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Old 01-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #61
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Well you mostly got good news in that it's not a catastrophic timing failure. I think the fact that you have spark means the CPS is sending plausible info to the PCM and it's responding to that, as far as I know spark (and injector) timing depend primarily on the CPS. And like you said CPS failure should trigger a CEL and no engine starts of any kind. If it were an IAC problem, you should be able to start and keep it running with throttle. And I'm pretty sure the spark tester you bought means the plugs are sparking also, if you have spark at the tester it means that voltage also went through the plug and to ground since it's all inline.

I've had a periodic no start problem in past winters that's a bit like you have, long cranking time and very rough low idle. It's only happened a few times, but once at the suggestion of a friend I disconnected the MAF sensor and it started and ran normally. I looked at the MAF readings later on and it looked totally normally, and it hasn't happened this winter yet. Spark and fuel timing are dictated primarily by the CPS and then inlunced by the MAF sensor which is the primary measure of engine load. I think it's worth a shot given how easy it is. If you refilled the tank right before this happened, I'd also contact the gas station and ask if they've had any problems with gas quality in that time frame. Really unlikely but technically possible. It's worth changing the valve cover gasket but I don't think that's your problem, all 4 cylinders would need to have simultaneously flooded with oil and I don't see that happening.

I just noticed you've got Toms tune, have you sent him a datalog or contacted him yet? He's always telling people to send him datalogs, I have to assume the SCT has the capability of logging useful info. I realize the car isn't running and I'm not familiar with the SCT, but a key on engine off datalog might reveal a sensor spec that's wildly out of line. I kind of think that's what it is, all 4 of your fuel injectors can't have crapped out at once and they're individually controlled, you've got a new fuel pump and filter and good pressure, engine timing must be right based on the compression test. Spark is there and I don't think it would be without reliable CPS info. Or you somehow got fuel so shitty it won't burn.

Best of luck dude, you know you got good news when you did the compression testing.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:58 PM   #62
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Long post ha, so I'll summarize and say I agree with everything you said.

I just tried running it without the MAF connected. Same thing. Also had new plugs in, which didn't help sadly.

I did send Tom a datalog, and he told me to give him a call to go over some things, the first if which being a compression test. I'll call him again tomorrow. I know the SCT can dialog a lot of things, just not sure which PIDs correspond to the things I'd want to look at. Tom could certainly help there.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM   #63
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No work getting done today, too damn cold in the garage. Almost 10 below outside, and 20 mph winds.

Any other suggestions? I'll try anything at this point...
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #64
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Finally got this one figured out.

Turns out the problem was, really, no problem at all.

Tom (1turbofocus) and I had a trouble shooting session. Here's how it went down:
  • Checked intake boots, crank position sensor, and re-checked for spark. All came back good, but the spark seemed "weak".
  • We set up an SCT datalog and had the key in the ON position for the remainder of the troubleshoot. Tom wanted to first get the car running. We used a gas-soaked rag on the intake, before the MAF, and WOT to try to get it to run. It allllmost caught. A few more tries failed.
  • Here's the fun one. I removed the fuel pump fuse, and started it with WOT again. It was able to run, but still couldn't hold an idle.
  • With the throttle at WOT, replaced the fuel pump fuse. It started up again, same condition. How or why the car started without the fuse in I have no idea, and frankly I don't care anymore lol.
  • The car ran like absolute garbage at this point. Lots of backfires through the intake, seemed to not be running on all cylinders, and tons of smoke from unburnt gas out the exhaust. I could kind of keep it running with the throttle, but it would barely respond to throttle input. WOT would barely raise the RPMs. At this point, I personally would have shut it down for fear of damaging the engine through timing issues or otherwise. Tom urged me to push on.
  • Eventually, the car started to get closer and closer to operating temp. As it got there the idle and running condition improved bit by bit. Things were looking ok...
  • By the time it got to 180 degrees, which took forever with the cold temps here, it was running as normal as it could be.
  • A short test drive confirmed that the car is back to normal.

Our theory was that the spark plugs were so fouled out by all the starting attempts that they just needed to get hot to un-foul themselves and allow the car to run. To get an idea of how much gas was sent through in the past week, I started this with a full tank, and put 2.2 miles on before the issue started. I'm now at 7/8ths of a tank lol. Those plugs didn't stand a chance. I'll be replacing the plugs.

TL;DR: It was the fuel filter and fuel pump. By trying to get the car to start again, the plugs fouled out. Once the car could be started and reached operating temp, the plugs were happier and the car ran great.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:42 PM   #65
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Glad you got it figured out. Mine did the exact same thing on a trip back through Texas. Fuel pump was the culprit.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:12 PM   #66
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Looks like I'm not out of the woods yet...

Tried to start it today, no go. Plugs are new now. Eventually I got it to start using the same method as yesterday, a gas soaked rag on the intake. It ran like crap until warm, when it ran somewhat normal. What is odd is that during the warm-up and even when it was warmed up, it was like the car switched modes from "normal" to "crap". During 'crap' mode, the car would have a rough, ugly idle at around 600 rpm. It would not respond to throttle input, even WOT. Eventually the car would switch to "normal" mode and would idle at 900, and responded to throttle. I took it for a drive at this time and it was mostly normal-going, until it started to crap out again halfway through. Back in the garage it continued to idle like crap and not respond to throttle. Code P0171 (lean condition) popped up during this time.

So the car runs well sometimes, and runs like crap most of the time. It is difficult to start when cold, seems like its getting flooded.

Could it be the fuel pressure sensor? Regulator?
IAC?
TPS looks like it still works just fine, I have a scan tool and it always reports correct percentages.
Faulty injector? Could one be leaking or plugged?
Bad ECU?
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:21 PM   #67
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I'm thinking injector issue. This thread shows a similar issue where the solution was a fuel injector o-ring: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=283884

Any other suggestions? I'm getting to the point where I have to start throwing parts at it or take it to the stealership, neither of which I want to do yet...
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #68
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I had issues with the injector o-rings on my ZX3 way back when. I don't recall what the symptoms were, but I guess it's worth a shot -- they're easy enough to replace (and if faulty) are cheap too.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #69
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Just read through this thread hoping it could help me with a slightly similar problem I am having with my stock 03 and stock tune.

My car does start, but hesitates a lot of the time. Then, once started, it is extremely lethargic until I'm up to operating temperature.
Really recently I lost my alternator, and had to have a new one put in (I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with no tools) and they decided to check out my CEL which had been on.
After four hours on the phone with Ford, the mechanic came back saying it was a very strange code and my PCM was bad. But then also admitted the car ran and drove.
Drove home from Florida to South Carolina, light still on, and at highway speeds it runs fine, but then will try and stall out at lights and so on.

Not sure if it is the same problem you are having, but I'd be looking to the PCM which as I'm just now learning is the same as the ECU?
I understand you have a tune on it, and you've reverted to stock, but I might think, given the amount you've already checked, that the issue might stem from the computer itself being faulty.

Anyway, I will keep reading and hopefully you'll have better luck than I have.

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:27 PM   #70
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It is possible the ECU is bad, and I've had it suggested before. However, being an electrical engineer, I find it very unlikely that an ECU would just "go bad". They should be one of if not the most dependable electronic component on the car. I would be inclined to suspect many other parts before giving in and replacing the ECU as a last resort. In my case, I don't have any strange codes to suggest it, just strange operating characteristics.

All that said, strange things happen and it very well could be the ECU.
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