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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I've been battling with my Bronco and I seemed to have pissed her off. The Bronco was running and I went to retard the timing. When I loosened up the distributor bolt it broke free and the distributor rotated counter clockwise. I rotated it back to the original marks, went to start it and all it did was crank.

In my paranoia I believed I screwed up the timing so bad that I couldn't start it. I went through the steps from another thread on resetting the timing and did it twice to ensure it was correct. Each time it wouldn't start. I put a timing light on it just so I could see where the #1 was firing and I got nothing on my timing light.

I went to my manual to start diagnosing and tested the primary and secondary on the coil and the primary was out of spec. New coil, still no fire. This time I used a spark check plug (not sure of the name) hooked up from the coil and coil wire to the distributor and got nothing. New coil tests within specs.

From here I'll probably start testing out the ignition module on the distributor. Feel like I'm chasing a ghost! If by some chance my timing is WAY off would there be NO PSARK? I have hard time believing this would cause a no spark but I'm not real familiar on how spark actually runs (coil to distributor? ICM to Coil to distributor? or something all together completely different). :banghead:banghead:banghead:banghead
 

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check the cap and rotor for wear and make sure you didn't jar the cap loose or knock the center wire loose that goes into it. check all of the connections on all of those brittle little plugs in there too there easy to break and its possible you bumped one and broke it and didn't notice

then if that's all good take your manual and follow it step by step for no spark symptoms in trouble shooting you can test almost everything in there with the exception of the ignition module. the book will tell you that you can test it with an ohm meter but I have had one that tests good and still don't work, but if its bad and you follow all the step you will find it by process of elimination
 

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Discussion Starter #3
check the cap and rotor for wear and make sure you didn't jar the cap loose or knock the center wire loose that goes into it. check all of the connections on all of those brittle little plugs in there too there easy to break and its possible you bumped one and broke it and didn't notice

then if that's all good take your manual and follow it step by step for no spark symptoms in trouble shooting you can test almost everything in there with the exception of the ignition module. the book will tell you that you can test it with an ohm meter but I have had one that tests good and still don't work, but if its bad and you follow all the step you will find it by process of elimination
Cap and rotor seem to be fine and I checked the wires on the cap and coil to they were on snug. Even recrimped a couple. I think I may have hit the ICM and possibly jarred a wire loose. I THINK. At least that is what makes most sense to me. Looking at the manual I've tested everything back to the ICM but didn't start in on it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yo,
How to Troubleshoot a No Start (Ford 4.9L, 5.0L, 5.8L) ; cranks but does not start
http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/ford/4.9L-5.0L-5.8L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1
Make your own spark tester w/used/clean spark plug or borrow one from local parts store w/refundable deposit; same for engine compression test, LED light tool & a 12 volt test
Thanks man I was looking this over last night. The link describes it much more simple terms to understand. I should be able to get to this tonight. I have a spark tester that I put on the new coil last night. No spark so it may not be getting a the signal from the ICM because it's getting 12 volts along with the primary and secondary testing good. I think I may hit the module or kinked a wire on the module.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Before you go off on a bunch of long diagnostic procedures...


For whatever reason, Ford makes the distributor the ground for the ignition system. IDK why. :shrug So while it sits in-place for years, it works as it corrodes. But if you move it, you break the joint and move some corrosion between the surfaces that WERE in contact.
Good Lord....seriously? I'm almost laughing. THIS is one sweet nugget of info. How the hell anyone figured this out is beyond me lol.

I did notice the base where the distributor sits is pretty nasty with dirt and rust. There was a base of some something that flaked off at the edge of the bolt and metal retaining tab that holds the distributor in place. Probably caked up paint. THIS will be the first thing I try. Thank you Steve83! Feeling hopeful:toothless
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's easy - all it takes is...:toothless Then you & the other 5 people who are trying to help a guy on the trail to get running again notice that the distributor works when it's touching the block, and kick yourselves for being dumb. :brownbag



