Come with me on the ignition/fuel gremlin Merry Go Round P0320 code - Mustang Evolution

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Old 09-08-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
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Come with me on the ignition/fuel gremlin Merry Go Round P0320 code

Car cut out at 4k on the way home today, again at 5k and again at 3200 before I stopped trying to get a constant replication of the problem and just granny shifted/babied it the rest of the way. Car also started running pig rich.

Pulled the P0320 code, which is a generic ignition code. Great. Could be a number of things. Will be doing the easy checks first as in Alternator, Battery checks, new fuel filter (again), clean off the MAF element and then go from there. Fuel pump is not making the noise it used to when I turn the ignition on. You used to be able to hear it prime very loudly, now it is dull/quiet. Don't want to jump right to "bad fuel pump omg" but it would not surprise me. Need to get a gauge on the rail and see what the PSI is at idle. Although running rich... dunno.

This sort of thing gave me fits on my last car, the 95 Cobra so I am very motivated to get it fixed and not just say "eff it" and put it away for the winter. There are only so many things it could be, but I am not going to just blindly throw parts at it and hope something fixes it.

Let me know if anyone has any other inputs, I did get the OBD2 tester to pull battery voltage as well and it was 11.62 which seems very low to me. Hopefully this is as simple as a bad alt or a dirty MAF element.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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I feel you scotty, I been trying to chase down a PO455 EVAP issue with no luck after 3 weeks.

Did you by chance check you coil packs? Check for bad wires or broken wires. I know a crank sensor going out will cause it too, but I would assume you would of had issues before today if it was. I know you can check it by turning the engine over and the sensor is supposed to read .05, I can not remember though if it was turn over by hand or ignition turn over. I know alternators can cause interference with the PCM, but you already know that probably. The only things I can think of off the top of my head though are the alt, coil packs, crank and cam sensors. Other than that I am at a lose for words, imagine that.

I will try and read up on others that had this problem to see if there is anything else that I missed that could be the issue also.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:03 PM   #3
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One more thing, when you washed and detailed the car this weekend, did you wash the engine down with water? And when you jacked the engine up to get to the engine mounts, could you have pinched a wire or harness by chance?
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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Yeah I did a cursory check at the coil packs and made sure all the injectors were plugged in all the way. This problem started a few weeks ago with random vibes and has been getting worse till today when it started cutting out. Like I said I thought it was the motor mounts on the way out and they were so its good I changed them and the car is a lot smoother but yeah... Its also getting to where the pump isn't priming although the starter sounds like it always has. Dunno.

I'm really hoping it is as simple as a bad alternator or I'd even take a bad fuel pump because that would make me upgrade it. Ppl always tout switching the 98 specific tank setup to a 97-down style but I don't see the point. The Aviator pump drops right in and flows 310lph.
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:54 AM   #5
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Your battery voltage is too low. A fully charged, stabilized, battery should read 12.6 volts. It should be in the 13's immediately after turning off the engine. Check the alternator and see how many amps that it's putting out.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:41 AM   #6
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I passed out watching the Giants get wtfpwnt last night so i'll pull the alt today when I get home and get it checked. What I love about these cars is the accessories pretty much require nothing besides removing the belt to get to.

But yeah that's what I thought, the OBD2 scanner hooked up said right on the home screen "system voltage 11.62V" and that was right after a 45 minute drive home. It does not feel like fuel is cutting when the engine cuts, it feels exactly like I'm hitting the rev limiter and also how my old Contour SVT felt at 6k when the alternator got flaky (they all do it). I know for a fact that a bad diode in the alt can **** up the crank position sensor and the car is not starting as easily as it should.

I did check the main ground when I did the mounts this weekend, it is in the best shape I've ever seen on a SN95. All other grounds are corrosion free as well, this car was never driven in winter weather AFIAK and only sparingly in the rain.

