View Full Version : Won't Start

01-04-2008, 03:27 PM
After finishing up the rear suspension on my 98 Convert I was surprised by a no-start. The car has sat for 8 weeks without running which shouldn't be a problem. It is full of gas, and has a great battery too. There are no codes when I used my scanner. I am in the <st1:city w:st="on"><st1>San Jose</st1> </st1:city>area so temps have been in the 40-50's so that shouldn't be a problem. Just in case, I did heat the interior up to determine if that would make a difference, no such luck.

The car was off the ground on jack stands (inside) while I replaced the rear suspension, but as you know there aren't really any wires I can see that might have been affected from the work.

One thing I would like to know is, are you supposed to hear the fuel pump running when power is on? My fuel pump does not run continuously when the key is on. Also, has anyone had an issue with their inertia or fuel pump shut-off switch? Mine didn't need resetting, but I don't hear the fuel pump run either. :(

Any ideas?? Thanks in advance for the help.


01-04-2008, 04:44 PM
Dumb question, are you getting a response from other system accessories, ie radio, lights, etc? Also, you should hear the fuel pump prime when you turn the key to the "on" position (not actually cranking the car).

01-04-2008, 07:02 PM
Not a dumb question at all. All other systems seem to work, including power door locks and the security system (per the manual). The manual states that the I should hear a "whirl" from the fuel pump. I have heard it off and on (I think). Anyway, is it possible that the system stays pressurized even over night and therefore the fuel pump doesn't have to pressurize? Also, the fuel pump fuse looks fine and no change after replacing it.

01-05-2008, 08:59 AM
It is possible that there is still fuel in the lines, but even after sitting over night, it should still prime...wouldnt be the first time ive heard of a fuel pump going out...it's pretty easy fix if that is in fact the case

01-05-2008, 10:45 AM
I hear ya. I am not sure what is going on here. My old run-around 96 Taurus has 160K on the original fuel pump. I know the coils are getting juice too. Somehow, having the car up in the air seems to have affected something... what, I don't know just yet. Maybe jacking it up clogged the fuel filter??? Not sure yet.

01-05-2008, 05:21 PM
Looks like it is the fuel pump. There is voltage to the fuel pump, but it does not cycle. And, there is no fuel pressure in the fuel rails. So, now I have figure out how to siphon the fuel (a full tank of course) and get to work. Anyone have a good solution to siphon the tank?


01-05-2008, 06:43 PM
Just a suggest. Is there a fuel pump reset button? Possible it got disconnected? Moving the vehcile up and down does not generate enought energy to cause it to tigger. Good luck.

Another old guy snow bound in IL

01-06-2008, 10:55 AM
Hi Bill,

The inertia switch is okay, since I get votage to the pump. I am lucky to have a friend who is an ex-Ford mechanic who checked my diagnostic theories and agreed. By the way, he also advised that it is not uncommon for fuel pumps to go south after 100 K miles.


01-06-2008, 09:13 PM
just go buy a pump at your local auto store...probably $15 or something and put your tank in to some cans :thumbsup:

01-09-2008, 12:33 AM
BadPny makes a good point. It might prove to be a good idea to check the owner's manual for the location of the fuel pump reset button, then try the reset.

If that doesn't work, you might check to see if somehow wires might have been pinched or cut during the modification.

Lastly, it might be that the car sitting for a long period of time led to water to settling to the bottom of the fuel tank: I had a similar problem when there was water in the fuel tank (after I stopped a a gas station that had contaminated gas). Adding a bottle of STP Gas Treatment was enough to get the car to start, after which I went to the nearest gas station, filled the tank, and then added another bottle of STP Gas Treatment.

01-10-2008, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the additional replies.

I know the inertia switch is okay since I am getting voltage to the fuel pump, which I checked, along with the switch itself. I also know that there is no fuel pressure in the lines and that the pump does not cycle at all. A Ford mechanic friend of mine checked my work and came to the same conclusion. Bad pump. The fellow I bought the car from was not mechanically inclined, and he didn't do any work on it so I am not concerned with modifications of any type.

The manual states that the pump cannot be replaced separately on a 98 and newer. Instead, the entire unit (sender/float/pump) must be replaced. I am not certain why this is so, but will research it and let everyone know.

Finally, my friend advised that sometimes you can use the "Rattle Test" to check to determine if your fuel pump is not working. It seems that as the pump motor wears it gets a flat spot. Sometimes, and this was not the case for my 98, if you bang on the bottom of the tank with your hand you can move the motor off the flat spot it could start. This might get you home in an emergency.

01-10-2008, 12:11 PM
Yep, that works for fuel pumps and for starters, lol.

I had a pump fail on a 91 GT once that did not work while it was in the tank. Once I pulled it out and connected it to a power supply, it would turn with no problem. It was just too weak to turn with any resistance from the fuel. I bring this up just in case you test it outside the car and it appears to work, it may still be bad. If you cannot hear it with your ear to the tank, go ahead and replace it.

Good luck with it and post your results when you find the solution.

01-20-2008, 11:54 AM
Since this car is a fair weather weekend driver for me I have been rather slow to get this task done but here is an update. The 98 and newer models require the entire unit be replaced which is pricey to be sure. Further, Ford supplies you with a "one unit fits all" replacement. We had to rewire the connector to match my car. The new unit comes with a pig-tail wired in which I didn't need and also altered the wire positions in the connector. We eliminated the pig tail. In talking to my ex-Ford mechanic friend he advised that the technician handles this task when you take the car to a dealer, so obviously Ford isn't too worried about the back yard mechanic. We tested the new unit with my friend's special Ford scanner and the new unit pumps when commanded to do so, and that is good. I am ready to reinstall the tank, but first I need to figure out how to raise the tank evenly by myself.

By the way, the fuel tank filler tube has a flapper on the end making it very difficult to siphon the fuel out of the tank. I disconnected the small hose from the side top area of the tank that runs to the filler tube. That made it easy to siphon the tank.

01-29-2008, 07:15 PM
I finally got ambitous and finsihed the fuel pump replacement. I used an aluminum motorcycle/ATV jack to lift the tank into place. That made it really easy to do it by myself. Once all the hoses and wires were connected and I refilled the tank she started right up. It will be interesting to determine if the lag cold starting goes away as a result of the new pump. Now on to the front suspension...