So, My Car Died...

dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
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First, a little back story. I bought this car a few months ago. Its a 93 GT, 5spd. The car is bone stock, with the exception of the off-road x-pipe and mufflers. A couple of weeks after buying it, I made a drive to get new tires put on (about an hour drive each way). On the way home, I got into some heavy traffic. As I slowed down for a red light, the car started stumbling like it was out of gas... then it died. It would crank back up, but just stumble and die again. If you touched the gas pedal, it just shut off. I ended up buying a new battery since it wouldn't even jump off. I was able to limp it home. I unplugged the MAF and it cleared up, so I replaced it with a used MAF from a friend. No problems since.

Fast forward to yesterday. I leave work to head home (25ish miles). Its 100*. The car drives fine until Im slowing down to turn on my road. When I push the clutch in, it starts to stumble and then dies... just like before. It cranks, but stumbles and dies. Tried unplugging the MAF, no dice... so I plugged it back in. After about 5 minutes, I was able to get it fired up and into my shop driveway. Immediately started the usual tests, results were as follows:

KOEO:
67- Neutral drive switch or circuit
33- Canister or EGR valve not operating properly
66- No Mass Air Flow sensor signal (where I unplugged it)
96- Fuel pump circuit

KOER:
12- Idle speed control out of specified range
44- Air management system inoperative (the smog pump is bypassed. im guesing this code is from that)
33- Canister or EGR valve not operating properly

Cylinder Balance test: code90 (=pass)

I was too hot and frustrated to mess with it yesterday. This morning on the way to work, it was flawless. I guess i'll start by checking the TFI module this afternoon, and I know that the PIP is probably next in line. I've searched, and I've read @jrichker links about stumbling idle, etc. Just seeing if anyone had other opinions with it being so sporadic.
 
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dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
48
71
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Probably unrelated, but may help: Clean or replace your IAC.

Thanks. I cleaned it when I first got the car, and the idle smoothed out nicely. I'll clean it again. I guess I should clean the EGR valve as well.
 

Boosted92LX

It's only an inch or two. What's the big deal?
SN Certified Technician
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Check fuel pressure at the rail.
 

dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
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I'll try to go rent a FP tester today or tomorrow. I guess it is worth noting that the car smells like it is pig rich. I also get a raw fuel smell inside the car on occasion, but I cant find a leak. It does, however, get on average between 20-21mpg over the last 10 or so tanks.
 

Boosted92LX

It's only an inch or two. What's the big deal?
SN Certified Technician
Dec 19, 2010
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I'll try to go rent a FP tester today or tomorrow. I guess it is worth noting that the car smells like it is pig rich. I also get a raw fuel smell inside the car on occasion, but I cant find a leak. It does, however, get on average between 20-21mpg over the last 10 or so tanks.
Fp regulator may have failed. Fuel pump may be failing. Might also check the filter.
 

mattyv

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
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I'll try to go rent a FP tester today or tomorrow. I guess it is worth noting that the car smells like it is pig rich. I also get a raw fuel smell inside the car on occasion, but I cant find a leak. It does, however, get on average between 20-21mpg over the last 10 or so tanks.
The offroad Xpipe will give you that rich smell, and the raw fuel smell could possibly be coming from an old, crusty tank seal. I get both odors as well - one day I'll fix the seal
 

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
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You may have a TFI or PIP problem. do the TFI first, since it is easier to get at...

The TFI module mounted on the distributor is one of the culprits for a high speed miss on a warm engine. If the problem does not occur when the engine is cold, the TFI module is definitely suspect. You may need a special socket to remove the TFI module, but most auto parts stores will have one for $5-$7.

Be sure to use plenty of the heat sink grease on the new TFI and clean the old grease off the distributor.



See Automotive Tools Specialty | Auto Mechanic & Technician Diagnostic, Testing Equipment | Thexton


diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2Birds
 
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dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. And thanks @jrichker for the diagrams, that will help tremendously. I have the tool for the TFI bolts already :D Looks like its time to knock the dust off of the volt/ohm meter.
 
