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  #16  
Old 10-22-2009, 10:29 PM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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How are you going to do an accurate resistance check on a fuel pump? How many comutator bars are there? How are you going to check the resistance of each comutator bar segment? The only way is to remove the pump and if you do that you might as well replace the pump. Better to do a pressure and volume check. That's more accurate anyway. Removing the tanks is a lot of work as is getting those rusted bed bolts out. I'd spray those rusted bolts with some PB Blaster and let them soak. If you can get the bed off it makes changing that pump an easy job. Once the bed is off everything is right there staring you in the face.
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  #17  
Old 10-31-2009, 09:48 PM
cstrack cstrack is offline
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Last weekend, I had the battery load tested at 3 different stores, and it passed with flying colors.

I brought it home and proceeded with the fuel pump removal. I managed to remove the other 7 tie down bolts w/o further breakage, yanked out the bed liner, and removed the tailgate. So far, so good. Screeeech....the sound of progress stopping.

Removed 4 bed bolts by using a 3' level extension on my pull handle. #5 broke my torx bit from Home Depot. Ran to Sears and bought an off-brand and a Craftsman. The off-brand torx broke on #5. The Craftsman bit twisted, but did not break. Eventually, the torx teeth inside bolt heads sheared off on bolt #5 & 6. Found a 15/16" nut, traced the outline on the bolt heads, and broke out the Dremel. I removed the extra material to make 15/16" bolt heads. #5 broke lose with the 15/16" socket and 3' extension, but the nut under the bed started to turn. After 2 more hours of cursing at failed attempts to hold the nut with wrenches, sockets, vice grips, etc., I recalled having a set of special sockets to remove stripped bolt heads. Slapped one on the nut, and it finally broke lose. #6 was removed with the 15/16' socket, too.

I unhooked the wiring, fuel filler hoses, and started raising the bed with wood blocks. Due to working solo, I scratched my cab with the front corner of the bed. :-(

In hind sight, removing my rear tires would reduce the lift needed to clear the tires (~14" needed to clear). Eventually I got the bed up and back far enough to access the fuel pump. I removed the pump, bought a new pump & sending unit, installed the new pump and started the truck. I slathered the bolt threads in anti-seize before installation. Then, I proceeded with re-installation, until reaching the damaged bed bolt nut.

This week, I located a new nut at the dealer and finished securing the bed. Last night, I painted the two bed bolts modified to 15/16" bolt heads.

My truck is back together, with the exception of the bed liner. I will give the paint a few days to cure before installing the liner.

Working alone and w/o compressed air tools, this procedure took most of the weekend. This procedure is not for the faint of heart, or someone with limited mechanical experience & limited tools.

If the bed bolts were easy to remove, then I would do it again. If the bolts were frozen, then I would try dropping the tank.

Thanks for the advice from multiple people on this board. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I will let you know if this doesn't solve my problems.
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2009, 07:21 AM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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You really do need to have someone around to help you lift the bed and slide it back. The rest of the stuff you can do without lihelp. Compressed air really does help a lot. If you live in a area where road salt is used in the wintertime getting those bolts is even harder. The next time I do one I think I will try to get them out and if they won't turn I'm going to use a recip saw to cut them off under the frame. Those bolts aren't that expensive considering how much easier it is to swap the pump with the bed removed. If you haven't thrown the old pump away you should open it up and look at the commutator bars. I think you'll find some bars with a lot of carbon buildup
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2009, 07:28 PM
darrengee darrengee is offline
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Please let us know when you fix the problem. I'm pulling my hair out with the same starting problem on a 2001 supercrew. Do the 97 f150s have the theft key thing (the chip in the key head) in em? I was thinking my key wasnt being recognized, and keeping the ecm from firing the engine. Tried my spare key and it fired right up. But turns out, both keys are producing the intermittent start. I now think I may have a loose connection since sometimes I can bang the steering wheel with my fist and it starts up. Different things I do will make it start every time (usually involves hitting or beating on something). Guess I'll check the crank sensor next!
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:40 PM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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If the beating thing actually works I'd start right there by removing the cover on the steering column. You'll need Alldata or Mitchell. I'd look at the electrical switch the is operated by the key. It has 4 positions(Acc, OFF, Run and Start). I'd remove the switch and clean the contacts(this requires some disassemble, but be careful that you don't remove to many parts and springs go flying all over the place). Spray it with contact cleaner. Put it back in and see if this helps. You can do continuity test while you have the switch removed.
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  #21  
Old 11-02-2009, 10:00 PM
darrengee darrengee is offline
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Thanks, I'll try that next. I'm thinking that it's not a bad key because the "theft" light doesn't blink real fast like it does when you use a key that doesn't have the chip in it, and the dome light goes off when trying to start it like it's supposed to do.
Can the crank sensor be removed from the engine without pulling the a/c compressor? My connector plug was wet with oily grime. I cleaned it as good as I could without removing the sensor. Oh, 2001 5.4 F150..
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  #22  
Old 11-03-2009, 09:55 AM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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I've had no starts on Lincolns that had dirty grimy CKP connectors. You open the connector and spray both sides. Many times the engine starts right up.
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  #23  
Old 11-07-2009, 04:31 PM
darrengee darrengee is offline
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I think I might have fixed the intermittent starting problem. I removed the key cylinder from the steering column, sprayed it down with contact cleaner inside and out. I'm not saying that fixed it, but its been working fine for the past few days. I also found that the wires going to the crank sensor were chafed a little about an inch before the plug where it comes out at the 90 degree from the plastic plug (that keeps the wires from contacting the a/c compressor).
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2009, 07:36 PM
wild_man7 wild_man7 is offline
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Hey cstrack! Thank you very much for the excellent posting and detailed information regarding your troubleshooting of the '98 F-150 "no start" problem. Thanks everyone else too!

