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Thread: NEED help diagnosing an '89 F250 w/ 5.8!

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    Senior Member 94IDIT's Avatar
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    Default NEED help diagnosing an '89 F250 w/ 5.8!


    I've got an '89 F250 with a fuel injected 351 that won't start. Over the last few weeks I noticed that it had started to back fire a little bit while I was driving it on occasion. Nothing extreme, I just kind of dismissed it because its just an older truck, but while I was driving down the highway it started "sputtering" (kind of like an idi does when there's air in the fuel, or like it was running out of gas) and then it died. I tried to restart it but it wouldn't fire up, so before I quit rolling I dropped the clutch in gear and managed to start it that way and limp it home, fighting it the whole way. I shut it off in the driveway and haven't been able to get it started since. It's got a new fuel pump, altenator, and battery and it turns over like a champ. I've cycled the fuel pump by turning the key while depressing the schrader valve and fuel squirts out so I know its gettinq fuel to the motor, but it doesn't even try to fire. I even tried a ether-ing it but still nothing. Any ideas on why this pile won't run? I'd appreciate any insight I can get before I start having to guess and shell out money for parts I may not need.
    _____

    -Clint

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    I would think its not a fuel problem if it will not start on either. Have you removed a spark plug wire and checked for spark while the engine is cranking? I do not think I have ever heard your exact compliant on a F150 of that age but... it sounds like a timing issue to me. If you were in North Texas I would come over and help but no such luck. I know that a few year models before 89 they were running a phenolic cam gear and it would wear out and have the same exact problem (I have never seen one backfire just die like a fuel problem). Do you know if in fact your engine has a metal or phenolic cam gear? I think the second step would be to remove the distributor cap and just look for any signs of excessive wear or play.

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    Senior Member 94f450sd's Avatar
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    Ignition module on the distributor.could also be bolted to the drivers fender by the hood spring
    Rich

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    Quote Originally Posted by 94f450sd View Post
    Ignition module on the distributor.could also be bolted to the drivers fender by the hood spring
    It should be bolted to the side of the distributor on an 89 model. I worked for ford when these were new and never, not one time saw a compliant like yours and it be the module. There is a possibility but when the module goes out there is typically no warning at all and the first few times it dies it will start back up after it cools off.

    The older style modules bolted to the wheel well... thats a different story they were Demons and you had better have a spare with you at all times.

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    Good morning....sorry to hear of your gasser problems. If it has quite a few miles on it, I would bet on a timing problem. Between the plastic teeth on the cam gear wearing and chain stretch, it probably jumped a tooth or two. Put your timing light on it and see where it's firing while cranking, or put it on TDC #1 and pull your dist cap off and see where your rotor in. To confirm, twist a bunch of advance in it with the dist and see if it come closer to starting.....
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    You need to pull codes http://oldfuelinjection.com/ will tell you how. Also, like was stated, you need fuel, spark and air....since its obvious you getting fuel and air....you most likely have a spark issue. Pull codes and we can go from there.

    It wasn't phenolic they used, it was nylon coated timing gears.....they did this to quiet timing chain to gear noise. In turn, the nylon eventually wears/chips/flakes off and the timing gets all screwed up. I suppose it was a good theory, but as many timing chains as I've done.....I've never noticed a change in noise when swapping to all metal timing sets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flareside_thun View Post
    You need to pull codes http://oldfuelinjection.com/ will tell you how. Also, like was stated, you need fuel, spark and air....since its obvious you getting fuel and air....you most likely have a spark issue. Pull codes and we can go from there.

    It wasn't phenolic they used, it was nylon coated timing gears.....they did this to quiet timing chain to gear noise. In turn, the nylon eventually wears/chips/flakes off and the timing gets all screwed up. I suppose it was a good theory, but as many timing chains as I've done.....I've never noticed a change in noise when swapping to all metal timing sets.
    I have replaced timing chain gear sets at the Five Star Ford in Hurst Texas they moved some time ago to North Richland Hills but I left for another dealer in 1993. I did them under warranty and customer pay both. The sets I did were all Plastic/resin/Phenolic I never saw a metal gear that was plastic coated, the teeth were plastic. I do not remember replacing a 5.8ltr though they were all 5.0ltr timing sets so I may have given you miss information.

