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1997 5.0 died while driving, won't start back up

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by allmyEXes, January 15, 2020 at 10:14 PM.

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  1. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '97 Merc "MO" the 5.0
    Callsign:
    KAGG 3611
    Wednesday mid morning I was running my local errands before heading into the big city. As I was driving I noticed that the check engine light started blinking steadily for a minute or two. Then all of a sudden the engine died. I found a safe place to pull over and attempted to restart it. Nothing. I checked the Schrader valve on the fuel rail and I think it was just residual pressure. I can't hear the pump pre-pumping when the ignition is turned on to the run position. I got it towed back to where I could diagnose it. I rounded up a scantool and a fuel pressure gauge. When I attempt to access the ECM the tool says it cannot communicate with it. I checked the fuel pressure and there is none. Tomorrow I will get up under the left side in front of the back tire/wheel to disconnect the fuel pump harness to check for power and to hot wire the pump to see if it is good or not. Something tells me that it is not the pump.
    I am really surprised that after the check engine light was blinking on and of multiple times that I am unable to access the ECM to read the trouble codes. I have not unplugged and reconnected the ECM connector or the one going down to the trans and O2 sensors. Tomorrow I will do that first.
    Any thoughts or insight?
     
    Last edited: January 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM
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  3. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You could access the PCM & fuel pump relays under the hood so it's not necessary to climb under the vehicle to check wiring just yet. Have you checked the inertia switch behind the kick panel? Do you see a check engine light? Did you check the ground wiring? The fuel pump won't start if the PCM isn't working. Do you have a theft light blinking? What about a spare PATS key?
     
    Last edited: January 16, 2020 at 9:57 AM
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  4. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    I believe it is pre PATS and pre "chip" key.
    In the morning I will check the check engine light but before the vehicle went down it blinked on and off for about 2 minutes.
    I will also take a peak at the CPS using a 1/4" ratchet with a 6"-7" extension, a universal joint and a tiny SAE socket to access the two tiny CPS screws/bolts and sneak it under the coil packs to remove the CPS. 18 months ago I put a good used Motorcraft unit n place of a bad unit however I havn't heard any noise out of it or had any codes related to it. I guess the fasteners are 1/4". For some reason 7 mm keeps popping in my head for those 2 little bolts but that may be because a lot of the small fasteners on the truck are 7mm. Generally 5.0 engines have standard (U.S.) fasteners.

    Added-(4 hours later)
    IIRC, On the side of the road I swapped the #4 and #5 relays and they were both 30 amp
    Mid morning I will check the inertia switch. Can I reach over the kick panel to access it or remove the panel.
    After looking back 61 pages of Gen2 posts and into May 2019 I havn't found anyone with the same condition.
    Can I test the Crankshaft position Sensor with a DVOM and what settings?
     
    Last edited: January 16, 2020 at 6:17 AM
  5. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Mine are 8mm
     
  6. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    If you don't have fuel pressure it shouldn't have anything to do with the camshaft position sensor.
     
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  7. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I am going to suggest stopping right now and starting over because assumptions are being made and wrenches turned chasing a tail----

    try this

    2nd gen issues? Try this first!

    Use this chart without assuming. Your truck has built in tools to help diagnosis. This chart shows how to use them

    How to: - Ford Explorer Engine No Start Procedure

    I think the power to the pcm might be interrupted due to a bad pcm relay or bad fuse. when you turn the key to the on position does the check engine light turn on? PCM has several fuses and a relay.

    The obd2 port is protected by a fuse.
     
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  8. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    I'm at square one. At 8:30 a.m. central time I did this...The check engine light is not on and fuse # 19 is burnt. Here after a fastbreak breakfast I'm going to do the try this first with the PCM connector and the other one too.
     
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  9. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Well that narrows it way down tons
     
  10. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    I was going to say if your scanner cannot talk to the pcm check your fuses........
    If the PCM does not power up then it will not run the fuel pump.........

    Not very often does a 5.0 need a tow!! Dang
     
  11. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    Callsign:
    KAGG 3611
    I'm not trying to "shortcut" the diagnostics here but what if I ?...
    1) Remove kick to access Inertia switch
    2) Lightly tap on it to make it open (circuit) no power to the pump
    3) Replace fuse 19, I don't have hardly any extra fuses on hand. If it doesn't blow go to step 4
    4) Turn on the key switch to the run position
    5) If the CEL comes on then use my CanoBD2scan tool to access codes, that is WILL there be codes stored even if fuse #19 has blown and been replaced?
    Also when I reset/close the Inertia switch and fuse #19 blows then it is safe to say bad fuel pump, possibly a clogged filter.
    The MM has close to 260K miles on it and the filter and fuel pump have never been changed.
     
    Last edited: January 16, 2020 at 11:28 AM
  12. JCat

    JCat Active Member

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    When this happened to me, I poured a little gas in the air filter box, close to the intake tube, and she started right up . . . . for a few seconds or so. Seems like I always have a gallon of gas near.
    I new immediately that it was a failed pump . . . . I've read how they eventually fail with age.
     
  13. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    I did my little test. I had a 20 amp fuse that I "pirated" out the White "97, poor GW, took another part off of it to fix another. Tapped on the inertia switch until it opened, odd that I could hear a little motor type sound when I did this. Went back around to the D seat and turned the key/switch to the on position. Fuse #19 immediately blew. I could hear a little pop.
    Disconnected the battery
    I went ahead and disconnected, checked, and reconnected the PCM connector and the trans/O2 harness connector. They good. Not wet or any corrosion.
    The battery is undone so I know there won't be any trouble codes available.
    Saw the diodes in the power distribution box
    Swapped #2 and #3 relays
    and was trying to get the PDB slid up off of its bracket to peak at the bottom of it. Is this a waste of time?
     