Like I said I'm REALLY hoping this is as simple as a new alt/battery.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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Investigate the low battery voltage first is what I would do. Get a load test at a trusted AutoZone or Advanced auto. If it still doesn't fix it, remove and clean the crankshaft sensor and check the cable routing etc. Next I would check that harness on the firewall that goes by the EGR down tube. I've seen where the clip that holds it up breaks and the harness rubs on the EGR tube melting the wires.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:20 PM   #8
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With the amount of times I've had the motor tilted back in the last few months, I am for damn sure going to look at the harness by the EGR. There is also a plug hanging under the battery, the inside is orange and the outside is black. I can't find anywhere it would go and it might be something on the HARD harness that was not used for this model year or for the GT?
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:53 PM   #9
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #10
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Every wire I can see looks fine. Alt tested good. They had no crank sensor in stock but can have it tomorrow. I'll swap it as soon as I get home and see what happens. Hopefully it is a bad crank sensor. As far as the low voltage, need to check that at the battery to be sure. It said 11.6 volts for my expy and the Honda too so that's prolly not accurate. I HATE gremlins...

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Old 09-09-2014, 06:36 PM   #11
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You probably already read this...
http://forums.corral.net/forums/gt-s...ity-fixed.html

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Old 09-09-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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Every wire I can see looks fine. Alt tested good. They had no crank sensor in stock but can have it tomorrow. I'll swap it as soon as I get home and see what happens. Hopefully it is a bad crank sensor. As far as the low voltage, need to check that at the battery to be sure. It said 11.6 volts for my expy and the Honda too so that's prolly not accurate. I HATE gremlins...

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Put a meter across the battery terminals. Don't depend upon the OBD parameters although if they are off, that could be another problem.

When you remove the CPS look for metallic "fuzz" on the end of it.
It's basically an electromagnet and it will collect fine metallic particles buried in "sludge" on the end of it. That interferes with the signal it's supposed to generate back to the PCM causing problems. Basically, the thing generates pulses for each of the teeth in the gear on the crankshaft or camshaft for that matter. There is a place where 2 or more teeth are missing and that's how it knows where it is because the pulse width changes when that part of the "wheel" passes in front of the sensor.

Also, don't rule out the alternator.
I was getting an intermittent red battery light on the dash.
Had the alternator load tested and it was fine.
Didn't want to get stuck so I replaced the alternator anyway and it fixed the problem.
I'm not sure how good the load test Autozone does is when it comes to weak diodes, which was my problem.

Do the cheap stuff first.

Put a scanner/data logger on the OBD port and monitor the fuel pressure just to be sure.
That's how I found my bad fuel pressure sensor.
Pressure would go way, way high for a bit and car ran like crap.
I actually caught this with a Garmin GPS and the OBD plugin thingie.
Real piece of crap but it picked this one off.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:10 PM   #13
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Well I can look right at the CPS and see it is clean as hell. Its an aftermarket wheel and bracket that moves it out to the front of the balancer on the crank pulley. I don't even have to remove the compressor at all to pull it so that is easy to check. I can also take the new sensor back if it doesn't fix the issue so that's a free troubleshooting method.

I am not getting any lights on the dash or anything and the alt tested good in about 30 seconds on their machine. Like, literally 30 seconds. I am going to take it to another store tomorrow and have them double check it. I have heard the test is supposed to check the diodes but no real way to know.

Ugh, so annoying.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:18 PM   #14
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You probably already read this...
UPDATE: P0320 problem/driveability fixed!!! - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum

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Yeah I saw that. I've checked fuses and the wiring all looks good. Too bad his link doesn't work. Although I know I am going to have to start legit shooting wires if none of the simple fixes work.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:46 AM   #15
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I have just about ruled out the alt. Load tested good at a 2nd location, got a multimeter on it and set it to diode and then checked for continuity between the post and the case. If you get no reading with the positive on the post and the negative to the case and then get current when you reverse it the diodes should be good which is what happened. Got nothing and then .888 when I reversed it.

Next up is the EGR I suppose if the crank sensor does not fix it. That is easy enough to do with it on the car.

Also going to see if any of the parts stores sell an HEI spark plug tester, if not I'll have to get one from Amazon. I'm not about to zap the **** out of myself using an old spark plug to see if I can watch the spark jump. Also going to do a cylinder balance check too since the car is vibrating at all RPM and running rich it very well could be incomplete or no burn at one cylinder and the car cutting like it is hitting the limiter could be one of the packs overheating and cutting out.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #16
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Pulled the MAF and cleaned it off with CRC MAF cleaner.

Also replaced the crank sensor. Car still feels like it has a slight miss on/off but its not cutting out anymore

I am getting .7 volts going from the positive post of the alt to the positive post of the battery which is supposed to be .5 so even after doing the diode test, load test and verifying the battery is getting 14+ at idle with all the accessories/fan/lights on the alt still might be a good thing to replace.

