1988 Ford Thunderbird


P Rindge

November, 18, 2009 AT 12:43 PM

Engine Performance problem
1988 Ford Thunderbird V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 72000 miles

Just off idle there is a hesitation/stumble for my fuel injected 302 V8 1988 Thunderbird. Happens at speed when the accelerated is pressed a little " to maintain speed". You can feel the engine chug as you coast to a red light also. Occurs in ODrive, drive or neutral. Replaced the IAC, cleaned the throttle body, changed cap/rotor, and advanced the timing. Still have it. Other than plugs and wires engine is stock. Anything stronger than slight accelration she runs strong and smooth. Thanks for any help. Phil


2 Answers



November, 18, 2009 AT 4:55 PM

Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this).
Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)

Sometimes, what feels like a hesitation is actually ignition misfire rather than lean misfire. The causes of ignition misfire may include: Dirty or worn spark plugs
Bad plug wires
Weak ignition coil
Wet plug wires


P Rindge

November, 24, 2009 AT 11:45 AM

Thanks rasmataz.
Went though and changed each spark plug and wire one at a time and ran it after each change (16x) - no change in the condition. Haven't located any vacumm leaks (yet) or the MAP sensor. Filled the gas tank and added STP a week before the post. (Same tank still). Due to low usage of the car I have only been putting in 12 gallons each time I refuel so that it doesn't get stale. I may go ahead and change the fuel filter due to the age of it. MY gut is pushing me to the TPS but don't know how to " set up" a new one. Phil

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