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Old 06-25-2010, 07:41   #1 (permalink)
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confused Fairmont with PROBLEMS!!

Hey Guys,

As the title suggests my car has problems.. hoping someone can shed some light on what may be causing them.

First of all its a 1997 EL Fairmont Auto Trans

The problems.. The first is that it doesn't seem to want to idle. It almost sounds like it's going to stall and has done a few times.

The engine seems to be losing power. When you put your foot down to take off sometimes it will normally and other times it just seems to crawl along really slowly.

Whats been done to date in order it was done-

-The cylinder head cracked a few months back so that had been replaced along with the radiator (had a previously repaired crack and overheated from the cylinder head) and all the hoses
-The brake booster broke so was replaced
-the ignition coil? was replaced
(about here is where both problems started to occur)
-the distributer cap was replaced
-the leads and spark plugs were replaced
-engine oil and transmission oil was cleaned an replaced
-the map sensor was replaced (seemed to make things worse)

I should add that this is my husbands car and as he has his learners was barely driven. It now has a flat battery on top of everything else. I have been to several different mechanics who have all said that what they have fixed shouldhave fixed the problems but it hasn't and don't want to take it to another without some idea of what could be wrong.

Any help would be appreciated and sorry for the novel.. lol
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:22   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Fairmont with PROBLEMS!!

Have you taken it back to the mechanics that did the work to let them know it wasn't fixed? No problem with the long post, the more info. the easier to get an idea where to look. I'm not familiar with the Aussie cars, so I don't know where to look. Someone else may pop in with some answers. Welcome to the forums.
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Old 06-25-2010, 20:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Fairmont with PROBLEMS!!

Ok some possibilities include:

a) the inlet manifold has been put in back to front and upside down when the head was repaired so that the injectors a firing fuel onto the gasket rather than into the inlet through the cutout in the gasket. If so it would have played up immediately after the head was repaired and replaced.

b) If the engine overheated (perhaps when the head cracked) the alloy head has softened so the head bolts are moving into the head so it loosens at each end causing the gasket to leak again. These heads should always be checked for hardness when the gasket it replaced or any head work done. Read the bit on pages xi and xii in the ACL catalogue herehttp://www.acl.com.au/web/aclwebsite.nsf/8df7d3f7b605537a4a2569660082eda8/5c18db9339d686ed4a256967000e22ed/$FILE/45244170.pdf/AG05%20-%20Full%20version.pdf

c) The inlet gasket is leaking. Stick a metre or so of windscreen washer sized tubing in one ear and listen for the sound of sucking air when the engine is running under the inlet manifold at number 1 and number 6 cylinders (one closest to the front and one closest to the firewall). They bolts at these points can loosen if not correctly torqued and start leaking to the pint where the gasket is burnt out.

d) does it stall at low speed on turns? If so the power steerinf sensor (looks like a brake light switch on driver's side of steering rack) may have failed. This sensor tells the ECU to increase engine revs at low speed when the wheels are turning to compensate for the power used by the power steering system.
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Old 06-25-2010, 21:08   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Fairmont with PROBLEMS!!

Also see if there are any fault codes, See
Ford Automatic Transmission
Connector Photo Gallery - Ford Connector 7
EEC IV Self Test hookup
www.fordforums.com.au/showthread.php?t=11259152
and noting you want to retrieve the engine and transmission fault codes rather than just the transmission fault codes which were used to illustrate the methodology ib the above links. The pinouts on the diagnostic plug are shown below so for to extarct the engine code you use the engine STI, STO and ground. Make up a test LED with telephone female minispade connectors (HO5036) from Disk Smith or an old style non modular telephone plug.

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Old 06-25-2010, 21:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Fairmont with PROBLEMS!!

Note a faulty power steering sensor should show up as a fault code.
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