Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Omaha, nebraska
Drives: 1998 LX black Vulcan
1997 SE black Vulcan
gone to heaven:89 wagon,90 seda
Rep Power: 27
It is possible it was a bad connection in the motor wire harness connector. On my 97, that was C130 connector on top of the trannie and bolted down. You might take that
connector apart and check for corrosion, and spray some contact cleaner on both sides of the contacts before re assembly. My favorite cleaner is made by Caig labs and called PRO GOLD. Its something you probably won't find at the auto parts store
If you can duplicate problems by wiggling, you need to try to narrow down what part of the cable is casuing issues. if you can hold certian parts of teh cable sationary while Wiggling others, you might find an area of trouble.
Once i tore down a 91 3.8 for parts scavenging. The car looked OK and i wondered why it was junked (other than the obvious head gasket and trannie)
Turns out the motor wire harness was cut and had exposed wires on its bottom side
This was something you could not see until you actually removed the harness.
I will bet it was intermittent and the car was junked because the mechanics could
not figure out what was wrong with it.
What i would also do, is do some end to end wire inspection. if you take the C130 motor wire harness apart, peal back the insulation tape a bit to see where the wires
go into the back side of the connector. Look closely for wires that look discolored
or melted. If you find some, its entirely possible that one wire out of many melted
inside of the wire harness and melted itself into other wires or even grounded itself
to the motor. If you do find this, you have a couple of options. You can track down
the one wire and bypass it with a new wire, or you can take the harness off and apart and put a new wire in it as well as inspect for other wire damage.
Ether that or get another wire harness.
You may be able to use other year wire harnesses with modifications. You would need
the factory manuals and print out the engine wire schematics and trace down every
pin on the motor wire harness for both years and change the wires as needed.
This is NOT a process for the feint of heart. I did it on my 97 and got it running.
but it took a TON of time frustration If you do this, stay with the same engine family
on the harness
I take it you did inspect the ground strap between the engine block and the firewall?
I had an issue with mine. It should have read close to 0- 1/2 ohm resistance and
it was reading much higher than than on my digital meter proving it had some sort
of clamping or corrosion issue with it. I got a used one that measured OK and fixed
some weird issues
If you do dive into harness wiring issues, try to find a multi year ford factory DVD on
ebay or such to be able to access all the wiring diagrams. It will take you awhile
to navigate to where they all are, but there all there.
Bob Urz 1989 Vulcan wagon (wife crashed) 1990 Vulcan sedan (sold running) 1993 Vulcan sedan (wife crashed) 1993 Vulcan wagon (beat up like Battlestar Galactica, drove to junkyard on a sad day) 1997 Vulcan sedan (down with multiple coolant leaks), 1998 Vulcan sedan (rescued from being junked twice with broken brake lines and bad rack, currently resurrected)
If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan