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Sun Dec 11, 2011, 04:41 PM

how can you tell if somebody has sabotaged your gas tank?

this is related to a thread on the old DU - http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=310x1554

that truck sat down at the shop for over a month (partly due to indecision about what to do by the son, but still...) after the mechanic got the go-ahead to try and figure out what was wrong, he tried all kinds of things, including having the guy from the shop down the street come look at it!

He charged the boy about $100 for parts (not sure what as boy isn't home and I haven't seen receipt) and wrote off the labor, but final word: "I'm stumped"



last night I was about to fall asleep when I had the thought that maybe some jerk put something in the gas tank. Could that be the problem? How easy is it to tell if that would be the LAST thing you were looking for? I will call and ask tomorrow but maybe somebody here knows something???

40 replies, 15189 views

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Reply how can you tell if somebody has sabotaged your gas tank? (Original post)
Kali Dec 2011 OP
sce56 Dec 2011 #1
8 track mind Dec 2011 #2
Kali Dec 2011 #3
8 track mind Dec 2011 #4
Kali Dec 2011 #5
8 track mind Dec 2011 #6
Kali Dec 2011 #7
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #8
Kali Dec 2011 #11
8 track mind Dec 2011 #17
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #19
Kali Dec 2011 #22
8 track mind Dec 2011 #23
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #26
Kali Dec 2011 #10
JohnnyRingo Dec 2011 #16
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #27
Kali Dec 2011 #28
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #29
Kali Dec 2011 #30
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #31
Kali Jan 2012 #33
Kali Dec 2011 #20
JohnnyRingo Dec 2011 #9
Kali Dec 2011 #12
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #13
Kali Dec 2011 #14
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #15
Kali Jan 2012 #34
8 track mind Dec 2011 #18
Gold Metal Flake Dec 2011 #21
8 track mind Dec 2011 #24
JohnnyRingo Dec 2011 #25
Kali Jan 2012 #35
Kali Jan 2012 #32
JohnnyRingo Jan 2012 #36
Gold Metal Flake Jan 2012 #37
Kali Mar 2012 #38
Gold Metal Flake Mar 2012 #39
Steven_car Jun 2012 #40

Response to Kali (Original post)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 04:53 PM

1. Not having seen it I can say in 94 right after I retired and drove back from right coast

 

to Left coast my Chevy started having problems I could not figure it out and tried all kinds of things. It would overheat and lose power on acceleration turned out it was a plugged catalytic converter, I'm still pissed it was not in any of the trouble shooting sections of the service books! Like I said losing it on acceleration and high speed.

As for the gas tank always get a locking gas cap!

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 05:23 PM

2. can you post the exact symptoms he was having, plus the year make and model, type of engine?

I seriously doubt he did anything like that. It doesn't sound like he knows what he's doing in the first place. I can help you get to the bottom of it.

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 05:54 PM

3. 89 ford PU auto, V8 4x4

did you read that thread at the link?

crapping out at idle and now after the various things have been tried it will barely stay lit at all - he got about a half block with it after having to fiddle to get it started at all.

edit: oh no - I didn't mean the mechanic sabotaged it, was thinking maybe that was what could be wrong with it from the beginning and wondered if it could have been something the mech. just didn't look for.

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Response to Kali (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 07:41 PM

4. OK, gonna ask a lot of questions to see if we can get down to the bottom of it

How is the idle quality? (rough, slow, smooth, up and down...)

any power off of idle? huge dead spot once you press on the accelerator?

