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

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  1. #1
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    1999 Ford Mustang 6 cyc. 3.8L won't start

    1999 Ford Mustang 6 cyc. 3.8L

    Until two hours ago, I have not even tried to start this engine for almost a year. It ran fine back then. This car has been sitting in the garage all this time. Battery well maintained, so it cranks very normal.

    But the engine now does not have even the slightest indication of starting. It's just as if there was no ignition at all. No pops, no backfiring, no anything, just very smooth cranking at a good cranking speed. And I have tried to start it many times in the last couple of hours, with some waiting after a lot of cranking (I don't want to burn out the starter motor!).

    I have NOT yet done ANY troubleshooting.

    But I am curious, what is the most likely problem based on the info. I mentioned here?

    I will do the troubleshooting later. Right now, I just want to hear some guesses of what I should expect to find.

    -Don- Reno, NV

  2. #2
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Hi, Don.

    Guess 1. No spark. Broken wire, rodent damage, failed coil.
    Guess 2. Fuel not getting through. Gummed up jets, fuel pump failure, crud in tank.

    If car has been stored in a good dry atmosphere go for Guess 2 first. You could try squirting a little
    neat fuel into the carbs whilst cranking.

    Best of luck in your fault finding, Don.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Hi, Don.

    Guess 1. No spark. Broken wire, rodent damage, failed coil.
    Guess 2. Fuel not getting through. Gummed up jets, fuel pump failure, crud in tank.

    If car has been stored in a good dry atmosphere go for Guess 2 first. You could try squirting a little
    neat fuel into the carbs whilst cranking.

    Best of luck in your fault finding, Don.

    Ken.
    Carbs? This vehicle is 1999, not 1979. It's MPFI.

    It cannot be a coil as it has three coils for six cylinders and none of them sound like they are firing.

    Anyway, when I start checking it out, I will post here what I find.

    I hope it's not a fuel pump problem as that is something I won't do myself. I don't work on fuel tanks.

    -Don- Reno, NV

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    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Carbs? This vehicle is 1999, not 1979. It's MPFI.

    It cannot be a coil as it has three coils for six cylinders and none of them sound like they are firing.

    Anyway, when I start checking it out, I will post here what I find.

    I hope it's not a fuel pump problem as that is something I won't do myself. I don't work on fuel tanks.

    -Don- Reno, NV
    I have no knowledge of your car, Don so I was
    merely talking in principle. I stand suitably
    chastised (and totally unrepenitant - )

    If no cylinders are firing - with three separate coils -
    and assuming all are receiving a suitable voltage then
    they can be discounted.

    As you can't spray fuel into the non-existent carbs then
    try removing a couple of plugs and putting some fuel
    into the cylinders, replace plugs and try again. If you
    get a couple of puffs and chuffs then fuel is your most
    likely problem.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    As you can't spray fuel into the non-existent carbs then
    try removing a couple of plugs and putting some fuel
    into the cylinders, replace plugs and try again. If you
    get a couple of puffs and chuffs then fuel is your most
    likely problem.Ken.
    I now expect a fuel pump problem, but not totally proven (yet). Here are the facts:

    1. I have good spark (as shown on a timing light for a quicky test).

    2. I have normal voltage at the fuel pump connector.

    Not much left, other than the fuel pump itself.

    I see no valve on the fuel rail, so I did NOT yet check for the fuel itself or its PSI. But I expect the fuel pump will be the problem. This is bad news as this means I will have the car towed somewhere and have them fix it. But first, I want to prove there is no fuel pressure. I now have all the books and tools here to check everything, only fuel pressure has not yet been checked for the basics.

    What will be weird is if I find normal fuel pressure, but I really doubt that. But if I do, I will check the ignition system better than simply using a timing light. But I expect to find the fuel pump isn't doing anything.

    One more test I can do is to see if the fuel pump is drawing any current, but that is rather meaningless at this point if I have no fuel pressure.

    BTW, is it common for fuel pumps to crap out from lack of use? The car was fine the last time it was started, perhaps around 8 months ago.

    -Don- Reno, NV

  6. #6
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post

    BTW, is it common for fuel pumps to crap out from lack of use? The car was fine the last time it was started, perhaps around 8 months ago.

    -Don- Reno, NV
    Hm? I've never had an injection fuel pump pack up on me. The old mechanical
    ones failed now and again but were easily reworked.

