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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, we have been getting hammered with cold weather here recently. Temps have been averaging about 20F below for the past week or so.

2 days ago, I got up for work and remote started my car to allow it to warm up a bit. The remote start engaged once, did not fire up, but did finally fire up on the second attempt. I was having a cup of coffee and noticed I didn't hear my car running anymore. Went outside to check and sure enough it had died. Probably only 2-3 minutes had elapsed.

Ran out to start it with the key an no go. After several attempts the battery began to wear down, so threw the charger on it. It would crank over just fine, but not actually fire. There were times it would do the one sputter like it was getting close, but still wouldn't start.

So got a ride to work as it was getting late and I was numb already. Tried several times after work, but still the same result.

The next day, I threw some heet in the tank, let it sit for about an hour, and tried to start it again. Still no luck. Checked for fuel at the schrader valve. With the key on, I get a large amount of spray. So figured my issue was not a frozen fuel line as this was my initial thought. Pulled a plug and checked for spark. It was getting spark, but didn't seem to be very good. Not very bright and yellow in color. Check the coil with the same spark plug and got the same thing. The plug looked good. Had a very slight smell of gas, but not a flooded gas smell. Wasn't alot of carbon and the tip looked good.

Thought it might not be getting a good enough spark to fire,so swapped out the cap and rotor as well as the coil. Spark seems to be much better now, but still not the really hot blue color I have seen on other cars.

I am waiting for my buddy to get off work to use his fuel pressure tester to make sure I am getting ample pressure. What is the recommended pressure? 40 psi? What is a decent deviation in fuel pressure to determine if its the pump? Anything below 40 psi?

What are some other things I should be checking to make while I wait for him to get off work?

I have checked the fuel shut off in the trunk and the button is down. But I figured it I am getting fuel to the shrader valve, its not the fuel shut off.

I have been reading and I hear talk of the Crank Postion Sensor, Cam Synchronizer, etc. Some say the Cam sync will not stop the car from starting and others have said that was their issue. For the Crank Sensor, where is it located? I am assuming its gonna be under the timing cover, but will I have to pull off the crank pulley to get it out? Is there a way to narrow down issues without throwing new parts at it? Trying to keep my mindset/moneyset on possibly replacing the fuel pump. LOL. Really not looking forward to dropping the tank in the snow and ice.

Thanks in advance. Any input is appreciated.

Shawn
 

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my car wouldnt start at first yesterday either it cranked over just as fast as normal and sputtered a couple times but would not start after the battery wore down so the relays were clicking i went and grabbed my dads booster pack it started right up with that it still wasnt running on all cyliders so i had to sit there and make sure it didnt die for like 5 mins
 

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All that cranking might have flooded it. Try flood clear mode.... foot to the floor and crank it. If it starts, let off the gas.

Your 95 doesnt have a cam position sensor or crank position sensor. it has an "old school" distributor with signature PIP.

Do you hear the fuel pump run its roughly 2 second prime cycle when you turn the key to run?

The fact that fuel sprays out of the schraeder valve means nothing.... fuel press as low as 10 to 15 psi will cause fuel spray, but that isnt enough pressure to start or run the engine. Get a pressure gauge on it. With the vac line off the FPR, fuel press should be close to 39 psi.

BTW, what engine do you have 3.0 Vulcan or 3.8 Essex?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All that cranking might have flooded it. Try flood clear mode.... foot to the floor and crank it. If it starts, let off the gas.

Your 95 doesnt have a cam position sensor or crank position sensor. it has an "old school" distributor with signature PIP.

Do you hear the fuel pump run its roughly 2 second prime cycle when you turn the key to run?

The fact that fuel sprays out of the schraeder valve means nothing.... fuel press as low as 10 to 15 psi will cause fuel spray, but that isnt enough pressure to start or run the engine. Get a pressure gauge on it. With the vac line off the FPR, fuel press should be close to 39 psi.

BTW, what engine do you have 3.0 Vulcan or 3.8 Essex?
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I have the 3.0. I put it in the title but forgot to put it in the post.

I can hear the fuel pump prime, but never timed to see how long it ran to prime the system.

I understand what you mean on the fuel pressure test. My initial thought was that the fuel line had become frozen from possible water in the lines. The shrader valve test was to just confirm if gas was being blocked in the line, as in frozen fuel line. I am waiting on my buddy to get off work so I can used his fuel pressure tester.

So just to confirm, I hold the gas to the floor till the engine starts, or do I only hold it there while cranking for a period of time?

Thanks

Shawn
 

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I had issues with starting my car last winter. I had proper fuel pressure and i had proper spark. The car went to two different dealers with no luck in figuring out what was wrong. Eventually i got a parts car and one by one changed in and out the electrical components in the engine. If the part didn't fix the issue, i pulled it back out and tried another part. I tried the computer, the constant power pack mounted on top of the radiator and even every sensor with no luck. The part that finally fixed it was the electronic ignition pickup in the distributor. Somehow the module was acting slow, i would still get spark but it wasn't at the proper intervals. They never tested for spark timing at the dealerships but if they had tested it they would have seen that the spark arrived at the cylinder way too late. the distributor was in perfect factory time but the pickup was working half assed. Sometimes i could get a sputter like it wanted to start and sometimes i would get nothing. I even tried ether, but that just made it backfire. Its worth a shot, i would get a distributor from a junk yard and swap it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well a little update. Fuel pressure is between 40 psi and 39. Did the test 4 times, bleeading off the pressure each time. It would litterally go back and forth from 40 psi one test to 39 the next test, then back to 40 psi etc.

Pulled the ignition module as well and it tested fine by the parts store.

Imafordboi69, you might be on to something. I am not sure what else can be the problem besides timing. I am getting fuel, and I am getting spark. So to me the only thing else it could be is timing.

