Just got a 2006 Ford Escape for $200, Trying to make it a daily driver for cheap

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Texas_Ace
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JaredM wrote:
We used to duct tape a gauge to the windshield and drive around. Very common for lift pumps to fail this way.. check fuel filter too. May be collapsed and clogged.

Yeah, done that before.

In this case it outputs the fuel pressure on the OBD, so it makes it a bit simpler lol.

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Ok, just drove around with the ODB scanner and like before everything checks out with what I would expect.

Fuel pressure is good both at idle and while driving.

Only anomaly I found is a rather unhelpful “engine load” and “engine load absolute”

At idle these are sitting at 55% and 30% respectively. If I give it any gas or while driving it basically sits at 90-100%. This is also what it feels like, the transmission constantly downshifts and it just acts like it thinks it is under a high load.

The TPS reads the correct throttle position though, so not sure what is giving it this impression.

Only other thing that stood out was the MAP sensor was reading between 3-14psi depending on throttle position, but I think that is just relative vs absolute values.

Gonna grab some spark plugs later today and try my old set of coils to see what happens, these plugs were new when I got the car and I got the nicer plugs as well. New coils as well so strange they would already have issues if that is the case.

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That’s actually not unhelpful. This points to an airflow calculation error, if I’m not mistaken. Could you report MAP values and check units (“Hg vs psi) with engine off, idle @ 0% TP, and at ~1200 rpm?

Before I dive in fully and look it up myself, does this only have MAP, or is there a MAF as well?

Also, when was the last time you’ve done a capacitive discharge/reset the ecm?

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JaredM wrote:
That’s actually not unhelpful. This points to an airflow calculation error, if I’m not mistaken. Could you report MAP values and check units (“Hg vs psi) with engine off, idle @ 0% TP, and at ~1200 rpm?

Before I dive in fully and look it up myself, does this only have MAP, or is there a MAF as well?

Also, when was the last time you’ve done a capacitive discharge/reset the ecm?

Yeah, I said “rather unhelpful” Wink

I will check the numbers again, nothing stood out when I looked at them before although there are a few different places it is reported.

It is a MAF + MAP setup, was actually not aware of the MAP until I took the manifold off and saw it mounted to the bottom.

I disconnected the battery all day yesterday while working on it, but maybe I need to do the full connect the battery leads together to discharge everything rout? I can try that tonight and leave it overnight.

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Here are the values at idle, exactly what I would expect:

Here it is at ~1000-1200rpm:

And here is the load at idle:

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I did see my first sign that it might be an ignition issue though, when watching the O2 sensor and holding ~3k rpm, I was getting a stumble / misfire intermitently and the O2 sensors would freak out when it happened leading me to think it was a misfire.

So maybe it is ignition related. I guess I will know in a little while.

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Quick experiment proposal..

Pull the intake hose off so that the MAF isn’t in the flow path. Does it still run? How similarly?

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JaredM wrote:
Quick experiment proposal..

Pull the intake hose off so that the MAF isn’t in the flow path. Does it still run? How similarly?

Interesting idea, I will give that a try.

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The second screenshot shows 0g/s MAF. Was the engine running at that time?

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JaredM wrote:
The second screenshot shows 0g/s MAF. Was the engine running at that time?

No, the first 2 were with the engine off as a baseline. The next 2 are with the engine running at ~1000-1200rpm

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Ok, I pulled the intake pipe and got some interesting results.

First as you would expect, it died and would not even stay running BUT only after about 5-10 seconds.

During those first 5-10 seconds it runs perfectly, obviously it is still int he start up map and not in closed loop yet.

This explains why the first take off after starting it up always feels so good, having the power I expect but the next take off is far far worse ever since I got the car.

The question is, what sensor is throwing things off. Since it runs good during the start up period (had to restart it while rolling a few times to make it around the block), it basically rules out any mechanical issues, timing issues, almost rules out clogged cat etc.

Doesn’t give me hope for spark plugs / coils either as when I restarted it when already rolling it drove basically normal for the next ~5 seconds.

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did some more testing, I disconnected the MAF and tried that, interestingly, it ran basically the same as with it connected? Maybe even a little better in some ways.

I also figured out how to do some basic logging with the app and discovered what I think is the root cause of the lack of power, lack of timing.

