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No Crank

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by MyExplorer03v8Lim, January 7, 2019.

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    1. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Hi Explorers..

      2003 Limited V8, AWD

      New starter, strong battery. Turn the key and nothing happens. PATS light continues to blink every 2 seconds with or without the key.

      For a while before this I would have a problem where turning the key would do nothing for 1..2..3 seconds and then it'd fire right up. Not sure if related. I assumed it was the starter solenoid going bad.

      So finally when it stopped starting all together, I replaced the starter motor after bench testing and finding that it operated intermittently.

      It still won't even try to crank with the new starter.


      A few other weird things going on, possibly related, who knows:
      - message center completely reset, displays only dashes. Mileage still displays, but it'll change to dashes when I turn the key
      - have had an intermittent door ajar warning on the driver's door, I believe it's the wiring not the switch. Maybe a bad ground.

      Any advice would be much appreciated. I have no clue where to even begin troubleshooting.
       
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    3. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @MyExplorer03v8Lim
      Few codes are available relating to the charging system, I believe. First thing I would do before guessing games would be to measure the battery voltage after sitting ~ 30 minutes, to allow it to settle down from any discharge activity. Turn the key to start: if the battery measured voltage drops below 8 or 9 volts, this could account for the strange computer-controlled glitches. Look into cable ends, terminals, wire condition within the insulation right close to the battery terminals.

      If battery voltage sitting is over 12 volts, I would check each cell in the battery using a battery hydrometer, about ten bucks everywhere. You said "strong battery"; what do you base that on? If charging system is determined to be workable, next choice would be the PATS Transceiver having "bought it". Or, the Security Module, both of which ought to throw a code of some kind, I think. imp
       
    4. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Battery tested at 11.5 this morning, after having sat for two weeks. I think the slightly low voltage can be attributed to me opening and closing the doors, keying the ignition, accessories coming on etc.

      When I turn the key to start, the voltage drops to 11.45-11.39, but there's no crank.

      Also, I tested my obd2 adapter on a known good vehicle, and the adapter worked fine. It doesn't work in my explorer. In my explorer, the obd2 adapter gets enough power to broadcast it's wifi network, but neither FORScan nor OBD Fusion can see the vehicle.

      I have a USB - OBD2 Adapter coming today that I can further test with, but since my wifi dongle is proven functional, I feel like this proves that there's something wrong with the pcm? Thoughts?
       
    5. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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    6. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Yeah, they're pretty dim at the moment. But the vehicle doesn't respond to a jump start either.
       
    7. Mr. Alligator

      Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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      imp is wise...

      battery terminals and/or battery seem like the place to begin. Either problem may result in no crank and not be reponsive to jump start.

      No pcm replacement yet.

      Have you checked battery terminals? Removing them and cleaning the connections is simple. And cheap.

      Good luck.
       
    8. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Battery terminals *look* fine.

      I have thought for a while that it's a bad ground somewhere, but it could easily be a rotten wire off the battery that *looks* okay from the outside.

      And yes, @imp is wise! He's some of the glue that holds this forum together. So many of his posts on here have guided me to unexpected solutions.
       
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    9. Mr. Alligator

      Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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      Have you removed the terminals to check and clean the terminal connections?
       
    10. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Can anyone tell me what the ground wire going from the rear of the engine block to the firewall, passenger side is for?

      This cable is bolted to my engine block, but the bolt is not cranked down all the way, it's backed out probably 1/2-3/4". I can move the cable back and forth on the bolt shaft, which just seems totally wrong. No idea how it would have backed itself out.

      I put a wrench on it, it's hard to get to, but it feels like I may snap it off before it gets all the way tight. It's already very tight, even though it's not all the way in.

      Is this a bolt I can just pull out and shorten if it's indeed too long after cleaning and lubing?
       
    11. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @MyExplorer03v8Lim
      Oh, Pshaw! I'd hope to have learned something after 60 years of f*^king with this sort of stuff. If jumper cables result in no crank, either the juice ain't getting to the starter, or the starter ain 't no good. imp
       
    12. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @MyExplorer03v8Lim
      Therein may lie most of your trouble! That ground wire between the engine and body ensures a ground path current return to the battery/alternator from the starter motor. Some engine mounts effectively insulate the engine block from the body, thereby leaving no or incomplete ground for the starter itself. The bolt likely did not back out, but is too long, replaced by someone incorrectly. I would make sure you get that cable well-grounded to the engine one way or another, making certain the cable end terminal is clean and bright, no paint under the connection point. imp
       
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    13. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      @imp

      Update:

      - removed and charged battery
      - removed ground cable closest to battery on body, cleaned both ends, post and nut. Tests solid ground.
      - removed ground strap from block, shortened and cleaned bolt, cleaned both ends of strap, Cleaned post, sanded engine block. Installed strap tightly. tests solid ground
      - test ground wire by ps pump. Solid ground.

