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'95 F-150 5.0l hard start


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#21 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:41 AM

Back in the day, we were replacing the TFI modules and pick up sensors as company policy. Too many come backs when guys were just replacing the modules alone. After that policy went into effect, the come backs stopped.

Some guys were even quoting the ignition coil into their estimate. Just to cover their ass.

I wouldn't suggest back probing with a paperclip. I got a set of Mac pin point probes instead. They are much smaller guage, and the chances of spreading out a terminal are next to nil. One would probably bent the probe before any other damage could occur

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
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#22 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 12:08 PM

Thanks KP. So should I just bite the bullet, and order a distributor, TFI module, and coil? Using all Motorcraft parts, it's $360.97 + tax, or $390.75 (Gulp!). The distributor is 16 years old, with 205k miles, so I imagine there's probably a little slop in the bushings anyway.

I've never had to set the ignition timing on this, so how do I do it. Just hook up the timing light, disconnect the spout connector, and time it? Or is there something else I need to disconnect, too? I see that the timing spec is 10 degrees, plus or minus 2.

Oh, and KP, did you mark this thread "HOT"? If you did, thanks. How do you do that anyway? It's not something that I'd do on threads, except in cases like this where you wonder if you're going to be able to get somewhere, or be stuck somewhere.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#23 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:19 PM

If i did mark it hot, i must have done it by mistake. I know just enough to be dangerous. :lol:

With that many miles on it, and if you plan on keeping the ride, might as well replace it. Trying to go cheap (like me) might end up costing you more. IE: broken distributor gear, down time, etc.

As far as timing it goes, get some white touch-up paint, and mark the balancer @ 10 degrees BTDC. When you dissconnect the spout terminal, it will lock in the timing. Just point the light at the balancer, line up the pointer to your painted white line, tighten the lock down bolt, reconnect the spout, and you should be all good.

Some of the older Fords had marks ATDC on the balancer. Be sure you don't paint that line by mistake. Usually the way to identify this is the BTDC side will have marker lines going all the way up to 30 degrees. Where as the ATDC lines stop at 10.

Another tip. I usually bump the engine over untill the rotor points straight back to the firewall before i pull the old distributor. And put the new one in the same way.

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
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#24 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 16 October 2011 - 10:19 PM

I was able to order all my parts today, with the exception of the distributor. I ordered a coil,TFI module, cap, and rotor. They should be in tomorrow morning, and hopefully I'll get them on tomorrow after work. The Motorcraft distributor is hard to get (at least for O'Reilly Auto Parts here), but they can get all the other Motorcraft stuff in 24hrs or less. They offered either an A1 Cardone reman ($95 + 50 core), or a new one for $107 made by some company I'd never heard of, Richporter Technology Ltd., that's headquartered in Canada. Nothing on their site about the source of their parts, but I assume it's China.

So, I've got an email into the Ford dealer in WA state that I buy some parts from. They list a "distributor" for $116.98 (list $161.13), and a "distributor assy" for $237.99 (list $297.49). Hopefully I'll find out what the difference is, and if the $116.98 one includes the pick-up coil.

Is there any trick to installing the TFI module? The manual says to lay on the silicone grease on the heat sink at a thickness of 1/32". I guess the key is just to make sure you use enough, right?
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#25 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:27 PM

Have you ever tried Rockauto.com for parts? I have. With great results. What i usually do is call up one of my prior Ford stores, and ask for a price quote and part number. After that, i get online and go to Rockauto. I can, and have, gotten the exact Ford / Motorcraft part from them instead. Even with shipping and handling, i can beat a Ford stores price by doing it this way. By at least $35.00 and up. Depending on what it is.

One of the aftermarket vendors i used to use tossed Ford / Motorcraft out years ago. Because Ford got greedy, and wanted to hold them to only a 3%? mark up. This was due to an uproar over Ford selling Motorcraft parts to Wallmart cheaper than what the dealers were buying them direct.

Long story on that. But anyway, to answer your question on the grease, i just put a light coating on the module. All the way across.

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
Private Pilot High Performance / Complex Rating.


#26 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:12 PM

I replaced the TFI module and the coil this afternoon, so we'll see how that goes. The TFI module didn't come with the grease (?), so the parts guy threw in a packet. I did have to buy the 7/32" module socket (a Lisle tool), which was five bucks, since I didn't have the right socket. I'm sure I got enough grease on, because after running for awhile, the module was still relatively cool, while the heat sink was getting pretty warm. I also put a little bit of Loctite 242 on the screws, because I could see evidence of threadlocker on them when I took them out.

The truck started on the third try this morning, after no spark on the first couple (I was just about to pull out the DVOM and the remote starter switch). We'll see what it does tomorrow morning. I also ordered a distributor today, a new Ford part from the Ford dealer in WA state. $115.92 + shipping. Hopefully it will get here Thursday, after getting to the dealer from the warehouse on Wednesday.

