1985 Ford Tempo Ford Tempo Stalling/Acceleration Problems

Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • 1985 FORD TEMPO

Engine Performance problem
1985 Ford Tempo 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 59000 miles

ok, I bought the car on saturday. It has a new alternator, plugs, wires, caps, brakes, fuel filter and fuel lines.
it had just over half a tank of gas when I got it and it ran great for the 40 mile drive back home.
later that day we went to the store 5 miles away and on the way back it started trying to stall on the freeway at 50 - 60 mph.(Feeling like the brakes were being tapped almost)
once I got off the freeway, it stalled but started right back up.
then when I would start it, it starts just fine but when I put it in drive the rpm's would drop and it would stall as soon as I touch
the gas unless I pressed the brake and almost floored it.
i did some research and saw that filling the tank might help it, so I did and it ran fine again for 2 days with no stalling at all. (Short trips each time)
now its back to screwing off, and the tank is still about full(only driven 30 miles on the tank)

i drove to go job hunting today and it was fine on the way there(only 5 miles or so), we made 3 stops and by the 3rd one it was dying everytime I came to a light and would have to start it 3 or 4 times to get it to go. Then it was trying to stall all the way home on the freeway and on the streets, then it died 100 feet away from home and had to start it 3 or 4 times times just to go the rest of the way.

i waited an hour and took it to the store half a block away, it stalled 5 times on that short distance and wouldn't stay running unless the gas was pressed

now I'm pretty sure it has to be a fuel pressure/delivery problem but I don't have the money to just buy parts and hope its the problem. I've been told it could be the fuel pump, or the fuel pickup tube, or the EGR valve, or the idle control, or the O2 sensor, or the cat converter. There's a couple others i've been told too.

from my research I see that Tempo's are infamous for stalling and bogging, but does that include trying to stall at highway speeds?
i bought this car just to get to and from work 5 to 10 miles away and it seems like it won't do that

i'd really appreciate if you guys can give me a definate answer of a few components it could be instead of a list

thanks in advance


P.S. I just went to test it and it will still start up and rev in park but as soon as I put it in drive AND touch the gas it sputters and dies, BUT it will drive and stay on in idle.

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 AT 3:34 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER

What color are the plug tips! If whitish you are running to lean. You didn't specify what the temp of engine is when these problems occur. I assume it is at full running temp. What does the gauge say? What do you have for fuel delivery? Throttle body? Or multiport. Check all your vacuum lines. Sonds like someone else gave up and handed it over to you?

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 AT 10:09 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
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It's a 2.3 liter 4 cylinder and I have no clue about the fuel delivery. I know its fuel injected. And yes, the problems happen once it's up to full running temp.

It gets more interesting now. After cooling for several hours it started up like nothing was wrong and ran just fine again, which got me thinking. Each time it started acting up it was after being driven at full running temp for about 20 minutes or so with no big rests in between. Its just today was the 1st time that it wouldn't accelerate in drive at all without stalling. Thank goodness I made it home.

My uncle says that he had a very similar problem and that it was his ignition control module. I can do basic repairs but not much beyond that and dont understand how the ICM could cause this as it fires up just fine. Have you heard of that causing these problems? I dont have the money to just guess at parts or to have it diagnosed at a shop.

P.S. I trust the guy I bought it from, he told me everything that was wrong(no ac, power steering leak) I called him tonight and he is just as baffled as I am.

P.S.S. I went out this morning and it fired right up and took right off. Drove it 10 minutes and it's just fine.
What else can cause it to sputter and die only once its been at normal operating temp for a while?
I'm thinking about trying the ICM but I don't want to be throwing money away.

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 AT 11:10 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
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It is multiport and my cousin said the plugs looks normal.

It's still running great if I keep the running time under 15 minutes at full operating temp.

The service shops around here want to do a fuel pressure/delivery diagnostic before an electrical one and I'm pretty damn sure its not fuel related. Standard procedure or not, its a bunch of crap.

Can it be fuel related and only act up under these conditions especially since the fuel filter and lines are new, the fuel pump hums like a champ and the vacuum lines are fine.

Most of the stuff I read point to a electrical component (ICM, Ignition Coil, Cat Converter.)

anyways, I'm starting to get annoyed that I have only 1 reply in 36 hours

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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
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So can I get my donation back now?

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 8:26 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER

By the way, i'm not paid help! I do this for free! So it's a running warm problem. I didn't know multiport injection came on 85s. I had an 87 that was throttle body! And 84s had carburetors! Anyway, what about the check engine light? Does it work? Is it lit up with key-on? ICM is not a cheap part! Takes a special 1/4 inch drive socket to remove it! That's if you have the module style on the side of distributor housing. Did you try disconnecting the vacuum line to the EGR valve so it dont open? Plug hose with small screw or something. Sorta sounds like an EGR issue? Also the fuel pressure reg is vacuum operated I beleive. But I also knew of a cavalier that had similar symptoms and it was the fuel pump. But that 1 eventualy sounded funny when/after it stalled. Took 2 weeks to diagnose because parts were so expensive to just replace. If you can locate a test port push in the center pin and see if you get a pressurized squirt. If it dribbles out there's your problem. Pressure reg or pump. But theoretically if you had low pressure and you stomp on it it should backfire from being to lean. Which is why I asked if check engine light worked cuz the codes could clue us in! Computer could be going into safe/limp mode from a bad sensor input. But keep looking listening closer and we'll get it from the symptoms. Funny thing, I got icms just layin around from tempos. What I usually do is go to scrap yard and get whole distributor with all spark wires. Try the EGR trick first.

