voltage drop test/ intermitient stalling/ cranks but wont start problem, pls advise - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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voltage drop test/ intermitient stalling/ cranks but wont start problem, pls advise

So been having a intermittent " CRANKS BUT WONT START" problem and we've been doing this test. Already cleaned the battery terminal posts, and ground post.

We tested from battery post [+ ] to alternator post [-].When the Car is running and when radiator cooling fan kicks on voltage drops by 8.\ on the ohm meter

Is this normal?
is this a sign of a battery/alternator that is going?

Alternator is original, battery im not sure but it tests at 13.8 volts

Another symptom when im driving occasionally the volt meter on my dashboard gauge wiggles back adn forth between the " r" and "m: in the "NORM" reading.

Today was at a red light and it started to sound like it was going to stall then it did, then had a crank but wouldn't start, then finally it started.

ignition coil bought in 2010, along with a distributor cap, also cleaned the IAC valve today looked good though.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 11:02 PM
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my voltage would drop when i was at a light. I had to clean my main body and engine grounds. I also replaced my ground cable. My never died thou just had a low idle when power would go down.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 08:36 AM
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You could test the grounds by checking continuity between various points. Such as battery neg to alt case and chassis grounds.

Another note, I had an electric radiator fan burn out and the symptoms right before it cooked were that the volt gauge would bounce around a little. Then it pegged over when it finally gave and grounded out.

If it only dies out at idle, i would suggest trying a different/new IAC. Also, clean the MAF (can't hurt).

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
You could test the grounds by checking continuity between various points. Such as battery neg to alt case and chassis grounds.

Another note, I had an electric radiator fan burn out and the symptoms right before it cooked were that the volt gauge would bounce around a little. Then it pegged over when it finally gave and grounded out.

If it only dies out at idle, i would suggest trying a different/new IAC. Also, clean the MAF (can't hurt).
maybe it was the MAF that we cleaned, it had two springs on it? and we used a specific cleaner spray.

Any way to test the IAC itself to determine if its faulty? We had this problem before with this car and eventually replaced the ignition coil, distributor cap and IAC.Also were looking at the ignition control module [ICM] Does the PCV valve contribute to any of this?

Basically we ran through this test procedure at the link below, but it's now intermittent and every time it dies or has a "CRANK BUT WONT START" condition i can't do all the tests necessary.

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford_...d_module_1.php

Last edited by blinky99; 09-06-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 02:19 PM
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http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=131472

This is my thread on the same issue. I believe mine was that the coil would get hot and fail. After it cooled, it ran fine. I ended up swapping out the coil for a new one. I'm not exactly sure that was the problem, but I haven't had it happen since.

http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=140426

That is another thread of mine with similar issues. Lol. That time it was a bad connection for the IAC. I re-did the splice I had, and cleaned the terminals and she came to life.

I don't know of a way to test the IAC. I have a few of them I keep to swap around and try to diagnose.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=131472

This is my thread on the same issue. I believe mine was that the coil would get hot and fail. After it cooled, it ran fine. I ended up swapping out the coil for a new one. I'm not exactly sure that was the problem, but I haven't had it happen since.

http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=140426

That is another thread of mine with similar issues. Lol. That time it was a bad connection for the IAC. I re-did the splice I had, and cleaned the terminals and she came to life.

I don't know of a way to test the IAC. I have a few of them I keep to swap around and try to diagnose.
How do i check the IAC wires?

TY, right the IAC is what i cleaned

- ignition coil? we replaced that and it does have splices in it.. may be it wiggles out and car stalls? or has the "crank but wont start" scenario

Quote:
"Youve checked spark outside of the vehicle with a spark plug tester, or just a plug grounded out ?? Should have a nice blue spark, if its dull orange it could be weak from something in the ignition system but if spark is good"
read this in your thread, and when i spark test and the distributor its red/orange? Is it suppose to be blue/yellow?

Last edited by blinky99; 09-06-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 02:53 PM
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I would check, and possibly re-do any splice. I was using tap splices and that was not ideal.

You could try a used IAC and see what it does. There are 2 different ones though. 94-5 and 96-7. They are the same, except for the connector. One is square vs round or something. I have both pigtails spliced on, and that was where my problem was.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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we did replace the IAC a bit back in 2011 autozone called it a duralast" air bypass valve" is this the same as the IAC/MAF?

what about the spark plug tester color myth

should i run a few days with the IAC unplugged to see if it still stalls at idle/ has the crank but wont start ?
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 03:09 PM
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Air bypass valve sounds like the IAC (mounts to the intake). The MAF is on the intake tube by the air filter.

I'm not sure on the spark issue. I just pulled one out and arc'd it on the alt bracket. As for color, I read that saying it needs to be blue-ish (hotter?) rather than orange-ish. I have no experience with that though.

