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My 2004 Ford Expedition with 5.4 engine is hard starting. I…

My 2004 Ford Expedition...

My 2004 Ford Expedition with 5.4 engine is hard starting. I narrowed it down to the fuel system. With a pressure gage on the fuel injection test port, I see little or no pressure when I turn the key to "run". If I cycle the key several times, I sometimes see a little pressure - less than 5 psi - that drops off right away when the key is turned off.

Mechanic's Assistant: Is the car in "Park" or "Neutral?" Do you know if your car has a "wheel lock" feature?

Sorry, accidentally sent before finishing: After cranking a bit, the engine will start and I see the pressure slowly climb to 35 lbs where is holds and the engine runs and drives fine. When I shut it off, the pressure goes to zero in a few seconds. Once it through a "lean" code on the computer when starting. This all occurred in "Park". I have not tried it in neutral. I do not know what "wheel lock" is.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Expedition yourself? What have you tried so far?

I am fixing it myself and have tried nothing so far other than diagnostics.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

Just that I disconnected the vacuum from what looks like a pressure regulator on the fuel injection rail - drivers side - and it behaves exactly the same way.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/30/2018
john -aka eauto
john -aka eauto, The Car Guy
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 17,495
Experience: ase tech over 15 years in the field
Verified

when pressure is zero does the fuel pump energize?

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then the pump is junk i would replace the fuel pump

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What is not making sense is that it will catch and start and then the pressure rises to normal and it runs and drives fine. It appears the pump is running fine but something is bleeding the pressure off and that changes once the engine starts.

the pump sounds like its bleeding down and losing prime...which is pump failure

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Is there nothing else that would bleed down the pressure? Why would the pressure go up to normal once the engine runs? What controls the pump and how do I test its function? I do not want to leap into an expensive pump replacement if something else is wrong.

because it builds prime and pcm is commanding it to run longer then the 2 second initial prime for start up..

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David Craig
David Craig, Auto Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6,039
Experience: owner/mechanic at 3D Automotive
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is this a 4v or 2v 5.4?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Triton 5.4 is all I see. How do I tell?

triton is a 4v

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standby

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if you remove the fuel pump relay and jumper 30 to 87, the pump should run. then while its running see what the pressure is doing

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will do. Can you send me a diagram for that?

sure

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The relay is built into the circuit board and is non serviceable. How would I jumper this relay?

god dang it, thats right on that model.I WORK ON TOO MANY DIFFERENT FORDS

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standby

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok, will do. Do you have a clear diagram of the panel identifying these plugs. The one you provided earlier is a bit hard to follow.

let me see

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Great. That should do it. I ran out of time for tonight. Will get back into it tomorrow and send you the result. Thanks.

you bet

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
ok, I jumpered those two points with the plugs disconnected. Nothing happened with or without the ignition on. No sound, no pressure change. I checked voltage at the jumpers and it was zero with and without the ignition on.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Looking at the wiring diagram you provided. To jump power to the pump should the jumper instead go from C270b number 12 to C270k number 3?

go ahead and try that then

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
tried it. same result. no power at the plug. I probed the board and power is showing on the board side, not the plug.
Jump from C270b 12 male side to C270k 3 female side?
Or do the jumpers need to be done with the plugs in place and probed from the back side?

standby a few. let me look at the diagrams again

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I hate these non serviceable relays crap. plug them in and jump them from the backside.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will do. Will have to wait until tomorrow. out of time for tonight.

ok

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Tried the jumpers with the plugs connected to the board. Not good. Gave a nasty buzzing sound from the board like is was rapidly cycling the relay.
I then disconnected C270k from the board and jumpered the back probed C270b 12 to the female plug of C270k 3 and got nothing.
Then I ran 12v power straight to C270k 3 while disconnected and the pump ran. It would run up to 40 psi and hold there. When the power is disconnected it decayed back to zero within about 5 seconds.
I was having trouble with the pressure gage giving false readings so here are the original symptoms again with the proper readings: Cycling the ignition the pressure will initially give about 10 psi but decay right away. Rapid cycling to stay ahead of the decay it will build to about 30 psi. Cranking the engine without cycling the pressure builds from about 10 psi to around 20 psi before the engine catches in about 3 seconds then builds to 45 psi and holds steady after about 5 more seconds. Reving the engine it controls within about 1 psi of 45.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Do you have a diagram available of the fuel system? What besides a leaking check valve on the pump would cause the pressure to decay so rapidly?

fuel pressure regulator, leaky injectors.

