89 T-bird hard to start

Howdy all ford experts and shade tree mechanics,
    I have a 89 T-bird, 3.8 auto, MPFI. Starts hard, smokes when it does start, smell of gasoline in exaust. So it appears to be getting fuel, not
spark. Replaced spark plugs and wires, new rotor. Now it is slow to reduce engine speed after you let off the gas. It makes this honking noise in the intake when I shut if down. Makes the same honking noise the whole time when I run it without the MAF sensor conneted. Being a shade tree mechanic I resist the urge to take into the shop and sign a blank check.
Any ideas?
--
Harry

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It starts, so you have spark.

Good strong possibility you have too much.

Being a "shade tree mechanic" the clues are clear; so you should know what to do. Check fuel pressure, in other words go over the basics. Engine mechanical, ignition timing, fuel pressure.

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good ol' Thomas!
hey, Harry... get Probst's book on eecIV and read it front to back, till you know it better than you would a carb. Once you do, you wont ever think carb's are simple again.
Your problem is probably either the ECT or the FPR (fuel pressure reg)... bad as symptom is, the bad FPR will probably be leaking gas into the manifold vac line.
The tipoff is if it starts pretty quick if you hold pedal to floor while cranking.
Dunno what the honking is about... but i'll bet it's moot.
oh... and you DO have spark, obviously
:)
Thomas Moats opined in

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Bit the bullet and took it to the shop. And yes, it was the fuel pressure regulator that failed. Thanks for the feedback and the tip on the book. That sounds like one I need in the library.
--
Harry in Iowa

Still wondering why I'm so bored.
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