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Old 01-22-2003, 09:40   #1 (permalink)
Cougar281
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Question '95 Cougar Engine trouble *UPDATED* 2-24-03

I have a '95 Cougar with the 4.6L V8, and about 84,000 miles on it. Monday (1/20), as I was returning home, it started shuddering, loosing power and backfiring a little (not constant or in any pattern) when accelerating. I purchased new plug wires, and while doing that, checked the spark plugs, and found that the plugs for Cyl 1-2-3-4, the center electrode was fine, but the plugs for Cyl 5-6-7-8, the center electrode looks worn way down. The plugs are Bosch Platinum +4's. I installed them approximatley 35,000 miles ago. A friend told me that this could be caused by a bad sensor. The only sensor that I can find in the shop manual that there is a separate one for each bank are the O2 sensors (there are actually 4, 2 per bank). Could the O2 sensors be causing this?

I also checked the coil packs, and they're a little out of spec. the plug where the ignition wires attach, there are 3 blades. from the center to the left measures 7 ohms (should be 8-9), and the center to the right reads the same. from the left blade to the right blade reads 120 ohms. The service manual states that the resistance should be the same, but is that for all three of those readings, or just for the Center to left and center to right readings?

Any help would be greatly apprecaited.

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Old 02-12-2003, 20:56   #2 (permalink)
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I think the senors could be the problem. You might want to check with some of the T bird owners because your Cougar shares the same engine.
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Old 02-14-2003, 09:43   #3 (permalink)
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i have a 96 cougar that the same problem, and your first problem is those +4 plugs, take them out, they suck, i work for an auto parts store and everyone else who put them in a ford V8 has had problems with them..................and when my o2 sensors went bad, my car ran like pure shit, they make a bigger difference on that car then you think, but they are expensive, i paid $60 a piece
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Old 02-14-2003, 10:02   #4 (permalink)
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UPDATE:

Since I posted, I have replaced the Spark wires, Plugs, top two O2 Sensors, TPS, and Knocked all of the Catalytic material out of the converters. On the open road, when I set the cruise, it now settles at about 1800 RPMs @ ~67Mph. That's about 400 RPMs less than it used to settle at. The guys at the locak Ford dealership suspected that there could have been a blocked/partially blocked cat because of some of the other things the car did, as well as the whole bank of bad plugs. That's why I knocked the material out of the cats. As of right now, it still spits and sputters under acceleration when the engine is under 2000 RPMs. Once the spitting and sputtering and lack of power goes away, it takes off like a speeding bullet. The car ran great with the +4 plugs for 40,000 miles. They only had 42K on them as of when I took them out two weeks ago. Why woulda Ford engine have any trouble with them? Weak spark? I would think it would run better with the spark being exposed to the fuel vapor better than a traditional plug. Ford4v460: When your O2 Sensor(s) went bad, did the computer throw a CE light? So far, I have not gotten any codes, or a CE light even with no catalytic converters.
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Old 02-15-2003, 13:05   #5 (permalink)
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This might sound silly but what gas are you using. If your using regular, try a tank of plus.

It could also be that your fuel filter is getting clogged. Get your hands on a book if you need to and replace the filter. It shouldn't be to expensive and always good to change.
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Old 02-16-2003, 18:11   #6 (permalink)
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I just replaced the Fuel filter about 6 months ago. I use 87 octane fuel, as at $1.75 a gallon, that's expensive enough! On another note, I replaced the coil packs with Accel packs from Jegs. After replacing the packs, it seems to have gotten quite a bit better... not quite 100%, but it doesn't sputter much any more. I think there might be something wrong with either the transmission or torque converter. When accelerating, usually when it's cold, It feels like it has no power, but the engine sounds ok, for the most part, then I let up on the gas a little, and it actually takes off faster, and then, once it's gotten moving, give it more gas, and it takes off like a shot. it's kinda hard to explain.
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Old 02-19-2003, 05:38   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds good on the fuel pressure. I think you are probably right on the tranny. I have always had manual transmission cars so I am not familiar with how the auto effects it, but it sounds to me like you are on the right track.
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Old 02-24-2003, 18:48   #8 (permalink)
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confused

New problem: Yesterday, the car started running a little rough. Today, it got REALLY rough, feeling almost like it was going to stall while idling. Then the Check Engine Light came on. I plugged my code reader into the DLC, and got the code P0174, which means: System too lean (Bank 2). That could explain the rough idle. First off, which is bank 2? Is it the driver side with Cyl 5-6-7-8, or passenger side with 1-2-3-4? You'd think Cyl 5-6-7-8, but with Ford, who knows? Does anyone know what would cause one bank to run lean? I cheched the fuel pressure last week, and here's what I got: With the engine off, key on, 37lbs, the Haynes manual I have says it should be 35-45, engine running, 30, should be 30-40, and engine running with vac hose off the pressure regulator, 40, should be 40-50. Anyone's input on that? Where should it be? Also, as I have stated, I think there is something wrong with the transmission, possibly only with the torque converter. I get a tinfoil-like, vibrating noise when it's in park or neutral, but not when it's in drive. I crawled under the car when it was running and making the noise (P-Brake on, and wheels chocked, of course), and it sounds like it's coming from the area where the torque converter is. Maybe something's broken in the torque converter? If I replace the converter, what should I replace it with? I've heard to replace it with one from a Lincoln Mark VIII, or is there an aftermarker one that will work better? Anyway... I'm rambling. Any input would be appreciated. Also any suggestions on how to ger it to perform better would be appreciated as well.

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Old 07-07-2003, 17:14   #9 (permalink)
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I had this same problem with my '96 XR7. Turns out it was the idle adjustment screw. It screws upward into the botom of the throttle body just above the #3 spark plug. The screw has a small rubber o-ring on it to keep it in place, but it had backed out all the way. When I was listening to my engine, i could hear a vaccuum leak, but I couldn't pinpoint it. I got out a small length of rubber hose and started listening to the engine, and that's how I pinpointed it. Just after I found where the leak was, I noticed the screw laying on top of the engine. I screwed it all the way in, and then backed it out 1 1/2 turns (kind of standard for most idle adjusts). The engine runs great now.
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