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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 1988 mustang gt convertible and it seems like it is putting out only 75 % of the torque. I remember gt's pulling me back in the seat when accelerated and mine just seems to fall short of the g force. When i spin tires from a take off, i can fully spin 1st then after shifting into 2nd my tires wont spin regardless of how high my rpms before the shift. I cannot even spin in first gear from a rolling start. Is this normal? I dont really care much about spin, but the torque pull i need!
The motor seems to be running fine but it's like the power is not making it to the rear end. No smells no noises but also no torque. So i had my 3.08 pulled out and a 3.73 installed and was thinking this would solve it. It didnt. When i hit 3+ rpms the power fades even though the engine is behaving normal and sounding bad ass but its just lacking. Before i bought it, the car sat for a couple years and was loaded with mouse nests all over the place and chestnuts in the engine compartment! So im thinking maybe some sort of gnawing could have occurred? I have had a full tune up, but i dont think my fuel filter was replaced so i will replace it this weekend. Anyways im bummed because my ride is not up to her full potential. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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After you purchased it did you do a full tune-up? Plugs, wires, cap and rotor? Have you checked the timing? 10* is stock, but it can usually be advanced to 14-16* - advance till pinging can be heard then back 2*(use a timing light, not by ear!!!) If you don't have a timing light get one. Use 87 octane, no need for more. Are there any CEL(Check engine light) codes? If there are run KOEO and KOER and copy the codes into this thread so the issues can be addressed. Here's the link:

DIY KOEO/KOER/Cylinder Balance Self-Test Procedure
 

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Unless you have a Cali emissions model you wont have a check engine light(Ford came out with the check engine light on all models in 1989) to know if anything is out of sorts due to wire chewing etc. To be sure you dont have any sensors out of whack or electrical ckts that are missing their input data you need to do a KOEO and KOER test. This can be done with either a jumper wire and test light or you can do it with a scanner. The process can be found on this forum in the fox body section.
After changing that fuel filter you should check your fuel pressure. If it sat with gas in it for three years chances are the fuel pump and its components may be gunked up. Also check your timing and make sure its at 10 degrees with the spout bar unplugged. If you try to set timing without doing this you will cause more problems that you fix. Hopefully the guy who tuned yours up knows how to do this if he checked or set timing. Always check the basics first when chasing performance issues. :winks
 

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I just read your info about your car and it seems like the 24 lb injectors are a bit fat in my opinion. I had those on my 1993 with an "S" trim supercharger! Unless you have a bolt on like a turbo or supercharger the stock 19 lb/hr will be your best choice. Even with the larger intake and throttle body I think those injectors will just be wasting gas rather than helping with performance. Just my $0.02 about it.
 

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Ignore the tune-up part, I missed it the first time I read your post.
 

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Shows I've never owned anything older than an 89 :)

Learn something new every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
heres what i have planned for her next:

Trac Lok---replace (ordered should be there to you by monday-wed)

Fuel filter---replace

Alternator---replace with (1994)130 amp 3G alternator

Flush tranny, inspect condition, and replace fluid (and any filter if any)

MAF sensor---clean

IAC solenoid---clean

Fuel Pump---make sure it is sending proper psi

Injector harness plugs---clean?( big white and black plugs near TB)

Check TPS voltage and then adjust timing to 10 degrees

TB butterfly---clean if its dirty.
Also everything on the car is what was on her when i bought her. except the 373s. but in response to tjhawk i would like to get a (5-6 lbs?) supercharger soon after figuring why its not running properly. And i will inform my mechanic of the link on the koeo and koer and have him follow it. Thanks for the info guys. Also the check engine lights occurring but im not really sure what you mean. is this right on the panel near the low fuel light or is this something i get from somewhere else?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
also it is a california car. no cats tho.
 

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No, unless you have the Califnornia emissions model as TJ pointed out your car wouldn't have had a check engine light. They came out in 1989, a year after yours. I was wrong in thinking you had one. Hence why he suggested using a test light or a code scanner for KOEO and KOER.

Normally, you'd just be able to use a jumper and watch the check engine light flash to get the codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yes i am at the
DIY KOEO/KOER/Cylinder Balance Self-Test Procedure page now and understand what u meant by codes. I'll keep the thread informed on the results. thanx so far guys.
 

