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Ugh... 92 Explorer Hell..

MistahYebba

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I don't know what I'd do without Explorerforum.com... you all are so great. I want to give the community an update on the biggest problem I've had recently with my 92 Explorer Sport I bought a month ago. I want to make this as easy to read as possible, so try to bare with me. Thank you beforehand to anyone that sticks through and reads it to help <3

Below will be dates in order of occurrence:

Purchase date -through- Monday, July 13th:
All this time, the car ran pretty well. It stalled every once in a while when stopped for an exceeding period of time (like 5 minutes... and this was pretty RARE! It would also stall occasionally in a fast food drive-thru or something... Maybe twice a week MAX.

Monday, July 13th:
I drove it to work, worked just like every other day..

Upon leaving work, the car stalled almost right after switching into gear.. turned it back on and crawled home, stalling almost every time I hit the brakes..

"WTF?!" I'm thinking to myself..

I get out at a Walmart parking lot and pop the hood.. right away, I notice a thin black line snapped... then I notice a few near it.. "ugh".. these lines were connected to this disc-stem object with 3 connectors for these lines.. 1 led down to a cluster of wires/lines on the far passenger corner, 1 led somewhere else, and the last one ran straight to the top driver's side of the intake manifold.. needless to say, the one coming from the intake manifold was vacuuming in air and causing me to stall.

How in the world all 3 of them snapped so cleanly while I was in work?? I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL.

As a fix, I snipped em all a bit shorter and reconnected them at that 3-way line connected right above the A/C block.. Car ran fine after that.

Tuesday, the next day:

Car was going fine again.. no real noticeable problems.. After driving it all day, while pulling up into the driveway I decided I wanted to test the heat. I wanted to test it simply to check my heater core's functionality because I'm going to do a coolant flush soon (totally unrelated)...

Well, upon hitting the AC knob to deactivate the AC, the car stalled. GREAT.

I went to bed. I was tired.

Wednesday, the day after:

Obviously the car didn't fix itself over night.. I woke up the next day and tried to drive away.

Nope. Just switching into gear made me stall. I tried again and it worked the second time.. off I went to drive and "boop" stall again. If it didn't stall, the idle was terribly rough.. and I could recreate the issue of stalling by simply turning the AC "off"..

WHY WAS TURNING THE AC OFF MAKING ME STALL???

After much reading, I collected the information that cleaning the IAC Valve may fix this problem..

I sucked it up with the rough idle and occasional stalling and got through the day.

Thursday, the dreaded cleaning day:

I thoroughly cleaned the IAC Valve and Throttle Body.. made sure those vacuum lines that I snipped a bit shorter on the past Monday were still holding up fine, etc...

Doing all this cleaning really did nothing for me... I did it all outside of my local auto parts store and it was all for naught.. I drove it home in disappoint still having the same issue.

Friday, the bane of my existence:

The next morning upon turning it on, it stalled almost immediately.. tried again; stalled right away again.

Over and over it kept stalling without fail about 1 second after starting... "OH CMON!"

Nothing I was doing was making it work..

I went as far as to completely disconnected the throttle body again just to check..

In fact, while checking I realized I made a rookie mistake of not plugging back in the line that connects to the bottom of the throttle body.. (or the top in this picture)

23b98ee946cbab83605e95af8179cdf8.png


I made it home all the way the night before with that line unplugged? Okay, whatever.. Did it cause permanent damage??

Well, I reconnected it thinking that it must have been the problem!! Nope.

Nothing was working. Stall after stall.. the truck was a lost cause. I couldn't keep it on. Holding down the accelerator pedal just made it REV HIGHthen nearly stall then REV HIGH then nearly stall then REV HIGH then nearly stall.. until I let off, then it would surely stall.

Then I finally got the bright idea to just disconnect the ELECTRONICS of the IAC valve.. nothing more and nothing less... Simply unplug the IAC valve electrical wire and start it up..

"WOW!" it worked... the idle was TERRIBLE, but it was on.. and running.. and I could get to the store if I needed to. Barely..

Saturday, yesterday!:

So I thought it must be the IAC valve being bad... and SOMEHOW ( I have no freaking clue how....), it being plugged in was making it stall..... ?????

So I just left it unplugged.

I went to the junkyard today and picked up the 2 best looking IAC valves to test them both...

Guess what; same results.