I am going to drive it a bit and see what happens. I will put it away anyway in a month or two when it gets consistently below 30. Over the winter I will do the alternator, test every O2 (torch and multimter), replace the alt with the 150amp SR unit and do the EGR delete and then have the car MPT tuned so it doesn't go nuts with no EGR.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:11 AM   #17
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Any updates for us? Man I feel I got screwed, paid full price for admission and never got to see the ending, damn it!


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Old 09-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #18
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Any updates for us? Man I feel I got screwed, paid full price for admission and never got to see the ending, damn it!

Me too!
I want a refund!
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:35 AM   #19
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Replaced crank sensor, stopped the cutting out. Replaced fuel filter, the old one was not really clogged but definitely a little resistance blowing through it. I need to be more proactive about changing it, it literally takes 3 minutes once the car is in the air and they are $8 at autozone.

Next, I pulled the plug off every injector while the car is running and the vacuum and idle fell off so all injectors are firing, and this also means I am getting spark to every cylinder. I may pull the Autolites out and try the "lactating nipples of jesus" NGK plugs that every person in the world keeps recommending. I'm a fan of running basic copper plugs to be able to read them and have always had great luck with them, but its an hour to change plugs at most and it isn't expensive.

Finally, as far as the vibrations... I think I figured that out too. Goddamn brand new OEM rubber trans mount. I was freaking out that it was the clutch/flywheel but the car revs smoothly sitting still to 6k so that is not the issue. Checked my DS angle with an inclinometer app on my phone and it was right around 3 degrees so that was fine. A little stumped and didn't think of the rubber mount since it was brand new and I've had great luck in the past with them. However, whenever I went over a bump it looked like my shifter was doing the macarena. So, I ordered an Energy Suspension mount from Jegs and installed that yesterday with one of the shims that came with my Stiffler's mount to keep the DS angle the same.

NVH went up but its consistent, mild and no more shifter trying to jump out of the console. I now have Energy poly at all 3 mount points and the motor is ROCK solid finally. I checked the welds on the Stiffler's crossmember too, that is one stout piece. Energy mount is a MUCH nicer piece than the Prothane stuff I've used in the past and has 3 bolt holes for those of us running a 3 slot crossmember like myself.

Next step... probably replace the old stock UCAs with new stock UCAs or maybe get some heim jointed ones... dunno...

wow /dissertation...
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #20
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WOW, tickle me pink, I may as well stick around now that you gave us the holy grail of explainations. Good job, and stop being sooo damn lazy on us. This week at a time fill in the blank sh*t has to go, step by step connect the dots system works better for us wannabe gearheads! OK?

And forget about those other spark plugs out there and get yourself a set of Motorcraft platinums. You be surprised how reasonably priced they are at Ford Parts dept. OEM and no hassle about the 1000 application plugs to choose from.


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Old 09-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #21
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I've thought about the Motorcraft plats but I keep hearing all these good things about the NGKs. Worst case is they suck and I change them out again.

I'm also thinking its time to replace these original injectors or at least send them off to get rebuilt and flow tested. I also saw a wet spot by a brake line by the axle yesterday but could not find any corrosion or leaks. Maybe a piece of debris shot up and I have a pinhole leak somewhere? Didn't see any leaks with the car running and someone pressing the brakes either, will keep an eye on it. Easy enough to cut out a bad section of brake line and replace it but that's just one more thing on the pile.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:03 PM   #22
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I've thought about the Motorcraft plats but I keep hearing all these good things about the NGKs. Worst case is they suck and I change them out again.

I'm also thinking its time to replace these original injectors or at least send them off to get rebuilt and flow tested. I also saw a wet spot by a brake line by the axle yesterday but could not find any corrosion or leaks. Maybe a piece of debris shot up and I have a pinhole leak somewhere? Didn't see any leaks with the car running and someone pressing the brakes either, will keep an eye on it. Easy enough to cut out a bad section of brake line and replace it but that's just one more thing on the pile.
Cars are crappy like that. The more you fix the more you find. It is a never ending cycle of money!

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Old 09-21-2014, 01:10 PM   #23
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I've thought about the Motorcraft plats but I keep hearing all these good things about the NGKs. Worst case is they suck and I change them out again.

