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ENGINE HESITATION AFTER STORAGE

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 EDDIE BAUER & XLT
I had posted a few months, but no one could help me. And now I am getting desperate as I sometimes have to go to a gravel patched area.

I have two 1999 explorer 4wd (Eddie Bauer and XLT). and have not used them for a few months. But when I started them both suffer from engine hesitation - you give it gas and the pick up is slow and thumping. I have swapped out after buying a lot of parts, like spark plugs, EGR valve, IAC valve, TB, Fuel pump, fuel filter, air filter, ignition coil, crankshaft sensor, cleaned the PCV valve, MAF, cleaned the injectors after removing them with carb cleaner. In fact I took it to a mechanic and blew a small coolant hose after he drove like a manic to "blow out carbon" Now I do not even see a diagram showing the part number for the thermostat to the engine mounted bracket hose which also got damaged I guess, and the smaller 1" pipe behind it that started peeing in the middle - so I can get the replacements.

One is in the shop for 3 months pending battery recharging and once started seems to stop immediately i.e. got worst/unfixable and another limped back from the another - above shop. Most of the work I do myself and have spent a few months weekends with no results.

They ran perfectly before being parked.
 



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Bad gas? It may get better after you run some fresh fuel through it.
 












Did you drain what was inside tanks first? Both sitting then same symptoms I'd suspect something foul might have been put in the tanks
 






I had posted a few months, but no one could help me. And now I am getting desperate as I sometimes have to go to a gravel patched area.

I have two 1999 explorer 4wd (Eddie Bauer and XLT). and have not used them for a few months. But when I started them both suffer from engine hesitation - you give it gas and the pick up is slow and thumping. I have swapped out after buying a lot of parts, like spark plugs, EGR valve, IAC valve, TB, Fuel pump, fuel filter, air filter, ignition coil, crankshaft sensor, cleaned the PCV valve, MAF, cleaned the injectors after removing them with carb cleaner. In fact I took it to a mechanic and blew a small coolant hose after he drove like a manic to "blow out carbon" Now I do not even see a diagram showing the part number for the thermostat to the engine mounted bracket hose which also got damaged I guess, and the smaller 1" pipe behind it that started peeing in the middle - so I can get the replacements.

One is in the shop for 3 months pending battery recharging and once started seems to stop immediately i.e. got worst/unfixable and another limped back from the another - above shop. Most of the work I do myself and have spent a few months weekends with no results.

They ran perfectly before being parked.
I had a similar situation, my 98 xlt wasn’t started for 4 plus years, I had it towed to shop to put in new catalytic converter, and it wouldn’t start with the old gas it (i had used stabil but apparently stabil is only good for 2 years. Once the old gas was out there it start right up now. I agree that it sounds like bad gas, try filling it up with premium just once or twice, you could also try using Star tron you can buy it at Walmart or Amazon
 






Gotta think about what can happen during storage.

My first thoughts? Bad fuel, rodents.

Any codes? Check harnesses thoroughly, check fuel pressure, sniff the fuel filler—if it smells like varnish, that’s your answer.

Pull the intake snorkel and make sure it’s clear.
 






I had a similar situation, my 98 xlt wasn’t started for 4 plus years, I had it towed to shop to put in new catalytic converter, and it wouldn’t start with the old gas it (i had used stabil but apparently stabil is only good for 2 years. Once the old gas was out there it start right up now. I agree that it sounds like bad gas, try filling it up with premium just once or twice, you could also try using Star tron you can buy it at Walmart or Amaz
 






Both start right up ... no problem. Ok don't know about the one in the shop still, but was starting up fine prior to taking it to the garage. Will have to try and drain and put new gas per other reply/suggestion, on both the fuel filters were clogged put new fuel pumps on both too. The tanks were varnish free and clean, when I put the new pumps. They sound great on steady pedal pressure only from idle while revving or moving off missing or hesitating.
 






Both start right up ... no problem. Ok don't know about the one in the shop still, but was starting up fine prior to taking it to the garage. Will have to try and drain and put new gas per other reply/suggestion, on both the fuel filters were clogged put new fuel pumps on both too. The tanks were varnish free and clean, when I put the new pumps. They sound great on steady pedal pressure only from idle while revving or moving off missing or hesitating.
Hmm mine kind of started, sputtered and died. I’m not the most knowledgeable but it does sound to me like a fuel delivery problem.
 






Hmm mine kind of started, sputtered and died. I’m not the most knowledgeable but it does sound to me like a fuel delivery problem.
Initially when I would start them up about every month to warm up the engine within the yard or short trip, it would idle badly for a few seconds but clear up after about a minute. But I guess the clogged filters on both (on one the easy disconnect was not easy and I left the filter on for too long, the other when i tore up the fuel filter fitting years ago the mechanic fitted a Bango housing, from another make and I left it for too long also).

It is unbelievable that two good running Explorers after parking develop the same problem.

I cleaned out the injectors on one but the other I am scared since I striped 2 plastic treads on the lower intake manifolds. I did use to put injector cleaner every other fill up prior to ..
 






I'd replace all the injectors on the one that's still starting up and see what happens.....being I also suspect someone put something in the gas tanks...
 






