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Banana Bender
01-13-2006, 11:02 PM
Ran perfectly about 5 hours ago. Now it's colder, it was raining, and it just won't start. Starter goes its hardest, engine turns, but won't come to life. It's done this in the past, but it has started eventually. This time, no go. Have called AAA. I think in some past thread, someone mentioned some kind of condensation. Any ideas? :(

Duffy Floyd
01-13-2006, 11:17 PM
On first blush I would say crank sensor. But you really should determine if you have spark and fuel. Do you smell fuel after starting attempts? If so you probably don't have spark and again back to the crank sensor.

Banana Bender
01-14-2006, 12:59 AM
Am home now. Did a bit of reading of past threads. Symptoms seem to suggest crank or cam sensor. It sometimes was cutting out for an instant during driving and starting back up, producing like bucking. Now no start.

So where are these these bits located? From what I read, cam sensor might not be too hard, but crank sensor sounds like a complete pain. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

The sad truth is that I'm getting a bit weary of all this. This last month has been one expense after another...

7birdslater
01-14-2006, 03:16 AM
Bad cam sensor, your car will start every 3 or 4 tries, it cant get a signal so it guesses until it hits the right mark and will start. Since yours wont ever start, its probably not this.

Crank sensor is the easiest to diagnose. If your upshift light is on while you are cranking the engine, then it is bad and not sending a signal to the computer. Check for a broken wire first as they are routed kind of close behind the belts. If you cant find a broken wire, might want to start looking for a new balancer and sensor. good luck.

Duffy Floyd
01-14-2006, 10:09 AM
The crank sensor is located on the passenger side of the block mounted next to the crank pulley sort of. The sensor "surrounds" a small portion of the sensor ring of the harmonic balancer. It can be changed without pulling the harmonic balancer. I saw XR-7 Dave do it on the side of the road on the way back from the first MN12 National Meet. There is a FAQ in the members section of the board that details a procedure to accomplish it. If you can't see or figue out how to do it and need to pull the balancer off, don't reuse it as in all likelihood it will fail not too long after reinstallation.

Banana Bender
01-14-2006, 10:17 AM
The crank sensor is located on the passenger side of the block mounted next to the crank pulley sort of. The sensor "surrounds" a small portion of the sensor ring of the harmonic balancer. It can be changed without pulling the harmonic balancer. I saw XR-7 Dave do it on the side of the road on the way back from the first MN12 National Meet. There is a FAQ in the members section of the board that details a procedure to accomplish it. If you can't see or figue out how to do it and need to pull the balancer off, don't reuse it as in all likelihood it will fail not too long after reinstallation.

Thanks, Duffy (you, too, 7birdslater). I've been trying to locate Online where to get a new HB in case I need one, but not having much luck. It'd be great if I can pull the sensor w/o taking off the HB though. I've found that sensors are available through Advance Auto Parts, but re: HBs I'm still looking (though hoping don't need).... Unless I did something wrong, Rock doesn't seem to carry. How much do HBs go for normally?

Duffy Floyd
01-14-2006, 10:24 AM
HB most likely a FORD only part. But again unless it is broken or you pull it you probably don't NEED one. From Ford you are looking at maybe $275.00. which includes a new crank pulley. The only aftermarket alternative is a BHJ Damper right now. They are over $300.00 last time I looked.

Banana Bender
01-14-2006, 10:42 AM
HB most likely a FORD only part. But again unless it is broken or you pull it you probably don't NEED one. From Ford you are looking at maybe $275.00. which includes a new crank pulley. The only aftermarket alternative is a BHJ Damper right now. They are over $300.00 last time I looked.

Thanks, Duffy. Will swing by mechanic's and see what his reaction is. Can't wait for his reaction; the thing was just in there the past two weeks having various maintenance things done to it...And it's not his favorite car to work on (nor mine :p )...

CarolinaGrl
01-14-2006, 02:09 PM
We are having the same problem with our '90 SC T-Bird.... I believe it's the ignition control module.... Anyone know where I can get one less than $130?

Thanks

BobGPz
01-14-2006, 03:22 PM
We are having the same problem with our '90 SC T-Bird.... I believe it's the ignition control module.... Anyone know where I can get one less than $130?

Thanks
I was kind of thinking DIS (Ignition Control Module) too.
Is there a way to test the crank sensor leads or something, and rule it out before crawling under the car?
I've never replaced my CS, but have gone through a DIS Module on my 90, and those systems before it went are identical. Just a thought.

Duffy Floyd
01-14-2006, 04:17 PM
Well...there IS a way to test it. I have a Rotunda Ford DIS System tester. But I will say that in my experience "intermittent" no start or drop out has always been related to crank sensor. Given the way the DIS Module works...when it fails it is gone. It can either cause rough running or the engine just won't fire but I have never seen one or heard of one that went intermittent. Could be wrong but my $.02 worth.

