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AMEDEE
AMEDEE, FORD TECHNICIAN
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 21879
Experience:  ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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92 Lincoln Town Car: Engine code W, eight cylinder..solenoid..pack

Resolved Question:

I have a 92 Lincoln Town Car, Engine code W, eight cylinder .
I get a 327 engine error code. I replaced the solenoid and the small box just to the right of it (looks like a small pack of cigarettes). I cleaned out the exaust port.   I ran a test , by taking off the top of the solenoid, and put my finger over the vertical tube, and the engine cut out. What should I try next to fix the check engine light ?    thank you, John
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Greetings! Sounds like you have a pfe/Dpfe sesnor that has gone bad. If you have replaced this, you might have a bad new one. Make sure you have signal voltage at the sensor with the key on and a good ground. Next be sure there is a god clean signal coming out of the sensor with the egr system in use. Here a a chart to help you figure out the possible causes.

 

graphic
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
When you say pfe/Dpfe sensor, do you mean the solenoid ? it is a three inch high cylinder with a top that can be removed. It has two wires and two vacuume lines to it. The car worked fine for 10k miles, before I got the 327 error message, so the new Dpfe sensor that I installed must have been a good one. What causes it to go bad ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Well the dpfe is a sensor.

If you take a look at the chart in my last post, it gives you the possible causes.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I really do not understand your chart...Can you tell me in junior high school terms (actually I am 60 yrs old) how to run the test on the dpfe sensor ?   I know where it is on the car. It looks like a small pack of cigaretes and it is located to the right (from the front of the car) of the solenoid, correct?   So I disconnct the electrical connection plug, and then what ?
thank you.   I am assuming this is a test to determine if the dpfe sensor is bad or not. What happens, then if the sensor is OK ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

 

graphic



The Differential Pressure Feedback EGR (DPFE) transducer/sensor is a ceramic capacitive-type pressure sensor. Exhaust pressure or vacuum is converted into a proportional analog voltage signal, which is digitized by the Electronic Control Assembly (ECA) . The DPFE sensor also monitors pressure in the exhaust system to allow for an accurate assessment of EGR flow requirements. The ECA uses the signal received from the DPFE transducer to compute optimum EGR flow rate, as well as to monitor EGR flow.

graphic

 

The Pressure Feedback EGR (PFE) sensor is a ceramic capacitive-type pressure sensor. Exhaust pressure or vacuum is converted into a proportional analog voltage signal, which is digitized by the Electronic Control Assembly (ECA) . The ECA uses the signal received from the PFE sensor to compute optimum EGR flow rate, as well as to monitor EGR flow.

Turn the key on and unplug the sensor. There should be three wires. One should have a reference voltage. (5 volts) One should be ground and the other is the signal return back to the computer.

If that checks out, we are going to want to monitor the voltage on the reference wire coming out of the sesnor while there is exhaust flow. The voltage should change while this is happening.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
To make sure I understand, with my volt meter, I want to check voltage in the three wire connector that connects (slips into) to the dpfe sensor, correct ? not the voltage accross the three brass prongs on the sensor iteslf, correct ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.
You got it!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If this test checks out, with the 5 reference volts that you describe, does that mean that the dpfe sensor good then, and will not need to be replaced ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

If all the wiring checks out ok, chances are the sensor is bad. But just to be sure, you are going to want to monitor the sensor signal voltage when exhaust flow is present. This will tell you if the sensor is working.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to AMEDEE's Post: So the five volts checks out, then what is the next step?   pls go slow, and be very basic..thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Sure.

So you have checked one of the three wires to the sensor with it unpluged.

Next step I want you to do a voltage drop on the other two wires to ground.

To do this, turn the key on, (sensor unplugged) and with a voltmeter I want you to take one lead and go the negative side of the battery and touch the other lead of the voltmeter to the other two wires. Let me know EXCACTLY the voltage you come up with on both of them

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to AMEDEE's Post: there are three felmale ports in the plug.
Sir:
The middle one is the one we tested to 5 volts previously.

The port on the left, with the (-) battery terminal as ground, comes to 5.5 volts.

