need help starting a '90 ford truck


Old 03-20-06, 11:23 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 24
need help starting a '90 ford truck

it's a 1990 f150 with the 302 v8

i haven't run it for a while except to start a few times this winter. it took about 10 seconds for it to start. ran rough. and died. i managed to get it going again with a little starter fluid. ran rough smoe more. lots of brown smoke. died again. now it doesn't want to start at all starting fluid or not

there's 40 psi at the fuel rail. i put a bottle of heat in the fuel tank to dry up some of the water. one bottle for 1/4 full rear tank.

i checked all the connections to the coil and the distributor. i've got spark on the end of the plug wire from the coil to the distributor. i opened my tester all the way had a good even spark over an inch long

btw the history is the timing is off. i had to take out the distributor to change the pick up coil and the ignition module. i changed the ignition coil too. it started and ran then but was overheating and revving all over the place. so i changed the thermostat and the temp. sensor and put coolant but didnt drive it cuz i never got around to setting the timing. but it wasn't so bad before it managed to start. i'm gonna try starting again with the spout plugged back in see if that hleps any.

the battery is 13.84 volts, not running, no alternator. can't test it on the alternator cuz i can't get it started but 13.84 soudns about right to me. btw is this a reliable way to test the battery with a voltmeter? cuz when i'm starting it cranks pretty strong but like every second the crank goes faster for a fraction of a second, and the battery light blinks off. i'm thinking maybe my battery suffered from not being used. i charged it a couple of times on the low amp and it did start this morning. only other thing i can come up wtih is the gas is really bad. but then it should start wtih the starter fluid

i've got also got some codes

key on engine on
21 cooling temperature sensor out of specified range or ECT out of range.
24 intake air charge temperature (ACT,IAT) sensor or Vane Air Temperature (VAT) sensor out of range

continuus memory
11 system ok

btw i just changed the temp sensor this morning so i'm guessing those should clear up.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Check for spark at a plug
Old 03-20-06, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 361
Sounds like bad gas or two far out of timeing or bad spark plugs. (This is just my opinion.)
Old 03-20-06, 07:48 PM
michaeljp86's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 478
Id say timeing also, if timing is off it will over heat also. If it lights the fuel so soon the engine will run hard and put lots of wear on rods, wristpins etc and make it over heat. It you had brown smoke sounds like its running rich, check the choke it might be stuck. Make sure its open and spray the starting fluid in ther and rev it up. My dads buick had a broblem something like this and it was the pcv valve. try cranking it and putting the pedal to the floor, it should start. Let us know what happens.
Old 03-21-06, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
if the spark plugs are gas fouled you may have to change them out before it will attempt to start, the battery voltage is a little high and a voltmeter reading while cranking the engine over would help it shouldnt drop below 9.6 volts.
might pull the distributer cap and check for moisture inside the cap.
Old 03-21-06, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
Posts: 541
Try squirting gasoline into the throttle body using a joy bottle or something. Be careful it does not backfire flame on you. Don't pour too much in at once. Just enough so that if it is going to run.
The prior advice of changing the plugs is good advice. Sometimes amazing what new plugs can ignite.
Old 03-23-06, 02:48 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 24
how do i set the timing on this thing? i didn't think the distributor's was off cuz i tried to set it on the next tooth and that put it way off the mark so i set it back the first way and i had it running then.
Old 03-23-06, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
just disconnect spout connector should be near the distributer and set timing to 10 degrees btdc, you may want to mark the 10 degree btdc mark on the balancer with a colored marker as the balancer will have 10 degrees atdc to 30 degrees btdc marked so you will see a 10atdc, 0 or tdc, 10btdc,20btdc,30btdc marks on the balancer marking the 10 btdc will help you to make sure it is set on the correct mark when using the timing light.

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