Another sign of intermittent crank sensor is when the engine "drops out" the tach IMMEDIATELY goes to zero. The crank sensor drives the tach signal thorough the DIS Module.

BobGPz
01-15-2006, 12:28 AM
...but I have never seen one or heard of one that went intermittent.
Yeah Duffy, I had a DIS that was intermittent. One day was I lucky enough to have it act up close to the Stealership. Took it in to have them test it and run codes, and without getting into the details of them joy riding my SC and ripping my shifter clean out of the trans:rolleyes:, they replaced the DIS and never had a problem with it since.
These are the symptoms mine had:
It was running on 3 cylinders, can't remember which side, but only one side of the engine was getting spark. It would occasionaly run bad (Shake and shimmy), but got considerably worse over a few weeks, and then would go away again.:confused: Anyways after the Stealership put in the new one, I haven't had any problems (related to ignition system anyways:p ).

Duffy Floyd
01-15-2006, 12:34 AM
Well......first one I heard of as indicated but you never said if the engine just quit or refused to start intermittently. Did you have that happen as well?

defect
01-15-2006, 12:09 PM
check spark plug wires also

BobGPz
01-15-2006, 12:39 PM
....you never said if the engine just quit or refused to start intermittently
It would stall out, but never just plain quit. It would start usually, sometimes it was very hard to start. But it sure ran bad when it had a hard time starting and there was alwahys a strong smell of fuel like it was flooding or something on the hard starts, but only did this occasionaly. Sometimes it would start fine but after awhile it would just start running bad like the firing order was all messed up, or fuel was being injected at the wrong times cause the engine would shake to heck while a strong fuel smell. You could hear it popping like the timing was WAY off.:confused: It was a real head scratcher, and I would assume so even for the Ford Techs as in addition to running the codes, they had pulled my dash cluster out, and the PCM out. Why, I don't know.:confused: Maybe to rack up the bill on labor..didn't know there would be a reason to pull my dash cluster out to test anything in there for the problem I was having..

One thing is for sure, the crank sensor will be a lot cheaper than a new DIS Module.

phyxius
01-15-2006, 01:24 PM
i'll have to go with the CS.sounds like the same prob i had when mine went this past summer and took me a whole of 30 min to change.the CS comes off without taking the HB off you just have to rotat the balancer till you reach the opening to take the CS off.

rlong
01-15-2006, 07:17 PM
ive never had trouble with dis, in over 200 k miles it was always crank sensor or cam sensor or fuel pump or harmonic balancer

sailor82
01-15-2006, 11:44 PM
I'm having simular symptoms with my '90. It's been getting worse over the last few months and just yesterday it finally cut off on me and I couldn't get it started until much later in the day. Started a few months ago just all of a sudden shuttering badly as I'm cruising along and I would have to pull over and turn it off and then it would start right back up usually. At first I thought that maybe it was water in the fuel, especially with such a hot summer and lots of possible condensation build-up in the fuel tank. After adding good fuel cleaner/water separater and changing fuel filter along with PCV valve, symptoms still persisted. So I thought it was a possible bad spark plug or wire and changed those, but nothing worked. So, I've been putting it off till after the holidays, just driving my other cars, and now I'm trying to figure it out. I got to talking to a few mechanics and they suggested the fuel pump being bad. I'm checking that tomorrow using a borrowed fuel pressure gauge, but I really don't think it is the pump. I had a pump go out on my '89 and it just went out with no warning. And I couldn't "sometimes" start it back up like I can this one. The other key thing I noticed in the previous posts is that a bad crank sensor "drops out" the tachometer. On mine, the tach starts to go up and down when she starts shuttering badly and then if and when she dies out the tach drops, of course. If and when I am able to start it back up, the tach will stay at zero. Sounds like the crank sensor to me based on above advice. Definitely would like to hear your opinions before I do anything else, especially before I start spending more money. Thanks!

7birdslater
01-16-2006, 01:35 AM
When I first picked up this SC it wouldnt start, so one day I was washing off the motor in preperation of working on it, and I gave it a crank just to see. And it fired up. It had a really flakey tach but ran great. It actually started up at full throttle since I wedged the throttle open a bit and used a screw driver to crank it. It scared the bejesus out of me. It ran for a good 20 or 30 minutes and I drove the car around the yard. I shut it off with the key and it hasnt fired up since, but has the upshift light when cranking. So I guess my CS was intermittant in a way, and I cant help but think the water had something to do with it. Im replacing it this week and will start this car soon!

Banana Bender
01-16-2006, 10:28 PM
:) It was the Crank Sensor! Car's back up and running. Thanks a million, guys and gals!

Duffy Floyd
01-16-2006, 11:06 PM
Thanks for reporting back. This is the only way people ever actually learn anything from the exercise. Also nice to know I was right!!!!:)