Rough idle and Steering Column vibration at idle and start.

87527

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The car experiences a strong vibration at idle and during startup. Vibration shakes the steering column and shifter knob in neutral. I thought it was due to the TPS or the IAC, so i changed them and nothing has changed. Car is a 95 GT 5.0 V8 Manual transmission
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Have you tried to read the codes ?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Ok, first some info please:
Just got the car and trying to fix what op didn't/couldn't
had the car long time and this just started
what modifications have been done
i would start with the basics:
Check for codes
check harmonic balancer
check firing order
if the plug wires look old change them and the plugs, cap and rotor
 
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jrichker

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Does the engine speed go up and down or is it relatively steady?

If it is steady, the vibration is probably a mechanical problem. As General karthief has suggested, check the harmonic balancer.

If the RPM goes up and down. then the harmonic balancer is not the problem.

Repost with an appropriate answer and I will give you some solid help to find and fix your problem.
 
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87527

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Apologies for the late reply. The car is bone stock apart from replacement parts, nothing performance or special in any way. Car idles fine and the vibration is around 1k rpms like right on the dot.

Sparkplugs and wires are pristine just changed them last week and the firing order is correct. I attempted to check the codes but couldn't because i cant figure out how to work the code reader, i'll link the exact reader i have somewhere below. The manual for it is pretty useless either that or I'm dumb. I don't know what the harmonic balancer is I'm still learning about cars and decided to take on some of this myself.

The oil was changed less then an hour ago along with the filter if that means anything.

Code Reader: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Innova-E...75035&wl11=online&wl12=16606975&wl13=&veh=sem
 

jrichker

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Apologies for the late reply. The car is bone stock apart from replacement parts, nothing performance or special in any way. Car idles fine and the vibration is around 1k rpms like right on the dot.

Sparkplugs and wires are pristine just changed them last week and the firing order is correct. I attempted to check the codes but couldn't because i cant figure out how to work the code reader, i'll link the exact reader i have somewhere below. The manual for it is pretty useless either that or I'm dumb. I don't know what the harmonic balancer is I'm still learning about cars and decided to take on some of this myself.

The oil was changed less then an hour ago along with the filter if that means anything.

Code Reader: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Innova-E...75035&wl11=online&wl12=16606975&wl13=&veh=sem
The reader you have is a good one, I have one just like it.

For a YouTube video on how to use it, see View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmOgURm7iXI

Post the codes you get and I will give you the what's wrong and how to fix it the right way.
 

87527

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I have returned with codes. the codes read off in this order exactally:
10O, 30, 10, 45R, 20, 90. Those are all the codes i was able to find. I Didnt want to run the car for too long though so there may be more i didnt catch because i shut it off too early. Reason i dont want to run it too long is the exhaust leak near the front end of the car and im currently working in a garage.
EDIT: The only one i could find in the booklet that came with the reader was the "45R" which simply said "Thermactor air Upstream"
 
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jrichker

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Code 45 - (engine running) Electronic Ignition – coil primary circuit failure – Ignition Systems. Check ignition coil, coil low voltage wiring and TFI module..
 

87527

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Alright i'll try that tomorrow after work and then i'll post my findings. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction
 

87527

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Okay sorry for the late return. I Changed the ignition coil and now the car starts before the first crank is even over however, the check engine light is still on. I Tried to read the codes and the square/blinker came on and was solid. It didn't blink at all and pulled no codes whatsoever. The rough idle and vibration remains but it runs alot smoother now.
 

jrichker

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Okay sorry for the late return. I Changed the ignition coil and now the car starts before the first crank is even over however, the check engine light is still on. I Tried to read the codes and the square/blinker came on and was solid. It didn't blink at all and pulled no codes whatsoever. The rough idle and vibration remains but it runs alot smoother now.
Computer will not go into diagnostic mode on 91-95 model 5.0 Mustangs

Revised Dec 23 2107
1.) To clarify signal ground connections on the engine mounted fuel injector wiring harness and add diagram for the engine mounted fuel injector wiring harness
2.) To add warning about using an automatic transmission O2 sensor wiring harness with a A9L manual shift transmission computer.


How it is supposed to work:
The grey/red wire (pin 46) is signal ground for the computer. It provides a dedicated ground for the EGR, Baro, ACT, ECT, & TPS sensors as well as the ground to put the computer into self-test mode. As long as you are successful dumping the codes by using the gray/red wire on the diagnostic connector for the ground when dumping, the computer’s internal ground on pin 46 is good.

