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02 Explorer, another starting problem thread.

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Hdale85, February 24, 2012.

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  1. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    So I got a bit of time to play with it today. I bought this to fix as I only paid 1400 bucks for it. It's a 2002 Explorer XLT with the 4.0 V6.

    So here's the problem, I guess the owner said about 6 months ago the fuel pump was replaced (the car was sitting for about 4 or 5 months). About a month or so after it was replaced the car broke down on the side of the road and would not start up again. That's the story I know. Someone told him the head gasket was blown but it was the same guy that did the fuel pump and kind of sounded like he just didn't want to deal with them anymore. I don't see any signs of a blown headgasket at all. No milky oil, nothing coming out the side of the block or anything.

    So anyways here's what it's doing. First the battery was shot so I got a used one that works (about 3 years old). Also the terminals were completely screwed so I replaced those. Now when I try and start it it'll turn over a few times and then start to run a little for about 15 seconds and then shut off. It really sounded like a fuel problem to me as it's obviously getting spark? Well today I pulled the air box hose off and sprayed starter fluid into the port and it wouldn't really start with that either? So then I took a pick and pressed in the fuel rail check valve to see if there was pressure and there was, so I turned it over some more and checked for pressure and sure enough it had repressurized which leads me to believe the fuel pump and what not is working correctly.

    So now I'm thinking maybe it's just not getting a good spark, could be coil pack or spark plugs? I got some new plugs to pull the old ones and replace, going to do that tomorrow after the battery is all charged (died while messing with it earlier).

    I'm just looking for other idea's on what you guys think this could be and things I should check? I checked all fuses and they all seem fine (why did they put the interior fuse panel in that spot by the way!). Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Ok, charged the battery over night and messed with it again. This time I got the wife to sit in the car and try starting it while I sprayed the fluid into the throttle body. It tries to start but just doesn't quite do it. Really thinking might have a weak spark issue unless it's a compression issue. Do you think this sounds like a compression issue? If it does then still ok just more work involved.

    I don't think we'll know about compression until I check the plugs and what not. I need to get something to stand on to get to the spark plugs though, not used to working on SUV's lol. It's gotta be sparking though because it does try to start. If you feel it could be a compression issue I'll go buy/rent a compression tester to check each cylinder.
     
  4. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Well, I found one of the issues, maybe even THE issue. I finally got one of the spark plugs out (wow were they a bitch!) and they look to be the ORIGINAL spark plugs! They were all rusted on the ends, motorcraft brand and the gap on some of them are over .100"! So I'm putting new ones in, I got the driver side done but having a hard time getting into the passenger side ones, mostly the middle and back one. I think I need some more extensions or a wobble or something.
     
  5. det107

    det107 Member

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    Good Luck With rest of spark plugs ! Let us know what happens next-
     
  6. GDawg

    GDawg New Member

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    Use "Anti-Seize" on the plugs and be sure to not cross thread them when you install them.

    Since your plugs are so bad, I would also replace your fuel filter if you haven't done so in the last year.
     
  7. n2epv

    n2epv Active Member

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    For 1400, you got a great deal, even if it takes some tinkering to get it running! Compare all the plugs when you get them out... if the electrode ends (the end that goes into the cylinder) are similar in color and amount of deposits, plus no leaks as you said, then there's probably no head gasket problems. You can tell a lot about the health of the engine just by 'reading' the old plugs.
     
  8. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    They look pretty similar to me, pretty black and burnt up.

    As for the fuel filter I was thinking about replacing it as a possible issue. I just got the truck so no idea when it was replaced or if it was replaced?

    I did finally get the plugs all out (arms are a bit sore now! really need a platform to stand on to work on this thing lol!) and got them replaced with some new ones that are gaped to .054". It's still doing the same thing more or less. It'll turn over and turn over and sound like its' going to start and then it stops. I was wondering where all the coolant had gone, so I started dumping some in and it was pouring right out the other side of the engine! So I looked and the lower hose was off the radiator? Will take care of that and get some new coolant soon here. I'm done messing with it today lol.

    So still at a bit of a loss as to what's wrong. No big clues yet. I'm going to have to try and pick up a compression tester but won't be able to for a couple weeks probably due to bills.

    On another note I found a engine from an 06 explorer that needs new rings (washed out rings they said) but only has 80k miles on it. Has it listed on ebay starting bid of 150 and it's only like an hour away. So that's tempting.