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SF Lex

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Mar 8, 2016
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Fp regulator may have failed. Fuel pump may be failing. Might also check the filter.
Yep, them smells happened on my Suburban. I thought someone had stole my catalytic converter or my pipes had a hole, it smelled so strong. After a while it just would not start no more, and it was the fuel pump. Dam thing was inside my 44 gallon tank. As its my daily driver, i put it in the shop. $600 dollars later, i've been on the road with no issues for a year now.
 

dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
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The car drove perfect yesterday, and was fine on the way to work this morning as well. Go figure lol. I'm still going to spend some time this weekend doing some diagnostics. I will keep this updated with my findings.
 

hoopty5.0

mechanicus terribilis
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Dec 14, 2010
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The car drove perfect yesterday, and was fine on the way to work this morning as well. Go figure lol. I'm still going to spend some time this weekend doing some diagnostics. I will keep this updated with my findings.
Im having similar issues on my '94 F150. Sometimes it dies, other times it doesn't. Going to replace the distributor (it's easier than replacing the PIP) and see if that does it. May be worth doing the same in your case.
 

Boosted92LX

It's only an inch or two. What's the big deal?
SN Certified Technician
Dec 19, 2010
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It may be worth pointing out as well... Back when my fox still ran on it's factory ecm, it went through a similar spell. Died randomly, puked misc codes. It was very frustrating and got very expensive chasing bogus codes. Turned out to be a bad computer. I was actually able to order it thru oreilly's and got them to price match autozone... who was cheaper, but back ordered.
 

Gunnerm1

New Member
Apr 25, 2006
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Sounds like a fuel pump to me. Was it loud? So you hear it prime? Put a fuel pressue gauge on it.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
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When mine did this it was multiple problems. Best to go through the checklist and eliminate all the possibilities. It was frustrating, but you will be better for following all the steps.
 
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dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
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Time for an update...


The Saga of the beater...

When I bought the car, that radiator had a tiny leak. I topped it off every other day. Some a*shat had filled the radiator with black pepper to try and stop the leak... effectively clogging about half of the radiator. With the radiator 1/2 clogged, I couldn't use my A/C. Last week, I bought a nice Griffin 3 row aluminum rad from a friend. I decided that I would install it Sunday. I figured while I had the system opened, I might as well replace the water pump too. Cheap insurance, right?

Sunday-
12:15pm- Open Shop, Pull car in, drain coolant. Pick up tools while coolant drains.
12:40pm- Remove old, leaky, 1/2 clogged radiator. Remove fan shroud and fan.
1:00pm- Remove brackets attached to water pump.
1:10pm- Remove bolts from water pump. The very last bolt (closest to driver side) breaks off in the block. Cursing ensues.
1:45pm- Finish off 3rd beer, gather my composure, find tools that I threw when bolt snapped.
2:00pm- Start removing harmonic balancer. Its never been off, so that's lots of fun.
2:30pm- Remove timing cover
2:45pm- Try to remove whats left of broken bolt with vice grips after heating block with torch.
3:00pm- Throw vice grips into woods beside shop. Curse ford engineers and their water pump studs.
3:10pm- Weld nut to remainder of broken bolt
3:11pm- Break remainder of broken bolt off flush with block.
3:12pm- Open beer, contemplate burning whole shop down.
3:30pm- Regain my composure, begin drilling out broken bolt.
4:00pm- Achieve holt in bolt big enough for "Easy Out".
4:01pm- Break "Easy Out" off in broken bolt. Curse all of humanity, contemplate jumping off roof of shop. Decide on bottled water.
4:30pm- Begin using Carbide burr to remove broken "Easy Out"
6:00pm- FINALLY Remove last bit of "Easy Out". Re-commence drilling broken bolt.
6:30pm- Finish drilling out broken bolt. Chase threads in block with thread tap. Double check that new bolt threads into hole.
6:40pm- Reinstall timing cover. Begin praying that it doesn't leak.
7:00pm- Reinstall harmonic balancer. Drink beer, think about what an awesome mechanic I am.
8:00pm- Tighten up new water pump, install fan/shroud/belt, drop new radiator in, fill/bleed system. I'm the man.
8:30pm- Test drive, close up shop. Go inside and plead with wife for forgiveness for "2 hours top" job taking 8 hours.

Monday-
Drive car to work and back home, all is well. A/C blows nice and cold, temp gauge stays nice and low.

Tuesday-
Drive car to work. No leaks, life is good. Leave work, drive 20ish miles back to town. Go get the boys from school. Leave the school, car starts stumbling and dies. Remembering that the kids are in the car, I withhold profanities. Catch a ride home with a friend. Get wife to take me back an hour later... damn thing fires right up. Go home, say to hell with it. Go inside and sit on the couch.

Wednesday-
Drive car to work, all systems go. Leave work early, drive to the shoe store 25 miles away to get new work boots. Drive back to town from shoe store (35 miles), everything is hunky-dory. Go get my hair cut. Leave barber shop, car begins to stumble and dies while sitting at a busy red light. More obscenities. Push car through traffic and into parking lot. Call wife to come get me.

