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Explorer no-start

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  • Explorer no-start

    I'm having trouble figuring out what the hell is wrong with a 2002 Explorer. It hit a deer about two weeks ago (light hit, no visible damage). The driver pulled over to the side of the road and the engine shut down. Since then it has been a no-starter. At first no one could get it to crank, even with cables. I went out and messed around with differing ground points and finally got it to crank. It has fuel pressure and spark, but it doesn't even hit. I cannot smell fuel in exhaust, and I haven't tried raw fuel down the manifold yet. The battery seemed suspect, so I took it to parts store and had it tested- it failed. On a hunch I charged it anyway and dropped it back in the Explorer- now it cranks intermittently- it'll crank really well once, then click the next time I hit it, and then crank again just fine right after. All the engine and body grounds that I can see look OK, and the cables and connections also look good. I'm running out of ideas.

  • #2
    Assuming the airbags didn't go off, I wonder if it somehow pissed the computer off. Any codes?
    The former Remy-Z

    "Remy-Z, you've outdone yourself again, I thought a Mirada was the icing on the cake of rodding, but this Imperial is the spread of little 99-cent candy letters spelling out "EAT ME" on top of that cake."


    • #3
      Inertia Switch....... look for it in the front passenger footwell or by or behind the kick panel..... Should look something like this.....

      Press the button on the switch then turn the key on for a few seconds then turn the key off for a few seconds, then go ahead and start the vehicle......


      • #4
        No codes right now, though there some random emissions codes before I yanked the battery.

        Originally posted by TC View Post
        Inertia Switch....... look for it in the front passenger footwell or by or behind the kick panel..... Should look something like this.....

        Press the button on the switch then turn the key on for a few seconds then turn the key off for a few seconds, then go ahead and start the vehicle......
        Already checked. As I noted, it has fuel pressure.


        • #5
          Originally posted by 98ciHemi View Post

          Already checked. As I noted, it has fuel pressure.
          Did you put a gauge on it??, you sure the pressure in the line wasn't just residual pressure??, when you turn the key to the on position do you "hear" the fuel pump run??, you should hear it run for a second or two.....

          Thing is if you got fuel and you got spark it should run.......

          What happens when you crank it and floor the gas pedal??
          Last edited by TC; October 14, 2012, 09:54 PM.


          • #6
            gotta start at the point of impact and follow any harness that is up there. seems real odd and hard to believe the impact really had nothing to do with the issues. Dont know where the positive from the alternator goes along the harness, but if it goes to the front of the car it might be pinched somewhere.


            • #7
              if headlamp uses relay, it may be kicking back other stuff to no function..

              I went through this on a high bean indicator on a dashboard. absolutely ridiculous. the little indicator used a relay.
              if that relay did not click, half power. no synch for ignition of it turned..
              but thats not a ford.

              tracing back to what is not working is the way to go.

              if battery was challenging as low for some time, a relay may be stuck too..
              big amps, kick things around to rule it out.
              Previously boxer3main
              the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.


              • #8
                I'd have a lot trouble believing that by random coincidence the car decided to shit the bed right after it hit the deer. I don't know for certain where the impact was, and there is no visible damage. I'll start tracing the positive cables today.

                My feeling is that the injectors may not be firing. I am guessing that the injectors are not firing. If it had fuel to the chambers, I should have been able to smell it with the amount of cranking I've done. Since there is spark and fuel pressure, that is pretty much where my best guess lies.


                • #9
                  Walt, if that is your gut feeling, it's ok to dribble some fuel thru the TB and see if it fires .... like we used to do in the old days ...

                  I would venture that somewhere in the system, a relay/breaker/fuse either crapped out or maybe even came loose with the impact.

                  Just throwing another line of thought out there ....
                  Whiskey for my men ... and beer for their horses!


                  • #10
                    I know I keep pressing the subject, but Walt how did you determine that it has fuel pressure??.... I'm just asking because I've made the mistake before by just pressing the schrader valve on the fuel rail and thinking that it had fuel pressure because fuel squirted out, after beating my head out for hours, I realized that the pressure in the line was just residual pressure and realized that the fuel pump had taken a crap......

                    What your describing has every indication that it is the inertia switch, do yourself a favor and find it and press the button, at least by doing so you can rule that out.......
                    Last edited by TC; October 15, 2012, 08:45 AM.


                    • #11
                      When I say that I checked the inertia switch and verified fuel pressure, I wasn't lying. It was literally the first thing I checked when I got it to crank.


                      • #12
                        If you're sure it has gas in the tank (i know a lot of people freak at this) spray some brake cleaner down the intake and see if it will fire.
                        Originally posted by TC
                        also boost will make the cam act smaller


                        • #13
                          No need. I'm pretty sure the camshafts need to be turning for the car to start. I am kind of questioning the "hit a deer" story right now.


                          • #14
                            assuming a 2002 (ten year old) how many miles... timing chain, cps moved, spray down the throttle body didn't help says to me timing events are no longer correct. No pressure needed to inhale starter fluid (b12 is still my favorite) but valves closing at wrong time equal backfire. Spark at all means poof of some kind, watch your face around the throttle body.
                            Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.


                            • #15
                              Right now you can look into the oil fill hole and see the passenger side cam obviously not turning. That combined with the way it turns over makes me think the drivers side cam is probably equally static. All of this is a pretty moot point- while I'd love to make a couple hundred bucks fixing this, I don't have the time or place to deal with it. It's an interference engine so unless we happen to be really lucky it needs a lot of work right now.