I do know that when I tried to start the car WITHOUT the IAC plugged up, it would do exactly what your's is doing. It'd turn over, but not fire. That was the issue with my splice at the IAC. It was corroded, and the car didn't 'see' the IAC and would not start.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now has 55k

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 03:18 PM
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If you can unplug the IAC and your symptoms do not change, then I would get a used IAC and try it. If it fixes it, then solved. If nothing changes with the different IAC you either have a problem somewhere else, or a bad used IAC also. I'd venture to guess the j/y part would be ok though.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now has 55k

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking at the ignition coil and the negative terminal the wire was sort of out of the socket if that makes sense, like i had to shove it back in. i wonder if while driving its becoming loose/loosing connection and leading to this problem?

we also cleaned the distributor rotors where the spark is.

Then driving home it started stumbling? Like it was slipping or misfiring i dunno hard to describe.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 07:28 PM
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I'd also test the crank, knock, and cam sensors and wiring. I hope for yoursa keit 's not the cam sensor, it's part of the distributor and can't be replaced individually. You would have to replace the wholedistributor.

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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how do i test those ? What was the stumbling i experienced?
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 07:39 PM
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I'll see if I can find the needed information and values for the sensors.

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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So it stalled/died again while driving, got it into a gas station on momentum, but wheni got the tools i needed to test ICM etc of course it started back up...

We tested the fuel pressure gauge, and the PSI was only at 10 after a few "primes" and running.

Meaning i'd turn key to"on" position and i can hear the fuel pump activating.these values seem low? Would they relate to teh "crank but wont start issue" ?
ty

http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/for...he-fuel-pump-2

suppose to be 35 PSI?

I think i replaced the distributor 1-2 years ago, it may be under warranty

Last edited by blinky99; 09-09-2013 at 03:41 PM.
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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:53 PM
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Yah, being fuel starved WOULD make one not start.

I think it's time to drop the tank and replace the pump.

I'd highly suggest upgrading to a higher flow pump - even if you never EVER do any upgrades, 1) it'll flow more fuel helping to keep it cooler on the hot days and 2) you're set for when you drop in that 460cid 1,000 HP Honda Eater

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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Yah, being fuel starved WOULD make one not start.

I think it's time to drop the tank and replace the pump.

I'd highly suggest upgrading to a higher flow pump - even if you never EVER do any upgrades, 1) it'll flow more fuel helping to keep it cooler on the hot days and 2) you're set for when you drop in that 460cid 1,000 HP Honda Eater

RwP
any tips on narrowing the fuel pump as the intermittent crank wont start problem? or is it solely the random stall problem?

also When it stalled last i put on the spark plug tester at the main distributor line and got no spark from the test light...
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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 08:00 AM
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I have an EVTM at home I can scan through this evening. I was told the pump either worked, or it didn't. I've never changed one out, but I've dropped the tank so many times that I wouldn't be scared to.

How old is the fuel filter? Another thing you may want to look at are the temp sensors. There are 2. One for the fan, and one for the computer. Maybe the one for the computer is bad/corroded? I just mentioned it because I have changed both of my sensors since I had this problem.

edit: I also thought that the 94/95 3.8L n/a didn't have a crank, knock, or cam sensor? I thought those came in 96 with OBD2?

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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
edit: I also thought that the 94/95 3.8L n/a didn't have a crank, knock, or cam sensor? I thought those came in 96 with OBD2?
94/95 3.8 NA California cars had a crank/cam sensor and DIS. 49 state cars had a distributor. Only the SC came with the knock sensor.
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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:25 PM
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Exactly! And the truck v6 got the knock sensor. So unless OP has a California car, he won't have those to worry about.

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post #21 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:44 PM
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Exactly! And the truck v6 got the knock sensor. So unless OP has a California car, he won't have those to worry about.
He said he already replaced the distrbutor, so definately not a California car ....

Those are easy to test, using the Check engine light during startup - CEL goes out during cranking = PCM is recieving the CKP signal, CEL stays on = No signal. Cam sensor = Tach needle. Knock sensor has nothing to do with startup.


I would be looking for fuel related issues. 10 psi is way too low.
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post #22 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post

I would be looking for fuel related issues. 10 psi is way too low.
What other fuel related tests are there, that i could do based on symptoms, i believe i did replace the fuel filter 1-2 years ago, but not sure we did the fuel pump. FUel pump is original I believe. Spark plugs/wires not sure on age either...

Guy at Autozone said i had a crank sensor....

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford_...d_module_5.php Never mind was reading this.


test 7 is what I got to

Quote:
"The LED should start to blink on and off as the engine is cranked. Is the LED blinking on and off as the engine is cranked?

CASE 1: If the LED Light flashed on and off the whole time the engine was being cranked, then the PIP (Profile Ignition Pickup) Sensor is creating and sending its signal.

This result indicates that the Ignition Control Module is BAD and the cause of the NO SPARK and CRANKS but DOES NOT START Condition. Replace the Ignition Control Module (ICM).

CASE 2: If the LED Light DID NOT flash on and off the whole time the engine was being cranked, then the PIP (Profile Ignition Pickup) Sensor is BAD and is the cause of the NO SPARK and CRANKS but DOES NOT START Condition.

