Engine Running Way Rich When Warming Up

Beater 5.0

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Apr 3, 2017
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Hey guys! First time poster to StangNet here! A quick background: My gfs dad GAVE us his old daily driver Mustang 5.0 (how lucky are we?!). Ive always been a Ford guy and Fox Body lover, so it was a win win!

He said when he gave it to us, the computer likes to jack around while its warming up. I just figured it sputters a little when you first fire it up. Most older vehicles do. Then when I finally licensed it and started driving it everyday, I saw what he meant. The car runs like total crap, sputters a bit, struggles at low RPM and you can physically smell the exhaust in the cab. Its the typical "your carb isn't tuned properly and its running way to rich" smell. Except of course, theres no carb. Once it gets up around 140*, you can FEEL like the car improve instantly. Then itll run like a 5.0 should for the rest of the day.

I took off the intake (has a cold air intake with the conical filter), cleaned it real well and reoiled it. While it was apart, I removed the MAF sensor and gave it a quick spray with some Carb n Choke cleaner, just to blow any dust or soot off of it. Didn't help a bit. It wont throw a check engine light while its running rough, but it seems when you pull into a parking lot, and it idles down a bit, THEN itll throw a CEL. Sometimes itll even go back out, and itll always reset after you restart the car. Any ideas guys?

1989 Ford Mustang, 5.0L, AOD, and I'm pretty sure it has 220,000 on it (since you cant see the first number and hes drove it every day for 11 years)
 
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Beater 5.0

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OK dumped the codes and here what I got (assuming mine is a 2 code and not 3)

21 - Coolant out of range
33 - EGR not operating properly
41 - Oxygen sensor signal
91 - Oxygen sensor problem, fuel pressure out of range or injectors out of balance

Anyone care to elaborate? Since it threw two oxygen sensor codes, it sounds like it may need a new oxygen sensor
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Code 21 coolant temp sensor, that is the sensor that is on the metal tube that runs down the passenger side of the engine to the heater core, gives the computer engine temp info (simplified version) I would replace it.
I would replace the oxygen sensors too, one on each side.
Egr valve is between the throadel body and the intake and has a vacuum line and an electrical connection. Disconnect the vacuum line and check for vacuum,
I don't think it was a good idea to use carb cleaner on your maf sensor but not sure, maybe @jrichker can chime in again.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
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Code 21 can be a false code if you don't run the engine codes with car warmed up first. If it was warm, then all signs point to bad sensor.

Code 41/91 could be caused by a large vacuum leak, which is what I'd suspect with the car running like crap prior to being fully warmed up when the sensors come into play. When cold, the car runs on predetermined fuel/timing maps, and a vac leak can screw that all up.

So with that said, I'd grab some carb cleaner and start hunting vac leaks
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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polk county florida
Mustang5l5 is correct, with that many miles vacuum lines get brittle and crack, leak at the nipples, gaskets dry up, kinda like I feel sometimes.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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Also, with 220k miles, what's the condition of things like spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor?

When was fuel filter last changed?
 

jrichker

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Code 21 – ECT sensor out of range. Broken or damaged wiring, bad ECT sensor.
Note that that if the outside air temp is below 50 degrees F that the test for the ECT can be in error. Warm the engine up until you get good hot air from the heater and then dump the codes again.

The computer Engine Coolant Temerature sensor has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature gauge. They are different animals. The ECT sensor is normally located it the passenger side front of the engine in the water feed tubes for the heater. It has two wires that connect by a weathertight plastic connector.

The water temperature sender for the temp gauge is located in the driver's side lower intake manifold. It has a single wire that connects by a push on connector on the temp sender.
The ACT & ECT have the same thermistor, so the table values are the same

ACT & ECT test data:

Use Pin 46 on the computer for ground for both ECT & ACT to get most accurate readings.

Pin 7 on the computer - ECT signal in. At 176 degrees F it should be .80 volts

Pin 25 on the computer - ACT signal in. At 50 degrees F it should be 3.5 volts. It is a good number if the ACT is mounted in the inlet airbox. If it is mounted in the lower intake manifold, the voltage readings will be lower because of the heat transfer.

a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.71316.gif


Voltages may be measured across the ECT/ACT by probing the connector from the rear. A pair of safety pins may be helpful in doing this. Use care in doing it so that you don't damage the wiring or connector.

