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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 08-12-2009, 11:01 AM
jimjoebob99 jimjoebob99 is offline
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Post 95 F-150 cranks but doesn't start sometimes.

Hello again all. I've noticed a new problem with my truck as of late. It's getting pretty annoying also. Sometimes when I go to start the truck, it will crank but not fire. It mostly happens after i've driven it around for a bit beforehand, although i've had it do it once or twice while the truck was cold. After it does it though, if you wait 5-10 minutes, you can fire it right up. The starter always turns over at a good rate of speed and i'm sure that the battery is good.

I've only had the truck for a couple of months and it's happened all throughout the time I had it. The guy that I got the truck from ripped out the ingnition so you had to start it with a screw driver when I first got it. It did it then and i've since replaced and re-keyed the steering column (junk yard $50) to which it still happens. I drove it to the convient store about a week ago and when I got out it did the same thing. This time I didn't wait to start it, I kept cranking it. Someone stopped to help me and I wanted to check spark so I had him crank it over while I ground out the coil wire between a screw driver and the exhaust manifold and didn't get any spark at 1/4" gap. I noticed that the coil bracket was loose (thinking that with a bad ground on the ingnition coil that it might of fried the coil) and tightened it up, no luck. I took the coil off and had a buddy run me to the parts store and got another one, installed it, it fired right up and all was well.

Well it wasn't too long after that that it happened again to me and it started to aggrivate me by then. I know that this truck has the keyless entry system in it (which I don't have a remote to and won't go into programing mode by cycling the key 5 times) and the theft light on the dash blinks while the doors are open. I've messed with the power locks, physically used the key on the door locks and even went as far as turning the key backwards in the ignition to the accy position to get it to finally start.

My question is, would the anti-theft system be preventing it from starting somtimes? Maybe there is something loose in the new ignition cylinder that I had installed. I wouldn't think that this would do anything since the physicall ignition switch is the thing with all the wires in it mounted to the bottom of the column (and it's been through two of them). Maybe he cut something that he shouldn't of in the harness while replacing the radio. It would be nice to have the keyless entry system but I don't care either way about that. If that was preventing it from starting, can it be removed? I'm pretty decent with electronics and wiring but this one is stumping me, especially if it's computer driven. I know that when I replaced the lock cylinders in the doors there was a wire that connected on the back of it, to sense the key position, that I put back into place correctly. Does anyone have any other ideas as to what it might be?

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Old 08-14-2009, 06:14 AM
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Anyone?
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:05 AM
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When it's not starting check the incoming power to the coil.
Check all the wireing going to the coil and the distributor. The wires seem to get crisp on most trucks about 3 inches a head of the coil. Mine was so dry it split and would ground out at the worst times....like in trafic with 28ft trailer...
A little tape fixed it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:28 AM
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When you do not have spark pull out the SPOUT shorting bar and see if spark returns.
Post back and let us know so we know what to tell you to do next.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:26 AM
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I looked over the coil wiring pretty good when this happened. I will however try to check the coil input voltage. Is that running a voltage pulse into the coil or is it constant. I'm assuming that it pulses with the pickup in the distributor. I'm not quite sure what the SPOUT shorting bar is or where it is located. I'm pretty sure that I had fuel pressure when I checked last time it happened but i'm going to check again. I know that I can hear the front fuel pump run when I turn the key on but i'll double check to hear the sound upon key up. I'll let you know when I get home from work.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:41 PM
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Image of the SPOUT shorting bar:
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 08-17-2009, 08:16 AM
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My computer's internet was acting up all weekend so I didn't get a chance to come on and check the picture of the SPOUT. I did have another eventful weekend though. A few of my friends and I wanted to take the dirt bikes out to the local mud hole. We all met at the dirt bike shop and decided to head out from there. Well trying to start the truck after I turned it off there proved to be a real pain because the starter bolt (only had one in it) was loose and the started wasn't making good contact with the flywheel. I guess the guy that I bought the truck from thought that it only needed one. Anyone's guess is as good as mine. Well I busted out the tool set and tightened it up and all was fine again. The old beast fired right up and off we went!

Well about 30 minutes of doing 75 mph down the interstate, the truck lost power and was doing the death coast in the middle of a crap storm of traffic on I-75. All the gauges were still working and the radio never skipped a beat during this time. I got her stopped in the beakdown lane and tried to crank her up again. I only got the truck to turn over but not start. I got back under the truck to see if something might of happened with the started and found nothing. Checked to see if I had fuel pressure at the rail, found it all to be good again. Tried to check spark while one of my buddies turned the truck over and found no spark. . Checked all the coil wiring, distributor wiring, fuses, ect. and found nothing visibly wrong and it still wouldn't start. I removed all the power wires coming from the positive cable hooking to the solenoid on the passengers side fender and re-arranged them. The truck fired right up. I'm not sure if there was a bad connection there (because they were tight and not really dirty looking) or if reseting the battery connection to the truck did anything. It seems to be a phantom problem. We took the truck and bikes out and the rest of the day went great.