And yes, I have bought some parts from RockAuto.com, like the driver's power window motor and regulator (Dorman part) that I bought last winter. yeah, they do have very good prices.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#27 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:58 AM

Well, the truck started okay this morning (I had the hood up to watch the spark tester). I normally get up at 6:00am, to get the kids up and ready for school, but this morning I went out at 5:47, because I had to know if it was going to start. I've seen days where it started okay, so I won't call it solved until it can go a week without a hiccup. The distributor should be in later this week, so I'll try to get it installed this weekend. I'll replace the cap and rotor at the same time (unless I change my mind and decide to do those earlier).

Thanks KP (and Grunt and ok44) for your help so far.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#28 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:15 PM

Before that special tool came out, i took my short Craftsman Sears socket to the ol' bench grinder. And kept grinding it down untill it fit. I still have it like that to this day. Over 20 years ago.

Then somewhere down the line, a customer traded in a vehicle with that special socket stuck into the ignition module. So i grabbed my handy dandy pliers, and put said special tool into my tool box.

Nice socket. I can either use the 1/4 inch drive on it, or a 3/8 wrench.

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
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#29 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

This one is short and stubby, and has a knob to turn, plus a hex shaft that fits a 1/2" wrench. I just wish it had a hole in the top for a 1/4" drive extension, so it could be used with a torque wrench (11-16 in lb, according to the book). But, it is made in USA, so that's something.

http://www.lislecorp...ts/?product=382
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#30 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 19 October 2011 - 02:35 PM

The truck started okay again this morning, so unless it has more problems, I'll drop off for a few days, at least until after I get the distributor in. Thanks.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#31 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:04 PM

Well, crap. Came out of work today to come home, and another hard start. Five o'clock in the afternoon, sunny, and 70 degrees, so not a cold weather problem. Took three tries, and it started. I haven't been opening the hood to watch the spark tester except in the mornings, but I assume it was another no spark start. So, I went by the local dealer on the way home and picked up a PCM relay, which I installed when I got home. I also pulled the three 20A maxi fuses related to the PCM and the fuel system in the power distribution box, and cleaned the terminals with Scotchbrite and contact cleaner. I also pulled the PCM relay coil diode and and cleaned its terminals, too. As well as fuse 13 (15A) in the inside fuse panel (PCM-related).

So, I'll continue keeping an eye on it. My new Ford distributor shipped today, and is supposed to be here tomorrow by 10:30am. I'll be installing it on Saturday. I'm still open to ideas, as always. Thanks.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#32 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:36 PM

Last month i was fighting a recurring alternator light comming on and off in a Windstar. And when this thing acted up, it would also sweep the guages in the instrument cluster.

I found light corrosion in the fuse block. And interestingly enough, 2 of the fuses has the corrosion on the insides of them. Dropping the field voltage down from the required 12 volts to 10.

The point being is if you find any green crust in a fuse block, or anywhere else for that matter, look closer. Terminal pins, fuses, connectors, etc. All it takes is a little bit, and you might find yourself walking home.

I got lucky that time. We have easy access to tow trucks.

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
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#33 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:55 PM

Well, no green crust, but I thought, what the hell, I've tried just about everything else. The blades on the fuses didn't look that bad, just grey and not clean. The sockets look okay, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I'm thinking about looking somewhere like car-part.com, for a junkyard PCM. Can I tell which PCM I need (F4TF-APA, F4TF-APB, F4TF-APC, F4TF-ARA, etc.) without pulling it out? Maybe by the calibration code sticker on the door jamb? It's 4-54E-R10.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#34 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:07 PM

The truck started and ran okay today, and my distributor came in. At first I didn't think it was the right part, but I didn't realize there was a big plastic spacer between the the body and the cap.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#35 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:27 AM

Well, I don't know how you can screw up a SPOUT connector, but I think I did. I went out last night to check the timing, so I unplugged the connector, hooked up my timing light, started the truck, and checked the timing. I couldn't read it very well, since I didn't have the paint on it, and I figured I'd just mess with it today, when I replaced the distributor.

I didn't realize that there was an index to the connector, and I may have tried to push the plug back in too hard. But, I turned it back around, and got it plugged in.

This morning I come out to replace the distributor. I go to back the truck down the driveway a little bit, and I get another no spark start. After a few tries, I shut it off, the unplug the PCM, and try starting it again, to see if it's a PCM issue. Still no start, so I reconnect the PCM, and try starting it again. It starts, so now I decide to hook up my code scanner to look for any new DTCs.

