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Thread: 1999 Ford Mustang 6 cyc. 3.8L won't start

  1. #21
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    If you have a GOOD spark then it is, as far as I am aware, not going to be a faulty CPS.
    (It is possible to have a spark indicated by a timing light when the spark is too weak to
    ignite fuel under full cylinder pressure. Have you checked to see if the plugs are wet
    after cranking? That might show fuel is getting through.)

    It could be a blocked filter - quite likely if you had uploaded a
    tank of contaminated fuel.

    It could be a fuel pump problem.

    It could be stuck injectors - unlikely for all to stick though.

    It could be the ECU.

    I guess it is just going to be a process of elimination, Don.



    Ken.
    I understand how a flaky CPS could cause an intermittent spark or no spark at all, but I don't see how it could cause a weak spark. I mean it's either going to trigger the spark or it is not, but not how strong the spark itself will be no matter what is wrong with it.

    But no, I have not yet took out a spark plug to take a look. But I will, if I don't get the engine running by then, or find a bad fuel pump or something like that.

    I can tell you for sure that all six cylinders are not running as I cannot even get a slight pop when I crank. It could be none of the injectors have voltage, that is anther thing I have not yet checked.

    When I get back to the Reno home, the first thing I will do is look through the shop manual because it is very difficult to find anything under the hood. I cannot even see where the fuel gets to the fuel rail and I don't even know where the fuel filter is located. Also, I need to find a valve to check the fuel pressure.

    -Don- Auburn, CA

  2. #22
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Sorry, Don. By GOOD I meant an adequate spark, in the right
    place at the right time. I guess if the timing slips one can have
    a nice fat spark at the wrong time.

    My second sentence - in brackets - was not meant to
    be linked to the first, it was just a parenthesis hence the brackets.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 03-22-2017 at 04:11 AM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
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  3. #23
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Sorry, Don. By GOOD I meant an adequate spark, in the right place at the right time. I guess if the timing slips one can have
    a nice fat spark at the wrong time.
    Even with the ignition timing way off, I would expect to get at least a pop or two when I crank.

    But I also have not yet checked the ignition timing. If I start to get desperate to find a problem, everything will get checked one way or the other.

    I expect this problem to be something obvious if I could easily get to things to check. Like the fuel pressure.

    I am hoping it is NOT a fuel pump problem even though that is what I am expecting to find ever since I saw the timing light flash normally when I cranked.

    I will not replace the fuel pump myself. Other jobs I can handle, but I don't work on fuel tanks. I am hoping for it to be something I am willing to fix myself, or else I will have to have the car towed somewhere to be fixed.

    Even if I decide to junk the car (very unlikely) , I will first find out what is wrong with it.

    I should know more on Friday, when I work on the car some more.

    At least this is not an intermittent problem. Those are the most difficult to fix.

    -Don- Auburn, CA

  4. #24
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    I was just reading this, and now I see the fuel pump is ran by a fuel pump driver module. I will have to do some more reading on the web about this problem.

    The connector I was testing was probably the connection to the input of the fuel pump driver module as it was at the rear of the tank and the fuel pump connector is in the front of the tank, which means I must jack up the rear of the vehicle.

    -Don- Auburn, CA
    Last edited by DonTom; 03-22-2017 at 04:43 PM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I don't think the engine has jumped time. It's possible, but not likely. How many miles on the engine? If it's less than 100,000 miles, I'd bet money against it. (I'm incredibly cheap. Scottish ancestry you know.) Get a long wooden dowel rod and have someone crank the engine while you press on end of the rod against an injector. Press the other end against your thumb knuckle and press your knuckle against that flap of cartilage at your ear opening. You'll hear it click when the injector operates. I'm thinking you have an electrical problem, not mechanical. either a dirty connector or a failed electrical component. As for the fuel pump, these usually last 150,000 miles.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I don't think the engine has jumped time. It's possible, but not likely. How many miles on the engine? If it's less than 100,000 miles, I'd bet money against it. (I'm incredibly cheap. Scottish ancestry you know.) Get a long wooden dowel rod and have someone crank the engine while you press on end of the rod against an injector. Press the other end against your thumb knuckle and press your knuckle against that flap of cartilage at your ear opening. You'll hear it click when the injector operates. I'm thinking you have an electrical problem, not mechanical. either a dirty connector or a failed electrical component. As for the fuel pump, these usually last 150,000 miles.
    It certainly has more than 100K miles on this engine, perhaps closer to 200K, but I won't be sure until I get home and look at the odometer. My first guess is the fuel pump or fuel driver module or something else in the fuel line, but I am mainly only guessing. I will know a lot more in a few days and then I will report back here.