If this ground is bad, none of the sensors mentioned will work properly. That will severely affect the car's performance. You will have hard starting, low power and drivability problems. Since it is a dedicated ground, it passes through the computer on its way to the computer main power ground that terminates at the battery pigtail ground. It should read less than 1 ohm when measured from anyplace on the engine harness with the battery pigtail ground as the other reference point for the ohmmeter probe.

Engine mounted fuel injector wiring harness sensors for a 5.0 mustang
63347.gif


What sometimes happens is that the test connector grey/red wire gets jumpered to power which either burns up the wiring or burns the trace off the pc board inside the computer. That trace connects pins 46 to pins 40 & 60.

OR

If an O2 sensor harness from an automatic transmission Mustang is used with an A9L manual shift transmission computer. The 12 volts from the automatic transmission starter circuit will damage the A9L computer.

The STI (Self Test Input) is jumpered to ground to put the computer into test mode. Jumpering it to power can produce unknown results, including damage to the computer. The ohm test simply verifies that there are no breaks in the wiring between the test connector and the computer input.

How to test the wiring :
With the power off, measure the resistance between the computer test ground (grey/red wire) on the self- test connector and battery ground. You should see less than 1 ohm.



If that check fails, remove the passenger side kick panel and disconnect the computer connector. There is a 10 MM bolt that holds it in place. Measure the resistance between the grey/red wire and pin 46 on the computer wiring connector: it should be less than 1 ohm. More than 1 ohm is a wiring problem. If it reads 1 ohm or less, then the computer is suspect. On the computer, measure the resistance between pin 46 and pins 40 & 60: it should be less than 1 ohm. More than that and the computer’s internal ground has failed, and the computer needs to be repaired or replaced.
While you have the computer connector disconnected from the computer, turn the ignition switch to the Start position and look for 12 volts on pin 46 of the computer wiring harness. If you see 12 volts then you have an automatic transmission O2 sensor harness. That will damage the A9L manual shift transmission computer.


See http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/749974-computer-issue.html#post7490537 for Joel5.0’s fix for the computer internal signal ground.

If the first ground check was good, there are other wires to check. Measure the resistance between the STI computer self-test connector (red/white wire) and pin 48 on the computer main connector: it should be less than 1.5 ohms. More than 1 ohms is a wiring problem

The following is a view from the computer side of the computer wiring connector: it is for an A9L, A9P computer.
eec-iv-computer-connector-for-5-0-mustang-gif.gif


a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.gif


Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds

Check out the diagram and notice all the places the grey/red wire goes. Almost every sensor on the engine except the MAF is connected to it.

91-93 5.0 Mustangs




Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 94-95 Mass Air Mustangs
94-95_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif



See the graphic for the 10 pin connector circuit layout.
salt-pepper-10-pin-connectors-65-jpg.jpg



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
 

87527

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It should read less than 1 ohm when measured from anyplace on the engine harness with the battery pigtail ground as the other reference point for the ohmmeter probe.
I dont have a clue on how to test the ground on this... I assume you'd use a multimeter but where do i put the probes. I Don't want to short the system if it hasn't been shorted already.
 

87527

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I dont have a clue on how to test the ground on this... I assume you'd use a multimeter but where do i put the probes. I Don't want to short the system if it hasn't been shorted already.
The issue deepens because im an idiot. I Actually can read the codes still its just now that i figured out what i did wrong the car wont run... I think the alternator finally died but i need to check once i get a hold of a multimeter. I Know i can read codes off of it because it gives me a code 12 when not running. The issue is that the engine light only comes on when running and it wont turn over just like the last time. I know how to fix it this time its just tedious.
 

jrichker

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The issue deepens because im an idiot. I Actually can read the codes still its just now that i figured out what i did wrong the car wont run... I think the alternator finally died but i need to check once i get a hold of a multimeter. I Know i can read codes off of it because it gives me a code 12 when not running. The issue is that the engine light only comes on when running and it wont turn over just like the last time. I know how to fix it this time its just tedious.
Properly done, you will get 3 sets of codes.
Key On, Engine Off. KOEO
Key On, Engine Running, KOER
Key On, Contentious Memory. KOCM

See the video I posted for more help.
 

87527

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Okay i think i found the problem... i researched harmonic balancers, learned how they work, what they should look like and where they are. So i Found mine and figured out how to replace it and i got a pretty hefty paycheck, said screw it and swapped it out. I got it out and compared them and the rubber inseam was 1/2 to 3/4 of the way out. Fairly certain thats what was causing the vibration but now i cant test to see because i cant get the car started. I swapped out the alternator as well because i thought it was electrical... now i have no clue.