Wife is not happy.

She arrives, takes me to parts house where I buy TFI module and tool. Replace TFI in parking lot, car fires right up. Head home at high rate of speed. Pull in shop, readjust timing and idle. Leave shop for test drive, immediately smell antifreeze. Damn heater hose at the firewall blew out. Borrow unhappy wifes car to go get new hose. Finish up right at 9pm.

Thursday (today)-
Car seemed happy on the drive to work this morning. I guess we will see if it dies again in the heat this afternoon. If it does, I very well may just set it on fire.


Wish me luck lol!
 

FoxMustangLvr

I love my Pimp
SN Certified Technician
Oct 14, 2012
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Time for an update...


The Saga of the beater...

When I bought the car, that radiator had a tiny leak. I topped it off every other day. Some a*shat had filled the radiator with black pepper to try and stop the leak... effectively clogging about half of the radiator. With the radiator 1/2 clogged, I couldn't use my A/C. Last week, I bought a nice Griffin 3 row aluminum rad from a friend. I decided that I would install it Sunday. I figured while I had the system opened, I might as well replace the water pump too. Cheap insurance, right?

Sunday-
12:15pm- Open Shop, Pull car in, drain coolant. Pick up tools while coolant drains.
12:40pm- Remove old, leaky, 1/2 clogged radiator. Remove fan shroud and fan.
1:00pm- Remove brackets attached to water pump.
1:10pm- Remove bolts from water pump. The very last bolt (closest to driver side) breaks off in the block. Cursing ensues.
1:45pm- Finish off 3rd beer, gather my composure, find tools that I threw when bolt snapped.
2:00pm- Start removing harmonic balancer. Its never been off, so that's lots of fun.
2:30pm- Remove timing cover
2:45pm- Try to remove whats left of broken bolt with vice grips after heating block with torch.
3:00pm- Throw vice grips into woods beside shop. Curse ford engineers and their water pump studs.
3:10pm- Weld nut to remainder of broken bolt
3:11pm- Break remainder of broken bolt off flush with block.
3:12pm- Open beer, contemplate burning whole shop down.
3:30pm- Regain my composure, begin drilling out broken bolt.
4:00pm- Achieve holt in bolt big enough for "Easy Out".
4:01pm- Break "Easy Out" off in broken bolt. Curse all of humanity, contemplate jumping off roof of shop. Decide on bottled water.
4:30pm- Begin using Carbide burr to remove broken "Easy Out"
6:00pm- FINALLY Remove last bit of "Easy Out". Re-commence drilling broken bolt.
6:30pm- Finish drilling out broken bolt. Chase threads in block with thread tap. Double check that new bolt threads into hole.
6:40pm- Reinstall timing cover. Begin praying that it doesn't leak.
7:00pm- Reinstall harmonic balancer. Drink beer, think about what an awesome mechanic I am.
8:00pm- Tighten up new water pump, install fan/shroud/belt, drop new radiator in, fill/bleed system. I'm the man.
8:30pm- Test drive, close up shop. Go inside and plead with wife for forgiveness for "2 hours top" job taking 8 hours.

Monday-
Drive car to work and back home, all is well. A/C blows nice and cold, temp gauge stays nice and low.

Tuesday-
Drive car to work. No leaks, life is good. Leave work, drive 20ish miles back to town. Go get the boys from school. Leave the school, car starts stumbling and dies. Remembering that the kids are in the car, I withhold profanities. Catch a ride home with a friend. Get wife to take me back an hour later... damn thing fires right up. Go home, say to hell with it. Go inside and sit on the couch.

Wednesday-
Drive car to work, all systems go. Leave work early, drive to the shoe store 25 miles away to get new work boots. Drive back to town from shoe store (35 miles), everything is hunky-dory. Go get my hair cut. Leave barber shop, car begins to stumble and dies while sitting at a busy red light. More obscenities. Push car through traffic and into parking lot. Call wife to come get me.

Wife is not happy.

She arrives, takes me to parts house where I buy TFI module and tool. Replace TFI in parking lot, car fires right up. Head home at high rate of speed. Pull in shop, readjust timing and idle. Leave shop for test drive, immediately smell antifreeze. Damn heater hose at the firewall blew out. Borrow unhappy wifes car to go get new hose. Finish up right at 9pm.

Thursday (today)-
Car seemed happy on the drive to work this morning. I guess we will see if it dies again in the heat this afternoon. If it does, I very well may just set it on fire.


