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How to: Ford Explorer Engine No Start Procedure

mstiebel

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Spruce, I appreciate the input but if I were prepared to replace everything under the hood I would probably be throwing this truck away and buying something new. There is no evidence that the coil is bad and everything related to the ignition worked fine prior to pulling the motor. I replaced the CKP only because the test procedure led me to believe it was bad.

I tried both grounding the plugs to see a spark and I used a spark plug tester. I tested all easily accessible plugs and there was no spark. I visually checked all of the fuses but will test for continuity this evening. There was definitely 12V power at the coil pack so I'm thinking the fuses are fine. Is there an "ignition" relay? Or is it lumped under something else? PCM Power Relay? I'll check the fuel pressure as well but I don't think this affects spark.

I've got the Haynes and Ford Service manuals and so far they haven't been able to troubleshoot my issues. I'm hoping someone can offer real-world experience with what I'm running into. Thanks.
 


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2000StreetRod

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I did separate the harmonic balancer/vibration damper/crank pulley during removal and replaced it with a new OEM vibration damper.

1. No "THEFT" blinking light and the key worked prior to pulling the motor.
2. The fuel gauge says full, assuming it is working. I have not had the truck long enough to know better.
3. The fuel pump seems to be operating properly. There is a high pitch sound that comes from the fuel tank area. The spark plugs are wet when pulled and smell of fuel.
4. "CHECK ENGINE" illuminates.
5. Motor cranks.
6. "CHECK ENGINE" illuminates after a few turns of the engine when cranking. I attempted listening to the fuel pump to determine if it runs while cranking but it is not loud enough to hear over the starter. I went ahead and replaced the CKP as mentioned above with an aftermarket sensor. Still no spark. I then tested the continuity of the conductors from the sensor to the PCM electrical connector, put the original CKP back on, disconnected and reconnected every connector again and again. Still no spark. I've tested the coil per a procedure listed on this site and it appears to be fine. I've checked and cleaned all ground points.

So where do I go from here? The new vibration damper has a timing ring that appears to be more of a stamped steel cage versus the more solid ground/machined timing marks on the original damper. Could the different construction be affecting the CKP? Are the OEM CKP sensors more sensitive? It seems there would be more talk about it on these forums if some CKPs weren't compatible.

Since your "CHECK ENGINE" illuminates when cranking I suspect the PCM is not recognizing the pulses from the CKP sensor. Without crankshaft position data the PCM does not "know" when to fire the plugs. Unfortunately, I do not have access to a 2002 Ranger wiring diagram but I suspect for the ignition related circuits it is very similar to my 2000 Sport. Are the following your CKP sensor connections:
PCM pin 21 > dark blue wire > CKP connector
PCM pin 22 > gray wire > CKP connector
 




mstiebel

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Are the following your CKP sensor connections:
PCM pin 21 > dark blue wire > CKP connector
PCM pin 22 > gray wire > CKP connector

Those are the exact same on my Ranger. I can send you PDFs of the wiring diagrams if that helps.
 




2000StreetRod

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I suggest that you disconnect the CKP sensor connector. Turn on the ignition and measure the voltage between the pins on the CKP sensor mating connector. If there is a good electrical path from the connector to the PCM then you measure some voltage between the two pins connected to the dark blue and gray wires.
 




mstiebel

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I suggest that you disconnect the CKP sensor connector. Turn on the ignition and measure the voltage between the pins on the CKP sensor mating connector. If there is a good electrical path from the connector to the PCM then you measure some voltage between the two pins connected to the dark blue and gray wires.

Thanks, I'll look into it this evening. Is there a range I should look for?
 








mstiebel

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I'm not getting any voltage at the CKP sensor connector or at the pins coming through the firewall. It's interesting that your Explorer Haynes calls out a voltage specification. I'm pretty sure that my Ranger Haynes omits it all together. So where does this leave me? Is the PCM bad? Or is there some other relay inside the PCM that is cutting off the CKP signal? Thanks again.
 




mstiebel

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I'm wondering if I tested the connector properly. Do I just need to have the ignition on? Or do I need to be cranking to see a voltage?
Thanks.
 




sprucewood

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Spruce, I appreciate the input but if I were prepared to replace everything under the hood I would probably be throwing this truck away and buying something new. There is no evidence that the coil is bad and everything related to the ignition worked fine prior to pulling the motor. I replaced the CKP only because the test procedure led me to believe it was bad.

I tried both grounding the plugs to see a spark and I used a spark plug tester. I tested all easily accessible plugs and there was no spark. I visually checked all of the fuses but will test for continuity this evening. There was definitely 12V power at the coil pack so I'm thinking the fuses are fine. Is there an "ignition" relay? Or is it lumped under something else? PCM Power Relay? I'll check the fuel pressure as well but I don't think this affects spark.

I've got the Haynes and Ford Service manuals and so far they haven't been able to troubleshoot my issues. I'm hoping someone can offer real-world experience with what I'm running into. Thanks.
 




sprucewood

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The ignition relay is in the engine compartment fuse box...its a one inch square black relay. Check your owners manual for the relay number and where its located. Ebay for coil pack is $25.00. These go bad on a regular basis. Also you might check out youtube vids. Good luck sir...
 




2000StreetRod

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Any time the ignition is on there should be CKP sensor voltage across the associated PCM pins. The CHECK ENGINE light indicates there is power to the PCM. Some times the PCM pins get pushed back into the connector and fail to make electrical contact. You've already verified continuity from the PCM connector to the CKP sensor connector. Make sure the dark blue and gray wires aren't shorted together.

