1997 Ford Thunderbird Problems after using a K&N air fi

Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES
My car is having some major issues. They have progressively gotten worse over the last couple of months. I don't drive it very often so that's why I say months instead of weeks. I'm thinking that there is some issue with the fuel-to-air ratio. Trying to start the car is a challenge. I literally have to hold down the gas while turning the key. When at idle the car rumbles and shakes as if it's gonna die and it also smells as if straight gas is coming out the exhaust. It's running pretty rich. All this seems to have been caused by installing an aftermarket K&N air intake kit. I have taken that out to re-install the factory air box but I am having the same problems. I have a code reader but am having some problems finding out what they mean exactly. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks, Russ
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Thursday, July 16th, 2009 AT 3:02 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok first off the K & N probably was over oiled so I would recomend blotting it with a rag or towel. Then I would get some Mass Air Flow Cleaner (nothing else) and clean the mass air flow sensor. Now as far as codes get me what codes you found and I will look them up for you. Let me know how it goes. Thanks.
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Friday, July 17th, 2009 AT 8:52 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
Here are the list of codes. I know what a couple of them are already.

P0003
P0008
P0080
P0C20
P0C80
P0172. System too rich (bank 1)
P0175. System too rich (bank 2)
P0680
P1000
P1AEE
P1280
P1880
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Friday, July 17th, 2009 AT 11:44 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
According to what I can find the only codes that are codes are the P0172 and 0175 the others are not on any of Fords charts as codes. Anyway what I would do is clean that Mass air flow sensor with mass air flow cleaner (nothing else). Then clear the codes and drive it and see if any codes come back. Let me know how it goes. Thanks.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2009 AT 9:30 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
I cleaned the MAFS, intake tube, and throttle body all at the same time. Not all with the same cleaner though. Also I'm not sure if you are aware but I have the stock air box reinstalled. I checked the codes before starting the engine and only came up with one (P1000). I believe that code comes up when you check for codes because I've always seen it. I'm not sure but maybe I cleared the codes some time ago and just don't remember doing it. After starting the car I can't say that I noticed a difference. It still wouldn't stay running without my foot on the pedal. So technically I didn't get to drive it around. I sat in the car for a good 5 minutes. The idle was rough most of the time but there were instances where it was normal. But not for very long. Also the exhaust smelled very rich. The plus from all this is that the trouble light never came back on. Maybe I didn't let it run long enough?
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Sunday, July 19th, 2009 AT 2:27 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok if you would pull the plugs and see how they look. They should look slightly tan in color not black or oily. How old are the plugs and how are the spark plug wires? I am thinking that putting on the filter was not the problem. I have K&N's on all my vehicles and a cold air intake on one and have never had any problems. Let me know what you find.
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Monday, July 20th, 2009 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
I'm not sure how old the spark plugs are but if I were to guess I would say less than 10,000 miles old for sure. I just recently replaced the wires with some Ford Racing 9mm about a year ago. I didn't have any issues after the swap. I pulled the plugs out tonight and everyone of them was burnt black on the tip. Since I was pulling them out I figured that I'd go ahead and replace them. So with the new ones in I still have the same idling issue and also have some new trouble codes. They are as follows:

P1000
P0C20
P0080
P0680
P0C80
P1280
P1880
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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 AT 1:14 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
OK you are getting codes that dont exsist except the P1000 that indicates that the codes have been cleared other then that one the rest are not real codes. With what you said about the plugs tells me it is running a little rich. I need to know if you would like to go through a pin test on the PCM to determine if it is bad as it is giving false codes. You will need a digital multi meter and maybe a code reader if you have one handy. Get back to me and we will take it from there.
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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 AT 9:28 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
Sure we can do that. I have a meter that I use for work and obviously I have a code reader unless you're talking about something other than my hypertech. So are you thinking that the plugs are ok? I was thinking that there was alot of carbon build-up on the tips. Does that mean that the spark is weak or not getting hot enough to burn it off?
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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 AT 12:17 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok have you cleared the codes yet? If not don't then if you would include a pic of the plugs focus on the tips so I can see how black they are. As for codes, you are getting false codes. So if you would call your local parts stores and see if one does a free scan and scan it with there scanner and write down what codes that gives you and then clear them. Get back to me with what codes you get then. If you still get false codes then I suspect the computer is bad if you get different codes and good codes then it is you Hypertech that is reading them wrong.
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Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 AT 10:23 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
I tried uploading some pics for you but I get an error message every time I try to do it. As far as the scanner goes I'll have to see if I can rent/buy one from someone. I'll let you know.
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Friday, July 24th, 2009 AT 12:13 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
You could also call around and see if one of you local parts store does a free scan and scan it there and write down the codes and then clear them and get back to me with which codes you found.
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Saturday, July 25th, 2009 AT 9:29 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
The problem with that is that the car is not driveable so I can't scan the codes in the parking lot of whichever parts store does do it for free. I think that I could rent one but I'm not 100% sure on that. I've been doing alot of thinking and was wondering if it might be one or more of the O2 sensors causing the problem. Makes sense right?
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Saturday, July 25th, 2009 AT 11:08 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok so how not drivable is it. Does it start at all?
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 AT 9:33 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
It won't start without me having my foot on the pedal. I have to keep my foot on the pedal in order for it to stay running. As soon as I let go it dies! Therefore, I can't put it in gear since my foot is on the gas. If I'm not mistaken I think that you're supposed to change the upper O2 sensors at 60,000 miles and the lowers at 100, 00. From what I can recall I don't think that any of them have been replaced. Doesn't the sensor have something to do fuel-air ratio?
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 AT 9:59 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Yes they do but I have yet to see an O2 sensor keep a car from running just poor mpg. Now if you unplug the mass air flow meter and then start it does it stay running?
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 9:33 AM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
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I still had to start the engine while my foot was on the pedal but afterwards it did stay running. It wasn't running very well since the exhaust was somewhat black and rich in gas smell. I did reconnect the MAFS while it was running to see what would happen and nothing changed. Just thought you should know.
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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 AT 11:57 PM
Tiny
RWTBIRD97
  • MEMBER
Anybody home?
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Sunday, August 9th, 2009 AT 12:42 AM

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