1988 Mustang LX has some PROBLEMS..please help! - Muscular Mustangs
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-29-2006, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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1988 Mustang LX has some PROBLEMS..please help!

1988 Mustang LX has been rescued from a 2 year abandonment. Here’s my initial problem: After getting the car home on a trailer, took the spark plugs out, removed all oil and pumped new oil in with out starting. Then I cycled the engine with plugs out to get oil moving. I replaced everything with new Accel plugs, plug wires, distributor cap and ignition. (Replaced the starter and solenoid but don’t think that mattered with my problem) Got the motor running, timed it and had everything sounding great. I installed a BBK o/r H-pipe, and new 2.5 MAC cat backs. Now here’s my sob story.

In first gear at low speeds, like take off there’s a “burping” sound and a stutter in the motor that hesitates the take off. Its sounds as if it burps around the intake manifold, but could be anywhere. It only does this when in motion at a parked position it revs up nice. Next problem: IT’S A SLOW PIG! It has no power! What can I do first to find the burp problem, and second what can I do to make it run faster that a ford pinto. Its show and no muscle!
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-29-2006, 03:31 PM
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I had the same exact problem on my '88 GT when I first got it. It sounds to me like it is backfiring through the intake like mine was. I had 3 problems you might want to check out. 1.) Check your fuel pressure for a bad fuel pump or clogged filter. This caused a studder in my motor at low rpms, then it would backfire through the intake and all the sudden it would whip you back into the seat and go. Fuel pressure should be around 40 psi. Let the engine warm up first then put a fuel pressure guage on it and drive it. When you hit the gas the pressure should not decrease at all. It should rise a little then go back to steady. If this is the problem replace the canister type filter, the pump, and the pump strainer. 2.) Incorrect ignition timing. I actually tried setting the timing myself to factory specs. but I could not do it I only made the problem worse so you probably might want to have someone check this for you. 3.) Vacuum leak somewhere. If the car idles alittle high you should inspect the manifold gaskets and all vaccum lines/hoses. This is usually the problem when you have intake backfiring and poor acceleration like you have. But your problem could also be little things like carbon buildup, sticking valves, fried piston rings, water in gas etc. But the 3 main problems I had are the first things I would check out. Also if the engine has been sitting awhile it's not a bad idea to drain the fuel tank/clean it and run straight racing fuel through it (I run about 108 oct. low lead). Let me know if you still have the problem after you do these tests.

Bright Regetta Blue 1988 Mustang GT 5.0

White 1996 Mustang GT
*Flowmaster 40 series catback
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-29-2006, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Good starting point, and I think you might be on point with the fuel pump. I'm going to check it this weekend and I'll tell you if it worked. Also, why does it seem like I'm lacking power. I mean it runs, but it seems like it runs slow? Thanks for your help, I hope it works and will get back to you. Any mods you recommend?
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-29-2006, 09:57 PM
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Well it depends what you call slow. When I first got my car and got it straightened out I ran a 13.5 quarter mile and 0-60mph in about 5.5-5.8sec with a G-Tech meter. The only mods were a flowmaster catback and shaved stock cylinder heads. Then I put turbos on it and now its supercharged. Its slow to me even though it probably runs low 12s. I would say your car should run between 14.0-15.0 the way it is now. If it does then it is not slow because of a problem, thats what stock 5.0s usually run. If your looking at about 15.0+ you may have a problem. You might want to try a compression test to see if the rings are good or not. Another easy way is to look at the exhaust when you rev it hard. If it blows out a light grayish blueish smoke its probably blow by from worn rings. When your engine is warm about 180º-200ºF take off the oil fill cap. If you see smoke coming out it is the rings. Is the engine knocking or pinging also?? Or is it just a quick pop from the intake? As for mods how many miles are on the engine and about how long has it been sitting not running? Easy mods I do right away to every 5.0 I get are full exhaust no cats, BBK fenderwell cold air intake, MSD cap+rotor+blaster coil, FRPP 9mm wires, Bosch platinum 4 plugs, fuel filter, 255lph pump, adjustable regulator, MAC underdrive pulleys. These are standard on every 5.0 I've had. The three basic principles I follow are air, fuel, and spark. After that you can go for headers, intake, throttle body etc. it all depends what you want to do with your car.

Bright Regetta Blue 1988 Mustang GT 5.0

White 1996 Mustang GT
*Flowmaster 40 series catback
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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I changed the filter canister, and checked the fuel pressure with a gauge. The pressure is at 30 and when I get on it…it jumps up to around 40 and then drops back down. It doesn’t fall past the original 30 though. The car still has a horrible burp, stutter and intake backfire at take of and in 5th gear and I'm thinking of taking it to have it professionally tuned.

OK, now I have noticed that my pipes have a gas smell and they have a bit of gas residue in the tail pipes.

**** this car has some quirks, but I'm going to stay positive about its future as a bad ass machine....
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 03:11 PM
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Is there any black smoke coming out when you rev it at all? If there is and you smell gas most likely it is running way too rich like most Stangs which means all of the gas isn't being burned.

Bright Regetta Blue 1988 Mustang GT 5.0

White 1996 Mustang GT
*Flowmaster 40 series catback
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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No black smoke, no smoke at all...but I'm thinking this might be a tell-tell sign of the backfire in the intake..Also-Could it be blowby oil, you'd think it would smoke like **** if it was?
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 05:11 PM
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If it was blowby oil you would definately smell it. It would smoke like a ******* and you would smell an oil burning scent. How many miles on the engine and how long had it been sitting?

Bright Regetta Blue 1988 Mustang GT 5.0

White 1996 Mustang GT
*Flowmaster 40 series catback
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-02-2006, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Problem fixed!!!! It runs way faster than I thought and is very sound...now to hear what the problem was after I spend a good amount on "searching" for the problem.

The :twisted: IDIOT :twisted: who had the car before me had the spark plug wires all jacked up! That’s it....that simple...so simple I overlooked it for 3 weeks...see it goes to show you, its usually the easy fix right in front of your face. Thanks for your help; believe it or not...I think it helped clear some other issues up while I was fishing for the timing problem.
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-02-2006, 03:29 PM
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Well maybe thats my problem too! Maybe with the supercharger I need stronger spark so I should buy the full MSD ignition system. Any thoughts on this??

Bright Regetta Blue 1988 Mustang GT 5.0

White 1996 Mustang GT
*Flowmaster 40 series catback
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