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EL Cold start issues 

 

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 Post subject: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:45 pm 
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Hello everyone

Sorry about the long post, but I thought the more info the better.

So winter has come and I am having issues with cold starts every morning. Some times the car would start first go and some times it would take a few times before it comes alive. Once idling, I leave it to warm up only for it to stall and die. I would try to start the car up again without turning the key to off and the engine would just turn over until battery dies. I turn the key off for a second and car would start straight away. Once warm it drives like normal.

I have replaced the whole distributor with new TFI module (not Bosch) and leads about 2 or 3 months ago.
Coil was replaced last week Friday because it stalled while driving.
Just bought a new battery today because old one was stuffed (checked by auto elec) while at work. Car parked for about 6 hours, started first go, left to idle for a minute and then it just stalled, tried to start without turning key off, nothing, turn key off and back on...starts fine but stalls again 60s later. Started third time and held throttle but she sounded rough. Drove out and it had a few misses and came good. No issues from then on.
I put injector cleaner in but only because I haven't done that in a while.
Running 98 fuel

So ignition wise it should be okay, especially when it starts first go, idles then dies and then drives fine for the rest of the day. The car will get a service soon, so ill be replacing the spark plugs and check the leads.

I got a new fuel filter that's going to go in, but not sure if it's starved of fuel since it drives fine when warm...no loss of power or surging like there isn't enough fuel.

The alternator was charging at 14.4V before replacing battery. When I drove from the auto elec to work the charge rate on the gauge was the same but didn't check with multi. Drove it around dinner time and noticed charge rate dropped on gauge, measured with multi and was charging at 13.8, is the alternator on its way out too now?

Some more information, temp sensor was replaced about 6 months ago, however when cluster is in diagnostics mode, it reads 30 when cold rather than actual temp, is that right? Also it reads no higher than 85C even after driving for 45 minutes, highway mostly with bit of stop start, usually around 80C.

What other parameters play a role during cold starts? o2 sensor? ISC stuck? Temp sensor? Compression?

I have 2 spare ECUs I can swap over to see if that fixes anything either, but want to rule things out first.

Thank you in advance

Phong

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Car didn't start at all yesterday morning and that was the last straw. Ended up going out and buying a little Lancer to get me from A to B...that's how frustrated I am, replacing the Ford with a Mitsubishi Lancer!

Anyways, I still want to figure out what the f**k was wrong with the car, for my sanity and maybe someone else's when they come upon this ridiculous problem.

Got home from the headache of car shopping and tried to start the car...what do you know, it fires up, albeit rough and poorly. Had to keep the foot on the throttle to stop it from choking and warm up a little. Once idle I drove it into the garage ready for troubleshooting and dismantling as well.

Woke up this morning to go to work and tried to start the car, what do you know, she starts first go, with no issues and idled perfect and didn't stall. Troubleshooting is going to take a while I think since I would need to have the car out in the cold weather to see if things change.

Anyways, tomorrow I have a day off and will try a few things. Going to be hard to narrow it down with the car now starting though...which sucks.

Check fuel filter - if it's blocked, replace it, if it's not blocked ->
Check fuel flow - before and after fuel rail, if all good ->
Pull injectors - check for visible blockages, make shift rig to see flow, if all good

Now I don't think it's coil or TFI, since it drives when warmed up...which is usually when coil fails, while TFIs just fail completely.

So I will focus on fuel for tomorrow, if all seems fine with fuel, I will replace the ECU with the 2 spare ones I have here.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Yeah, gotta confirm spark and fuel side.
What you can do is run a wire to the positive feed to the starter relay coil, through a switch, then to the battery positive. Leave the relay in position of course.
I use an old boot release switch, being momentary. You can leave it there when needed and motor the engine over as well from the engine bay. Then you can test for spark and injector pulse.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:42 pm 
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snap0964 wrote:
Yeah, gotta confirm spark and fuel side.
What you can do is run a wire to the positive feed to the starter relay coil, through a switch, then to the battery positive. Leave the relay in position of course.
I use an old boot release switch, being momentary. You can leave it there when needed and motor the engine over as well from the engine bay. Then you can test for spark and injector pulse.


So basically using the switch as a key turn the motor remotely so to speak? Might need to rig that up and see how I go, other option is have the missues turn it when I need to.

