My 1990 BroncoII, 2.9L V6 EFI (same as Ranger) engine, has an issue
with starting. It hardly ever starts the first time the key is
turned. I've been following Sharon's thread with the '88 Grand
Marquis (in alt.autos.ford) and I read the 1990 F-150 starting problem
from a while back in alt.trucks.ford.
The following two sequences of events consistently start the vehicle :
turn key to on, hear fuel pump for a couple of seconds
turn key to start, engine turns over but doesn't start
turn key to off,
turn key to on, again hear fuel pump
turn key to start, engine starts
At this point, the engine will sometimes (probably half the time, or
more) stall after having started. If I start it again it is fine.
Alternatively, if I hit the gas pedal before it stalls then there is a
delay while the engine "thinks" about stalling then revs up and is
fine. The engine is fine all the while I am driving, even down the
expressway at 60 or 65 mph.
Here are the tests I've done so far :
I always (well, when I've paid attention; I'm hearing impaired and
its easy not to notice) hear the fuel pump run for a couple seconds
when the key is turned to "on".
Turning the key back and forth between "On" and "Off" doesn't make a
difference. The engine still needs to fail to start the first time
before it will start. It's as if turning the key to start tells the
system that I really do want to start the vehicle and then it gets
ready the second time. (kind of like telling a kid to do something
and the response only comes the second time)
Pushing the gas pedal first, like used to be required with a
carburetor, is not consistent. Once when I tried it it started the
first time. Other times it still required the two tries to start.
I located the Schrader valve next to the intake for testing fuel
pressure. However, the gauge I borrowed was too big to thread on it.
Instead I turned the key to on, heard the pump, and turned it back to
off. Then I pressed the release in the valve momentarily and some
fuel shot out. A good sign, although I don't know the actual pressure
in the system.
I found the inertia switch and put a volt meter on it. It reads 12
volts when the key is turned to "on" (while the pump is running). It
reads 12 volts while the engine is running. This seems to indicate
that the relay is working properly.
I put injector cleaner in the gas tank yesterday when I bought gas. I
don't know if this will make a difference (it hasn't yet, but that
probably takes some time to work). I don't _think_
the injectors or
the filter are bad because the engine has sufficient fuel while
Other potentially relevant information :
The previous owner of the vehicle replaced the gas tank and sending
unit. Presumably they are not worn out, and presumably the filter was
replaced with them. The fuel gauge has been stuck on empty at least
since the replacement. I believe the fuel tank is not identical to
the original (it's larger).
The engine idles kind of rough. It doesn't threaten to stall (except
just after starting while cold) but does oscillate between a higher
(~900 or 1000 rpm) speed and a lower (~700-800 rpm) speed. Perhaps
that is related? Maybe the fuel-air mixture isn't optimal (a sensor
gone bad)? Distributor or TFI module? (the rough idle isn't so
interesting in isolation, unless it is indicative of something fatal
Now that I think about it, I guess I should check the spark plugs just
to be sure. Would an engine still start even if one or two (out of
six) spark plugs aren't functioning properly? That could be the cause
of the rough idle.
I'd like to find and solve the starting issue, although in the
meantime at least it is consistent and I can always start it.
What do you think?
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
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