Wish me luck lol!
Awesome play by play. You certainly are handy ;) Best of luck with the car.
 
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dr hook

Active Member
Sep 24, 2007
48
71
28
Love the time stamp narration, Good luck man!

Lol I figured at least everyone else could laught at my pain!

Awesome play by play. You certainly are handy ;) Best of luck with the car.
I see what you did there :rlaugh: When the Easy Out broke off, I thought long and hard about just getting the sawzall out and cutting my only hand off... just so I couldn't work on it anymore lol.
 

Davedacarpainter

I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
11,923
11,394
193
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Discordia
Time for an update...


The Saga of the beater...

When I bought the car, that radiator had a tiny leak. I topped it off every other day. Some a*shat had filled the radiator with black pepper to try and stop the leak... effectively clogging about half of the radiator. With the radiator 1/2 clogged, I couldn't use my A/C. Last week, I bought a nice Griffin 3 row aluminum rad from a friend. I decided that I would install it Sunday. I figured while I had the system opened, I might as well replace the water pump too. Cheap insurance, right?

Sunday-
12:15pm- Open Shop, Pull car in, drain coolant. Pick up tools while coolant drains.
12:40pm- Remove old, leaky, 1/2 clogged radiator. Remove fan shroud and fan.
1:00pm- Remove brackets attached to water pump.
1:10pm- Remove bolts from water pump. The very last bolt (closest to driver side) breaks off in the block. Cursing ensues.
1:45pm- Finish off 3rd beer, gather my composure, find tools that I threw when bolt snapped.
2:00pm- Start removing harmonic balancer. Its never been off, so that's lots of fun.
2:30pm- Remove timing cover
2:45pm- Try to remove whats left of broken bolt with vice grips after heating block with torch.
3:00pm- Throw vice grips into woods beside shop. Curse ford engineers and their water pump studs.
3:10pm- Weld nut to remainder of broken bolt
3:11pm- Break remainder of broken bolt off flush with block.
3:12pm- Open beer, contemplate burning whole shop down.
3:30pm- Regain my composure, begin drilling out broken bolt.
4:00pm- Achieve holt in bolt big enough for "Easy Out".
4:01pm- Break "Easy Out" off in broken bolt. Curse all of humanity, contemplate jumping off roof of shop. Decide on bottled water.
4:30pm- Begin using Carbide burr to remove broken "Easy Out"
6:00pm- FINALLY Remove last bit of "Easy Out". Re-commence drilling broken bolt.
6:30pm- Finish drilling out broken bolt. Chase threads in block with thread tap. Double check that new bolt threads into hole.
6:40pm- Reinstall timing cover. Begin praying that it doesn't leak.
7:00pm- Reinstall harmonic balancer. Drink beer, think about what an awesome mechanic I am.
8:00pm- Tighten up new water pump, install fan/shroud/belt, drop new radiator in, fill/bleed system. I'm the man.
8:30pm- Test drive, close up shop. Go inside and plead with wife for forgiveness for "2 hours top" job taking 8 hours.

Monday-
Drive car to work and back home, all is well. A/C blows nice and cold, temp gauge stays nice and low.

Tuesday-
Drive car to work. No leaks, life is good. Leave work, drive 20ish miles back to town. Go get the boys from school. Leave the school, car starts stumbling and dies. Remembering that the kids are in the car, I withhold profanities. Catch a ride home with a friend. Get wife to take me back an hour later... damn thing fires right up. Go home, say to hell with it. Go inside and sit on the couch.

Wednesday-
Drive car to work, all systems go. Leave work early, drive to the shoe store 25 miles away to get new work boots. Drive back to town from shoe store (35 miles), everything is hunky-dory. Go get my hair cut. Leave barber shop, car begins to stumble and dies while sitting at a busy red light. More obscenities. Push car through traffic and into parking lot. Call wife to come get me.

Wife is not happy.

She arrives, takes me to parts house where I buy TFI module and tool. Replace TFI in parking lot, car fires right up. Head home at high rate of speed. Pull in shop, readjust timing and idle. Leave shop for test drive, immediately smell antifreeze. Damn heater hose at the firewall blew out. Borrow unhappy wifes car to go get new hose. Finish up right at 9pm.

Thursday (today)-
Car seemed happy on the drive to work this morning. I guess we will see if it dies again in the heat this afternoon. If it does, I very well may just set it on fire.


Wish me luck lol!
That was pretty funny, reminded me of a @madmike1157 rant without pictures.

Glad you got it fixed though.

Kind of made you want to through your hand in the air and quit, huh?:eek:
 
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