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Thread: 1989 Thunderbird sc won't crank over

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    1989 Thunderbird sc won't crank over

    Bought this car the other day has tons of parts in the trunk tons of receipts of work done shop manuel original window sticker and all. It's a black 89 sc really cool besides the 168833 miles I think it should run. The problem I'm having is it won't crank. Things I've checked or fix so far are inertia switch is good I have two I tried both didn't fix the problem replace the ignition switch on the column that help get everything else to work except the radio and the vent fan also won't turn on in the car when in the run position on the ignition no crank no fuel pump no spark. Tried dis tried solenoid I've jumped it and it will crank over but no spark no fuel pressure. Though it might be the alarm system but I believe I've ruled that out also thought maybe neutral safety switch but I believe there's also a clutch pedal switch and both of those would go bad atleast that's my what I'm thinking plugged code reader in did non start test came out normal. Kinda stumped. Car has magnum double intercooler 75mm tb 80mm intake and cold air intake jet hot coated headers magna flow cat back exhaust it also has alot of suspension work done to it the person who had it at one point really loved it. Trying to get it fixed any help would be much appreciated thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Salem OR
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    7,516
    it will crank over but no spark no fuel pressure.
    Can you hear the pump run?

    Check high current fuel pump relay fuse in the PCB in front of the battery. Consider testing/replacing the fuel pump relay, which I think is in the trunk near the fuel safety cutoff switch...if not, it's in the IRCM (behind pass. side headlight on the back of the header, in front of the air filter box)...not sure on an '89, sorry.

    Make sure there is fuel in the tank, of course, and check the injector ground on the back of the driver side head.

    Is the upshift light on while cranking? If so, the crank sensor isn't happy...no signal.

    Check to see if the balancer wobbles when cranking, or is loose when you try to move it by hand. A failing balancer can take out a crank sensor. It shpuld still have fuel pressure, tho. Confirm the fuel filter isn't plugged and double check there is sufficient fuel in the tank. Also at least 11.8 volts in the battery.

    Might be it needs a new computer, but if it lets you read codes at all, then at least it's communicating.

    Be sure the ground wire on the header in front of the battery is in place, and check the ground from the pass. side motor mount to the body to be sure no green corrosion.

    I'd worry that there may be tons of electrical system corrosion if the car has been sitting around for a while...

    Finally, see this troubleshooting/no-start test process:

    http://mnharms.com/tutorials/disnostart/

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    492
    Good evening


    Start from the basics for a no crank. Is this a manual or automatic transmission?


    Just as KMT suggested Suspect Grounds/Connectors/Corrosion. With a charged battery areas to look out for are:

    (1) Negative battery cable to driver side engine mount.

    (2) Negative battery ground cable to radiator support.

    (3) Engine harness ground at the driver side rear cylinder.

    (4) Engine timing chain cover to frame passenger side ground strap.

    (5) Cracked plastic starter solenoid housing driver side engine bay fender.

    (6) Starter cable connector (s).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam jones View Post
    Good evening


    Start from the basics for a no crank. Is this a manual or automatic transmission?


    Just as KMT suggested Suspect Grounds/Connectors/Corrosion. With a charged battery areas to look out for are:

    (1) Negative battery cable to driver side engine mount.

    (2) Negative battery ground cable to radiator support.

    (3) Engine harness ground at the driver side rear cylinder.

    (4) Engine timing chain cover to frame passenger side ground strap.

    (5) Cracked plastic starter solenoid housing driver side engine bay fender.

    (6) Starter cable connector (s).

    Checked all the grounds they all seemed tight and clean changed a bunch of stuff out check the IRCM check the inertia switch change the DIS checked all fuses kind of stomped here not sure what to do anyhow on the dash when I turn the key in the run position I see an upshift check engine and antilock and when I turn over the brake light comes on not to mention the AC heater blower motor won't turn on nor the radio kind of stumped here on what's going wrong electronically here is there some other kind of computer module that I don't know about I have an air ride control unit in the trunk two different boxes for that checked and changed relay and the trunk for the fuel pump no clue here what's going on maybe I should just take it to the shop ahhhhhhhhhj ������

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    492
    Good afternoon

    As KMT asked did the fuel pump prime with the key in the on position?

    Manual or Automatic transmission conversion?

    Open the trunk. Pull the velcro attach liner from the driver side and remove the triangle cover (if there is one.) Check the anti-theft module connector. Use the the tech manual and or cover to locate. Is the connector compromised? If not disconnect and clean with electrical contact cleaner. Re-install. What are the results?

    Any high amp voltage fuses box blown in the engine bay ? Is the fuse box compromised? Is there a blown blower motor fuse (30 amp) in the interior fuse box?