    -Don- Auburn, CA

  7. #27
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    It certainly has more than 100K miles on this engine, perhaps closer to 200K, but I won't be sure until I get home and look at the odometer. My first guess is the fuel pump or fuel driver module or something else in the fuel line, but I am mainly only guessing. I will know a lot more in a few days and then I will report back here.

    -Don- Auburn, CA
    Okay, your fuel pump just may have failed sitting. I'd still check the relays and other electrical circuits before dropping the tank. I keep forgetting that you and your sweetheart actually LIKE to drive. The girlfriend is happy to let me do all the driving. Including two 700 mile trips over a weekend when we moved her daughter down to get married. Out of nearly 1500 miles, she drove for 40 and nearly flipped the truck and trailer.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Okay, your fuel pump just may have failed sitting. I'd still check the relays and other electrical circuits before dropping the tank. I keep forgetting that you and your sweetheart actually LIKE to drive. The girlfriend is happy to let me do all the driving. Including two 700 mile trips over a weekend when we moved her daughter down to get married. Out of nearly 1500 miles, she drove for 40 and nearly flipped the truck and trailer.
    My "sweetheart" died of liver cancer on August 3, 2016, diagnosed as having a terminal illness on April 12, 2016, just under a year ago. He did NOT suffer much or long. In fact, we went out to lunch together just three days before he died. I am now totally alone, even my dog died of cancer Lymphosarcoma (Lymphoma) on March 1 (this month).

    I am now back in Reno. This Ford Mustang has exactly 173,455 miles on it.

    For now, I will read more books about this Mustang than I will work on the car. I already see the fuel pump circuit is more complicated than most vehicles. There are many variables, as the fuel PSI changes with the speed and demand of the engine and there is no return line. It goes from the PCM to the Fuel Pump Relay in the CCRM (Constant Control Relay Module) to fuel Pump Driver Module to the Fuel Pump Assembly.

    I have many shop books for this vehicle and I now have them all here. But finding things in these books is almost as difficult as finding them under the hood.

    -Don- Reno, NV
    Last edited by DonTom; 03-24-2017 at 12:30 AM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Thanks to the books, I found the fuel pump valve and I have already checked the fuel pressure. The fuel psi valve is horizontal, with a black plastic cap on it at the front left side of the engine, hidden below another black thingy (perhaps some smog control valve or something) but is on the fuel rail, just very difficult to find, almost impossible, without knowing in advance where to look.

    Anyway, my fuel pressure when cranking is exactly 0.0000 psi. Not a drop of fuel pressure.

    But I am not yet done. There are other things to check under the car. It still might not be the fuel pump itself but something that drives it, or a connection or whatever. I need to make sure I have good voltage going to the fuel pump itself, so I will look into that tomorrow.

    I will also check to see how difficult it is the change the fuel pump in this thing. But unfortunately, it has a full tank of gas.

    Then I have to make a decision to fix it myself, have somebody else do it, or just junk the car. I have way too many cars anyway. I now own a total of 13 motor vehicles, which is kinda ridiculous for one person. But six of them are motorcycles and one is an RV. But that still leaves six (counting pickup truck and two 4WD SUV's and three cars).

    -Don- Reno, NV

  10. #30
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    I have decided the fuel pump is NOT the problem after I watched this You-Tube.

    I don't think the fuel filter has ever been replaced in this vehicle and it is a common problem from vehicle being not used for months.

    The vehicle shown in the You-Tube is not exactly mine, but close enough with close to the exact same problem, only mine is a lot worse, as mine has been sitting longer and with a 18 year old fuel filter (I assume, as I never changed it in this vehicle).

    I think I can handle changing the fuel filter myself.