JeffK, I held the gas to the floor and cranked it over about 5 times for about 4-5 seconds each time. Still no luck. I pulled one of the plugs again, and it smelled of gas but did not appear wet at all.

Is there a way to test the spark timing, or if the pick up in the distributor is working properly?

What else can I be missing?

Thanks

Shawn
 

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Check the air filter see if it is clogged with debris and if the debris is crystallized and blocking airflow. also try spraying ether into the intake and try to start the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well got it running finally. Thought it might have to do with a timing issue, so I pulled the distributor and replaced the distributor pickup. I also noticed the distributor gear had some wear marks in it, so decided to swap it out while I had it that far apart.

Slap in back in the car, line up all my marks, and tighten it down. Still cranked but would not start. Double checked fuel pressure again. Still at 40 psi. So checked for spark again. NO spark now.

After scratching my head for a while and warming up in the house for a bit, I decided to go back out and check things over again.

I was pulling the coil again to see if maybe it had went bad on me. When I unclipped the plug going into the coil, I noticed one of the small metal pins was off to one side a little bit. Looked at the plug and could see a long scrape on the plastic. Took a small screwdriver and bend the pin back vertical, snapped the plug back in and it fired right up.

With the slightly bent pin, it was not making a good contact.

So the distributor pickup and gear was not necessary. But they were cheap. Just glad its fixed for now. LOL.

Thanks for all the advice and input. Turned out I fixed it with the first parts I put on, just was too dumb to notice the bent pin. HAHA

Shawn
 

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Glad to hear you got it running!!

FYI, I didnt say to try to start it with your foot to the floor, I said about 1/2 way down...... WOT during puts the EEC in flood clear mode, meaning the PCM wont fire the injectors to clear a flooded motor. In other words, WOT during crank the car will never start!
 

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There are two module on the distributor, the first is bolted to the outside of the distributor on a "flag or arm". That's the part most people try changing first. I haven't had any of those fail, but the module inside of the distributor that replaces the points I have had fail.

It's a Bosch (German design) that works well, but has a tendency to fail at aorund 100K miles. I have similar modules made by Bosch in one of my Porsches (924), ex-wife's Dodge Omni, and a VW. They all failed at around 100K miles.

The cheapest way to replace it is to buy a rebuilt distributor. I got a A-1 Cardone Rebuilt with Lifetime Warranty for my 87 Taurus Wagon for about $60 (cheaper than buying the breakerless module and paying a machine shop to install it). The first one that I got had a casting manufacturing date in 1995, and was defective (had something wrong with the advance), but I had no problems with the 2nd one.

If you replaced the breakerless module, even if yours wasn't bad yet, I would consider it to be PM (preventative maintenance) since they go bad in 100K anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I think I spoke too soon.

But a new issue, so it may be related.

Driving to work this morning, everything seemed fine. Got about 2 miles from work and it began to act weird. It seemed like as I pushed on the gas pedal further, probably 1/2 way, the car very very slowly accelerated. As I pushed the gas down even farther, still the same result. When I tried to floor it, it just bogged way down like it was gonna die and sputtered a bit. Almost like a back fire but more though the intake sound rather than the exhaust.

So I backed down off the gas, and just held it about 1/4 throttle. It still keep accelerating very slowly, then all the sudden it came out of it an accelerated normal. It would do this off and on for the entire trip to work. I take alot of back roads to work, so there are alot of stops. It would not continue the problem every time. It was on and off through out the rest of the way to work. I did notice that when it was doing it, when I stopped at a stop sign, the idle was very rough. Wouldn't actually die out, sputtered quite a bit like it wanted to die. The times between stops that it did not act this way, it would accelerate normal, and no rough idle at stop signs. It seemed to get worse the longer I drove it. By worse, I mean the issue became more frequent, but still did not become a constant issue.

After work, same issues. It started up fine, idled fine, but as I got closer to home, it became more and more frequent again. When it was not acting up, I could accelerate easily the more I pressed the gas down. It didn't seem to sputter or break up at higher rpms. And it only seemed to happen under load. Throw the car in park and it would rev just fine. Granted with the problem being sporatic, its possible it wasn't acting up at that time.

I am curious if the timing might be off a hair causing this issue? I thought fuel filter as well, but thought that the problem would have became worse at higher rpms loads.

What should the timing be? Do you check it at idle or rev up to a certain rpm to test. I have heard that idle spark timing is the only thing you can adjust. The rest is controlled in the PCM.

Also, to check the CEL with the jumper, what pins do I need to run the jumper to?

With my no start issue, I have changed out the coil, cap, rotor, distributor pickup, distributor gear, and had the ignition module tested. So it could possibly be something I swapped out causing the new issue. When I pulled the distributor, I marked the rotor location on the distributor housing as well as on the intake manifold. I marked the distributor cap screw holes with the fuel injector and the intake manifold as well.

I didn't have time to pull the plugs to see what they looked like as it was dark and I was getting discouraged that I was having another problem.

Any advice for this issue? Possible TPS? Whats the TPS voltages I need to be checking for?

I bought a book for the car, but its pretty much worthless. It doesn't really tell you where things are located, nor does it tell you what parameters things should be in for testing.

Thanks

Shawn
 

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Timing is 10° BTDC. You will need to pull the SPOUT plug out (located on the firewall) in order to check the timing. It's checked at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Timing is 10° BTDC. You will need to pull the SPOUT plug out (located on the firewall) in order to check the timing. It's checked at idle.
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Where abouts on the firewall? What should I be looking for? Is it a single plug or a harness?

Thanks

Shawn
 

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It's a small gray plug. It might be covered with electrical tape. It should be on the passenger side near the strut tower.
 
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