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The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start... 

 

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 Post subject: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Ride: '96 EL Ford Fairmonth Ghia.

Location: Toowoomba
QLD, Australia

How I love my fords. Now I don't have the flashiest Ford, or the most regularly serviced at a mechanics, but it does the job (most of the time). Up until yesterday, the car has run well, rarely giving me issue, the only real issue I've had is having to replace the power steering switch on the steering rack.

Started the car up yesterday, gave it its usual minute to warm up and then proceeded driving to work (which is only a few minutes away), the car ran fine and everything was good. Then came lunch, drove home and she idled rough and hunted and red lights, but got me home. Then came the drive back to work and she continued what she was doing earlier so I put my foot down a little, like I usually would, to clear it out. That's when the car figured it would have none of that and died. I managed to pull to the curb with the momentum remaining.

The next idea was to try and start her again. I got nothing. The car sounded like it would turn as if it had a flat battery (though it wasn't flat) for a few turns and then it would turn quite a few times in a row and then round back to do this again and again. I ended up walking back to work and organised a mate to help tow the car back. Jumped into the car and tried to turn it over and it didn't do the single crank it was before, it was just turning over as usual, as if it had no fuel though.

So I had the car towed back home this afternoon (scored a tow truck for $30). Grabbed a can of aerostart thinking that it would probably be a fuel related issue (though I could hear the fuel pump prime on ignition), to my disappointment, it did nothing.

My next idea was to search around both fordmods.com and fordforums.com.au to see how others in this situation handled it (each of the threads I've found I'm posting links to so I can easily find the info again. They mostly state the same thing so the next thing I'm going to try is removing the first spark plug smelling for fuel and then putting a screw driver near the tappet cover bolt (2mm or 3mm) and seeing if there's spark. I'm really hoping its just a dizzy, lead, TFI or plug issue as one of the other guys had the dizzy gear stripped. I guess that's worst case scenario though.

The main problem I had with these other threads, was that no one had posted the solution so here I go, from start to hopeful finish to detail what's happened with the car to get her back up and going.

http://www.fordforums.com.au/showthread.php?t=11230174
ford-4l-and-6-cylinder-f1/el-wont-start-t81574.html
ford-4l-and-6-cylinder-f1/el-fairmont-ghia-won-t-start-t92827-15.html
ford-4l-and-6-cylinder-f1/need-help-el-falcon-wont-start-t103716.html -- Teeth missing
http://www.justanswer.com/australia-car ... -dash.html
http://www.fordaustraliaforums.com/foru ... wont-start

At least no one is going to be able to say I haven't had a search. Haha.

Any input is going to be much appreciated as well.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:27 pm 
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I have spark on the first plug, which is a bluey purple colour.

The next notable thing from turning it over just then was that the throttle body made two loud "Puff" or deeper "Pough" noises. I'm hoping thats the aerostart left in there, but am unsure.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:25 am 
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You're in luck! I just had this EXACT same issue! After a few hundred dollars of trouble shooting and replacing parts it was the Distributor! It has two sensors which tend to get fried over time from heat. The TFI and the Hall Effect Sensor, and usually go within a few weeks or months of each other, so the best bet it to just get the whole new distributor ( all nice and new and clean ) and put that on! Beats the price of the two sensors alone as well.

I replaced the leads too as it's easy to do while you're pulling the distributor off ( horrible awkward positioning by ford engineers. )

That's what was wrong with mine anyway, and symptoms were pretty much exact! Hope this helps. Any questions just ask!

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Ride: '96 EL Ford Fairmonth Ghia.

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Thanks Ryan. I got a quote from Parts for Cars. Here's what they've quoted me (not sure if that's good pricing or if I should get a second quote).

They had no idea what the Hall Effect Sensor is. I tried explaining it has to do with the distributor and is a magnet part or something.

BPR5EY-11 NGK Spark Plugs $17.20+
Ford Falcon Top Gun Leads (Pretty sure I heard they were ****) $40.59+
CM426 Ignition Module (Apparently I can also use CM420) $58.86+
Distributor Cap (Unknown brand - GB862 / BH144) $17.05+
Rotor Dist (Unknown brand) $7.95+
Coil Ignition (Unknown brand) $45.50+
Fuel Filter (Unknown brand) $8.95+
TOTAL $215.70Inc.

Now the next question, is that worth while pricing or would I be best to source elsewhere.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:57 pm 
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I hear a lot about distributor cogs/auxiliary shaft stripping with aftermarket distributors. So if you plan on changing the whole distributor and shaft, remove the distributor component and swap the shaft over from the original. This will maintain the original shaft while having new plastics/electrics reducing the chance of it failing on you completely.

Pricing wise I am unsure, it seems reasonable to me.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:56 pm 
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I was thinking that the pricing was roughly right. I mainly don't want to be paying $200 when I could've paid $150. I'll do this on the weekend and see how that goes; in the meantime, I will try some other suggestions made to me.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Does your interior light come on in the car... ctrl lamp fuse smart lock....

