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Thread: 3.8 L Cougar idling problem

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    Question 3.8 L Cougar idling problem

    My 86 Cougar GS (that I bought new in 86) starts right up but immediately stalls unless I keep my foot on the gas pedal. This started about a month ago with the engine surging for a while at start up but then it leveled out after a few minutes of running. Now it just starts right up & stalls. Clogged fuel injector? Any ideas on how to fix this would be appreciated!

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    Is it throwing any codes?
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    Is it throwing any codes?
    I don't know and need to find out. The car has 135,000 miles on it. Do you think it could have a timing chain issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnight cat View Post
    I don't know and need to find out. The car has 135,000 miles on it. Do you think it could have a timing chain issue?
    Highly doubtful. TPS or ISC are my first thoughts, but get the KOEO and KOER codes to give you some better direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyB View Post
    Highly doubtful. TPS or ISC are my first thoughts, but get the KOEO and KOER codes to give you some better direction.
    Unfortunately I don't have any diagnostic tools. If the problem is something to do with the throttle body will that be expensive to fix?

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    You only need a paper clip.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    You only need a paper clip.
    Probably a test light or multimeter too.

    http://www.thorssell.net/hbook/eectest.html

    Let us know what you get for codes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyB View Post
    Probably a test light or multimeter too.

    http://www.thorssell.net/hbook/eectest.html

    Let us know what you get for codes.
    Will do. Thanks all for the great advice!

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    I used to use a 12v computer speaker, made the same beep as the cheap code readers back in the day. Ive also soldered a tail light bulb to wires before, just about anything will work.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    I used to use a 12v computer speaker, made the same beep as the cheap code readers back in the day. Ive also soldered a tail light bulb to wires before, just about anything will work.
    Thanks! BTW, people have told me the stock 3.8L V6 in my 86 Cougar is the worst engine Ford ever made. Even worse than the Chevy 305 V8. However, according to Wikipedia the Ford Essex 3.8 L V6 is a pretty good engine. Do you think the Essex was a bad design from the beginning?

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