Does it feel like it has a miss? one cylinder not hitting/fireing?

is the exaust flow good? lots of warm air coming out?

answer these and we will start narrowing it down

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 08:15 PM

5. virtually no idle - won't stay lit

used to rev high when he started (weeks or months like that) it then it started dieing at idle and he had to keep it revved to make it stay lit - drove it for about a week like that, then it started getting hard to start (had previous starter problems as well, suspect bad flywheel)

he says it chugs a little but just won't stay lit, like not getting gas

don't know about exhaust flow

his receipt is for an idle air control valve and a throttle position sensor, previously the fuel pump was checked and a new filter installed

edit to let me toss in a thanks! here

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Response to Kali (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 08:27 PM

6. ahhhhh

ok the high idle at start up is the clue and it slowly started getting progressively worse. Sounds like an vacuum leak to me.The guy replaced the IAC thinking that would fix it.


How are the brakes on this vehicle? is it harder than normal to stop, require more pedal effort?


On edit: Is this a 302 or 351 V-8?

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 09:21 PM

7. 351, brakes fine

pretty sure vacuums were checked - at least whatever goldmetalflake suggested on the du2 thread

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 11:42 PM

8. That would be a big vacuum leak.

One of the larger vacuum hoses going to one of the vacuum manifolds might be split. PCV flow path fuxxored. I was originally thinking the EGR valve was not closing but that would not explain the high idle early on.

Since it does not idle at any speed it's impossible to test for leaks with ether or WD40 so I think it's a climb inside and look over all of the hoses kind of chore. What are you thinking, 8 track?

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 08:23 PM

11. hey, there you are!

was wondering if I needed to keep the thread going back at the old DU

just found out I don't have to show up for jury duty tomorrow so I guess the husband and I will have to go get the damn thing and drag it home tomorrow. sigh

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:05 PM

17. im thinking this

Ive had to establish before that there is a vacuum leak by simply spraying carb cleaner or wd-40 down the throat of the carb or intake before the mass air flow sensor. if the engine runs well when spraying, you have a big time lean condition. Then its a matter of locating the hose and/or assembly that's leaking, such as an intake or the air plenum. No sensor is going to cause this much of a problem, even if the mass airflow is hosed.

This is what i've nicknamed a "global" air leak, meaning that all cylinders are affected, not just one like some of the GM v-8's are famous for doing. Something that massive and you should be able to hear it.

Man i wish i was there, i know i could find it!!!!!!

A cracked PCV hose will do it, i've seen it happen, from a slight miss, to no idle whatsoever.

The brake booster and PCV valve are easy to trouble shoot, just simply cap them off at the source and see if the problem goes away, no driving needed.

Just a few months ago i repaired an all original 1967 Oldsmobile 442 with a no idle condition. The guy complained of non existent idle, hard pedal effort on the brakes, hard starting. I found that the brake booster was leaking and the original carburetor was cracked at the base plate. Car runs great now, and it will scare the hell out of you

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:03 PM

19. Yup, that's how you do it.

As a basic test, the WD40 (or starting fluid) is an easy test. Kali, give it a try!

Here's what I was tinkering with last weekend:

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:33 AM

22. what is that?

it's not all greasy and black and the crevasses aren't full of dirt and leaves

and there is no sign of any pack rat nests

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:41 AM

23. holy shit is that a Y block?

I cant see the distributor, so im having a hard time deciding if its a FE or a Y block. I know where there is a perfectly rebuild Y block in a direct farm truck but the bastard wont sell it to me.....



This is all fine and dandy, but this is what i really want:



I've seen one of these up close and running. It has a sound like no other!

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 10:44 AM

26. Dizz is out so I can prime it.

352FE.

I have not built a Y block yet but it's on the list.

Those twin six engines are cool! There's a couple of websites dedicated to them.

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 08:20 PM

10. actually it went pretty fast when it went

high idle for a while (like a month) then wouldn't stay lit but would run for just a day or two, then couldn't keep it lit pretty much at all.

he just went and moved it from where he left it when he tried to take it home from the shop because it was about to get towed. so now it is sitting behind a bar but he did check for exaust and there was good flow could not get it started, pulled it with the other truck.

he is ready to dump it but I am stubborn and would like to know WTF is wrong with it!

