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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Slow Starting

My 98 ES with 3.2 engine has gotten to where it doesn't want to start without pumping the pedal a bit.
Generally, pressing lightly on the pedal will get it to fire off. Once started it idles roughly for a bit and then smooths out.
On the road it's smooth as silk.
Anyone have any ideas? I'd love to hear em.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:44 PM
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Sounds like a leaky injector, or injectors. This will leak extra fuel into the engine and start to flood it causing a hard start.

A fuel pressure test would determine it pretty quickly. If the rail does not hold fuel pressure once the key is turned on, and the pump is cycled, either a leaky injector; or a bad check valve in the fuel pump.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daytrepper View Post
Sounds like a leaky injector, or injectors. This will leak extra fuel into the engine and start to flood it causing a hard start.

A fuel pressure test would determine it pretty quickly. If the rail does not hold fuel pressure once the key is turned on, and the pump is cycled, either a leaky injector; or a bad check valve in the fuel pump.
So what's the method of checking the fuel pressure on these cars? Is there easy access to get a fuel pressure gauge on the line somewhere?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 09:40 PM
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So what's the method of checking the fuel pressure on these cars? Is there easy access to get a fuel pressure gauge on the line somewhere?
There is a fuel pressure port about 1/2 way back, drivers side, you can see it if you look thru the slots on the plenum.

You can get a fuel pressure gauge at one of the auto parts stores on the loan a tool;

Key on, engine off, should be between 54-64psi, and holding steady.

If it drops quickly; you can remove the plenum and usually actually see the injector leaking fuel into the intake. If injectors are good, it could be in the fuel pump.

If the pressure holds and does not drop, then likely there is no issue in the fuel system causing the hard start.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:47 AM
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FWIW, if leaking injector(s), you would get a raw-fuel smell when it does fire up due to the raw fuel being pumped out of whichever cylinder (or cylinders) belong to the problem injector(s). If leaking fuel pump check valve, you woukdn’t get the raw-fuel smell out the exhaust.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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FWIW, if leaking injector(s), you would get a raw-fuel smell when it does fire up due to the raw fuel being pumped out of whichever cylinder (or cylinders) belong to the problem injector(s). If leaking fuel pump check valve, you wouldn't get the raw-fuel smell out the exhaust.
I'm thinking that it's probably not the injector(s)
Not smelling the fuel and it seems to start a bit easier (Not every time) if I turn the key on and wait for 30 secs or so.
About injectors. Has anyone had any success in using bigger injectors to squeeze out a little more horsepower?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 12:37 PM
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I'm thinking that it's probably not the injector(s)
Not smelling the fuel and it seems to start a bit easier (Not every time) if I turn the key on and wait for 30 secs or so...
You would get better results if you turn the key on, wait 4 or 5 seconds, turn the key off, wait 4 or 5 seconds, then turn the key on, wait 4 or 5 seconds, then try to start (doing the Off/Run cycle a third time wouldn't hurt anything). The idea there is that (1) the fuel rail is empty (or partially empty) from the leakdown, and (2) each time you turn the key to Run, the PCM runs the fuel pump for only a second or two, then turns the fuel pump off (until it senses that the engine is actually running from going to Start).

Just turning the key to Run once before going to Start doesn't run the pump enough to fill and pressurize an empty rail. Cycling the key 2 or 3 times runs the pump enough to fill and pressurize the rail. This is true whether the leakdown is from leaky injector(s) or leaky fuel pump check valve.

But - yes - generally you only get the fuel smell if leaky injector(s). You get rough running for a few seconds when it does start in both cases due to flooded cylinder(s) and some air trapped in the fuel rail in the case of leaky injector(s), and due only to some trapped air in the rail in the case of leaky fuel pump check valve.
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...About injectors. Has anyone had any success in using bigger injectors to squeeze out a little more horsepower?
I remember seeing some threads on that - I think the answer is that some higher flow rate injectors (used in some Fords, IIRC) were identified that fit and work. Maybe someone else here knows the details or can point you to a good thread or two.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Can the fuel pump be removed and replaced from under the back seat of the car? I know I can do that with my Challenger.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:49 PM
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Nope. Unfortunately there’s no under-seat hatch in the LHs. You have to drop the fuel tank.
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