I only going to speak for myself on this matter, and you are going to do it either way. But, when I bought this yellow submarine in June, the first thing on my agenda was to do a full tune-up so that I had a journal of the dates and next service due yadi yadi yadi. But, I heard the same as you and went and spent 68 bucks on a set of the NGK ridiumX's which is what others run. I put them in and I noticed a drop off on initial take-off, like a stumble effect, only at initial take-off. So, imediately I went over to Ford and picked up a set of platinum Motorcrafts for I think 41 bucks. I put them in and it was completely a different car at take-off and throughout the powerband. Had the same issue with my 97 Mark VIII too. Now like I said, it is my experience though. So take it as you will, just my 2 cents worth of info.

I never had good luck with Bosch plugs, and never want to use ever again. The only thing Bosch makes half way decent is wiper blades, and I still use Rain-X blades even though.

Anyway, good luck with it.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:46 PM   #24
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Hmmm, the Motorcraft double plats are $3.21 on Rockauto. I'm sure I can google up a 6% discount code for that so it'd be around $30 shipped.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:26 PM   #25
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Hmmm, the Motorcraft double plats are $3.21 on Rockauto. I'm sure I can google up a 6% discount code for that so it'd be around $30 shipped.
You don't have to Google up anything... There's a Rockauto discount code in the General Mustang forum.
And when that one expires, I have another one!

But it's only 5%...
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:32 PM   #26
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Go for the NGK. You will notice immediately how solid these plugs are built. They just look and eek quality. I admit being old school and a pure copper believer but the NGK did win me over. Besides, who wants to mess with plugs every 12k with these fragile heads?

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Old 09-21-2014, 03:52 PM   #27
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I have 8 thread heads and use a torque wrench and thread them in by hand, i'm not worried about stripping a head unless at some point the PO overtorqued one and weakened the threads. Last time I got them all to torque to 12ft lbs no problem. Factory is 12-15.

I also have a $20 credit at autozone plus a 10% discount so I could pick up a set of 8 motorcrafts or NGKs there for $20-$30 out of pocket.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #28
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I also have a $20 credit at autozone plus a 10% discount so I could pick up a set of 8 motorcrafts or NGKs there for $20-$30 out of pocket.

The last time I was at AutoZone, I tried using my $20.00 autozone perks credit with my 10% military credit and they would not honor both on the same transaction, so I ended up using my $20.00 credit instead.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:07 PM   #29
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There is a really stupid guy at our local one who does it. Home depot tries the same thing with sale items so I go to the garden section to checkout. They almost always have the stupidest cashier at the garden section.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:06 PM   #30
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Well after it was smoother this morning it was jittery again on the ride home. Didn't feel as loose with the solid mounts but still... God damn I hate gremlins...

Tonight I yoinked the Autolite Double Plats I was going to put in the Expy off the shelf and put them in the Stang. I can get more with my $20 credit at Autozone, they are the same as the Motorcrafts, just one range cooler. The copper plugs I pulled seemed fine but a few turned out with almost no effort. Might have had one work loose over time and when the motor gets hot some of the gases from the chamber are getting by?

Torqued the plats to 15 ft lbs and we'll see how she feels in the morning. Hopefully she feels better. I do love how freaking effortless it is to change plugs on the 2V though. 10" wobble extension, magnetic spark plug socket and I was done in a half hour start to finish.

I'll figure out what this is eventually.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:17 PM   #31
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Are you still getting the P0320 code?
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:31 PM   #32
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Nope, that happened once on a drive home. I was able to repeat the motor cutting out multiple times the whole way home. Changed out the crank sensor and cleared the code and it has not come back.
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:48 PM   #33
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Nice! If you still have oddball problems I think it's time to datalog. Lot's of great information can be logged with an SCT and a cheap laptop.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:19 AM   #34
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And the vibes are fixed... its always something completely retarded. The goddamn transmission harness...

Turns out it had somehow gotten wedged in between the trans/bell and the tunnel, creating a solid point of contact of the driveline to the body of the car. I yanked it out and also dimpled my H pipe with a BFH where it is VERY close to tapping the stiffler's crossmember. Also removed the spacer from between my crossmember and poly mount to give the trans a little more clearance and to drop my DS angle down to under 2 degrees since everything is poly bushings now except the UCAs. Smooth as a baby's *** on the way into work today.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:44 PM   #35
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Did you inspect the tranny harness for any damage? Seems a bit crazy for a harness to cause the vibes.
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