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Old 10-11-2010, 11:30   #1 (permalink)
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'98 Windstar Woes!!

Hey everyone, Well my '98 Windstar 3.8 has decided to have a little hiccup and I need to see if I can get it cured. This vehicle has over 218,000 miles on it and still got 20.8 MPG the last time I checked. It would not restart the other day during a trip to town. Sounded like it was trying to start, but not getting gas. Put more gas in as fuel gage was on E and it sounded like it was not picking up any fuel from the tank. Still wouldn't start and stay running. I tried the cheapest quick fix and put on a new fuel filter. It started and I was able to drive it the few miles home but it seemed like the throttle had a sweet spot and I had to feather it in and out of that area to keep it running. Shut it off and when I went to restart it the next day, same problem. Got it restarted and same thing with the throttle. I can work the throttle in that area and get it to accelerate up to the 4 grand rev limiter, but any more or less throttle and it falls on it's face. I don't have a code reader and the closest AutoZone is 40 miles away. I don't have the money to throw at it just guessing what might be wrong so any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Paul - OzarkCountry
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Old 10-11-2010, 14:14   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

You could try spraying carb cleaner in the intake and see if it will run. Don't hit the MAF sensor though. Maybe a parts store close by will check the codes for you. Some do.
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Old 10-11-2010, 15:11   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

Thanks Bert!! I had tried that and did not have any different results. I may have allready ruined the MAF by hitting it with some spray. When I got it running the first time after it left me stranded I had completely removed the MAF and drove it home without the MAF or air cleaner in place. After doing some more reading on here today and finding some posts about IMRC's I went out and manually propped both of them open and started the van. It ran but still had the throttle problem of only accelerating in a limited area of throttle travel. I then closed the IMRC's and it didn't seem to make any difference. It finally died and I have not been able to get it started again. We have one parts store in town and they don't offer code reading and the local tire/muffler shop charges $25.00. The only other info that I can give you that might help is that I had run out of gas a few times so that is why I had started with the fuel filter. I cut the old fuel filter open today and it had no obvious signs of junk/trash. Thanks, Paul - OzarkCountry
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Old 10-11-2010, 16:30   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

Running them low on gas causes excessive wear on the pumps but I doubt that's the problem due to the fact that it runs at a higher RPM. The van will run with the MAF unhooked, they just get poor mileage and not a lot of power. I'd say that a code read for $25 would be worth it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 20:08   #5 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

You're right Bert, I think the code reading will be next up to see where I stand.
Thanks again, Paul - OzarkCountry
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:01   #6 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

sounds to me the fuel pump is getting weak. still runs but not picking up enough fuel. what i would do is check the fuel pressure also make sure that its supplying enough fuel to the rail and holds that pressure when you shut the engine down. i have seen many cars with this problem mostly because they have replaced the fuel filter after a prolonged period. most of the time on an older vehicle if the filter gets replaced the pump will soon follow in the result of better flow through the lines. however not always the case but checking the fuel pressure would be another quick check to try.
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Old 11-13-2011, 22:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

Finally found out what the problem was. Thought I would post an update in case anybody else was having the same kind of trouble. I dropped the tank and removed the fuel pump assembly and saw that the screws that hold the plastic fitting on top of the plastic canister that the fuel pump is in had worked loose. The fitting was loose and I guess it was letting it suck up enough fuel to run for a while. I found one of the screws in the bottom of the tank. Put in two new screws and put it all back together and it has been running fine ever since. Paul - OzarkCountry
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Windstar Woes!!

That's great to hear. Thanks for the update Paul.
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