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Old 03-31-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Ford 460 engine quits while stopping

I have a 1997 Fourwinds 29' with 18k miles. While driving, it runs fine until you take your foot off the gas, the engine simply quits and will not restart for several hours. Imagine coming into a toll booth taking your foot off the gas and the engine quits so you have no power brakes nor steering! Then, you're stuck at the entrance with a Motorhome that refuses to restart for hours. It's been to the Ford dealer several times and they could not find anything wrong. Replaced the computer modules and ended-up demanding my money back. Once restarted, it will drive all day no problems but when the ambient outside temperature is in the 90's or hotter, it quits the second you take your foot off the gas. This has left us stranded time after time and put is in several life threatening situations. If the ambient outside temperature is below 80, you can drive it and no problems, it runs great. I have heard others say they ahve had the same problem and I am convinced it's not the obvious electronic module issue nobody has found that to work. I'm guessing it may have to do with the hot intake manifold possibly boiling gas and creating a vapor problem? Anyone out there ever solve this?
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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I know this sounds crazy but have you tried to remove the fuel cap and run it you might be on the something sounding like a flow issue
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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It sounds like vapor lock. Check to see if the fuel line passes close to exhaust, muffler, or other hot parts. Wrapping or rerouting the fuel line is one solution. Another possibility is to check fuel pump. If you have one in the fuel tank, it might be weakening and not keeping pressure in the line, allowing the fuel to vaporize. Some have added another fuel pump near the tank to keep the pressure up. Also, nightriderrv's suggestion is a good one, I've seen issues with the vapor recovery system that allows a vacuum form in gas tank, causing vapor lock.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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Vapor lock? Doubt it. The chances of a fuel injected engine experiencing that are slim. I would suggest a scan to see if any codes are stored indicating an issue. Had a similar experience with a truck a few years back and it was an ignition problem in the distributor.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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It could be vapor lock if you are cursed with the dreaded "weak fuel pump" that has plagued so many 460 powered motorhomes. The odd thing is why wouldn't it die under load if it was a bad pump. Very odd indeed. Might be worth connecting a fuel pressure gauge and taking the motorhome out for a drive and try to make it die and monitor the fuel pressure. If pressure drops into the 20's (or less!) then bad fuel pump. Under load should be upper 30's.

PIP sensor in the distributor is another possibility but again, why would it fail only when it drops to idle and not before. Since it restarts after an extended cooling off period, it would indicate some sort of electrical issue.

SUBFORD, you out there Bro? Whadda you think?
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-B View Post
It could be vapor lock if you are cursed with the dreaded "weak fuel pump" that has plagued so many 460 powered motorhomes. The odd thing is why wouldn't it die under load if it was a bad pump. Very odd indeed. Might be worth connecting a fuel pressure gauge and taking the motorhome out for a drive and try to make it die and monitor the fuel pressure. If pressure drops into the 20's (or less!) then bad fuel pump. Under load should be upper 30's.

PIP sensor in the distributor is another possibility but again, why would it fail only when it drops to idle and not before. Since it restarts after an extended cooling off period, it would indicate some sort of electrical issue.

SUBFORD, you out there Bro? Whadda you think?

I assume the Ford has a Throttle Position Switch and some type of Mass Flow Sensor. I have not had my 460 long enough to know all that. I have experienced some very weird stuff associated to those two items on GM engines.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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SUBFORD will find this post bet he will beable to nail it
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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OK you have a 1996 as they did not put a 460 in a 1997. Sounds like a bad PIP sensor inside the distributor or the ICM.
When he goes to an idle the temp will rise in the engine compartment and the heat sensitive PIP sensor or ICM may give up until it cools down.
Make sure your ICM is Black in color and the Ignition Control Module (ICM) Shield is in place.

You need to check for a missing spark when it will not start. You will not have any spark or injector firing with a bad PIP sensor or ICM. Best way is to check any injector plug with a NOID light for injector firing.

If you have injector firing and spark then it does sound like it might be vapor lock as the fuel pressure will drop during idle closer to the boiling point of the fuel. Try turning the key on and off about five time without cranking the engine. This should raise the fuel pressure from about 30psi to 45psi and should raise the boiling point of the fuel to get it started.

Where is the temp gauge setting when it dies at idle?

The PIP sensor is mounted on the stator inside the distributor. Only buy new distributor or replace the Stator in yours. Rebuilt distributors have bad PIP sensors in them most of the time.
Again make sure your ICM is Black as a Gray one may make your engine run hotter and give you fewer MPG and less power.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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Believe the problem solved

Turns out I believe it was the distributor. Replaced it with a new Mallory HEI for $189.00 at JEGS and it now runs better and better gas mileage.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #10
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I believe you are correct. I once had a Chevy 454 that did the same thing and it turned out to be the distributor. Bought a new Mallory HEI from JEGS for $189.00 and it now runs fine. Won't know for sure until I run it this summer but I'm confident that your assessment is correct. I think when distributors get older, the PIP or ICM modules fail. When you slow down and stop at a toll booth, they overheat and fail. When I would crank it, it would spit and backfire just enough to get it over to the side of the road until it cooled. The new distributor should also improve mileage.
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