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00 OHV Galloping like a 3 legged drunk

Fenrir

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2000 Ford Explorer Sport
I've got an 00 Sport, it started acting up almost two years ago so I mothballed it and dumped some cash into my horrible little Pontiac. Horrible Pontiac is on it's last legs so I'm trying to dig back into the Exploder.
Change in running was sudden, coming up the hill one night something went screwy and it started idling really rough and misfiring, it gallops and rattles like a 3 legged drunk who's 10 minutes late to happy hour, it's like driving on a washed out dirt road... when driving on nice smooth blacktop.
Since it was over due for a tuneup I just started doing a process of elimination and did plugs, wires and coil one weekend, no change so I took it to one mechanic thinking I'd just pay someone else to fix it. He kept it a week before throwing his hands up and having me come get it (also tried to get me to buy one of his referb used cars he likes to sell), he said it could be exhaust related so I took it to one of the best exhaust shops in town, they scratched their heads, swapped a couple of parts that weren't terribly likely culprits, quoted me 3k to swap out the O2 sensors, then let it sit in their back lot for 3 months doing nothing with it before being kind enough to clear the codes out of the computer before I picked it up the day I finally got irritated enough to go and tell them I was taking it home now one way or another.
If memory serves it WAS throwing code for an upstream O2 sensor, I've been told by multiple more mechanically inclined folks that O2 would not make it run the way it is, so I'm kind of at a loss and really hoping someone might be able to point me at something stupid and relatively easy to try next.
Under 3k RPMs it runs like absolute ass. Oil pressure gage hops occasionally at idle especially when it's actively trying to stall. Over 3k RPM it runs smooth as butter.
IAC valve was replaced roughly a year before it went belly up, had another valve replaced around the same time and for the life of me I can't remember what the heck it was.
Has a Cat that's on it's way out but it still has good flow through.
Smells a little like sulfur from time to time, smells like it's cooking something plastic or electrical other times.
Occasional smoke/steam from under hood after coming up to running temps, can't seem to pinpoint the source.
Was smoked to check for vacuum leaks, none detected (or so they told me)
I've since talked to another mechanic who said to just drive it until it throws code again, I'm loathe to do this because of how poorly it's running, and how badly the exhaust is coming into the cabin (back glass needs a new hinge).
Any ideas? Thoughts? Anyone in/near Colorado Springs that would be willing to help a lady out? (my tool box is in Storage in Pueblo so my hands are kind of tied on DIY stuff)
 


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J_C

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Wow, $3K to replace O2 sensors is absurd, should've been more like $250. Either they were trying to cheat you or they meant this was the cost for the entire exhaust including O2 sensors and especially the catalytic converters. There's no other way to rationally arrive at a $3K charge without replacing the cats too.

I would start by hooking up an OBD2 scan tool and checking for codes and ideally, one capable of live data so you can see if any sensor input looks wrong or if it has bad long term fuel trim (much outside of +/- 10).

A decent mechanic with hands on the vehicle should have been able to figure this out so it is hard to guess what doesn't need checked again among the things you've listed, and would also depend on what scan tool error codes set, or data shows.

I'm also of the opinion that a bad upstream sensor shouldn't cause this, would potentially make it run in open loop mode so rich on fuel and worse fuel economy but not the problem you're having.

Seems like misfires for whatever reason, so failing any other suspect, I'd pull the spark plugs, examine them and if none look bad, do a cylinder compression or leak down test.

Smoke/steam, may not be related if just valve cover gaskets leaking oil, or water pump seal failing so it is burning up coolant as fast as it leaks out (so no puddle yet), so I would keep an eye on both oil and coolant levels but disregard this otherwise. If the water pump seal you may need to replace the water pump soon but unless it's really bad and the pump bearing is shot, it's not the most pressing thing to fix yet - however with this in mind, one other test I would do is make sure the battery is fully charged first, then take the belt off the motor to see if it runs much better without having to spin anything belt driven, but before you even do that, look at all belt driven pulleys while the belt is still on and engine idling to see if any are wobbling funny or making noise.

