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This truck has about 190K miles and has always started with the first bump of the key and never had any firing problems.
Stopped and put gas in it earlier today pulled out and was accelerating down the highway, got about 1/4 mile then the engine just "shut off" no sputtering or missing out, just flat died.
Got it towed home, from what we can tel so far there is no spark at the plugs and no voltage showing at the coil either with the key on or when turning over.
I have a Haynes repair manual for 1980-1996 full size Bronco's and Ford Trucks and I'm trying to put a game plan together as to what to test first and what the most likely problem might be but I can't figure out which ignition system I have (EEC-IV or TFI or whatever). I was hoping there was some sort of self test I could do to get he error codes read out to me through the SES light but there is nothing in the Haynes illustrations that looks like anything under my hood.
I'm just now starting to diagnose this so any quick replies with ideas r thoughts about this in between year of Ford truck would be greatly appreciated.
Acted just like you turned the key off then. No power at the coil. Well, maybe you lost a fusible link wire. That's the wire between the battery and the fuse box. First, check for any blown fuses and if they're OK, with key on, take a test light or volt meter and see if there's power getting to the fuse box. Pull an ignition fuse and stick your test light in the fuse holes. See if the light comes on. If there's no power, it could be a blown link wire or just a bad connection at the starter solenoid. Test there too. Just because the wires are hooked up doesn't always mean there's a good connection. If the link wire is blown you can get a new one at any auto parts store. Anyway, I'd try that and see first. Let us know what you find. Good luck!
Thanks for the suggestions on the fusable link, I didn't really get a chance to check anything else yet today because I am kinda sick and fell asleep until just now. I'll be up early to start crackin at this in the morning.
There should be (I believe) a 4 or 5 pin plug hooked into the bas of your coil? Mine only has 2 wires, one red and one green. Those are at a stressful angle and sometimes break (as mine did) they'll still "run" when hanging by a thread, but not optimal. Sometimes get oil soaked or whatever and just break down over time. When I changed mine (yesterday) there were literally maybe 3 coppr strands still in tact and she's fire right up. Changed the plug (which had been beat to hell) and lost my last lil bit of spark knock.
The new plug (if this is your problem) will have 1 red wire toward the rear and 2 green on the front. Just make sure the red goes to the red on the harness, hook one of the greens to the other wire (different color, can't remember) and cap the 3rd.
That is IF, this is the problem. Only thing not mentioned I'd say to check would be a loose ground wire, my dad's 86 had one loose that would ground out to the frame when making a left turn and kill the truck. Sounds dumb, but it happens.
sounds like a bad starter solenoid on the passenger inner fender that the battery cables go to, ive had a few go bad on me, try jumping it to see if she starts
A bad starter solenoid wouldnt kill a truck as it is driving down the road i wouldnt think tho cause the only thing it has hooked to it is the starter and then the alternator but then again if it does go bad and its not pushing voltage back to the battery to charge it and the truck is running off the battery then it would die as the battery ran out of juice to make the spark for the plugs.... would sorta sounds like what you had happen with the sputtering as it died.... we need more info as to the current conditions of the truck when you go to start... will it crank over but just no spark if thats the case then its not the starter relay solenoid... and if it is completely dead and wont start up and your not getting spark then yea def put a new one in they are fairly cheap
As I said the truck engine just completely died about 1/4 mile down the road after putting gas in it. Everything still has power in the truck, starter turns over just fine, just no spark getting to the plugs.
As an update, this morning I decided to start with an easy test on the primary and secondary in the coil.
With the Haynes book I have I have determined I must have the TFI-IV (DI) or (Thick Film Integrated - Distributor Ignition) ignition system. This chapter of the book is turning out to be very confusing to me because of the many many different types of ignition systems Ford used in this time span and the fact that I'm not really good at working on vehicles.
Anyways, tested the primary resistance on the coil with a nice digital multimeter and it reads 0.6 ohms and the Haynes book says for the coil used in the TFI-IV system should be in the range of 0.3 - 1.0 ohms so that's good. Tested the resistance of the secondary on the coil it shows about 7,600 ohms and the Haynes book says it should be 8,000 - 11,500 ohms! I thought I'd found the problem right off the bat and it was a cheap somewhat simple fix. Went to Autozone got a new coil for $20 and decided to pick up a new distributor cap and ignition rotor while I was there for another $20.
As soon as I got back I decided to throw the multimeter on the new coil and make sure it was reading what the book says it should be...and guess what...it tests with the same exact readout I got with the old one on my truck, about 0.7 ohms on the primary and 7,600 ohms on the secondary. I figured it was only $20 for new coil so decided to mount it and cross my fingers but still no spark coming out of the coil. Tested the red wire on the plug that goes into the coil and it has 12 volts with the key in the ON position but the coil is not sending and spark to the coil wire.
I got a chance to call an old friend that is a long time experienced Ford mechanic and when we finally agreed over the phone that I have the TFI-IV (with remote mounted ICM - Ignition Control Module....not the distributor mounted ICM) he insisted I check it first which I am trying to figure out to test right now. After that he said to do the PIP Stator sensor checks.
I'm still open to any advice to make this go easier because I cant stress enough how much I hate working on vehicles, I love the sense of accomplishment when you research something and figure it out and fix it cheap, but I hate the actual physical back breaking knuckle scraping part.
I'm just still wondering why my Haynes book shows the resistance range on the coil secondary to be 8,000 - 11,500 ohms and my old coil and the brand new one both show exactly 7,600.
The difference in the readings could be an "after thought" for Ford to improve performance, you'll notice a lot of subtle differences in OE replacement parts and the originals.
While your on the simple tests, that plug going into the distributor (not trying to stress this, just a fail safe from my own mistakes) did you test it going into the plug, or where the plug goes onto the distributor? Reason I ask, is when I pulled mine out, the actual plug was wrecked, i.e.; testing the female part of the plug will let you know for sure if your voltage is actually making it into the coil.
That's all I can think of that may be causing this, but I'm stilla few grades below shade tree, so... lol.
Other than that, as others have said, blown fuses, etc, would be my next guess. These odd ball issues are the worst to deal with, hope ya get it straight soon, just keep on keepin on