At the points where it has zero power timing is almost 0, and points where it has a little more power timing is in the 20’s. Although even at 4k WOT Timing stays in the high 20’s. Seems like it should be closer to 40 degrees but could just not be used to this engine.

The short term fuel trim is also pulling a lot of fuel now after disconnecting and reconnecting the MAF.

The butt dyno says it is getting too much fuel and too little timing, which falls in line with the load calculation being way too high.

How do you know what is causing the high load readings?

I have been looking up MAF sensor readings and I am thinking that my numbers are much too high for my little 2.3l.

I am seeing 5.4l ford trucks with lower readings at idle, I am getting about 5-5.5g/sec at ~750rpm idle it looks like.

https://www.f150forum.com/f4/maf-g-s-specs-390525/

Hmm, more testing to do, I cleaned it a few months back but can’t hurt to do it again. Also going to double check the idle numbers now that I have something to reference it against.

Edit: Confirmed, once idle settles down I am sitting right about 5g/sec on the MAF, which would seem to be almost double what it should be. Just cleaned it again, it was already super clean so naturally didn’t help.

Also found the open/closed loop output and sure enough confirms my hunch that it runs bad in closed loop and open loop run ok (not great but ok, although pretty sure I fouled the plugs when messing with the MAF, it was running pig rich for a bit).

I found a new old stock OEM MAF sensor on ebay for $20, I made an offer for $15, see what they say. Figure I will rule that out for good and if that doesn’t do it I am out of ideas.

I am open to any ideas on where to look next.

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Our Toyota Corolla is a 2006 model, though we got it in 2008.

It still runs great, and our family is frugal so we don't get newish cars very often.

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raccoon city wrote:

Our Toyota Corolla is a 2006 model, though we got it in 2008.


It still runs great, and our family is frugal so we don’t get newish cars very often.

Funny enough the Escape is actually the newest car I have ever had.

My first car was a 2000 toyota 4runner, I still have it to this day in the driveway and was driving it up until we got the ford.

I hit a dip in the road one night going 35mph and went fully airborne! Seems my 20 year old bushings could not handle the sudden shock and I blew out most of them. So it has been down needing those replaced along with struts and possibly shocks. Although for some reason at least one of my rear brakes is also locked up, so got to figure that out as well.

It was actually cheaper to get this escape then it was to fix the 4runner, hence why I did it lol. Plus the ford gets better MPG which is nice.

I have had ~20 other cars but they were mostly fun 90’s cars I would build and tune and then eventually sell to pay for the next project. Had a lot of RX7’s, 300zx, MR2, supra etc. Still miss that 300zx, it was MINT, same for one of my black on black RX7’s.

After several years of that I ended up coming out of it with a profit and a lot of fun under my belt Innocent

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MAF is looking pretty suspect at the moment. I’m curious if you can rotate the MAF 90 or 180 degrees to disturb the flow and get lower readings at idle. (load and g/s)

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It makes sense that the timing is being pulled if the MAF is reading high. High MAF with low TP and low ( but normal) MAP would simulate a deceleration situation. Timing would retard and fuel is cut, but in this case is bringing closer to target. Increase TP and fuel is added back, you maybe get some timing back but your rich af.

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JaredM wrote:
MAF is looking pretty suspect at the moment. I’m curious if you can rotate the MAF 90 or 180 degrees to disturb the flow and get lower readings at idle. (load and g/s)

Thats a pretty good idea, yeah it could rotate 180 degree I think, Can’t hurt anything that is for sure.

I agree that the MAF fits the symptoms, I even suspected it when I first got the truck, which I have now cleaned it 3 times lol.

It also explains the worse then expected MPG I have been getting and the fact it runs much better in open loop.

Just doesn’t seem like it being off this much would have such massive effects.

The map sensor checks out since it has readings I can compare and they are well within reason.

They accepted my offer for $15, so just got to wait for it to show up to see if that improves things. Scared to put too much more money then this into it unless I know it is the issue.

In the mean time I get to start pulling apart the 4runner to see what all it needs, suspension work is not my favorite, I hate those spring compressors lol.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
raccoon city wrote:

Our Toyota Corolla is a 2006 model, though we got it in 2008.