If it runs fine without the belt, it could be a sign something belt driven has a bearing problem, but you don't want to run it long without the belt since it will drain the battery not having the alternator spinning to recharge it. A minute should be plenty of time if it has been running poorly the first minute as it is now, or does it only run poorly once it has warmed up?
 




Fenrir

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Wow, $3K to replace O2 sensors is absurd, should've been more like $250. Either they were trying to cheat you or they meant this was the cost for the entire exhaust including O2 sensors and especially the catalytic converters. There's no other way to rationally arrive at a $3K charge without replacing the cats too.

I would start by hooking up an OBD2 scan tool and checking for codes and ideally, one capable of live data so you can see if any sensor input looks wrong or if it has bad long term fuel trim (much outside of +/- 10).

A decent mechanic with hands on the vehicle should have been able to figure this out so it is hard to guess what doesn't need checked again among the things you've listed, and would also depend on what scan tool error codes set, or data shows.

I'm also of the opinion that a bad upstream sensor shouldn't cause this, would potentially make it run in open loop mode so rich on fuel and worse fuel economy but not the problem you're having.

Seems like misfires for whatever reason, so failing any other suspect, I'd pull the spark plugs, examine them and if none look bad, do a cylinder compression or leak down test.

Smoke/steam, may not be related if just valve cover gaskets leaking oil, or water pump seal failing so it is burning up coolant as fast as it leaks out (so no puddle yet), so I would keep an eye on both oil and coolant levels but disregard this otherwise. If the water pump seal you may need to replace the water pump soon but unless it's really bad and the pump bearing is shot, it's not the most pressing thing to fix yet - however with this in mind, one other test I would do is make sure the battery is fully charged first, then take the belt off the motor to see if it runs much better without having to spin anything belt driven, but before you even do that, look at all belt driven pulleys while the belt is still on and engine idling to see if any are wobbling funny or making noise.

If it runs fine without the belt, it could be a sign something belt driven has a bearing problem, but you don't want to run it long without the belt since it will drain the battery not having the alternator spinning to recharge it. A minute should be plenty of time if it has been running poorly the first minute as it is now, or does it only run poorly once it has warmed up?
It runs like butt from the moment it's started, doesn't seem to be any better or worse as it warms up, though it does seem slightly more inclined to stall when warm vs when running cold.
The 3k was just for the sensors, they wanted considerably more for the one cat.
I wish I had my blasted toolbox here, I've got the scan tool in there but it's buried in the back of my storage unit behind everything else that went in when I had to move on short notice. May have to pop the belt later on just for the hell of it, might not give me any answers but it'll also rule out a few things which at this stage is more helpful than driving it and hoping it throws me a code.
 




C420sailor

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For your back hatch glass...drill through the hinge where the stud was, countersink the hole on the outside. Install flat head machine screws with fender washers to bolt it to the hatch. A smear of black RTV over the head. It’ll never come off again.
 




Fenrir

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For your back hatch glass...drill through the hinge where the stud was, countersink the hole on the outside. Install flat head machine screws with fender washers to bolt it to the hatch. A smear of black RTV over the head. It’ll never come off again.
That's a good plan, I almost did it with a bolt I had laying around one night because I was so irritated with it
 




EB4X

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It sounds like you have a BAD OR DIRTY MAF SENSOR....get a can of MAF cleaner or electronics cleaner at Auto store and GENTLY spray the MAF element located right after your air cleaner.
A bad O2 sensor(s) can / will create a SURGING AND PULSATING ACCELERATION...not a jerking acceleration.... similar to an automatic trans slipping and then re-engaging.

MAF1.jpg
 




Fenrir

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It sounds like you have a BAD OR DIRTY MAF SENSOR....get a can of MAF cleaner or electronics cleaner at Auto store and GENTLY spray the MAF element located right after your air cleaner.
A bad O2 sensor(s) can / will create a SURGING AND PULSATING ACCELERATION...not a jerking acceleration.... similar to an automatic trans slipping and then re-engaging.

View attachment 342986
It's 9pm, darker than my underpants, and I'm going out there right dang now with a flashlight and a bottle of electronics cleaner.
Update: That did not work. I thought for a second it may have helped slightly, took it around the block, same behavior as usual, my sentient flashlight holder (kid) pointed out after the fact that my stupid self forgot to plug the sensor back in, so I got up there, plugged it back in and no change. Turned the vehicle off then back on because I figure hey, electronics is computer stuff and it works on my PC so no sense not trying, still no change.
Definitely worth a shot, and a heck of a lot better than nothing to try. Definitely appreciate it.
 




