I have a 96 3.8 Windstar with a failure to fire. I believe it is
getting fuel because I can smell it. Is there a way to check the PCM
signal to the coil safely? What type of signal or voltage should one
see while cranking on each of the three connection tips of the harness?
Are you sure there is no spark? Checking that should be as simple as
disconnecting a wire from one of the plugs and sticking an old plug there to
If you confirm no spark, you can use an ordinary test lamp to check the
voltage at the coil primary. With ignition on, the 'hot' (typically red)
wire should light up steadily and stay that way when you crank. No light on
the hot side probably indicates a bad ignition switch. If that's OK, the
'cold' (typically green) side should flicker (at 3 times the engine speed)
when you crank the engine. Either steady light or no light on that side
while cranking is a sign of trouble.
Thanks for your time/input. I did some reading and found that using a
LED test lamp would allow me a safe way to test the signals from the
PCM to the coil. To my astonishment; after disconnecting the battery
and pulling the PCM to write down the ser #. I reinstalled it to give
it one more try before I replace it with one I have purchased on Ebay.
The engine fired up and it runs better then ever. (crazy)
Maybe this was a good thing, I found a vacuum leak and two plugged EGR
ports along with stuck secondary butterflys on the 4,5,6 side of the
engine intake. Because of all this I broke down and purchased a
scanner. Now my check engine lamp is off and scanner says there are no
codes to read. :-)
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