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Don Knight
Don Knight, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1694
Experience:  Over 40Years experiance with all makes and modles
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04 freestar. Randomly dies. Fast crank no start.

Resolved Question:

04 freestar. Randomly dies. Fast crank no start. Can use starter fluid and starts and runs very well.
has new fuel pump, crank sensor, plugs, wires. Have tested enertia switch
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Don Knight replied 3 years ago.

Don Knight :

It sounds like you are losing a crank signal or an injector pulse.Have you checked for any codes?Most parts houses will check for codes for free.I would start there.I would also like you to get a NOID light,which is available at most parts houses and when you have this problem hook up the NOID light to one of the injector harnesses and see if you have injector pulse.please let me know what you find and we can go from there,Don

Customer:

I think you might be on the right track. When I got home, I tried the van and it was in No Start mode.

Customer:

I the NOID light set I got had six lights. the one that worked was the Geo light.

Customer:

I cranked the engine and nothing.

Customer:

I then put starting fluid in, it backfired and started, missing on the one cylinder with the light flashing.

Customer:

My son had the codes read and we do get an egr code. I hope that doesnt need replaced to get this running. $200.00

Customer:

I am thinking I still have a bad crank sensor

Don Knight :

Most of the times the EGR codes is for the DPFE sensor,which is for checking the flow on the EGR valve and wont cause a no start condition.With the engine starting with the starting fluid you have spark.Since you have put a new fuel pump in I will assume that the fuel pressure is good.If you are not getting a pulse for the injectors I would be looking at the cam position sensor.That signal is what the computer looks at to fire off the injectors at the proper time.remove the cap on the cam sensor (it is located where the distributor used to be) and look to see if the sensor trigger is still attached.I have seen these fail several times in the past but Ford has made some improvments since its earlier introduction.Please let me know what you find,Don

Customer:

I finally got the cap off the cam sensor. Had to buy some small tools to get the thing off. Went ahead and replaced it with a new one. I was very excitedly expecting the van to start and run normally but instead It would not start at all.

Customer:

I tried starting fluid, Occasionally it would hit or diesel for a second and then continue cranking.

Customer:

I changed the Cam sensor cover back to the original and have the same symptoms.

Customer:

Under the cam sensor looked fine. A little vertical post connected to a center ring that looks like it spins around when the engine is cranking, which is what I expected. Double checked the connections. I am kinda at a loss at this point. Any suggestions?

Don Knight :

When you changed the cam sensor did you line it up correctly.You are supposed to use a special tool(thanks Ford) to lign it up,or did you just try to put it in the same spot it came out of?In your earlier post you stated that if you got it started with starting fluid it would run for a while.Now it wont start.Are you getting a pulse on the injector?

Customer:

I was able to change the sensor with out any adjustment. 2 each 7/32 bolts which were very hard to get to.

Customer:

There is no adjustment.

Customer:

I do see where you can loosen a bolt at the bottom similar to a distributor and adjust the "timing" but I was careful not to do anything with this. Took the old one off. Put the new one on.

Customer:

When the van was running, it ran well and as long as I gave it gas it would not die. If I let it idle long enough, sometimes over a half hour, the idle would slow, guessing from 1100 down to 750. It would do it smoothly and suddenly, like the engine came up to temperature and the choke opened sort of thing. It would continue to run smoothly at the lower rpm and then die.

Customer:

When you tried to restart, it would give a fast crank with nothing.

Customer:

If you would spray the starting fluid in the "plenem" (I am guessing the right word, pull the air filter tube off the entrance to the , what I would have once apon a time called a carburator, open the "choke" and spray a squirt in let go of the throttle. It was consistantly starting, but usually after a backfire through the "carburator" and then running smoothly again.

Customer:

I took the borrowed test light kit back so I cant retest till I go back and get the lights again.

Customer:

It did fire a little with the starting fluid which you could tell by listening to the engine as I was cranking.

Customer:

I need to get the lights again to see if I am getting any signal to the injectors. It does act like it is way out of time but there is nothing I Have done that would change that. I am beginning to thing PCM.

Customer:

Its my daughters van. 4 kids and living on welfare because of her ex. I am doing the best I can with this. Friends are suggesting trying to get it to the Ford dealer but that scares the hell out of me.

Customer:

My wife will be home in the next couple hours. Watchin the Granbabies. On the way home she will pick up the light kit again and I will retest for fire tonight. If it is "out of time" it should light if I understand this correctly, but not start.

Customer:

What I expect is no lights....

Customer:

Tested this morning. Noid lights do not light. Same issue I had before when this thing was in no start mode.

Customer:

Difference now is the spray does not start the engine.

Don Knight :

Being out of time will not cause the NOID light not to light I believe that your PCM may be your problem.I will be back on line tommorow at 5 am CDT if you have any more questions,Don

Customer:

We'll, as I was looking for a way to change the PCM, who to get it from and things like that,

Customer:

I decided to try the crank sensor one more time. It was under warranty anyway since I had just changed it.

Customer:

A friend of mine had just diagnosed a similar issue with his daughters car. Same or similar symptoms. The van started and ran like a new one. I am thrilled. My wife is thrilled. Most especially my daughter is thrilled. I had thought of that even before we changed the fuel pump but decided against it because it was unlikley. Thanks for your help though.

Customer:

Wendell

Don Knight, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1694
Experience: Over 40Years experiance with all makes and modles
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