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Old 07-06-2018, 06:22 PM   #1
lost_in_austin
 
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Default Inconsistent Idle Issue/Hesitation when hot

Hey folks, I'm still pretty new here but I figured this would be the place to ask:
I tried searching around but I'm not sure that I'm looking for the right thing. I've got a `97 hardbody 2.4L that will stall while I'm in traffic...generally it will idle between 1100-1250 and run smoothly, but starting last week, sometimes it will just sputter and then die when it's not in gear. I replaced the fuel filter and the spark plugs, which made a huge difference, but the problem still comes up, and now it will sometimes hesitate and run super rough when I accelerate in any gear or in neutral.
I figure it's probably a fuel issue of some kind, but I do not know where to look. I'm hoping it's not the fuel pump, because I'd rather not drop the tank or remove the bed if I can avoid it! Especially if it turns out to not be the issue anyway.

Maybe it's worth noting that it really only does this when it's at the hottest part of the day, or when I've been driving it around for more than 30min at a time. The temp. gauge does not go up though, it says the the engine isn't too hot.

I also replaced the distributor cap and rotor today just to take the approach of simple fixes first.

Anybody had an issue like this? Any pointers on where to look??
I'd appreciate any tips I can get, and thanks in advance y'all
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
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Next time it happens, try pulling over safely and then loosening the gas cap. If you have a big sucking sound, then drives fine for a while, it's a venting issue as simple as needing a new OEM cap.


But could be many other things including the fuel pump, EGR, ...


And, if not already done, replace the air filter.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut1990 View Post
Next time it happens, try pulling over safely and then loosening the gas cap. If you have a big sucking sound, then drives fine for a while, it's a venting issue as simple as needing a new OEM cap.


But could be many other things including the fuel pump, EGR, ...


And, if not already done, replace the air filter.
Thanks! I never thought about that 'sucking' sound but it's done that before actually. Really only when the tank is almost empty and I go to fill it up, it'll make that sound when I remove the cap. Is it just the cap that I would replace?

I also replaced the air filter at the same time as the fuel filter, shoulda mentioned that.

Maybe next is examining the EGR
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:24 PM   #4
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Well after digging around for a while I discovered that it’s actually the Mass Air Flow sensor.
Read the code and got a P0110
I guess that figures this one out, so, sorry for the needless post!
Naturally, I’ll be back if this’n doesn’t work out...
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut1990 View Post
Next time it happens, try pulling over safely and then loosening the gas cap. If you have a big sucking sound, then drives fine for a while, it's a venting issue as simple as needing a new OEM cap.


But could be many other things including the fuel pump, EGR, ...


And, if not already done, replace the air filter.
these tanks are slightly pressurised, so they will make that sound. Ive never ever heard it having affect on idle. You would have far more serious fuel issues if in some case that it did, I would believe.
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Old 07-07-2018, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lost_in_austin View Post
Well after digging around for a while I discovered that itís actually the Mass Air Flow sensor.
Read the code and got a P0110
I guess that figures this one out, so, sorry for the needless post!
Naturally, Iíll be back if thisín doesnít work out...
If you took your truck in to a shop, their first "fix" is to replace your MAF.

That is an expensive sensor, and it does not typically go out.

Start with some MAF cleaner and checking the MAF connections closely.

One of the wires to the MAF should go to Ground. If you have a multimeter, you can test the resistance between all of the wires going to the MAF and ground. One of those should be zero. (Going from memory here) A second wire should have your battery voltage when the truck is turned on, and the third wire should be the voltage signal from the wire element.

To test the MAF, you can unplug it when the engine is at operating temp and you are having the issue. The truck should run fine, but the engine will not rev up over 2500 RPM or so.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
If you took your truck in to a shop, their first "fix" is to replace your MAF.

That is an expensive sensor, and it does not typically go out.

Start with some MAF cleaner and checking the MAF connections closely.

One of the wires to the MAF should go to Ground. If you have a multimeter, you can test the resistance between all of the wires going to the MAF and ground. One of those should be zero. (Going from memory here) A second wire should have your battery voltage when the truck is turned on, and the third wire should be the voltage signal from the wire element.

To test the MAF, you can unplug it when the engine is at operating temp and you are having the issue. The truck should run fine, but the engine will not rev up over 2500 RPM or so.
Alright so I ordered a new MAF sensor online and it came in the mail today. Previously, I sprayed some electronics cleaner on the old one and it worked pretty well! But it would still have hesitation and stalling issues at least once or twice a day. Replaced it with the new one today and it made absolutely no difference in performance, arguably worse than yesterday?
Iím starting to think that this could be a vacuum leak somewhere, possibly around the EGR or PCV?

@j2pcode thanks for the tip! Iím gonna try testing both sensors later today just to see what values they give me.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:16 AM   #8
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I'm thinking it's an electrical issue. Possibly alternator.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #9
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Watch this video

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Old 07-10-2018, 01:58 AM   #10
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Hey yíall! After working on it a little longer Iím starting to think this is a vacuum leak/carburetor issue, because Iím seeing a lot of signs indicative of a fuel/air mix that is too rich. I put in new plug wires today since they looked a little old (and it couldnít hurt any), and while I was in there I pulled and looked at the plugs I put in last week; theyíre already looking dark and covered in carbon, so I cleaned them off good and put it all back together. Naturally it runs a lot better already, but I can still smell fuel while the motor runs, and Iím sure it wonít be long before those plugs get gunk-ed up again... So my question is now, does someone have any kind of suggestion for seeking out a bad vacuum hose? I did a cursory look around and all the rubber I was able to spot seems good and attached securely, but maybe itís a hose deep down in there that I wasnít able to spot directly.
@h.stickeye thanks for the tip! I wouldnít rule out the alternator just yet, but Iím not sure that thatís the issue, only because I havenít had any other symptoms of any type of electrical issue.
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