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1990 e350 Ford Econoline “Mallard” RV sputters and stops running

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1990 e350 Ford Econoline “Mallard” RV sputters and stops running

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Old 07-01-2018, 01:59 PM
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1990 e350 Ford Econoline “Mallard” RV sputters and stops running

I have a 1990 Ford e350, 460 7.5 liter, 27 foot “Mallard” RV. It has 50,000 miles. I drove from Irvine, CA to Needles. No problem. On the way back it sputtered and stalled. The engine temp was normal. i pulled to the side of the road and within 15 minutes started the engine. About 100 miles later it did it again. I made it home eventually but it got worse. Eventually, I could not drive it more than two miles and it would sputter and stall. I took it to my mechanic and he replaced the fuel pump inside the tank, another fuel pump outside the tank and the fuel filter. It operated fine on all of my short trips, a total of 200 miles at most. I just returned from a 3,500 mile trip, and it ran perfectly until I encountered 109F Las Vegas heat. It stalled twice. Eight hours later after the outside temperature cooled, I drove it home and it ran fine during the remaining 220 miles. What would you do at this point? Note - I posted this question in someone else’s thread and received a comment that I should have posted in a separate thread. Thanks, Dan
 
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:38 PM
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The first thing that pops into my head is the ignition module. Someone else more knowledgeable will give you a better idea though.
 
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:52 PM
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Welcome to FTE.
Because of the heat part I have to agree with dustyroad. Sometimes they just go bad. Once in a while one goes out because of the heat, but comes back after it cools. I don't know where yours is, but you could try putting a bag of ice on it when it goes out to see if it comes back right away. Possible there is that spray that makes things cold that might work also.
If I remember right I think coils used to do the same thing. The cold spray might help there too. Maybe try taking the temps of both of those while things are running right. Then check if you get the problem again. It might tell you something. Not being a guru at this, it is just a guess. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by trike1946 View Post
Welcome to FTE.
Because of the heat part I have to agree with dustyroad. Sometimes they just go bad. Once in a while one goes out because of the heat, but comes back after it cools. I don't know where yours is, but you could try putting a bag of ice on it when it goes out to see if it comes back right away. Possible there is that spray that makes things cold that might work also.
If I remember right I think coils used to do the same thing. The cold spray might help there too. Maybe try taking the temps of both of those while things are running right. Then check if you get the problem again. It might tell you something. Not being a guru at this, it is just a guess. Good luck with it.
I was thinking the coil as well but I also thought it would rear it's head more often than what the poster was inferring. It can't hurt to test it as well though.
 
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:37 PM
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Wow. I also have a 1990 E350 RV (Winnebago Warrior), 460. 80,000 miles on mine. I just had the same problem. Yesterday I replaced my radiator (I had been having overheat problems), and took it for a test drive. About 30 minutes of interstate speeds. Temps never got above 199F. As soon as I got off of the interestate onto a surface road, the engine stumbled and sputtered. It was worse when I stepped on the gas - the engine would backfire in the manifold. I came to a stop in the turn lane. When I tried to start the engine, it sputtered while turning over, but would not stay running. I got out and checked under the hood, and the negative battery terminal was loose. (I had pulled the battery when working on the radiator). But before this it turned over easily so I feel like it still was getting current enough. My first thought was perhaps the computer lost its mind when the system ground was lost. Anyway after about 15 minutes of cooling down, it started right up, and I drove home without problem. My fuel pump is also pretty new (OEM pump burned up a few years ago).
 
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:41 PM
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Sounds like both of you may have a bad PIP sensor.
The Ignition module is remotely mounted and heat should not be as big a problem as when it was mounted on the distributor in the other size engines.
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:35 AM
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Looks like there is an Engine Control Computer, an Ignition Control Module, and the Profile Ignition Pickup that are electronic components that control engine operation.

The ECC and ICM are external components mounted in the engine bay and seem relatively easy to replace and are relatively inexpensive. However, there are numerous choices for ECC on the usual auto parts web sites and they all say VIN and OE number are needed to replace. But they don't ask for the VIN when you add the item to your cart. How do you know which ECC to buy?

For the PIP, it sounds like you basically replace the distributor. I've only done this once before years ago on another car. I guess you have to re-time the engine once you do this. Is there even enough room in the E350 engine compartment to pull the distributor? I guess you have to take the cap off first?

Steve
 
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:35 PM
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Thanks everyone. I removed my distributor cap to verify the ICM was not there. Later, I read a post that Ford had relocated them in all 1990 engines due to the heat inside thnditributor. I will inspect and test each of the components mentioned and post my findings. In the meantime I wrapped my fuel tank with two layers of high end insulation as there have been several posts elsewhere suggesting that a hot fuel pump can cause this problem. A Ford engineer also mentioned that burning a low octane blended fuel in a real hot environment (Vegas was 110F) could have contributed to the issue. Cheers, and thanks again to each of you. Dan
 
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:26 AM
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The PIP sensor is located inside the distributor.
Make sure if you do replace the ICM that you use a lot of white thermal paste between the ICM and its heat sink.
The Computer has also caused these problems but most the of the time when it does the fuel pumps will run all the time the key is in the run position with the engine not running.

Most likely in the following order would be.
1. The PIP sensor.
2. The ICM.
3. The Ignition Coil.
4. The Fuel Pump on the frame.
5. The Computer.

The tank fuel pump will not cause it as if it quits you will not know it unless you go up a steep hill or run out of fuel. The frame fuel pump will pump just fine with a dead tank fuel pump on level ground. But it does use fuel for cooling and does have an auto re-set circuit breaker inside of it.
 
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:06 PM
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Yesterday I finally found the EEC test connectors. Strangely, they were mounted inside a holder labeled "EEC TEST". They were on the passenger side fender, right above the engine battery.

I jumpered the two needed pins and was able to read my codes for both Key On Engine Off and Key On Engine On. I got a code 67 with Engine Off (Park/Neutral Circuit Fault - PNP), but I got a Code 11 (System OK) with engine running. So no PIP codes! Of course, this doesn't mean there are no PIP problems, but at least nothing has been flagged by the computer yet.

It was fun doing the code reading, and listening to the computer run the engine up and down during the diagnostics.

Steve
 
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:01 PM
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It does not sound like you check for the stored codes. The PIP codes are only in the CM stored codes.

When you run the KOEO you should get the KOEO electrical codes flashed out twice and the then a separation code and then the CM stored codes will flash out twice.
CM = Continuous Memory



/
 
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:32 PM
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I wrote down all the codes that came out during key on engine off. All that was there was 67.

Took the RV for another spin tonight - about 45 minute drive with 30 minutes at interstate speeds. No problems. I think my problem was the negative battery terminal coming disconnected.

Steve
 
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