It still runs great, and our family is frugal so we don’t get newish cars very often.

Funny enough the Escape is actually the newest car I have ever had.

My first car was a 2000 toyota 4runner, I still have it to this day in the driveway and was driving it up until we got the ford.

I hit a dip in the road one night going 35mph and went fully airborne! Seems my 20 year old bushings could not handle the sudden shock and I blew out most of them. So it has been down needing those replaced along with struts and possibly shocks. Although for some reason at least one of my rear brakes is also locked up, so got to figure that out as well.

It was actually cheaper to get this escape then it was to fix the 4runner, hence why I did it lol. Plus the ford gets better MPG which is nice.

I have had ~20 other cars but they were mostly fun 90’s cars I would build and tune and then eventually sell to pay for the next project. Had a lot of RX7’s, 300zx, MR2, supra etc. Still miss that 300zx, it was MINT, same for one of my black on black RX7’s.

After several years of that I ended up coming out of it with a profit and a lot of fun under my belt Innocent

Brakes sometimes get locked after sitting from moisture in the brake lines. Had a Kawasaki GPZ 550 that sat under cover under a outdoor roof and the both discs were locked. After soaking the bleeders for a couple days was able to release pressure and they became free. Also had a 1969 Ford Torino fastback do the same thing after sitting 7 months.
Hopefully this is all it is for you as well.

Really was hoping you got those gremlins out of the Ford, but she isn’t ready to give up the ghost yet Smile
You’ll get it, stay after it as there is nothing more satisfying than fixing a vehicle yourself and being able to drive it every month with no freaking car payment and cheap insurance to boot.
Owned 2 new cars, never need to own another one.

Later,

Keith

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Muto wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
raccoon city wrote:

Our Toyota Corolla is a 2006 model, though we got it in 2008.


It still runs great, and our family is frugal so we don’t get newish cars very often.

Funny enough the Escape is actually the newest car I have ever had.

My first car was a 2000 toyota 4runner, I still have it to this day in the driveway and was driving it up until we got the ford.

I hit a dip in the road one night going 35mph and went fully airborne! Seems my 20 year old bushings could not handle the sudden shock and I blew out most of them. So it has been down needing those replaced along with struts and possibly shocks. Although for some reason at least one of my rear brakes is also locked up, so got to figure that out as well.

It was actually cheaper to get this escape then it was to fix the 4runner, hence why I did it lol. Plus the ford gets better MPG which is nice.

I have had ~20 other cars but they were mostly fun 90’s cars I would build and tune and then eventually sell to pay for the next project. Had a lot of RX7’s, 300zx, MR2, supra etc. Still miss that 300zx, it was MINT, same for one of my black on black RX7’s.

After several years of that I ended up coming out of it with a profit and a lot of fun under my belt Innocent

Brakes sometimes get locked after sitting from moisture in the brake lines. Had a Kawasaki GPZ 550 that sat under cover under a outdoor roof and the both discs were locked. After soaking the bleeders for a couple days was able to release pressure and they became free. Also had a 1969 Ford Torino fastback do the same thing after sitting 7 months.
Hopefully this is all it is for you as well.

Really was hoping you got those gremlins out of the Ford, but she isn’t ready to give up the ghost yet Smile
You’ll get it, stay after it as there is nothing more satisfying than fixing a vehicle yourself and being able to drive it every month with no freaking car payment and cheap insurance to boot.
Owned 2 new cars, never need to own another one.

Later,

Keith

I had considered something simple like that except that it happened right after my truck decided it could fly. As I was driving home I could feel something was not right but took me driving it a few more times checking everything over and over again to finally notice my brake drum was glowing lol

Guessing the impact is the reason it happened, just not sure why or what is causing it. Best guess right now is the e-brake cable is messed up but have not gotten under there to really figure it out.

Yeah, I really want to get the Ford fixed as well, it still has a lot of life in it, only issue that even bothers me is having to add oil every tank of gas. Works out to like $50 in oil a year but rather that then doing the main seal! lol. Otherwise it has been a really nice car, particularly since I don’t care if something happens to it.

The hood flew up a few months back due to the damaged catch and I forgot to click it down good enough (I have since lined it up better to keep it from happening again). I just beat the dents out with a hammer and closed it back up and don’t care lol. That would of crushed me on any other car.

