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Old 06-15-2017, 07:55 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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1985 Bronco 5.0L

I am getting code 18c, the SPOUT connector grounded. The truck will not start. Brand new distributor and module. I am very right on the timing, I have taken enough distributors in and out on these Ford EFIs before.

All sensors in the motor were replaced. New timing chain and checked the crank and the cam are on the correct strokes. I checked the wires to the module on the distributor to the computer 100 times and nothing is wrong. Tried an alternate module and no difference. Used a jumper cable and temped grounds everywhere and no change.

The truck did not start, and had the same code before I did any of this work. How do I rid this problem?

Thank you for reading.

PS here's the picture of it, it needs to run again! It is my wife's and it needs to be running before her highschool reunion.



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Old 06-16-2017, 01:15 PM
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Code 18 (CM) has two definitions: Loss of IDM input to processor/SPOUT circuit grounded.

Have you tried removing the SPOUT plug to see if you get spark? If it is a grounded SPOUT signal that may prevent the computer from triggering the ICM. With the SPOUT out the raw PIP signal from the distributor will trigger the Ignition Control Module (ICM).

If the problem is really "Loss of IDM input to processor" that will not keep the truck from starting. There is a 22k ohm resistor in line from coil to the computer to provide a feedback signal that the coil is triggering.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:52 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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Thanks for the information. I was able to find a soldered splice that was grounding itself. My computer now reads okay yet the truck still does not start. I went through everything again with the timing- pulled all the wires, pulled out plug 1 and found compression stroke, re-stabbed the distributor in, went through the firing order again. Still nothing. When it is turning over I can hear the tail pipe giving out low putts every few turns like it is trying. I am like pulling my hair out over this lol.
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:07 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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Update, it still says code 18c after trying to start it. I opened the wiring harness and inspected all the wires and they are all in order.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:04 PM
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Not saying this is your problem but I have had issues with part store parts right out of the box. Maybe you have a bad distributor or other sensor if you got the parts from a local chain store (I have had way too many issues with distributors from my local parts stores.)


Anyways, if it's not starting (computer stuff aside) that means it's either:

1. Not getting spark (or it's too weak)
2. Not getting fuel (or the fuel pressure it too low)
3. Not timed correctly
4. No compression

I probably wouldn't worry about #4 and it seems like you have #3 taken care of as well.

Have you tried and tested for spark? I'd first test for spark at the ignition coil (the wire going to the top of the distributor), then if that's good, I'd test for spark on the wires (near the spark plug. Make sure the spark is a nice fat blue spark too.

If you are getting spark at the end of the wires (near the plugs), then it's gotta be fuel or timing. Based on having some codes, I'd suspect a spark issue.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:45 PM
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Agreed , the 3 basic things fuel, spark. compression ,i see you had removed the upper intake , When was the engine last running ,been sitting long ?I know you said you have had problems before any changes ????Good looking 85 ! TR
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintonA View Post
Update, it still says code 18c after trying to start it.
Did you clear the CM codes after repairing the wiring?

They are called stored codes for a reason. I believe they will eventually clear themselves, 40? drive cycles...maybe 80. Much easier to clear the codes yourself.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:23 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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So I had time to check my compression and didn't go well, I took out all the plugs and checked one at a time and let it turn over at least 3 times.

1 - 61
2 - 91
3 - 91
4 - 70
5 - 60
6 - 90

The tool was too much of a pain in the butt to check the last two. And all of these numbers suck.



Valve covers off, intake off, timing chain cover off. I can see both valves on 1 are closed, I can feel the piston in the plug hole ready for compression stroke, and the TDC lines on my crank and cam are perfectly in line.

My next door neighbor keeps insisting that my rotor should be pointing physically to cylinder. The TFI unit wont even fit that direction. All my other Ford always point top right. Why does he say this? The timing wont even be right.

Where should I go from here?
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:59 PM
Torky2 Torky2 is offline
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I'm late to this one, so I'm not sure what exact problem you're chasing.

Quote:
So I had time to check my compression and didn't go well, I took out all the plugs and checked one at a time and let it turn over at least 3 times.

1 - 61
2 - 91
3 - 91
4 - 70
5 - 60
6 - 90

The tool was too much of a pain in the butt to check the last two. And all of these numbers suck.
You are using a thread-in compression gauge I hope, and not one of those old goofy push-in-hard-as-you-can rubber nosed ones, right? And do you have the throttle blocked wide open when doing the test?

Quote:
Valve covers off, intake off, timing chain cover off. I can see both valves on 1 are closed, I can feel the piston in the plug hole ready for compression stroke, and the TDC lines on my crank and cam are perfectly in line.
Is that a typo? TDC should be at the TOP (ending) of the compression stroke, not when the piston is at the bottom about to come up and Start the compression stroke.

Quote:
My next door neighbor keeps insisting that my rotor should be pointing physically to cylinder. The TFI unit wont even fit that direction. All my other Ford always point top right. Why does he say this? The timing wont even be right.
At the top of the compression stroke for cylinder #1, the rotor Should be pointing at the distributor cap tower for plug wire 1. If you are really at the top of compression stroke for cyl. #1, and the rotor is not pointing at #1, and by turning the distributor to try to get it, you run out of room, then the distributor needs to be pulled out, and re-stabbed in the appropriate amount around, so you have turning adjustment room.
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:02 AM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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I am using a thread in, and yes I opened the throttle all the way. I meant the piston is at it's highest point closest to the plug.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:45 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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I decided to pull the heads because it was leaking oil into one of the cylinders and wanted them to have new gaskets since I have no idea what happened to this motor before I got it.

So I turned the motor over a few times. Every piston has no weird play, held the water I dumped in from removing the heads, and the walls are smooth without a scratch.

I noticed nothing weird about the heads, no cracks, and the valves are all seated closed.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:39 PM
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Pushrods too long keeping the valves open? Without knowing exactly what was replaced and what work was performed it's all a guess from this side of the keyboard.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:21 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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The lifters were replaced. Though I have changed lifters on my other trucks and never had an issue but maybe I have the wrong ones? The valves do close all the way and have that tiny of play in the rocker arm. I did this so long ago I don't remember where the old ones are. I know for sure they were identical height and insides. Would it mattered if they gave me lifters for a carbeurated motor when I have an EFI, since they did that before on another part I ordered.

Does anyone know how far down the rocker arms press downward? If I knew that I can get some new lifters or rods.

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:53 PM
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Awesome looking truck.. I love the tire/wheel combo but hate the running boards.. sorry.

I think I see your problem though.. it's right there in that first pic... that BLACK ignition module on the side of your new distributor.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:13 PM
ClintonA ClintonA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
Awesome looking truck.. I love the tire/wheel combo but hate the running boards.. sorry.

I think I see your problem though.. it's right there in that first pic... that BLACK ignition module on the side of your new distributor.
Thanks! And yes the black module was changed to a gray one since I had both. When I ordered a new distributor I had a cast iron gear and the only cast iron gear distributor came with a black module even though it said it was for my truck. I had changed it to a gray one later than the picture.
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