I got home late and didn't want to mess with taking the bike out till the morning. The next morning I popped the truck into neutral (without starting it) and rolled down the driveway to take the bike out. Well when I tried to start it to pull it back up the driveway, it cranked and cranked again. It took around 20-30 seconds before it finally decided to fire. I didn't even get a chance to do anything at this time before it started. I'm going to replace the starter and all the bolts to start, not that I think that's the problem, but I noticed the lug on the starter was cracked and loose and it's only a matter of time till it breaks off. I might change the solenoid from the battery while i'm at it just to make sure that's all new and while i'm at it, clean all the terminals going to the positive side of the battery. If it still happens, i'll try to remove the SPOUT and see if spark returns. It's geting really frustrating now. The truck runs so good when you can get it to run! lol. I've never had it die in traffic so it's getting scary. Thanks for all your info guys!
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:20 AM
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My guess is that you have a bad PIP sensor inside the distributor.
This is what they do when they go bad. To replace it you have to take the whole distributor apart after removing it from the engine. You will have to replace the part call a stator assembly that has the PIP sensor inside of it.
Most just replace the distributor.
When you go to reset the timing make sure you remove the SPOUT shorting bar when using the timing light to set it at 10 deg BTDC.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:48 AM
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Ok, so I have an update on this problem. Yesterday when I was driving it around it started to get moody again. I haven't messed with the PIP sensor or replacing the whole distributor yet because I haven't had time. I did however get a chance to remove the SPOUT when it wasn't starting. This worked and it fired right up. It happened twice and got it to fire up twice using this method. Would that still be an indication of a bad PIP sensor or something more like the ECU? I still need to go through and clean and tighted all the connections on the battery and solenoid but it was turning over at a normal speed. It didn't sound like a loose connection would of been a problem. Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:09 AM
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Sounds more like a bad ECU (PCM Computer).
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:18 AM
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Alright, thanks subford! It sucks because the truck runs awesome when it wants to. . lol. I'll keep you informed on what I find and what eventually fixes it. I also added to your rep. Thanks again!
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:26 PM
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Cool More problems

I had the truck die on me yet again in traffic. This time I had enough momentum to get the truck off the street and down a side street. Tried to crank it and just got the engine turning and no fire. Pulled the SPOUT and it cranked right up. I said screw it and I will leave the SPOUT out (and leave the computer in limp mode) until I get the money this friday to get me a computer. Well I went to start it up later that day and it wouldn't fire with the SPOUT out. I replaced it and it fired right up. It's getting very tempermental.

I also think that there could be an issue with the fuel pressure regulator. I don't have a gauge to hook up to it right now but when I normally think about it, I always wait till the sound of the fuel pump priming goes away before I crank the engine. It seems if I turn the key to start it while it's priming I haven't had a problem (that I can recall since i've been paying attention) yet. I know that the fuel pumps in both tanks work and it happens no matter which one I have selected. This could just still be my imagination and be totally related to the ECU. I'll see if I can borrow a pressure gauge and find out what kind of pressure readings i'm getting. Do you think that after the injectors prime that it would lose enough pressure to not allow the fuel injectors to fire? It still wouldn't explain why it's dying in traffic in mid RPM range unless it's doing some real crazy stuff.

I tried to look up the computer on the autozone website and see if I could get a general price but they quoted 24 different models for my application. Is there a marking on the computer that would tell me which one that I have so I can get the correct one? I looked on fordfuelinjection.com and they listed 26 different computers for the 5.8 from that year range. Could I be overlooking something else that is completely obvious to what the problem would be?

I'm assuming that the ECU is tied into the A40D transmission also. Would there be any other computer device on the truck that would make it shift funny. It seems that when i'm in 3rd gear accelerating past half throttle that the TC locks up but if I let off just a hair it goes back to 3rd gear. I love the feel and acceleration of the lockup and wish that on the highway it would stay locked out. I think that it might do this in other gears also. Maybe if the computer is failing that it's affecting the transmission also.

I also seen a recent thread on here pertaining to the Megasquirt II. I did some reading and research on it and I never heard anything about it controling the transmission, just the engine. Would you have to get a stand alone controller just for the tranny if you went this route? This would be something that I would be interested in for a future project, not a solution to my problem right now. The idea of a DIY fuel management system sounds like it would be a fun project.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:55 PM
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Still sounds like you have a bad computer.
You can take the old one out and there are numbers on the computer that you can use to get the right one from the auto parts store.
OR
You can post the calibration number off the drivers door post and post this number on here and we will post the numbers for your computer.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:25 AM
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I haven't had time to pull the computer out yet but I got the door cal sticker info.

Click the image to open in full size.

Would the computer be the possible cause of the tranny shifting funny or are these shifting points normal? I'm assuming that it's controled by RPM, TPS and load on the enging at least. I'm just not sure if it's related to the ECU or there is a different computer controller for it. I probably should do a filter and fluid change on the tranny since I haven't got into it yet. It works good and the fluid is at the proper level so i've just left it alone since i've purchased the truck. Thank you guys for all your help.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:44 AM
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The PCM Computer (ECU) controls the transmission and there is no other computer for the transmission.
To do this the PCM Computer uses information from the TPS (throttle pos.), PSOM (MPH), MASS (air flow), PIP (RPM) and MLPS (gear selection). Any of these along with their plugs and wiring can give false information to the PCM and the shifting can be hard or off.

The ECU (PCM Computer) number that is on the computer and you would use at an auto parts store, on-line or salvage yard is:
F5TF 12A650-YB
On line use the F5TF 12A650-YB and/or F5TF-YB for searching.

The Ford part number that you can only use at the dealer is:
F5TZ 12A650-YB

Your Parts list:
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 09-22-2009, 07:44 AM
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