2003 Ford E-350 5.4L No Start

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#1
Trying to troubleshoot/repair for a buddy. 2003 Ford E350 with 5. 4L, 130k on the odometer, no issues up until yesterday morning when it wouldn't start. Cranks fine but won't catch. Randomly during cranking it will sometimes half-catch but not fire up, just back to cranking.

Motor seems to have plenty of fuel (40 psi +/- constant at the rail during cranking – and yes, it’s got ¾ tank), noid lights show that the injectors are getting their pulses, and it seems to have spark (can’t tell for sure as its Coil On Plug so my regular spark tester won’t work but we metered it and the COPs are getting a constant 12v feed and pulses of 0. 5 v across the pins – admittedly I don’t know if this voltage pulse is sufficient but I’ve never dealt with a COP system before). I know the crankshaft position sensor is a common thing to go bad on these motors but it appears to be good as the ECM wouldn’t give it spark or fuel if it weren’t receiving a signal is my understanding… Last night I pulled the codes and it had a P0171 and P0174 (Bank 1 and 2 reading lean). These codes had appeared a couple months ago and being that it was on both banks we cleaned the MAF sensor and it cleared up. Friend says the CEL came back on a few weeks ago but they just rode around with it on. I don’t think the codes are related to the no-start condition but the other common cause for a synchronous P0171 and P0174 is a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF – which could be causing it to not start I guess but they’ve not experienced any poor performance which I think they would before the vacuum got so bad as to not start.

Does not have the factory alarm system to my knowledge. It does have an aftermarket alarm system on it but its the starter disable type so is quite apparently not the problem as its cranks fine.

The next steps seem to be checking the PCV valve and vacuum line (though it’s not been consuming oil) and secondly the EGR/DPFE (though there weren’t any EGR insufficient flow trouble codes). Another friends brother in law is a Ford tech and said that his guess is the CKP sensor though of course he can't say for sure without seeing first hand. My research has shown that the PCM will cut fuel and spark if there is no signal from the CKP - can anyone confirm? I know that at 130K its about time to replace the trouble-prone CKP anyways but would like to know for my own education.

Before starting to throw parts at it I figured it would be worth it to post on here as you guys ahve always been great with my past troubles.

Thanks in advance!
 

billr

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#2
I would start by spraying some "primer fuel", carb-cleaner is usually recommended, into the intake and see if it will start and run for a few seconds that way. If it won't, then you haven't learned (or lost) much; but if it will, then it's not likely that it is a problem with the ignition or crank/cam sensors. I don't know what the fuel pressure spec is for that engine, but 40psi seems kind of low. I would expect at least 44psi (3 bar), maybe even up in the 50-60psi range. What are the codes that are now set, still just P0171 and P0174?
 
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#3
I agree with Bill - an easy test and will get the no fuel issue settled.
A bad CKP would inhibit Inj pulses. Having a flashing noid I would look elsewhere. How many inj did you ck?

On the COP harness - unplug connector -key on one wire should be 12v (rd/ltgrn) other should be open?
All 8 coils going bad at once very unlikely.

Restate the DTC's - you have checked for codes- only 2? p0171 p0174- code reader or scan tool?

The CKP is a 2 wire AC signal generator -cranking eng will show fluctuating (jumping) .5 to 1 volt.
the fuel pressure is 40psi- pressure holds OR drops to 0 after cranking?
Temp gauge working?


I always ask- vehicle is STOCK- no modifications or aftermarket parts, any recient work/repairs?
 
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#4
Thanks for the replies guys.

Don't have a manual/FSM to reference but internet searches have given the fuel pressures of 35-45 KOEO, 28-45 KOER. Its the internet (valid?) and I can't verify them but I've seen the numbers posted on several different forums by several different people.

Starter Fluid/Carb Cleaner - I'll give it a shot and see what the result is. Unfortunately its raining cats and dogs and the van is in the open driveway. . . perhaps tomorrow.

