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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
The pump is here!

I picked up the new pump today, and I am planning on popping it in there on Saturday. Doesn't look too tough. There is only one fuel line connected to it (hence the returnless system), and the electrical. I saw a guy do a lincoln online, and it looked like after the straps were disconnected the tank just kind of swung down to the ground. That should be enough for me to get everything disconnected (lines, electrical). Then, there is a little metal ring that holds the pump in place and forms the seal. This is basically pounded out with a hammer - you hit it with a screwdriver enough to move it and 'unlock' it. Then it basically all comes apart. I plan on reusing my same strainer - cleaning it off with carb cleaner. That should be it. Looking at the new pump, it is easy to see how it could loose pressure. The fuel lines on the pump are kind of a cheapo plastic, so they could easily deteriorate or tear. If that happens on this model Taurus or the seal is busted in any way,you are basically toast. Think of a straw with a hole in it. Anyway, I will know more on Saturday, and I WILL POST :)

PS: yeahhh boyyyy
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
OK, so the new fuel pump was defective as all hell. That's the last time I buy a part from Ebay - I guess I kinda deserved that. Anyway, the old pump is back on and the car starts. As far as getting to the pump, its not really that bad. There are two straps that you unbolt, and then the tank just literally drops out. I just had the rear of my car jacked up. Then, there is a little ring that you tap until it unlocks, then the pump comes out. On my Taurus, it is all part of an assembly. I don't think it comes apart, so I'm pretty sure you would have to replace the whole assembly. I am almost 100% sure now that the fuel pump is the culprit for all of the issues I've been having. I think it is just wearing out and loosing pressure if it sits for a long time. A new pump from Oreilley's is like $250. I think I will just save up and buy the new unit - at least it will have a warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I'm throwing in the towel

OK, so after another very long day in the Texas heat underneath the Taurus, I am giving up. Today I had to buy a new front caliper. After opening the bleeder to bleed my brakes, something inside the caliper blew, and there was fluid everywhere. Got a new Caliper from Oreilley's for $30. Put that in and bled the system. It stops. However, I was digging through my paperwork to find out how much I still owe, and I found an insurance policy that I bought with the car. It should cover them taking a second look at the brakes, replacing my bumper (which is cracked from another incident...), and checking out the intermittent car starting thing. I am going to ask that they please check the fuel pressure, and also look at the computer. Anyway, I will obviously post a full report, and hopefully it will help someone out. Here's to another 80,000 miles. :D

--Josh
 

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Josh,
Did they ever figure out what it was? I am very curious because my Taurus exhibited similar issues. Sorry it got so bad. Hope you stay with Ford.
 

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Any updates on this? We need closure!!!!! :rolleyes2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Guys/Gals,

I am so sorry it took so long to post. Here's the latest on the Taurus saga. So, as far as the brakes, I have now replaced every single moving part - I am doing the master cylinder on Saturday. I have done everything except the lines. If anyone needs drum advice, hit me up. OMG - this has been a nightmare. My car stops, but the pedal feels spongy and I can press it almost all the way down if I apply pressure. I feel like the master cylinder is leaking fluid past the seals. I have done everything (like I said), including bleeding the whole system, new hardware, new pads, new shoes, new front calipers, new drums, and it always starts getting worse within a few days. So, the master is getting done on Saturday. OK, now, on to the fuel pump. I just got a new job and a pay raise, so I can finally really afford to get a brand new unit. After the debachle with the ebay part, I never did get another unit. The car still starts and drives, which would probably be good enough for most folks, but I'm a stickler. I feel like it will turn out to be the fuel pump. I am starting to hear this from alot of Taurus owners of this year. I feel like there is something defective, and the most likely culprit is the cheap, piece of crap pump. I promise promise promise that I will let you guys know as soon as I do.

--josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Just a quick update and thought on this. The hard starting and high RPM's at start are some kind of emissions thing. It IS a fuel problem, but it is also an emissions problem. The car is trying to warm up - it is trying to get the catalytic converters hot. It is not able to do it quick enough, so it ups the RPM's for a minute or so (which is kinda scary and dangerous if you put it in reverse). I'm now scratching my head as to whether or not it really is the fuel pump. I think that it could just as easily be a clogged cat or bad o2 sensor. Since this is only happening at startup after sitting for a long time, I am actually starting to lean toward some other emissions thing that happens on the warm-up cycle. I have replaced all of the sensors within the engine that could cause this behavior, so I don't think it is anything there - i.e. the IAC, throttle position, cam synchronizer, spark plugs, wires, ignition coil pack, MAF, etc... I am thinking that I might go ahead and replace all of the O2 sensors this weekend, just as a precaution. For a while, every now and again when the car was idling, I could rev the engine and hear a pop. I'm not hearing that pop anymore. I'm starting to think this is exhaust related, and whatever was failing has now failed completely. From what I understand, when this kind of thing happens, the engine goes into kind of a failsafe mode. This could be what is causing the hard start and high RPM's. I'm leaning toward a stupid computer and cheap parts at this point. I think I overreacted and went overboard thinking it was the pump. I will update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
As an afterthought to this post, I know what everyone is going to say: "If the sensor is bad, it will throw a code...". Yes, I know that, BUT how do you explain my car's poor performance with no codes showing AT ALL! Something is amiss [its screwed up]. Would a clogged cat throw a code? I think that the signal from the O2 sensor can be just fine, but the sensor itself can be funky, OR the cat itself is screwed up (with no codes). I desperately want to figure out the root cause of these particular symptoms [see earlier posts in thread] as it seems like a lot of people with the same year model Tauri are experiencing them, and a simple answer would be great for everyone (and probably save several thousand dollars, which is where the bill is heading for me at this point). O2 sensors are fairly easy to change, and you can get a direct fit cat that bolts on - granted some force would probably be needed in working around the exhaust. It will be about $150 to buy all new O2 sensors and about $300 for the new cat. Also, this would explain the significant loss in fuel economy I have seen since I have owned the car. I also had a friend with an '02 that had the cat go out fairly early on in the life of the car. Seems like a Ford thing. Any insight (besides "it will throw a code...) would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
One other addendum to this thread. I am only going to replace the upstream sensors this weekend. As I understand it, these are the critical ones for fuel economy, fuel mixture, etc... Also, these are apparently the easiest ones to get to. Many years ago, I had a Ranger that had several problems cleared up by just replacing a faulty o2 sensor. I'll let everyone know the results. I also am installing a new master cylinder on my brakes. Quick summary of brake issues: bleeding fixes mushy pedal temporarily, but mushiness returns. Adjusting rear drums helps, but only a little. Pedal has resistance and car stops, but pedal still has some play and if I keep pushing it will go to the floor. I have replaced every brake component except for lines and booster, still has pedal play. When bleeding I always do it with a partner and make sure no air is in the system. That is why I am replacing the master. I already have the flair wrenches, and I have the kit to bleed the master. It will have to be bench bled. Anyway, I will do this work and see what happens. I will post results.

EDIT: I am going to replace all of the sensors. After talking to the guy at Oreilley's, I think it would make sense to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
OK, so after a little more reading and digging, I now know that the o2 sensors have no effect on the engine while it is cold. Effectively it is in a closed loop until it warms up. It seems like what is happening is that it is taking too long for the engine to warm up and that is (in my opinion) directly related to the hard starting. I might be back to the fuel pump theory - not getting enough fuel on startup means too long of a wait for it to warm up. I think I probably will end up waiting for a CEL (or around 100K mileage) to replace the o2 sensors. SO, here's the plan. I just got paid, so I am going to be back at Oreilley's to return the sensors and pick up a brand new airtex pump. It will go in this weekend. Keep hope alive... So, 1. bench bleed and replace master cylinder 2. jack up rear of car. 3. Bleed rear cylinders and drop tank 4. replace fuel pump and replace tank 5. jack up front of car and bleed front calipers. 6. RELAX and have a beer :p

EDIT: Fun side note - I just checked my Citi thank-you points, and I almost have enough to buy a Ford code reader. Oh happy day!

Oh, and I can't forget to buy a fuel can. Can't start a new pump with no fuel...I figured if I posted it, it would be easier to remember.
 

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Good luck on the pump replacement and let us know how it turns out. I just did one on mine and only took about 2 hours with no problems and that was with interuptions from kids. I still had about 1/4 tank of gas so it wanted to slosh around off my floor jack but not too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 · (Edited)
Well ladies and gents, the new pump went in over the weekend. It is not the pump. The pump is working (quite well actually), but when I started the old taurus this morning, it did the same thing it always does - an extra crank or two before starting and then idled at around 1500 for about a minute. I am very close to giving up on this car, and I am not usually one to give up on cars. There is only one more thing I am thinking of doing - there is an electronic fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail. I have not replaced it yet. It is a special order part that you have to get from ford, and last time I checked it was around $100. This car is nickel and dime-ing me to death. I don't have a code reader, but there is no code to read. I do not have a fancy scanner that can read fuel trim and all that, but then again, even if I did, there are like a million things that can affect fuel trim. I am really at a loss here. I have no idea what else could possibly be making this happen.

EDIT: I do have a lifetime warranty on the IAC that I bought about a year ago. I may take it back to the parts store and see if I can go ahead and get a new one of those, just in case it has gone bad or was already bad out of the box. I took the car to Firestone over the weekend to have the brakes vacuum flushed, and they said that what I was describing sounded an awful lot like an IAC problem. It just blows me away though because I replaced it only about 1 year ago.