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+1
Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

I wasn't really directing getting my money back at you, but the fact that you are the only one that's answered me in 4 days and you aren't one of the ones that get paid makes it more annoying.

Anyways, its not multi-port. As I said I don't know too much about cars but I can swap stuff out. A friend told me it was but he was wrong.

No, there is no check engine light and I wasted $30 buying a eec4 scanner and I don't get any codes.

I'll try the EGR thing tomorrow

i keep getting spun in circles. Fuel pump, pressure regulator, pump relay, ICM, ignition coil and today the guys at autozone are telling me its most likely the cat converter. I'm also trying to figure that out tomorrow by disconnecting the o2 sensor.

I'll let you know

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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How can the catverter change from working to not and back to working again? It's either plugged or it's not? So we can assume you have a throttle body single port injection! This is good news as in you can watch the fuel functionng or not!Just remove air bonnet off top and watch the injector spray cone! Do it when cold and compare when it's warm/failing.

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
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Well they told me that "the cat converter doesn't start working until it gets heated"

and that does make sense with my symptoms, IF they are right

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 12:46 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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The only work the cat does is chemical conversion. It does not do any mechanical function. And as far as I know, there is no sensor detection to tell the computer it is "working" or not. Not on that old a car. I think the newer cars have an extra ox sensor at the cat to do that though. Remember 1 thing. Parts stores exist to SELL PARTS! They depend on your ignorance to do so. You want to believe, you want your problem gone. We live in a world of ignorants passing on heresay and BS. Some happy, some not. The 1's pocketing the cash tend to be the happy bunch.

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 1:20 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS MIKE
  • ADMIN
  • 712 POSTS

We answered your question within hours of the first time you asked it.
Please follow up with our technician here:

http://www.2carpros.com/forum/1985-ford-tempo-starting-and-acceleration-problem-vt437401.html?highlight=

We appreciate all the help that you have been given so far by fixitmr.

We refunded your donation

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Please consider a donation if we helped you
Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 1:50 AM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

@fixitmr, I understand what you're saying, but they told me how to test it for free to find out whether that was it, they didn't try to get me to buy it. I

@mike, as I said in the email
i guess I misunderstood how this website works.

The 1st question I didn't donate on and was expecting a more definite answer, instead of telling me a bunch of stuff to test that I would have to pay to do. I thought it was like that because I didn't donate, so I re-posted with the donation and got annoyed when I found out that fixitmr was not paid help. Not that I don't appreciate him as he has been more than helpful but that other thread did not help me one bit.

I appreciate the refund and will gladly re-donate if I get to the problem without spending 100's of dollars just to find it.

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 9:23 AM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

The plot thickens

today I was parked on a slanted parking lot and it was raining and when I came out I noticed gas running out from under the car in the engine area. It wasn't alot, but enough to color the water

so nice, I guess I'm done here, time to take it to the shop after I locate the leak

thanks for all the help fixitmr

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER

Sounds like your patience is running out! The devil is gonna make you pay? Please post back what the problem actually was! If possible. Thanks

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 9:35 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

The fluid under the car was rainbow colored, so from my research I'm assuming its just oil now.

My idiot brother and 2 of his friends had me convinced it was gas, but gas wouldn't be rainbow colored would it?
What had me convinced it was gas was that it wasn't thick and basically looked clear on my finger once I touched it.

Or what? I feel stupid

back to the problem at hand, yes my patience is near done. I was offered a "deal" of $100 to diagnose my electrical and fuel systems, and I'm thinking of taking it.

I'm afraid it may be the fuel pump as I have no acceleration going uphill even before all the other symptoms act up, but that's a costly gamble if I'm wrong

and yes, I will definitely let you know what the problem is when I find out, so you can hopefully help the next poor guy that comes along with these problems

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

Fixitmr has given you some good suggestions this is how we gonna do this-I want you to complete the fuel and exhaust system checks to rule out an exhaust restriction and an inadequate fuel pressure and comeback with the readings before we get into other areas-We got a long way to go-we start here-Your move take it or request for refund. All were asking is your patience if you want us to help you fix it-Let me know-Remember we have other commitments in life not just here.

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Monday, March 29th, 2010 AT 2:27 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

As I told mike, I misunderstood how the forum works and got frustrated.

I appreciate the help and am sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.

Thanks, and I will get on that

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Monday, March 29th, 2010 AT 2:44 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

Ok, I had my cousins friend who is a mechanic take a ride with me and he told me to change the oil with a oil treatment and run a fuel injector cleaner through the tank.

I did that and it improved my acceleration dramatically and now when I reproduce the jerking, it no longer stalls at all, and it runs just fine. No more stuttering or stumbling.

Now my problem is the jerking once its up to temp.
It started after about 20 miles today but wasn't nearly as bad as it was before. My "mechanic" is telling me that it's "most likely" the idle control sensor or motor. Keep in mind that I idle between 1000 and 1500 rpms in park(and likes to fluctuate) but it drops to about 750 rpms when put in drive.

If he's right, which one would it be and is there a cheap way to test them?

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Clean out the idle air control valve/mtr/ISC

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 AT 2:58 PM
Tiny
DWILLI1972
  • MEMBER

Ok, I noticed today that the ISC was rattling with just the ignition on

i unplugged it after the car started jerking and it fixed the problem.

Now my only question is, how safe is it to drive with it disconnected?

I dont get paid til the end of next week and don't want to charge it if I can avoid it

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

ISC its job is to target the idle speed-You will be fine -the problem you will have is reduced mileage it'll be running rich

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Thursday, April 1st, 2010 AT 2:26 PM

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