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88FOXLX 11-29-2006 01:29 PM

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!

Mike23386 11-29-2006 03:31 PM

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.

88FOXLX 11-29-2006 06:55 PM

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?

Mike23386 11-29-2006 09:57 PM

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.

88FOXLX 11-30-2006 12:47 PM

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.... :lol:

Mike23386 11-30-2006 03:11 PM

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.

88FOXLX 11-30-2006 03:31 PM

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?

Mike23386 11-30-2006 05:11 PM

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?

88FOXLX 12-02-2006 08:32 AM

Problem fixed!!!! :D It runs way faster than I thought and is very 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 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.

Mike23386 12-02-2006 03:29 PM

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??

88FOXLX 12-02-2006 10:39 PM

I think you said it in a nutshell........1. fuel, spark, air, exhaust...A friend of mine said that the typical gap .56 or so can be brought down to .32 or run the bosh platinum series to really light that fuel up.

OK now that I have that problem solved, I need some advice on steering suspension...actually need to know the best set up for race/daily any pointers...I'm not on a budget but do like to get the most for my money...Thanks man. Want to sell your Super Charger for cheap...LOL :lol: Just kidding!

Mike23386 12-03-2006 07:22 AM

Mustangs Unlimited has a real nice suspension kit you check out. I personally am going with this kit when I get some more $$. It consists of 2 KYB struts, 2 KYB shocks, Eibach lowering springs, Upper Lower control arm kit, Double cross subframe connector set. They have it for $669.88

Here is the webpage so you can check it out. ... tkey=74-01

quick5pnt0 12-03-2006 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by 88FOXLX
I think you said it in a nutshell........1. fuel, spark, air, exhaust...A friend of mine said that the typical gap .56 or so can be brought down to .32 or run the bosh platinum series to really light that fuel up.

It is supposed to be .056 but you can put it down to around .032-.035 without any problems. A friend of mine has an 11 second street/strip car who always runs his plugs at .035 without any problem.

Mike23386 12-03-2006 04:11 PM

I have no idea what mine are because they are Bosch Platinum 2 and say they dont need gapping. When I bought autolites for my other Stang the book said the gap should be .035 not around .056??

88FOXLX 12-03-2006 09:20 PM

I was just passing info from another source. I use the Bosch Platinum 2 myself. Thanks and hope you figured out the problem

quick5pnt0 12-03-2006 10:42 PM

Actually if you still have the stock stickers on the underside of your hood (or wherever the are on a mustang, cant remember) it should say what the spark plug gap should be. On my 92 it said .056-.058 I believe, I think it also says that in my Haynes manual. Doesn't matter either way, the car runs fine regardless.

As for the platinum plugs, yea they usually come pre-gapped.

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