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Running problems Driving ME MAD!

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Dr Who, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    97 F250(old body) 5.8/351 auto..

    Ok, It started this the other day, comes and goes...

    Have 2 tanks, I think that I have some bad gas/have water in the gas..

    Ran 2 tanks of fuel in the rear, 1 tank in the front so far.

    The other day, I was driving on the rear tank, was out doing some salting and the truck was running great, so smooth, was the best it has ran since I owned it. Well the rear tank was down to 1/4 tank, so I switched to the front as it was full and the truck started acting up again.

    Truck will either not idle, will idle to high, shifts crazy/hard or up and down, or dies while at idle.
    Check engine light will come on, truck runs fine, then the light goes out and starts running odd..

    The symptoms are never the same, it just does what ever it wants, never the same and varies from what it is doing (other the running correct) while driving or sitting at a stop light.

    I truck was tuned up (full tune up)about 2,000 miles ago, I have replaced the MAP Sensor and the IAC Valve as I thought that was the problem at first.

    Now I think that I have water in the fuel, as it was running great on the rear tank and now runs like crap on the front tank. I have not filled the rear tank up yet, I am going down to my family farm Tuesday, so I will be filling it up and running the front tank out....

    Does this sound like how the thing would act having water in the gas to you all? Its the only thing that I can think of, as it started one day after filling up, but I also filled up the car (Crown Vic PI) a few days later at the same place and never had any problems with it and I have ran 2 tanks out ( did not get fuel at the same place again...)
  2. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Try some dry gas, if that don't solve problem not sure. Did u ever get rid of that hampster wheel squeal..?
  3. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    If it's the pressure switched tanks that may be the problem. I chased a problem like that for a year. It ended up being the tank switcher. If you have the in tank pumps and the high pressure pump on the frame rail you have the same system I had. The switcher controls where the gas goes back to and from. If it malfunctions you are not getting the right volume or pressure to run the system. Try checking the fuel pressure when it's acting up. This can point you in the right direction if it's supply or regulation of pressure. One sign of a bad switcher is it puts gas back into the wrong tank. Your running the front tank and it drops quick. But the back tank gained fuel. It's sending the fuel back to the wrong tank. Go to a junk yard for a used tank switcher they are like $10 vers $80 at Ford.
  4. Dustball

    Dustball Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    97 has a completely different fuel system than an '89.
  5. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Please Please do bot use dry gas! Get it scanned for codes. You say the light comes on and goes off? Get the codes and post them. Your local Autozone will do it ( and that's all they are good for).
  6. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Still got the hamster wheel squeak, but it is very slight and most of the time it quits, only to chirp a time or two..

    I do not use dry gas, I use 90% rubbing alchol, it works way better, I grew up in the service station and gas station industry and that is all we ever used. I know that today's vehicles have all kinds of sensors and computer crap on them, but rubbing alchol or dry gas is not going to hurt it, just think of all the crap that is in fuel anyway..And Ky fuel is worse the a lot of states as our regulations are,well lacking...

    AutoZone is a parts store not a garage, I would not trust them to run a code. Besides when I had my repairs shop people would get there code pulled and it was the same thing every time for who ever cam in, the O2 sensor.
    They are in the business to sell parts, I would rather pay a garage or even the dealer if I was going to have it scanned. Besides, the light only comes on for a few seconds then goes back off, which I assume is were the computer senses a problem, but then the truck corrects it self, then there is no fault for the system to show..

    As for the pressure switch, I never thought about that, but I do not think mine has the on frame pump, I think it has one in each tank. I do know that the empty tank does not get fluid added, I have checked that.

    I am going to make a 150 mile round trip tomorrow, going to fill the back tank up, get some more fuel treatment and what not to dump in the tanks and hope that I can run out the front tank enough to get most of the crap out, then fill her up again and see what happens..

    I'll keep you all posted, if the truck don't die completely :)
  7. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Codes are stored in the memory. I had suggested it only because a lot of people do not have money to pay for a shop just to read the codes. I have been in the repair business for 30+ years as well. I have the Ford factory service DVD's so I can offer some help now and then. That is all I was trying to do is help.
  8. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Question. Does your state mandate the use of E-10 ?
  9. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Ah, That makes more since then if you have the service DVD's, I just thought that you were just saying to use autozone, like alot of people do since its a free service...

    I do not have the money to pay out, but again I do not trust autozone, I don't even buy there parts!