    -Don- Reno, NV

  11. #31
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Don, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost Tom. To lose both the person you love
    and a much loved pet in such a short time must have been heartbreaking for you.
    Please accept our deepest sympathy for your losses.

    Longfellow wrote “The heart hath its own memory, like the mind. And in it are
    enshrined the precious keepsakes, into which is wrought the giver’s loving thought.”
    We hope that your memories of happy times you all spent together will help.

    All our best wishes.

    Ken and Diane.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  12. #32
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    My "sweetheart" died of liver cancer on August 3, 2016, diagnosed as having a terminal illness on April 12, 2016, just under a year ago. He did NOT suffer much or long. In fact, we went out to lunch together just three days before he died. I am now totally alone, even my dog died of cancer Lymphosarcoma (Lymphoma) on March 1 (this month).

    I am now back in Reno. This Ford Mustang has exactly 173,455 miles on it.

    For now, I will read more books about this Mustang than I will work on the car. I already see the fuel pump circuit is more complicated than most vehicles. There are many variables, as the fuel PSI changes with the speed and demand of the engine and there is no return line. It goes from the PCM to the Fuel Pump Relay in the CCRM (Constant Control Relay Module) to fuel Pump Driver Module to the Fuel Pump Assembly.

    I have many shop books for this vehicle and I now have them all here. But finding things in these books is almost as difficult as finding them under the hood.

    -Don- Reno, NV

    My condolences on your loss. It's a tragic part of life that we lose those close to us. At least you have your memories of your time together. At least he had the mercy of it being a short illness.
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  13. #33
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    I just got done changing the fuel filter. Still no start, no fuel pressure.

    I checked the fuel pump current while cranking, and it is perhaps a bit high. It measures ten amps, which according to here, should be around 7 amps max, since this cars spec is around 40 psi, IIRC. Just enough to make me think I could have a stuck fuel pump motor.

    "Normal draw varies with different pumps, a rule of thumb by pressure ratings, 2-4A at 10-15psi, 4-7A at 30-50psi, 8-12A at 50-65psi, there is no magic number, just watch speed and draw. Once you have viewed many applications, you will get a feel for whats normal."

    It doesn't look too difficult to drop the fuel tank in this. Perhaps the hardest part will be dealing with getting a fuel tank of fuel out of there. I will probably change the fuel pump myself.


    I wonder if I reverse polarity the pump motor if it could unstuck it. I might try that, As long as the fuel tank doesn't blow up, I have nothing to lose by trying.


    -Don- Reno, NV

  14. #34
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Not only did I prove the fuel pump was the problem, I fixed the fuel pump!!!

    Here is what I did:

    I cut both wires to the fuel pump and got a 13 volt DC power supply (I am into electronics and I have a lot of such stuff). This power supply runs on 120 VAC and puts out 13.8 VDC at 15 amps. I deliberately connected the fuel pump backwards to the power supply. I could hear kind of a click when I did. I took the power off and on several times. Click-Click-Click. But fuel pump motor did not seem to run backwards. But the reverse click was enough. Then I used the same power supply (key out of ignition) and connected the fuel pump to the correct polarity. I could then hear the fuel pump! I then checked the fuel psi and it was almost 50 psi (key still out of the ignition!). Then I had no doubt it would work. So I wired it back up normally and started the engine and it started right up! And I think this fix is permanent, as long as I don't let the car sit too long again and even then, who knows?

    This makes me wonder how many fuel pumps have been replaced just for being temporally stuck, like mine, from sitting so long. Just attempt to run the fuel pump motor in reverse for a few seconds to un-stick.

    But now, I discovered another problem. I cannot get the convertible top to fit in. It misses the two holes by a half inch when I tried to put the top back up. It just won't stretch far enough, not even if I try to help it in while pressing the button. Any convertible experts here?

    The convertible top has been left open all this time (almost a year) too.

    And thanks for the comments WRT Tommy's death. I never stop thinking about it all, but at the same time, I am enjoying a new type of freedom, being responsible only for myself. While I am sad, I am not depressed over it all. Staying busy helps a lot and I am usually pretty busy with one thing or another.