The port on the right , has no reading...
i.e. 0.0 volts.

With all three, the key was on.

John
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Ok

One should be 5 volts

One should be ground. To test for this, take one lead of your voltmeter to the wire in the connector. The other lead of your meter on battery power. Then, and only then should you read battery power on your voltmeter.

and the other one should be nothing (or no reading)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to AMEDEE's Post: I think I am OK then, with this test...what is the next step please....and what have we learned...so is the sensor OK ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Well so far we have just tested the inputs to the sensor. NOw we have to check the signal from the sensor.

With the car running and the sensor plugged back in I am going to want you to back probe the signal wire coming from the sensor with one of the leads from the voltmeter and the other lead on battery ground. (This is the wire that had no reading on it unplugged.) Start the car and slowly apply vacuum to the egr valve with a hand held vacuum pump. The engine rpm should change because this is creating a big air leak. At the same time the voltage from the sensor should change as well.

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
if I am using the wire from the port that had no reading on it, how will I see any voltage change ?   Won't it be zero reading ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.
You are back probing this wire with the sensor plugged in. If the sesnor is good, it will produce a voltage that is read by the computer. You want to see this voltage on your voltmeter.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I would like to go back one testing step , please. When I put one side of the volt meter on the positive side of the battery, and one to the ground port, I got twelve volts. On one of the other ports there was no reading. On the third port, I think I said 5 volts, but it is closer to 7 volts - I have an old volt meter, so it may not be to accurate, although it read the battery voltage OK - 12 volts. Is this OK or is there a problem here ?   thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

You got it! You are right on track! This is correct if you are testing with the sensor unplugged.

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, the volt meter readings were with the senor unplugged. Where can I borrow a hand held vacuum pump ? Autozone or Kragen do not have one. Home Depot does not either.
And I figured out what you mean by back probing the sensor....with engine running, I get zero volts, from battery ground to the "read nothing" back port of the sensor...it is the one on top.
Is that a correct reading...i.e. zero volts ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Well when you back probe the sensor, you are going to want to be on the signal wire.

One lead of the voltmeter on battery ground, and the other one back probing the sensor signal wire. (sensor plugged in)

 

The voltage should look something like this.

graphic

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, with the set up you describe, with back probing the signal wire, and the other meter lead at the negative (ground) battery terminal,
and the engine running, and the senor plugged in, I get 0 volts reading, but I suppose that might be because the meter may be off a half volt or so.   
I need to get the hand vacuum pump. I have tested the EGR valve with one before, and it tested out OK, i.e. the engine started to cut out when vacuum was applied.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is the O volt reading described directly above OK?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.
If you are on the signal wire, than no. It should give a reading even at idle.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so no reading at idle means what ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

The sensor is not putting out the correct voltage.

Make sure when you back probe this sensor that you are using a small probing device. Like a paper clip. Be sure its pushed back in far enough so it makes contact with the metal prong on the wire.

You should be on brown with light green stripe wire.

If you are sure there is no voltage coming out and there is voltage going in the sensor, the sensor is bad and will need to be replaced.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thx, I will try the paper clip test, making sure I am back probing the correct port wire. Engine running, withe the ports unit plugged into the DPEF sensor. Get back to you on this shortly thx. John <--- mechanical engineer, but you would never know it !!!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well...this is what I came up with. With the paper clip all the way into the brown wire with the green strip, back probing, I get a small needle moving on the volt meter. The needle definitely does moves a small amount, with the engine running.
The average reading is about 0.25 volts. And your graph (for the metal DPEF which I have) indicates, if I read it right, about 0.20 volts of error. So maybe we are OK....what do you think ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I borrowed a vacuum pump. At three inches of Hg, the engine reduces in idle, just somewhat. Then at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 in of vacuum, the idle does not reduce any further. Cannot pump a vacuum greater than 27 inches.   Pressure holds at all levels and does not reduce, until you release it.

