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Old 03-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
danny42984
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Engine running very rough

Got my 2001 Focus w/SPI back on the road the other day after replacing the head. The engine ran flawlessly for a couple of days until today..I was driving along and the engine died. I coasted to a stop and it restarted fine but began to run very rough and stumbling after a mile or so. Was close to home and when I pulled into the drive I turned it off and could smell a strong sulphur smell(dont think the cat is stopped up because it looked fine when I bolted it up to manifold). Anyways, I checked for loose hoses/connectors and unplugged most connectors one at a time and restarted only to have it run Very rough each time. Also pulled plugs and they are all black and sooty indicating a rich condition.(plugs are new and looked fine 2 days before) Any ideas what this might be and where to start troubleshooting? Any help would be much appreciated.


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Old 03-05-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Fuel pressure regulator would be first on my list. Has the CEL activated?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:50 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=FocusRus;4621912]Fuel pressure regulator would be first on my list. Has the CEL activated?[/QUOTE
Check engine light never came on. Is there a certain procedure for checking the fuel pressure regulator on these vehicles. I have worked on cars all my life but mostly older carburated vehicles. My knowledge of fuel injected and computer controlled vehicles is limited but I learn new things as needed and will use this issue to expand my knowledge. Thanks very much for the reply.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danny42984 View Post
Got my 2001 Focus w/SPI back on the road the other day after replacing the head. The engine ran flawlessly for a couple of days until today..I was driving along and the engine died. I coasted to a stop and it restarted fine but began to run very rough and stumbling after a mile or so. Was close to home and when I pulled into the drive I turned it off and could smell a strong sulphur smell(dont think the cat is stopped up because it looked fine when I bolted it up to manifold). Anyways, I checked for loose hoses/connectors and unplugged most connectors one at a time and restarted only to have it run Very rough each time. Also pulled plugs and they are all black and sooty indicating a rich condition.(plugs are new and looked fine 2 days before) Any ideas what this might be and where to start troubleshooting? Any help would be much appreciated.
Have you detected any vacuum leaks? The ecm is trying to richen up the system in what is prehaps a lean condition on a cylinder(s). Who installed the head....used, new, rebuilt..etc ?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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Have you detected any vacuum leaks? The ecm is trying to richen up the system in what is prehaps a lean condition on a cylinder(s). Who installed the head....used, new, rebuilt..etc ?
I don't see or hear any obvious vacuum leaks and I checked it over pretty well. The head is a rebuilt and looked like they did a really good job. I installed the head and did use new bolts. Like I said it ran great for a couple days..the engine ran better than it ever had and so quiet you can barely tell its running. Whatever happened seemed to be all of the sudden. Thanks very much for your reply.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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Dan, what is the condition of the up stream 02 sensor? This could very well be the issue if the ecm is seeing a 0v signal from the sensor, so in return the ecm thinks the engine is running lean. Do you have access to a scanner? I'd bet that your ecm is in open loop status. Lets start here and see if the 02 sensor is the problem.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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Dan, what is the condition of the up stream 02 sensor? This could very well be the issue if the ecm is seeing a 0v signal from the sensor, so in return the ecm thinks the engine is running lean. Do you have access to a scanner? I'd bet that your ecm is in open loop status. Lets start here and see if the 02 sensor is the problem.
Thanks for the reply. I don't own a scanner but I will buy one in the next couple of days or possibly rent one for now. What scanner would you recommend buying? I have been wanting to get one for a while anyways. Of course I'd like to get by expensively but I don't mind spending a little more for something that's going to be as useful as the scanners probably are. Thanks again for the reply.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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\QUOTE=FocusRus;4622746]Dan, what is the condition of the up stream 02 sensor? This could very well be the issue if the ecm is seeing a 0v signal from the sensor, so in return the ecm thinks the engine is running lean. Do you have access to a scanner? I'd bet that your ecm is in open loop status. Lets start here and see if the 02 sensor is the problem.[/QUOTE]

Ok I picked up a scanner, just not the one I actually wanted. Anyways the cel finally did come on the other day when I moved the car out of the garage. The code it pulled is P0190 (fuel rail pressure sensor) and P0102 (mass or volume air flow circuit low input) I did find the hose going from valve cover to the plastic tube that leads to air box to be cracked a little and replaced that but still ran same. tapping on fuel rail near sensor seems to clear it up for a few min sometimes but may just be coincidence. I didn't see anything related to 02 sensor in the freeze frame data but I'm new to scanners and may not know what for or where to look. Does this tell you guys anything? I know that it could really be the frp sensor but I also know that there may be something else going on causing these codes. just want opinions from peeps that have been there and done that. I took the fuel rail pressure sensor off and sprayed it with electrical cleaner and sprayed the side that goes into the fuel rail with carb cleaner. It doesn't seem to be quite as rich lately and some times runs fairly smooth for several seconds here and there and even cleared up for 2 or 3 minutes once so I drove down the road and when I got back it started acting up again.

I have the scan info from the software that came with scanner that I could e-mail if it would help. It is in ms word format.

Last edited by danny42984; 03-11-2013 at 12:35 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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Going to change the fuel filter this afternoon just for kicks..
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #10
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Going to change the fuel filter this afternoon just for kicks..
No change after replacing fuel filter..as expected.
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