Fuel - 1989 Escort GT (probably) fueling issues. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Fuel 1989 Escort GT (probably) fueling issues.

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by //sen, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. //sen

    //sen Member

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    Correct Post Location Edition

    Hi again, all. Long time, no see. My otherwise lovely 1989 GT has been giving me grief lately, so here's what's up and hopefully one of y'all fine folk can point me in the right direction.

    The car starts up real easy (newer ignition system) but after the vehicle is FULLY warmed up, it begins to stall out and misfire/run SUPER rough. If I apply more than an inch worth's of throttle, the car stalls out and dies. While it's misbehaving, I can limp the vehicle while while being very careful with the throttle, and it can go throughout the entire rev-range while limping. Car sounds like a hot mess while it's misbehaving and lightly smokes for a little while after I shut it off. Smells strong but isn't oil, *maybe* electrical but HOPEFULLY not. I think it's a fueling issue, shouldn't be the filter as that's on the newer side and everything electrical seemed fine. Current theory is a bad sensor/something dumb in the fuel delivery system. Any advice would be fantastic, I wanna get her back on the road! Thanks in advance, y'all.
  2. marclar

    marclar Administrator Staff Member

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    sounds like it could be a failing coolant temp sensor.
  3. 88ESCORTV6

    88ESCORTV6 The Alpha Of The Omega

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    I did not read all the post I'n a hurry but sound like a low fuel supply.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I'm going to guess it has something to do with the newer ignition system.
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Not having a 1st gen Escort, Im just guessing - but anything in the fuel system that is original and 31 years old could be a suspect; i.e. the fuel pressure regulator, the pickup sock in the tank, the pump itself, the injector itself.
    I had problems with the fuel delivery in my 86 jeep, which were due to the rubber seals around the injector having more or less dissolved from age. That was a tbi system. With individuals injectors I would measure that there is really 12 volts to the one side of the injectors in the fuel rail.
    And as Joey_T observed; the last thing you changed (newer ignition system) may have included the fault somehow. I had problems with the distributor in a Datsun 210 I had - where the small wire that grounded the swivel plate inside the distributor was frayed from age. That car was old enough to still have a capacitor for the ignition - and it was weak once warmed up. Your car probably has a 'module' inside the distributor. How old is that part?
    Good Luck
    //sen likes this.
  6. Krankie

    Krankie FEOA Member

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    Just my 2 cents- try unplugging the oxygen sensor when it's acting up. On a cold start the system is gonna be in "open loop" status, meaning the system is running on fuel maps and ignoring the o2 feedback loop. If your issues are happening only when warmed up- it could be an issue when entering "closed loop". On that same note- see what you can do to verify the operation of the MAF, BARO, and throttle position sensors- but if it runs okay cold, it's probably nothing to do with the throttle position sensor. Really the only sensor that is ignored when cold (I think) is the oxygen sensor.

    If she clears up when unplugging the o2 sensor, I'd definitely try replacing that. (Unplugging the o2 sensor will force it back into 'open loop' status, which will run OK-ish but performance won't be the best) Also, as with any issue, look over the wiring thoroughly. Damaged wiring can always cause all kinds of weird problems.
    //sen, austin86 and denisond3 like this.
  7. //sen

    //sen Member

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    Thanks for the words of wisdom, y'all. Once it warms up a bit and I get a chance to mess with it again, I'll fiddle with the O2 sensor to start. Something I'd failed to mention is that the vehicle had been running for a year with no issues before this happened, sans generic Ford power steering issues. When it comes to the distributor, this was inspected before I replaced the rest of the ignition cables and plugs and was fine. I'll need to look at it again regardless, shit gets loose on a 31 year old car in a year. Appreciate it, everyone!
    denisond3 likes this.
  8. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    Any codes stored in the ECU? Checking would be the best place to start.
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are one in ten thousand, willing to fix up a 31 year old car. Maybe one in 100,000.

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