases after the engine has started and been driven:
When you start the car, the computer reads the TPS output voltage and uses that as a starting baseline or minimum TPS voltage for the TPS sensor.

As the engine warms up, the TPS voltage can slowly creep up past whatever voltage it saw when the engine first started. That causes the idle RPM to increase.

When you shut the ignition off and then restart the engine, the computer reads the voltage and sets whatever voltage it sees as the minimum TPS voltage for the TPS sensor, even if that voltage is more than 1.1 volt.

The first place to look is for a bad TPS signal ground, broken signal ground wire, or bad connection in the TPS wiring. The TPS connector plug and the 10 pin connector are the two most likely culprits.

The other thing to consider is a bad TPS sensor. Again, dumping the computer codes is a must do item on your troubleshooting checklist. See http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/how-to-pull-codes-from-eec4.889006/ or "Surging Idle Checklist




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 24 Aug 2018
1.) To correct the RH & LH mismatch on 91-93 5.0 Mustangs
2.) To add Tmoss’ wiring diagrams for 88-95 Mustangs


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 (RH O2 with a dark green/pink wire) and 43 (LH O2 with a dark blue/lt green 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 (RH O2 with a Gray/Lt blue wire) and 43 (LH 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.


94-95 5.0 Mustangs; note that the 94-95 uses a 4 wire O2 sensor.
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 O2 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 Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH O2 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 O2 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.

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 94-95 Mustangs


Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs


Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-90 Mass Air Mustangs
 
Last edited:

2000xp8

SN Certified Technician
Aug 8, 2003
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You can probably just crimp and heat shrink the injector wire.

As far as public shaming, at least you are fixing it now, I know so many people that just let cars rot.
 

townethug

Member
May 17, 2004
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0
16
Time for amateur hour.

Thats a good bit to digest but really helpful. Based on that I am going to start by soaking the IAB (can't hurt) and probe the TPS voltage, I'm suspicious that it will need to be replaced since its original. I'll also splice the fuel injector cable until I can get it running without codes.

Another thing I noticed while poking around. Sorry no picture but the front passenger side below the stock air box there is another small box. It looks to have 2 vacuum lines running to it and also has two ports on the top. One of them has a cap on it, the other is open. One of the lines has a formed plastic piece that is in pretty bad shape. In fact when I found it it wasn't connected at all. I'd like to replace it but I don't know what I am looking at either.

Much thanks.
 

townethug

Member
May 17, 2004
120
0
16
Yes that’s it. Should one of the caps be missing? My guess is no.

So how do I know if tps is bad. I’m looking at it now, I’ve got 5 v from the computer but it’s send 1.5 back with closed throttle. Best I can do is 1.4 after adjusting the sensor. For a new sensor it sounds like that indicates a wiring issue but is that the same for old stuff?

If yes to the wiring issue, would it be in the same wiring harness I need to replace for the fuel injectors.

Finally, another brittle vacuum hose broke. It’s a cluster that goes to various parts around throttle body. Picture attached.


I’m hoping to run to the auto store today so fast response would be great.
 

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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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polk county florida
veryuseful.com is a good resource, also our technical/how to threads have a lot of info too, checking for codes, the surging idle checklist just to name a couple.
 

townethug

Member
May 17, 2004
120
0
16
Thanks, that is a very nice resource. I found the part number for the wiring harness which is great. Is that cluster of hoses the vacuum manifold? Really I’m trying to identify the proper names of things so I can order the right parts.

Thanks for all the help.