Another way to test the CKP sensor signal is with the fuel pump relay. The PCM energizes the fuel pump relay any time it determines the engine is rotating by monitoring the CKP sensor output. Try cranking the starter while monitoring the voltage at the inertial fuel shutoff pin that connects to the dark green/yellow stripe wire.
 




mstiebel

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Any time the ignition is on there should be CKP sensor voltage across the associated PCM pins. The CHECK ENGINE light indicates there is power to the PCM. Some times the PCM pins get pushed back into the connector and fail to make electrical contact. You've already verified continuity from the PCM connector to the CKP sensor connector. Make sure the dark blue and gray wires aren't shorted together.

Another way to test the CKP sensor signal is with the fuel pump relay. The PCM energizes the fuel pump relay any time it determines the engine is rotating by monitoring the CKP sensor output. Try cranking the starter while monitoring the voltage at the inertial fuel shutoff pin that connects to the dark green/yellow stripe wire.

I tested the dark green/yellow stripe conductor to ground at the disconnected inertial switch plug. I measure ~6V while cranking. Does this mean I should be getting a voltage across the CKP plug?
 




mstiebel

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I think I might be on to something. I wedged a screwdriver between the CKP and the radiator to bend it a little closer to the timing ring and it started for a few seconds. I'm wondering if the OEM ford CKP is more sensitive than the aftermarket CKP. I'll try an OEM CKP and let you know.
 




2000StreetRod

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The PCM is not recognizing the signal from the CKP sensor. There should be battery voltage at the DG/Y wire when the starter is cranking the engine. The PCM is not energizing the fuel pump relay. The PCM monitors the output of the fuel pump relay for functionality. The approximately 6 volts is associated with the PCM pin that monitors the fuel pump relay. Do you have a code reader? There are probably DTCs set associated with the fuel pump relay and possibly the crankshaft position sensor.
 




mstiebel

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There are currently no DTCs. Did you happen to see my last post? I think I snuck it in there while you were responding. I'm still waiting on the new CKP sensor to arrive.
Thanks.
 




2000StreetRod

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I missed that post. If the engine started and ran even for just a few seconds that is encouraging and reinforces my speculation that the problem is related to the CKP sensor. I've read that new CKP sensors are to be installed in contact with the harmonic balancer. Supposedly there are wear bars of a specified thickness that are worn off shortly after the engine starts running.
CkpSensorReplace.jpg

Also, it is common for the electrical connector in the vicinity of the CKP sensor to degrade due to exposure to the elements when the vehicle is moving. Several members have corrected no start issues merely by disconnecting and reconnecting the CKP sensor connector several times. Applying electrical grease may be warranted for reliable long term operation. Probably more so in states that apply salt on the roads in winter.
 




2000StreetRod

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I just thought of something and I hope it is not your problem.
Does your new harmonic balancer look like the one below?
NewBalancer.jpg

If so, then there are numerous other forum members that are using the same style with no problems. The marks on the balancer allow a person to determine the timing but are not used by the PCM. The PCM "knows" that there are "teeth" on the balancer that trigger a pulse in the CKP sensor.
HarmBalancer1.jpg

The "teeth" are evenly spaced but one of the "teeth" is missing which allows the PCM to determine how fast the crankshaft is rotating and its exact position. The actual CKP sensor is located near the rear of the part away from the pointer.
CkpSensor.jpg

Does your sensor line up with the "teeth"?
TDCMark.jpg

How well do the harmonic balancer serpentine belt grooves line up with the other pulley grooves? Is it possible the harmonic balancer is not fully seated and the teeth are too far forward for the sensor? Did you torque the harmonic balancer retaining bolt to the specified value? If so, and the harmonic balancer is too far forward then the crankshaft sprocket may be installed incorrectly which is not too uncommon. When installed with the rear face forward the harmonic balancer is too far forward. The photo below shows the front (forward) of the crankshaft sprocket.
CrankgearFront.JPG

The rear of the harmonic balancer seats in the recess of the front face of the crankshaft sprocket. The following photo shows the rear (aft) of the crankshaft sprocket.
CrankGearRear.jpg
 




mstiebel

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Thanks for the thorough response. It's been a busy week and today was the first chance I had to get to the junk yard.
Yes, the new one looks like the new one you posted above and the old one looks like the old one you posted above. I went to the junk yard and found a used vibration damper from an '00 Explorer. Bolted it on and it started! Now I'm furious that I've been trying to diagnose this thing for four weeks due to a brand new part from Ford! Apparently my 02 Ranger needs the heavier steel to get an effective signal. I just now read your post so I did not confirm that the crankshaft sprocket was the correct direction, but I recall checking, double-checking, and triple-checking when assembling the timing system parts.

So anyways, it starts but does not sound great. I'm taking a break and will put a timing light on it later.

Thanks again.
 




2000StreetRod

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I'm glad that you got it running and its a shame that you wasted time and money on Ford's "improved" harmonic balancer. If the pulleys line up and the front seal doesn't leak then you should feel confident that the crankshaft sprocket is installed correctly.
 


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Pr27.11

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Thanks for taking the time to make this thread. It's now a sticky on the top of this section. A lot of people have a no start condition at least one time if not more during the period that they own their vehicle.
Great guide ! Parked 97 explorer and wouldn't start...
Went through whole guide only to unplug and disconnect crankcase position sensor and reconnect it again, X roars into life 1st time.


Thanks I’ll try it again too but I have no recent new parts.
 




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