Another cranks, no start | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

  • Explorer Forum license plate frames are available 2 for $12, or 4 for $17. For photos and more details CLICK HERE

Another cranks, no start


August 20, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Limited 5.0
Kind of a long story. I have a 1999 5.0 Limited. Has been a great car other than the gas milage. Towed a 23' camp trailer as well as my full size truck(power wise). Anyway, wife got a gas miser car for her commute to work. Explored was parked. Had a family friend who lost her transportation, so we insured the Explorer and let her use it. Things were fine for months, then one night she called and said "parked it in the driveway, went back out to run an errand, no start." It ran perfect up until that last park job.
Me being me figured it was out of gas, so I took 5 gallons of gas over and gave it a try. No start. So I loaded it on the trailer and brought it home.
She found another car with the help of her parents and is back on the road in days. But that is another long story.
Back to the no start. I let the Explorer sit for 2 years. Fast forward to last week. Wife is tired of it sitting in the driveway. Get the kids to help me push it in the shop. Charge the battery and try it again. Nothing. So on a wild hair I decide that the fuel pump is shot. Didn't check pressure, just knew it was bad. Hit the forums up here and dove into dropping the tank. All went well, drained all the old fuel and added new. No start. Bench tested old pump and it works fine. Yeah i'm a moron. In the mean time, the starter goes out.
Took a few days off and bought a starter. Now i'm on the forums learning all I can. Do a compression test and have low 40's on 123&4. Did not check 5678. Oil does not change the reading, off to the parts store for a timing set. Tear down went well other than the clips on the AC and radiator. That's easy once you have done it once. Well, dots on the old timing set is perfect. Go ahead and swap out old for new. Buy a new compression tester and have 120+ ON 123&4. not excellent, but should be enough to get it to run. Now I'm really reading the forums.
I have fuel pressure.
I have fuel on new plugs. Injectors must be trying.
I have spark at all 8 plugs through the wires.
The syncro is turning when I crank.
Pats blinks every 2 secs. Glows for about 3 secs and goes out when I crank. Tried both keys.
Original crank position sensor. It sparks so I have ruled it good.
Cleaned and added grounds at PCM.
Removed PCM, opened up and did not see any burns. Not that I can see a bad PCM with my eyes anyway.
Starting fluid does not change a thing.
Tried a different battery and jumped it with 4/0 cables off my diesel truck.
I'm at my wits end. Thinking my next move is to tow it to Ford.
If the PCM is bad or needs reflashed can I use junkyard parts? I plan on pulling the PCM, PATS module, keys, gem module thing from drivers rear, and maybe the key sensor. Reading various locations for the PATS module though. Where is it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Well I'm back. All I have to say is, just because it sparks does not mean the crank position sensor is good. $15 dollar part off e-bay and it fired up first crank.

Draining the fuel tank & CKP sensor

If your Explorer set for two years and you didn't add a fuel stabilizer you didn't waste your time draining the fuel tank since the fuel had probably changed to a noncombustible lacquer like substance.

When the ignition is switched from Off to Run the PCM allows the fuel pump to run for a couple seconds and then disables it via the fuel pump relay. In Run and Start the PCM monitors the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor output to determine if the crankshaft is rotating. A defective CKP sensor output results in the PCM disabling the fuel pump via the fuel pump relay for safety. The PCM also uses the CKP output to determine when to "fire" the ignition pulses and the injector pulses. The "synchronizer" allows the PCM to determine if a cylinder is on the intake stroke or the compression stroke. On my 2000 Sport PATS disables the fuel injectors when the PCM detects an invalid ignition key.

I can understand how there was fuel pressure as a result of switching the ignition key from Off to Run. I suspect the engine didn't start when there was spark because there was still noncombustible fuel in the rails and injectors. I can't explain why the engine didn't start when there was ignition at the plugs and you used starting fluid. Maybe the CKP sensor output was intermittent (present with bad fuel but absent with starting fluid). My engine only runs for a second or two on starting fluid when I spray into the open throttle body.

Anyway, I'm glad you got your vehicle back in service and hope it is reliable for a long time with all the new components.