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2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold


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SmokieT
New User

Nov 16, 2022, 12:41 AM

Post #1 of 6 (1873 views)
2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In

While working on his daughters car, my buddy may or may not have left a rag in the intake when he put it back together. He did the wise thing by covering the intake when he had the throttle body off but tried starting the car before he realized he might have forgotten to pull the rag. Not sure how long he cranked on it but after it didn't start his first thought was that he might have forgotten to pull the rag out.

I went with him the next day to give him a hand with it. When we pulled the throttle body off there was no sign of a rag in there as far as we could see. Since there no rag to be found, he is content assuming it's not in there and wanted to proceed to try to start the car. I am not so sure about his assumption and suggested we pull the intake manifold to verify for sure.

There was a coolant leak that he was going to repair and before he worked on it the car started and ran fine. Now it cranks but does not start. While cranking there is a strong smell of gas. I pulled the dip stick and noticed the oil smells like gas as well.

I don't know how relevant it is but I also noticed a connector not plugged in which he said was for the coolant temp sensor. He broke the connector while working on it and figured he would worry about that later. I suggested that could be the reason for the strong gas smell when cranking the engine. He says it doesn't have anything to do with it but I believe with the sensor not being connected the computer is reading it as cold and sending more fuel.

Could a rag in the intake manifold be the reason it didn't start?
Could the rag have gotten sucked far enough to do any damage while trying to start it? If so, what kind of damage?

His patch job on the coolant leak didn't work so he went from having a running car with a coolant leak to a dead car with the same leak. To fix the leak he is going to have to replace the intake manifold but there could be more issues to fix now. Considering the age and mileage, it might not be worth fixing at this point.



2004 Mercury Grand Marquis
4.6 V8
268000


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 16, 2022, 2:10 AM

Post #2 of 6 (1867 views)
Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In

What a mess and just trying to do a good thing, help out the daughter really.

Rag? What was it made of or does he know it ran and IDK could have eaten it.

Fuel smell - oil would be too full for that test it obviously hasn't been driven around a lot = may never again!

Did you see where coolant leak was? Still there perhaps the PLASTIC intake has a crack? Other Materiels crack too plastic is scary to me.

First you or friend find out what's missing now fuel or spark and if this thing ate that rag is it clogging the converter hence noting out no more new air coming in.

270,000 miles is past enough for this engine IMO without surreal care or unknown now already had a whole engine?

For now it's probably so flooded out check spark plugs and or leave them out. IDK maybe starting the rag if there will burn up and the nightmare go away but coolant leak to me means it may have overheated to notice a problem unsaid - the miles on this thing.............

Decision time,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 16, 2022, 5:33 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1855 views)
Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In


Quote
I don't know how relevant it is but I also noticed a connector not plugged in which he said was for the coolant temp sensor. He broke the connector while working on it and figured he would worry about that later. I suggested that could be the reason for the strong gas smell when cranking the engine. He says it doesn't have anything to do with it but I believe with the sensor not being connected the computer is reading it as cold and sending more fuel.


That is most definitely the cause of the fuel smell and likely the reason it won't start.

That sensor being unplugged is telling the computer it is -40 degrees and the computer will supply fuel accordingly. It's like trying to start a car with the choke fully closed on a hot day.

You also need to drop the oil and change it if the oil smells like fuel as it will damage the bearings.

As for the rag and the coolant, you need to get to the bottom of that. Pressure test the cooling system to pinpoint the leak. As Tom pointed out this engine is notorious for cracked plastic intake manifolds, usually either near the thermostat in the front or the heater hose connector in the back left.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 16, 2022, 7:13 AM

Post #4 of 6 (1848 views)
Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In

OMG - I miss-read the connector that broke thought it was fixed. As Hammer just said, car thinks is WAY DOWN OUTSIDE/ENGINE as low as he said.

That's pouring raw fuel into cylinders if it was that cold (once + with a car) was in that temp - nothing starts anyway you heat engines or garage them or forget it. IDK how much cranking and playing was done to get to oil if this runs again dump it anyway right away.

It actually might make it. Take plugs out too don't lose a socket down those long holes (if this year still did that) use a blow dryer on plugs they don't complete dry out without heat - sometimes.

That will fool testing for spark they will but not in the engine. Rare side a few fool anyone or thing/device of a submerged spark plug in gasoline,

Tom



SmokieT
New User

Nov 21, 2022, 3:26 AM

Post #5 of 6 (1777 views)
Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In

Thanks for your advise and information guys. As you suspected the coolant leak is near the thermostat on the front. Once we pull the intake manifold we should be able to solve the rag mystery. He's going to order a new aftermarket intake manifold and coolant temp sensor this week. Tomorrow we are going to trailer it to my shop and start pulling it apart.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 21, 2022, 4:19 AM

Post #6 of 6 (1775 views)
Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis rag in intake manifold Sign In

You have me going about the dang rag! If known material and had many waster another see if it burns totally without plastic mess of a synthetic material?

Good luck. If a scope available look for it.

Lots of these engines made a cloned on I'd use a straight edge on sealing surfaces,

Tom






 
 
 






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