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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having a random misfire or misalignment code for awhile now. I replaced the entire clutch and while doing so disconnected the battery. When I reconnected the battery the code was gone and didn't come back for about 2 or 3 weeks. Then it came back and every now and then it would seems like it would quit while driving for a split second. Last night I turned it off after driving around as normal (shut off without the key because ignition is worn like that and wife wanted in the house quick) now this morinng it won't start. Any thoughts on what could be wrong?
2000 3.8 manual tranny.
 

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what the code and also change spark plugs and wire
 

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+1 on posting the full DTC codes.

So you don't think that the worn ignition switch could have something to do with this?

What is the Theft light doing?

Recommend having the alternator tested for correct output and excessive AC ripple. This will rule out a possible bad alternator diode as the cause of the DTC code.
 

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Sounds like from the key being pulled out with it running theft is disabling the fuel supply. Put the key in the switch and put it in run position and let it sit 30 mins then see if it starts. You have another issue with it misfiring and shutting off.. could you post a list of dtc's?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well 2 things. I found out she tried to start it with the spare key that has no computer chip - that's why it didn't start. So now it starts fine (with the correct key) but it still has that one code and occasionally just for a split second feels like it dies but comes right back. I'll try to get the exact code. I know it is a manufacturer code something like p1309 or whatever I'll find out
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Update: The car is running like sh*t. I still have the p1309 code and here is what I have done to try to make the car run better and get the code to go away:

Replaced: Spark plugs, wires, cam position sensor, crank position sensor,and the coil.

It runs pretty good for a while but if i get on it, it starts to hesitate and miss completely until it won't even run. If I'm sitting at a light and the light turns green and I try to go it pops and sputters. The only way to "fix" the situation is to turn the car off for even a second, and start it back up and it runs fine for awhile and starts acting up again. I can be going down the highway and notice it acting up, turn ff the car and start it back up and it runs fine for a while. HELP!!!!

Also I blasted out the catlytic converters because I thought they where getting hot and plugging up causing the problem, guess not. So now the cats are hollow but the sensors are still in place.
 

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Are you SURE about the DCT code? Is this the only code?

Honestly, it doesn't make sense. Seems more likely there are more codes.

Find the octane adjustment plug and check to see if it's been disconnected.

Did you use the correct tool to sync the cam sensor?

Do you have access to an ODB2 scanner?
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P1390 - Octane Adjust (OCTADJ)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes I have a scanner and that is the only code. Also, ummmm.... I just put the new cam sensor on. Unscrewed the old and popped on the new. I don't know anything about synchronizing anything, feeling kinda stupid right now.
 

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Have you tested the alternator? A bad alternator diode can mess up the cam sensor signal.

Would be nice to know the Long term fuel trim (LTFT) are doing at idle and under load.

What about the ignition switch? Making good contact?

Do you know what the octane adjustment plug is?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No I have not tested the alternator, I'm guessing that if it puts out about 13 volts it's good, beyond that you got me.

I can get the LTFT tomorrow.

Ignition switch I guess is good, h*ll I don't know.

Octane adjustment plug location or what it is?????

Did I need to adjust the cam sensor when I put it on????

What about the synchronizer could that be the problem? I don't think it's ever been replaced.
 

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A bad alternator diode is WELL known to cause false cam sensor codes. So not testing the alternator is ignoring a real possible solution to your problem. It very simple to test the alternator. Almost any autoparts store will do it for free. The test is for excesive AC ripple and a bad diode.

I don't have a V6 so I can't tell you exactly where the octane adjustment plug is. In general, it's a square plug that's in an accessible location. It's a plug that doesn't appear to do anything. The plug is removed to adjust for low octane gas. The P1390 DTC indicates the octane adjustment plug has been disconnected (activated).

Not all cars have an octane adjustment plug. On some cars it's activated via software. I can't find the octane adjustment plug on the wiring diagram. This opens up the possibility there isn't one. This means that some how the octane adjustment feature has been activated by a PCM change.

Have you modified or installed a custom tune?
 

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Doh. I said the codes didn't make sense.

A bad alternator diode can still cause a false cam sensor DTC

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P1309 - Misfire Monitor Disabled
When the misfire monitor is disabled, usually due to the input signal generated by the camshaft position (CMP) sensor, by sensing the passage of teeth from the CMP wheel.
Camshaft position sensor
Powertrain control module
ECT, MAF, and CKP sensors

Verify the CMP is installed correctly and not out of synchronization.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I guess just popping on the new cam sensor is not installing it correctly? Also I guess there is the synchronizer that may need to be replaced?
 

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I'm going to drop off this thread as it does not appear that I'm doing any good.

If you are following the Ford factory service recommendations, the cam tool has to be used when the cam sensor is being replaced. However, there are tons of ppl that sucessfully replace the cam sensor (without removing the cam gear) and don't use the tool.

IF the cam gear is removed, it's a no brainer. The tool MUST be used. If just replacing the sensor, the tool should be used.

You have symptom the points to a possible bad cam sensor. Cam sensor replaced and symptom remains. What does that tell you?


It tells me that either:
  • The base problem was not the cam sensor
  • the cam sensor repair was not done correctly or the new cam sensor is bad.
It seems almost silly to ignore a possible cause that is well know to create this symptom. Especially since the alternator test is so easy to do. Then once the alternator has been confirmed good, then go back and look at the other possible causes.

However, it will work just as well for you to get the cam sync tool and re-install the cam sensor using the tool. Then if the symptoms presist, you will be working from a known good cam sensor. Then maybe the alternator test will be the next item in the cross hairs.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok quick question. If you put the new cam synchronizer in without the tool (simply line up the timing mark on the crank and then put the "tab" in the window for the sensor) and it fires right up, isn't that good? I don't see what would be wrong with it.

So that is what I did and the car ran good for a while but then started running like crap again. Of course I believe it's because I cheaped out and went to the junk yard :nono: for my synchronizer. So tomorrow I'm getting a new one.

Same symptoms as before runs ok but if you floor it, forget about it, it putts and sputters or doesn't rev up. To solve this ( and maybe someone can explain why this works) I shut it off for a couple seconds and bam it takes off like its new again and a few miles down the road we repeat.
 
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