What it does when i turn the key is it will turn over, idle for maybe a second and then give up. I know it isnt the fuel pump or filter because 1) i can hear it prime and 2) it was just changed. This car legitimately makes me want to scream some times. Do you have any idea on why it might not be starting?
 

jrichker

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When It won't start, do the checklist...


Cranks OK, but No Start Checklist for Fuel Injected 5.0 Mustangs model years 1986-1995

A word about this checklist before you start: it is arranged in a specific order to put the most likely failure items first. That will save you time, energy and money. Start at the top of the list and work your way down. Jumping around will possibly cause you to miss just what you need to see to find and fix the problem. Don’t skip any steps because the next step depends on the last step working correctly.

Revised 26-Jul-2017 to add fuse link diagram.

All text applies to all models unless stated otherwise.

Note: 94-95 specific changes are in red

1.) Remove push on connector (small red/blue wire) from starter solenoid and turn ignition switch to the Run position. Place car in neutral or Park and set the parking brake. Remove the coil wire from distributor & and hold it 3/8” away from the engine block. Jumper the screw to the big bolt on the starter solenoid that has the battery wire connected to it. You should get a nice fat blue spark.

Most of the items are electrical in nature, so a test light, or even better, a voltmeter, is helpful to be sure they have power to them.

No spark, possible failed items in order of their probability:
A.) MSD, Crane, or other ignition box if present - Bypass it and return to stock configuration if possible. Do this as a temporary measure to eliminate it as a possible problem source.
B.) PIP sensor in distributor. The PIP sensor supplies the timing pulse to trigger the TFI and injectors. A failing PIP sensor will sometimes let the engine start if the SPOUT is removed. See paragraph 5A – Using a noid light will tell if the PIP is working by flashing when the engine is cranking.
C.) TFI module: use a test light to check the TFI module. Place one lead of the test light on the red/green wire on the ignition coil connector and the other lead on the dark green/yellow wire on the ignition coil connector. If the TFI is working properly, the test light will flash when the engine is cranked using the ignition switch.
D.) Coil
E.) No EEC or computer power - EEC or computer relay failure
86-93 models only: EEC relay next to computer - look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires.
94-95 models only: EEC or PCM power relay in the constant control relay module. Look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires.
Both 86-93 and 94-95 models: No 12 volts with the ignition switch in the run position on the fuel injector red wires. The relay has failed or there is no power coming from the ignition switch. Make sure that there is 12 volts on the red/green wire on the coil before replacing the relay.
F.) No EEC or computer power - fuse or fuse link failure
86-93 models only: Fuse links in wiring harness - look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires. All the fuse links live in a bundle up near the starter solenoid. Look for a 20 gauge blue fuse link connected to 2 black/orange 14 gauge wires.
94-95 models only: 20 amp EEC fuse in the engine compartment fuse box. Look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires.
G.) Ignition switch - look for 12 volts at the ignition coil red/lt green wire. No 12 volts, blown fuse link or faulty ignition switch. Remove the plastic from around the ignition switch and look for 12 volts on the red/green wire on the ignition switch with it in the Run position. No 12 volts and the ignition switch is faulty. If 12 volts is present in the Run position at the ignition switch but not at the coil, then the fuse or fuse link is blown.
Note: fuses or fuse links blow for a reason. Don’t replace either a fuse or fuse link with one with a larger rating than stock. Doing so invites an electrical fire.
Ignition fuse links may be replaced with an inline fuse holder and 5 amp fuse for troubleshooting purposes.
94-95 models only: Check inside fuse panel for fuse #18 blown – 20 amp fuse
H.) Missing or loose computer power ground. The computer has its own dedicated power ground that comes off the ground pigtail on the battery ground wire. Due to it's proximity to the battery, it may become corroded by acid fumes from the battery.
In 86-90 model cars, it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/lt green wire.
In 91-95 model cars it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/white wire.
You'll find it up next to the starter solenoid where the wire goes into the wiring harness
I.) Computer. Don’t replace the computer just because you don’t understand how it works. Computers seldom fail, it usually is a sensor or wiring problem that causes the problems.
J.) Bad or missing secondary power ground. It is located between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges.
K.) Engine fires briefly, but dies immediately when the key is released to the Run position. Crank the engine & when it fires off, pull the small push on connector (red/blue wire) off the starter relay (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Hold the switch in the crank position: if it continues to run there is a problem with either the ignition switch or TFI module. Check for 12 volts at the red/green wire on the coil with the switch in the Run position. Good 12 volts, then replace the TFI.
See the Ignition switch wiring diagram for more information on the ignition wiring fuse link because it is the next thing to be tested. You will need a Multimeter or DVM and know how to use the Ohms function to check continuity between the red/green wire on the ignition coil and the red/green wire on the ignition switch. Make sure that the ignition switch is in the off position when you do the check. You should see less than 1 Ω (Ohm) between the red/green wire on the coil and the red/green wire on the ignition switch. More than 1 Ω means that the fuse link may have blown open and needs to be replaced. If you get 1 Ω or less means the fuse link is OK and the ignition switch is bad.

