I have a 1993 Ford F350 automatic non-diesel T-tag dump truck that is mainly used on a 25 acre cemetery. It's rarely driven over 5mph and only has about 1000 miles put on it yearly. But when I leave the property for errands or to get fuel and it goes over 5mph sometimes it stalls when I brake. It happened yesterday. I had to stop due to oncoming traffic and it started stalling and making a gear grinding sound, I was able to give it some gas to keep it from stalling and made it to the store. After shopping, I started it and put it in OD, it stalled when I touched the gas pedal. I thought maybe it is a gear issue so I started it in D2 and it stalled again. The third time I put it in D1 and I didn't have a problem. Of course trying to drive 35mph in D1 was difficult so I switched to D2 but felt like it had less power when I would give it gas. I think it is a 5.8L.


Well, there's a few things here:

  • doing mostly short low-speed trips (at the cemetery) qualifies as "severe service." You will need fluid changes more often than you think.
  • the truck only driving properly in 1st gear (D1) could indicate very low fluid in the automatic transmission. Check the transmission dipstick for both level, colour and smell. (pink-red smelling sweet is healthy, brown-red smelling burnt needs a change)
  • unexpected stalling on an automatic is usually an indication of poor fuel delivery, poor air delivery, poor compression or poor spark.

Poor Air Delivery:

  • inspect your air filter and change if needed

  • inspect your mass airflow meter and clean it if necessary

  • make sure your mass airflow meter is connected securely and there's no corrosion on the connector

  • inspect your idle air control valve (and the hose coming from it), clean it (and the hose) if needed

  • make sure your idle air control valve is connected securely and there isn't any corrosion at the connector

Poor fuel delivery:

  • inspect your fuel filter and replace if necessary

  • measure your fuel pressure

  • perform electrical tests on your fuel injectors

  • make sure your injectors are connected securely and there isn't any corrosion on the connectors

Poor compression:

  • perform a compression test

Poor spark:

  • inspect your spark plugs and replace if necessary

  • inspect your spark plug cables, measure the resistance and replace if necessary

  • make sure your spark plug cables are connected securely at both ends

  • inspect your distributor cap and rotor, replace if necessary

Some of the items above (fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, distributor cap and distributor rotor) last about 2 years on a normally driven vehicle. With the low annual mileage and low speeds you are putting on your vehicle, these figures don't apply, but they are still components you need to replace regularly.

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