Thank you snap.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:12 pm 
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Well you can then motor over via key or the engine bay. When it has trouble starting, leave key on ign, go to your engine bay switch, motor over from there - pull a plug lead and make sure there's a spark jumping from the lead to the plug or the head - if you pull a lead, have it about 10mm off the plug and listen for the clack.
So that's spark covered . . . . .
Fuel shortly . . . .

 

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96 XH Longreach 'S': LPG, Alarm, 3.23:1 LSD, Cruise, Trip Comp, ABS, Power Windows, Mid Series Dome Lt, Climate Ctrl
97 EL Futura S/W: LPG, Alarm, LED int Lts, Trip Comp, F/Lane Dome Lt, Climate Ctrl, T5 Conversion

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:27 pm 
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mine was crackling, popping and surging when warming up, replaced all kinds of crap trying to fix it because i kept getting told " it can't be the o2, they only work at operating temp" guess what fixed it, the damn o2. A random hard start issue i had ended up being the fuel reg.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:26 pm 
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have sent you a PM phongus

Had the exact same issue, map sensor, was getting spark at the right time fuel was all in the cheek injectors firing and pump priming etc it gradually got harder and harder to start until now im the same boat as your EL no start at all
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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:17 pm 
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The electronics on these engines are basic and you don't need a scan tool to fix them, if you can't just take the car to someone that can. There can't be to much wrong if the car runs alright when it is hot, and There are still plenty of people around like my self that know these systems back to front.
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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:08 am 
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Alright, update.

So the car was parked in the garage for 2 days after a frustrated hump day. Both days, car started first go without issues, like nothing ever happened. The garage is around 10 degrees warmer than outside, so that could have made a difference.

Anyways, started with the fuel filter. After I pulled it out, I tried to blow through it and found it to be a struggle. Some went through, but my cheeks were puffed. Definitely blocked, but enough fuel for warmer starts and to idle for 30-60s before losing puff. Replaced it with a new one and parked the car outside.

Next morning, with frost on the car, it started first go, no issues. Maybe it was a fluke, left the car in the same spot until the next day with again frost on the car, but thicker this time...still started first go without hesitation. Tomorrow is day 3 and it will be another freezing night, so if it starts, seems like I found my solution.

Thank you rod hansen. Definitely a lot of you out there that know how to diagnose things quickly, however I just find it hard to find enough time to troubleshoot when needed. Time of my life where the Ford is more of a project car and a more reliable car is needed.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:31 pm 
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So the car started fine the next day, so I left it for 2 days without starting and it started first go and idled fine for 2 minutes. Looks like everything is fine, so I will take it for a drive to work and back to make sure all is good. Fingers crossed I'm not stuck at work on a Friday tomorrow.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Mad2 wrote:
so you made it back from work?


Yes I made it back from work, but then it died the next day again! :(

Tried everything to get it started (even a portable heater!) and wouldn't start.

I switched the ECU with a spare and it started first go, but died soon after (15s or so). Tried to start it again to no avail. Played around with relays, fuses etc and nothing. Swapped the ECU again for another spare (I have 3 ECUs in total) and it came to life, with no issues. Idled and I managed to drive it out of the driveway and into the road, only for it to die again. Left it sitting for a bit and it started again the next time to drive it into the garage.

I am still baffled about this and can't spend anymore time on it, so unfortunately I have pulled parts off it already and will be selling them.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Interesting issue for sure! Not one I've heard of before. How was it dying exactly? (Read through but couldnt find anything) was it spluttering etc or just stopped as if you turned the key off?

 

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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:26 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: EL Cold start issues
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:18 pm 
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alfy wrote:
Interesting issue for sure! Not one I've heard of before. How was it dying exactly? (Read through but couldnt find anything) was it spluttering etc or just stopped as if you turned the key off?


It just drops, no spluttering or misfire. It's like the TFI module or coil dies.

Mad2 wrote:
also did you recheck the filter plus fuel inlet?


I didn't recheck the fuel filter, though I could smell fuel during the attempts of starting. Will have a look at the filter again. If it's blocked again, my tank must be majorly contaminated!

In saying that, if it was fuel related, the car would have the symptoms regardless of ECU change. The fact that it starts after ECU swaps got me stumped...maybe it was just coincidence :?

In either case...car is going to be parted out...just giving me headaches :(

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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