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Response to Kali (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:02 AM

16. Pre-1996 Ford truck trouble codes can be accessed without an expensive reader.

Find the code by counting the flashes made by the "check engine light" then take that number to a parts store (I like Auto Zone or Advanced), and have them give you a read out of what is wrong. They love to do this because thy sell a lot of parts like this. Many stores will even sell you a tool like a reader, then give a full refund upon return. It's like a no fee loaner.

Meanwhile, here's a detailed method for reading the codes with out hardware. It's easier than it appears, and you have nothing at all to lose:

(Applies to all pre 1996 Ford Pick ups, not just the F-250)

The easiest way to test the computer on a 1988 Ford F-250 involves using a self-diagnostic procedure. The 1988 F-250's computer is a single unit with harness wiring and it is the heart of Ford's first generation On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. When accessed, the OBD-I system will flash out trouble codes via the "Check Engine" light. You'll then need to look up the active codes to determine if any relate to the Ford F-250's computer

1.
Start the engine and let your truck idle. Ensure the air conditioner remains off the entire time. Once the truck has reached its normal running temperature, shut the engine off.

2
Open the hood and locate the Self Test Outlet and Self Test Input on the F-250. Both are located at the rear of the engine compartment. The STO has a six-sided, trapezoidal shape; the STI is only one slot on a wire.

3
Connect the STO and STI by placing one end of a jumper wire into the STI and the other end into the Self Test Out slot on the STO. This slot is in a row of four slots on the hub's lower end. It is the middle-left slot.

4
Place your key in the ignition and switch to "On" without starting the engine. Count the number of times the "Check Engine" light flashes. Flashing lights is the most basic indication that the computer is functional.

5
Decipher the codes. Ford's Electronic Engine Control (EEC) codes consist of two numbers. The first number will be conveyed by the "Check Engine" light as a set of long flashes; the second number will represented by shorter flashes. For example, EEC-IV code 14 is one long flash followed by four short flashes. Write down the codes.

6
Look up the EEC-IV code for each number you jotted down. These explanations are not provided in the F-250 owner's manual. You will need to look up the codes online or by referring to a repair manual. Read through all the codes you find and look for any coding reference to "EEC," "module" or "prom."


http://www.ehow.com/read-trouble-codes/


Read more: How to Test the Computer on a 1988 Ford F250 | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7943380_test-computer-1988-ford-f250.html#ixzz1gPmaxaTF

Good luck, and don't get discouraged. You can fix this.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 10:45 AM

27. Sweet!

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 02:23 PM

28. is this what I am looking for?





not sure I am going to be able to get it to operating temperature if it won't RUN

if this is the STO, which side is the "lower end"?

3
Connect the STO and STI by placing one end of a jumper wire into the STI and the other end into the Self Test Out slot on the STO. This slot is in a row of four slots on the hub's lower end. It is the middle-left slot.

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Response to Kali (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 03:17 PM

29. That is the pair of test connectors

The very ones! Do it! DOOO IT! And post back.

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 03:32 PM

30. which hole do I jump to?

and how am I going to get it up to operating temp?

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Response to Kali (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 05:14 PM

31. OOH! Check this link!

http://dfwmustangs.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7908

Pix and drawings!

Don't worry about warming it up. You need to know the codes that are stashed in the memory.

How the codes are flashed is important. This is from the link.



"-Now that the connection is made, grab your pen and paper and sit in the driver seat.
-Turn the key to the on position, but do not start the car. This will initiate the "Key On Engine Off" or KOEO Test.
-Keeping an eye on the Check Engine Light (CEL) you will notice a quick and brief series of flashes. These are not usuable for these tests.
-Next the CEL will flash slower codes. These codes are the ones we want, so its time to start counting them. The spacing of the flashes determines the number, for example: a code 67 would be shown as 6 flashes in a row, then a small pause, followed by 7 more flashes. Between codes is a longer pause. Each code will be repeated twice.
-When the KOEO codes stop, you'll notice a much longer pause and then a seperator pulse (a single "solid" flash).
-Now the Continuous Memory (CM) codes will flash. These codes are output essentially the same way as the KOEO codes."

