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Old 08-22-2008, 06:17 AM
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Anyone want to help troubleshoot this engine?

I'm pretty good with my old 235 Chevy but I'm trying to fix my sisters 1989 Ford Probe.

She left the lights on and ran out of gas (you can pick your friends but not your family)-I charged the relatively new battery and put a gallon of gas in the tank and it started right up. It only runs a few seconds and quits..no problem starting it right back up again..but quits within 4-5 seconds. Yesterday it idled a little better but would quit when you put the automatic in drive however I drove it in reverse without stalling.

Honestly I haven't done any testing yet. Was hoping to work on my 55 truck this weekend. Oh well...Do these symptoms signal anything to any of you? Too many hoses and wires for my confort zone.

Thanks,

Keith

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Old 08-22-2008, 07:50 AM
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There might not be enough gas in it.Put 5 or 10 gallons in it and try it again.
Guy
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
I'm pretty good with my old 235 Chevy but I'm trying to fix my sisters 1989 Ford Probe.

She left the lights on and ran out of gas (you can pick your friends but not your family)-I charged the relatively new battery and put a gallon of gas in the tank and it started right up. It only runs a few seconds and quits..no problem starting it right back up again..but quits within 4-5 seconds. Yesterday it idled a little better but would quit when you put the automatic in drive however I drove it in reverse without stalling.

Honestly I haven't done any testing yet. Was hoping to work on my 55 truck this weekend. Oh well...Do these symptoms signal anything to any of you? Too many hoses and wires for my confort zone.

Thanks,

Keith
If the battery was completly flat, it will take a little while for the computer to re-learn baselines again. Throw some gas in it and take it for a ride, do some city and some highway if you can. It will probably come right back to normal.

Chet
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:30 AM
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Thanks Guy-interesting thought-Do you think more gas increases the pressure?

Thanks "T"

Was flatter than flat..took all nite to charge..

Unfortunately can't get it to move without stalling..


Keith
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:32 AM
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Thats because there probably isnt enough gas in it,the fuel pump probably isnt able to suck up a steady supply.Put some more gas in it.
Guy
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:35 AM
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Put 5 gallons in that puppy, yea it's gonna cost you $20, but she is your sister after all.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:43 AM
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Ok guys..you shamed me into it...5 gallons coming right up-
If it worked it would be an easy out..

Thank You-

Keith
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
Thanks Guy-interesting thought-Do you think more gas increases the pressure?

Thanks "T"

Was flatter than flat..took all nite to charge..

Unfortunately can't get it to move without stalling..


Keith
Let it idle for a while. It might start to come back. Your best bet it to fight it into going for a ride, It will improve quickly

Chet
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:04 AM
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I can race the engine by stepping on the pedal..but it still stalls when put in drive..I'll add some gas and run it at increased RPM's..I just won't tell car it's not really moving..

Thanks again..

Keith
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:00 AM
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gas

definitely add some gas, i just had the same exact thing happen with my father-in-law's blazer. I put a tranny in it for him, not knowing he dropped the thing off to me on empty. I swapped the tranny out with the new one, put all the plugs n wires back on., and put everything together exept the exhaust. It was a STUPID y pipe that ran right under the tranny pan. I wanted to make sure the junkyard tranny was gonna pull and shift first. I got about 200 yards down the road from my house and it dies, i was like *** is goin on till i seen the gas guage. i got out and knocked on the tank to be sure. yep it was empty.
I put 1 gallon in it and it fired right up, until i tried to put it into gear. It would just die. i didn't really think about adding more gas for about an hour of sittin there head scratching.
I noticed that when i pushed on the brakes, it called for more fuel to keep it runnin so it'd sputter, then i put it in gear and it dies, cause its wanting even more fuel to be dumped down its throat but its not there. I put 5 gals in and never had a bit of trouble after that.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
I'm pretty good with my old 235 Chevy but I'm trying to fix my sisters 1989 Ford Probe.