If I plugged in the electronics on either of them it stalls. With the electronics unplugged, it runs fine... That means the IAC valve with electronics unplugged is just acting as a hole plug... right?

But why in the world would it stall with it plugged in? The only thing changing is now the parts inside the IAC valve actually move? How could that make it stall?..

Well that brings me to my next portion...

I have just decided to leave the IAC Valve electronics unplugged for now since it is clearly another issue.

If I'm just at a complete stop at a red light.. my engine is like "REV HIGH, nearly stall, REV HIGH, nearly stall" like I explained earlier..

However, I noticed if I do things like turn off my headlights or windshield wipers or anything that takes up power, it'll react differently and idle a bit better...

The thing I can't figure out is, why when I turn "OFF" the AC does it almost stall, but if I turn it back "ON" fast enough I can save it from stalling because it starts idling smoothly again?

What the heck is my problem I just don't get it..

How could plugging in an electronic sensor cause it to stall right away, but leaving it all bolted in and stuff but simple unplugging the wires allows it to run?

MAKES ZERO SENSE TO ME.

Someone please let me know what I can do..

THE GREAT WOLFIE_85; you are an amazing helper... I appreciate everything you do for these forums.
 
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Number4

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Relating to the ac, I'd say it's a vacuum issue. In general I'd say it's a vacuum issue.
Haven't looked behind the dash of my first gen, I assume the ac controls are vacuum operated.
 
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Wolfie_85

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You're welcome. I know it's maddening, but stick with it. You'll figure it out. It really does sound vacuum related (I know, I keep saying that to you), but I can't think of anything else that acts like this. TPS can cause issues, ICM can cause it to run like crap (with no code) too. But the odd revving and stalling and rough idle all point to vacuum.
 
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colintrax

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No question you have a vacuum leak. There's a thread on how to build your own smoker, assuming you have an air compressor.

You need to trace all the vacuum lines, and check intake gaskets. The vacuum lines on your truck are plastic and have spent 2 decades inside the engine bay. If you have the money to drop, it wouldn't be a bad idea to just replace all the vacuum lines
 
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FR-425

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One clue I noticed is that it would stall when you pressed the brake.

Possible the brake booster has a leaking diaphragm.

disconnect the brake booster hose from the brake booster and plug it, see if it clears up.

If not, you can do the same thing to each vacuum controlled system until you find the leak.
 
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natenkiki2004

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When you turn the AC on, it probably tells the computer that there's more load on the engine at idle and to compensate for that.

(Little known fact, the power steering pressure line has a port in it but it is unused in the early 1st gens. It's to connect to the AC clutch in case of high pressure which would mean heavy steering without moving. Having heavy load on the power steering pump with the AC on can stall the engine so the switch is there to kill the AC.)

Since it runs better with the AC on, that tells me that you're running overly lean at regular idle and that when you turn the AC on, the computer is dumping more fuel in to compensate for the excess load. Though, it should also open the IAC more too.


This is a long way around of saying what everyone else has said... check for vacuum. While idling in your driveway, you can safely disconnect every vacuum line and check for differences. Be sure to plug the vacuum port that you unplugged from. Some advice for that, find an empty existing port and connect a hose to it then when you disconnect another line, hook the hose to that one. You've basically made a loop. This way, you don't have to buy any of those el-cheapo last-1-month rubber caps at the parts store.


It's probably worthwhile to go get a new brake boost grommet & check valve. NAPA has it, part number UP 89000. Dirt cheap if I remember right.
 
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MistahYebba

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THank for all for the responses. I'll go out and check for vacuum leaks, but I'm still not sure I know exactly what I'm looking for.

There's still one thing though; why in the world would unplugging the IAC electronics bypass a vacuum leak???
 
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colintrax

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THank for all for the responses. I'll go out and check for vacuum leaks, but I'm still not sure I know exactly what I'm looking for.

There's still one thing though; why in the world would unplugging the IAC electronics bypass a vacuum leak???

I think the issue with the iac is the computer sees the engine rpm getting too low so it opens the iac... making the lean condition even worse.

You're looking for broken or cracked vacuum lines. Any air that can be sucked in after the MAF sensor will make the truck run lean. That's why I suggested you make a smoker, to test the gaskets.
 
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MistahYebba

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So I'm outside in my car right now. I've unplugged and out of curious its explored where each vacuum line coming out of the tree goes to...