My truck is a '98 F-150 4x4 SuperCab with approx. 160k miles on it.

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, with details.

I have had this same "intermittent start" issue in the past, and in August of 2002 (and 70408 miles) I ended up paying (at a dealership, no less) to have the fuel pump replaced because I do not have the experience OR the tools/facility/help to drop the tank or remove the bed to replace the pump myself, which stinks because I'm pretty mechanically inclined and I work on complicated electrical and mechanical equipment for a living every day!

In the fall of 2008, I stopped driving the truck regularly because I started driving a company vehicle for work. The truck was kept outside, but I installed a new battery and had tuned it up and prepped it for a much-reduced useage/storage before parking it. I also started it regularly, and drove it occasionally to keep things in working order, but not on a daily basis as previously.

Recently, I've wanted to start using the vehicle regularly again, and the "no-start" symptoms that you're experiencing now (and I'd had in the past) have appeared.

Although I have not gone through the extensive troubleshooting steps that you did with checking voltages at the crank sensor, fuel pump, etc., I have checked a few things. All of these described below are for a "non-start" situation, or when the truck will not start.
- checked for pressure in the fuel line at Shrader Valve after turning ignition "ON", no pressure at all
- checked for pressure/fuel flow at Shrader Valve while cranking engine - no fuel, no pressure
- swapped out/replaced fuel pump relay, no start
- all fuses good

Last weekend, after reading through this post, I found that you had the problem with no start when the battery voltage was at or below 12v. With that in mind, I connected up my father's truck with jumper cables to give the battery (which would still crank the engine just fine), and after a few minutes... "VROOOM!!!", the beast started RIGHT UP!!! The battery is not a very high quality battery, definitely not a deep cycle and it had gone dead on me last winter a couple of times, but was able to recover it with a good, long charge. The fact that jumping the battery to get it up around 14 volts made me think that it could just simply be a low/bad battery issue causing the fuel pump problem.

We drove the truck for the rest of the weekend without any problems. I travel for work, and during the week, when I asked my wife to go and start the truck, it once again would not fire off, but cranks and cranks just fine.

Today, I believed once again that it was the battery voltage thing. I measured my battery voltage at 11.55 volts and verified that the truck would not start. Then, I connected up the jumper cables to "boost" up the battery and after a few minutes, measured the voltage to be 13.79 volts.

When I tried to start the truck, it immediately cranked with the "extra" juice and seemed to "fire" just very briefly, then nothing... meaning no start. It would crank and crank and crank, feeling the extra boost of the additional/assist battery power from my other vehicle, but not start.

So it leaves me to ask the forum this: Does the low voltage issue with the fuel pump indicate that the fuel pump is actually beginning to go bad? Is the fuel pump supposed to work at voltages lower than 13-14 volts? Is there any way for me to check/verify the crank sensor function, with my limited experience with working on F-series trucks?

I'm not very keen on the thought of spending another $300-400 to replace the fuel pump that was replaced in 2002. Is this common? I'd think that a fuel pump could go bad "one" time during the lifetime of the vehicle, but not "twice"... The original replacement was done with a FORD spec. fuel sender and pump assembly.
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2009, 06:19 PM
cstrack cstrack is offline
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So far, I drove the truck to work every day for 1.5 weeks without an issue. Typically, I had at least one intermittent start issue per week, so the new pump looks promising for resolving my issue.

Darrengee--My '98 does not have the chip in the key. I hope the contact cleaner & wire repair works for you.

Wild_man7--Your symptoms sound identical to mine. 14V was my magic number, based on the digital readout of my battery charger and a voltmeter attached to the battery. I watched the voltage climb to various levels, while activating the key off/on, and 14V was my magic value to overcome the intermittent start issue. In fact, jump starting failed me on a couple occasions, when the battery charger technique never failed.

