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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, y'all were so helpful last time, I thought I'd see what you had to say about this one.

As the title says, I've used the search function on this fine site and have been reading for three days, And I can't seem to find a thread that helps me figure this out. I have a 1990 Taurus LX, 3.8. It was running perfectly until a few days ago, when it began surging at stop lights. and when I say surging, I mean while holding down the brake pedal, she's trying to lunge forward. If I put it in neutral, it's not as bad but still to the point that it's slightly rocking the car. Tach isn't going above 1,000 rpms when it does this, but it's pretty bad. and when I let off the brakes, it still does it until I get moving. It now has a pretty bad misfire, and i'm starting to smell something burning so I've parked it and gone back to driving my '99 Taurus wagon.

At the advice of someone on here, last tune up included motorcraft plugs and wires, but the cap and rotor came from autozone because the only ford dealer in my town didn't have a set. I used to be a pretty good shadetree mechanic, but ever since this spinal problem I have has cropped up, I'm not as effective as I once was. I have had six gen 1 Tauruses so I am pretty familiar with them. Does anyone have any ideas as to what this could possibly be? She's got rebuilt heads and head gaskets, a new throttle body assembly with new sensors on it (but I have had my doubts about the integrity of those new sensors) and was in pretty good shape up until this started happening. I love this car, because it's almost exactly what my first car was and I really don't want to have to sell it, as much as that would please the wife. I gotta get her running right again! Thanks for any ideas in advance that anyone may be willing to share.

Randy
 

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Have you checked for any codes on the system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so I lied. I did it tonight, this should tell you how much I love my car lol. I know you're east coast, so you're probably asleep near 1am, but I'll post now before I forget and lose my data. It had several codes:

11 -No problems found in this portion of the test

22-BP out of self-test range. I don't know what BP means.

33 - EGR valve opening not detected.

41 -HEGO sensor circuit indicates system lean (rear). I don't know what HEGO means.

87 -FP primary circuit failure. Suspect inertia switch, fusible link, FP relay.

91 -90-91: No HEGO switching detected (front).

So I'm kind of at a loss. The fuel pump is new, as is the filter and gas cap. I've really piled a lot of money into the old gal, and it was running absolutely perfect and then just pooped out. Any ideas?
 

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start with the egr. the valve is prolly stuck. as far as the fuel pump (87) i have never come across that one. the surge should be taken care of when you replace the egr. make sure the tube is intact,
 

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HEGO is oxygen sensor (Heated Exhaust Gas Oxygen) Lack of switching usually means a worn out sensor at the end of it's life cycle. This will also throw a lean code. Are the O2 sensors original?
MAP/BP = Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Bigdogg2830 and danhasenauer, I'm going to go with the EGR valve and see where it takes me. The entire system looks in tact, and the O2 sensors are about 2 years old. Maybe not even that old. I suspect the FP code may be a leftover one from when I was loading something heavy into the trunk and tripped the fuel pump shut off switch. Any tips on doing the EGR valve? I've never done one before, And i've done a lot. Just never had one fail on me before.

Also, Thanks Bull Geek again for helping me get the codes. It was easy and kinda fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Scooter5, I just got done replacing the EGR valve, and while there's no longer smoke coming out of the hood, but it still doesn't run hardly. It's still starting, but if you don't press on the accelerator, it dies at once. No codes are coming up now. This car has 159k, Newer head gaskets, New fuel pump, fuel filter, gas cap, plugs, wires, cap & Rotor, IAC and TPS, and some things I'm sure I'm forgetting. I don't know what to think now. The only clue I have is if you continually pump the accelerator while driving it will kick in and go, but only if you do that continually. I'm at a loss now. Any more ideas?
 

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What about the TFI module?
 

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Bigdogg he already put in new head gaskets--My poor condition similar to yours last week was a small tear, crack in the hose going to the pvc, top of engine, passenger side. Could't see the crack in the hose until i took it out of valve cover gasket. Be careful if you plan on doing this. It is a solid piece of plastic unless it was replaced with a softer hose. It will break if you rush it. Why your at it, remove the pvc from hose and shake it to see if you hear ball moving inside. Before gentle while twisting and pulling the hose, you don't want to break it although you could purchase hose for about 3 bucks.

Scott--i am sure with you on this one, you have paid some deniros and time and aggravation and ?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pain, Time, Aggrivation and money are all things that have been expended in great amounts. I just want my car back!

Fuel filter is certainly in the correct flow direction. I crawled under and checked as soon as I read that.

I just had to deal with a mad vacuum leak on my 2003 Mitsubishi Galant. I'm not seeing any similar signs, I'm doubting that's an issue, but at this point I'm not ruling out a thing. I hesitate to suspect the intake gasket as well because it was running 100% perfect one day and the next it acts like a Chevy Corsica lol.

Bull Geek, I am not familiar with a TFI module. Could you please explain what that is and does for me?

Scooter5, That PVC issue sounds relatively simple to investigate. I have cleaned it a time or two with carb cleaner because that's another part that I can't seem to find a good brand of around here. I will certainly investigate that next when I get home.

Another weird thing that happened, after I did the code check again that Bull Geek gave me the instructions for earlier, I accidentally left it hooked up when I started it, and it smoothed out completely. The engine still surged while in park, but the misfire was gone. This only lasted until I shut it off, and when it was unhooked I restarted it again and it still had to be on wide open throttle to even keep it at 600 RPMs in park. I don't know what that means either but this keeps getting more strange the further along I get.
 

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The TFI module can be gray or black, but on a Taurus 86-95 it is bolted to the distributor with some micro size screws like 4mm or something crazy. And it uses a CPU thermal paste between the module and the distributor (something like Artic Silver).

Paging Jeff K and his infinite wisdom on TFI module testing procedures :D Again, no idea if this is your issue, but I know Jeff has mentioned in the past that modules are known to be an issue on OBD-I Fords, just like a bad MAP sensor or a fuel pressure regulator.
 

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