After much unplugging and replugging, suddenly the truck is running with the IAC valve connected again.

In fact, it's running how it's supposed to! Even turning the AC off and on, the idle is compensated for nicely...

This would be awesome usually... Except I didn't really do anything to fix it, so I actually feel this is bad... Because whatever I did by accident I'll never know..
 
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colintrax

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So I'm outside in my car right now. I've unplugged and out of curious its explored where each vacuum line coming out of the tree goes to...

After much unplugging and replugging, suddenly the truck is running with the IAC valve connected again.

In fact, it's running how it's supposed to! Even turning the AC off and on, the idle is compensated for nicely...

This would be awesome usually... Except I didn't really do anything to fix it, so I actually feel this is bad... Because whatever I did by accident I'll never know..

Maybe a vacuum line wasn't connected or half hanging out. Either way glad it's fixed!
 
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Wolfie_85

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Sometimes, the old vacuum lines just get loose and don't seat right. Maybe one just needed to be pressed back on.
 
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MistahYebba

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I'm scared it's only temporary though!

I noticed that the "fix" only occurred after I re-routed the vacuum line that goes from the tree to the air filter box -- it looks like it's made of plastic and could be brittle.

Even though they all appeared to be on pretty tight to begin with, let's assume it is what you said and one of them were halfway on -- then woohoo! Easiest fix ever..

However, let's say that there was a leak in that brittle plastic line and the way I positioned it is currently "crimping" the leak? Is that at all possible?

What I'm getting to is... what if I want to replace all of my vacuum lines? is that crazy? They seem all straightforward except 2 that are bundled together (one of which being the air filter one)..
 
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colintrax

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Like I suggested it'd be wise to replace all the lines. But since it's running fine leave it be.
 
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MistahYebba

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Okay well thank you all for your help.. I hope I'm not teasing myself here and I try to drive away and my truck explodes! lolol :)
 
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Wolfie_85

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I have a feeling you'll be alright. Eventually replace the lines, but at least you know the culprit!
 
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willindsay

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Since we're talking about vacuum lines here anyone know what size the explorer uses and a guess at how many total feet would be needed to change them all?
 
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natenkiki2004

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The size varies. I bought this over a year ago:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Feet-Blu...cuum-Hose-Tube-High-Performance-/251183546221

3/16" seems the right size to cover the varying fittings. It's looser than I'd like on the fuel pressure regulator but it's never come off and doesn't hiss so I know it's sealed. 10ft is more than you'll ever need and with as thick and flexible as this stuff is, I highly recommend it. You won't have to think about the vacuum lines again.
 
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MistahYebba

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So...

I teased myself!

I mentioned how I "fixed" it earlier..

Well after posting that, wrapping everything up, etc.., I went and took a nap.

Came back later to drive and it went right back to its previous state -- stalling right away because the IAC Valve is plugged in.

One thing I noticed though.. I tried unplugging each vacuum line individually and capping it off, then trying to start to check for differences as recommended by Natenkiki..

Doing that for each one yields no different results...except for one!

One of them that I unplug, it allows the car to run for about... 6 seconds? As opposed to instantly stalling?

It runs about the same length EVERY time. I think I could set a timer, start the engine, and it will always stall after the same duration.

This makes me think the one that I am unplugging and capping off is one that the engine is dependent on to run.. but it is also the one with a leak, hence why it runs for 6 seconds?

I'm not sure.

If you are wondering why one it is that I am unplugging capping... there's 2 lines that run from the tree and then behind the engine. They are bundled together. One of them connects to some weird contraption right around the Schrader Valve (if that's what it's called) and the other keeps going to the air filter box.

Since they are bundled I can't tell which one I am unplugging, but it's one of those 2...

Any ideas?
 
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FR-425

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The "contraption" is the fuel pressure regulator. Sounds like you found the problem.

Not necessarily a bad vacuum line, but a bad fuel press reg. Get a piece of vacuum line and just run it straight to the FPR to test it.

No need to route it around the back of the motor just go right over the top of the intake for testing purposes.

If it still stalls with a new vac line then the FPR is shot.
 
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MistahYebba

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But if it was bad, how come the car works pretty well when the IAC valve is disconnected?

And how come earlier I got it to work temporarily until I walked away?

Never walk away from a working thing or it'll break again D:
 
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