      Status:

      - no crank
      - can't connect to obd2
      - pats light blinks every two seconds regardless of key
       
    14. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Second quick update:

      I can jump the starter by keying the ignition "on" and then crossing the power wires. It'll turn over but won't start.

      Also, I found the fuse #41 blown, and the o2 sensor had been contacting the drive shaft and rubbed bare. I haven't replaced this fuse yet.
       
      Last edited: January 10, 2019
    15. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @MyExplorer03v8Lim
      Have we considered the PATS transceiver or Security Module? If starter cranks engine as you say, there is either no ignition or no fuel. PATS kills fuel, and possibly ignition also. Under all key off conditions, the PATS indicator light blinks every 2 or 3 seconds, no matter what, until key "on", then it lights up constant, stays on for about 8 seconds, then turns off, indicating PATS is "proved out", and the whole deal is sitting there waiting for the start signal from the key. Still leaning towards PATS issue. The key is not being identified as "right" or "wrong". If wrong, PATS light flashes quickly, about 3 flashes per second, continues to do that in start position or run. imp
       
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    16. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      I agree, I see it as possibly a pats issue or maybe pcm. I don't know how to test for either.

      Another thing, message center displays error messages "... Data error" for everything when I go into setup.
       
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    17. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @MyExplorer03v8Lim
      OK, I've dug into the wiring diagrams, and got a few more ideas. First, I drive an '04, yours is '03? As these PATS deals were formulated, changes were made along the way, even in the same Gen of vehicles. So, my '04 may not be identical to yours. Anyhow, fact that your PATS light flashes as mentioned, that would be normal for whenever shut down and parked. walk away, look back, it's flashing at 2 sec intervals. What's that saying? First, the Security Module must be doing what it's supposed to. It looks at door ajar status, passes that along to the PCM. PCM flashes the light accordingly. Anti Theft Transceiver gets it's own power from a fuse, all by itself, sits doing nothing until key turned to ON, then alerts PCM to "PASS, it's the right key", or don't PASS, it's the wrong key. If PASS, PCM actually turns on the starter motor via the Starter Solenoid: it actually operates the starter. Since PCM knows nothing about transceiver state UNTIL transceiver receives power in Key ON or START, there seems no reason that if transceiver is non-functional why PCM would not simply keep light flashing at 2 second rate. Conjecture, yes, second-guessing the A.H. wizards who think up PCM programming quirks.

      Check the fuse feeding the transceiver. It's in the car under steering column in my '04, surely same place for yours, but MAYBE not same fuse. Look in Owner's manual what is said about fuse #14. It's 5 amps, predictably small rating. If fuse BLOWN, replace it, try system. If new fuse blows right away: PATS transceiver has short circuit, or wiring to it from the fuse. If old fuse NOT BLOWN, suspect bad transceiver. I replaced mine, not too costly, find them all day on Ebay. Fairly easy to replace. If you go that route, before you rip out the old one, buy a new one, and test it with your known good key: Hold the plastic part of the key across the circular opening of the transceiver with one hand after plugging in the wires to it, turn lock cylinder with another key, if this solves it, the light will illuminate solid for about 8 sec. or so. I'd try the starter then! If you have only one KNOWN good key, you will have to rip out the old transceiver, put in the new one.

      Check the fuse. If you decide to go with the transceiver, let me know, I'll post pics of removal. Here's what it looks like. It is held in place by a single screw passing through the small hole. The big hole surrounds the outer end of the lock cylinder, the whole works surrounded by a rubber grommet which slides on the shift selector arm. A tiny connector with 4 wires plugs into it. The transceiver is not visible from in the car, surrounded by the grommet.

      [​IMG]
       
    18. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      Big update on this:

      - I have been dealing with an intermittent door ajar for a year +, so a while back I watched this video by @TechGuru but never got around to chasing this down. Sometimes the car thinks the door is open. No big deal.

      - I pulled the boot back on the door wiring and found four patched wires which had all come loose

      - I don't have any electrical supplies so it's off to the store and I'll update after I've repaired the wires

      Imgur (Nightmare fuel)

      Edit: fuse 14 (PATS) intact
       
    19. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      I patched all the wires with alligator clips, and still no start. Also, message center system check still reads error for all systems.
       
    20. MyExplorer03v8Lim

      MyExplorer03v8Lim Active Member

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      I have ordered this set from eBay, so I'll start testing new parts systematically once they arrive. I'll also patch/ solder/ heat shrink/ gaff tape the door loom to solidify that situation, once I can get some supplies.
       

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