I have never had a car payment, I saw the stress it put on people and just never understood it. Get a car a few years old and you get a great car for a lot less money. Heck I generally had people wishing they were driving my cars. Wink

The most I ever paid for one was $10k IIRC, I always got the fixer uppers that I could sell for a profit after I had my fun.

The Ford is the only car I drove home, I had to tow all the others home IIRC. It is also the cheapest car I ever got but not by much.

I got a MINT 300ZX for $300 once, only catch was the engine was BLOWN, I mean like the engine block was split in half blown and utter carnage inside. Had to hop in my 4runner and rent a trailer at a super sketchy gas station just before closing at 10pm and then didn’t get to the car until 1am all to beat the people that lined up to pick it up the next morning lol. Well worth it though, best deal I ever got on a car. One of the only cars I miss.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
I got a MINT 300ZX for $300 once…
I got a 280ZX for about that much once!

It was an ‘83, the last year before the 300ZX. It was a 2+2, non-turbo, with white paint in good condition and a red velour interior that looked like new. It had one shattered t-top, a bad exhaust leak, and the trans slipped when shifting from first to second. I fixed the exhaust leak and managed to find a pair of replacement t-tops. I even sold the extra one and got mine for free.

One day, I was startled by the ‘talking lady’ telling me, “Left door is open.”

Instead of a simple chime, she tells you if you’ve left the lights on, if a door is open, if the parking brake is on while the car is moving, and if you’re low on fuel. She’s not digital, she’s a miniature record player!

It was a second car, and I only kept it for a summer, but it sure was a neat little car, even with the slipping trans. It’s on the growing list of cars I’d like to have again someday.

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nice, yeah mine had the talking lady but it was a bit more advanced by then and played through the speakers. Also had the digital dash (after I replaced the ECU for it) and was one of the most comfortable cars for that era I have ever driven. A real cruiser.

I ended up swapping a xterra engine into it to get the extra displacement and compression along with a really nice clutch rated for 500whp but drove like stock. It was pretty peppy even on the stock turbo and stock boost. Drag times put it around ~250-275rwhp IIRC, guessing an easy 325-375rwhp with the boost turned up a bit.

I turned the boost up once but I already had offers for the car and didn’t want to risk blowing it up.

Total I had around $1500 in it when it was finished. I had considered keeping it and adding meth injection and turning the boost up but ended up selling it for $6k to a guy in Chicago when I found another RX7 I wanted lol.

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Ok, just got the MAF sensor in and installed it. It does read better then the old one, around 3.2g/sec vs 5.2 at idle and it seems to help a little it was not the issue. It stil has zero power and refuses to rev above 4k.

A clogged cat is a possible issue I suppose given the issues but the exhaust is all rusted and not sure I can even check it without breaking every bolt and without a welder I have no way to put things back together if that happens.

Guess I will start soaking the bolts in penetrating oil and give it a try at some point as I can’t think of anything else to try beside throwing parts at it and it is not worth that.

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Feel like running it reeeeeeeally rich ‘til the cat starts glowing cherry-red? LOL

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Lightbringer wrote:
Feel like running it reeeeeeeally rich ‘til the cat starts glowing cherry-red? LOL

I am open to anything at this point, much more and I will be forced to give up on it and put my time and money into getting the 4runner back on the road.

How can you adjust the tune on the ford? If I could do that I should be able to track down the issue via trial and error.

I am spoiled by standalone / piggyback ECU’s where I would simply datalog and adjust the tune to figure out the issue fairly easily.

I was getting a strange issue earlier where when free revving it at around 30% throttle it would hit 3k RPM and then start stumbling and basically refuse to rev past it for 30-90 seconds until it finally got above 3k, then it would do it’s thing up to 4k.

It was repeatable and very odd, if I went WOT it would not do it, only at part throttle.

While stumbling I watched all the sensors I could and could not find anything unexpected, really annoying.

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Unno, a lot of it still sounds like an ignition problem, the dreaded “weak spark”. Might idle fine, get to some low-stress rpms, but under any load the mix just “blows out the spark”.