So, I think the EGR valve ports may be clogged with carbon again.! I have cleaned them out twice already.
The horseshoe shaped area , when you take off the intake elbow...about every 10K, it seems it needs a clean out again. Car engine has 120 K miles on it.
Comments ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
how come no answer today ? you usually get back in about 20 minutes. ya on vacation today? John
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Sorry for the delay!

I do this on my spare time. My boss does not appreciate it if I do this at work so I came home on lunch to answer any question waiting for me. I just got home now. Sorry, again.

If the engine stumbles when vacuum is applied to the egr valve it sounds like the air passages are not plugged.

Here is the test that ford gives to the technicians for this particular problem.

 

EGR Control/Vent Solenoids

 

1. Start engine and allow to reach operating temperature.
2. Turn ignition Off.
3. Connect a suitable hand held vacuum pump to the EGR valve vacuum supply port

4. Start the engine.
5. Gradually apply vacuum to the EGR valve vacuum supply port. The engine should run rough or stall as vacuum is applied to the EGR valve.

 

Pressure Feedback Electronic & Differential Pressure Feedback Electronic Systems
1986-95

1. Ensure all vacuum hoses are properly routed and securely connected, and replace any that are cracked, crimped or broken.
2. Run engine until normal operating temperature is reached.
3. With engine running at idle, disconnect EGR vacuum supply and inspect for vacuum signal. EVR solenoid has a constant internal leak. A small vacuum signal, less than one inch at idle, should be noticed.
4. Install tachometer tool No. 059-00010, or equivalent.
5. Disconnect IAC solenoid electrical connector.
6. Disconnect an plug vacuum supply hose at EGR valve nipple.
7. Start engine and run at idle with transmission in Neutral, then observe idle speed. If required, adjust idle speed to specifications. If engine will not idle with IAC solenoid disconnected, provide an air bypass to the engine by slightly opening the throttle plate or by creating an intake vacuum leak. Do not exceed a typical idle RPM.
8. Slowly apply 5-10 inches vacuum to EGR valve nipple using hand held vacuum pump tool No. 021-00014, or equivalent.
9. With vacuum applied, ensure idle speed drops more than 100 RPM and returns to normal, within 25 RPM, after vacuum is removed.
10. Unplug and connect vacuum supply hose at EGR valve.

I think you really need to get a digital voltmeter. You are going to want to see about 1.0 volt, or .5 volt (depending on which one you have)on the signal wire at idle with no egr flow.

If you do not, the sensor is bad and needs to be replaced. I have seen these things come bad out of the box.

ITs just a circuit code. Its not saying that the ports are plugged up (or low flow).

This is the definition for this code is:

Code 327-Delta pressure feedback EGR, DPFE, is below 0.20 volts

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
EGR Control/Vent Solenoids


1. Start engine and allow to reach operating temperature.
2. Turn ignition Off.
3. Connect a suitable hand held vacuum pump to the EGR valve vacuum supply port

4. Start the engine.
5. Gradually apply vacuum to the EGR valve vacuum supply port. The engine should run rough or stall as vacuum is applied to the EGR valve.

I ran this test on the vacuum port this morning. The engine did not "run rough or stall".   So what does this mean ?   thx, John
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.
Wait, if you applied vacuum to the egr valve when the engine was running and it did not effect the idle, than something is plugged up. I would recommend to check both the intake and exhaust ports.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
you mean the ERG intake and exhaust ports ?
where you take of the elbow intake air manifold, and prope with the end of a coat hanger ?

and, how much am I obligated to pay you , as of today....thx
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
also, I am wondering why the 324 I think it is error, "insufficient exaust gas recirculation flow" did not show up   the 327 was the only error message sent....do you know why ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

This is the way ford engineers designed it. FOr some reason the computer is seeing the dpfe sensor voltage at only .2. This sounds like what you found when you had back probed the signal wire. I believe this is why the computer is flagging a 327.

I believe if I remember correctly that the big air intake just past the throttle plate (or that holds the throttle plate) needs to come off and cleaned out. It sounds like you have cleaned the exhaust ports, but not the intake ports.

If my answer was good enough for you, just hit accept and leave positive feedback.

