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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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t-bird troubles

let me start by saying that I LOVE my t-bird.
Best car I've owned.
And I never have any troubles with it.

Okay, there was the time I blew the engine and had to replace it.
And the time the transmission fell apart and I rebuilt it.
And the two times it was hit and needed extensive body and mechanical rebuilding.
And the time the starter went and needed to be replaced.
And the linkage broke and was repaired.
Oh yeah, and the time the throttle cable came apart (scary moment).

But other then that, I have no problems with it at all.

But now, I have a problem.

While on the highway many weeks ago I was at a consistant 60mph, and all of a sudden the car bucked. The RPMs dropped completely off, the lights went dead, and then it all came back up. It was only about a second.
Concerned I took it in that day to be examined.
Nothing was found. I assumed moisture (which is a common problem where I live), in the gas tank, added some HEET dry gas and the car was perfect since.

Well yesterday the problem came back ten fold.
While driving in bumper bumper traffic doing about 20mph the car started stalling. I was pumping the gas to keep RPMs up. It was determined to stall. I had to pump the gas because just pressing it down and holding it (at say what would result in 3000rpms) didn't work. The rpms would go up and come right back down, I had to pump it to keep the rpms bouncing up before it idled down again.
Finally I turned off the road, while turning I didn't pump the gas and it stalled (losing power steering in a turn sucks).
I let it sit a moment and got out to look for obvious issues. Vaccum lines that are off, anything on fire. You know, stuff I couldn't miss (trust me, even after a long day at work, I wouldn't miss an engine fire, I'm pretty savvy that way.
Nothing amiss I got in and started it again. It was idling really rough.
More rough that I've experienced in any other car (even diesel!). It was rough as hell, but the rpms were more or less stable. Bouncing between .6 and .9.
So I tried to get back on the road, after about 20 feet the stalling game started again. I managed to keep it running back out to the road (i had pulled into a development). When i pulled out into traffic it was a red light so I was stopping, still fighting like hell to keep the RPMs up. It was then a small puff black cloud went over my sunroof. I looked back and saw a steady stream of black exhaust leaving the tail pipe. I pulled over again and investigated.
Sure enough with the car off it was still leaking out this black exhaust. Smelled like carbon I suppose. It most definately wasn't oil.
The car started again, and I got it to a parking lot. Made some phone calls, and waited. About 5 minutes went by and I started it for a trip around the block.
It ran perfectly. I decided to take it to a local mechanic I know.
On the way there it started bucking again (about 3 times).
After that it was smooth as can be to the mechanic. He found nothing after some quick searching and listening to the car (it was idling smooth at this point).
The rest of the drive home (another 30 minutes) was smooth.
As was the drive in to work today (75 minutes), and the trip out to lunch.

MY guesses:
1. The chip (superchip), after 2 years has finally died, and is sending bogus info to the computer resulting in really poor injector misfires.
2. despite the replacing of the fuel filter less then 6 months ago, it could be that.
3. fuel pump?

Before I start replacing and removing things I wanted to get some feedback from those that have helped me in the past, so here I am.

Do my guesses seem logical? And the correct steps?
Or is there something bigger at play here I should be looking at?

And what was that black exhaust?????

Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 08:28 PM
 
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i would say that you should probably check your oxygen sensor and maybe even your catalytic converter for one and from there maybe your injectors. hopefully that helps, cuz thats all i can think of.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 08:43 PM
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Here's some possibilities,

1. Remove superchip, reset computer, test drive.

2. Since you have a K&N filter, check the MAF sensor for contamination.
If the MAF sensor appears to be clean, unplug it, and take it on a test drive.

3. Since you have black smoke pouring out the exhaust, check the spark plugs to see how they are holding up.

I assume you are not getting a Check Engine Light?

Steve - TCCoA member
2003 Crown Vic LX Sport
1995 T-Bird LX 4.6 retired at 247,888 miles
Thanks for the ride !
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 08:56 PM
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remove the superchip and sell it to someone on ebay.

JH
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Excellent.
See, that's why I posted.
I wouldn't have thought to go the route of checking O2 sensors or the MAF.

As for my check engine light.
That's been on since early 2001.

I have checked it out a number of times, ended up replacing the 02 sensors twice as a result of the codes it generated.
One time I got it checked it came back with no codes. It goes on and off periodically while I drive.

Gas milage is normal and fine.
Performance is excellent. So I have since become very immune to that light being on.
Though in light of recent events it would probably be wise to check the codes again.

It's so easy to blame the chip in something like this that I wanted to make sure I looked at alot of different options before taking it out.

Thanks for the insight, I'll be spending much time on the car this weekend.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 06:47 PM
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Hey, in your mod list it says "removed tension spring" what spring did you remove?

And yeah, I gotta say this really sounds like a dirty/bad MAF.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by hotbird
Hey, in your mod list it says "removed tension spring" what spring did you remove?
just a silly mod.
if you can even call it that

there's a tension spring on the throttle cable, if i remember correctly (and there's a good chance i won't), it's right where the metal arm connects to the butterfly that opens the air flow into the throttlebody.

It has a black plastic piece that runs through the middle of the spring.

I unhooked it meaning there's no "snap back" tension on the gas pedel.
It closes now on the butterfly tension alone.

Yes, the gas pedel does come back up when you remove this.

It makes the gas pedel REALLY light. You breath on it and it seems to go down (but again, it DOES come back with conviction so there's no safety issue).

takes a while to get use to, but once you do, you'll never put the tension spring back.
I got the idea off another guy on these boards that listed it as a mod he did to his t-bird. I asked him what he meant, copied it, and loved it ever since.

Doesn't feel right for all cars tho, I did it to my Trans Am, and immediately put it back. The pontiac just doesn't feel, or react right with that spring removed.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cybersec
...Though in light of recent events it would probably be wise to check the codes again...
Keep us posted with what codes are found. That'll help narrow down the possibilities, and get your car taken care of quicker.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 12:33 PM
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There is a reason for that extra spring. The TB spring is not up to that full duty for very long. You may find yourself in a WOT condition when you least want it......put it back on and work on your leg muscles if you want it lighter

Birdless

There is no limit to what you can acheive if you don't care who gets the credit.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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i always assume there's a reason for most every part of my car.

but i'm one of those "eh, i'll take my chances" type of guy.
2 years, and I'm a heavy driver considering my work, and it's been gloriously free of incidents.
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