Stalling between shifts, burning smell, check engine light

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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I have an 89 GT, 5.0 with t5 manual. Just got the car back from my mechanic and on the drive home I noticed a faint burning plastic/rubber smell. He had just replaced the water pump gasket so i figured he may have gotten some rtv on the header so didnt think too much, then a check engine light came on and stayed on. Also at least 3 times the car stalled in between shifts while driving 40 mph.. I am not able to contact him due to the long weekend, but the car was running perfect before this.. what should I be looking for here? I cant seem to find the source of the burning smell under the hood
 
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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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Don't do anything, I would have it towed back to him. Depending on what he says as to whether or not to leave it there or find another mechanic.
was this a real shop or someones back yard?
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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It's a real shop, actually a mustang specific shop here in CT.. I know the car pretty well and I'm not looking forward to expaining he **** up my car. Never had any issues before this. He did a few other odds and ends for me, door handle, headlights, etc. But the water pump gasket was the only thing under the hood. It's hesitating under throttle pretty bad, and only idleing at about 500 rpm (was about 700 before). I'm thinking misfire? Don't have a scanner on hand to check it myself though. what do these symptoms point too?
 

95BlueStallion

You drunk?
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Feb 22, 2007
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I don’t see a water pump install relating to those systems, except antifreeze being your burning smell. The headlights could also be your burning smell, but I doubt you would notice that from inside the car. Did you change to LED bulbs, or just factory replacement halogens? Try getting some MAF cleaner spray and clean it if you haven’t recently. Never know, could be that simple.
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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Yea I was really confused at what he could have done that would cause this? I did find a set of wire that were kinda close to the header and the plastic loom was melted, but all the wires looked fine and i zipped them out of the way, but the issue is still there. Also the burning smell seemed to get stronger after acceleration, and I never had the headlights on at any point, so thats definitely not where the smell would come from
 

Steel1

Advanced Member
Aug 18, 2017
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Just a thought but do you think they could have moved/removed the distributor thinking it would get them easier access to wp and water neck ?
If so timing could be off.
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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Just a thought but do you think they could have moved/removed the distributor thinking it would get them easier access to wp and water neck ?
If so timing could be off.
I guess its possible, but there's a ton of room under the hood due to AC and clutch fan delete.. Obviously I would ask him is I could, but I only have the shop number and they aren't open.. really bummed because I was needing the car to be running for this weekend
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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I would start by pulling codes since you have a check engine light on. May lead you right to your problem.
Yes that's always the best place to start, unfortunately I don't have a reader on hand, and I'm cautious to drive it anywhere in its current state. Was being optimistic that others may have had a similar issue and could offer a simple "check your " but its not always as simple as that
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
12,800
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polk county florida
I can't think of anything in that area that would effect/change the way the car runs. Check the spout, it is by the distributor and water pump, here is a link that me help you out
This will show you how to check for codes without a reader
I'd say go back over your firing order and make sure your plug wires are plugged in
 
Last edited:

mikestang63

SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
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can't see how a waterpump replacement would lead to a check engine light. There are no wires or sensors any where near where there. Regardless, if the car did not exhibit those issues before,. bring it back and have him inspect the car.
 
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TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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Dropped the car off today, hoping its something simple like a dead wire/plug causing the misfire, and just an unfortunate coincidence.
 

James V

Active Member
Feb 26, 2017
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My car naturally has a burning and gasoline odor, I've gotten used to. And used to stall while driving because of a faulty sensor. Hopefully you figure it out though, I want to hear the cause.
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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My car naturally has a burning and gasoline odor, I've gotten used to. And used to stall while driving because of a faulty sensor. Hopefully you figure it out though, I want to hear the cause.
It's definitely a smell that's new to this issue, and not a healthy one.. I'm very familiar with the smells/sounds of this car but can't locate the source of this one.. thinking its got to be an electrical/ignition issue
 

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
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You sure it's not the smell of RTV getting warm for the first few times and off-gassing? I seem to remember that anytime I cracked open an engine and did some RTV work there would be a smell for a week or two while the volitiles offgassed.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
12,800
4,046
193
polk county florida
You sure it's not the smell of RTV getting warm for the first few times and off-gassing? I seem to remember that anytime I cracked open an engine and did some RTV work there would be a smell for a week or two while the volitiles offgassed.
that smell was coming from your hands because you didn't wash them afterwards.
 

TomOsiris

New Member
May 19, 2019
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CT
So I got the car back, there was an issue with the TPS causing the misfire/CEL/stall. all sorted out now.. however the smell is still noticeable at higher RPMs. I think its got to have something to do with the rtv/water pump job, can't think of what else would cause it. Thanks everyone who posted with advice.