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Old 03-10-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
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Wouldn't start tonight.

So I got off work just like any other night. Same general parking spot got in went to start it up and didn't turn over first time. Or second or third. Checked all the fluid levels and let it sit for a bit and then tried it again. Sorta started but sputtered and never really turned over. Oh it's a 5.4 gas engine and 2wd. Sounds to me like the fuel pump is not pumping any or enough do I sadly had to leave the silver bullet downtown in a somewhat safe place. I hope all is well tonight. Got a rife home from my friend Todd. Wife was passed out so when I texted her she didn't rake up. I'm just wondering if this seems or sounds correct. Fuel pump? Or could it be the spark plugs? Also is this something my local mechanic can fix or does it need to go to ford? Need to know where to tow it. What a bummer seeing how i have recently helped my other friend Jesse with his car trouble. I'm sad, I made a sort of promise. I would never leave it downtown. But I have and am praying that all is well tonight. Any suggestions? Please and thank you.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

I can't specifically suggest anything (SMB shopping and therefore reading the forum), except I do have a question about your description because maybe I have been mis-understanding "turn over" all these years.

You say it won't turn over, but then you describe it as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoVolcomSMB
Sorta started but sputtered and never really turned over.
In my mind, "turning over" has always been what happens when you engage the starter and you get a "arump, arump, arump" sound before the engine fires at all. Thus, only after it has turned over can it start at all, even in a sputtery, unhealthy way. OTOH, if you have a dead battery or bad solenoid, no "arump, arump, arump," but rather maybe just a "click" or "nothing," so there is no turning over at all.

Maybe my definition of "turning over" is not correct? On the other hand, if I do have it right, and your SMB ran briefly but sputtered and died, then maybe it did turn over but would not start or run properly? Perhaps the distinction would help in diagnosis.

I hope all is well with your SMB after its solo night.

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Old 03-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

Viva's description of turning over is correct. However, as pointed out, the initial description leaves room for doubt that that's really what you're seeing/hearing.

If it's in fact not really turning over, I'd get a battery onto the thing before doing anything else (perhaps check with a volt meter before shlepping a battery out, you should see 12.7V or so).

If the battery is OK (and if the starter isn't spinning the engine I'd really focus on the battery first), then you need to make sure you have sparc and fuel.

Fuel: Sanity check that the tank isn't empty. A reckless person would then simply crawl under the thing and loosen a clamp on one of the fuel lines slightly, then have someone crank it and verify that fuel is squirting out. (Remember to re-tighten the clamp).

Sparc: How do you check for that on a multi-coil setup? I suppose it would be rare to loose it entirely in such a configuration. On a non-triton engine, I might pull a plug to watch it arc, but with the thread issues on these heads I'd avoid that. Ideas?

All that said, I have made a mental note of sudden fuel pump failures happening on these vans.

Do you have access to an OBDII reader? If so, any codes?

And no, I doubt you'd need a Ford dealer for this, unless you're under warranty.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

Wow, that was an old post that got bumped.

Viva: I hope you got your van going again a long time ago.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScience
Wow, that was an old post that got bumped.

Viva: I hope you got your van going again a long time ago.
I show the original post as coming in from OttoVolcomSMB on March 10, 2012, which was earlier today (or last night, rather). It came up when I clicked "view posts since your last visit." It sounded like the OP was having "car trouble" right now.

Am I missing something? I certainly didn't mean to dredge up an old thread.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

Try a jump first. Low battery voltage can cause insufficient injector flow.

If it does turn over normally, but doesn't fire, have somebody smack the fuel tank while cranking.

BTW - what were the conditions when and before this happened? How many miles are on the van? Miles since last major service? Do you use E10 fuel? It's easy for the delivery trucks to accidentally add to much ethanol to the trucks, and too much ethanol will cause the nylon impellers to swell.

Has the fuel filter ever been changed? A restricted fuel filter will cause the fuel pump to run hot, which will wear it out prematurely.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:09 AM   #7
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Wouldn't start tonight.

Wow. Thanks for the replies. Yes I was incorrect about my description. It "turns over" but wont start is what I meant. When it did do something it sputtered and then died. It made white smoke. I'm not sure the last time those things were gone over. I woke up super early this morning to go try it again and no luck. so I took a nap in it and waited for the shop to open and then I called AAA and Had it towed. Sad sight. I felt Embarrassed. Here are pics. Check out the tow trucks wheel well before and after lifting up the SMB. The guy says, " damn this thing is heavy"!

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Old 03-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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Wouldn't start tonight.

Turns out it is the mass air flow sensor. Making it run too rich and getting if fixed this afternoon. It's just money right ??
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Re: Wouldn't start tonight.

Otto, you can find great info here since a majority of us are Ford Van guys, but just for reference, the FordTruckEnthusiasts forum is VERY big and thorough. There are guys on there who can practically rebuild your engine for you over the internet! You might want to sign up just in case, they have a big, specific forum for vans, but also for each particular Ford engine (5.4 modular which you and I have included). Lots of great help there. Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:32 AM   #10
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Wouldn't start tonight.

Cool. Thank you Scotty. Got it fixed and starts and runs fine. Pretty penny to get it done but the place I took it does my family's car work when needed. This is just the first time I have needed their help. My other vehicle is a subaru and it only goes to the Subaru shop. Which also = mucho money. But I trust their work for the Suby over anyone else. I guess to each his own. I will be a member real soon. Thanks again.
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