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fuel system

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fuel pressure regulator

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I think we are barking up the wrong tree here. According to the fuel system diagram you provided, the Expedition does not have a fuel return line and the regulator is in the tank along with the pump. The regulator under the manifold is only on the Navigator and it has a return line. I looked up the engine and the Triton 5.4 is a 2V in the 2004 expedition, not a 4V which matches what is on the fuel system diagram.
Since my only error codes are showing lean banks and the engine runs smooth without carbon, I think leaky injectors are out. The regulator and the pump check valve are all part of the same assembly in the tank so I can't test or service either one. Is there anything else left to check out?

Ill open this up to the others to help. I was thinking this is a 4 valve.

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Eric Hammond
Eric Hammond, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 40
Experience: Ford Senior Master Technician
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Greetings! I'm Eric. I'd like to interject here. Please look at the fuel filter and see if it has 2 inlet lines from the fuel pump and 1 outlet line to the engine. If so, there is a cheesy fuel pressure regulator built into the filter that can leak pressure back to the tank, not really possible to diagnose the filter other then replacement. If the line orientation is as I described, please replace the fuel filter and let me know the results!

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I guess I shouldn't say its impossible to test the filter, you just have to get creative, you can remove the larger inlet line from filter that runs to the pump and with assortment of hoses and clamps, you can fashion a pressure gauge onto that line and retest. If it holds good pressure the filter is confirmed bad. It's just as easy to replace though

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
yup, it has the three lines. I replace it and get back to you. Thanks.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Changed filters. No change in symptoms.

Awesome, at this point there is only two possibilities for the pressure bleeding off so quickly. It;s either a leaking injector or a fuel pump. Test pressure at the outlet of the filter to the engine and see if it holds pressure. If not, fuel pump replacement is recommended. If it does hold pressure. Reconnect system, remove fuel manifolds from engine with injectors attached and prime the system looking for the leaking injector.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will do. Thanks. Question: is the fuel pump single speed or does the PCM control speed to regulate pressure? Assuming it is the leaking check valve or regulator, instead of replacing the pump, $$$, I am considering installing a momentary contact switch to jump the pump power for engine starting and just letting it run the way it is. The pump seems to have adequate flow and pressure in spite of the drain to hold a steady 45 psi under load. Would there be any harm in that?

The PCM does NOT control speed to regulate pressure. That's a function of the fuel filter. This is a sort of in between system between a return system and full on returnless. This is a simple pump that is turned on by a relay. In the newer models they went to a fuel pump driver module. Your idea isn't terrible, but if it is a leaking fuel injector, there's potential for it to get worse and actually hydrolock the engine, I've replaced a piston and connecting rod once for this. If its the fuel pump, it could get worse and leave you stranded. Your call at that point

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Tested at the filter discharge. Pressure does not hold. Narrows it down to the pump/regulator correct?

Correct. The only thing that could possibly bite us, is a bad new fuel filter. The odds are slim, but are there. One line coming from the tank will supply fuel, one will return it. I would check fuel pressure directly out of the pump. After that its pump time....

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will do. Which line on the filter is the pump supply line? And, last question, is there anything in the system that could cause this kind of failure? I had the fuel pump die on me in January. I'm assuming the aftermarket pump that was put in was junk but if I am going to eat the replacement again I want to be sure I don't have something going on that will kill the next pump.

Hard to say without being there. If one is larger I'd try that one first. Based on your readings not changing from engine to filter, there's no restrictions in the system, you should be good to go after pump replacement

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok,great. Thanks for the help. How do I get you paid?

All you have to do rate my response, 3-5 stars! Thanks! If you have any follow up questions please let me know!

Eric Hammond
Eric Hammond, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 40
Experience: Ford Senior Master Technician
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