3.0 Taurus Wagon GL: Repair "H" hose, now won't start

Colt Hero

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192,852 miles.

I pushed down on the wiring harness when reattaching the (now) somewhat shorter "H" hose. Thought this could be a problem, so I then ran the "H" hose UNDER the harness (which seemed better). Any chance I could've broken a wire in the harness? I didn't move it very much at all, but those wires have been drying out for 13 years now. The car started right up afterward repairing the hose, but suddenly stopped after idling for about 5-7 minutes ... then it wouldn't start again for at least 15 minutes when it "caught" and idled for about 1 minute. Hasn't started again since.

Besides the usual P0430 and P1131 codes, I noticed two other codes: P1744 and P0340. Don't know if they just showed up today or if they've been there a while. My guess is it's the latter because I once saw P1744 about 7+ years ago and it was due to the cooling system not cooling the tranny fluid sufficiently (which is what has been happening again lately with the coolant leaking out of the "H" hose ... and the Degas tank before that). Temp gauge has been running past mid-scale at idle ... an indication of low fluid, and I've been filling as needed to prevent overheating until this weekend when I finally installed a new "T" on the "H" hose (it was leaking at the molded "T").

P0340 I saw pop up about a year ago during very cold weather. I wouldn't doubt that the damn magnet on the sensor has once again fallen into the synchro like it did 8+ years ago, but would this cause a no-start condition? I wouldn't think so...

The car cranks plenty strong. Just won't "catch" and start. Up until today and the hose job, it had been running fine. Even drove it this morning about 10 miles. Could I have a conincidental fuel pump failure? Seems TOO conincidental, doesn't it?
 

Colt Hero

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One other thing I forgot to mention that I wanted to add because it might be relevant:

I bought a new car about three weeks ago, and so the Taurus has been relegated to weekend-only duty lately. For several weeks prior, however, it often seemed to be driving itself in the 40-60 band. I could take my foot off the pedal (without cruise engaged) and it would hold speed on any road that was mostly flat. I was thinking I had a stuck throttle that was going to need some attention. Then, since driving it on weekends-only, it had been high-idling at startup.

Could these symptoms mean the fuel pressure regulator was going and has now failed?
 
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#3
model year?
tried the basics- ck for - spark, fuel?

spray some carb cleaner into TB as someone tries to start.
 

Colt Hero

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Oops! It's a '97.

Wasn't able to look at it today, but I did jump in and turn the key. It turned over strong and came real close to starting, but failed.

How do I check for spark ... pull a plug off one at a time and hold it near the valve cover to see if it arcs?

And do I need to buy a fuel pressure gauge to check for fuel or is there an easier way? I have a compression gauge, but I don't think I have a fuel pressure gauge (which is a different unit, right)?

To spray the carb cleaner into the throttle body requires some disassembly of the TB, correct? What is this going to prove - that I have a TB that needs some serious cleaning?
 
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#5
when a no start and engine cranks, we need to determine what is missing, fuel or spark.

Its a simple easy test - as your eng is cranking strong we will spray some fuel into it (carb or brake) if it then tries to start and maybe even run on the spray we then know the ignition system is good and fuel is missing part of the picture.
 
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Hey colt hero,
If you spray carb cleaner down the throttle body TB for short, it proves the engine is not getting gas. It will run for a second or two then die. From there you have to figure out why the engine is not getting gas. I would check the fuses, if you have help try to listen for the fuel pump to prime when you turn the key. As said before check for spark, just try not to get bit, those coils pack a mean punch. Oh and one last thing, try resetting the inertia switch, its location should be listed in the owner's manual.

Ford_Dude
 

Colt Hero

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kev2 and Ford_Dude:

Thanks for your insights. It's probably going to have to wait until Saturday now, though. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be the fuel pump. The tank has at least 14 gallons in it!
 

Colt Hero

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Idle thoughts while I wait until the weekend to get back to the '97 Taurus wagon:

I STILL can't believe this no-start problem isn't SOMEHOW related to repairing/re-installing that stupid hose!

