Fingers Crossed Boys

I hesitate, for good reason, to declare victory on that fucking Bronco idle problem but I MAY have finally fixed that cocksucker.

I just drove it for about twenty minutes to make sure it got good and warmed up, shut it off and restarted it several times in the process and didn’t seem to have any problems with the fucker hiccuping and then the idle wanting to run away anymore.

Earlier this week I blocked off the damn EGR valve. Of course that turned into a complete cluster fuck and what should have been a five fucking minute job, naturally turned into a two trip to the parts house, hour and a half long fiasco.

I bought a gasket last week and it didn’t quite look right to me but the kid said it was the only one listed for my rig with the  351W engine.

Sure as shit. I had a blanking plate made to fit the gasket and when I took he EGR valve loose to slide it and the gasket back behind it, the damn thing was too long.

Back to the parts house. They looked it up again and insisted it was the only gasket listed. Back to the house, take the fucking EGR valve OFF THE RIG, take it back up to the parts house and SHOW the dumb bastard that it was wrong.

OMG, what now?

The almighty computer is wrong!

I have no idea what to do!

The kid grabs the valve and disappears in the back for ten minutes.

he comes back with one that fits a fucking JEEP of all things.

It ain’t right but it will work. Then the guy I wanted to talk to in the first place comes out front from back in the warehouse so I snagged him. He knows Fords.

He him haws, looks it up, sure as shit it’s the only one listed, goes back and starts digging around in the computer. Maybe two fucking minutes, tops.

He yells in the back at the kid with a part number, a couple minutes later here he comes and low an behold, it’s the right one.

Fits an F-150 with a Straight 6.

The guy tells me to remember that, I’m thinking you fuckers need to update your data base but I’ll take it. Another dollar ten more of course, for a smaller gasket.

I finally put the damn thing back together and took it to work, better but still not right.

While I was there the first time, I also bought what I figured was the fix for this bastard all along and was just being a lazy bastard and not wanting to do.

A throttle position sensor.

Ayep, they ain’t no fun.

Ya gotta take some small cooling lines off, unhook the throttle cable and the transmission kick down cable, unhook the sensor, unbolt the entire fucking throttle body, take the bastard into the garage, put the fucker in a vise because it’s on the bottom of the throttle body of course, get an impact driver and in this case, a small torch, heat the fucking boss up where the screws thread in behind the sensor, slam it with an impact driver with a #2 Phillips bit in it until the damn screws break free and Then, take the two screws out.

You see, Ford, in their infinite wisdom, decided they did not want those two screws to come loose, EVER.

To make sure, they put some kind of wicked assed Loc Tite on them at the factory and as you can imagine, they have been in there for thirty fucking years now and absolutely refused to budge.

Even back in the day, you couldn’t just use a Phillips screw driver to break them loose, you were 100% guaranteed to strip the screw heads out if you insisted on trying.


After you finally get the motherfucker off and the new one on, you are supposed to do some Ford Magik and actually plug the thing into the vehicle harness while bolted to the throttle body, turn the key on and then  while using your third hand, stick volt meter probes into the signal return wire, twist the sensor slightly until it reads ZERO volts and then tighten the screws up.

Yeah, fuck you. Ain’t happening.

I started the screws, twisted it until I was sure there was no spring tension on the sensor so it should be at zero and then tightened the fuckers up.

As per every shop manual in existence, installation is the reverse procedure of taking the fucker apart, other than cleaning and replacing the gasket.

Bullshit. While I had it off I cleaned a ton of black gunk out of the throttle body behind the throttle plates and got as far inside the intake plenum to do the same as I could. There is some seriously nasty shit in there.

I put it all back together, hooked up that damn idle speed solenoid, cleaned up a couple more grounds just for good measure, put the battery cable back on and crossed my fingers.

It started right up, smoked like a bitch because of all the carb cleaner in the plenum, had a slight misfire until it burned out and then settled right down to a nice, livable idle speed.

I ain’t trusting that fucker for nothing.

So I  also noticed that there is a small piece of plastic broken off the throttle cable assembly and it seems just a bit sticky at full stop.

I lubed it up but am going to replace that next.

Like I said up top, I drove it good and hard for twenty minutes and the only issue seems to be the throttle cable not quite coming all the way back unless I tap the gas pedal real quick. Then the idle will come all the way down to 700 or so with it in gear. It wants to stick at about 900/1,000 otherwise. Combine that with a fucked up throttle sensor and there we go.

I am not going to put this episode in the WIN column until I get to drive it for a few days but I am certainly encouraged that I might have possibly finally fixed this cocksucker.

I would be very happy if that turns out to be the case.

Just FYI, I am going to be working twelve hour shifts again for a while starting tomorrow afternoon.

I’m going to be tired an especially grumpy for at least a week. Then right after Thanksgiving, do it again for another week.

I’ll post when I feel up to it.

I will update the status of the Bronco, good or bad, sometime in the next few days.


OK, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say  it’s fixed because it just passed the biggest test there is for the fucking thing.

before today, without fail, every single motherfucking time I had to sit behind someone at any kind of Drive Through, the bastard would suddenly rev way the fuck up out of the blue without warning.

I always had to have my foot on the brake hard to keep it from crawling up the ass of the car in front of me when it decided to do that.

I’m serious, every time.

I just got back from McDonalds at dinner time so the drive through was packed. I sat behind several cars waiting to get up to the window and it never even blipped like it was going to run away. No problem going or coming all the way home.

Nice and civilized like.

I don’t know how to act.

