Acceleration issue | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Acceleration issue

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by ezrider93, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    My 2000 ZX2 has 256k miles. It has what I will refer to as an acceleration stumble when accelerating anything more than mildly. It will stumble/hesitate/jerk while accelerating. It runs smoothly at a steady speed. I have noticed this occasionally in the past and usually when I had the AC on, but it seems to have gotten worse, AC or not. Any ideas what could cause something like that? Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Possibly trouble with the fuel supply, i.e. the pump or filter.
    It would be useful to have a pressure monitor (gauge or some digital equivalent) on the fuel rail to see what the pressure is when it demonstrates this trouble.
    zzyzzx and denisond3 like this.
  3. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    Thanks Joey. I'll start looking in that direction. I've never changed the filter so that could be suspect.
  4. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Is the check engine light on?
  5. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    No Pextor, the check engine light is not on.

    Any tips on removing the fuel filter?
  6. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Remove the battery and battery tray to give yourself more room.
  7. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    OK I got the filter out but I broke one of the retainer clips and the other disappeared. (I'm sure it's in the engine bay but I cant get my or my finger on it.) Does anyone know a source for the retainer clips for the fuel line fillings?
  8. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Some filters come with them. You should be able to get them at the auto parts store.
  9. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    New filter came with clips so I'm good there. Have driven the car a few days and the problem may be a slight bit better, but it's definitely still present. How is the best way to troubleshoot the fuel pump? Thanks for the help!
  10. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    Might also want to check vacuum lines for cracks, splits or that one may have just slipped off it's connection.
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    "How is the best way to troubleshoot the fuel pump?"

    Have a pressure gauge temporarily installed that is visible when driving.

    Marcel UsedVic, Escort fuel pumpery, Poole 014.JPG
  12. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    I had a second generation 'scort. (you have 3rd)

    It had a low RPM, high engine load dead-miss when the plug wires needed to be replaced. Too much resistance in the wire to generate spark with a higher amount of air the cylinder. (a zero vacuum reading in the intake)

    It would stumble and miss at high RPM, regardless of load if the (defective) plug wire just came off the spark plug head. (just sitting on top of it)

    Never pull plugs while the engine is hot as it risks weakening the connection between the plug contact and wire.

    Not relevant... it had a miss regardless of RPM, at light engine load, which was caused by too much EGR. (don't believe you have EGR) I disabled EGR and later discovered that the high EGR flow was a result of too much exhaust back-pressure. (clogged cat due to running the engine too cold)
  13. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    With my 2nd Gen, had to keep my foot on the gas to idle warm when I lost a vacuum cap under the hood. Needless to say, that is a LARGE vacuum leak. Accelerated okay, just wouldn't idle worth a damn LoL. Never experienced a small vac leak. Dirty MAF would cause a rare warm engine idle stall and only on THE hottest days of the Summer.
  14. ezrider93

    ezrider93 FEOA Member

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    Thanks for al of the help. A new set of plug wires has my car running like a top! Next stop 300K.
  15. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    It was truly a mistake to replace my original Motorcraft wires. After routinely replacing several sets, I eventually went back to them. Ironically, the more expensive the set, the shorter the amount of time they worked. Got the longest mileage from the absolute cheapest of sets. Eventually went back to Motorcraft and again, never needed another set afterward.
  16. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I have to agree with Inuit - the original wires work fine. The only problems I have had are the plug terminal end coming apart. I replace the individual wires with used OEM ones.

    I worked on a 1978 Fairmont a few years ago with an ignition problem. It turned out to be the module, but I noticed the plug wires had 1978 stamped on them, they worked fine and I left them in place.

    I worked on a friend's Caravan recently, two of the aftermarket plug wires pulled apart at the boots despite me being very careful about pulling them at the boots themselves. He told me they were about a year old.
  17. Robert D

    Robert D FEOA Member

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    This sounds like the EXACT problem I am suffering with on my 99 zx2. I replaced the fuel pump and fuel pump yesterday, I still have the same exact problem. I think our issue here is the fuel pressure regulator.
  18. Roarrr

    Roarrr FEOA Member

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    Same problem: have BIG pump supposed to supply 80#'doesn't jump pressure when accelerating, is constant 40# book says 55-80# I swopped the regulator-no improvement! suggestioons??
  19. Roarrr

    Roarrr FEOA Member

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    I bought a pack of them at ORileys (Kragens) for under $4.oo
  20. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Hmmm. Does the regulator attenuate pressure based on vacuum? If so, unplug and cap the vacuum line and the pressure should go to max. Reading max verified, go for a brief test drive and verify whether the acceleration issue still persists. If it's cured, then we can be sure that we're on the right track and need to confirm why the regulator is holding the pressure outside of specification.

    @zzyzzx has a hand operated vacuum pump. I would attach that to the regulator vacuum port and gradually increase vacuum to verify that the regulator is doing its job. If it is, then we need to turn our focus to and test engine vacuum.

    EDIT: Also make sure that the parts counter gave you the correct part.

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