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Cold start, chokes out and no start

alpar80

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1993 4.0 l. When i go to start, fuel pump engages, starts up and let idle for several mins to warm up. Go to accelerate in drive , rpm's bog down, car stalls and dies. Go to start up again and get a continuous crank with no fire. Takes about 8 attempts and finally starts. This is a random occurrence. Wondering if it is a sensor, fuel pump issue? Disconnected inertia switch from pump.
 
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the_don

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'93 exploder limited 5spd
Check engine light come on?
 
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alpar80

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No check engine light, does have a coolant leak, could the coolant temp sensor be shuttin it down?
 
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MrShorty

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It seems that I have heard of a few cases where the ECT caused a no start. In these cases, the ECT circuit would be a full open, so it should be easy to test.

More likely would be some kind of fuel system issue or other issue. I would probably start with a fuel pressure test. Check the vacuum line to the fuel pressure regulator for gasoline (gas=bad FPR), then put a fuel pressure gauge on it and see what you are getting.

When it stalls out, then won't start, is it acting like it is "flooded" or is it acting like it is not getting any fuel?
 
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OneofMany

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1993 4.0 l. When i go to start, fuel pump engages, starts up and let idle for several mins to warm up. Go to accelerate in drive , rpm's bog down, car stalls and dies. Go to start up again and get a continuous crank with no fire. Takes about 8 attempts and finally starts. This is a random occurrence. Wondering if it is a sensor, fuel pump issue? Disconnected inertia switch from pump.
'crank with no fire' are you saying you are not getting spark or not getting fuel? A no start condition is a process of systematic checks and elimination. Check for fuel pressure as you raise rpm. Yes or No?
 
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jmdirk

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Once it's completely warmed up how is it? Your symptoms are somewhat the same as a bad IAC valve. Seems to idle fine but once you give it throttle, particularly under load it hesitates and bogs down, sometimes stalling.

Usually it only happens when it's cold though.
 
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csolo

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I'm a new member. Having same problem with 92 X, 4.0L, 4x4.
Once completely warmed up, it does run fine; except for occasional surges and stalls out making some left turns (fuel lines/filter are on left side). Has no problem starting, yet it stalls out unless I give it steady rpm at about 1500 for few minutes. Seems like it's not getting fuel, as opposed to 'fire'. After driving for about 10 minutes, check engine light comes on. Occasionally, check engine light will go off for few minutes then return; does not come on until driving for about 5-10 minutes.

Have replaced fuel filter/fuel lines, replaced IAC valve and used plenum cleaning kit, replaced TPS, ran Sea Foam and high octane through tank. Friend suggested replacing the fuel vapor canister or drop the fuel tank and clean it out because it set for couple years before I bought it off Craig's List.....any input would be very much appreciated.
 
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natenkiki2004

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csolo, I would bet your issues lie in either the fuel pump or injectors, or both. Having sat a few years, they could easily be gummed up.
 
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csolo

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Thanks for the reply natenkiki2004. (1st of all, I'm no mechanic; 50 year old single mom doing what I can to research problem)

Forgot to mention a few other clues....
Transfer case had to be replaced; it had broken metal parts inside and no oil, only some WATER!
Today, while trying to pull trouble codes, I noticed that two metal lines going to radiator are severely bent (like someone previously tried to remove them and lines were twisted). I've noticed that engine coolant sometimes overflows from radiator cap and might be falling into the charcoal/vapor canister?
Here are the OBD-I codes (tried it twice and got different codes, so I will just note the codes that came up both times)...
112, 121, 122, 179, 183, 188
 
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natenkiki2004

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Good on you to fix your own stuff, much respect.

The metal lines going to the radiator are for the transmission cooler built into the radiator. As long as those lines aren't kinked/pinched and there isn't ATF leaking, it should be fine.

Coolant definitely shouldn't come out from the cap. Maybe it's not tightened? There's 2 locations on it, one is for burping the system which will bleed air/coolant and if you tighten it from there, it will seal. If it's as tight as it goes, it might be time for a new cap. They're relatively cheap at an auto parts store. Don't replace it when the engine is hot. Coolant leaking on parts won't hurt anything.

As for those codes, you have a few things going on. Might just be bad sensors or it could be problems with the fuel pump or injectors. Check this site out to see details:
http://www.troublecodes.net/ford/

My best recommendation is to go to an auto parts store and ask if they can check your fuel pressure. If you have low pressure then it's time to replace the pump. If fuel pressure is fine, then I would start looking at the sensors. You can test most of them with a multimeter. The IAT and ECT can be tested with the following info:
ECT%20Chart.gif


Hopefully this helps point you in the right direction.
 
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csolo

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Thank you so much natenkiki2004 ;)
Both trans coolant lines are kinked but, I do not see any sign of ATF leaking from the bent tranny lines. Think I should replace them?

Radiator cap is on tight. I did replace the gas cap due to wear and didn't think about replacing the radiator cap (duh, silly me). Can you explain "burping" for me? Do I lock radiator cap but leave cap slightly unsealed and then run engine, then close radiator cap completely?