Fenrir

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Just remembered the other valve that was replaced. That was an EGR valve, had that done maybe a year and a half before it started acting up.
 




EB4X

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Sometimes cleaning the MAF sensor is not enough....they just need replacing, not saying it still can't be something else..... this "galloping" it's doing, could you describe this as a jerking / sputtering during acceleration ?
 




410Fortune

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has anyone done a fuel pressure test?
This would be the first thing I do
The 2000 model ohv uses returnless fuel and if your pressure is weak it will misfire all over the place

Also check your firing order
 




Fenrir

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Sometimes cleaning the MAF sensor is not enough....they just need replacing, not saying it still can't be something else..... this "galloping" it's doing, could you describe this as a jerking / sputtering during acceleration ?
Yes, kind of feels like the whole vehicle has a severely nasty case of the hiccups, almost like the accelerator's cable has a rubber band spliced into it (if that makes any sense at all). I can try to grab some video of the engine running, though the stuttering isn't as pronounced at idle as it is out on the road.
 




Fenrir

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has anyone done a fuel pressure test?
This would be the first thing I do
The 2000 model ohv uses returnless fuel and if your pressure is weak it will misfire all over the place

Also check your firing order
I don't believe so, I'll have to see if the little shop in town can do that this week, even if that's not the issue it'd definitely be worth eliminating one more thing.
I have checked, and double checked the firing order, doubted myself, dug out my Haynes checked again on paper, wrote the firing order on the plastic shroud over the radiator, then wrote the order on the wires, took it all apart and put everything back on again just to be certain.
 




C420sailor

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If you have a laptop, get an OBDLink EX or similar adapter and download Forscan.

If you have a sensor that is out, you’ll see it via live data. If your MAF is ****ed, you’ll see the values jump around or be out to lunch. It helped me identify a bad EGR valve on my parents’ Expedition. I noticed that the stumble happened when the EGR valve was opening.
 




CJYoung

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Wow, sorry to read about your issues. Since you've tried all the affirmation, give it one more old timer trick . Find a fairly empty stretch of road, manually put transmission on 2. Drive it a good 5 minutes at a very high RPM.
Not necessarily Red Line, but close to it.
 




J_C

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Usually, if your fuel pressure is weak it will show up more at the higher load/RPM, not so much idle and low end, but certainly a scan tool should be used to see the live data, and sensor output, or just check fuel pressure to rule it out.

Another thing to try with the MAF sensor is while it's stumbling idling, unplug it and see if it significantly improves. If so then the MAF is likely giving bad values, but again a scan tool is the place to start as soon as possible. The ones that run Forscan with your android or windows device as the host/screen are fairly inexpensive, $21 for the android/bluetooth BAFX on amazon, or $27 for the android/apple wifi version.

Amazon product
Amazon product
 




Fenrir

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Usually, if your fuel pressure is weak it will show up more at the higher load/RPM, not so much idle and low end, but certainly a scan tool should be used to see the live data, and sensor output, or just check fuel pressure to rule it out.

Another thing to try with the MAF sensor is while it's stumbling idling, unplug it and see if it significantly improves. If so then the MAF is likely giving bad values, but again a scan tool is the place to start as soon as possible. The ones that run Forscan with your android or windows device as the host/screen are fairly inexpensive, $21 for the android/bluetooth BAFX on amazon, or $27 for the android/apple wifi version.

Amazon product
Amazon product
Shoot, I can definitely do 20 bucks, that's a pretty slick little reader! I had zero clue they even made something like that, going to put in an order like now-ish.
I've been toying with the idea of buying a MAF sensor from the local Pick N Pay all morning, but last night when I was out there cleaning it out with the electronic parts cleaner I forgot to plug it back in because stress brain is stupid brain and there was no change between running it with the sensor disconnected but in it's socket and running it plugged in, it's easy enough to get to so I may go back out and pull it off again, clean it again and see what if anything that does, worst loss is like 5 minutes and 10 cents worth of parts cleaner.
Update: The BAFX reader for android is on it's way and should be here on the 6th
 




J_C

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^ If they include a software CD, especially a little blue/white one with a bear on it, do not use that at all. Get Forscan app (demo) and Torque lite, both of which have a free version on google play.