Wiring Diagrams:
See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring Mustang FAQ - Engine Information Everyone should bookmark this site.


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

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/91-93_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 94-95 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/94-95_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

AutoZone wiring diagrams: You can navigate to the diagrams yourself via Repair Info | AutoZone.com and select the car year, make, model and engine. That will enable you to bring up the wiring diagram for your particular car.

2.) Spark at coil wire, pull #1 plug wire off at the spark plug and check to see spark. No spark, possible failed items in order of their probability: [/b]
A.) Moisture inside distributor – remove cap, dry off & spray with WD40
B.) Distributor cap
C.) Rotor
D.) Spark Plug wires
E.) Coil weak or intermittent - you should see 3/8" fat blue spark with a good coil

3.) Spark at spark plug, but no start.
Next, get a can of starting fluid (ether) from your local auto parts store: costs a $1.30 or so. Then pull the air duct off at the throttle body elbow, open the throttle, and spray the ether in it. Reconnect the air duct and try to start the car. Do not try to start the car without reconnecting the air duct.

Two reasons:
1.) If it backfires, the chance for a serious fire is increased.
2.) On Mass Air cars, the computer needs to measure the MAF flow once the engine starts.

If it starts then, you have a fuel management issue. Continue the checklist with emphasis of fuel related items that follow. If it doesn’t, then it is a computer or timing issue: see Step 4.

Clue – listen for the fuel pump to prime when you first turn the ignition switch on. It should run for 2-4 seconds and shut off. To trick the fuel pump into running, find the EEC test connector and jump the connector in the Upper RH corner to ground. The EEC connector is near the wiper motor and LH hood hinge.



If the relay & inertia switch are OK, you will have power to the pump. Check fuel pressure – remove the cap from the Schrader valve behind the alternator and depress the core. Fuel should squirt out, catch it in a rag. Beware of fire hazard when you do this. In a pinch, you can use a tire pressure gauge to measure the fuel pressure. It may not be completely accurate, but you will have some clue as to how much pressure you have. If you have any doubts about having sufficient fuel flow/pressure, rent a fuel pressure test gauge from the auto parts store. That will tell you for sure if you have adequate fuel pressure.

4.) No fuel pressure, possible failed items in order of their probability:

A.) Tripped inertia switch – Coupe & hatch cars hide it under the plastic trim covering the driver's side taillight. Use the voltmeter or test light to make sure you have power to both sides of the switch
B.) Fuel pump power relay – located under the driver’s seat in most stangs built before 92. On 92 and later model cars it is located below the Mass Air Flow meter. Look for 12 volts at the Pink/Black wire on the fuel pump relay.
C.) Clogged fuel filter
D.) Failed fuel pump

E.) 86-90 models only: Blown fuse link in wiring harness. Look for 12 volts at the Orange/Lt Blue wire on the fuel pump relay.
91-93 models only Blown fuse link in wiring harness. Look for 12 volts at the Pink/Black wire on the fuel pump relay.

The fuse links for all model years 86-93 live in the wiring harness near the starter solenoid.



64326.gif




94-95 models only: 20 amp fuel pump fuse in the engine compartment fuse box. Look for 12 volts at the Dark green/yellow wire on the constant control relay module.

F.) Engine seem to load up on fuel and may have black smoke at the tailpipe. Fuel pressure regulator failed. Remove the vacuum line from the regulator and inspect for fuel escaping while the pump is running. If fuel is coming out the vacuum port, the regulator has failed. Check the regulator vacuum line for fuel too. Disconnect it from the engine and blow air though it. If you find gas, the regulator has failed.

5.) Fuel pressure OK, the injectors are not firing.
A.) The PIP sensor in the distributor tells the computer when to fire the injectors. A failing PIP sensor will sometimes let the engine start if the SPOUT is removed.
A noid light available from any auto parts store, is one way to test the injector circuit to see if the injectors are firing. The noid light plugs into the fuel injector harness in place of any easily accessible injector. Plug it in and try to start the engine: it will flash if the injector is firing.
I like to use an old injector with compressed air applied to the injector where the fuel rail would normally connect. I hook the whole thing up, apply compressed air to the injector and stick it in a paper cup of soapy water. When the engine cranks with the ignition switch on, if the injector fires, it makes bubbles. Cheap if you have the stuff laying around, and works good too.
B.) Pull an injector wire connector off and look for 12 volts on the red wire when the ignition switch is on.
C.) No power, then look for problems with the 10 pin connecter (salt & pepper shakers at the rear of the upper manifold).