 

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Here is a picture of the intake manifold. There are two separate pieces. Do you see the top that goes down to the bottom part? It has a smooth 90 degree bend. This part needs to come apart and you will need to clean the carbon out of there. I bet it is plugged up!

graphic

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I have removed this 90 bend piece twice already, at about 10 K mile intervals. The last time I did it, the "check engine light" went off, and there was no more 324 engine code.

There is a horizontally oriented horseshoe shaped area, with a grove, and openings into the air intake area.   This was filled with carbon, and had to be cleaned out. The second time was not as bad as the first.

You say: "It sounds like you have cleaned the exhaust ports, but not the intake ports. "   I do not understand what you mean by this. When I take off the 90 degree bend, am I not cleaning out the intake ports ? I clean out all carbon that I can see, including some that is in the passage ways to the EGR valve.    thx
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
"For some reason the computer is seeing the dpfe sensor voltage at only .2. This sounds like what you found when you had back probed the signal wire. I believe this is why the computer is flagging a 327."

So how do we fix this error message, and the constant "check engine"light being on.   

I tried resetting the error messages, that is I cleared all of the error messages, but the 327 error came right back again. thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

If the code comes back right away, chances are that the problem is going to be an electrical issue. But if you have to drive it for a bit, I would be willing to bet that the problem is because of the plugged ports.

The elbow piece that you are talking about is exactly what I was talking about! We are on the same page. The horse shoe shaped grooves are what needs to be cleaned out.

What I was talking about the exhaust ports, is the one coming from the egr to the exhaust. Be sure thats not plugged up as well.

Other than that, I think you have are on the right track. I think that the signal coming from the dpfe sesnor is wrong and the dpfe sensor will need to be replaced.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, the ports are clean clean clean...no carbon in them at all, (just a whisper of carbon dust), and the port from the EGR valve is clean also.
So I do not understand why the vacuum pump test did not work.   It did cut the RPM slightly, but not enough to make the engine run rough.   
What do you think ?    thx
If I click on accept, how much $ will my credit card be billed.    thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Maybe on this particular egr system it does not need a lot of egr flow when the computer commands the egr open.

I bet the problem is just going to be electrical. We know the ports are super clean so we can forget about that. We are just going to need to get the signal voltage up to were it should be coming from the sensor.

If you hit accept, you will only be charged 9 dollars. You can leave more for a bonus if you feel I did a good job.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I lost 2 screws to the lower parts of the engine...shoot...have to go to the dealer to get replacements, or go under the car...

So you think, replace the dpef sensor ?
about 50 bucks , from Autozone. thx

EGR valve should be OK, right ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.
Yes! Chances are the dpfe sensor is bad.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

They go bad so often in fact that there is a technical service buletin on this. Here it is.

Article No.
97-22-1

10/27/97

DELTA PRESSURE FEEDBACK EGR (DPFE) - DIAGNOSTIC TIPS
FORD:
1994-97 MUSTANG, THUNDERBIRD
1995-97 CONTOUR, CROWN VICTORIA
1996-97 ESCORT, TAURUS

LINCOLN-MERCURY:
1990-97 TOWN CAR
1994-97 COUGAR
1995-97 CONTINENTAL, GRAND MARQUIS, MYSTIQUE
1996-97 SABLE, TRACER

LIGHT TRUCK:
1994-97 EXPLORER
1995-97 ECONOLINE, F-150-350 SERIES, WINDSTAR
1996-97 AEROSTAR
1997 EXPEDITION, MOUNTAINEER
1998 NAVIGATOR

ISSUE:
The current DPFE sensor diagnostic reference values as published in the Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis (PC/ED) Service Manual, and also accessed by either the Service Bay Diagnostic System (SBDS) or Service Bay Technical System (SBTS), can lead to the replacement of good DPFE sensors.

graphic

graphic

 

ACTION:
Use the following revised DPFE sensor voltage ranges for all (black plastic or aluminum) DPFE system applications when checking the PID (Parameter Identifier Display) value "DPFEGR" or when measuring the DPFE sensor input directly at the breakout box. Refer to Figure 1.