I had to remove the throttle linkage bracket from the engine to reach a hose clamp directly below: two bolts to remove the plastic cover, then 2 more bolts to remove the bracket. I didn't tamper with the throttle wire at all; just laid the bracket with the wire still attached to the side momentarily.

Could THIS have caused a starting issue somehow??? There was also a hose coming from the oil cap to the throttle body accordian hose that I temporarily removed, but it got reconnected with the throttle linkage bracket/cover.
 

Colt Hero

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Finally got back to the Taurus today and I'm embarrassed to report that the problem APPEARED to be battery-related!

I have a drum full of Taurus parts from a 'donor' sedan I bought a year ago to fix the front-end damage on my wagon. I had pulled out the coil box, the CrankShaft position sensor and others in anticipation of doing some quick substitutions to try to find the problem, but before starting that, I looked down at the battery and it LOOKED very clean to me, but just to make sure, I pulled off each connector and cleaned with baking soda/water mix, re-attached, and P-R-E-S-T-O, the car started right up first try!

Questions:

1.) There was just a tiny dusting of orangey-ness on the fastening bolt at one end and the crimped wire at the other on the NEG terminal. The inside contacting surface and post were both clean and clear (the POS terminal was clean all-around). The NEG terminal is one of those bulky lead replacement heads from Advance that bolts down on both ends. The original sheet-metal "loop"-style connector corroded off a year or so ago. Should I replace this head with another "loop"-style connector? I chose the replacement I did because I thought it would be easier to install and would give a more positive contact, but maybe it's more prone to corrosion or "false contacts"???

2.) How can a car crank so strongly, not start, and the solution be the battery terminal(s) ... when the terminals appear to be clean??? I always thought battery-related issues were manifested by VERY SLOW CRANK or NO CRANK AT ALL (and either a bad battery or corroded connections or both)! Not something that looked like a fuel-delivery or spark problem.

3.) The repaired "H" hose with the inserted plastic "T" - which was the start of all this - appears to be dry ... no more leaks. However, I heard a sizzling sound coming from the cap on the coolant recovery tank (degas). Is this normal? I don't remember ever hearing this in the past? Could the cap be leaking? It doesn't APPEAR to be leaking any fluid.

NOTE: I did not spray carb-cleaner into the throttle body to prove it was a fuel-related problem because there was a sticker on the TB saying NOT to do this. Is this because the cleaner would loosen the built-up carbon which would then get sucked into the combustion chamber (possibly fouling something up in there?)
 
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#11
Hey Colt Hero,
Those battery problems can manifest in the most oddball problem you can imagine. I have seen most of the oddball problems. Had a couple older s-10 pickups in that would crank fine but if you put a booster pack on it, it would fire right up. I tend to put those anti-corrosion washers under the cable ends so that it cuts down on corrosion.

The sizzling noise I would love to tell you whats going on, but honestly I would have to be there to observe whats going on.

Lastly they don't want you to clean the TB because there is a special teflon coating on it to prevent buildup. Nice idea, but back here in the real world we techs often clean them. Yes it might strip the coating away, but if you didn't your throttle body would just continue to get gunked up.

Ford_Dude
 

Colt Hero

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Ford_Dude:

Those "anti-corrosion washers" ... you drop 'em over the top of the battery posts, then put the terminal on the post??

With the sizzling noise (which I'm pretty sure is NOT normal), it's definitely coming from the cap or immediately around it, but there's no sign of any liquid coming out. The Degas bottle is supposed to provide self-purging, so maybe this is what's happening, but I just can't remember ever hearing this noise. Might be a reaction to a slightly-overfilled system that is no longer leaking as easily as it previously did.

Thanks for the throttle body explanation. I couldn't see the ENTIRE textual description without removing the accordian hose, but I could see enough of it to know that that wasn't going to be the FIRST thing I tried. Turns out it wouldn't have mattered.
 
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#13
Yup those washers are made of felt and soak in acid neutralizing solution. You got the idea, you put them under the battery cable.

The sizzling noise could be trapped air, sorry to say its really hard to say for certain without looking at it. If it is trapped air it should stop soon.

Take care,
Ford_Dude