Injectors - we checked three in the rear (two on driver side, 1 on passenger side). Unfortunately getting an arm any further is like sticking it in a big chinese finger trap. . . We were going to test more but time didn't allow. However, we did see that with the key on one side of the connector had 12 v and the other was open on all three that we tested. When we cranked we got pulses across the connector anywhere between 0. 5 and 0. 8 volts. I don't have any experience with COP so I don't know if that is acceptable voltage.

Noid lights - we checked the two rear most injectors (one on each side).

DTCs - yes, they are still just P0171 and P0174. Since the CEL was on for the past few weeks I assume they're relictual from the prior running condition before it wouldn't start. I just have a reader.

Fuel pressure maintains itself at ~40 psi during cranking and holds for several minutes afterwards. Not that it drops, just didn't pay attention to it after monitoring it for several minutes.

Temp gauge - I'll ask but he didn't mention anything and he's usually pretty good at noticing such things. Unfortunately I can't tell at this point. Think that the CTS could be causing the issue?

Along with the 'primer fuel' I'll probe the CKP when I can work on it next. Unfortunately the dash doesn't have a tach so I can't monitor it that way. However, its my understanding that if the CKP wasn't reading the PCM would cut the spark and fuel, yes?

Good base covering there Kev - there's been no recent repairs to the van. It does have an aftermarket alarm/remote start but its a starter-disable type so I wouldn't think it the issue. Besides the alarm its bone stock.

Once again, all ideas, POVs, and possible directions to take are appreciated.
 

billr

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#5
Yes, a failed CKP will make the PCM think the engine isn't rotating, so no spark or fuel pulses will be commanded. And, yes, the CTS could make for a hard or no-start, as that is the heart of the start and warm-up enrichments. Post what you find with the primer fuel...
 
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#6
like I said all 8 coils failing at once is unlikely- the COP is a simple system one side is 12v (battery), the other wire (signal) goes to PCM which gronds circuit to fire coil, Oh yes I forgot this is a van accessability is fun, but you are testing more than ONE and that was the point.

I think the spray trick will be a great stsrt here
 
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#7
Will be working on it this afternoon and will report back.

Was thinking about kev2's question on the ECT. I did a little research and it seems that ford did away with the ECT in lieu of the cylinder head temperature sensor +/- 2000 model year. Research shows that on the 2003 5. 4 its either located on the rear of the passenger side cylinder head or under the intake plenum (of COURSE, what a GREAT place to put it) - can anyone confirm one or the other? My hopes its that its reading high (hot) - which may explain the no start and the lean codes. . . silly me didn't think to look at the temp gauge last time I worked on it.
 
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#8
You did not respond to question of if a code reader OR scanner, having the ability to check the 'data' would speed this up

Here is my info on ECT -

PS my computer is running at speed of stupid this morning -try bills spray idea and repost

[attachment deleted during maintenance]
 
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#9
The computer is AFU today...

I looked into your mentioning of a CHT - but found that was used in 2004 - so might need a vin # to id which eng
hopefully looking for the ECT will end this confusion

[attachment deleted during maintenance]
 
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#10
majestek12 said:
. . .
DTCs - yes, they are still just P0171 and P0174. Since the CEL was on for the past few weeks I assume they're relictual from the prior running condition before it wouldn't start. I just have a reader.
. . .
Sorry for burying it in a long post. Its an Actron CP 9550. For the most part it just reads codes but does have a freeze frame. Unfortunately the codes have been reset during our work the other day and from the user's manual for the reader it seems to just have the ability to freeze when the code is thrown. I've not familiarized myself with its functions beyond pulling codes, would be nice if it would give the running conditions/parameters, especially the ECT/CHT temp.

I've got a cross reference of the voltage/resistance and temp if that's what you're referring to kev. I appreciate the support and don't want to cause you excess work if that's what you're talking about.

http://[quote="majestek12"]
...
DTCs - yes, they are still just P0171 and P0174. Since the CEL was on for the past few weeks I assume they're relictual from the prior running condition before it wouldn't start. I just have a reader.
...
[/quote]

Sorry for burying it in a long post. Its an Actron CP 9550. For the most part it just clears codes but does have a freeze frame. Unfortunately the codes have been reset during our work the other day and from the user's manual for the reader it seems to just have the ability to freeze when the code is thrown. I've not familiarized myself with its functions beyond pulling codes, would be nice if it would give the running conditions/parameters, especially the ECT/CHT temp.