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 04:43 PM

33. finally got them

see post 32

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Response to Kali (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:03 PM

20. sorry guys

we went and got the damn thing home today (in the rain) (for those that don't know me we are on a ranch 15 miles from town)

but it has been raining all day (YES, this is a good thing) and haven't had a chance to go look at anything.

we will go check to see about codes possible tomorrow

I know on some old truck we had, all you had to do was turn the key on a couple times (3?) then once more and the check light would give the flash codes. No need to jump anything (another fact if you don't know me is I have a problem with electricity, but I can probably manage the task mentioned so far)

GMF, I would rather borrow YOU. Don't you want to have a nice genuine western ranch experience (not like anything in your wildest imagination or nightmares LOL) I could feed you beans two or three times a day and you could get all our crappy old vehicles running. I have a whole box of baling wire and two new packages of JB weld.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 05:47 AM

9. It's almost never a fuel problem.

Alway... check ignition first, second, and third. More people have compounded their problems by attacking the fuel system first than you'd believe.

I know it sounds like it isn't getting gas, and it acts like it isn't, but the fact that it drives above idle says it's an ignition problem. It could be anything from the oxygen sensor (likely), to the ignition module (possibly, but not likely).

In French, the word for "leave it alone" is carbureteur. The Wright Brothers flew with a soup can as a carburettor. They either work, or they don't work. It may run rich or lean, but it'll run. Injectors are even more reliable.

If you really think you have a fuel problem, unhook a fuel line near the injector block, and with a glass jar under the open line crank the engine for a few seconds to fill the jar. Leave the sealed jar to sit for a couple hours and see what it looks like. Any foreign substance will settle in a strata layer, water at the bottom, and lighter solvents at the top. Ths is how pilots check their fuel for contamination except of course, they drain it from a tap in the wing.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 08:28 PM

12. I have to think the mechanic has really gone over it, he is a good guy and usually knows his stuff

he is one of the best in town (god knows I have done business with all of them)

I guess we will haul it home and I can check the gas and then it can sit around with the other junkers until somebody gets motivated to do something with it. poor kid has only had it since this summer!

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Response to Kali (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 09:30 PM

13. Is it showing any codes?

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 10:36 PM

14. that issue remains the same

apparently nobody involved so far has whatever is needed to read codes on this truck...

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 11:21 PM

15. I have an older code reader.

It's a Sunpro CP9015.

"Easy to use plug in code scanner lets you accurately trouble shoot car problems in 1984-95 MCU and EEC-IV systems. A light flashes trouble codes which you cross reference in the code manual. For use with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury applications. Instructions provided in both English and Spanish. Comes with one year warranty and is battery operated for safety."

Like this:
http://www.jegs.com/i/Sunpro/885/CP9015/10002/-1
http://www.actron.com/product_detail.php?pid=16153

Uses the two test plugs usually located on the driver's side fender area under the hood or near there. I triangular female multi-socket plug and a single female plug. I guess 1995 was a changeover year but if your mechanic did not find an OBDII port then this OBD1 doodad should work. Wanna borrow it?

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 04:45 PM

34. finally!

see post 32

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:21 PM

18. Gotta disagree with the o2 sensor/ ignition diagnosis

No disrespect intended whatsoever.

If the O2 is malfunctioning, the computer will set a code and start ignoring it and run off of base programing. It may not run right, but it should idle. Now this is going from GM injection experience: upon cold start up, the O2 is ignored until the coolant reaches a certain temp and/or a certain amount of time has past.

I went for the conclusion of the air leak because of the high idle condition. It sounds to me like the IAC was trying to bring it under control, but couldn't quite do it and the airleak finally got progressively worse to the point that no amount of fuel could keep it lit.