See the graphic for the 10 pin connector circuit layout.
?temp_hash=3ef2497fff29a7a9daee955cf93e5805.jpg

The injector power pin is the VPWR pin in the black 10 pin connector.

D.) No power and the 10 pin connections are good: look for broken wiring between the orange/black wire on the EEC relay and the red wire for the 10 pin connectors.
E.) TPS voltage exceeds 3.7 volts with the throttle closed. This will shut off the injectors, since the computer uses this strategy to clear a flooded engine. Use a DVM, a pair of safety pins, and probe the black/white and green wires to measure the TPS voltage.

On a 94-95 Mustang, probe the black/white and grey/white wires to measure the TPS voltage.

It should be .5-.1.0 volts with the key on, engine not running. Note that if the black/white wire (signal ground) has a bad connection, you will get some strange readings. Make a second measurement using the battery post as the ground to eliminate any ground problems. If the readings are different by more than 5%, you may have a high resistance condition in the black/white signal ground circuit.

6.) Spark & fuel pressure OK.
A.) Failed IAB or improperly set base idle (no airflow to start engine). Press the throttle ¼ way down and try to start the car. See the "Surging Idle Checklist for help with all your idle/stall problems.
B.) Failed computer (not very likely)
C.) Engine ignition or cam timing off: only likely if the engine has been worked on recently. If you removed the distributor, there is a good probability that you installed it 180 degrees out of time.
D.) Firing order off: HO & 351 use a different firing order from the non HO engines.

HO & 351W 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8

Non HO 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8

E.) No start when hot - Press the throttle to the floor & try starting it, if you get this far. If it starts, replace the ECT.

F. ) Engine that has had the heads off or valves adjusted. Do a compression test to make sure the valves are not adjusted too tight. You should have a minimum of 90 PSI on a cold engine.
 

87527

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I Got the car to run, it runs well when it does. But the issue is when it is running its spitting white smoke out the tailpipe, and alot. Billowing clouds comparable to if one used seafoam on it. Fairly certain its a blown head gasket but i hope not... and the vibration was the harmonic balancer. in theory i could balance a dime on the dash... I Can post a video of the smoke but i think its a head gasket and thats something that scares me. Is there any other reason it could be spitting white smoke out of the tailpipe
 

jrichker

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I Got the car to run, it runs well when it does. But the issue is when it is running its spitting white smoke out the tailpipe, and alot. Billowing clouds comparable to if one used seafoam on it. Fairly certain its a blown head gasket but i hope not... and the vibration was the harmonic balancer. in theory i could balance a dime on the dash... I Can post a video of the smoke but i think its a head gasket and thats something that scares me. Is there any other reason it could be spitting white smoke out of the tailpipe
Are you getting white smoke from both tailpipes? If so then the EGR coolant passages in the throttle body are suspect.

If only one side, then a head gasket is the most likely culprit. Do a cylinder balance test for find the bad cylinder.

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

Revised 09-Sep-2017 Added reminder to write down the stored codes and engine running codes.

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, have the 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.

583775.jpg


583776.jpg


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.

583777.gif


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.

583778.gif


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 dump the codes and then 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.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10
583779.jpg




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 www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW 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 $22-$36.
Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping
583780.jpg


Write down the codes that the computer outputs since they will give you information on problems that are stored in the computer's memory


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 1300-1500 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. With the test jumper in test position, start the engine and let it stabilize. It should flash a 10 and then a 4 and maybe an 11. If no 11, then there are other codes that will be dumped.

Write down the codes that the computer outputs since they will give you information that the computer found when it is running. These are often different from the stored codes.

One of the first tests it does is to open the EGR all the way, this will cause the engine to stumble and almost die. If the engine dies here then you have EGR problems.
To start the cylinder balance test, briefly floor the accelerator past 2500 RPM and let off the accelerator. The engine will stabilize at about 1300-1450 RPM and the cut off the fuel injectors one at a time. The engine speed will drop briefly and the computer will turn the fuel injector for the cylinder under test back on. Then it starts the process for the next cylinder. 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

See View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDXrkKS4jTE
for a visual tour through the process. There is no voice narration so you have to listen carefully for the engine sounds. I posted the link for the benefit of Stangnet members who had questions about how to do a cylinder balance test. I do not own that video and I am not the creator.

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.
 
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