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Tim, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3580
Experience:  Ford Senior Master tech, ASE certified
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E350: van..cranks but wont start unless ether is sprayed into it..psi

Customer Question

I have a Ford E350 cube van with a 5.8L that cranks but wont start unless ether is sprayed into it. I have spark. Replaced fuel filter and fuel pump and have 50 Psi up to the motor. IAC motor has been replaced also. Timing is right on. I am running out of ideas. The water pump and timing cover were replaced just prior to this problem and it ran before. Could I have disturbed something that I am overlooking. Does the air breathers need to be on to run?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
Will the van stay running once you spray ether in and get it started?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes, I didn't have any noid lights with me but I will see today if the injectors are firing. Could it be a crank sensor problem that is inhibiting the injectors from firing? Where is the crank sensor located on that motor?
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.

If it stays running after you get started than I would install the fuel gauge and verify the check valve in the pump assembly is not bleeding off the pressure when you turn the key off.If it is than you need to replace the whole assembly.Or look for an injector that is sticking open and bleeding off the pressure.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK, heres the deal. I worked on it today for about 3 hours with no luck. I have 35 p.s.i for fuel pressure at the fuel rail while it cranks and it holds without cranking the engine. I have replaced the fuel pump, filter and pressure regulator. I checked the injectors with a test light and they are getting the electrical signal and should be firing. I thought maybe I had a weak spark to I went ahead and changed the coil. I can make the engine run as long as I keep spraying ether in the throttle body, as soon a I quit spraying ether it dies. I then hooked up a vacuum gauge to the back of the manifold where the PCV valve is tapped in and discovered there is no vacuum when I am cranking the engine. The timing seems to be right. I hooked up a timing light and as soon as the #1 piston came up to TDC on the compression stroke the light fired. WTF!! I am frustrated and out of ideas. All the vacuum lines appear to be hooked up.
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
you will need to get what is called a noid light.You up plug an injector and plug it in the harness to see if the computer is firing the injector properly. The parts store may have them.If the computer is working properly than the light will flash.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I did that with a test light, the injectors are firing. I have no engine vacuum when I am cranking the engine. Plugged exhaust?? Is that common with these?

Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
No its not common but that is easily checked by lowering the exhaust pipes at the manifold to let the exhaust out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
no luck dropping the exhaust, I didn't think it would fix it but worth a try. Still no cranking vacuum, like I said the timing chain cover was removed by someone else to get broken bolts out of the block from the water pump. After the pump was replaced it ran for a short time then died. Is there a chain tensioner on the inside of the cover? Seems like the chain may have jumped timing. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
there is no tensioner. To check if it has jumped time.Bring the engine up to top dead center by removing number one plug and when the compression is blown out the plug hole it should be on top dead center on the timing mark on th e cover.Than remove distributor cap and see if the rotor is pointing to number one position on the cap.If it is than the timing chain is ok.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Anything else to look for as to why there is no vacuum when the motor in cranking?
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.

Take the cap off the distributor and crank and see if rotor is turning.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
it turns
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
Have you checked to see if the timing is correct?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
it appears to be about 8 degrees BTDC.
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
DO you have vac when you keep it running with ether?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i didn't check that
Expert:  Tim replied 6 years ago.
check that and let me know