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EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More! 

 

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 Post subject: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:16 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Age: 47

Posts: 92

Joined: 8th Apr 2012

Ride: EA Falcon S 30th Anniversary

Location: Brisbane
QLD, Australia

A while back I bought an EA2 S Pack 5 speed manual and it ran fine, started first go every go, and while it was down on power it was a great drive from VIC to my home in NSW. The car has the original engine which has done 290,000km. I then started to prep it for rego which is when my nightmare started.

Thinking I was doing the right thing I put in a new battery just before sending it in for a bit of front end body work. It immediately refused to start when cranking but would start when clutching it. By fluke, while trying to find the issue, I put a test light on a fuel injector plug and it fired first go. Weird. By cranking the engine and doing checks I find that the injectors are not firing while cranking, seemingly unless the test light earths the injector plug. This makes sense later!

A check of the wiring diagrams suggested a few possibilities but it wasn't gouing to be easy:
- ECU power relay replaced
- All battery earths and fusible links and power wires checked okay
- All relays in engine bay replaced
- Alarm and immobiliser bypassed

In frustration I sent the car to an auto elec who after a lot of work gave up after a week:
- Coolant sensor found out of whack and replaced
- ECU swapped for known good unit
- Numerous continuity checks

I got the car back and did the following:
- replaced coil with new Bosch unit
- replaced plug leads with Bosch leads
- new Ford OEM rotor button and distributor cap
- cleaned TPS sensor connector and a few other connectors under the intake manifold
- replaced ignition suppressor found to have a broken wire
- refitted IAC valve using o2 safe sealant (couldn't get a gasket)

The car now started first go every go BUT now it runs like it has a drag car engine - very rich, won't really idle, and at higher revs seems to intermittently run smooth with moments where it wants to die. By now I'm thinking of torching this thing! I've solved a major problem only to get a new one. A check of the repair manual tells me what has happened - in crank mode if the EEC sees TPS high it thinks flooded engine so won't fire the injectors. The only explanation I can think of is the TPS connector or some other circuit effect has been fixed. The reason it fired before was when applying the test light the injectors fired once and that fuel was enough to immediatelt send the engine to sub-idle mode when cranked on the starter.

So I do the following:
- checked distributor adaptor and cleaned it
- checked all plug leads are in place and click heard engaging connector on dizzy as well as each spark plug
- new Bosch Platinum spark plugs (the old ones were truly shagged)
- checked plug lead order twice
- checked for any vacuum leaks
- reterminated earths at the battery
- removed, cleaned and refitted main engine earth at RH side engine mount
- new thermostat, housing, radiator hoses, heater hose under intake, and new heater hose tube

No real fix although it does seem a bit better, idling for maybe 30 seconds before stopping in a cloud of smoke.

Back to the auto elec to get a fuel injection expert in to just sort this thing out because I need a car:

- alternator under load maxes at 12.2V (reco alternator now fitted)
- Oxygen sensor dead (ordered a new quality brand item yet to arrive and be fitted)
- thermostat not working (???? can't explain that one because fitted a brand new one)
- TPS outputs fine
- confirmed no vacuum leaks
- no codes

Until the new O2 sensor goes in I won't know if that's the fix but I doubt it as my recollection is that this should only affect closed loop mode?

Help please....

 

_________________

1991 EA2 Ford Falcon S Sedan
LeMans Red - 30th Anniversary 3.9 MPFI Manual LSD

1996 XH Ford Falcon Outback Ute
LeMans Red 4.0 Auto

Originality saves our history.

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 Post subject: Re: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:49 pm 
Smokin em up
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Location: Palmerston North
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So there's no vacuum leaks, have to check all the sensors to see if theyre still good. Only other thing i could think would that your timing would be way out, wouldnt be running without killing itself though, cant tihnk of what it would be, persist though! The ea is a good car with a 5 speed

 

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 Post subject: Re: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:27 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Age: 47

Posts: 92

Joined: 8th Apr 2012

Ride: EA Falcon S 30th Anniversary

Location: Brisbane
QLD, Australia

I know how bad these are for vacuum leaks so I checked it over and over and the fuel injection specialist ran all his tools over it and confirmed there was nothing at all.

The list goes on:

- fitted new O2 sensor but no real improvement
- made a new gasket and checked sealing of IAC valve
- MAP sensor checked all good but to be sure removed hose and checked it, all good there

Decided I'd done all I could do so went for it and took the car for a long drive including periods of idle up to half an hour each once it gradually got to where it could run on its own. Over a day it improved out of sight and seems to have learnt its way to reasonable health. Not perfect, but now absolutely driveable. As a precaution I have a new set of VDO Siemens injectors on the way just so I can say EVERYTHING has been done.

