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1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

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Seattle Smitty

1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

Post #1 by Seattle Smitty » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Bought this old work van the other day, after giving it quite a long test-drive. But a little way into the 40-mile drive hope, something under the hood began shrieking, progressively getting worse. Thought it might have come from the serpentine poly-V-belt (which the owner said was recently changed), and I did think I detected a very faint rubber smell coming from under the doghouse. I kept going for a while, but then a new noise was added, which sounded like a bearing, presumably from some component driven by the belt. Not wishing my new purchase to catch fire and burn down alongside the freeway, I exited, parked it on a side street, and later picked it up with a trailer.

If you have one of these later, fuel-injected Econolines, you know that you cannot see the engine under the hood for the big plastic air-cleaner and other stuff. but while waiting for rescue, I was able to get a hand on the tensioner/idler pulley for the belt. It was not hot, nor was the power steering unit.

I had a little time yesterday afternoon, and took off the air-cleaner and support bracket. I removed the serpentine belt, fired up the engine momentarily, and it sounded fine, no shrieking noise. With the engine shut off, by hand I twirled each of the items driven by the belt, to feel for a bad bearing. Idler, power steering, alternator, water pump and fan clutch, and what I take to be an air-injection pump that sits below the alternator. Everything seemed to turn all right, and feel okay, with the possible exception of that air pump. The water pump pulley, which is driven by the smooth back surface of the serpentine belt, was very shiny, as if the belt had been skidding on it, yet the pump seemed to turn freely, by hand, and I couldn't detect any slop when trying to wiggle the shaft side-to-side on any of these items .

I would eliminate the air pump and its plumbing anyway, so my question for y'all is, can I simply get a shorter serpentine belt that bypasses the air pump, and run the car that way without the computer being confused by this omission (I assume there's a computer somewhere in all of that mess of stuff)?? Were some of these EFI vans sold without an air injection system? If so, and if you have a belt number HANDY, I could use that, too.

I'll fire up the engine with the new, shorter belt, omitting the air pump. If I again get a noise when I rev it up, I'm going to put in a new water pump (not a bad idea anyway), and see what that does . . .

All I have to work with at the moment is a Chiltons manual, which is pretty poor.

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Re: 1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:29 pm

Hi Smitty, I have had my 94 F150 for almost 14 years now (I know it's not as hard to work on as a van but it has the same EFI). Anyway its been one of the most trouble free trucks I have ever had, over the years had to replace some of the normal stuff like the battery, a starter, and a couple of gas caps (just to pass Ca emissions testing). Last year I needed to replaced the water pump, thermostat, hoses, belt, the vacume lines, clean some of the electrical connections, and figured I would also change the oxygen sen. for good measure all those parts were still the OEM stuff. The early EFI system is easy to test using a analog volt / ohm meter to read the codes. I think you can use a shorter belt if you want but the air pump should be cheap enough to replace. I picked up one of the Haynes Manuel's for mine and it covers everything pretty well. Good luck on your van. :nod: :thumbup:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Seattle Smitty

Re: 1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

Post #3 by Seattle Smitty » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:27 pm

Thanks, Bubba.

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Re: 1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

Post #4 by Econoline » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:02 pm

I had a squeal on my 93 f150 4.9, turn out to be the idler. Seemed fine, messing with it by hand. A little lube spray behind it while it was running shut it right up. Actually I still need to replace that, it's been quiet for a while since it's last lubing.
It ain't gonna fix itself

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Re: 1988 E150 with EFI; can I disconnect this part?

Post #5 by myplague5 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:03 am

Sounds like the smog pump, mine locked up about 8 years ago I guess. I gutted the internals and stuck it back on with a new belt and haven't noticed any problems since.
Try kicking it, that always works on my spaceship...


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