96 Windstar dead

Discussion in 'Other Auto Tech' started by 85ragtop, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. I need some real help. My wife has a 96 Windstar 3.8 that just up and died on Saturday. It sputters and back-fires through the intake, and then dies. I have changed the plugs and wires. Cleaned the MAF and some other thing in air tube. I need this stupid thing fixed. Any advice would help.
    Oh yeah the plugs I took out are covered in soot, and smell like gas.
  2. Throwing any codes?
    Have you reset the PCM?
  3. I need to buy a code scanner for it. The check engine light was on, but is now off. My dad is coming over to help me with it today (if the rain stops). So I'll see if what happens. I think he has an actron OBDII scanner.
  4. I think some national-chain auto parts stores will pull codes for free if you aren't able to get a scanner via family & friends.
  5. Yeah but the thing won't make up the road. Heck I can't even get it out of the driveway. I hate this van.:(
  6. check the coil pack and try to disconnect the maf electrical connector and see if itruns better
  7. 10-4
  8. Well no change with the mass air disconnected. I'll check to see if I have a spark later. If that ain't it I may shoot this thing.
  9. Well I checked the three plug wires I could get to, and they had a spark. I think it's time to go out and get a scanner.

    I just saw your replaced the plugs and wires, pull the new plugs and see if they smell like fuel again..

    If so do the following

    pull your dipstick and see if the oil smells of fuel.. If you have a really bad misfire you can have a ton of fuel dumped into the crank case and the added fuel in the crank case can throw the mixture so far off that the fuel vapors that get back into the intake track through the pcv system will cause it to run horribly rich and do what you describe..

    If this is the case replace the coil and then clean all the plugs and change the oil, if you don't do the last two steps the plugs will foul up all over again instantly.

    If this don't fix it you may have a injector stuck open, this will be hard to pinpoint what injector is doing it with out access to the injector flow test.. I have a way you can test for this you will need a fuel pressure gauge, something to block the return line and a extra injector

    a scanner will help but the scanner you need is one with a power balance test and injector flow test and that is a high end scanner or a ford IDS thats dealer only..

    Codes probably will not help since they will most likely be condition codes and if it is a misfire and the battery was disconnected or KAM cleared then the misfire monitor will not be set and you will not get an misfire codes since the PCM does not have enough info to calculate misfire...

    If you do scan it post the codes here maybe they will help.
  11. Did you get it fixed?
  12. Not yet. My buddy is coming over in the morning to help me work on it.
  13. Any update on this...

    Were the plugs fuel soaked?
  14. They had fuel on them. I just don't know. I am going to have it towed to the shop up the street. I give up.
  15. Before you tow it, drain the oil and filter and then clean all the plugs off with a spark plug cleaner.. it's a small sand blaster and then install the plugs and see what happens

    We get this all the time with postal explorers and sometimes even brand new cars. Once the crankcase gets fuel contamination the fuel ratio will become to rich due to the PCV filling the intake with vapors from the crankcase.. this will foul the plugs instantly

    But since it's a 96 windstar you might have a blown headgasket but first you need to find out if it's something simple before you tow it and they tell you it's a headgasket, when it might only be simply flooded.

    BTW the fuel also washes down the rings , this will give you a very low compression reading since the rings won't seal..

    I would drop a tiny tiny bit of oil into each hole when you put the plugs in and if you can crank it with the fuel pump disabled to try to coat the walls again with oil
  16. Will try. I'll let you know what (if anything) I find.
  17. make sure to change the oil, this is the most important part. you have to get that fuel out of the crankcase.
  18. Update

    Well the the van is dead. It has a crack in one of the heads. Thanks for all of the help.
  19. Scrap time! :p