I've got a cross reference of the voltage/resistance and temp if that's what you're referring to kev. I appreciate the support and don't want to cause you excess work if that's what you're talking about.

[img]http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/162038/fullsize/cht-sensor-graph.jpg

Well, seems that images don't want to work for me. It is located at http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/162038/fullsize/cht-sensor-graph.jpg (sorry to crosspost if its against forum rules)

or here http://repairguide.autozone.com/znetrgs/repair_guide_content/en_us/images/0996b43f/80/20/2b/f5/small/0996b43f80202bf5.jpg

I'll give it the spray test and see where that gets us.

Thanks again guys.
 
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#11
I rechecked and found a referance to a ECT and a CHT for the 03 E350.... confusing

LEts try bills idea of spraying some carb cleaner into intake, and look for the ECT - looking for the ECT is alot easier than checking the CHTs. Will ask around and try to get thru the confusion of ECT vs CHT and location.

[attachment deleted during maintenance]
 
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#12
kev2 said:
I rechecked and found a referance to a ECT and a CHT for the 03 E350.... confusing

LEts try bills idea of spraying some carb cleaner into intake, and look for the ECT - looking for the ECT is alot easier than checking the CHTs. Will ask around and try to get thru the confusion of ECT vs CHT and location.
Yeah, I'm on that "confused boat" with you. Some references list both, some say they did away with the ECT but still refer to it as the ECT instead of properly the CHT, yet others say that there's both and the ECT is only used to run the temp gauge and the CHT is used by the PCM... But, references to the ECT say that its in the normal spot next to the thermostat - if its there it sounds like we may have to remove the alternator to get to it but will hopefully be able to see it without removing or at least get to the pigtail.

I'll let you know if its there. And, will pull the vin to see what code engine it is.
 
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#13
Neighbor, a great guy, has one of these, but doesn't pester me for his automotive problems. His is the F-350 with the 7.3L diesel engine. He just had the Ford dealer haul it away for repairs. Did ask him what they did with it, replaced both batteries, new battery cables, and some kind of module, but he didn't know which one. Not much help I realized, but just looking under the hood, would need some kind of shop manual or alldata.com subscription of I would need to work on these.

Oh, his wife is a medical doctor, just pennies for them with problems like these.
 
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#14
Nick - it would be nice to have that much money wouldn't it!! Not only to buy a $60k truck but also to just have people whisk it away, fix it, and not care enough to know what they did!

Sounds like a lot of work they had done. I'm guessing the module he had replaced was the Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) as it was a common problem for quite a few model years on the powerstrokes.

Unfortunately on the van all you can see from under the hood is pretty much the intake and radiator hoses! Everything else is tucked away under the firewall tunnel. But, accessing the rear of the block and transmission is an absolute breeze!
 
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#15
Thank god no one expects any work today- might be why my internet is S L O W ...

did some checking and there are both ECT and CHT .... good or bad we are getting SO dependent on scanners .... we need to see what the PCM is seeing,

The CHT sensor:
•is mounted into the back of the left cylinder head and is not connected to any coolant passages.
•sends a signal to the PCM indicating the cylinder head temperature.
■If the temperature exceeds approximately 121°C (260°F), the PCM disables some fuel injectors. The PCM will alternate which fuel injectors are disabled every 24 engine cycles. The cylinders that are not being fuel injected act as air pumps to aid in cooling the engine.
■If the temperature exceeds approximately 166°C (330°F), the PCM disables all of the fuel injectors until the engine temperature drops below approximately 124°C (260°F).
The ECT sensor:
•provides the PCM a signal for coolant temperature.
•is mounted on top of the lower intake manifold. LETS LOOK THERE FIRST