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Old 07-01-2012, 14:21   #1 (permalink)
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Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

OK so to start i will give a brief overview of the problem then get into specifics. 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

The car has been having trouble starting and will intermittently start and stall within a few minutes or running up until recently where it will not start at all. The engine cranks super strong so im pretty confident its not the starter. The car was running fine right until about a month after the plug wires were replaced. I managed to get it started about a week ago and it idled longer than it ever has before. I drove about 4 miles before it stalled about 2 blocks from my house and wouldnt start again. My original problem was thought to be a fuel pump because there was no pressure in the rail so i replaced that. Now i have constant fuel pressure but no spark at the plug wires.

Tests i have completed:

1) check ICM at autozone
2) verify the ignition coil is arcing off the frame ( it will arc twice at ignition position 2 then once while cranking and will not continue arcing while cranking ... not sure if this is correct)
3) replaced the distributor cap and rotor
4) checked to make sure the distributor was spinning the rotor ( it was extremely slow.
5) sprayed out all electrical contact points in the ICM ignition coil cap and rotor with contact cleaner and put more dilectric grease back in it.

So as far as ive gotten so far i have gas in my tank, no fuses/relays are bad and ive narrowed the problem down to either the coil or distributor itself. What i dont know is how fast the distributor will spin the rotor at startup or if the coil should be continuously sparking at ignition. My first thought was a CPS but apparently my car doesnt have one.

Please help asap i really would appreciate it. If the distributor is deemed to be the problem i can pop it out tio see if the gear is damaged and give more information. THANKS ALOT!
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:27   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

The distributor will rotate at the same speed as the crank, so if you're watching it while cranking it over, it's not going to be very fast. It sounds like your plug wires, but you said you replaced them.

I have to ask, did you get the better wires or did you go with the budget ones. I've never owned a Ford that like budget wires or plugs.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

Crank sensor ?
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Old 07-01-2012, 17:43   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

i bought the bargain budget ones. I still had my old ones so i connected them up and still nothing. Now i have another problem. I was previously getting spark from my Coil and now i have nothing. This is after i just replaced it. Now i dont get spark out of either one of them.

and my car does not have a CPS- crank sensor
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Old 07-01-2012, 18:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

The coil is nothing more than a transformer and it should be trying to continuously deliver electricity to something, the distributor determines which plug. If you are sparking directly off of the wire from the coil, you may have blown a fuse or fried the coil. This sounds like a wiring issue to me. If you have a voltage meter, verify that you have 12VDC going to the coiland your hot and ground are solid connections.

Coil Test - Testing Your Ignition Coil - Coil Resistance Test - How To Test Your Ignition Coil With an Ohmeter

Part 1 -No Spark, Ignition Coil Test (4.9L, 5.0L, 5.8L).

I'm not sure what the actual resistance should be, you might be able to get that info from AutoZone or someone here might have it for ready reference.

Anytime I had to replace one, it was obliviously bad because I did something stupid.
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Old 07-01-2012, 18:28   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

Primary 0.80-1.6 Secondary 6.0-30.0 K
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:50   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

It's either the spark module or the ignition switch. The ignition switches on those Fords
and Taurus's burn up. You will see the burnt wires on the ignition switch if you take it off.
They also make a replacement harness for that because it's a known problem. You will have to test the module or find a known good one and replace it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

i had the ICM tested at oreily's and its fine. they did about 6 tests on it to see if the problem was when it heated up. So the coil is firing when i put a spark plug in the plug wire and touched it on the frame. I just bought and installed a new distributor to the best of my ability but im not sure the timing is 100% correct. IT was pretty damn close when i put the new one in. I am still getting no spark from the distributor cap to the spark plug wires. I tested pretty much every single wire with a spark plug in it and nothing on all 8. Will incorrect timing cause the plugs to not fire at all? The previous distributor was in correct time and did not fire to the plugs as well.

I pulled off the ignition switch and i don't see any burn marks or anything.

Now when i initially installed new plug wires i connected them in the wrong sequence. The car would not start so i found the correct firing order connected them and it fires up first try. I suspected my new wires of being the culprit so i changed back to the old ones. About a month later the car started stalling and would take a while to start again. I thought it was a fuel issue but apparently it was a no spark issue. The Check engine light would flash on when going above 70 mph then turn off again when you slowed down. After about a few days of the stalling it got worse and worse to the point where the car wouldn't start unless it had sat for a few hours. When i finally thought i had fixxed the problem, i drove from my house to the gas station and back which is the farthest the car has made it without cutting out. I filled my gas tank and drove back to my house and it stalled about a block from my home. I have not been able to get it to start since.

I can go down and get a new ignition switch but i wanted to make sure the whole story was there so the issue could be properly diagnosed.

So as far as ive gotten now

COIL= OK
ICM = OK
Distributor= NEW but unsure if the timing is correct when it was installed
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:12   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Help please no spark! 1993 thunderbird LX 5.0

***UPDATE***

after pulling an all nighter in frustration i managed to get it started after literally pushing in every ground and wire i could find making sure everything was tight.

The only way the car will start is if you turn the key into ignition position 2 prime the fuel pump then turn it back to off then rinse and repeat about 5 times and it will fire right up. The car will idle for about 15 minutes then just stall.

At this point i was finally able to read the CEL codes after jumping the EEC4 test port


it was 111 111 , 211 , 327

from what i understand the 111 is just showing that there were no codes present on startup ad the other 2 were stored codes.

hope this helps a bit further... and it idles like shit so my timing is probably off but that is the least of my concerns at this point.
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