Forscan is better for ford specific codes (outside the standard OBD2 set), but the free version can't reset codes while those that are OBD2, that Torque lite can "see", it can reset. I don't think you'll need the paid version of Torque Forscan for this but you can always buy it later if you like it.
 




fast_dave

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@Fenrir

I've read all you posts, and will ask some basic BUT valid questions that haven't been asked that will help us help you!

Also, I'll offer up some tips that haven't been mentioned.

* How many miles on your Ex?

* Is it 2wd or 4wd?

* Does it have a Auto Trans or Manual Trans?


You've replaced the IAC Valve, EGR Valve and cleaned the MAF; have you RECENTLY disconnected the battery OVERNIGHT to clear bad/learned ECU/Computer parameters and thus start with fresh factory baseline ECU/Computer Parameters?

Last and not least, have you ever changed these well-known OHV weak links; the (3) upper plenum rubber gaskets that go south approximately every 60,000 - 70,000 Miles. When worn out, these rubber gaskets will cause many, if not all, of the problems your writing about...

Hope that helps :)

15780438_fel_ms90732_pri_larg.jpg

*
 




Fenrir

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@Fenrir

I've read all you posts, and will ask some basic BUT valid questions that haven't been asked, and offer up some tips that haven't been mentioned.

How many miles on Ex?

Is it 2wd or 4wd?

Does it have a Auto Trans or Manual Trans?

You've replaced the IAC Valve, EGR Valve and cleaned the MAF; have you RECENTLY disconnected the battery OVERNIGHT to clear bad/learned ECU/Computer parameters and thus start with fresh factory baseline ECU/Computer Parameters?

Last and not least, have you ever changed these well-known OHV weak links; the (3) upper plenum rubber gaskets that go south approximately every 60,000 - 70,000 Miles? When worn out, these rubber gaskets will cause many, if not all, of the problems your writing about...

Hope that helps :)

View attachment 343011
Mileage is somewhere in the neighborhood of 181k, I'd have to scuttle across the street to be perfectly accurate about it but that's probably within 500 on either side.
Mine's 2WD, and an automatic.
I've not disconnected the battery, but if you think that would be a wise thing to do before receiving the scan tool in the mail I'll scoot out there immediately and disconnect it.
The gaskets... I bought the Explorer from my dad, he's about as good with cars as toddlers are with raw eggs, so I find it VERY safe to assume that they've not been done in a very long time if ever. Whereabout are they located? I've got VERY limited tools available at the moment because I had a moment of genius followed by a moment of sheer stupidity when I moved, I took my most important tools out of my rolling box and put them in a go box to throw in back and bring with me, I then promptly buried it in the back of the unit before packing in all the big heavy stuff.
 


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fast_dave

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@Fenrir

For 16 years the procedure I follow is to clear the ECU after you replaced every major component (IAC & EGR) and also after you cleaned your MAF (or replace spark plugs, plug wires, coil, etc).

To clarify, the computer will do what it can, within it's parameters, to keep the motor running as parts fail, wear out, and fail - this process is "learned memory".

The reason you clear the "learned memory" is to re-establish your computer back to the factory baseline optimum operating parameters.

NOTE: You will lose your currently stored CEL CODES by disconnecting the battery.

SO, you could always wait to disconnect the battery, get your scanner and WRITE DOWN the stored codes.

Then disconnect the battery overnight, hook it up the next morning, drive around your neighborhood, and then record what CEL codes come up and compare/contrast.

Moving on, all that said, at 181,000 Miles, your (3) upper intake rubber gaskets are TOAST - I guarantee it.

LINK TO EXPLORER FORUM WRITE UP
(There are lots of these write up's available , I only picked this one for the pics you needed to see):


Bottom of Upper Intake Plenium
intake_out-jpg.jpg




OLD GASKET
old-jpg.jpg


New Gasket

new-jpg.jpg
 




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