I believe the high voltage is a symptom of a pump going bad; however, I was unsuccessful in proving this with my voltmeter. Another person suggested measuring the motor resistance, which I did, and it only showed 1-2 ohm resistance, which is pretty close to a new pump. Mr. Boggs questions the technique, which I cannot dispute.
In addition, I took the pump to work, hooked it to a reference DC power supply, and I could drop the voltage to 8V (when the pump was already pumping) before it would drop out. When I would use 8-10V to start the pump, it failed in the lab; however, it would pump with a little over 10V. Hence, I remain confused on how to determine the pump is bad, beyond changing it out. I suspect the pump is drawing too much current through some high resistance condition, which requires more voltage to achieve the minimum power for function. I have not proof though.
Mr. Boggs suggested disassembling the motor and inspecting the commutator bars, which is still on my to-do list. If you go this far into diagnosis, then I would just change the pump, since you must remove it from the tank to inspect the commutator bars.

Do you have a voltmeter? If so, then I could describe my process for checking the crank sensor.

Even though you used a Ford spec. replacement pump, your mileage is 20K miles higher than the first Ford spec. pump; hence, I would not rule out the pump. $300-400 is cheap from a dealer, since three local dealers quoted me greater than $400 just for the parts (no labor). My new pump and sending unit were under $200 from Autozone, so you could save some decent money doing it yourself.

I will continue posting updates on my success/failure once per week.
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  #26  
Old 11-10-2009, 06:28 PM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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You don't have to be so analytical to decide whether to change the pump or not. I like to know these kind of things myself, but I use pressure and volume to make my decision whether to pull the bed off and change the tank. If you get the correct pressure and at least one pint of fuel in 30 seconds you can feed your injectors at WOT.
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  #27  
Old 11-10-2009, 09:56 PM
wild_man7 wild_man7 is offline
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14V really IS the magic number...

Thanks, cstrack. It really is helpful to have all of the additional information and input when trying to solve a problem. Thanks goes out to everyone here in the forum, but by you having the EXACT SAME problem and symptoms to reflect on, it's truly a bonus.

So, these last few days, I connected my DVM up to the battery under the hood and monitored the voltage level. The battery typically wants to sit around 11.8 and 12.03 VDC. When I turn the key, the voltage drops a bit, and the engine will crank and crank but no start.

So when I connected up my minivan (yeah, I hear the laughter out there... heheh), I tried to start the truck at 13.5 VDC, and no start. Waited a couple minutes for the voltage to reach 14 VDC, and good start.

My brother in law has been in the car business for over 30 years (scrap, parts, auctions, mechanics, sales, towing, etc.), and after I described this to him, he thinks that it's simply a matter of the battery being junk. "Although you have voltage and juice enough to crank the engine, if the battery does not provide enough power to the computer then the vehicle will not run, start, or whatever." He thinks that connection to the van with jumper cables is the clue. And, hearing that you can run your removed pump on a bench-top power supply all the way down to 8 volts makes me think that it would be worth a shot to replace my battery and see where that leads. Due to the fact that it's not super-high quality, and the fact that it went completely down last year a couple of times, I think that it would be prudent to first replace an $85 battery before a major activity like replacement of the fuel pump (todays information in mind).

I will also keep posting as I progress in this process. Thanks again.
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2009, 07:02 AM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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The battery has to have enough energy to pulse the injectors AND fire the spark plugs while the engines is being cranked by the starter motor(which uses up most of the current in the battery). If there isn't enough current left over for the injectors and coils once the starter uses what it needs you will have the symptom you are describing. Crank, crank, crank, but no start.
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  #29  
Old 11-11-2009, 11:55 PM
wild_man7 wild_man7 is offline
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Thanks, eallanboggs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eallanboggs View Post
The battery has to have enough energy to pulse the injectors AND fire the spark plugs while the engines is being cranked by the starter motor(which uses up most of the current in the battery). If there isn't enough current left over for the injectors and coils once the starter uses what it needs you will have the symptom you are describing. Crank, crank, crank, but no start.
Tonight, I borrowed a new Interstate "cranking" battery from my Pops and I will install that battery in the truck to see how it performs over the coming week with the no-start problem.

Here's to crossing fingers on this one!

I'll continue posting to report results, status, etc.
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  #30  
Old 11-18-2009, 09:28 PM
cstrack cstrack is offline
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Latest update

Driving daily and 2.5 weeks with no cranking issues.

wild-man7--The new battery is worth a try. I installed a new battery in my truck 8 months ago, and it started w/o issues for a few months. Eventually, the problem returned. If it fixes your problem, then consider yourself lucky by avoiding a fuel pump replacement. Before I changed the pump, I had my battery load tested 3 times on 3 different machines, and it passed with flying colors each time. Hence, I still believe the pump motor intermittently became "stuck" in some position which requires much higher voltages to operate (I know, I'm being analytical again....probably because I graduated from college with an engr. degree). My attempts to replicate on the bench failed, but it could be the pump motor never reached the intermittent state during my bench test. I will continue to post updates to this thread from time to time.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:28 PM
 
 
 
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