It ain’t like there aren’t several other issues waiting in line to get fixed but I would like to think I am finally done with this particular issue.


18 thoughts on “Fingers Crossed Boys

  1. Being an old mechanic myself, why not just get out your smallest ball peen and parts box cardboard and make one. I have done it plenty of times. T stat gaskets egr valves. It is quick and easy and you do not waste and hour and half driving and dealing with idiot parts people, yea I hate it too. It is great when you could find one that knew their shit, but as they moved up the ladder they hired some real idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’ve done it plenty of times myself. I actually have a couple of different types of gasket material on hand and a favorite baby ball peen just for it too. This joint is just over one mile from here and I had already paid for one so I wanted the right one.
      I guess one way to look at it is that I am helping these young guys learn even if it is the hard way for both of us. One of the reasons I go there in the first place is that one guy I mentioned, he knows his shit. That is a rare find these days and I want to cultivate that relationship for when the real, hard to find shit, comes up later.


    • If some one GAVE me a new rig, I would sell it and use the money to fix my old stuff.
      Otherwise, they can keep it.
      I really do not know how people can afford to buy new vehicles anymore, it’s ridiculous how much they cost. ESPECIALLY the new trucks.


  2. Well, there’s some good news, if the rig passed the mcD’s test and it won’t try to get you in a fender bender any more, there’s a win.


    • Now I gotta fix the rear Anti Lock system and I know it needs shoes and pads too, the muffler was rotted in half when I got it and I don’t know what is keeping it from literally falling off, there is an exhaust leak on the drivers side manifold and the oil pressure drops to zero at idle when it warms up so I know the crank bearings are worn out. This is just a partial list. Other than that, I wouldn’t be afraid to take off in it somewhere anymore.
      I’m telling ya, this thing had my name all over it.


  3. Hey Vulgar (sorry I don’t know your name) As a retired old GM tech I think your on target with the TPS. The intermittent varying output of the sensor will cause high idle speed. Generally if the EGR sticks open the idle is erratic all the time it is stuck. I would think either should of set a code.From the used car techs I talked with this was a common concern.Yea,where was this advice when you needed it? sorry I just discovered your blog from Knuckledragger. If you encounter the locktite situation again take a micro torch and heat the area around the screw and it will melt the locktite. Cant recall all the broken screws I’ve seen with this. I’ve read a lot of your exploits, we have a lot in common.(what can go wrong will,how can I hide this from the wife?).Oh well back to my double Jack and Coke. Al


    • Hey Phil,(found your name I can work for the CIA now) As an addendum (the extra profit dealers add to the window sticker) to my last post, the idle air control valve can also cause an intermittent high idle. Your cleaning of the throttle body and this valve mounted to it may also have solved your concern. Again a code should lead you to a fix. If you experience the concern of the slow to idle try disconnecting both battery cables and touch the cables together for 30 seconds.This should force a relearn of the idle control. Sorry I missed your heating of the screws with the torch, generally that lets you remove them normally. Hope your shift goes easy, I’m glad my grind is over. Al

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been fighting his since the day I got it back last Spring. You should go back and read about all the shit I have had to deal with since I bought this thing. Even with all the nightmares I love it though.
        I replaced damn near everything sensor wise that I could think of that might be causing this, I could have sworn it was temp related for a long time, including the ECM, twice. The first one shit the bed after 3 miles, in my driveway thank God.
        2 fuel pumps( the first one lasted five miles and stranded me, both items were from NAPA), the EGR valve and sensor, the Idle speed control solenoid was new when I bought it, someone else had been throwing parts at it too, I also replaced the engine coolant temp sensor, not the one for the gauge, the Air Intake temp sensor, the thermostat and fixed the charging system.
        The new EGR would occasionally pop a code but nothing else would so I blocked it off. I really don’t care for fixing things by The Shotgun method but I finally fixed the damn thing.
        I kinda figured it was the TP sensor all along but was too lazy to replace it because I know what a fucker they can be but finally bit the bullet and sure as shit, that was it.
        At 30 years old and as wore out as the engine is, I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to replace those other sensors finally and the Air Temp sensor was UGLY when I pulled it out.
        So yeah, we have much in common it sounds like. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I need to thank Ol’ Kenny again here one of these days, between him and Irish, they steer about 3/4’s of my traffic from their sites.


  4. What an adventure. My old man owned Fords and was always working on them, and now I too own Fords and am always working on them. I don’t believe that had we owned something else, say like Chevys it would be any different. Plus side is 40+ years experience with the same brand. I feel you on the working of 12’s. Been on a 7/12 schedule for the last month and will be on it for the foreseeable future. Get it while the getting is good. Economic downturn is always looming with idiots in charge. Well, off to work I go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have actually lost count of how many rigs I have had over the years. I do know that at one time, in a ten year period, I went through 29 and wrecked them all.
      My best guess at this point it’s over 60.
      I’ve had several early to mid 60’s Ford pickups and I like them. They are tough sonsabitches.
      My very first rig was a 66 Chevy 1/2 ton and I’ve had lots of Fords over the years plus 4 El Camino’s. The damn Chevy’s are easier to work on and the parts are dirt cheap compared to Ford. I can say that without hesitation.
      And yes, it was a very, long day.


      • I remember that ford had the parameters for turning on the check engine light so wide compared to all other car makers world wide so they can say they have fewer problems. A 30 year master ford tech told me that when I went to him with a problem I was having in fixing a tauras and before I could ask him about it he said that a long time ford engineer told him that and that guy said it was all for marketing to sell more cars.


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