How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask A. Penland Your Own Question
A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6577
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
Type Your Ford Question Here...
A. Penland is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ford F150 FX4 04 f150 fx4 5.4 wont start. It has spark. I

Customer Question

04 f150 fx4 5.4 won't start. It has spark. I can't check fuel pressure but used starting fluid while cranking to look for a spit fire or something. No trouble codes stored. all cleared.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.
By any chance is there a red flashing light in the dash while attempting to start, or while the engine is cranking?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the anti theft light on the left side of the dash broad stays soild red while crankong. no red lights on in the instrument panel.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.
Okay, if possible, turn the key on in the truck, do not attempt to start. Let me know if the anti-theft light goes out after three seconds, or just stays on.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

the light went off after 3 seconds and stayed off.

Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

Thats great, so we can now eliminate the anti theft system or PATS system. Being a coil on plug system, especially without experiencing any codes, we can also eliminate the ignition system. Lets eliminate base engine as well. While cranking does it sound "strong" and the same as usual when it did start in the past?

Dont mean to be a pain asking for the information, just want to make sure I can diagnose correctly.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

it sounds normal, just not firing up. it spins strong. i don't have a fitting that small for my compressing tester to give you a compressing reading. i have buy other tool for my toolbox now. Those are some small spark plugs!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

One of the Big Brand part store personal said it could be a cam phasers or a vtc solenoid or cam sensor.


Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

They sure are 9/16, and if it sounds strong while cranking there is no need to check compression. Studied the pinpoint tests, and the only thing left is fuel delivery. The fact that you said you have small spark plugs means your 5.4 is a 3 valve, and uses an electronic throttle body. This in turn means you can not start it with starting fluid due to the computer keeping the throttle body shut during starting, so pressing on the pedal does nothing.

There is no shrader valve to check fuel pressure either, a Ford scanner or scanner able to check fuel pressure pid is required to check fuel pressure. (unless you are handy with adapters, to tee-in to the fuel rail which I would not waste my time attempting). The fuel cut off switch was verified in the down position as you described, so at this point I would definetly unplug the fuel pum and make sure you have 12 volts between the Brown with white stripe, and pink and black stripe wire at the harness side. If so, replace the fuel pump and your problem will be fixed.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i"ll keep you updated. I going to see if my snap on scanner is able to read a fuel pressure and if not I'll check the wire on the fuel pump for voltage. i"ll get back with you. Thanks for all the Help!
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.
Your welcome, check the fp pid or fuel pressure pid while cranking. Located in data logger. Cam Phasers or vct solenoid will definetly not cause the problem. You probably would not even feel a miss fire, and a code would be present on a koer test, Regardless of an accept status, I will still always be here to help!

Edited by NicksSticks on 11/11/2010 at 4:44 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Fuel pump is turning on. Where should I go from here?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Replaced the battery with a new. Attempted to start. The truck started roughly for a second then died again and wont start again. While cranking we continued to crank could not smell fuel raw fumes coming from the tailpipe. What could keep fuel from getting to the motor from middle of the truck forward? Disconnected the fuel line before the filter and turned key the fuel continuious until the key was turned off so the fule pump works. Seems like fuel isn't getting in the motor. Throttle body or fuel regulator?
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

I still believe this is a fuel pressure problem. Although the pump is working, it may not beable to supply the needed 50psi to keep the truck running correctly. Very important to check this.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.




The Fuel Presuure is at 41.9 to 42.0. Keeps brouncing back and forth. What's next Nick?

Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

Thanks thats good to see! Feel much better we have eliminated this as a possible problem. Monitor you Crank (rpm) sensor, to verify the pcm is getting a crank signal, along with both cam sensors if possible. If good, might be worth it to check injector pulse by simply back probing with a led test light or noid light. ( a standard test light will not work most the time to catch the "pulse") while cranking. If no injector pulse, suspect PATS problem, aka factory passive anti-theft system. Try a spare key if availible as well. (will problably need a Ford Factory scan tool to check PATS codes, and reset parimeters if needed, along with 2 keys).

Any chance any event happen before your starting problem occured?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have tryed a spare key and no luck. All have on my scan tool is engine rpm and hope that will work. Will check tomorrow morning on it. Have to find a noid light. The enigne would miss once and while. When warm no problem.

Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

Okay great, lets check rpm. Any slight knocking heard when the engine was missing?

If so, this can be an actual cam phaser problem, just not likely do to the phasers on both sides would have to fail, along with being stuck way off.

Edited by NicksSticks on 11/16/2010 at 2:21 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have a friend with the same year and model truck. I while back his truck did the same thing. Ran perfect but once you went on the highway and came off at a stop the rpm's would drop like the truck would stall. It wouldn't stall just idol very low. Put it in neutral give it some gas and it would level off. He took it to a Ford dealer and they replaced the cam phasers. Put it back together and it did the same thing. They then replaced the throttle body and it fixed the problem. Same thing this truck did for a couple of months until finally it wouldn't start. Could it be the throttle body?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The Engine Rpm cranked at 178 to 190 rpm. So does that mean it see the crank and cam sensors. I nedd to get a noid light for the injectors to see the pulse.

Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.
Those are definetly symptoms of a bad throttle body. I have never seen a truck that would not start due to a bad throttle body motor, but it is possible. Remove the 4 10mm bolts that hold the air cleaner housing on, and move the plate by hand to see if it is stuck.
Next, have an assistant press on the gas with the key in the on position to verify the plate moves, or does a self test (moves back and forth) when the key is placed in the on position.
A KOEO on demand test should also throw out a on demand code. Check to see if you can do that test on your scanner.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Did a KOEO test and this is what was returned.

P1000-OBDC system readiness not complete4

P1184-Engine oil temp sensor out of self test range

P1288-Cylinder head temp sensor out of test range

P1464-AC Demand out of test range


When turning the engine over the fuel pressure shoots to 75psi. Truck started for 5 seconds when we plugged in the noid light into the first injector then died. Any ideas Nick! You seem to be on the right path and so close. Please advise

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Verified that there is spark also again. Looked inside oil filler tube and saw valves moving.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Also verified that the throttle body does move when you turn the key to the on position and doesnt apprear to have been stuck
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.
At this point, lets try to get a noid light on one of the injectors.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We did put a noid light on two different injectors and both were good. One thing. When the truck first started running rough at iodl I took it to Autozone. My cousin that works there ran the codes and it returned cam position sensor bank 2. That was a few months ago. I have never had a problem with the truck stalling or not starting. He replaced the cam position sensor in bank 1 not two almost 2 weeks ago. After he replaced it when he was driving it back is when the truck stalled half way here and has not started again. Does this help?
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

That definetly helps. Big time. A cam sensor code is usually due to a bad cam phaser 99% of the time, along with running rough. The code is not showing up now due to the code being set from a bad reading from the phaser. I have never seen this cause a no start, but is possible. At this point, you bank 2 cam phaser must be replaced regardless with the code. The cam gear on the drivers side bank must be replaced, and your truck will probably start after the repair. We have covered all other possibilities.

This is a difficult job to ensure correct timing for a do-it yourselfer.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.



I took the valve cover off. Here's a video of the Driver's Side cam chain. Is this normal Slack? I brought the wedge tool to this job. What a way to start the New Year.


Expert:  NicksSticks replied 6 years ago.

No, that is alot of slack, even if the tool is installed. Based on that, recommend (cant see the truck so this is stricly a recomendation based on symptoms) a compression test. If timing in front cover is off on one bank, one bank will show a different compression reading than the other, if it does, a timing component in front can be a cause. Removing front cover to inspect will help to verify. If compression is even on both banks, there is possibly something else going on. Please do not hit accept unless happy with my answer. Will also open question up by opting out to let other experts help.


Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.I will try my best to help you with your question.


New expert here.


The slack in your timing chain is very bad. These 5.4L 3 valves are bad for cam phasers as the previous expert told you. They are also bad for the seals blowing out of the timing chain tensioners and when this happens, the timing can jump and the chain guides can get worn and/or broken. I would recommend removing the front timing cover and inspecting the timing chains and the tensioners. Also check the chain guides for wear. Your engine may have jumped time causing the no start problem.

Remove the chain tensioners and look on the back side of them. The seal is part of the tensioner. If it is cut or looks blown out, they will need to be replaced and the timing chains set in time. Also replace the cam phasers. You do not need special tools to replace the phasers or set the timing chains. If you are going to do this your self, I can post directions for you.