I run a KOEO, and now I have a 212 (loss of IDM signal, short to ground in SPOUT circuit). I pull the SPOUT connector, and one of the contacts in the socket looks misaligned, but I didn't think it looked that bad. I reconnect it, run another KOEO and erase the codes. I unplug the SPOUT connector, insert a jumper wire in the SPOUT connector, and start the truck and let it run for a minute. I shut it off, run another KOEO, and the 212 is back. Hmmmm...

I clear the codes, pull the jumper wire, and reconnect the SPOUT connector, run the engine, run another KOEO, and the 212 is back. Crap.

So, I unplug the PCM and the TFI module, hook my breakout box to the PCM connector, and run the pinpoint tests that I can without having a scan tool (NA2, NA3, NA5, NA6, and NA7), and everything checks out. So now I'm stuck.

The truck starts now, but is there a problem driving it with a 212? Will I have any ignition advance, or will the timing change at all. At this point I'm ready to take it to the dealer. Thanks.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#36 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 02:57 PM

What i do is unplug the spout, and set the timing. After the timing is set, i reconnect the spout while the engine is still running. You should see the timing advance as you plug back in the spout. If not, then you have another issue.

You may have to repair that connector. IE: A little trip to your local junkyard if you want to make it look like stock. If not, any male and female terminal will do. Just as long as you remember later on what you have done.

If you have no advance, continuing to drive it like that will kill your fuel economy and performance.

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
Private Pilot High Performance / Complex Rating.


#37 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 03:11 PM

What i do is unplug the spout, and set the timing. After the timing is set, i reconnect the spout while the engine is still running. You should see the timing advance as you plug back in the spout. If not, then you have another issue.

You may have to repair that connector. IE: A little trip to your local junkyard if you want to make it look like stock. If not, any male and female terminal will do. Just as long as you remember later on what you have done.

If you have no advance, continuing to drive it like that will kill your fuel economy and performance.


I figured that the fuel economy would suffer with no advance. I've driven it a little bit today, and I didn't notice any loss of performance, at cruise, WOT, etc. I may check the timing again, just to see if timing changes when I plug in the spout. Shouldn't it advance if I move the throttle (with the spout connected), like in the old days of mechanical and vacuum advance? That's what I'm used to. I inspected the pins in the PCM and everything looked okay. But then I could just have a flaky PCM. I've always suspected that the PCM (short to power) was the source of my 565 DTC (CANP solenoid valve always on). It hasn't been a big deal, as I disconnected the purge hose at the throttle body and capped off the vacuum port, as the vapor introduced at idle caused rough running and stalling, especially in warm or hot weather.
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#38 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 22 October 2011 - 04:08 PM

Okay. So, I went out and cleaned off the balancer with some Scotchbrite and painted a mark at 10deg with some white-out. I pulled the spout connector, hooked up my timing light and checked the timing. I got 9deg (technically within the VECI and manual's 10deg +/-2) with the spout disconnected, and after plugging the spout back with the engine still running, it went up to 12-14. Blipping the throttle advanced it, so I am getting advance. After shutting it off I took a little screwdriver and straightened the socket terminal that looked a little off, so the terminals were straight, I re-checked the timing after that, and everything looked good (9deg with the spout disconnected), and 12-14deg connected. Actually, when I tried to put the plug in the wrong way (intentionally), I found that the one-way pins block the plug from going in far enough to damage the pins in the socket. So I don't know why the one was crooked.

I'm still leaning toward a flaky PCM, so I'll have to think about whether I want to try a junkyard one, or just leave it to the dealer. Do you guys hate intermittent faults as much as I do?
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD

#39 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:10 AM

I think the worst one i worked on was a late 1980's Taurus. It had the KAM terminal broke off right at the harness going into the PCM. So with every engine shut down, memory was lost. And the next start up, the vehicle would idle hunt like crazy to find it's base idle setting. That was the complaint.

No one could figure it out at the prior dealers. So they parts tossed it. IAC, TPS, PCM, all kinds of parts. When it got to the buy back stage, i got it.

I spent about 1/2 the day checking EVERY wire and terminal on the EEC wiring loom, and found it. Fixed that bad boy up, and pissed off the customer.

He wanted that car gone. And Ford to buy him a new one. Did not quite work out that way.................. :lol:

No longer working at dealerships. Government employee. Now i get paid to fix Fords.
ASE master tech
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#40 stevef150xlt

 
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Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:18 PM

Crap, back to hard starts again. Went almost a week this time (last hard start was last Saturday). I took Friday afternoon off, came out late Friday afternoon to head to the local furniture store to meet a friend and his Chevy pickup, so I could a sofa and love seat. Took about a dozen or more tries before it finally started. Then yesterday it started okay, but today it took four tries. Gah!
SteveF150xlt
95 F150 XLT SWB S/C 5.0 4R70W
Detroit True-Trac LSD




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