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Old 11-26-2007, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default So as not to hijack the thread on the concept Ford

Here'* the topic I'm trying not to hijack:
http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=89697
This may serve well to get the car going again as well.

My sister'* boyfriend works at a very high overhead wood grain Mercury dealership. He got us the cable part thing for just $150. Guess what happened when we put it on! Wal-Mart'* bike brake wires are really fine replacements, though this time the bushing on the piece that is pulled by the wire is completely gone.

It'* a 97 Sable with a 3L Duratec and an AX4L transmission. I haven't seen those transmissions around much. Just recently, the last one started slipping, and it ended far too quickly in the car not moving at all. I don't know what went wrong, but I do know I'm trying a bit too hard to get manual trannies from now on. We just did an entire transmission swap for one from a supposedly totaled car. It works just fine, and we'll take good care of it with regular fluid flushes and filter changes.

Have at it. Also, I think people who like Ford Aerostar styling (exterior especially) are masochists. Just in case the Sable thing doesn't get much of a kick start.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:30 PM   #2
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The cable is ridiculously expensive lol. I know, I just replaced it on my 97 SHO.....

As far as the tranny, if it'* a Duratec, it'* an AX4N, and the only real weak point on that tranny is the bearings in the pump shaft. They wear out, and the shaft wobbles, taking out the pump, causing slipping and then no movement at all. Most shops will say it needs a rebuild, but in my experience , usually you can get away with lowering the subframe , removing the side pan , and replacing the pump shaft.


As far as what you said about the o2'* not working, 90 percent of duratec Taurus / Sable'* ive seen have the SES light on, and the code is usually Bank one lean/rich, Bank 2 lean/rich, or O2 Sensor codes... Usually the sensors are fine, the intake on these cars like to carbon up causing a lean condition, triggering those particular codes...

The IAC and MAF are common Ford issues, usually you can get away with just cleaning the MAF, the IAC is relatively cheap though.

The Duratec/AX4N is a pretty reliable setup with a few shortcomings, the Duratec itself doesn't have any major issues internally, and The AX4N would be a pretty solid transmission if not for it'* terrible pump setup.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
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Ah! Where were you when the car started sucking? We've been working on these sensors, and soeone told us the entire circuitry went ballistics, so replacing O2 sensors would do nothing. The car has all new ignition coils, which helped out a lot since the old ones tested out at 6 times the stock resistance!

We've pretty much replaced everything, and the engine bay looks really clean. There'* even chrome. I have to admit the car feels nice. It'* nowhere near Bonneville size, so even with the seat all the way back & down, I still feel like I'm in a tiny car. It looks fairly big from the outside, though.

Are the cats truly dead from that little box with a wire on it? I had a friend go under the car with a reciprocating saw and cut out the entire curvy no-one-else-makes-it bunch of catalytic converter piping. We're just going to straight-pipe it, and I'll replace the resonator with a high-flow catalytic converter. A friend of mine shares my disapproval of Fords but has taken it a step further by letting me know that the eninge has been and will continue running badly to the point of killing the catalytic converters over and over again. He'* very passionate about this, so while he'* around we'll have no talk of cats going on that car.

If I can be assured that fixing that strange box thingy again will solve the catalytic converter problem, I'll buy one right now. What do those flaps do? Is it for capacitating air until it'* needed, or just for emissions?
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:04 PM   #4
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The IMRC pulls the cable which opens the secondary runners in the intake. It'* set up like a V6 SHO engine. It keeps the air flow at a normal level until about 3400 rpms, where It opens the runners allowing more air in. If you take the car for a spirited drive, you'll realize the engine really sings once it hits about 3400 rpms, that'* thanks to the Dual-Length runners.

I would suggest taking the plenum off and cleaning the insides. Also, These cars are notorious for need cat replacement between 120k-150k, It'* a pretty normal occurance.

If you remove the cats and straight pipe it, you may never hit closed loop because the O2 sensors after the cats are not going to see the numbers they are used to, so I wouldn't suggest that.

Are you 100 percent sure the cats are actually bad?
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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I've already taken off the intake, and I've cleaned the crazy little holes. Man, they were almost too dirty. The flaps could still move fairly easily, though. Here are some pictures before I go on answering to the rest of your post.

Right after the transmission place returned the car to me, I started disconnecting stuff to take off the plenum.


Here, you see the old box. It was black plastic, but the new one is a raw finish of just metal.


Look at how adorably tiny this throttle body is! Awwww!


Here we have the picture of the lower intake immediately upon its revealing. Note the professional-greade tool(*) used for the handy work.


If you have time, please take note of these spark plugs and try to help me figure out why they burned up like this:


This picture turned out pretty strangely, but you can easily see that one of the spark plugs had the positive piece of it ripped off in some fashion.


These were really easy to clean with air intake cleaner from STP.


In case you have not yet had the first pangs of vomit warning signs:

That screwdriver was used to hold open the flaps while we shot air intake cleaner down the intake holes.

The rear ports did not clean up as easily as the front ones. This is probably discoloration, but they feel smooth.


As for the cats, they're black. They're pitch black on the inside. There'* no way they can still be good, and two other people and a dealer confirmed this. I had a look down a hole, but the pipes are so convoluted that I'd need a mirror to see straight inside. Are there high-flow catalytic converters for ricers (i.e. 4-bangers) that I can put in place of the stock ones? I can keep the custom pipe bends that a friend of mine is doing probably as I type this, but the cats can just be straight through, not angled like the stock ones, if they're short enough.

Thanks a lot for the warning on the O2 sensor loop. Is it just a matter of gas consumption?
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:30 PM   #6
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That spark plug that blew up looks like a victim of detonation, although with plugged cats Pinging would almost be expected... The other ones tell me the engine was definitely running rich (Again, the runners were stuck shut, at 3400 rpms, it increases the amount of fuel and air, if the runners are shut, you're going to have more fuel and less air. Not good.)

Also you say the engine is running badly, well with the cats plugged you cant expect it to run well lol... If it was my car, as a temporary placeholder I would have dropped the Y pipe and stuck a rod or something through the cats and gutted them and put the pipe back up.

The ports dont look too terribly dirty but I would also clean the EGR valve as well.

I would gut those cats and see how it runs.


As far as closed loop, It'* going to get poor gas mileage and run rich if it never hits closed loop.
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #7
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Is it bad to have the car backfire through the throttle body?
More importantly, could the clogged cats do that? The way I'm straightpiping is by having all new pipes made, but leaving out the catalytic converters. I'm going to see if I can find some small ones that don't impede stock flow. Would you happen to know of any?
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radomirthegreat
Is it bad to have the car backfire through the throttle body?
More importantly, could the clogged cats do that? The way I'm straightpiping is by having all new pipes made, but leaving out the catalytic converters. I'm going to see if I can find some small ones that don't impede stock flow. Would you happen to know of any?
I honestly don't. I had a 96 sable recently with plugged cats and I couldnt find any reasonably priced cats because of the odd shape and angle, so I just gutted them.
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:55 PM   #9
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How is the gas mileage? I assume it'* better than with the clogged cats.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radomirthegreat
How is the gas mileage? I assume it'* better than with the clogged cats.
In open loop? The problem in open loop is not going to be gas mileage, it'* going to be that the car is still running rich.

It'* like running a car without a thermostat. The car never warms up, so the computer never adjusts the air/fuel mixture, the car runs lousy, the oil gets washed out with gas, the gas reduces the effectiveness of the oil, and it goes on and on and on...


I know it stinks, but you might have to fix this one right if you have plans of keeping the car. If you just put a tranny in it, it should be a decent car for quite a while.
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