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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
This is my first post, and let me say that I'm glad this forum exists.

My name is Sean and last year I purchased a 2.3L turbo converted sandrail just for the engine to put in my (much larger) VW powered sandrail.

I think the engine was from a '86 T-bird but I am not 100% certain.

The factory harness, computer, and a whole load of wiring junk that I doubt I need was used.

After much fabrication, fitment and head scratching, we finally got the engines swapped, radiators installed...etc etc.

We did get it running after swapping some wires here and there.

From the completion of the swap, the engine has made a puff of black smoke when you snap the throttle (each time), but idled and ran well (in the garage).

On my first trial run to the local sand dunes, bad luck upon bad luck provided that we went off a 2' razorback (ie...ever-changing sand cliff) and broke the front wheel off...which broke my wrist (after 2 months of conversion time to get there). We had the sandrail running for all of 5 minutes before this happened and had to be towed in.

The machine sat for 6 months or more while I recovered.

Last year I took it out for the 2nd time with some friends and it did quite well for about an hour of slow speed touring (still nursing my wrist), but then pretty quickly started running very rough and stalling...with increased black smoke.

Being "stuck" in the dunes, I'll I could do with my limited knowledge is to wiggle wires around, check connectors, and bang on a few things with the back of a screwdriver. Through some miracle it started running again and got us out of the dunes (with sporadic periods of coughing and dying...then back to OK again).

So it goes back into the garage for another 8 months or so and now I start it and it just coughs, sputters, dies, and smokes.
While trying to find the problem, I'm looking around for loose wires, and tapping the inline fuel filter, and just yelling at it, and it suddenly starts running OK again for about 30 seconds, and goes back to rough again. I cannot determine what I might have touched to make the change or even if it was pure coincidence (I wasn't touching when it started running OK).

I cannot guarantee that the wiring is 100% correct (I'd sure like to get rid of the junk), only that is *has run*.
For all I know it could be a fuel problem, or a loose wire, or even a truly bad component.

Being both a sandrail, and a very fresh conversion attempt, there's a lot that could be wrong and not too many people to take it too (doubt the Ford dealer will look at it).
It also doesn't help that I'm ignorant about fuel injection and these motors in general (I'm OK with carb V8).

Any thoughts on where to start and what might cause these symptoms?

So much work has gone into this machine and so far all I have is a snapped wrist and disappointment.

Many Many Thanks
Sean
P.S. I can provide pic's and near real time feedback. I have a pretty good shop with extensive electrical (and other) diagnostic tools if that helps, but acronyms and abbreviations will confuse me and I probably won't know what the things I'm recommended to check look like, nor where they are located (again...modern engines are alien to me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More info:

Engine is a fresh rebuild with mild performance upgrades.

It has the larger VAM (or voom, or whatever) via previous owner.

I think I remember hooking up the electric fans to what I'm hoping was the correct wire, but they would come on every time the engine's RPM was over the extremely rough idle (even when ice cold). I've disconnected that wire to the fans without improvement in the idle or running condition.

I'll post more if I think of anything else.

Thanks
Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More:

If I disconnect the large hose (vacuum) to the left of the Ford symbol on the intake manifold, the leak allows the engine to high idle...so at least I can have it run while wiggling other stuff. This is the larger hose on the "T" with the smaller hose that goes to the thing on what looks to be the fuel rail.

I'm assuming the sensor to the rear of the turbo on the exhaust is the O2 sensor. Disconnecting it yields no change in RPM or exhaust color, nor any distinguishable difference.

Probably doesn't make any difference, but disconnecting the round thing with the two hoses and electrical connector that seems to be tied to the wastegate does nothing.

Removing the VAM electrically or even complete physical removal makes zero difference.

The turbo is spinning.... I can watch it with the VAM removed...engine running.

No amount or style of throttle will move the wastegate at all.... I realize there's no load, but nothing?

I'm starting to wonder if this computer has a "limp mode"? I'll search for that.

Any thoughts?
Sean
 

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Wow....where to start?

1. I would like pics of where you are removing vacuum lines from and where you are "tapping" things to get it to run.
2. Does the VAF (VANE AIR FLOW) meter swing freely by hand? I have a test procedure for it electrically.
3. What size injectors are you running? They should be brown top 35#.
4. What is the nomenclature on the EEC? (look at paper label)

Let's start with this and go from there
 

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Get us a video of the install. If it has a check engine connection? So we can get the codes off it. Here is how.
Ford Fuel Injection » How To Run a Self-Test
How good at wiring are you? Could repair yours if have wiring diagram? Or replace the wiring if got one. Like NavySVO need the numbers off the computer. Look something like this.
Ford Fuel Injection » EEC Program Codes
On the vam what does it measure across the throat? There are 2 sizes. Maurice
 
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