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Topic: '88 2.3T breaking up (Read 137 times) previous topic - next topic

'88 2.3T breaking up

Recently on long hills in 3rd near WOT and about 10psi of boost the car starts "missing".  Does not do it in the other lower gears and have not noticed it in 4th or 5th.

The plugs have about 3000 miles on them.  I have another set to put in when I go to check.  I was originally thinking maybe the gap was too big and lower it.  Second guessing myself now that maybe I am running out of fuel?  I am on the original size pump.

Thoughts on what else to check?
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #1
Motorcraft cap and rotor and wires?  What brand plugs?

Is it detonation?  Just throwing things out. LOL   

Ive heard to use only motorcraft ignition parts on the 2.3T
Mike

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #2
Motorcraft cap and rotor and wires?  What brand plugs?

Is it detonation?  Just throwing things out. LOL   

Ive heard to use only motorcraft ignition parts on the 2.3T
Motorcraft cap & rotor.  Not sure on the wires or plugs.
I have a set of Motorcraft plugs waiting  and hope to dig into it this weekend.

Doesn't sound like detonation to me but who knows.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #3
When I had my 2.3T, I put a Walbro 255lph on it and was done with it.  What brand is your pump?  Do you have a way to watch your fuel pressure when its happening?  I hooked a pressure gauge to rail and taped it to the windshield so I could watch it for testing purposes.
Mike

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #4
When I had my 2.3T, I put a Walbro 255lph on it and was done with it.  What brand is your pump?  Do you have a way to watch your fuel pressure when its happening?  I hooked a pressure gauge to rail and taped it to the windshield so I could watch it for testing purposes.
It still has the OEM pump in it.  Unfortunately I don't have a pressure gauge for the fuel.  If the spark plugs doesn't change anything I will visit a local garage to see if they can help with a gauge.

May I ask where you got your Walbro 255lph?  Was there anything specific you had to order to fit in our tanks?  Also what fuel pressure regulator did you go with after the new pump?

Mike, Thanks for the help!
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #5
So you should have a pressure regulator on the fuel rail from the factory. If it is still the factory unit replace it with an aftermarket one like an Aeromotove (https://aeromotiveinc.com/product/ford-rail-mount-regulator-2/) or a Kirban  (https://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/776/Mustang+BILLET+ALUMINUM+ADJUSTABLE+FUEL+PRESSURE+REGULATOR+%235005.html).

As for the Walbro pump you can get them just about anywhere but there are issues with low quality copy cats. I would suggest you get one from a reputable dealer like LMR, Summitt or Jegs to name a couple. Get one with the install kit which will have the wiring pigtail, new hose, and sock filter.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD


Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #7
In the whole 15 minutes to work on the car this weekend so far, I've discovered the stock intercooler was barely connected to the intake hose/spout.  That definitely was an air leak and pressure loss.

Later this morning hopefully will pull the plugs.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #8
This past weekend I got the new plugs gapped and ready to install.  When I took the first wire off #1 cylinder the wire separated from the terminal end.  I had a set of MSD wires on the shelf to assemble and those  ends were junk, IMO.  I ordered a regular set of wires and needed to wait a couple days.

The plugs in the car were gapped at .035" and my manual has written .028" plus what I found poking around turboford was the range depending on the strength of the coil can go from .02 to .03".  I used Motorcraft copper plugs.  I got the car buttoned up Tuesday night but it was too late and time to get the children to bed for a test run.

Last night (Wednesday) I took the car out around the block.  Kept it out of the boost until it warmed up all the way and drove with the window down.    Ran great and smooth.  Got gas and two lights later leaned on it in 2nd gear for a short stretch.  The turbo seemed louder than I remember and I thought I heard a small pop when I got off the gas just before the wastegate relieved the system.

I went to my desolate flat spot to check how it was running.  1st was okay then 2nd started breaking up and 3rd was just like going up a long hill before.  Also sounded like air was escaping under the hood.  SO I accomplished making it worse. 
The intercooler didn't move out of the TB area, but I need to take it apart to confirm.

I am going to order silicone hoses for the out and in of the intercooler.  Stinger has a set with better clamps.  That will eliminate the intercooler popping off again.  I need to inspect the hoses for cracks to see if that is causing a boost leak that I assume I am hearing.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #9
Too bad that didn't fix it. 

Hang in there, youll find it.  Gotta stop the boost leaks first.
Mike

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #10
Just waiting around for parts and now is the best time to drive the car (cooler air before the salt is on the roads). 

I posted it up on NATO too.

Last winter I bought another IHI turbo and wastegate.  Wondering if I should send it out for rebuild now just in case.  The car has been blowing some smoke on startup so I believe the valve seals are on their way out so was contemplating that for this or next winter too.  The car needs to be running correctly before I start messing with those items first.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #11
The problem we are running into with fuel pumps is that no one makes the correct strainer anymore. None of the vendors list the correct one, and one of the main vendors NATO sent people to said they no longer provide the fuel pump kit due to the lack of a strainer. I haven't looked too hard, but I haven't found a solution yet.

I second what mcb82gt says about a Harbor Freight fuel pressure gauge. I used to have one and it certainly did the job. Had it propped up under the wiper arm while driving. It was this one:

https://www.harborfreight.com/fuel-injection-pump-tester-62623.html

Something else to check is your cam timing. I've had instances where it sounded like a boost leak, and it was running like it was lean, and it was because the cam timing was off a tooth.

It's Gumby's fault.

Re: '88 2.3T breaking up

Reply #12
I put the Motorsport Plug Wires and the new couplers with better clamps on the in & out of the intercooler.    I am still waiting on the cap and rotor to arrive.  The old bottom coupler out of the turbo to the intercooler was so loose that the clamp did nothing.  Checked the cam timing. 

Although it was raining last night I wanted to know how it was running.  No breaking up and runs well (flat ground).

Took it to work this morning (about 35 miles).  Had a long hill to test 3rd gear under boost and the only thing to happen was the rear wheels broke loose. 

I am going to wait until winter when I take it off the road to check the vacuum lines and do a pressure test on the boost system.

I still want to check my fuel pressure too.
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300