NOTE : THESE LISTED VOLTAGE RANGES SHOULD BE USED FOR ALL (BLACK PLASTIC OR ALUMINUM) DPFE SYSTEM APPLICATIONS WHENEVER CHECKING THE PID VALUE "DPFEGR" OR WHEN MEASURING THE DPFE SENSOR INPUT DIRECTLY AT THE BREAKOUT BOX.

OTHER APPLICABLE ARTICLES: NONE

WARRANTY STATUS: INFORMATION ONLY

OASIS CODES: 690000, 698298

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I replace it, the sensor, and the light went out !! great...

engine idles rough now though.   I checked all the hoses and lines, and I think I got them all connected. IT a rum rum rum ilde, with about three rums a second........
any suggestions ?
and do you know the best place to get replacement screws...the dealer no longer stocks or sells them
thx
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there is a hissing sound...maybe be why the idle is rough ??   since I lost some screws, for the 90 degree elbow, I have it attached to the unit that has the air throttle plate, with only 2 screws, instead of the 4.   The gasket in installed, and is in good condition. It is a new one.     any ideas ?   leaking air ?
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Yup! Sounds like an air leak. This is very common! If it is hard to pinpoint, take some brake cleaner or starting fluid around the intake manifold and vacuum lines and see if the engine stumble or if the idle is affected. This is a good way to find a vacuum leak. Be extremely careful when doing this!

As for the screws, your best bet is to go to the hard where store for the screws.

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So an air leak affects the idle ? do the screws for the 90 degree elbow need to be tightend down in sequence ? Should they be torqued very tight, with the gaskets ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Yes, an air leak will do this.

They should be tightened in a cross pattern until they are snug. Not tight. If you need a torque sequence, let me know.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, the car runs, but idles rough...no check engine light !! I think it is the seal between the engine and the horizontally aligned end of the 90 degree elbow, that is the bottom face of the elbow.   The seal there is thicker, and may be more difficult to seat properly.   agree ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Yes. I do agree!

Try some brake cleaner around the area that you hear the hissing. This will pinpoint the leak and just be sure its in that area that you are talking about.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK, I will try some brake cleaner. I need to buy a new tool too, that will let me tighten the four bolts that hold down the 90 degree elbow more easily and precisely. It is pretty crowed back there, with the emission control sensors, and all. I only was able to put in 3 of the 4 required bolts, with the tool that I have, so I am pretty sure that is where the problem with air leaking is located. I did not tighten the bolts in diagonal sequence either.   

I could not find the exact bolts to match, but I found some with a allen head that seem to work.   I bit of a hassle with the need to have an allen wrench around, to get them on and off, in the future.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Just be sure the new bolts that you are putting in there have the same thread pitch.

Let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Threads per inch, yes, but I am not sure about the thread pitch ?   what is thread pitch ?

also, would the performance of the engine improve if I put in a new oxygen sensor ?   Do they go out gradually, or are they either GOOD or BAD.

Also, is it hard to set up the web site for answers to questions ? I am thinking of setting one up for engineering? About how much does it cost to set it up ? monthly fee ? thx.

thx.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Just as long as they screw in ok

yes, o2 sensors get lazy. But if yo have an air or vacuum leak, that should be fixed first.

Your last question should be asked in a different category. I just do cars, no web sites. Sorry!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I found the leak...it is between the air throttle unit (the one that attaches to the 90 degree elbow), that has a butterfly valve, and the plastic housing that sits on top of the motor. Over the years, the plastic part, has lost its cylindrical shape at the point where it slides over the valve unit. So the rubber seal and synch strap (both of which are in excellent condition) don't shut out all of the air.

Any suggestions on this one ?   Maybe wrap the plastic part with a rubber strip ? thx
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Sure! You could try that!

Or, I would just rec to replace it with new parts from Ford.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
trouble is, part (the plastic air intake) is no longer available.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 7 years ago.

Looks like you are just going to have to go a junk yard.

Or, rig up something that will seal it and hold it together at the same time.

AMEDEE, FORD TECHNICIAN
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 21879
Experience: ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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