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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 02-17-2012, 05:36 PM
Momba2 Momba2 is offline
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1996 F250 HD: Turns over, but won't start, argh!

This is a '97 HD F250. It has the 5.8L 351 Windsor. Anyway, it sounds like it wants to start, the engine cranks, but it sounds like it is not getting gas. I have changed the fuel filter, and we can hear the fuel pump engage.... What else should I check? I am a NOVICE, so please speak plainly! I appreciate any and all help. Mike.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:40 PM
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Is it cranking over solid, or does it seem to be kind of sluggish and slow?

Have you checked for spark? When is the last time you checked/replaced your air filter? It may be useful to remove the air filter and then try to start it, just to see if it is an air flow problem.

The easiest way to check and see if it's getting fuel is to remove the cap on the shrader valve. I don't have a pic of it, but it will look like a tire stem on the fuel rail. Engage the ignition so the fuel pump primes [or at least SHOULD prime the rail] then remove the cap from the valve and use a small screwdriver to depress the valve stem. BE CAREFUL- if there is fuel present it will shoot out very fast.

But, if you have a fuel pressure tester, it's always best to use that instead.

You may also want to check the fuel pressure regulator. This is a small cylinder that will be located at one end or the other on the fuel rail as well. There will be a vacuum line hooked up to it. Remove the vacuum line and look for gas dripping out of it, or if you can smell gas when the line is removed, it's bad.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:10 AM
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Changed plugs and wires just in case, and it needed them anyway. Air filter is practically new. Undid the cap on the fuel rail, depressed the 'valve' and very little gas came out... But we can hear the pump engage. Clog somewhere? Or is the pump just wearing out? Thx. Mike.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:30 AM
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What do you mean by "But we can hear the pump engage"?
When you turn on the key does the selected fuel pump run for one second a quit or does it run all the time the key is "ON" and the engine not running.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:50 AM
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Will check again tonite when I get home and let you know.... Thx.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:56 PM
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Okay, the pump engages for at least a full second, then it stops and a half second later the engine tries to start. Now, a couple of times it seems like the pump stayed on, because there was no silence between it turning on and the engine turning over. (The noise of the engine turning over makes it hard to tell if it is still on or not.)

Sound like a bad pump?
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:00 PM
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Does it have 2 tanks?? If so try starting on the other tank, that should rule out if it is a bad pump..

Just turn the key to the on position and listen for the pump to run for a second or so then cut off.. You don't have to be cranking for the pump to work...

You could even turn the key on several times before cranking to give a weak pump time to catch up....
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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That or a clogged FPR (fuel pressure regulator) like DBG said. I would test the fuel pressure at the rail to see if it is within spec. I forget what spec is but I believe it's around 40psi running.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:08 PM
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It's not out of gas is it?
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:02 PM
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Not out of gas. It has two tanks, but the front tank has not worked since I've had it. anyway, will check the FPR this weekend. Thanks again for all the great replies. It sucks having a truck to drive and not being able to...... Mike.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:59 PM
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Okay, replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator and the Fuel Filter again, too, in case it dredged up something from the bottom of tank. No change. Checked the schrader valve... it sends fuel out, but only a couple of inches high. Is that normal? Or should it shoot up and hit the hood!?!

Is it possible, that even with new plugs and wires, that it's not getting any spark? Distributor cap? Tune up parts? I am a rookie, so does any of this make sense?

What doesn't make sense to me is, after it didn't start for about 8 or 9 months, we changed the fuel filter, and it started up and ran like a champ for about 2 or 3 weeks.... then back to not starting.

Any and all ideas welcome.

Thanks again for all your help. Mike.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:04 PM
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Got it fixed! It ended up being the pick up coil in the distributor. Replaced the whole dist. and cap et cetera.... That, with new plugs, wires, coil, ..... Man, it's running GREAT!

Thanks again for all your help, and hopefully this will help someone else! Mike.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momba2 View Post
Got it fixed! It ended up being the pick up coil in the distributor. Replaced the whole dist. and cap et cetera.... That, with new plugs, wires, coil, ..... Man, it's running GREAT!

Thanks again for all your help, and hopefully this will help someone else! Mike.

Which distributor did you get? I'm having a similar problem with my 97 F250HD 351.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:37 PM
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Can't say for sure; a neighbor mechanic picked it up and put it on for me.... the Kit came with the Pick Up Coil though; He didn't replace the Dist Cap and it didn't want to start..... New Cap, and it was running again. I think the whole kit was like $40 at AZ plus about $10 for the new Cap. Sorry I can't be more detailed about which one, but hope this helps. Mike.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:40 PM
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yea its helping me get closer. thank you. I'm now at a no start status and code 211 is present....
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:40 PM
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