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HDGENE, Ford Senior Master/Diesel/Trans
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4784
Experience:  25 years Auto experience, Ford ,GM, Chrysler, Asian & European
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I'm having a problem with my 1990 ford econoline camper van

Customer Question

I'm having a problem with my 1990 ford econoline camper van with ignition switch problems - not the key cylinder I feel - The problem is intermittent & very confusing to me, Most of the time the 2 brand new batteries go dead when the van is left for about 6 hours - it has also kept running after turning off the ignition switch & have had to by pass the fuel pump in order to stop it from running with a toggle switch - some times after the van is turned off I can still feel the fuel pump running at times - then some times it runs great for a week or so with no problems
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Hello, are you saying the ignition key doesnt work properly and doesnt feel right when you turn the key, it leaves the vehicle running and discharges the battery?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I said the the key seems to be working fine its the intermittent draining of the two batteries,the fuel pump that at times won't shut off,a few times the van kept on running even after completely turning off the ignition switch,but at other times it all works find & runs great for a week or so & the batteries stay fully charged
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Most of the time I have to leave it hooked up to a battery charger at nite
Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Ok, on these older vans, the fuel pump relay was known for sticking and staying on, causing a drain. I would start by replacing both the eec power relay and fuel pump relay under the hood and see if the fuel pump stays powered up and draining the battery. Otherwise, the other thing to check would be the ignition switch on the steering column. They had issues with them overheating and melting the ignition switch connector and the switch seperating and causing issues.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What is an eec power relay?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

The EEC Power relay is the Electronic Engine Control Relay. It powers the Engine control module aka PCM when you turn the key to on. This relay energizes the Fuel Pump relay when the key is turned to on and powers the PCM. So its a good idea to replace both relays when you have an issue with either one since they work together for the vehicle to run.

Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Do you need more help with this concern?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Yep-I'm having trouble finding the location of the relays but have them in hand
Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

They are located under the hood at the right side fuse panel area. Not the best picture, the older vehicles have limited information.

Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

No fuse panel, relay box, as you see in the attachment

Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Do you need more help with this concern?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Not sure yet- I'll keep you posted-Thank you for all your help so far
Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Very good. If you need more help, let me know. If I was helpful, please leave a positive rating.

Expert:  HDGENE replied 4 months ago.

Hello, how did you make out with the repair?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Gene,Well I installed all of the relays & the ignition switch.The fuel pump problem has been solved but the batteries are still going dead some of the time-very frustrating when I try to start the van in the AM.There are many connections to both batteries & I also connected a very powerful new house battery also the vehicle battery is also very powerful & new.I have a Klein multi tester model # CL2000 can you help me try to find the intermittent short? It's mostly used for work that I do on houses but there is a DC circuit that could help me find the possible short-I just don't know how to go about where to start-hope you can continue to help me out & im planning on also leaving you a much deserved tip. Thanks a lot!
Expert:  HDGENE replied 3 months ago.

Ok good so the fuel pump issue is resolved, thats good. So if the battery has a draw on it. You will need to use the meter to test for a parasitic draw. There is no easy way to do this. You have to disconnect fuses, one at a time when you show a draw until the draw drops off to a passable level. Once you know what fuse drops the circuit, then you can look at what is on the circuit to see what can be disconnected and again monitor the draw until it drops. Factory radios were a good draw. But with dual batteries and accessories, this might be tricky to localize. Here is a video that walks you through using the meter to test for a draw.