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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

2000 3.8L V6
138,000 miles
Automatic Transmission

Ran into a problem on my way home for work today. Car has been running great until now.

Problem is the car will not accelerate when in gear anymore unless I accelerate really slow. If I floor it in 1st, 2nd or Drive (3rd gear) it will stumble/hesitate and will barely accelerate at all.

Any Ideas? I just changed the plugs to Motorcraft Coppers a couple weeks ago. Car idles perfect and seems to rev fine in Neutral but under any kind of load it will not accelerate.

Heading out to the garage now to look over some other stuff (Air Filter, Coil packs)
 

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It sounds like insufficient fuel delivery might explain this. Does it need a fuel filter?
 

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No it may rev fine in nuetral but die in gear. Put a fuel pressure gage on it and see what you have in N vs D. I don't know what those motors need as far as fuel pressure, maybe someone else will chime in with that info.
 

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If you haven't changed the fuel filter in a long time you should try that.

Also it could be a dirty maf sensor.

Also with that kind of mileage, it could be a clogged cat.
 

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+1 on the clogged cat.... on previous cars i have had similar issues where it got as bad as not even letting the car start... cut the cat off and it was fine.

if your throwing any codes i would get those looked at.... anything having to do with a downstream 02 sensor would indicate converter issues
 

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Something is clogged. It is choking you down. Check your throttle body and see if the butterfly is sticking, go ahead and clean it while in there.

+10 Everything else the fellas said on here is right. Fuel filter, cats (exhaust shop can help).

Let us know what you find out.
 

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If you want to check your cats, get someone with a automotive thermometer and check the temperatures of the cats. Most likely if one is clogged you will get a significantly higher temperature on the cat than the rest of them.
 

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What kind of maintenance have you done on the car?
 

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I'm no expert at all but you should check the coil pack/wires/plugs. That sounds like what happened to my car 2 weeks ago and I took it to the mechanic and that is what went bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just bought the car a few weeks ago and the only maintenance I have done is:

Powersteering flush
gas tank filler tube grommet replacement
Spark plugs (Motorcraft Coppers I believe)
Oil Change

Update*** today on my way home it got really really bad to the point where the car would barely accelerate to 10mph leaving a stop light. Shortly after it died on me and I waited a couple minutes and it seemed to run a little better then got worse again so I shut it off (repeated this process about 4 or 5 times within a few block radius to finally get home).

I was going to pickup a fuel filter tonight and see if that helps and if not I guess take it to a show and see if they can cut out the cat. Although I have no check engine lights so I'm not sure if that can even be a possiblility.

Also, I literally had the gas pedal floored in neutral and the rpm's wouldnt pass about 1500 but this was when the car died for the first time.
 

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Wait... you replaced the filler tube? are you sure you didnt drop anything in the tank? and it got sucked up with through pump... or even get stuck on the filter.... If you start it and it runs "fine" and as soon as you get going it dies on you.... i you think that part of the gromet got cut or something and fell into the tank. Check you tps switch and clean your MAF as well as replace the filter, since you in there. I had some what of the same issue and i screwed up my tps when swapping it to my new throttle body. check the air intake temp sensor too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hope I'm not kicking myself in the ass for this but YES the end of the filler tube part ( I think its the Syphone part ) broke off when I was inserting it back into the fuel tank. I thought that was too large to cause any damage so I left it. It was probably the size of a 50 cent piece so I couldnt see that getting lodged anywhere so I left it. But this was like 3 gas tanks ago.
 

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you might not have seen it but there could have been enough pieces that either broke off or deteriated from the piece and filler up in the filter and now getting lodged into the pump and or lines leading up to the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay I just finished replacing the Fuel Filter and still have the same results. I started it and let it idle and it died after about 10 minutes. I started it back up, opened the hood and reved the engine and noticed a strong exhaust smell coming from the passenger side by the exhaust manifold. Also noticed a small exhaust leak sound when reving.

Any new idea's?
 

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i had a clogged cat and the only way i knew it was clogged is that i glowed cherry red after running it awhile plus when i popped the hood i could see smoke. look at ur cat after driving awhile and see if it is cherry red. if its cherry red u for sure got a clogged cat. it also cracked
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah I just wanted to try the cheaper option first. If it's the cats then why do I not have a check engine light and why does it seem to get worse the longer I drive it?

It can stall out and die but will start right back up and then due again after another few minutes. Are these for sure signs of clogged cat?
 
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