Engine surge, sputter and misfire.

Tiny
MSCHWANDT
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 FORD TEMPO
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 77,000 MILES
The car had sat for a number of years before I bought it. It had some severe running problems, but I felt confident I could figure it out. I am stuck.

The car had a severe miss and would surge and sputter. Getting it up to 30 mph was a problem. I replaced plugs, wires, cap, rotor and coil which helped a little. I checked the idle air control valve and it does work. I replaced the EGR valve, fuel filter and air filter.
Because the car sat for several years, I thought perhaps the tank at some point was very low on fuel and maybe the fuel pump o-rings had dried out, so I replaced the fuel pump.

That was a huge improvement. At highway speeds the car runs fine. No misfires and only the occasional sputtering. The problems that remain are as follows:

Hard starting. Seems to be flooding now. Have to step it to the floor to get it to start. When cold it runs fairly smooth but as it warms up it has a slight misfire and surges a bit.

At lower speeds with slight acceleration it sputters and misses just a bit and when coming to a stop it will stall. Again, I have to hold the accelerator to the floor to get it to start back up. If I keep one foot on the brakes and one on the gas it will keep it from stalling but it still misfires.

Last symptom is erratic shift patterns. It will shift fine when cold and most of the time when warm. However, at times it wont shift out of first until between 25-30 and when slowing down from highway speeds you hit about 40 and it will abruptly shift down, but not every time.

While trying to trace some vacuum lines, I removed the air filter assembly and found the new filter was stained and smells like gas. It is clearly flooding.

I pumped smoke into the intake and could not find any vacuum leaks, but I suspect that is what it is given how the transmission sometimes acts.

Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 AT 5:08 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check compression and for vacuum leaks then have it coolant system pressure checked may be a head gasket. Clean egr and passages may be partially clogged. And finally recheck fuel pressure may be to high. Also clean throttle plate on both sides and iac hole as well.
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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
MSCHWANDT
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the tips but what about the erratic shifting that happens occasionally?
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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 AT 2:18 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It could be a vlave body problem or sticky valves in the transmission. Also if engine runs bad it effects the way a transmission works. After you have done everything recheck codes.
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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
RENEE
  • ADMIN
Hi Mschwandt,

Here is a link to an article that features written step by step instructions and pictures explaining how to do the scan yourself, also I have included a link to our YouTube channel with a how to video on code scanning. Most scanners are inexpensive to purchase, you can purchase one online from sites like Amazon.com. Once you have the codes please get back to us so that we can further assist you. We are always happy to help.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

https://youtu.be/YV3TRZwer8k

Thank you for visiting 2CarPros.com.

Kindest regards,

Renee
Admin
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Sunday, June 5th, 2016 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Normally a mount would not cause a shift issue if it has sat for a as long as you have said try changing trans fluid it may help. this article may help you out
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-service-an-automatic-transmission
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Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 AT 5:44 AM
Tiny
MSCHWANDT
  • MEMBER
Engine issues are fixed. Finally narrowed it down to the fuel pressure regulator. With the engine running I pulled the vacuum line from the regulator and gas started to run. Replaced the regulator and it runs perfect. Still have the shifting issue. That I believe is because of a broken or worn engine or transmission mount. That is the next project.
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Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 AT 11:57 AM
Tiny
MSCHWANDT
  • MEMBER
Rear mount (transmission) was broke and the rubber pretty well rotted out. Replaced and all is fine. So much engine movement must have been affecting the shift linkage.
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Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Glad you could get it fixed please use 2CarPros. Com anytime we are here to help

Best, Ken
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Monday, December 19th, 2016 AT 11:33 AM

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