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1992 New Yorker, needs 10 minute break?

I’ve got a 1992 New Yorker, 3.3 v6. After about 2 hours on the highway it starts to studder, over the next couple minutes it runs worse and worse until it crawls to a stop. The engine barely runs, sounding like it might be hitting on just one or 2 cylinders then stops all together and will not start. After sitting 5-10 minutes it refires and drives normally for another 2 hours before repeating the process. It never sets off a check engine light, will only flash a code 55, and all the gauges are where they should be at all times. Any ideas?

sounds like you have a coil pack going bad. it usually take a coil a good while to heat up, then it will begin to “bust out” and the car will start missing or quit running altogether.
Do you know what the code 55 is for?

The code 55 is the end of the code readout, so really all its saying is there are no codes. I used the key method to get that, so the car hasn’t been put on an official scanner. Would a coil be able to cool off enough in ten minutes to let it go another couple hours? I do admit my sample of events is only two, it could be a coincidence that it was 2 hours both times, but both were like clockwork.

Crank position sensor or fuel pump would be my guess.

In a New York(er) minute (or 10), anything can change…

Heh, way to slip Don Henley into the mix. One other note that I was reminded of yesterday but overlooked at the time was that right after the first breakdown, I lost all speeds on the blower motor except high. Probably just the resistor block, but is there any possible way that can be related?

All the New Yorkers, I know, have the same problem at work, too.

Try removing your gasoline cap or using another, since you might be drawing a vacuum in your gas tank.
Or removing your cap, temporarily, might get you going, quicker.

Heh heh :slight_smile:

Yeah I can’t see any way those two things would be related…and because of the nature of the problem, it’s probably going to be hard for a mechanic to diagnose the problem until it gets to the point that the car doesn’t want to restart anymore.

One more stream of consciousness question before I actually take it to a shop, the floor directly above the catalytic converter, under the gas pedal area has always gotten pretty warm, its never bothered anything before, but I’d never taken it on this long of a drive before. The heat shield over the converter is intact and seems to be in good shape, could an overheating converter cause this type of problem without causing trouble on shorter drives?

That’s a sign of a partially clogged catalytic converter. However, I don’t think that’s the only problem. Bad coil pack, crank position sensor, or fuel pump would be my guess. To eliminate the last item, check fuel pressure at the Schrader valve on the front fuel rail when you are experiencing the problem. With the vacuum line disconnected from the fuel pressure regulator, the pressure should be 48 PSI.

Are you getting poor gas mileage? A rich running engines, or one which misfires (ALL engines have a few misfires) excessively can cause raw fuel to pass to the catalytic converter and be burned there. A catalytic converter can glow red-hot from this. Partially burned fuel makes carbon which can coat, and plug, the catalytic converter.
Here is an article with greater detail on catalytic converters and oxygen sensors:

Actually the odometer broke on this car at 130k, so I have no way to measure exactly what the mileage is, I would guess its in the 20mpg area, about what the car was rated at. I changed the plugs a couple weeks ago and none of em showed signs of being rich, they looked a touch on the white side, so if anything it might be a little lean. Appreciate the link hellokit, but it may not be the one you intended… high performance racing brakes on a 92 New Yorker would be like top dollar implants on Janet Reno .