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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So today I'm driving my bird around running a few errands. I pull up to s stop light and the car just shuts off. No warning...nothing...just off. Thankfully I was in the right turn lane so I wasn't blocking the whole intersection. I tried and tried to get the thing to restart. If it did start it would only stay running for like a second or two. After 5-10 minutes I got it to start. Luckily I was right up the street from my house so I drove it up the street. As I got near my house the thing shut off at 35mph....again no warning, just shut off.

So I let it sit for an hour or so went back out and started it up. It started, but It's idiling really low and sounds lumpy (if you can even describe a car that way). It will idle low and harsh for like 15 seconds and then It will rev it self up to like 1,000rpms for a few seconds, then goes right back to lumpy idle. Also during the lumpy idle phase there is black smoke coming out the exhaust...not a ton of thick black smoke, but enought that you can see it. Also the exhaust smells funky, I can't describe it, but It smells really weird.

I'm thinking fuel filter, or maybe bad gas. I got gas at work last night (I work at a gas station) and the car ran fine for the 7 mile drive homeand ran fine for about 6 miles today. I'm really hoping this isn't anything major. I would really appreciate any input anyone has to my problem. Thanks.

o ya....sorry about the long post but I felt it was necessary to help diagnose the problem.
 

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no check engine light? usually when it runs that rough it will throw a code and the light.

you can try cleaning the IAC if fuel filter does not help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ya...its had a CEL since I bought it a week ago. The guy told me it was o2 sensors, but I haven't been able to get it read cuz its a 94 and all the places around here don't do it.
 

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ya...its had a CEL since I bought it a week ago. The guy told me it was o2 sensors, but I haven't been able to get it read cuz its a 94 and all the places around here don't do it.
Smack the parts Jockey in the forehead and tell them to give you the OBDII reader. Your 94 IS OBDII. If you go to AutoZone or Advance Auto, they will tell you anything under a 96 is not OBDII, which is WRONG.
 

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Smack the parts Jockey in the forehead and tell them to give you the OBDII reader. Your 94 IS OBDII. If you go to AutoZone or Advance Auto, they will tell you anything under a 96 is not OBDII, which is WRONG.
That is absolutely correct - 1994 was the first year of OBD II on Thunderbirds and Cougars, at least for the 4.6 liter V-8 (not sure about the 3.8 liter)!

Your O2 sensors could very well be the problem, especially since you've got a code for them! I had a bad O2 sensor on my 1994 T-Bird 4.6 liter V-8 that made the car run HORRIBLY!! It was replaced under warranty and it ran perfect afterwards!

Dennis
 

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O2 sensors might affect how the car runs, but it wouldn't cause it to stall or not start. The oxygen sensors aren't even used when the car starts and during certain driving conditions. Now a wiring issue with the sensors would be a different story. I would check the filter like you were thinking and then check fuel pressure at the rail.
 

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Let me guess. When you have it read it should be a P0174 and a P0171 which is bank one and two upstream sensors. Well I will tell you that your sensors are not your problem. Clean your MAF. If that dont work find one from a bone yard or buy new cause it sounds to me that you are drowning out the cylinders and soaking the plugs. Which is why you see black smoke too I would imagine. When they dry it starts. When they get wet you lose spark and it stalls. Makes sense to me. I just Diagnosed an Intrigue (or however you spell it) and it did the same thing and it was the MAF. Got a new one and it runs like a dream.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So would the MAF from my 95 work? because I already have it out, I'd just need to swap it with other one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok so I just tried do to some final testing today. I started the car up and let it run for awhile. It ran fine for probably 15 minutes, then out of nowhere it shut off. I started it back up and it ran for another couple minutes then shut off again. So I cleaned the MAF, started it back up...same thing. Ran for maybe a minute then shut off. So I got it to start up again, as soon as it started running funny I disconnected the MAF and it ran fine. Didn't shut off or anything for around 10 minutes. So I reconnected the MAF and within 30 seconds it died.

So am I correct to assume I have a bad MAF?
 

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sounds like you found the problem ;)
 

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Smack the parts Jockey in the forehead and tell them to give you the OBDII reader. Your 94 IS OBDII. If you go to AutoZone or Advance Auto, they will tell you anything under a 96 is not OBDII, which is WRONG.
Ya, I ran into the same thing at AutoZone. Said my 95 couldn't be read. Thank God for TCCoA. I did a quick search and found out I had to tell them it was a 96 to get them to use the OBD11 reader.
 

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Ok so I just tried do to some final testing today. I started the car up and let it run for awhile. It ran fine for probably 15 minutes, then out of nowhere it shut off. I started it back up and it ran for another couple minutes then shut off again. So I cleaned the MAF, started it back up...same thing. Ran for maybe a minute then shut off. So I got it to start up again, as soon as it started running funny I disconnected the MAF and it ran fine. Didn't shut off or anything for around 10 minutes. So I reconnected the MAF and within 30 seconds it died.

So am I correct to assume I have a bad MAF?
yes.....did you switch it out with the one on the 95?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
no...I tried cleaning the 94 one to seee if that was the problem...then when that didn't fix it I tried disconnecting it to see what that would do. I disconnected it and it ran fine...and within 30 seconds of me reconnecting it the car died. Thats why I assumed bad MAF. So the 95 MAF will be going in either tonight or tomorrow.

On a another note...can the car be driven without the MAF connected or will I just cause more problems? because I have to go to work tonight and really don't feel like buggin my parents for a ride.
 

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On a another note...can the car be driven without the MAF connected or will I just cause more problems? because I have to go to work tonight and really don't feel like buggin my parents for a ride.
Don't drive it like that. It will run but you risk damaging the cats and fouling up the combustion chambers since the computer has to guess how much air is coming into the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok...so ride with the parents it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I switched the MAF's today and all seems well. I let the car run for close to 30 minutes after I switched them and there was no sputtering or lumpy idle or anything. Took it for a short drive with the same results. All seems well. The "new" MAF seems to have even cured my take-off stumble.
 

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I love when Im right. Congrats on a well running car. ;)
 
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