  14. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    Well I have learned something today. Thanks for the diagnostic info and once the caffeine burned of and I was able to follow it.
    Fuse 19 was blown. I unplugged the PCM relay, # 5, the 2 coil packs and the RF interference suppressor. It's suppose to be a 25 amp fuse. I put in a 10 amp, turned on the key and it didn't blow. Turned the key off, plugged in the left coil pack, turned the key on and the fuse blew. I unplugged the left coil pack, plugged in the right, installed a 20 amp fuse, turned the key on and the fuse did not blow. I reset the inertia switch and I turned the key to run and heard the fuel pump pre-pump. I'm going to plug the left coil back in and turn the key on expecting the #19 fuse to blow. I do have a 25 amp fuse to use once I have replaced the coil pack. These Coils look very familiar and RA parts numbers confirm what I thought. They are the same coil packs as a 1993 Mustang with the 2300 CC 8 spark plug engine. I have some of these at my Shop 4.75 miles from here.
    as I think about the coils and what can make them go bad, 3 things come to mind.
    Age, they are 23 years old and the truck has 260K miles on it.
    Moisture, we have been having regular floods here lately.
    And old plugs and wires. 13 months ago this vehicle broke down or started breaking down. The wife called halfway home from work saying "the motor" was missing real bad. I took my scan tool and drove north to the next state to retrieve MO (the 5.0). Scanned, Misfire on one of the cylinders. I got it back here and ordered some plugs and wires, MOTORCRAFT, and installed the first two or 3. Plug gap was burnt to .125 thousandths, and the wires had the 1996 date code on them. With all that has happened in the past year the plug wire task has not been completed and anyone that has ever changed them on a 5.0 knows it is a b*#@h and you might as well take off the front wheels to have working room. Wires that have been on that long about have to be torn off.
    I am going to go get a couple of coil packs and keep one in the truck parts box and I will tape a 25 amp fuse to the top of it with # 19 written on it.

    ADDED: I just plugged the old left coil pack back in and turned the key to the run position and the fuse blew!
     
    Last edited: January 17, 2020 at 4:16 AM
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  15. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    It sounds like you might have just solved your months long puzzle!!!! Congrats!
     
  16. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    well done!
    dead short in the coil pack
    This is happening more often now that these are getting older.
    Have replaced two coil packs in the last year, before this, in all my years with these trucks I never had to replace one..........

    Inertia switch insides so you can see its just a steel ball that jumps out of its hole and breaks the circuit
    If you ever diagnose for a bad inertia switch simply bypass it, jumper the two wires together.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    Well I went to my shop and removed 2 coil packs off of a 1993 2300. They looked good or rather, they probably were good. I replaced the left hand coil, hooked everything up and the truck started. It ran a minute or two then I decided to raise the RPMs to about 1500. I heard the fuse pop as it shut down. I removed the coil and flipped it over and it was cracked similar to the original coil that I took off. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't cracked when I installed it. It was an original MOTORCRAFT. I took it off and checked the 2nd replacement and it looked good for being off of a low miles 2300. I started it back up and after a couple of minutes I noticed a miss and occasionally could hear an arcing, fire jumping sound. I shut it down and unfastened the coil enough to look at it and it is cracked too, now. Are my plugs and wires so bad that I am damaging coils? That has to be the problem and I had thought earlier that it would be a good time to finish the plugs and wires R&R. I'll have to go back for tools tomorrow. I hope that the weather will be in my favor.
    Thanks for the help and encouragement so far.
     
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  18. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    So do you Veteran Explorer Repair People go along with my theory of the extreme plug gap, over double what it should be and the 1996 plug wires, They are older than my newest Daughter-in-law, are putting an extreme load on the coil packs? The only reason that I can come up with is as to why the right hand coil hasn't burned up is it has the 2 new plugs and wires hooked to it installed just over a year ago. I'm coming up with 2 different plug gaps. One I found says .052-.056 and another spec .060. Any input?
    coil1.jpg
    Proud that I had them on hand, Sad that I burned them up.
    coil2.jpg
    You can barely see the crack in this pic. I'm surprised that my little flip phone picture could eve see the crack.
    Friday afternoon I will get back on the repair. I just have to round up all the tools that I need to finish replacing the plugs and wires.
     
    Last edited: January 17, 2020 at 4:22 AM
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  19. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    I've never seen anything like that!
    Plug gap is .054

    Now going to google Ford cracking coil packs to see what I can come up with
     
  20. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow, I have seen that before, but not on a Ford coil pack. It was an ignition coil out of a 5.2 Durango. Usually they crack due to excessive heat and/or age (Plastic gets brittle and the heat from the voltage surge cracks the housing). Something is shorting out that coil pack and considering that those things are designed to handle thousands of volts and quite a few amps its got to be a fairly big short.
     
  21. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Did you unplug each cable, and connect an Ohmmeter between the cable & ground? You will be able to see if one of those cables or plugs are shorted to ground. Check the reading & let us know what you find. Your meter shouldn't detect any resistance.
     
    Last edited: January 18, 2020 at 8:23 PM
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