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Hello everyone,

I'll jump right to it, a buddy has recently purchased a 1997 Cougar XR7 that has seen better days. He is having issues where, the car seems to idle okay but at the slightest input of gas, the car bogs, and dies. And I mean just barely any gas, maybe pushing the pedal 1/8 - 1/4 inch. Therefore, the car is not driveable.

I have a bit mechanical back ground, I looked at the car briefly and didn't notice anything too out the ordinary, I told him I would do some research and get back to him. I was hoping to get a few input on where I should start by the experts here. Perhaps there are certain issues more common for this car?

So I planned on:
Checking fuel pressure? My understanding, it should be around 30 psi?
Cleaning the MAF? (also have scan tool, can check if air flow values change)
Check TPS Sensor (again, check position % with scan tool)
Vacuum Leaks?

Anyone else has place to start that are common issue areas for this car?

It has no check engine light on currently, but honestly hasn't drove it at all for one to populate.
 

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You should do a tuneup on it since it has "seen better days" it probably hasn't had any maintenance whatsoever,a fuel filter would be a good and cheap place to start, a buddy of mine had a Cougar like your buddies and it hadn't had the filter changed in years, it was soo bad the filter was starting to rust thru and it just quit driving period,they get so dirty, gas can't get thru them,enough to idle yes but once you start accelerating they bog down and die, fuel injectors could also be clogged,Ethanol is not good for these cars AT ALL,after i replaced the ball of rust that used to be my fuel pump on my Thunderbird it only stops at the real fuel stations,period.
 

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I'd start with the vacuum leaks. Check all the hoses.

Clean the maf, and check the codes.

The check engine light is on, or it may be burned out; check it with a code reader.

Check the spark plug wells for water or coolant.

Check the fuel pressure at the fuel rail.

If the cats are clogged, unbolting the front o2's should let it start.

That's where I'd start.
 

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How did the car get to where it's at now? Has it been sitting for a long time? How does it sound in neutral held at 2k RPM? Sputtering or smooth? Doesn't sound like it was driven in yesterday, and suddenly doesn't run right today. All this is important info.

Assuming it has sat for a while, fuel system components should be first on the list - fuel filter, a few gallons of fresh fuel with some Seafoam in it.

Actually, first on the list should be checking the wires under the hood for potential rodent infestation.

Al
 

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Replace the Idol Air Controller. (IAC)

You should do a tuneup on it since it has "seen better days" it probably hasn't had any maintenance whatsoever,a fuel filter would be a good and cheap place to start, a buddy of mine had a Cougar like your buddies and it hadn't had the filter changed in years, it was soo bad the filter was starting to rust thru and it just quit driving period,they get so dirty, gas can't get thru them,enough to idle yes but once you start accelerating they bog down and die, fuel injectors could also be clogged,Ethanol is not good for these cars AT ALL,after i replaced the ball of rust that used to be my fuel pump on my Thunderbird it only stops at the real fuel stations,period.
Ethanol ....

I beg to differ. :D
 

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E-85 is great for making power if the car is set up for it. A nice increase in torque.

It's the E-10 that's the killer - to gas mileage in these old 90's cars. Back when it was only around E5, I saw a 10% gain in gas mileage when I tried ethanol free. Currently, my cars are all down a good 15% from E-10 - something I am in the process of verifying by running a few tanks of ethanol free 89 in the T-Bird.

When I first got this T-Bird, I got 19/26. Now it's down to 17.5/23.5, which just pisses me off. My old 95 T-Bird used to get 21/28, with many instances of 30 on the hwy, but I hear the 95's were better on gas for some reason. /rant off

Al
 

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E-85 is great for making power if the car is set up for it. A nice increase in torque.

It's the E-10 that's the killer - to gas mileage in these old 90's cars. Back when it was only around E5, I saw a 10% gain in gas mileage when I tried ethanol free. Currently, my cars are all down a good 15% from E-10 - something I am in the process of verifying by running a few tanks of ethanol free 89 in the T-Bird.

When I first got this T-Bird, I got 19/26. Now it's down to 17.5/23.5, which just pisses me off. My old 95 T-Bird used to get 21/28, with many instances of 30 on the hwy, but I hear the 95's were better on gas for some reason. /rant off

Al
+1 I got the same drop in mileage, and now E15 is everywhere so it’s even worse. The ethanol lobby can go screw.
 

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Supposedly we can regain some of that, if we retune for the changed lambda, because the stochimetry is wrong now.

There's a section in Don's book about it, but I doubt it will give us much, because the energy content is lower.

When people did alcohol conversions on bikes in the 70's, during the gas shortage, they doubled the size of the jets, and started rejetting and tuning from there.

That meant a 4.5 gallon tank was needed for a 40 minute moto, and people still ran out of gas. :)

I was able to buy real gas, so I had a weight advantage too.

Alcohol based carbs would freeze solid at cold races in the winter, lol.
 

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+1 I got the same drop in mileage, and now E15 is everywhere so it’s even worse. The ethanol lobby can go screw.
But they can't force the E15 on you as your only option. I can't say I've ever seen it. Possibly at Sheetz, but I don't shop there.

I can run the E free in the city if I don't mind making the 8 mile trip one way. It does cost 16% more. But one thing that concerns me is I don't think I you get top tier detergents with it, just the minimum required. So that could have an effect over time with more deposits.

I didn't notice a sticker on the pump at BP, but others have said they've seen a sticker that states something to the effect of "this is not affiliated with Exxon", or whatever gas station it is.

Al
 

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Let's get back to the original question please.

One thing you might check for is unmetered air. Perhaps the intake ducting has a leak path after the MAF. Just another place to look.
 

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The op posted this post, and hasn't been back; this is just accumulating BS at this point, lol.
 
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