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ok so your abbition is good but I am wondering where you are going with a few things. You want the later style alternator for what reason besides its a better design and has more amp capacity. Unless you are running a huge stereo and electric fans all the time with the ac cranked up on hi all the time that alt is a bit of over kill and it will hurt your performance some. It has more parasidic draw than a less amped model and in the end costs you more in fuel and performance. If you have a mild stereo and dont run your ac the stock alt or its later model equivalent will be just fine. Unless you are expierencing a MAF code I wouldn't clean it. I was under the impression your car was a five speed but you mentioned that you were changing the fluid and filter which leads me to believe you have the dreaded AOD and all its problems. Visualy inpect all your harnesses but unless they are crusty you dont need to clean them. A little bit of dioelectric grease in the connector area goes a long way to help prevent corosion. Finally if you do have the replace the fuel pump get the 155 GPH pump. Its a bit more than stock but it doesnt hurt having it in there even in stock trim. When you do decide to go to a supercharger your fuel pump is already upgraded.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First thing i should have mentioned is im kinda a noob i guess. i read at some forum that the g3 was the way to go. i guess i should have read deeper. the reason why i wanted to upgrade alt. is because my battery gauge is affected by everything i do. just hitting the window up while its already up causes my battery gauge to drop and my lights dim accordingly. this is with a brand new stock alt. maybe i should look into just a higher amped stock or now im thinking wait for some codes and see if a have other electrical issues that could be causing the drag perhaps.
I do have a 5 speed but i dont know much about working on cars, except i thought there would be some filter in there. but ty(embarrassed). :worship
the harness part and maf again was something i read at stangnet.com. i will call my mechanic and tell him just to inspect rather than clean those and to check for the codes first then. plus ill keep in mind the 155gph pump if i need 1. the supercharger might not go in till fall or spring. now i wonder if i really need to mess with my trac lok. i left a couple patches on flat pavement and other times it was only 1 patch but i figured the car has massive mileage (265k) on most everything but the new motor so i thought id replace it. .thanx for settin me straight on the other issues tho.:bigthumbsup
 

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ok so the temporary blip of current draw isnt as bad as it sounds. Your window motors draw more amps the older they get and the fact that its a convertible means the window regulators are more prone to failure because they hold and align the glass where a hard top the door frame helps with this feature. Anyways as long as this is the only thing bugging you I wouldn't waste your money on an upgrade. BTW dont hit the button up if the window is already up this will cause the switch and or motor burn out...lol.
The T-5 has no filter. Just drain and refill. Use ATF. Do not use gear oil! This will wreck your trans faster than old dirty ATF. The stock posi rear end is good for the most part but its prone to one wheel peels especially under hard acceleration in turns. With the gears you recently installed I sure hope you got the nasty smelling gear oil addative added to your gear oil or your clutches will soon get distroyed. Changing them isnt too hard or expensive either.
 

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What kind of shape is your clutch in???? They will slip more when going out in specific gears sometimes if im not mistaking.. Like mine for instance wants to slip in third when jamming on it. But all other gears seem ok.

Have you had the car put on a Dyno? To me that is a great place to start.I think the gt only mad around 180 to 185 rwhp stock didnt they?
I had mine Done yesterday and wasnt to dissapointed. My 89 made 221.14 mx power with 282.19 Now to me this is pretty decent with a near stock GT, My car has GT40 intake(so im told) Equal length headers, off road H pipe dumoed to FM super 40's also there was no smoke to be seen as we did the 2 pulls.

I would say start there, I always. If it doenst seem right check the compression in your cylinder heads. That will give you the best base in my opinion to know what order you should problem solve the situation. I was Just recently in the import seen for around 8 years pretty heavily and when most of us purchased a car we dyno'd and comprssioned testing them.
 

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before you do anything else, change the fuel filter and clean the MAF sensor. the filter is 7-8 bucks and the cleaning is FREE. works 99% of the time. whem i first bought my latest 5.0 it ran great, just no power. cleaned the MAF and TA-DA new engine. :bigthumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ThaSkinny:new clutch. and Cindy i was wanting to clean the MAF. maybe ill get it with some rubbing alcohol and a qtip. but first thing im gonna do is change the fuel filter and check the KOEO/KOER codes and go from there. thanx and ill keep the thread informed when i get the fix.
 

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Tjhawk, never try and talk someone out of a 3g upgrade.lol stock alternator and wiring are weak link and possible fire hazard! The 3g upgrade is a very good one regardless if you have any added electrical loads or not.
 

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Right but it sounded like this guy was maybe a tad bit not mechanically inclinded so I didnt mention it. I have had alot of those old alternators do ok with the new style plug on them. just tryinjg to keep the guy focused at the problem at hand and spend his $$$ on the problem and do an upgrade later.
 

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I got ya... that had to be one of the most feel good mods i have done to my car though. Gettin that stock joke of an alternator out and knowing i got the juice to power just about whatever i want makes the car feel so much more reliable. I agree though. Fix the issues, then mod away!
 

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C&l MAF sensors and cold air intakes are know to have some driveability problems. Swap the stock airbox in place of the 90 degree elbow of the CAI and see if there is a difference. C&L recommends stock airbox only with their meters.
 
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