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badkins50 02-28-2011 12:06 PM

1989 F-150 warm starting problem
Alittle history - My G-PA bought the truck brand new in 89. It now has 15K original miles on the factory engine. Yeah only 15K miles. Never seen any bad weather. He passed away in 05 and now G-MA wants us to drive it. It is a 1989 XLT Lariet with the straight 6 EFI, automatic with 2 fuel tanks.

The problem - starts better than new when the engine is cool completely down. When starting the engine warmed up it cranks about 10-15 times before firing up. The thing runs great when started and not a single check engine light to be seen at all.

Other than regular maintenance the only work that has been done is we had the injectors and throttle body cleaned at the dealer back in (I think) 2006.

Can anyone help me with possible problems we can look into to get this beauty back on the road for a daily driver (well at least when the weather permits). Thanks in advance for all your help.

Duct Tape Racing 02-28-2011 12:12 PM

cap rotor plugs wires? sounds like a tune up issue

jas88 02-28-2011 12:32 PM

I predict you need a new ignition coil.

drjoe171 02-28-2011 05:00 PM

I would be tempted to heat things up one at a time with a hairdryer.

With the engine cold, and you Know it will start, hit, say, the distributor with a hairdryer toi heat it up, then the ignition coil, then the ignition module until it won't start.

You can also cool down components with compressed air, one at a time.

There was a guy on here who heated his distributor like this, NO start.
Cooled it with compressed air, and it would start.

He did that a couple times and THEN replaced whatever it is inside the distributor knowing for sure it was that particular heat related part failure.

drew92472 02-28-2011 05:05 PM

Check the spark hot with a simple $3 tester from the parts store the little screw apart kind or one that picks up thru the wire,, probably the pickup coil or module in distributer

skelator84 03-01-2011 12:46 AM

do both fuel tanks work?

badkins50 03-01-2011 07:29 AM

All great things to take a look at. After pricing all these parts, and after the truck sitting for long periods of time, I going to go ahead and replace all these parts and give it a try. I Figure it would be money well spent anyway. Hopefully I will be able to get in that garage and start at it this weekend. Thanks for the advice and I'll keep you posted.


Originally Posted by skelator84 (Post 10033919)
do both fuel tanks work?

Yeah both tanks are working fine. You can switch tanks and everything runs great. Also when you go to start you can hear the fuel pump working no matter which tank is on. Is there something else with the tank I should look for?

badkins50 04-18-2011 06:34 AM


Originally Posted by Duct Tape Racing (Post 10030646)
cap rotor plugs wires? sounds like a tune up issue

Finally had some time and the weather was cooperating so went to the garage and starting working on this issue. Changed the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, oil and filter, some seafoam and cleaned out the throttle body. Started up and ran for a while, waited 5 minutes, started right up. repeated again and it started right up with no problem. I think its time for a nice long drive out into the country to blow the cob webs off (and out).

Thanks for all your help.

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