Replacing the PIP Sensor (in the Distributor) will get the Ignition Coil Sparking again"
Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post

How old is the fuel filter? Another thing you may want to look at are the temp sensors. There are 2. One for the fan, and one for the computer. Maybe the one for the computer is bad/corroded? I just mentioned it because I have changed both of my sensors since I had this problem.
What would symptoms be of these 2 temp sensors going bad?Had what problem, intermittent "CRANK BUT WONT START"?

Another question when I did test 7, the car was running [i forgot] and when we connected the second alligator clip to the (+) POSITIVE battery terminal it killed/shut off the car? Is that normal? But after i had no problem restarting the car of course...


Could it be a bad fuel pump ? As i can hear it "prime/come on"; at this article > http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford/...ad_relay_3.php

Quote:
"CASE 2: Fuel Pump came On but the Fuel Pressure WAS NOT at specification (35-45 PSI). This tells you that the Fuel Pump is getting power but that it's BAD and needs to be replaced.

To be a little more specific: you ca hear the Fuel Pump come on if you place your ear on the fuel tank filler tube... but the Fuel Pressure does not register any fuel pressure or the fuel pressure is way below the 35 PSI minimum."
This is what happened when we tested the fuel pump with the fuel gauge [read 10psi], but we didnt test it by "Jumpering the Fuel Pump Circuit"as described in step 3, would that matter? we did just the key turned to "on"

Last edited by blinky99; 09-10-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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post #23 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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So got the condition to replicate, testing led me to a faulty ignition control module. Replaced it had it tested at auto zone and guess what THE OLD ONE PASSED so put the new[ICM] on.

Next day ...and guess what drove 20 min stooped into a store, and of course crank but wont start, put on the fuel pressure gauge and 2nd crank got up to 30-4o PSI...


wtf is this
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post #24 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 05:40 PM
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You have a bad fuel pump; my Tbird did the exact same thing when it died.

The pressure is key; if it ain't got 40 psi when the crank trigger comes around, it probably wont start.

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post #25 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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not a cheap fix....

along with my transmission / coolant leak problem, doesnt seem worth it to fix

i can prime it 3-4 x so that pressure is 30-40 psi and it still has a crank but wont start, why would that be then?

also Is it normal to loose pressure while cranking though?

Last edited by blinky99; 09-13-2013 at 10:26 PM.
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post #26 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Then reading this sounds familiar , only happened twice that i know of and not sure if it's normal. But when i prime [ fuel pump goes on and stops], then i crank wont start. then i stop cranking key on position if i leave it for a few seconds sometimes i can hear the fuel pump engaging again but without me turning the key to prime it as i usually have to do.

Is this normal???????

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford/...ad_relay_4.php

"There are times that the Fuel Injection Computer goes BAD internally and it activates the Fuel Pump continuously as long as the key is in the RUN position (but with the Engine Off)"

"A sure sign that the Fuel Injection Computer (EEC Electronic Control Module) is fried, is when it activates circuit 1, and then never shuts it off if you don't crank the Engine."
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post #27 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 11:04 PM
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These cars dont have a Fuel pump computer.

There is a relay, thats about it.
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post #28 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
These cars dont have a Fuel pump computer.

There is a relay, thats about it.
what about the symptom of having to prime 2-3 times before im at 35-45 PSI?

bad/going bad fuel-pump?or another part in the fuel pump circuit?>
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post #29 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 02:17 PM
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what about the symptom of having to prime 2-3 times before im at 35-45 PSI?

bad/going bad fuel-pump?or another part in the fuel pump circuit?>
Bad regulator or bad fuel pump (check valve) ..

Pinch off the return line, prime and check pressure to determine if your regulator is bleeding. Also pull off the vacuum line, check for fuel. Pinch off the supply line after priming to determine if the fuel pump check valve is bad.

You have verified the fuel pump is recieving full battery voltage during initial KOEO ? You have dont a voltage drop test on the fuel pump circuit between the IRCM and Fuel pump wiring harness ? If the fuel pump isnt recieving full power, that could explain the lower pressure - otherwise its bleeding back through the pump or the regulator.

Have you checked for injector pulse with a Noid light during cranking ?

Have you sprayed carb cleaner / starter fluid spray down the intake and see if it fires up ???
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post #30 of 50 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
Bad regulator or bad fuel pump (check valve) ..

Pinch off the return line, prime and check pressure to determine if your regulator is bleeding. Also pull off the vacuum line, check for fuel. Pinch off the supply line after priming to determine if the fuel pump check valve is bad.
haven't tried this but I will.

Quote:
You have verified the fuel pump is receiving full battery voltage during initial KOEO ? You have dont a voltage drop test on the fuel pump circuit between the IRCM and Fuel pump wiring harness ? If the fuel pump isnt receiving full power, that could explain the lower pressure - otherwise its bleeding back through the pump or the regulator.
Haven't done these initial tests for the fuel gauge but ill add it to my to do.

Quote:
Have you checked for injector pulse with a Noid light during cranking ?
Havent' even heard of this test

Quote:
Have you sprayed carb cleaner / starter fluid spray down the intake and see if it fires up ???
haven't tried this but it's on my list
Also just bought some dry gas to add in just because.
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