Here's the table :

50 degrees F = 3.52 v
68 degrees F = 3.02 v
86 degrees F = 2.62 v
104 degrees F = 2.16 v
122 degrees F = 1.72 v
140 degrees F = 1.35 v
158 degrees F = 1.04 v
176 degrees F = .80 v
194 degrees F = .61
212 degrees F = .47 v
230 degrees F = .36 v
248 degrees F = .28 v

Ohms measures at the computer with the computer disconnected, or at the sensor with the sensor disconnected.

50 degrees F = 58.75 K ohms
68 degrees F = 37.30 K ohms
86 degrees F = 27.27 K ohms
104 degrees F = 16.15 K ohms
122 degrees F = 10.97 K ohms
140 degrees F = 7.60 K ohms
158 degrees F = 5.37 K ohms
176 degrees F = 3.84 K ohms
194 degrees F = 2.80 K ohms
212 degrees F = 2.07 K ohms
230 degrees F = 1.55 K ohms
248 degrees F = 1.18 k ohms

Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds

88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif


See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds
(website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/

Ignition switch wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/IgnitionSwitchWiring.gif

Fuel, alternator, A/C and ignition wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-91 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Vacuum diagram 89-93 Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangFoxFordVacuumDiagram.jpg



Code 33 - Insufficient EGR flow detected.
Look for vacuum leaks, cracked vacuum lines, failed EGR vacuum regulator. Check to see if you have 10” of vacuum at the EGR vacuum connection coming from the intake manifold. Look for electrical signal at the vacuum regulator solenoid valves located on the rear of the passenger side wheel well. Using a test light across the electrical connector, it should flicker as the electrical signal changes. Remember that the computer does not source any power, but provides the ground necessary to complete the circuit. That means one side of the circuit will always be hot, and the other side will go to ground or below 1 volt as the computer switches on that circuit.
Check for resistance between the brown/lt green wire on the EGR sensor and pin 27 on the computer: you should have less than 1.5 ohm.

Backside view of the computer wiring connector:
a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.71316


See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host)

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91eecPinout.gif


EGR test procedure courtesy of cjones

to check the EGR valve:
bring the engine to normal temp.

connect a vacuum pump to the EGR Valve or see the EGR test jig drawing below. Connnect the test jig or to directly to manifold vacuum.

Do not connect the EGR test jig to the EVR (Electronic Vacuum Regulator).


apply 5in vacuum to the valve. Using the test jig, use your finger to vary the vacuum

if engine stumbled or died then EGR Valve and passage(there is a passageway through the heads and intake) are good.

if engine did NOT stumble or die then either the EGR Valve is bad and/or the passage is blocked.

if engine stumbled, connect EGR test jig to the hose coming off of the EGR Valve.
Use your finger to cap the open port on the vacuum tee.
snap throttle to 2500 RPM (remember snap the throttle don't hold it there).
did the vacuum gauge show about 2-5 in vacuum?
if not the EVR has failed

EGR test jig
egr-test-jig-gif.58022


The operation of the EGR vacuum regulator can be checked by using a test light applied across the wiring connector. Jumper the computer into self test mode and turn the key on but do not start the engine. You will hear all the actuators (including the EVR vacuum regulator) cycle. Watch for the light to flicker: that means the computer has signaled the EGR vacuum regulator successfully.


Code 41 or 91. Or 43 Three digit code 172 or 176 - O2 sensor indicates system lean. Look for a vacuum leak or failing O2 sensor.

Revised 11-Jan-2015 to add check for fuel pressure out of range

Code 41 is the passenger side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 91 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 172 is the passenger side sensor as viewed from the driver's seat.
Code 176 is the driver side sensor, as viewed from the driver's seat.

Code 43 is not side specific according to the Probst Ford Fuel injection book.

The computer sees a lean mixture signal coming from the O2 sensors and tries to compensate by adding more fuel. Many times the end result is an engine that runs pig rich and stinks of unburned fuel.

The following is a Quote from Charles O. Probst, Ford fuel Injection & Electronic Engine control:
"When the mixture is lean, the exhaust gas has oxygen, about the same amount as the ambient air. So the sensor will generate less than 400 Millivolts. Remember lean = less voltage.

When the mixture is rich, there's less oxygen in the exhaust than in the ambient air , so voltage is generated between the two sides of the tip. The voltage is greater than 600 millivolts. Remember rich = more voltage.

Here's a tip: the newer the sensor, the more the voltage changes, swinging from as low as 0.1 volt to as much as 0.9 volt. As an oxygen sensor ages, the voltage changes get smaller and slower - the voltage change lags behind the change in exhaust gas oxygen.

