I am having a problem with my 1990 ford econoline van. It has a 351
EFI. I was having a problem with the electrical charging system. I
found that problem but in looking for the electrical I started the
vehicle and removed the neg battery cable then the positive. It
started running like crap, missing and eventually died. I then couldnt
get the vehicle to start again, I have replaced the coil, and voltage
regulator. I did remove the spark plug and tried to look for a spark
but It doesnt appear to be getting any. Any ideas before I put it in
It's generally a bad idea to "test" an alternator by removing the
battery cables, since that's a quick way to fry what's being tested.
Your alternator may now be dead. Vehicles of that vintage still had the
TFI module (mounted on distributor or near radiator) that could go bad
at any time and cause a "no spark" condition.
Look very closely at both ends of the coil wire. Very common to
find rot and corrosion.
Check for 12 volts at the small red wire at the ignition coil
with the key on.
Check for pulsing voltage at the small green wire at the ignition
coil while cranking engine.
Check for 5 volts at the yellow wire at the coolant sensor.
Check to see that the ignition rotor actually turns when cranking
Do you hear the fuel pump run - about 2 seconds, then off- and see check
engine light on key-on?
If see that, and no spark you probably blew the ignition module but it
may have been ready to go anyway.
It's mounted on the side of the distributor, or maybe remote - follow
harness wires from dist base.
It's easiest to get a $5 special tool any autopart store to remove it,
the heat-sink grease between it and mount should be fresh, not caky.. if
caky, it was going to fail.
Autozone.com has component locations, by the way
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
I have replaced the ignition module now and still no spark? I am ready
to put this thing in the grave I hear the fuel pump working and the
module on the side of the distributer was replaced and coil, along with
the voltage regulator. I am now clueless on what it could be.
Backyard Mechanic wrote:
Hard to tell what you fried when you did the ill-advised alternator test
(pulled battery cables with engine running), maybe took out the ignition
(RUN) side starter relay or the ignition switch, or the 500-ohm resistor
on the charging idiot light. Best bet is to get the engine trouble codes
read and actually check fuel pressure with a gauge. You also may want to
go to one of the many Ford Truck forums and make an enquiry on there.
Susan, start here
It has the simple way to read the codes. You cna try all three phases, but
with a cold engine the Key On Engine Off test will give you the stored
codes. I am getting better at these, email me if you need some insight.
ok I guess it will be alot like the 90s model gm product or 90s model
chrysler. I remember that chrysler was turn the ignition switch 3
times and the check engine light will flash a code, but I am not
familar with ford. What are the steps needed to get the diagnostic
codes on this ford. If I could drive it I would take it to autozone
but the damn thing will not start......think this will be my last ford.
George Jaynes wrote:
The method to pull codes is at the bottom of that page. It isn't quite as
simple to get as a GM, but it really isn't difficult at all. my self use a
ground wire direct from the battery instead of jumping to another terminal,
but that is up to you. My connector on the TC is on top iof the left wheel
well, and in a protective container labeled as test connection. The wire
that needs to be grounded is right beside it in its own little cover. Once
you laocate that the first time, life get better quickly. Really, you don't
need the fancy reader for much of anything. By the way, please give me more
specifics: engine and transmission, any prior symptoms? Email is fine to
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