Check air boxes for rodents under air filter

Check tail pipes for any blockage, maybe somebody pulled a fast one or they were flooded? Who knows

Anyone put something in the fuel tanks? Sand? Water? Sugar? Pranksters or otherwise

You said stripped screw in plastic intake so I assume these are both sohc engines

So they rattle at startup?
Is oil pressure instant?
 






If you stripped two screws, you may have a massive vacuum leak

But that wouldn’t explain both trucks behaving the same way
 






Check air boxes for rodents under air filter

Check tail pipes for any blockage, maybe somebody pulled a fast one or they were flooded? Who knows

Anyone put something in the fuel tanks? Sand? Water? Sugar? Pranksters or otherwise

You said stripped screw in plastic intake so I assume these are both sohc engines

So they rattle at startup?
Is oil pressure instant?
Yes both SHOC engines, we did have a little flooding, maybe one foot deep. But both have good ground clearance.

The only thing is cleaning with water hose esp. around inside or back side of filler since mud accumulates once a season when I used to go in muddy area and I like things to be clean. Also sprayed a lot of water underside, to keep clean every few months.

Also removed wheels to give them coat of clear coat, looks nice now .. On the rattling had the one in the shop complete replacement of the jackshaft and timing guides, tensioners etc, with original parts few years ago, ran like a champ prior to also faster than the XLT even with same engines. The XLT did minor jackshaft etc, but rattling only for a second when starting up.

Service it every 6 months ie oil change and air filter. Used them over 15 years, 10 miles round trips daily until parked for 6-12 months.

Going to order new injectors for the one not in the shop and see what happens.

No engine light on dash or codes. Scanner shows charging ok, and starting ok only saying "excessive ripple" or something.
 






I'd replace all the injectors on the one that's still starting up and see what happens.....being I also suspect someone put something in the gas taSome
I'd replace all the injectors on the one that's still starting up and see what happens.....being I also suspect someone put something in the gas tanks...
I'd replace all the injectors on the one that's still starting up and see what happens.....being I also suspect someone put something in the gas tanks...
Some good news, so it was the fuel injectors.
Yesterday after a marathon 8 hours, got the upper intake manifold and cleaned the area around the injectors etc, and pulled them out. On inspection found half of them had like reddish brown residue on the outside brass base, with the 4 holes. Blasted them about 3 times with carburetor cleaner - the tire valve way. After a soak in some thinners and injector cleaner via a tooth brush.
I ran it in the yard and the hesitation is gone! Did not want to run it today since I dropped a T30 key with its holder behind the engine and makes a clicking sound like a bad prop shaft U joint on selecting reverse. Also, the idling is now erratic. That is to say goes below 600 then pick up and lowers 3 times. But stabilizes - maybe it stabilizes once the "learning" occurs after a battery disconnect,
I did the same on the first one but had no joy. I have new injectors on order hope to retry with them once I get my Ex from the "mechanic" who knows jack ..
I fixed the major headache and now I got 2 minor. The IAC valve seems to go out every few years. I am not sure of the click on changing direction on the gear selector.
 


















I wonder if the torx key rode the belhousing to the shift position sensor area, and is causing something to bind in the linkage
Fortunately the click when shifting to reverse has gone, also the idle fluctuation after the injector cleaning is also gone. (both of which were not there prior)

Also wish I could have an easy diagram (ie. name and part number) to point out the 1. coolant pipe attached to the top of the thermostat housing to the metal bracket mounted on the cylinder head. And 2. the smaller one right behind it, that busted after the "hell run" by the mechanic who wanted to blast out carbon, which was not really the case. I want to replace both of them as they are not the original shape, esp. the one on top of the thermostat housing, where the mechanic removes the two mounting bracket screws and left the 2 coolant pipes and the middle bracket "floating" surely causing a stress on thermostat housing i replaced a few years ago.
 






I'd replace all the injectors on the one that's still starting up and see what happens.....being I also suspect someone put something in the gas tanks...
As noted i fixed the hesitation on one of my explorers, by cleaning the fuel injectors. I bought new injectors for the other Explorer I brought back from the mechanic/garage on Friday last week, on which I had done the injector cleaning without success. But now with new injectors there is no change.

So I restate I got one explorer fixed and the other with same symptoms but cleaned first and new injectors no change.

I did notice the left back fuel injector port (the hole where the injector sits in the engine) retained fuel (or other liquid) and was showing after removing the fuel injector. I stuck a half foot screwdriver and would go in, i did the same to the other "holes" and the screwdriver went in without hitting anything. WHAT COULD CAUSE THE LIQUID I ASSUME IS FUEL TO stay/suspend in the hole. By the time i finished in the afternoon the liquid had disappeared as i remember. Also that spark plug had no black carbon deposits whereas the others did. (I did put new spark plugs when the problem started a few months ago).

I also swapped out the MAF and Camshaft position sensor with new ones (and swapped them back after no change in stuttering/hesitation), since the parts have now come in. I intend to do the ignition coil, crank position sensor and EGR valve, swap and test over next weekend. The engine also sound like there is a muffler leak which I don't think was there before.

Any other avenues I should try?
 



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