Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Skimp On Sensors

I mentioned earlier about the car not running well. I took it to a friend who has a SnapOnBrick and that was used to determine that both the O2 sensors were reading lean, and my ECT sensor was returning garbage data.

According to the Brick, both banks of cylinders were receiving as much extra fuel as the computer could give them to correct for a lean condition. Obviously, this points to bad O2 sensors or a big vacuum leak.

The Brick is able to show data in real-time so we were able to determine the ECT was bad even though it was not posting a code. Seems the ECT was giving a constant reading of 154 degrees to the computer. This was in stark contrast to the Autometer gauge in the dash that showed 200.

I went to Napa and got their premium Bosch O2 sensors, and the best ECT they had. While at the counter, I thought about my 16 year old IAC, so I got one of those too.

I also recently replaced the distributor to fix a bad PIP. Once everything installed, the engine ran like new. Looking back, I should have replaced all of these components during the engine swap. That said, I don't like to replace things that aren't broken.

I wonder if there is a way to make my car NOT sound like a modern 5.0. I have the same "hollow" drone while cruising that all Fox based Mustangs have. Perhaps a cam replacement will take care of that.

Are these Classic projects EVER finished?

All in all, it would be hard to be more pleased with how the car has turned out. The rack & pinion, good brakes, and modern FI motor have transformed the car into a wonderful daily driver.

I'll be hooking up the A/C to the computer sometime soon, but with Fall setting in on the Florida peninsula, I feel the urgency fading. Sometime during the Christmas break, I'll replace the top. I've got all the parts, just not the time. I've still got to design a new emergency brake cable system, and get my horn working. I've got a generator style steering wheel, and an alternator car. I could replace the wheel, or just switch to a relay actuation setup. I'll probably go with the relay.

One final note, I am amazed at the number of Mustang convertibles (of all years) I see down here with their tops up. Often they will pull up beside me at a light and comment on my car. I invariably ask why their top is up. Most common answer: "I don't know". I my humble opinion, if you have a drop top, and you are in Florida, why not enjoy it? Perhaps they take the sun for granted. That or they don't want to arrive at their destination a sweaty mess like I do. :-)

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