    It would be worth doing a current check as the pump is switched 'On' - if no current
    is drawn then one could almost categorically say it was the pump that was faulty.
    Also one can often hear the pump start as the ignition is switched on. One could
    disconnect the fuel line and briefly switch on into a catch can, a resultant petrol
    spray would confirm 'pump runs'.

    I'm tending to discount stuck, gummed up injectors as it is probably unlikely
    that all would fail simultaneously. Any chance you have a fouled up in-line
    fuel filter somewhere? There are, of course, all the associated electronics
    to consider. Just hope its not the ECU.

    I've been trying to find a diagram for your MPFI but no luck so far.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  7. #7
    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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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I posted once and it went away. Get some starting fluid and pull the air hose from the air filter to the throttle body. Look inside and you'll see the throttle plate. Open it a bit and shoot some starting fluid in there. Now try to start it. If it starts and then dies, you have a fuel problem. If it still doesn't start, you have an ignition problem.

    Let's assume it starts and dies. Rather than pull the fuel pump, check your relays and fuses. I had a truck once the previous owner had replaced the fuel pump. I got it cheap as it still had issues. I was sitting idling waiting on the GF and noticed a shudder from the back of the truck. The only two mechanical things back there were the ABS and fuel pump. Since I wasn't moving, it wasn't the ABS.

    Under the hood is a relay box. Open the cover and look at the relays. Usually, the name of the relay is on the cover. Swap the fuel pump relay with another one. I swapped the a/c relay as it was a cool day. The problem cleared up. I stopped by the parts store and bought a (at that time) $10 part and popped it in. I put the a/c relay back and drove the truck without issue for years.

    Always check the cheap and easy fixes first. If it works, you save a lot of time and money. If it doesn't, you aren't out much. You may have a bad relay or blown fuse. Although if the fuse blew, I'd want to find out why.
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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Ken,

    I cannot say I totally discount it being a ECU problem, just that some of its functions are working and I think its an unlikely item to crap out just from the car sitting. But if I find I have normal fuel PSI, I will certainly will check it and many other things.

    One other thing I have not yet checked is to see if I have voltage going to the injectors. I do have a set of those injector Noid lights for testing the voltage going to them.

    I have not been working on this car lately and I probably won't look at it again for a couple of weeks. I am now at one of my other homes, 100 miles away, in Auburn, CA. So I cannot check things until I get back to Reno, NV.

    But the biggest problem in this car is finding things. Like I mentioned, I have not yet even found the fuel line or a place to check the fuel psi. But I do have the books, but I did not bring them here to Auburn, but I now wish I did so I could study them for what to do when I return to Reno. But no big hurry anyway.

    I will probably have to remove several items to find ways to test some things.

    The other thing I need to do is check the fuel pump current. The only reason I have not yet done this is because the type of connector used at the fuel pump makes it difficult, but not impossible to rig up something to get a series connection. I will cut the wire and use my own connector if I need to. The job will get done. BTW, any idea what normal fuel current till be? Perhaps an amp or so?

    -Don- Auburn, CA

  10. #10
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    If you have normal fuel system pressure, then your sensor on ether the crank or cam shaft has packed it in. These don't have any symptoms except for not starting. You won't even have a code in the computer because the system doesn't know you're trying to start it. When I say crank or cam sensor, some engines use one and some use the other.
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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    If you have normal fuel system pressure, then your sensor on ether the crank or cam shaft has packed it in. These don't have any symptoms except for not starting. You won't even have a code in the computer because the system doesn't know you're trying to start it. When I say crank or cam sensor, some engines use one and some use the other.
    Would I still get a spark if the CPS craps out? I am pretty sure this ford uses a CPS (Crankshaft Position Sensor), but I assumed there would be no spark if it craps out. And I do have spark.

    -Don- Auburn, CA

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    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Would I still get a spark if the CPS craps out? I am pretty sure this ford uses a CPS (Crankshaft Position Sensor), but I assumed there would be no spark if it craps out. And I do have spark.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post

    -Don- Auburn, CA


    Prophet of Doom stuff here. I thought replacing the CPS would be fairly straightforward.

    Here is the procedure for (I'm pretty sure) your car, Don. Check out
    https://www.v6mustang.com/threads/ca...oniser.236113/

    There are some diagrams attached to the article as well as the useful info.

    Camshaft Position (CMP) Sensor
    Mustang 3.8L Engine


    SPECIAL SERVICE TOOL(S) REQUIRED Description Tool Number
    Syncro Positioning Tool T89P-12200-A

    Removal
    Disconnect battery ground cable (14301) .
    Disconnect fuel charging wiring (9D930) from distributor stator (12A112) (camshaft position sensor).
    Remove stator
    camshaft position sensor retaining screws and distributor stator (camshaft position sensor) from camshaft position sensor housing.
    If removing camshaft position sensor housing from the engine front cover (6019) , proceed with Removal Step 5. If camshaft position sensor housing is not being removed, proceed to Installation Step 6.

