2001 F-150 S-Crew stalls ocasionally

My 2001 F-150 SuperCrew (4.6L Triton) is exhibiting the following behavior. Truck will occasionally stall after accelerating after a stop or during a turn. Engine stops immediately and Odometer reads "---------" all horizontal
lines. If I place the truck in neutral and try to start it won't. If I turn the ignition off and back on then try to start it will. Sometimes while accelerating it will try to stall and make a comeback and you will feel it in the tranny sort of slamming into gear type of feel (by the way it is the automatic tranny with Overdrive.) And here is something else that happens if I turn the overdrive "off" using the switch on the shifter it will reengage (disengage from off ) back on it's own when the truck shudders and attempts to stall sometimes it is very subtle minor vibration as the engine is in a state of chaos. I also noted on the highway as I felt the malady about to happen again I looked down at the speedometer and at a constant 55MPH the Speedometer pegged to the right and back to the left and returned to normal. Due to the two previous observations I am thinking something of an electrical failure might be occurring the question is where? Obviously power is being lost dropping out the "off" setting on the overdrive. Although total power loss is not occurring since I see no instrument lights blinking or the radio missing a beat. I sure hope someone out there has an answer. I will be going to dealer to get the OBDII codes read maybe just maybe they will point to the root cause but somehow I am still doubtful that they will as you all know these intermittent problems can be a "bear".
Thanks in advance for any information or assistance rendered, Bob
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Sounds like a crappy ground connection on something.. check your battery lugs..
Kenny

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Battery connections are fine. Today while driving home on the highway at 60MPH the engine died tach immediately went to zero. I put tranny in Neutral turned off the ignition switch and back on and then restarted the engine, and put it back in drive all the while trying to keep the vehicle straight without PS. Very Scary! Don't think I'll be doing that again. I have to find the fault wherever it may be or the truck will be considered a safety hazard to drive.
Thanks, Bob

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You don't need power steering to steer a car, especially steer it straight. I've been driving my '67 Galaxie for over a month now without the power steering pump connected. My arms are getting stronger already. There should not be much strength needed at all to steer straight on the highway. Steering and brake systems with power assist are not fly by wire systems, the power assist is there in such a way that is the power assist fails for wahtever reason (stalled engine, vacuum leak, etc.) the steering and brake systems will still function normally, with the exception of requiring more force to be applied. Believe it or not there really was a time when power steering and power brakes didn't exist, and after that a period of time where they were not common and not standard options. Cars were not dangerous back then, and they aren't dangerous now. The safety issue is not that you may have to steer without assist, it is that you are essentially dead in the water. Not good if it stalls in the middle of a busy intersection or around a blind curve.
In any case, your problem sounds nearly identical to a problem my mom had with her Dodge. The instrument panel gauges would be all over the place and the engine would stumble and act as though it was about to stall. This would happen pretty randomly. Finally one morning the car wouldn't start so she asked me to go have a look at it. The first thing I noticed when I popped the hood was dirty and corroded battery terminals/conenctions. I cleaned them up good with some sand paper and the problem was gone. Modern cars will do some really funky things when they aren't getting enough juice from the battery.
This morning the battery in my '67 was dead so I got a jump (was not at home) and drove the car home with the dead battery. When I got home I turned teh car off and started it back up for curiosity sake and it cranked slowly but enough to fire. So I tooled around to work and back with a nearly dead battery and then when I got home this evening put it on the charger. The '67 has a weak charging system and the battery is getting old, so this didn't surprise me. I expect it will be fine in the morning. I guess I just find it weird that a modern car won't run off of the alternator. If anyone knows why I would be interested to hear it.
Cory

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-snip-

-snip-
I must agree with you here. Might also want to check the alternator belt too... Even if it doesnt noticeably squeal, it could be slipping.. My Isuzu Rodeo had worn out alternator belt, which was NOT squealing, but slipping pretty badly. Took me a day or two to figure out why it wouldn't run right then, one day the radio shut off and reset to factory stations/time, while I was trying to roll up all the windows and the batt guage dropped almost all the way down. That was my clue as to what was going on, of course my first thought was alternator, had it checked, sure enough it wasnt putting enough juice.. luckily the guy that owned the little parts shop noticed it wasnt quite turning as fast as it should be, and revved it some, and his meter didnt move till a second or so AFTER the rpms jumped up.
gave the belt a look, and it was wore bad.. so I replaced it, tightened up to spec, and aint had a problem since (with the rodeo anyway)
Chuck
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Engine died yesterday engine would turn over but not start. I had the truck towed to Ford dealer when we arrived the truck did start. Service Dept called back said that they would be changing out the PCM computer. (covered under emissions warranty) Battery/main electrical system is not the problem. I had volt meter hooked up during last failure and it didn't show a blip.
Bob
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