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Thread: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

  1. #1
    Van Fan Cornato's Avatar
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    Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I was late for work today and was speeding, around 85-87 mph. For a few good miles or so. And when I let off the gas and pressed the gas again, I instantly felt it lose power. At the light it sounded like it was gonna die on me. It feels like a John Deer and sounds like one. A horse and buggy could beat me off the line. No power no acceleration, sounds and feels terrible. It vibrates a lot, like visibly shaking if viewed from the outside.

    Now I thought the problem was because 2 days earlier I seafoamed the crankcase. But as soon as I got off work I changed the oil. And it didn't fix it. But my power steering started working!!

    I'm thinking fuel filter but I don't want to drop the tank if I don't have to. Help.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Please elaborate on "it sounds like a John Deere". Could you hear lifter noise (clickity clack)?

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    Unhappy Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I guess, I'm not sure. I've never heard a lifter noise before. It sounds like an old boat. Like a rhythmic cough, plop plop plop plop plop....etc. Sort of like how a super tuned dragster sounds when idling. My friend thinks I have a dead cylinder and it's just on 3 that's why it's so weak. I'm about to change the plugs and check vacuum hoses right now. I also order new wires, air filter, and fuel filter.

    We hope it didn't jump timing or burn a valve. I'll let you know more later.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    If the oil pressure was gone it would make lifter noise and you might also hear rod knocks. If it was close to seizing up then the power would really suck too. That's probably not it though, was the temperature normal?

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Yes, temp was norm. I'm thinking it was vacuum hose the busted loose. Because I can hear a sucking or hissing sound from the engine bay when the hood is up.

    That makes sense to me. I was going fast=high rpms=high vacuum. Then I just let off the gas completely=less vacuum-aka- more pressure=a ruptured or crack hose.

    Is my logic correct here?

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Yes, it's true that a vacuum leak will make the van suck for power and can cause it to run rough. Check your air tube to the throttle body too. Tim

  7. #7
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Wrong, my logic was flawed.

    Why I don't know. I just replaced all the hoses I saw coming off the engine. They were hard and brittle and I thought I saw a crack in one hose. But They did nothing.

    I replaced the spark plugs and hoses, except the brake booster hose, but it's still putt-putting. Tomorrow I'll replace the air filter and spark plug wires.

    I'm narrowing down what the problem could be, but also running out of solutions.

    I'll try to take video and post it so you can see what I'm taking about.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Sometimes the EGR valve can stick open (causing an excessive lean mixture) when the Van is driven hard; especially if there is a lot of carbon buildup in it.

    Try TAPPING the top of the EGR with a small hammer and see if that helps... that is assuming you haven't bent any valves. You could try cleaning out the modulator next to the EGR valve

    Just a thought.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    OK, but where is the ERG valve or the modulator. I don't have a reference, so I need a picture or at least a rough description before I use a BFH.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Scroll down to EC-3.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Welp, I replaced all the vacuum hoses, spark plugs, spark plug wires, air filter, and checked/cleaned the modulator. It wasn't too dirty. I smacked on the EGR valve, no avail.

    Still running crappy and I have to drive it. I can't not. I'm about to take it to a shop. Tired of headaches.

    WFH do I do now?

  12. #12
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I'm about to do a compression test, change the PCV valve, and change the cap and rotor. So maybe that'll help.

    I'm gonna have to take off the seats and other engine panel. So I need a couple more hours than I had today. More info tomorrow.

  13. #13
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    Exclamation Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    UgghhHHHhhh.....

    I changed the cap and rotor and PCV valve today and it didn't do crap. They both looked terrible, so I was like eureka!!! Friends and the auto parts store guy all agreed the cap and rotor was the problem. I thought I solved this problem. Wrong.

    I even took the valve cover off and cleaned it out really well. I made sure all the vacuum channels were clear. I ordered a new valve cover gasket and stem gaskets.

    I didn't do the compression test like I should have. But i don't know what to do next.

    Here's a review of what I've done.

    Changed air filter
    Changed spark plug wires
    Changed spark plugs
    Changed Cap and Rotor
    Changed PCV valve and grommet
    Changed vacuum hoses
    Changed Oil
    Fresh tank of gas
    Checked EGR modulator

    I've read tons of threads on here and TVP and other sites. I have a lot of the same symptoms as other peoples vans. But don't know what applies to me. EGR? TPS? Fuel filter? Bent Valves? Piston Rings? Intake manifold? Head Gasket? ECU? Gremlins? Demons? Karma? WTFFFFFFF??!!?! Help.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Are there any codes stored in the ECU?

  15. #15
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I don't have a code reader or know how to check for codes.

    Also note that before the problem started;
    I used Seafoam in the gas tank and engine crankcase day prior to this problem.
    I was going very fast(almost floored) then let off the gas quickly.
    I had done nothing to the engine except change oil since i got it.
    I was told it sat for months before I bought it.
    Most everything on the engine was factory.
    I have no idea of the vehicles maintenance history.
    It does not have a cat converter
    I use cheap gas
    I usually run the tank almost dry before refueling
    There seems to be a hissing noise when I apply throttle in the engine bay.


    I know not very smart. But the engine was so perfect when I got it, I was focusing on the interior first.

  16. #16
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    You don't need a code reader for these as they have a self diagnostic system built into the ECU. To learn how to read codes CLICK HERE

    Did you check the air intake tube to the throttle body? They tend to tear near the throttle body end and on the back-side (where it's hard to see). To check for this start the van and while it's idling grab the tube and squeeze it. If the van stumbles or stalls then the tube is leaking air. A leaking air tube will make the van run bad because the air flow meter needs to monitor ALL the intake air to function correctly.

    Here's a picture of a really bad air tube:



    Even one that's just barely cracked will make the van run bad......especially when in gear at low RPM or at an idle. This is because the engine torques to the side when it's in gear.........and this sideways torque makes the crack open bigger.

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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I think the air intake tube has been replaced before as it seems in pretty good shape but I'll reinspect just to be sure.

    And my check engine light is working but does not come on. It actually came on once for about 10 seconds the other day while I was on the interstate. But other than that it has never came on.

    And what do you mean by "jumping" the connectors? Like shorting them out?

  18. #18
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    If the light came on that means there is a code stored. On these vans the light doesn't typically stay on, it just comes on for a moment to let you know a code recorded. Use a paper clip or a piece of wire to connect the two terminals in that are in that plug. The code may or may not be related to your problem, but it's easy to check and just might hold the answer you seek. Tim

  19. #19
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    Quick question, I used bulk hoses to replace the vacuum hoses. Just whatever size that fit I used. I didn't think it mattered, but the parts store guy said it'll close on it's self.

    Should I buy factory replacement hoses or will these suffice?

  20. #20
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    Re: Van sputter and hesitation after hauling a##.

    I guess that depends on what you got. If it was designed for this purpose I doubt it would do that. Tim

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