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Old 03-28-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
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Anyone got any ideas?

So.. tonight I was driving my car, and I don't trust my gauges, so the temp gauge started going up and I ignored it as usual, and a few hours of it going up and down later.. I decided to check the oil. It looks spotty on the dipstick, but not milky like water in it.. so I shut it down and checked again..same thing.
Then I tried to start it back up, and it started chugging like the battery was low, and every couple times id turn the key I got nothing, then turn it again and id get a popping/thudding sound from the back end.

So I called my buddy and we started pulling it back to my house.. bout 7 blocks from where we started the ropes snapped in the middle of the road so the only option was to try to push start it. A couple failed attempts at that and I turn the key and get nothing.. then I turn the key and it cranks over and fires.. made a really weird popping/tapping noise like an exhaust leak for a minute or so and it went away. took it home (bout a mile or so) and it was running better than it had been.. no overheating, no nothing.

Now, it may be important to note, there's been a annoying rattle from the clutch, haven't figured out if its the throwout bearing, clutch fork, or something else.. but its gotten significantly worse in the last week or so and when I got it started the rattle that usually only happened on start up and between 1st to 2nd is in every gear...

Dude I talked to said the rattle could be one of the springs on the clutch, and the weird no start/start issue could be the body control module.. anyone have any experience with anything like this?

Sorry for the book.. I'm at my wits end.

---------- Post added at 11:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:47 PM ----------

cars a 95 3.8 5 speed btw.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Any check engine lights? There are a few possibilities. I actually had pretty much the same thing happen to my 03 a few weeks ago. But I doubt your situation would be like mine. The end result was a cooked pcm, but that was caused by a split spark plug wire arcing off the block, frying the coil pack and pcm slowly. Took several hours from when she staring having problems to a no start situation.

Does it run now? Can you still crank it? The 94-98 were bad about head gaskets, 94-95 being the worse. (Ford seemed to have helped the situation by increasing head tq requirements from 96-98) id have a leak down test done for giggles.

Can you post pics of the dipstick?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Ok, I just remembered, last night when it broke down in the parking lot, I was under the hood and had my girl try to crank it over.. and idk if it was a passing reflection or my mind playing tricks on me, but I think I saw a spark right in the area of the front right hand plug between the plug end of the wire and the shock tower.. but it was a yellowish color if it was a spark, not a bluish white like a plug.

It'll still crank, and fire...oddly enough better than it has been. And according to my dipstick it has no oil O.o?

Also, that plug wire by where I saw the "spark" is a different color on the plug head than the rest.. like its a chalky grey and the rest are black.

I think I'm going to do a oil change, and plug wires today because I think that wires fried.. but everything that's happened has just been too weird. Its not leaking or burning anything but it has no oil..

---------- Post added at 08:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:24 AM ----------

If I can baby this engine enough til I can afford a motor swap, I'm going to. Its got 183xxx on a 95 with no rebuilding done

---------- Post added at 08:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:25 AM ----------

Just been brainstorming a bit. I've had a hunch that my cats are going, getting a lot of the symptoms creeping up.
And with something in the clutch rattling around.

Is it at all possible that something in the trans or clutch got jammed and was putting stress on the motor even though it was in neutral? Possibly causing the slow chugging/odd thud I heard from the rear?

---------- Post added at 08:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:29 AM ----------

And no CELs, no indicators flashing. And about 2 weeks ago I had the guys at advance hook it up to their reader and no codes
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Just replaced all the plug wires, and did a full oil change, no water in oil, no oil in water. Oil smelled of gas pretty nicely but I think a lot of that's from not having adequate spark.

Now she starts beautifully, and runs smooth as butter..no shaking, I think some of the rattle was the dust shield on the clutch fork, it was kinda just waving in the wind not really held on.

Ill update over the next few days as to what happens but as of right now she's running good, feels like she's lost a little power but that may just be that I'm used to it running hard, not very smooth.
But for now, no rattles, and no bad signs so fingers crossed.. I still can't figure out why it was chugging last night and felt like it had no power or the thud from the back..

---------- Post added at 09:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:15 PM ----------

Seemed like it had no charge, not having no power.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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So, went out today and left my drive way, by the time I got to the end of my street I was at about 25-30 and hit the brakes to stop at the sign... NO BRAKES! Had to cut the wheel and basically spin the car to stop to avoid hitting a dodge neon crossing the road..

Checked all the soft brake lines, they're good. Checked the booster, seperator valve, and master cylinder and they're good.. didn't see any wet fluid on any of the lines or around the resevoir... but in front of the brake system under the hood, on the fuse box, and all over the power steering resevoir and rack there's wet fluid.. its not power steering, and its no oil.. smells like diff fluid so I'm assuming that's what was in the brake resevoir.. but idk how the hell it got up there because nothing on the brake system shows any signs of a leak.

I'm not at all an expert in how brake systems work, but does anyone have anything to throw at this? I had my buddy come over and he's been working in a garage for years and it had him scratching his head as well.
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