  10. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    E-10? I am not sure what that is..
  11. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Oh, before any one mentions the converter, We have no emission laws, so no converter. Was hollowed out when I bought the truck, I just cut the hull off and replaced it with pipe.

    When I say no emission laws, the Federal law states that shops/business can not remove the converter unless you are replacing it. Or the vehicle is used for off road only and can not be licensed such as a demo derby car. People can legally cut off and replace with pipe on there own personal vehicle with out violating any laws.(in KY anyway)
    There is no vehicle inspection of any kind, save when you buy one from out of state to make sure its not stolen or when you file for a rebuilt wreck title, other then that there is nothing required to license the vehical, other then to pay your property taxes on any vehicle you own....
  12. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Ethanol in the gas up to 10%.
  13. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I thought that was what you were talking about, but not for sure.

    No, No mandate for it, that I now of and never seen the info on the pumps. We have not had gas pumps for about 8 years now..
  14. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Ok, Update on the truck.

    Did not get to go down to the farm, ended up going to bid on a job(non-snow related). So I drove across town to pick up my buddy that got the bid(5-10 miles), truck ran great. Drive to the job which is on the other side of Frankfort (30-40 miles) truck runs great, no problems at all. Drive back Lexington, to the metal store (doing a welding/fab job) then back to his house, total of about 50 or so miles there.

    So I drive it 80-100 miles give or take, truck runs great, I sit at my buddies house for a few hours((3-4hrs) shooting the bull, leave to drive home and the truck runs like crap, dies at lights, misses,cuts out, just like it did yesterday when I drove it across town.

    Yesterday it was 40+ degree when I drove it, Iwas in a t-shirt. This morning it was below freezing, the ground was frozen(not sure the temp) when I left my buddy's house to come home, the ground was thawed out and I had shed my coat.

    I stopped half way home got 24 oz of STP fuel treatment with dry gas and dumped it in (I had 1/4 tank of fuel) and drove home, by the time I got home it was starting to run better...

    My thought is..

    yesterday it was warm, water in fuel and was trying to run on the mixture. so ran like crap. Truck was full of fuel

    This morning was below freezing, water in fuel was frozen so it was separated from the fuel, truck ran off "clean" fuel. Truck had 3/4 tank +/- of fuel.

    Temp went above freezing when I was at my buddies house, now at 1/4 tank of fuel, and the water thawed out and remixed with the fuel as I was leaving. The truck ran good for the first 1/2 mile or so, then acted up.

    I do not know that water will freeze and separate from the gas, floating to the top as ice is heavier then gas? I am pretty sure that I am wrong with this, I think that the mixture would turn to slush, but its the only thing that I can think of.

    The light never came on, until it died the first time, was only on for a few seconds then went back off, flashing only one other time...

    I am going to try to run the rest of the fuel out of that tank, almost empty then fill up and start over, see what happens.
  15. Ford Guy

    Ford Guy Member
    Messages: 39

    i believe a flashing CEL means a hard misfire, have the codes read and it should tell you which cylinder
  16. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    hard misfire is right, sometimes it just dies.

    the light does not flash per say, it will come on then go back off, may stay off for hours or maybe minites..
  17. cotter

    cotter Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 182

    Have you checked for a vacuum leak? Wandering idle, hard/mis-shifting. Are you getting all your gas from the same place? Sounds like home/farm, try some different gas, some BP/Shell or something. Even if you don't trust autozone go have them pull the codes, it should have one stored and can shed some light on your problem and steer you in a better direction than we can from 100's of miles away.

  18. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    What? you can't fix it over the internet/phone LOL...

    Vac leak, I have not checked 100% yet.
    Shell was were the problem started, not bought there or from Shell since. Think Ashland was the last place, going to fill up at BP as soon as I run out this 1/4 tank..

    I did not know the computer would store the code, I thought that it cleared when the light goes off, no fault, no light, no code...

    I may end up taking it to get the code pulled, since it is stored. I want to get another tank of fuel and run it for a few days, just to see what happens.

    I remember when I had my service station, people would call and ask what was wrong with there car, wont start etc, I told them (after trying to get it towed or brought in so I could look at it) that If they send me a check I would say some magic words and it would be fixed...They would hang up LOL
  19. mrv8outboard

    mrv8outboard Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Just something to check out. Look at the fuel filler neck for perforation from rust.