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02 Taurus 3.0 (U) Won't idle, no CEL (Fuel Pump, Filter, Plugs and Coil, All New)

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I don't usually get stumped, so I am assuming this must be out of my skill set.

2002 Ford Taurus 3.0 (U) SES - Replaced the Fuel Pump and Filter (poor pressure), Plugs (Fouled white debris - lean condition), Coil (Misfiring - no CEL or Codes), Battery (shorted cell).

It will start, sputter, misfire and run like it is out of time and die. After holding throttle at 1800 rpm for 2 minutes (many misfires, coughs, sputtering and intense fuel smell) the only codes are (Catalytic Converters checked and are empty):

P1131 HO2S11 (Heated O2 Right Upstream)  not switching correctly, Sensor indicates Lean

P1151 HO2S11 (Heated O2 Left Upstream) switch Sensor indicates Lean

P1400 DPFE Sensor circuit Low Voltage

I haven't had a Taurus not run/idle without codes to indicate a direction to go in that a coil didn't fix.

Curious on where to go next (I am familiar with GM, not so much Ford. Have Maxisys Pro Scanner and Snap-On Verus D10 w/ 4 channel lab scope, no subscription to perform most tests).

Greatly appreciate any insight, Thanks.


Edited by ConverseNation

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After researching the O2 sensor codes you have an excessively rich condition that the engine cannot compensate for. Your DPFE sensor code seems to indicate a flow in the EGR system when there should be none. Try taking the vacuum tube off the top of the EGR diaphragm and attach a tube or hose that seals well on the nipple. Start the engine (might need another person) and then manually apply suction to the hose. I have used my mouth in the past (suction with the tongue, not the lungs, tastes really bad too.) If the EGR is working correctly the engine will die. If you notice no real change, the EGR is probably stuck open. Another option is to take a safety pin or really small screwdriver and insert it through one of the holes in the diaphragm housing and see if you can move the diaphragm that way. It should move easily. If it is stuck it will need to be replaced.

I have seen this issue only once before on a Vulcan (U) engine. It ran very poorly at idle and smelled very rich. Found that the EGR was stuck open. No idea if it was ever fixed as it wasn't my vehicle.

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The EGR suction (vacuum) test is what I would do first too. Lean can mean any vacuum leak past the MAF sensor. You could listen for suction noises.

Another long shot it can be a damaged DPFE sensor (melted diaphragm), leaving a lot of exhaust gases being sucked back into intake.

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Thank you for the information. I have not had a chance to look at it further this last week. I am hoping to record the engine running condition and try a few of the suggestions I have been given over the last week. Thanks.

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Okay thanks to everyone for all the ideas and directions to go.

We found our issue, and it is once again it is a case of "Start with the Basics"

We did a compression check and found that each cylinder was at 125-150. However, we didn't do a running compression check before the head gaskets. We found that a lobe on the cam was worn and this was causing the valve to operate improperly.

Thus valves were causing the popping.
Meaning replace with used engine or rebuild.

Thanks everyone.

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