Also the BCM- body control module situated under the dash near where your left knee is in driver's seat is known too cause problems cutting the power to the fuel injectors. Give the dash a bash near your left knee with your palm while trying too start it...."dry solder joints on pcb"


If you got spark it will be fuel related.... Check fuel filter, fuel pump and fuel pressure at rail....

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:41 am 
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EL___Fairmont wrote:
Does your interior light come on in the car... ctrl lamp fuse smart lock....

Also the BCM- body control module situated under the dash near where your left knee is in driver's seat is known too cause problems cutting the power to the fuel injectors. Give the dash a bash near your left knee with your palm while trying too start it...."dry solder joints on pcb"


If you got spark it will be fuel related.... Check fuel filter, fuel pump and fuel pressure at rail....

Thanks for the input. I'll try that when I get home and see how it goes.

Someone from Fordforums.com.au also said to try...
yift wrote:
check for fuel. bang the tank underneath the fuel pump and see if the car gets going, if it starts and runs there is your problem, otherwise remove a fuel line and check for pressure (making sure the fuel does not spray towards your face).

you have spark so you can sort of eliminate lack of spark, it may be weak but i dont know without looking at the strength of it.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Well suggestion with bashing the tank is to see if the fuel pump is dead/dying. Do you hear your fuel pump prime when you turn the key to on? If so, the pump should be okay.

 

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Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Yeah, she primes. I figured that even if it wasn't getting fuel at all, the aerostat would at least start her if she was still getting spark. Had no such luck though even though I've got spark.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:04 pm 
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So after trying to get her started by bashing around the BCM an fuel tank, I still got nothing. I took a video of the car trying to turn over and will link that once I get home from the shops.

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:57 am 
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Here's the video upload. No idea if its going to help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A31CE7R ... e=youtu.be

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:06 am 
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uniacidz wrote:
Well ya battery is dying

Tried turning ignition to on position for 30 mins i think it is and then tried starting it?

Smartlock flashing as normal?


That's why I stopped turning it over. Haven't tried leaving the ignition on for 30 mins will do that later and will have to check if smartlock is still flashing. If its not, what does that mean?

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:20 pm 
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uniacidz wrote:
Teknoslasher wrote:
uniacidz wrote:
Well ya battery is dying

Tried turning ignition to on position for 30 mins i think it is and then tried starting it?

Smartlock flashing as normal?


That's why I stopped turning it over. Haven't tried leaving the ignition on for 30 mins will do that later and will have to check if smartlock is still flashing. If its not, what does that mean?


Its basically to bypass the smartlock and in doing so, if the car starts then its a smartlock issue, if not then definately issue lies somewhere else.

Document below shows you what to do. Take note though, if the smartlock module is cactus, it may still flash as normal. However the trick will enable you to determine if the smartlock is dead or engine related.

documents.php?d=49

The immobilised state is indicated by the Smartlock warning jewel (LED) as a rapid flash rate.
The system enters the immobilised state if Smartlock receives at least two incorrect codes when the ignition switch is turned to On.
When the car is in the immobilised state, you cannot start the engine, as the BEM has disabled both the starter motor, and the EEC-V system.
If the cause of the immobilisation is a corruption of the codes during transfer, you should be able to start the car on the second attempt.
Note : The remote keypads will still operate on an immobilised car, however an immobilised car will not display the immobilised flash with the ignition off, and will display the armed code as normal.
If the cause is an unauthorised attempt to start the car, i.e. by hot wiring, the car will remain unstartable. However to prevent a vehicle from being completely immobilised, (Eg. due to a damaged electronic lock assembly data), you can start the car by using the method below.
The following method must be used if the BEM, or the electronic module has been replaced, so as the new Codes from the electronic Ignition Switch are RE-LEARNT.

•1. Turn all accessories off.
•2. Turn the ignition to the On position.
The Smartlock warning Jewel (LED) will flash any error codes, then finally the immobilised code.
•3. Leave the car for 30 Minutes.
•4. After 30 Minutes, the BEM will attempt to relearn the electronic lock assembly data.
•5. If the learning procedure is successful, the warning jewel (LED) will then stop flashing and the door locks will change state twice. You can now start the car, and operate it as normal.
•6. If the learning procedure is unsuccessful, the warning jewel (LED) will stop flashing and stay on, and you can start the engine.



And the plot thickens, thanks for pointing this out. I've just sat in my car, in the car, with a fully charged battery and after a few minutes, did not see the smart lock flash once. I still have a working interior light though. So hopefully, in thirty minutes time, I'll have a running car again. :D

 

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 Post subject: Re: The mystery of the EL Ford that won't start...
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Teknoslasher wrote:
And the plot thickens, thanks for pointing this out. I've just sat in my car, in the car, with a fully charged battery and after a few minutes, did not see the smart lock flash once. I still have a working interior light though. So hopefully, in thirty minutes time, I'll have a running car again. :D


Alas no luck. I gave it the full half hour and tried turning it over. Then I had a bright idea of locking the car and checking to see if smartlock flashed up and after a few seconds, there she went. :(

I'll try the fuel pressure tomorrow and then if thats no good, I'll start replacing components starting with the coil.

 

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