O.K here is the scoop.
I purchased a 1996 E250 5.8L with 148k miles at a Government auction. I wanted a cargo van with enough cargo space and liked this Econoline because had a roof rack and contractor boxes in the back. Thought that I’ll get a cheap deal but I actually got a real lemon. As they say cheaper is more expensive sometimes! Here is why. First the van has rusted out underneath and there was a rust hole in the middle of the oil pan weeping oil. By now I know what it means to replace an oil pan on a Ford van – dropping the transmission and lifting the engine and all. I have also replaced the rear main seal, the tranny extension seal, valve covers, an injector, fuel and air filters, spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, some of the cracked ignition cables, muffler, rear differential fluid, coolant temp sensor housing, repaired leaking fuel rail (dealer wanted $320 for rail), headlight wiring harnesses, speed sensor (I had the bouncing speedometer needle syndrome), tranny oil and filter, tranny oil cooling lines just to name a few of the repairs I performed. I spend more time lying under the van than driving in the cabin! Next I am replacing the inner and outer tie rods and the adjusting sleeve on the passenger side because the alignment shop cannot perform an alignment and in this condition the van travels all over the road and pulls to the left side.
However, I can’t diagnose why does the van die when I make an abrupt complete stop at a traffic light or a stop sign. If I do not release the brake slightly before the van has completely stopped the engine will just die and I will need to shift in Park and restart it. Why is that?
Also, even though the E4OD transmission has not been overfilled sometimes it leaks ATF from the plastic cover underneath the torque converter. When I was attaching the tranny after replacing the Oil pan I filled the torque converter with ATF thru the drain plug. It was the first time I ever removed a transmission from a vehicle and I thought that since I drained it previously I have to refill it. Is it possible that the leak is because of that? The tranny will shift only after I increase the RPMs when the van is stopped uphill. Is it possible that something happens to the ATF and it drains back on a slope and have to rev the engine up in order to drive?
Thanks for all the useful info shared here.
When it dies can you restart it and keep it running with a little higher engine revs?
May, 17, 2006 AT 5:12 PM
Thanks for your reply Losone.
Once I restart it runs just perfect. I do not even have to increase the revs. It just happens when I hit the brake and bring it to a complete stop -- if I let go of the brake, even without hiting the gas, just before it is completely still the van will not die and will idle fine. Recently I had the P0401 " EGR Flow Insufficient" code and had it cleared after I made sure that the hoses going to the DPFE sensor are snug. Now I am waiting to see if the Check Engine light will come back on.
Can these two be related and cause the engine to die at sudden, complete stops?
May, 17, 2006 AT 5:25 PM
The EGR valve opens when you Decelerate. It opens allowing unburned gases back into the exhaust manifold from the intake. If it was to stick open it woud create a huge vacuum leak and cause the engine to die.
The code matches my diagnoses. EGR flow means the valve is open when it should be closed.
Remove and clean the EGR and all the internal passages. Replace with a new gasket and it should clear your problem.
May, 17, 2006 AT 5:40 PM
Thanks Losone, I will take the valve off tomorrow and clean the passages from build ups.
Is it normal the cooling fan to be on immediately after start. Even in cold weather when van has not been working the fan will be always on? Is that what it is supposed to do?
Also, I just replaced the Vehicle Speed Sensor (the rear differential one) and now it has reduced the up and down bouncing after I reach 45 mph, but when ever I hit a pothole the needle will bounce up and down. The gauge needle will also become unstable and start to shake when I drive over 60 mph. I could not locate a transmission mounted sensor nor I seem to find a speedometer cable. I also checked the back of the instrument cluster for a speedometer cable (thought I could not locate it on the E4OD) but there is not one! Is the rear differential the only speed sensor on the E250?
May, 17, 2006 AT 6:00 PM
I think the sensor on the rear end is for the antilock brakes. The VSS is on the tranny tailshaft.
The speedometer is electronic and the only cure for a bouncing needle is to replace the cluster. You can try cleaning the cluster connections with a pencil erraser. The cluster also has a voltage regulator as the cluster operates at 9 volts. While it's out try replacing the voltage regulator.