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Old 01-24-2014, 08:40 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Re: Help Needed

Agile Off-road, I see that your shop is in San Diego county.

The Ford dealer in San Jose returned the car today. They can find nothing wrong.
They suggest that we drive it more and if/when it fails bring it back.

Now that the car is actually running, is it too much to expect that someone should be able to figure out what's going on based on the recent events? Or do they actually need the car to not be working again?

I know which way is easier for them to solve, but I don't know what causes the failure and I am not looking forward to being stranded again(if you know what I mean). :-)


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Old 01-24-2014, 11:30 PM   #12
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Location: Rancho Nuevo (Cabo/Todos Santos) B.C.S. and San Diego, CA
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Re: Help Needed

It is easier to troubleshoot if the problem is manifesting itself at the time, and then check systems to see what is not functioning. Other than that it is a matter of trying to induce the problem or locate a the cause (loose ground wire, pinched fuel line, abraded wire...) by inspecting all relative connectors...

The issue most likely is not related to wiring in my opinion - if it died on you while running and especially driving on bad roads, then I would suspect wiring - but a restart problem is a different matter.

Were these cold restarts or hot? Does it start normally when it does start or does it take several cranking rotations before it starts and then runs unevenly for a short time.

On the 6.0 I would be suspect of the high pressure oil lines, which if they leak (internal leak you cannot see) will make it hard for restart but will still run once started.

Get a can of Starting Fluid (I can hear all the panic screams now) and if it does not start and leaves you stranded - see if the Starting Fluid gets you going - confirmation that it is not an electrical problem.

Four time Baja 1000 winner, four time Baja 500 winner. Solo'ed the Baja 1000 to LaPaz/Cabo twice.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #13
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Re: Help Needed

Agile Offroad, thanks for the feedback. Greatly appreciated!

Normally the truck starts up right has been that way since we bought it.
The two times it would not just turns over but never starts.

The 1st time was a cold start. We were in Furnace Creek area after spending the day check out the more popular sites in Death Valley. The truck was parked from about 6pm the night before until 8am next morning. Truck turned over but did not start. No amount of waiting changed that as the tow truck did not arrive until the evening of the same day.

The 2nd time was different. This was after we picked it up from TEAM Ford(1st time) where
they said it was a loose grounding bolt to frame. We camped overnight at Mesquite Springs campground.

The truck was parked from about 8pm to 9am. Started up right away in the AM and then we headed over to Scotty's castle which could not have been more than 5-6 miles away. We did the underground and house tours(there for ~3-4hrs). When we came back to the truck, it would not start. So not sure if that is considered a cold start or not. Tow truck arrived about 5hrs later. But we tried to start it a couple of times while waiting, no go.

One thing that I can think of which was common between the two events is that we were on washboard type roads (lots of vibration) the day before(or of) the non-starts.
The 1st time it happened we had just finished Devil's Golf Course. The 2nd time they were doing construction/grading on the road to Scotty's Castle. Anyway, it might mean nothing but thought I'd put it out there.

It has never stalled on us while driving...thankfully!!

I will look into the starter fluid and how that works.

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Old 01-26-2014, 01:38 PM   #14
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Re: Help Needed

I've used starter fluid before during very cold weather on work vehicles but I thought you posted it was trying to start which sounds more like a fuel issue. If it just dies and cranks w/o any indication it's trying to turn over I would probably stay clear of using starting fluid. Also when my harness went south, it would stall momentarily while driving on the road. But if the shop was able to move the harness and cause it to stall why not just have it replaced unless you feel the shop was giving you a line of crap so they could hit you with a high repair cost.

If you're in the bay area I'd think about Towne Ford. Ask for Jay Mento. He is a stand up guy and has helped me on several occasions although I've never had my vehicle in there. They are familiar with SMB's. In fact I gave my old harness to SMB west and I think Alan gave it to Jay to have it looked at. Towne Ford is in Redwood city. They are probably more expensive than a diesel shop like Browns diesel but Redwood city is fairly close and at least worth a call.
Good Luck and hope you find the problem...please tell us what you find.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #15
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Re: Help Needed

DAVEB, thanks for the info!

Just to clarify, the Ford dealer was able to move the wiring harness and get the truck to start.
Once the engine started, they were not able make the engine not start again by moving harness.
If they were able to induce the non-start and resolve by moving the harness, we would have had them change it on the spot! :-)

I will talk with Towne on Monday. Thanks for the feedback.

In the end, it may just come down to changing the wiring harness. But I really would have liked a bit more isolation of component failure before doing so. I really wanted to be comfortable that it really would solve the issue and that we aren't just throwing parts at the problem and hoping for resolution.


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