  6. #6
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    Nov 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam jones View Post
    Good afternoon

    As KMT asked did the fuel pump prime with the key in the on position?

    Manual or Automatic transmission conversion?

    Open the trunk. Pull the velcro attach liner from the driver side and remove the triangle cover (if there is one.) Check the anti-theft module connector. Use the the tech manual and or cover to locate. Is the connector compromised? If not disconnect and clean with electrical contact cleaner. Re-install. What are the results?

    Any high amp voltage fuses box blown in the engine bay ? Is the fuse box compromised? Is there a blown blower motor fuse (30 amp) in the interior fuse box?
    No fuel pump when key is on. Manual trans pretty sure it's the original mazda 5 speed. No blown fuses check the connections on the alarm box in the truck they look brand new. My buddy at the shop said it could be the brake light switch possibly something to do with the intermittent start relay? Gonna check that later gonna take it to my buddy if this doesn't work most of the wiring looks brand new the wires under the hood have some grime but no corrosion the car might have sat for 2 years it's registered to 2019 ran car fax was registered in 18 last.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2020
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    Thanks for the help

    Wanted to say thanks for the help I still haven't figured it out but I appreciate all the help

  8. #8
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    May 2018
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    Irmo SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferreribirdsc89 View Post
    Wanted to say thanks for the help I still haven't figured it out but I appreciate all the help

    Try the wire I belive its pink and black from the fuel pump relay in the trunk add 12v and see if you hear the pump run not a fix but it's a way to see if the pump is good

  9. #9
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    Nov 2020
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    Starting to think it's a problem with the alarm system it's the Ford system does anyone have a link to a thread to remove or fix the alarm system in a 89?

  10. #10
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    May 2018
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    Irmo SC
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    I've been a locksmith for 22 years and I can promise you that a Ford factory antitheft system will Not stop the fuel pump the only ford that do that are chip keys or transponder keys which was unavailable in thunderbird all tears and trims until the crud bird as I call them which was 2002 so even if your factory Alam is panic or "going off" it's not why you are experiencing not start

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    364
    I have not read threw this whole thread to check all suggestions made but for the fuel pump not coming on it may be worth looking where the battery is located between it and the headlight section there may be a one pin push connector that goes to ground on the chassis or to the neg on the battery , you can not easily see it as its underneath a lot of stuff in that area .. I believe its part of the front section of wire harness behind the headlight , make sure its fully plugged in .. same goes with the Thick Film Module connector, from what I remember the fuel pump control does go threw it .
    My 93 5.0 which I am referring from is going to have wiring differences to the SC but some will be similar and worth taking a look.
    Also test the fuel pump relay in the drivers side trunk area [ again going from memory , could be wrong ] behind the inner trim panel, you should at least get temporary power/relay activation when the ignition key is turned on [ and a click ] .. the EEC will turn it off eventually if it does not sense the engine running .
    There is a jump wire fuel pump test at the OBD test port under the hood to see if the pump will activate [ you will have to look that up , can not remember what pins to jump ], if it does not activate the pump then its more likely down to the relay is no good, the pump is no good or there is a wiring/ground issue in those areas.
    Dave

  12. #12
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    Nov 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th View Post
    I've been a locksmith for 22 years and I can promise you that a Ford factory antitheft system will Not stop the fuel pump the only ford that do that are chip keys or transponder keys which was unavailable in thunderbird all tears and trims until the crud bird as I call them which was 2002 so even if your factory Alam is panic or "going off" it's not why you are experiencing not start

    Well would the alarm system prevent the car from cranking over? It will crank by jumping the solenoid but not at the ignition everything else is turning on and I have spark just won't crank and send fuel if the fuel pump is shot that's fine but I'm trying to figure out why it won't crank. I have it at a friend's shop they are saying its the alarm system that is preventing it from starting

  13. #13
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    May 2018
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    Irmo SC
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    No the alarm is literally just a siren it'll cause the horn to sound and that's pretty much it I can't rember but I don't think the lights even flash when they are in panic certainly doesn't turn the fuel pump off or kill the starter unless you have any sort of aftermarket alarm and then it would certainly be down to installation of that aftermarket system

  14. #14
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    May 2018
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    Irmo SC
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    The car not cranking over sounds to me more like an issue with the ignition switch NOT the key cylinder but the electronic switch mounted on the column underneath the plastic shroud near the key switch

  15. #15
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    Nov 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th View Post
    The car not cranking over sounds to me more like an issue with the ignition switch NOT the key cylinder but the electronic switch mounted on the column underneath the plastic shroud near the key switch

    Just put a brand new standard one in the module with the rod on the column. Unfortunately it still will not crank.

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