    CAUTION: Before proceeding with this procedure, set cylinder No. 1 to 26 degrees After Top Dead Center (ATDC) of the compression stroke. Then note the position of the stator (camshaft position sensor) electrical connector. The installation procedure requires that the connector be located in the same position.

    Remove retaining bolt and hold-down clamp (12270) .
    NOTE: The oil pump intermediate shaft (6A618) should be removed with the
    camshaft position sensorhousing.

    Remove
    camshaft position sensor housing from engine front cover .
    Installation

    CAUTION: If the replacement distributor stator (camshaft position sensor) does not contain a plastic locator cover tool, a special service tool such as Syncro Positioning Tool T89P-12200-A must be obtained prior to installation of the replacement distributor stator (camshaft position sensor). Failure to follow this procedure will result in improper stator (camshaft position sensor) alignment. This will result in the fuel system being out of time with the engine, possibly causing engine damage.

    If the plastic locator cover tool is not attached to the replacement distributor stator (camshaft position sensor), attach Syncro Positioning Tool T89P-12200-A as follows:
    Engage
    camshaft position sensor housing vane into the radial slot of the tool.
    Rotate tool on camshaft position sensor housing until tool boss engages notch in camshaft position sensor housing. The cover tool should be square and in contact with entire top surface of camshaft position sensor housing.
    Transfer oil pump intermediate shaft from old
    camshaft position sensor housing to replacementcamshaft position sensor housing.
    CAUTION: If stator (camshaft position sensor) electrical connector is not positioned properly (for example, contacting the A/C compressor bracket), DO NOT reposition the connector by rotating thecamshaft position sensor housing. This will result in the fuel system being out of time with the engine, possibly causing engine damage. Remove the camshaft position sensor housing and repeat installation procedure, beginning with Step 1.

    Install
    camshaft position sensor housing so that drive gear engagement occurs when arrow on locator tool is pointed approximately 30 degrees counterclockwise from the front face of the cylinder block (6010) . This step will locate stator (camshaft position sensor) electrical connector in the pre-removal position.
    Install hold-down clamp and retaining bolt and tighten bolt to 20-30 Nm (15-22 lb-ft).
    Remove Syncro Positioning Tool T89P-12200-A.
    CAUTION: If stator (
    camshaft position sensor) electrical connector is not positioned properly (for example, contacting the A/C compressor bracket), DO NOT reposition the connector by rotating thecamshaft position sensor housing. This will result in the fuel system being out of time with the engine, possibly causing engine damage. Remove the camshaft position sensor housing and repeat installation procedure, beginning with Step 1.

    Install distributor stator (camshaft position sensor) and retaining screws. Tighten screws to 2.5-3.5 Nm (22-31 lb-in).
    Connect fuel charging wiring connector to distributor stator (camshaft position sensor).
    Connect battery ground cable .

    Item Part Number Description
    1 T89P-12200-A Syncro Positioning Tool
    2 12127
    Camshaft Position Sensor Housing
    3 N605907 Bolt
    4 12270 Hold-Down Clamp
    5 6019 Engine Front Cover
    6 6A618 Oil Pump Intermediate Shaft
    7 12A112 (Camshaft Position Sensor) Distributor Stator
    8 N805029 Screw (2 Req'd)

    A Tighten to 20-30 Nm (15-22 Lb-Ft)
    B Tighten to 2.5-3.5 Nm (22-31 Lb-In)
    Last edited by Ken; 03-19-2017 at 12:30 PM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  13. #13
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Would I still get a spark if the CPS craps out? I am pretty sure this ford uses a CPS (Crankshaft Position Sensor), but I assumed there would be no spark if it craps out. And I do have spark.

    -Don- Auburn, CA
    The car ran fine when parked, right? nothing has been done while it was parked right? If you have fuel pressure and spark, you should be running. Something is not telling the injectors to inject fuel. Are there any codes in the computer? Not all codes will set the CEL. I'd unhook the battery and unplug the computer and then plug it back in. Then hook the battery back up and try it. If it still doesn't start,check all the wires and connectors you can find. Look for any wires that are unhooked or look like something has been gnawing on them. Mice have a bad habit of getting under hoods and gnawing.
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