Because the oxygen sensor generates its own voltage, never apply voltage and never measure resistance of the sensor circuit. To measure voltage signals, use an analog voltmeter with a high input impedance, at least 10 megohms. Remember, a digital voltmeter will average a changing voltage." End Quote

Testing the O2 sensors 87-93 5.0 Mustangs
Measuring the O2 sensor voltage at the computer will give you a good idea of how well they are working. You'll have to pull the passenger side kick panel off to gain access to the computer connector. Remove the plastic wiring cover to get to the back side of the wiring. Use a safety pin or paper clip to probe the connections from the rear.

Disconnect the O2 sensor from the harness and use the body side O2 sensor harness as the starting point for testing. Do not measure the resistance of the O2 sensor , you may damage it. Resistance measurements for the O2 sensor harness are made with one meter lead on the O2 sensor harness and the other meter lead on the computer wire or pin for the O2 sensor.

Backside view of the computer wiring connector:
a9x-series-computer-connector-wire-side-view-gif.71316


87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor
The computer pins are 29 (L\RH O2 with a dark green/pink wire) and 43 (LH O2 with a dark blue/pink wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.

91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
The computer pins are 29 (LH O2 with a Gray/Lt blue wire) and 43 (RH O2 with a Red/Black wire). Use the ground next to the computer to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


Testing the O2 sensors 94-95 5.0 Mustangs
Measuring the O2 sensor voltage at the computer will give you a good idea of how well they are working. You'll have to pull the passenger side kick panel off to gain access to the computer connector. Remove the plastic wiring cover to get to the back side of the wiring. Use a safety pin or paper clip to probe the connections from the rear. The computer pins are 29 (LH O2 with a red/black wire) and 27 (RH O2 with a gray/lt blue wire). Use pin 32 (gray/red wire) to ground the voltmeter. The O2 sensor voltage should switch between .2-.9 volt at idle.


Note that all resistance tests must be done with power off. Measuring resistance with a circuit powered on will give false readings and possibly damage the meter. Do not attempt to measure the resistance of the O2 sensors, it may damage them.

Testing the O2 sensor wiring harness
Most of the common multimeters have a resistance scale. Be sure the O2 sensors are disconnected and measure the resistance from the O2 sensor body harness to the pins on the computer. Using the Low Ohms range (usually 200 Ohms) you should see less than 1.5 Ohms.

87-90 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Dark blue/Lt green – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Dark Green/Pink – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Dark blue/Lt green wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Dark blue/Lt green wire on the computer pin 43
From the Dark Green/Pink wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Dark Green/Pink wire on the computer pin 29

91-93 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 43 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 29 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
Disconnect the connector from the O2 sensor and measure the resistance:
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 43
From the Dark Green/Pink Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 29

94-95 5.0 Mustangs:
Computer pin 29 Red/Black – LH O2 sensor
Computer pin 27 Gray/Lt blue – RH O2 sensor
From the Red/Black wire in the LH O2 sensor harness and the Red/Black wire on the computer pin 29
From the Dark Green/Pink Gray/Lt blue wire on the RH Os sensor harness and the Gray/Lt blue wire on the computer pin 27

There is a connector between the body harness and the O2 sensor harness. Make sure the connectors are mated together, the contacts and wiring are not damaged and the contacts are clean and not coated with oil.

The O2 sensor ground (orange wire with a ring terminal on it) is in the wiring harness for the fuel injection wiring. I grounded mine to one of the intake manifold bolts

Check the fuel pressure – the fuel pressure is 37-41 PSI with the vacuum disconnected and the engine idling. Fuel pressure out of range can cause the 41 & 91 codes together. It will not cause a single code, only both codes together.

Make sure you have the proper 3 wire O2 sensors. Only the 4 cylinder cars used a 4 wire sensor, which is not compatible with the V8 wiring harness.

Replace the O2 sensors in pairs if replacement is indicated. If one is weak or bad, the other one probably isn't far behind.

Code 41 can also be due to carbon plugging the driver’s side Thermactor air crossover tube on the back of the engine. The tube fills up with carbon and does not pass air to the driver’s side head ports. This puts an excess amount of air in the passenger side exhaust and can set the code 41. Remove the tube and clean it out so that both sides get good airflow: this may be more difficult than it sounds. You need something like a mini rotor-rooter to do the job because of the curves in the tube. Something like the outer spiral jacket of a flexible push-pull cable may be the thing that does the trick.

If you get only code 41 and have changed the sensor, look for vacuum leaks. This is especially true if you are having idle problems. The small plastic tubing is very brittle after many years of the heating it receives. Replace the tubing and check the PVC and the hoses connected to it.