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    You need quality timing componants on the dura spark systems. Any cheapo cap/rotor/wires wont last. My 93 started having hard morning starts. Was the cap, moisture would allow the spark to bounce all over the place.
    Rob

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    Wow, thanks so much for the replies! I appreciate it. I will check the timing gears as soon as I get a chance, and also check the codes. Thanks Flareside for reminding me how to do that, I'd forgotten. Also, I did pull the distributor cap and take a look at the rotor arm and everything seemed to check out. No moisture anyways. I'll tear into it tomorow, and keep y'all posted.
    _____

    -Clint

    1990 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 NA LUK SMF and clutch kit.
    1994 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 ats factory turbo. Now a parts truck.
    1989 F250 5.8 Five Speed Dew-Eze Bale carrier. Ranch beater.
    1992 Mercury Grand Marquis, my baby
    2000 Lincoln Towncar. Wrecked!

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    Pull the ignition module and have autozone test it.everytime I had a ford with your symptoms it was the module.
    Rich

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    : Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then, will you find money can't be eaten.
    95 F350 XLT,CC,DRW.gone but not forgotten


    1982 pontiac grand prix LJ.pontiac V8 transplant in the future.

    Goin back to my roots.gas motors and pontiacs!

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    Senior Member 94IDIT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 94f450sd View Post
    Pull the ignition module and have autozone test it.everytime I had a ford with your symptoms it was the module.
    Will do, thanks Rich
    _____

    -Clint

    1990 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 NA LUK SMF and clutch kit.
    1994 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 ats factory turbo. Now a parts truck.
    1989 F250 5.8 Five Speed Dew-Eze Bale carrier. Ranch beater.
    1992 Mercury Grand Marquis, my baby
    2000 Lincoln Towncar. Wrecked!

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    +1 on the ignition module, they are very prone to failure on all EEC-IV Fords.
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    Senior Member 94IDIT's Avatar
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    Default STILL WON'T RUN!

    Well I got some time last weekend to work on the old gasser. I figured I'd start by pulling the igition module and having it tested, so I take it in and it failed miserably. So I purchased a new one, installed it and the sumbitch still wouldn't start! The rotor arm was a little dirty so I carefully cleaned some of the crap off it and tried it again, still nothing. So then I took the codes from it and it gave me 31 and 95. 31's deffinition was: "EGR Valve Position/Pressure Feedback EGR Circuit Below Minimum Voltage" and 95 was: "Fuel Pump Circuit Open-PCM To Motor Ground." Since the truck doesn't need the egr I'm gonna disregard code 31, but I'm kinda stumped by 95's deffinition Anyone know what that really means or if it's something that would prevent the truck from starting?? I know my fuel pump works, so is my computer shot maybe??? I'm thinking about tackling the timing chain this weekend... anymore help would be appreciated!
    _____

    -Clint

    1990 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 NA LUK SMF and clutch kit.
    1994 F250 Ex cab 7.3 ZF5 ats factory turbo. Now a parts truck.
    1989 F250 5.8 Five Speed Dew-Eze Bale carrier. Ranch beater.
    1992 Mercury Grand Marquis, my baby
    2000 Lincoln Towncar. Wrecked!

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    residentcrazyasian itsacrazyasian's Avatar
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    disregard the 95 right now. My 89 used to throw that code constantly but it ran like a top.

    First thing, check for spark. 2nd, check for fuel pressure. 3rd, check for injector pulse.

    If you wanna check timing quickly, spin the thing over to TDC on the balancer and check the dizzy to see if its pointing at cyl 1.
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    Senior Member John Deere's Avatar
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    Just a thought do the 95's still have the fuel interupting switch under the dash?

    Never mind just realized its an 89.
    Last edited by John Deere; 03-22-2012 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Brain not working

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