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Discussion Starter #1
All of the sudden this afternoon, literally, my car began to studder. Badly so. IT is barely idling, however it is does stay running. Hard to start afterward. When running, awful smell of sulfur. I have checked my vacuum lines, and all else I could think of. It ran fine this morning, and for the last year for that matter.

Any ideas for a studdery idling stinky sulfur smelling source? I'm befuddled!

Help!!
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulphur smell ??

cat blow?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

Don't think so, but not sure. This is occurring at idle, and, as I understand it, typically a blown cat will really impact you as you pick up RPMs, unless there is a MAJOR blockage. Oh yeah, and there is a definite performance impact even at the bottom of the RPM range. The other thing I was leaning toward was a potential EGR System issue...
...but what could be the issue? No MIL codes thrown (scanned with my laptop and Auterra Palm software) or MIL light. The EGR system is made up of a number of components, right?
[*] EGR Valve
[*] DPFE
[*] Tube
[*] Vacuum Regulator
[*] Valve Gasket

How would one determine which component has crapped the bed?
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulphur smell ??

That sulphur smell says Cat.
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

In order to validate that it is the Cat, what can I do?

I have no problem ordering a new one, probably the FC High Flow (sure as hell ain't buying a Ford Cat for $500
), but I need to validate the problem source first. Do I just need to take off the Cat and visually check it out to determine if there is blockage of breakdown? If it is blocked, can I simply clear it out for now, until a new cat arrives, as it won't be here today, and I need to be able to go to work on Monday?

Any ideas for diagnostic assistance would be GREATLY appreciated.
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulphur smell ??

You say it barely idles,how about down the road?
Will it even get you down the road?Do you have power?
I dont think it is tha cat,cats seem to slowly go bad,not all at once,could be a first though.Some body water your tank,or put soething else in it?Bad gas?
Please give more symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

Well, it will drive me down the road, however, with hesitations. Power is definitely reduced. I am required to use more accelerator to bring the RPMs up. At a dead stop idle, the motor is jumping around (almost bucking) at a very low idle (<600RPM) and it stinks to high heaven of sulfur. This happened once before, last fall, however, after letting the car sit for a day or so, it ran perfectly again from there on out.

It would seem symptomatic of a potential cat failure/blockage (e.g.: sulfur smell) as well as possibly an EGR system issue(possibly the valve or DPFE). I will check the plugs as well tomorrow for any breaks or fouling(As it is raining like hell today).

I am baffled here, and in a world of hurt without my car. I am replacing the cat tomorrow as I broke some bolts when I took off the stocker to check it (I wanted a FC H/F anyway and this forced the replacement).

What else could it be?

I don't think it was bad gas, however, I guess it is possible. Any suggestions for an additive to assist? As far as anyone watering my tank, again, don't think so, but how would I be able to tell?
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

The sulfur smell means that unburnt fuel is being dumped into the catalytic converter.
The shudder at idle could be a bad plug, plug wire, or coil pack which is causing a misfire. A misfire will dump unburnt fuel into the exhaust.
There are other causes(cam timing, etc.) of unburnt fuel getting into the exhaust but they usually don't cause a shudder at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

Here is some more information I had not caught previously from my OBD-II scan:

Under the $03 FUELSYS12 PID, normal response is as follows:

[*] $03 Fuel System 1 and 2 Status is System 1 Closed Loop - using oxygen sensor(s) as feedback for fuel control.

During the scan I did on Thursday night, it started out as above, but ended with a fault (as follows):

[*] $03 Fuel System 1 and 2 Status is System 1 <font color="red">Open loop due to detected system fault</font>.

Is this an Oxygen Sensor failure? What else might it be?

I realize that this type of diagnostic is tough via the web, but I keep digging.
 

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Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

check all your spark plugs... I'm in agreement you've got a misfire somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

All spark plugs look to be good (all look the same, no heavy build up or fouling). Screamin' Demon Coil & Live Wires all appear to be clean with good connections being made.

Should I maybe reduce the gap on the plugs (as they are gapped for the coil/wire setup)? Buy new plugs, just to verify?

This may sound stupid, but how can I verify spark to each plug?

Any other sources for a misfire?
 

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Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

you say you checked the vacuume lines. bet your egr is broke. try tapping on your egr while the car is running. try to free up the valve and it may close. then unplug the vacuum hose from it and bring it to the dealer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

AAARRRGGH. Not the dealer. Nooo. Out of warranty, ridiculous Ford Service pricing.


I'll try that once I get the Cat on tomorrow, and we'll see what the scoop is. I will post up the results when I finish up. Sooo frustrating.
 

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Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

it does not sound like a cat to me. sounds like egr. if the cat failed and broke apart it should idel ok abt at higher rpm it would just bog. and it would smell like raw gas. the sulfer smell is form running lean. the egr leak would cause a vacuum leak
 

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Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

Since you have the cat off,fire it up and see how she runs.If the engine is dumping raw fuel,that new cat will be toast in no time.Fire it up with the cat off and see what it does.You can at least rule that out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

Well, well, well. I finally got the freakin' EGR Valve off this morning, since it has finally stopped raining (and I am really wishing I had bought a house with a garage now). Low and behold, the EGR Valve was stuck, completely open. Hmmmm, do you think that was the problem? GRRRRRR. The good news is that I picked up a new EGR Valve this morning from Ford, so I can replace that now. Still waiting for UPS though, as I need a cat as well.

A few taps with a wrench and the valve freed up, but I am not taking any chances reusing that one for now. I will just keep it aside for future needs, just in case (after cleaning up the plunger assembly).

Update 1.1 : I attempted to start and idle the car with the old EGR and it would not run. I have installed the new EGR and the car idles fine now, even without the cat. Now to wait for the cat to be delivered.....

I will post up later when I get the cat delivered and installed and hopefully, my woes will be resolved.

As always, THANK YOU to all of the Jetters who responded with advice. I don't know what I would do without this place.
 

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Re: Help - Massive idle studder + sulfur smell ??

YeeHa!! Complete, repaired, fixed, purring like a kitten (a loud kitten, but a kitten none-the-less). The issue was definitely the EGR Valve being stuck open. Replaced the EGR Valve, and due to my own idiocy, installed a new FC High-Flow Cat (and now my exhaust is complete
).

Again, thanks to all for all your suggestions, and thanx to Ray Dixon @ My Ford Performance for getting me the new cat, delivered today.


Mods - Lock it up!!
 
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