EDIT: One more quick addition. After I got home from work today, I pulled the vacuum off of the electronic regulator and gave it a sniff. There was no fuel dripping out of it or anything, but there was a strong fuel odor coming from the disconnected end of the vacuum line. I don't think that fuel is supposed to be in there. I believe the vacuum just helps the thing operate - not really there to siphon off fuel or anything. I believe that it may be broken or leaking. I am going to go ahead and order the part from Ford. Might be a while for shipping, but as always, i will be sure to post results. And for the benefit of the 'old timers', this is a returnless fuel system. It operates at a higher pressure and no fuel makes it back to the tank (stupid emissions). The 'tarded little electronic sensor on the rail tells the fuel pump how fast to spin when it senses lower vacuum or pressure - if its broken, then that could affect the warm-up cycle - i.e. even though its a new pump, it may not know how much fuel it needs to deliver... $100 bucks later and we shall find out.
 

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My '06 Taurus is almost doing the same thing as yours.....I have intermittent hard starting and my idle is not so great. Sometimes it will not start at all. Also, sometimes I notice that the gauges go through some kind of "reset" when I am trying to start it. I was hoping it was the fuel pump since my car is poised on the lift and the pump is on the shelf. I have not done all of the sensors that you have replaced, but I did put in a new IAC. Since I already spent the money, I will install the pump tonight. I will be most interested in hearing what your results are when you replace the fuel pressure regulator.

Also, you said you replaced your spark plugs....how did you do the back 3 cylinders? Did you remove the intake manifold or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Your symptoms sound almost like an electrical issue - like a battery or alternator situation. As far as the gauge resetting and stuff, that's what it seems like to me. It doesn't necessarily sound like a regulator situation. The thing with mine is that it does it consistently, and it is the same every time. I don't get rough idle, and it happens consistently all of the time. The only time it happens is in the A.M. after the car has sat overnight. For your situation, I would start with the electrical system...for sure. Is your battery holding the correct charge? Is your alternator working properly - any noises, or loss of charge after driving? Also, I would check fuses and relays. That's just my opinion though.

As far as the plugs, there are two ways you can do it. I was able to stick my hand behind the manifold by just taking the windshield wiper trim off. There are a couple of metal brackets that hold the wiper fluid lines on, those just come off by prying them off (be careful). Removing those will allow you to take the top plastic off. Then there are a couple of screws to remove once the top plastic pieces are off to be able to remove the bottom plastic. That should be enough to get your hand and a wrench back there. OR you could go the complicated way for more clearance by removing the manifold. If I remember correctly, the EGR bolts come out, the throttle body bolts come out and the body is moved out of the way, then there is some stuff mounted on the front of the intake - vacuum pressure regulator, etc... and that needs to come off. There is also one bolt behind the throttle body that is connected to the manifold that needs to come off. Then, the manifold bolts can be removed (its a 10m deep socket). Then it should come off. That would give you all of the clearance that you need. Once you do it one time its easy. Oh, whatever you do, if you take that much stuff off the top of the motor, be careful not to strip anything or break any plastic.

Let me know what you find out.
--Josh
 

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Throwing parts at the car is not going to solve your problem. You need to change your strategy. Just pay a dealership $100 to give you the diagnosis and take it from there. I know it's hard, but sometimes you just gotta let somebody with more experience do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I'm sorry, but I am going to say this - Dealerships are a rip-off. I have heard SOOO many stories of people having car trouble, going to a dealership and either having the wrong diagnosis or the dealership saying they don't know what's wrong - then what? You're out $100 for nothing? At least if I throw a part at it, I have a new part. And you are wrong, SOMETIMES you get lucky and throw the right part at it - it just doesn't always happen the first time. Giving up and going to the dealer is not how I roll - except in an emergency. I am not saying this as a flame, I am just stating my opinion on going to the dealer. Also, when you replace parts you learn about your car. Maybe next time something breaks or whatever, you will know how stuff comes apart and goes back together. This forum is very helpful. Once I figure out what is going on, hopefully, lots of people will be able to save some dough. Also, I know this may not have been directly aimed at me, so hopefully, you aren't too offended.
 

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dmeray1 (and josh), if youre changing plugs on a vulcan you shouldnt have to remove anything to access the rear bank???
 

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Also, on the sluggish am starts, my 99 tec required extended morning cranking until i replaced the non-elec. fpr (fuel pressure regulator). Good luck.
 

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Did you ever check the o-ring seal on the intake manifold air valve assy. (blk. plastic thingy between uim and firewall on the pass. side)? These are prone to vac. leaks on 04s and newer. Ive got 2 ford part #s? #87072-s91 or 4x4z-9h490.
 
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