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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In the middle of a 50 mile trip the engine began to cut out and after completely stalling twice I had the car towed home. I do have a power steering leak that causes fluid to spray up and over the alternator when the reservoir is filled but it doesn't seem to hit the coils. The engine pings and backfires during the stalling. I can make short trips but when the engine gets up to normal operating temp for long enough it begins stalling again.

Spark plug wires seem fine when I pulled them from the coil pack while the engine was running to check for spark. Misting them with water in the dark revealed no arcing. Spark plug gaps were way off but cleaning them and gapping them only fooled me into thinking things were fine when I managed to go further than usual. Coil packs have been replaced in the past with the most recent one having been replaced within the last 2 or 3 years and the first one having been replaced around 8 years ago. Plugs have just under 30,000 miles on them.

I would like to think the issue is that I need a new coil pack because I used cheaper ones from Autozone or Advance instead of going with motorcraft. The searching I've done made me question that theory because a lot of people doubt coil packs of going bad very often. I suppose it could be the cam position sensor but I'd like a bit more affirmation before I begin trying to replace that. Even though I found some motorcraft coil packs for a great price at Rockauto I'm leaning towards doing the COP modification.

Am I the only one who thinks I have a bad coil pack?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that there was no CEL until after the stalling and there are no shops in Cisco that I know of where I can get the codes read for free. Maybe the college or NAPA can help me but I can assume it's saying that there is a misfire and may tell me which coil pack it is if it is indeed a bad coil pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The information around can sure be fragmented at times. I searched about the cam sensor and found that the crank sensor is more likely based on replies. Maybe I'll go ahead and replace both just because of how old everything is.

EDIT: By the way unplugging the MAF makes no change. If it matters the IAC valve and the TPS are both brand new. There are no vacuum leaks and I have a PI intake.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Slow weekend? Anyway I've come to find that the grime caused by the power steering leak must have caused a poor connection within the crankshaft position's connector. The water from washing the engine had actually helped until plugging the engine fan back causing the water to be blown away which is why I drove so far until it started stalling. I noticed the AC not blowing cold air when I tried going to Abilene and the stalling started a moment after plugging the fan back in. Messing with the connector caused the no start condition I'm used to which led me to believe that cleaning it was the solution. I managed to go 22 miles with no more issue.
 

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Slow weekend? Anyway I've come to find that the grime caused by the power steering leak must have caused a poor connection within the crankshaft position's connector. The water from washing the engine had actually helped until plugging the engine fan back causing the water to be blown away which is why I drove so far until it started stalling. I noticed the AC not blowing cold air when I tried going to Abilene and the stalling started a moment after plugging the fan back in. Messing with the connector caused the no start condition I'm used to which led me to believe that cleaning it was the solution. I managed to go 22 miles with no more issue.
I'd get that power steering leak fixed up first,as it is the head of the daisy chain causing your issue. Spraying water in an engine with lots of electrical connections is not the best idea either. Not a bad idea to go ahead and replace the crankshaft position sensor while you're in there fixing things up. Clean it up, dry it all off, see how it does then.
 

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The Parts Guy
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If it reoccurs, I'd suggest hooking up a fuel pressure gauge temporarily. Chances are, the fuel pump is on its way out.
 

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I agree that spraying water in an engine compartment for any reason is not a good idea. Even for cleaning purposes. My focus would be on anything that that PS fluid touched.

I have had coil packs go bad, but the symptoms were similar to bad wires - bucking when climbing a hill in OD at low RPM, under a heavy load.

Al
 

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50 years of Mercury Cougar 1967/2017
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Coil packs are too easy, but if you must buy some from the junk yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I agree. I hate having to place water near anything electrical but that power steering fluid was everywhere. It'll stay clean as long as I don't add anymore fluid for the time being. That PS fluid eats away at my strut rod bushings that were already bad. I'm ordering a pump and pressure hose which means this will be the 3rd time they have been replaced since I've owned the car with the last time being 2 years ago. I'm hoping I don't have to replace the rack again but I'm about ready if it is needed. I've had zero power steering for the last 6 months at least and it was random before then.

While I'm at it I may go ahead and do the sensors and COP upgrade while replacing the pressure hose with an AN line.
 

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I agree that spraying water in an engine compartment for any reason is not a good idea. Even for cleaning purposes. ...

Al
Anything under your hood should be able to take gentle water pressure, except the spark plug wells.

Those need to be blown out, but everything else should be fine, unless you only drive when it's dry. :)

I use a foaming cleaner under the hood and it looks great after rinsing; I've never had problems starting, after blowing out the SP wells.
 
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