    I'll shoot a picture here in a bit of the plugs so you can judge them for your self. I've never heard of a blown head gasket completely keeping the engine from running, but I guess if the compression was that bad then it's possible.
     
  9. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Here's a picture of the old plugs. I didn't mess with these at all this is exactly how they came out (gaps included).
    [​IMG]


    Also here's a picture of the Explorer.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    A 2006 engine should bolt right up to the motor mounts and have the same wiring right? If so I may buy this engine as I may be able to get it for 150 bucks. If I can I'll break it down and replace all the bearings and rings and whatever other stuff it may need to be a complete rebuild. Then later I'll drop it in when it's warmer and I get a few days to do so.

    In the mean time I'll have to figure out what's wrong with the one I have. I'm sort of leaning towards compression issue or maybe the coil pack. Spark plugs are good now, so if there still isn't adequate spark then it would have to be wires/coil pack. Since it tries to start though I think there is spark?

    The old plugs look pretty consistent except one. The one looks a bit more wet looking and more black then brown. I'm not sure if this is any indication of the condition of the engine?
     
  11. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Ok I got a loaner compression check gauge from AutoZone. Hopefully if the rain decides to stop tomorrow I can get out there and check each cylinder out.
     
  12. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Well, the compression testing thing I borrowed from AutoZone sucks. The end that screws into the spark plug socket spins pretty freely so I can't screw it in and remove it. I had a hell of a time getting it out of the first spark plug socket and decided to just not put it in the second one. I may just go buy a set from harbor freight or something.

    I'm really not sure how they expect you to use the one I borrowed......
     
  13. GDawg

    GDawg New Member

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    There should be a variety of different thread pitched connectors...
     
  14. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    The threading fits, it's just that the point that swivles is all the way in the well so it's like impossible to thread it on and take it off. The cylinder 1 hit 150psi though before I faught to get it out.


    Bad injectors wouldn't cause the engine to not start would it? It does try to start, but never fully kicks over all the way.
     
  15. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    I bought a set from Harbor Freight yesterday. Hopefully the weather will hold up long enough for me to get it tested fully.

    The set I bought looks identical to the Sears Craftsman set but was like 1/3rd the cost. The ends don't spin either like the Autozone set. Pretty nice actually. So today I'll get all the cylinders tested hopefully and that'll give me an idea on the head gasket and condition of the rings and what not.

    I think I should of picked up a spark tester though, I'm thinking the issue may be related to the injectors or coil pack....maybe a bit of both. I'm not sure how else to test the coil pack other then replace it though? How can you tell if it's producing a big enough spark? The injectors I don't know, there is a member selling newer sets for like 60 bucks. I thought about just grabbing one of those but I'm not sure injectors could possibly keep my engine from running.
     
  16. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Ok, well one cylinder was a bit low, but nothing seemed crazy off? The driver side numbers are all a bit lower then the passenger side.

    I tested each cyl twice.

    Cyl 1
    120/120

    Cyl 2
    120/120

    Cyl 3
    120/119

    Cyl 4
    100/85

    Cyl 5
    110/110

    Cyl 6
    110/110

    Also I forgot to disengage the fuel injectors the first couple times and I can say that the injectors seem to be working pretty good in all of them.
     
  17. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Also this gauge I have seems to read about 30 PSI lower then the one from Auto Zone as I got a test on cyl 1 with that one and it was at 150. So these numbers might all be quite a bit lower then what they actually are. Either that or the Autozone meter was high?
     
  18. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Well I'm thinking about getting a new coil pack to try out. There is compression, there's fuel, that leaves spark being weak. I put new plugs in so couldn't be that, the wires seem alright? I'll see what a new coil pack will cost and if anyone has a used one and go from there.
     
  19. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Well I just ordered some new plug wires and ignition coil locally for like 100 bucks. If you guys think I'm leaning in the wrong direction let me know so I can return them before installing them lol. Chances are it needs them anyways since it doesn't seem like the igition system was kept up to date.

    I'm gonna go ahead and buy that 2006 engine for 150 bucks probably next week or the week after depending. The owner said that it has washed out piston rings in 2 cylinders. I'm going to strip it down and do a full rebuild and cleaning and get the piston walls machined by a shop before assembling it again. In the summer I'm going to swap it into the X.
     
  20. det107

    det107 Member

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    New plug wires & coil pack is part of a tune-up. Don't skimp on parts-
     
  21. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Member

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    Yeah I'm installing them right now.
     

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