That's not to say the ignition system could be at fault. I do know the Fords are famous for heat related ignition module failures, but in my experience, they wind up dying completely after giving a few symptoms. I've also seen a dead distributor cap cause some really bizarre shit, but not affecting all cylinders at once.

Just my $.02

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:16 PM

21. Spit balling

Ford ignitions... Heat will affect some old Duraspark modules (but that's '70s cars) and I heard about there being issues with some EECIV dizz-mounted modules but I never had a problem with my '84 Crown Vic or '90 Colony Park. I think a module failure would be a total failure.

Timing chain. I have had failures caused by worn timing gears which allowed the chain to slip and the cam to go out of time with the crank, but this usually happens suddenly and with the result that the engine will not run. Because this is a progressive problem I kind of doubt that this would be the problem, but it's a topic that will eventually come up.

Failure of the dizz gear roll pin. Now, I have had this issue several times. Usual cause is some trash in the oil pump causing the gears to catch putting a strain on the distributor gear and breaking the roll pin. No shit. Mostly the gear starts slipping and things go bad within a few miles but I'm gonna mention it anyways.

I wonder if the EGR plate can corrode like the '70s-era ones did which could result in a big-ass vacuum leak.


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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:46 AM

24. im thinking the same thing

the egr can be carboned up and being held open or the plate is so bad off that it's just bypassing the valve all together. We gotta be on the right path on this

on edit: my Mustang 289 twisted it's hex dizzy drive shaft once. I hear it's normal for those

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 04:01 AM

25. Good point.

Indeed an a vacuum leak wil give a mixture lean/high idle condition, and you're correct that a malfunctioning O2 sensor will default to closed loop rich, but I still advise to check ignition, ignition, and ingition.

I don't understand how a fuel problem will fail to idle but give response at open throttle. It's not the old days when a carb has an idle mix circuit. That's the job of the O2 sensor. The black box is limiting performance at idle for some reason. Perhaps it's the throttle position sensor (?)

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 04:47 PM

35. codes

see post 32

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 04:38 PM

32. codes!

well it hasn't even been a month since I started this thread so that isn't too bad, for me.

finally got the codes - actually I went to AutoZone and got a reader since we have 3 or 4 old Fords I think it will work on and hell it was only $30.

so here is what we got for the KOEO:

22 manifold absolute pressure sensor or barometric pressure sensor - signal voltage out of spec (engine off)

52 power steering pressure switch - circuit open or no changes detected

87 fuel pump relay - circuit failure

and the continuous memory came out as 11 (system pass)

what the hell is a manifold absolute pressure sensor??? (I know, look it up in the google)

what do you think? Also we couldn't even try to get it started as the starter seems to be trashed - his third I think - what is going wrong there?

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Response to Kali (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 06:39 PM

36. Good for you!

You found, like many before you, that auto mechanics is simply a series of small problem solutions aimed at fixing one overall problem.

The MAP sensor measures vacuum at the intake manifold. The computer uses the pressure data along with a throttle position sensor to determine just how far you have your foot in it.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 01:50 AM

37. ^^ Yup ^^

So I suggest finding it with the help of the Google, and disconnect the plug and clean the plug and the sensor and see if the code comes back. Or you could just replace it. As for the fuel pump relay warning that might explain the intermittent loss of power. Relay bad, connectors dirty, pump going south. Try cleaning as many connectors as you can first. Might get lucky.

On edit: Don't remember how to clear the codes but disconnecting the battery will do it.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:26 AM

38. and on this one

the fuel pump relay did the trick
took one off a van that is getting cannibalized even though I would rather get it running that a few others grrrr

truck still has this overly high rev thing going on right at start-up but after that is seems to be ok. next project.

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Response to Kali (Reply #38)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 11:35 PM

39. Huzzah #2.

The fleet is filling out.

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Response to Kali (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:56 AM

40. Spam deleted by Violet_Crumble (MIR Team)

 

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