She left the lights on and ran out of gas (you can pick your friends but not your family)-I charged the relatively new battery and put a gallon of gas in the tank and it started right up. It only runs a few seconds and quits..no problem starting it right back up again..but quits within 4-5 seconds. Yesterday it idled a little better but would quit when you put the automatic in drive however I drove it in reverse without stalling.

Honestly I haven't done any testing yet. Was hoping to work on my 55 truck this weekend. Oh well...Do these symptoms signal anything to any of you? Too many hoses and wires for my confort zone.

Thanks,

Keith
Running an injected engine out of fuel is soooo bad. It's not like the old mechanical pump and carb days. These EFI pumps depend on fuel flow for cooling. The whole system is sensitive to microscopic pieces of dirt, which gets sucked up to if not thru the filters when the tank runs out and there ain't nothin' else but dirty gas in there.

Add to that a flat battery, a dead or low battery causes all sorts of computer problems.

You have a choice of issues ranging from crud somewhere in the fuel system messing things up, a dying pump from overheating it, or consistent low system voltage that's messing up the computer or sensors.

I'd start with a professional check of the battery, i.e. will it hold voltage against the amperage drain. It usually takes an electrical shop to do this, but you can come close by turning on all the power consumers in the car with the engine running and monitor voltage. If the battery can't hold 12.4 or so it and or the charging system is out to lunch.

If it passes then you're into the EFI. This is hard without instruments, you can have it checked if it's throwing codes the Check Engine light will be on if its got an error code. Error codes are not aways what's actually wrong, it's an indicator that something in that part of the system is not right, but not always the exact part the code number indicates. For a guy that likes 235 sixes with Rochester single barrel carbs this is gonna be new territory with a need for new tools and tricks. The only thing you can do is filters and the one I suspect most is in the tank with the fuel pump, not easy to get at.

Keep in mind your limits, its way easier to mess up an EFI system and really expensive to fix it than a carb based system. So finding a pro with the experience and tools may prove to be a lot less expensive and a whole lot faster in the long run. My wife had one of these, after a couple trips under the hood, even I told her to take to the shop, these things are a real electro/mechanical adventure.

Bogie
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:36 AM
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Thanks gents-

I'm encouraged that it could be just needing more gas however a person habitually driving on a low tank of gas did raise the question of sucking dirt and rust in, in my mind. Just on gereal principles I probably should pick up a manual for this model/year.

Thanks for the detailed info. I will report back.

Keith
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:46 AM
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Most vehicles in that year range need to relearn baselines after the voltage has been removed from the computer for any length of time. A slow die on the battery is even worse. Start it, let it run and drive it. If you then still have issues then dig in. I agree with the fuel pump possibly being an issue due to overheating but it is not the first thing to check. I am assuming the car ran good before this fiasco so the only real thing that changed here is the computer lost power and therefore lost its baseline settings. I dont agree with the sucking up crap from the bottom of the tank because the pump screen is always sucking from the same place whether the tank is full or only has a quart in it and the crap will always be on the bottom.

Get it to run and drive it

Chet
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:37 PM
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Well..added more gas and it started and purred nice..Thought I was home..Still stalls on putting it in forward gear. Backs up fine.

I pumped the pedal while putting in in drive and got it moving...drove it around the neighborhood..it bucks(surges?) when starting out from a stop..while it's under load..when you get up to say 2000 rpm and 15 miles/hr or so it stops bucking.

I noticed this car going down the street last week doing this and I thought my sister was playing with the gas pedal..so I think this existed before the gas/battery problem.

Keith
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:08 PM
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My sister (darn family vehicles-- they get you every time....) has a '99 Exploder that did nearly the same things a couple weeks back. The problem was the MAF (according to AutoZone). At that point it solved the problem anyway. Today she called saying she had a repeat performance of those same problems. One bad plug (#6 cylinder), bad wires, and the Oxygen sensor now according to the local Ford shop. She says she's going to buy a Schwinn next time....


Hope that helps,



In a while, Chet.
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