    BTW, I bought two fuel filters plus the tool, so I will change the fuel filter in my 2002 Mustang today as well. Or maybe I will save that job for tomorrow.

    -Don- Reno, NV

  15. #35
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    I would never have thought of trying reverse connecting a fuel pump - genius or what?

    I bow my knee in your direction, Don.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  16. #36
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I would never have thought of trying reverse connecting a fuel pump - genius or what?
    No genius here. I just know how those little electric motors work, such as those used in fuel pumps.

    I took the 99 Mustang out for around a ten mile test drive. I even stopped and restarted the engine a couple of times (I was fairly confident I would have no problems restarting and didn't).

    However, with the convertible top not going all they way up, it might as well be considered another motorcycle, but this is even less waterproof. Without the top being fully closed, it might as well be fully open as I cannot even tell the difference.

    Now, If I only knew how the convertible top works. I will start a new thread for that.

    It started to rain today and I would have to put the 99 Mustang Convertible outside and partially open to work on the 2002 hardtop Mustang in the garage, so I will change the 2002 Mustang fuel filter tomorrow if the weather is better. I figure if I don't do that job soon, I will forget all about it.

    BTW, the fuel filter that I removed from the 1999 Mustang was made my Wix, not Motorcarft (Ford) so I assume it was replaced before. Perhaps before I owned the car, because I don't remember ever replacing it.

    -Don- Reno, NV

  17. #37
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Today, I changed the fuel filter in the 2002 Ford hardtop Mustang. Fairy easy job, just like the 1999 Conv., but IMO, those Ford "quick-disconnect" fuel filters are anything but quick to disconnect. I had to fight with each, but perhaps only because the filters have been in each car for many years. However, they connect back up very easily. No tools needed and they click right into place. Also, a cheap but special tool is needed to remove the Ford fuel filters, but not to install, so IMO, they should be called "quick connect" connectors.

    The one I removed today in the 2002 was a Motorcraft, so I assume it was in there since the car was new. Or else that filter came from a Ford Dealer. I generally buy all my cars used, but all my motorcycles new, so I don't know much about the history of the cars.

    I started the 99 Mustang this morning after not being used for at least 12 hours, and all was fine. It started right up. I don't expect the fuel pump to give me any more trouble and I will drive this car a lot more from now on.

    The only reason I left that car alone for so long was because it was where I kept my motorcycle jackets and helmets and such, since it was in the garage next to the bikes with the top down. I will have to find new places for such stuff.

    -Don- Cold Springs Valley, NV

  18. #38
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that to find the fuel PSI valve, all I really needed to do is look at my 2002 Mustang first. It's in the exact same spot as the 1999, but totally in the clear only in the 2002. It's the same size engine (3.8L), but the stuff around the engine was resigned and MUCH neater in the 2002 than the 1999, without nearly as many hoses & visible smog controls valves and such.

    -Don- Reno, NV
    Last edited by DonTom; 03-26-2017 at 11:50 PM.

  19. #39
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    I forgot to mention that to find the fuel PSI valve, all I really needed to do is look at my 2002 Mustang first.

    -Don- Reno, NV
    Two Mustangs, Don? If you're going to try breeding them can I have first option on one of the foals?
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
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  20. #40
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Two Mustangs, Don? If you're going to try breeding them can I have first option on one of the foals?
    I now have 13 motor vehicles, which includes six motorcycles. All the cars are fairly old. The 2002 Mustang is my newest car. It even gets less use than the 1999 Mustang. It has less than 50K miles on it, still looks fairly new as it has been sitting in a garage most of its life. Even though it gets less use overall, in the last year it was used a few times, unlike the 1999. But all for rather short trips, but at least if got ran a few times.

    From now on, I will rotate my vehicles every week or so, instead of having one I use most of the time.

    Most of my motorcycles are newer, two are 2016 (MotoGuzzi Stelvio & Kaw 650 Versys) and another is 2013 (Triumph Trophy SE). And I do a better job on rotating them, except for my little Suzuki DR200SE, which I use on unpaved roads mostly only during the summer.

    But my very oldest vehicle is also a motorcycle, my 1971 BMW R75/5. I am the original owner of all my bikes, unlike all my cars.

    -Don- Reno, NV

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