 

My old Cav had a plugged cat. Loss of power that just got progressively worse ‘til it could only go a quarter-mile or so ‘til it stalled. Like a banana up the tailpipe. Letting it sit a while, it’d “deflate” and let me go another quarter-mile, maybe more if I was able to just putz along with a barely-cracked throttle. Fun fun fun on the 495…

Still loved that car. Ran lean’n‘clean, and for years before that with a hollow cat, and still passed smog ‘til NYS literally halved max emissions one year.

But yeah, that cat rang like a bell if you’d hit it. Much much much better when hollow, than when the working replacement got plugged. Sick

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Yeah, spark issue is still a possibility, I have not had time to go get new plugs but honestly I don’t have a lot of hope in that, the issue just started too suddenly for me to see that being the issue but anything is possible at this point.

I would gladly just gut the cat if I could get in there. On my 4runner I built a box that tricks the ECU into thinking the cat is still in place, it is fairly simple, just a few resistors and a diode to reduce the readings on the 2nd cat and thus make it looks like the cat is working. I would think it would work on the ford as well, just might have to play with the resistance some.

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If you just want to coat the inside of the fenders with something that will both add a little strength and make sure nothing gets through any small holes, try using asphalt based evaporative cooler coating. I live in an area where “swamp coolers” although not a common as once was are still used. My local Lowes has it for $6 for a 20 oz can. The base for evaporative coolers is always wet and salty. When coated with this stuff the cooler will last for a couple years longer before the rust eats through. Just brush it on after you clean the area.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dial-Asphalt-Base-Coating-Evaporative-Cooler-Co...
You can find it at Ace Hardware and Home Depot as well.

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Vegas LED Fan wrote:
If you just want to coat the inside of the fenders with something that will both add a little strength and make sure nothing gets through any small holes, try using asphalt based evaporative cooler coating. I live in an area where “swamp coolers” although not a common as once was are still used. My local Lowes has it for $6 for a 20 oz can. The base for evaporative coolers is always wet and salty. When coated with this stuff the cooler will last for a couple years longer before the rust eats through. Just brush it on after you clean the area. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dial-Asphalt-Base-Coating-Evaporative-Cooler-Co... You can find it at Ace Hardware and Home Depot as well.

Interesting idea, if I end up getting it back on the road I will look into that.

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Texas_Ace wrote:
Yeah, spark issue is still a possibility, I have not had time to go get new plugs but honestly I don’t have a lot of hope in that, the issue just started too suddenly for me to see that being the issue but anything is possible at this point.

A plugged cat would happen rather slowly, but a blocked muffler, if the baffles break off and block the hole, can happen suddenly, but you’d probably notice a change in the exhaust note.

Insulation in the coil or a coil wire could break/split and let the spark “leak” outside vs at the plug, or a loose connection could increase the resistance and limit the voltage, anything. Would be at something in common to all, vs just one plug or plug-wire.

Texas_Ace wrote:
I would gladly just gut the cat if I could get in there. On my 4runner I built a box that tricks the ECU into thinking the cat is still in place, it is fairly simple, just a few resistors and a diode to reduce the readings on the 2nd cat and thus make it looks like the cat is working. I would think it would work on the ford as well, just might have to play with the resistance some.

Nowadays OBD sniffs both before and after the cat, and if the readings track too closely, it throws an error (supposta be a bit of lag, not instantly tracking).

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Lightbringer wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
I would gladly just gut the cat if I could get in there. On my 4runner I built a box that tricks the ECU into thinking the cat is still in place, it is fairly simple, just a few resistors and a diode to reduce the readings on the 2nd cat and thus make it looks like the cat is working. I would think it would work on the ford as well, just might have to play with the resistance some.

Nowadays OBD sniffs both before and after the cat, and if the readings track too closely, it throws an error (supposta be a bit of lag, not instantly tracking).

Yeah, that is how my 4runner works as well. I forgot the exact layout of the box I put together but it had some resistors, a diode or 2 and possibly a cap/inductor. I built it over 10 years ago and have not touched it since lol.

It worked though, never threw a code and passes inspection every year.

People gave me a hard time back when I built it as well saying it would not work, 10+ years later it is still working lol.

Watching the O2 signals it delayed the response and reduced the readings slightly.

The real issue on the ford would be the temp sensor would have to be tricked as well or it would not read high enough.

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