Lesson: that cheapie junker with no rego is seldom a bargain.

 

_________________

1991 EA2 Ford Falcon S Sedan
LeMans Red - 30th Anniversary 3.9 MPFI Manual LSD

1996 XH Ford Falcon Outback Ute
LeMans Red 4.0 Auto

Originality saves our history.

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 Post subject: Re: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:15 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Age: 47

Posts: 92

Joined: 8th Apr 2012

Ride: EA Falcon S 30th Anniversary

Location: Brisbane
QLD, Australia

Forgot to mention timing is spot on.

Having left the car for a day started it up today and it idles and runs okay but the idle hunts badly going from smooth and marginally high to sudden die in the a$$ rpm lowering quickly back to anything in between. Shows all the classic signs of an IAC problem or a variable inlet vacuum leak but three people now have been over this thing...

Having a look at current symptoms, anyone suggest anything? I'm really budget-blown here right now so no way I'm going to buy a new IAC valve in a remote chance it is sticky or something.

 

_________________

1991 EA2 Ford Falcon S Sedan
LeMans Red - 30th Anniversary 3.9 MPFI Manual LSD

1996 XH Ford Falcon Outback Ute
LeMans Red 4.0 Auto

Originality saves our history.

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 Post subject: Re: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:58 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Age: 47

Posts: 92

Joined: 8th Apr 2012

Ride: EA Falcon S 30th Anniversary

Location: Brisbane
QLD, Australia

Looks like problem solved!

Put in a new IAC valve and got an immediate improvement although the idle was still hunting a bit. But the big advantage now is I'm onto the trail.

Thanks to an industry contact I got a referral to an expert on these cars - an ex taxi mechanic who has an EB himself. I went to chat but this guy was amazing - he jumped right at the car as if it was his own and was not going to give up! Amazingly he had a pile of parts for the car lying around - even pulled out a manual '650' ECU from under a seat in the corner.

Got a spare distributor and hooked it up confirming PIP signal and TFI working well. Put the new distributor in and worked well for 20 seconds then intermittent again. So, put in a brand new distributor on loan. I schedule my distributor for an 'overhaul' as the bushes are worn and the PIP rotor is showing signs of minor impacts to the stator. Checked timing and cleared codes on ECU, tellingly it showed the code I suspected was the reason for the starting problems, code 53 TPS voltage high. Car running okay but minor hunting on idle - maybe a 95% car by now.

I go for a decent drive home and it runs well except when I hit traffic it starts to shudder when I tip on or off the throttle transiting from zero throttle up or from open throttle down to zero. There is a pattern here I am thinking about overnight, and that we're close to the problem.

Next morning go to get car out and find coolant on the floor. Replaced gasket on the cylinder head to coolant distribution block (front left corner of the head) and go to start the car. Won't start on the crank again - back to square 1!!!! Clutch starts fine. This has to be code 53 issues again stopping the injectors firing.

Went back to the mechanic who had ordered a TPS and I fitted it. Immediate fix and car runs like a dream. All I need to do now is go back and get the distributor fitted after its work and get codes cleared and timing set. Will be driving like a new one after that!

LESSONS:
1. I paid experts to help when I should have done what I intended to do: follow the factory manual troubleshooting.
2. Don't believe the 'experts' who tell you the TPS and the IAC are fine when the manual says these things are key to the car running right and are the items the manual says to address to fix the symptoms.
3. Ask your mate in the trade who to go to for advice and help at the start.

BIG RECOMMENDATION:
If you live in Sydney and have any similar Ford with any issues I highly recommened St George EFI and Mechanical on Stoney Creek Road Bexley - talk to Steve. That guy has the right attitude! If I was staying in Sydney I wouldn't go anywhere else for this stuff from now on.

 

_________________

1991 EA2 Ford Falcon S Sedan
LeMans Red - 30th Anniversary 3.9 MPFI Manual LSD

1996 XH Ford Falcon Outback Ute
LeMans Red 4.0 Auto

Originality saves our history.

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 Post subject: Re: EA MPFI Engine Trouble Runs Rough and Won't Idle Plus More!
Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:08 pm 
Stock as a Rock
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Age: 45

Posts: 158

Joined: 30th Jan 2012

Ride: DL LTD

Location: Kallangur
QLD, Australia

Christ and I thought I had issues!! lol...good to see you worked it out. I think these days the term "expert" is thrown around a lil too much.

Good endnig to a good read!!

 

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