When shop replaced IAC valve, they said job couldn't be guaranteed because vehicle is so old. Seems like they could tested the valve before replacing (but again, I'm no mechanic). They did a fuel pressure check and said if IAC valve replacement didn't work, it might need fuel pressure regulator. Think they are d'cking me around for few hundred $ each time I go back? :mad:

Thank you for the compliment, additional info and web link as well. :thumbsup:
 
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natenkiki2004

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Chances are, you won't have to burp the coolant system. My point was, there's 2 positions on the cap, the looser position allows you to burp the system. Unless you opened up the cooling system (aside from the cap), you won't have to burp. If the cap is tight but still leaks coolant, it probably needs replacing. In a roundabout way, that may cause driveability problems. Part of the reason for the cap is that it keeps pressure in the cooling system. You'll see on the cap that it's marked "13 lbs" or something like that. That means that it keeps 13 PSI in the cooling system, any more and it releases it into the overflow tank. By keeping pressure in the cooling system, it raises the boiling temperature of the coolant. 2 degrees for every PSI. That means that normal water that would boil at 212F, with 13 PSI, you're looking at 238F. Coolant itself raises that even further. If the pressure gets lost and the coolant is weak, you could have a low boiling temperature in the system. That could mean that you're getting steam pockets which would cause issues with the thermostat or coolant temp sensor which would give you all kinds of problems, it's tied into the computer for fuel mixture.

Long story short, replace the cap and top off the system with straight undiluted coolant. That will help out aging coolant that might be diluted, buying you some time to flush the system properly in the future.

Can you get a picture of the trans cooler lines? If they're pinched, they may restrict flow which could cause issues with the trans, the least of which would be overheating. However, you probably shouldn't get too focused on this issue as it doesn't have much relevance to your drivability problem. That said, it wouldn't take much to cut the kink out and replace it with some rubber hose. A small/local auto parts store may help you with that.


*EDIT*
If you happen to have access to a multimeter, you can check the ECT (engine coolant temperature sensor) and IAT (intake air temperature sensor) and make sure they're working properly. Using the chart above, measure the resistance between the two electrical pins. You can either backprobe the connection or pull the connector straight off and probe the sensor itself. The ECT is directly below the throttle body, where the air enters the engine. The IAT is at the top of the intake plenum, on the driver's side, forward of the vacuum line tree. Both sensors look alike on the outside, both are round and have 2 wires going to them. On my Explorer, both sensors died and told the computer that the engine was always warm, which caused troublesome cold starts.
 
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csolo

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Thank you natenkiki2004 :) Your detailed post will be quite helpful (once weather permits). I've been talking to lots of people about my explorer, ever since I bought it. Most guys offer their guess as to what the problem may be. But, you guys seem to really know everything about my old favorite vehicle. I absolutely LOVE this forum!!!
 
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natenkiki2004

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You're very welcome. However, you should keep in mind that I'm not a mechanic. I'm a computer nerd that's been learning automotive work for the last year by working on my Explorer, before that, it was small lawnmower engines. I could be wrong in my information but on the other hand, I have spent a LOT of time researching. Take it with a grain of salt :)

This forum is awesome, I agree.
 
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csolo

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Try not to sell yourself short, natenkiki2004. I'm also a computer nerd....and most of the issues surrounding vehicle repair (these days) have a lot to do with automotive computer operations, right?!??
 
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vq5speed

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1993 4.0 l. When i go to start, fuel pump engages, starts up and let idle for several mins to warm up. Go to accelerate in drive , rpm's bog down, car stalls and dies. Go to start up again and get a continuous crank with no fire. Takes about 8 attempts and finally starts. This is a random occurrence. Wondering if it is a sensor, fuel pump issue? Disconnected inertia switch from pump.

This kinda sounds like what happen to me once. Turned out to be a bad TPS but cannot say for sure its your problem. Unfortunately sometimes its a process of elimination. TPS sensor is not that expensive $30.00. I replaced my fuel filter first that was $10.00 and it helped the problem but was not the sole problem. The TPS fixed my issue.
 
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natenkiki2004

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Try not to sell yourself short, natenkiki2004. I'm also a computer nerd....and most of the issues surrounding vehicle repair (these days) have a lot to do with automotive computer operations, right?!??

If you get bored or have some spare time, check out Eric the Car Guy on YouTube. Cars are becoming more computerized but it's the work process that computer techs use that translates very well over to cars and vice-versa. When you have a problem, you think about what's going on, how to approach it, figure out what the computer is thinking and do a process of elimination. There's a lot of things that translate across the two industries. I'll leave it at that since we're getting off-topic.

If you could, a multimeter would help you run through the sensors to see if one is blatantly misbehaving.
 
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larrydd999

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Csolo, I'd replace the radiator cap if there is ANY question as to its age or condition. I recently had coolant overflow around the cap and - after doing some tests (I have a pressure tester which also tests radiator caps) I found the cap wasn't holding pressure. Being in a hurry (and knowing better) I bought a 'house brand' cap from a local (national) auto store and still had the problem. Bought a name brand cap from another store and problem solved. (I'm not a computer nerd, my wife is... I'm the one that fixes it when it breaks.)
 
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