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1994, t100, 4 cylinder 2.7... cold starts fine and runs like

Customer Question
a champ. No hint...
1994, t100, 4 cylinder 2.7... cold starts fine and runs like a champ. No hint of trouble.. after making couple of stops at stores it and starting fine it starts having trouble maintaining a low rpm and wants to die. I have to fight it to keep the rpms up (manual trans) and gauge the distance to lights and such to get home...
JA: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?
Customer: traffic lights..
JA: Are you fixing your T100 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: drained the gas tank. inspected with camera on a cable, fresh ethanol fuel, replaced the gas filter... cut open old filter it looked fine.
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Toyota
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
8/15/2017
Toyota Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 5 months ago
Mechanic01
Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1,759
Experience: Owner at Baltic investments
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Hello my name is ***** ***** welcome to just answers! I will be assisting you with all of your vehicle questions today. Give me one moment while I review your question and come back with a answer. Please be aware I do not know your skill level or abilities so I will be asking a lot of questions and in a lot of cases we will respond to each other quite a lot before we find a solution. As far as phone calls are concerned that is the system prompting you, not me, and they do cost more money, I prefer text but in some cases a phone call is required. My work schedule is 12-6pm, if I don’t answer right away or quickly in conversation I am helping another customer or have stepped out for a moment and will respond as soon as I can. Ok lets get started!

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Toyota Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 5 months ago

besides doing the gas have you doe anything else such as checked fuel pressure?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Let me go over the symptoms:
1. Car starts easily when cold and drives fine for some time... I can get on the highway and drive 10 miles across town without a problem on the highway.
2. If I'm on any road and maintaining speed of 20 miles an hour or better I don't notice any problems.
3. After driving for a while if I have to brake for a turn or stop then the idle drops and the car will start sputtering and usually die.
4. Sometimes I can manipulate the gas and keep it going, but, usually not.
5. Once is starts to act up, I can make it home by carefully approaching stop lights and other traffic while maintaining the engine rps around 3000. However, if it dies I can usually get it started again. Since the temperature outside has been in the mid 90's all week the symptoms typically will start within a mile of stop and go traffic.
6. Always if I wait long enough it will start up and run like nothing is wrong until it gets fully warmed up.
7. No "Check Engine Light".More background:1. The truck has been very reliable for the last 5 years. But, we drive it infrequently. So I worry about the gasoline going bad. So I try to make a point of driving it for errands on the weekends, but, sometimes I can go a month without driving it.
2. When I bought it in January 2012 the speedometer had 218K miles on it. But the speedometer was broken. My son and I did a lot of maintenance on it back in 2012, new belts, heater hoses, radiator hoses, plugs... including repairing the speedometer. It now has 224K miles on the speedometer.What I have done since the problem surfaced:1. Not the fuel pressure yet. But, it doesn't have any problems above 2000 rpm, well maybe 2500 rpm. I don't think it is starving. Fuel pressure check will take some work to get to the banjo connector on the fuel rail and I don't have an adapter. So I'm looking to order an adapter that I can leave in place permanently. So no, I have not checked the fuel pressure.2. Drained the tank and replaced the fuel filter. The fuel looked and smelled fine. None of that lacquer smell fuel can get when it goes bad. Put in 3 gallons of ethanol-free high test. Then drove to the gas station and added 5 more gallons of ethanol-free high test. Got to the gas station about 4 miles away without any problems but it died when I pulled up to the pump. Was hard to start and then I nursed it home.3. Cleaned the MAF with the appropriate cleaner. It looked fine before and after. The Air filter looked brand new like the day we installed it in 2012.4. Replaced the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) switch/sensor. Didn't really think that would fix it. The new one had similar resistance results on my multi-meter. But, I didn't really test in hot hot water. So I was thinking maybe the old is out of range when the coolant gets hot.5. Cleaned the battery terminals. It had acted up like this about a month and a half ago and the battery died. So it didn't act up until now after replacing the battery. So I cleaned the terminal to see if that had any impact.6. After I had drained the tank I used my inspection camera to view inside the tank. I was surprised it looked very clean and rust free. I didn't go past the 2 nd flap. just pushed the camera enough to see past the flap. I didn't want the camera to get trapped. But, I could see the bottom of the tank. It looked fine.7. Looked for air leaks. Removed the rubber intake components and checked and reinstalled. visually inspected vac hoses.Me:I do almost all my own repairs at home, car, computers, plumbing, electrical, lawnmower.... On our cars: oil changes, brakes (drums & disc), plugs, filters, alternator, starter, water pump... what I won't repair??? I've done plenty of timing belts on 4 and 6 cylinder vehicles, but, I didn't do the timing belt on my wife's 2007 Sequoia.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No, if you can't solve it for the $20 I've already spent were done.
Toyota Mechanic: Mechanic01, ASE Certified Technician replied 5 months ago

That would be the first thing I would check would be fuel pressure when it gets hot, sounds like your typical fuel pump failure, and I would check spark also when it starts to fail, there is a spark gap checker I like they are about to bucks and you can adjust the spark gap distance, I typically like to see about 1 inch of nice blue spark to be considered not an issue

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