And you may well find that this ISN'T your truck's problem. But it's the easiest thing to check, so check it first. If the jumper cable doesn't help, then open your Haynes manual to Ch.5 (usually Sec.5 or 7) and follow the ignition diagnostic procedure there. :deal
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/449785
Haha well, said. The description of all that crud breaking loose make good sense to me. We shall see, I'm home in about an hour so I'll check in after I slap the cable on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Note that I edited more info into my first post. :rolleyes:
Noted. One quick question, do I need to pull the #1 and bump it into the compression stroke then turn it CCW or CW so it's at TDC on my timing mark? You didn't mention it so I assume not but wanted to check to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok well, grounding the distributor didn't work. Off to test to ICM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The PIP and ground failed from the module. Ground possibly broken as Steve83 explained? Will need to replace the PIP. Hoping to find one locally. EDIT: The ground test PASSED. It was an error on my part, misunderstood my own chicken scratch notes. The "Ignition Coil Switching Signal test FAILED
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The module is screwed to the distributor - if it's not grounded, the distributor isn't grounded. But the jumper cable would have solved that, so I don't think it's a grounding issue. PIPs are known to fail, though. I recently had to replace mine.
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/1031122It needs to be at #1TDC on the compression stroke; it doesn't matter how you get there, or if anything is unhooked.
Thanks for the reference link. I was able to find one for my 88 locally. Raining today and this thing doesn't fit in the garage so it looks like it will be a couple days before I can tackle this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok so I wanted to be a little more descriptive on the diagnosis for anyone else having the same issue I am. Coil tested good (primary and secondary) but I wasn't getting 12 volts to the coil. So referencing an earlier post I started diagnosis at the ignition control module. The link provided shows the tests and tools used to complete the tests. The manual was confusing for a simpleton like me ("..if voltage readings are 90% of the battery voltage..." :whiteflag) NOTE: An LED test light is required for Tests 3 and 4. A simple LED with jumper wires can be used (it's what I did).

http://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford/4.9L-5.0L-5.8L/ignition-control-module-tests-2

Anyway below are the tests completed

TEST 1 PASSED

1. Put the multimeter in VOLTS DC mode.
2. It's not necessary to disconnect the ignition control module (ICM). You'll probe the number 4 circuit of the ignition control module connector.
3. With the RED multimeter test lead and a suitable tool, probe the number 4 circuit wire of the Connector.
4. With the BLACK lead of the multimeter probe the BATT (-) NEGATIVE terminal.
5. Turn Key On with the engine Off.

Your multimeter should register 12 Volts DC.
If the multimeter registered 12 Volts DC, All is good in the neighborhood, since this multimeter test result lets you know that the ignition control module and ignition coil are getting power.

TEST 2 PASSED

  1. Put the multimeter in VOLTS DC mode.
  2. With the BLACK multimeter test lead and a wire piercing probe, probe the ignition module connector's number 6 circuit wire.
  3. With the RED lead of the multimeter probe the BATT (+) POSITIVE terminal.

Your multimeter should register 12 Volts DC.
If the multimeter registered 12 Volts DC, All is good in the neighborhood, since this test result confirms that the ignition control module on your Ford is getting ground.
The next test is to check that the ignition control module (ICM) is activating the ignition coil to fire spark, for this test, GO TO TEST 3.

If the multimeter DID NOT register 12 Volts DC, Re-check your multimeter connections and make sure you're testing the correct wire.
If your multimeter still doesn't indicate a Voltage between 10 to 12 Volts DC... then this means there is open in this circuit. Without this ground the ignition module will not function. Repairing the circuit (or adding Ground) should get your Engine to start.

TEST 3 FAILED

NOTE: Both the ignition control module (ICM) and ignition coil must be connected to their electrical connectors for this test.
OK, this is what you'll need to do:

  1. Connect the RED wire of the LED to the battery positive terminal.
  2. Connect the BLACK wire of the LED to the number 5 circuit of the ignition control module connector.
  3. Have an assistant crank the engine.

The LED test tool (or test light) should blink on and off as the engine is being cranked. Did this occur? MINE DID NOT. IT BLINKED ONCE AND THEN STAYED OFF

If the LED Light blinked On and Off as the engine was cranking, This means that the ignition control module is triggering the ignition coil and therefore the ignition control module is good.
To be a bit more specific: This test result lets you know that the ignition control module is working and doing its job. The ignition control module (ICM) can been eliminated as the cause of the NO START condition.
Now since the ICM is activating the ignition coil and the ignition coil is NOT Sparking... then by a process of elimination, we can assume that the ignition coil is faulty and is the source of the NO START condition. Replace the ignition coil.
If the LED Light DID NOT blink On and Off as the engine was cranking, Re-check all of your connections and retry the test again. If still no light pulses on the test LED, GO TO TEST 4.

TEST 4 FAILED

This will be achieved by using the same LED test tool. Click here for a picture of this LED tool and how to make it. Do not use a test light for this test!
Alright, this is what you need to do:

  1. With a suitable tool and with the key in the Off position, pierce the number 1 circuit wire of the ignition control module connector.
  2. Connect the BLACK wire of LED to the tool that is piercing the wire.
  3. Connect the RED wire of the LED to the BATTERY (+) POSITIVE terminal.
  4. Have an assistant crank the engine while you observe the LED.
The LED should start to blink on and off as the engine is cranked. Is the LED blinking on and off as the engine is cranked?

If the LED blinked On and OFF as your helper cranked the engine The ignition control module (ICM) is BAD. Replace the ignition control module.
Here's why: As you're already aware, the ignition control module needs: 1.) power in the form of 12 Volts. 2.) It needs a good path to ground. 3.) It needs the PIP signal to start creating the switching signal the ignition coil needs to start sparking.
So, up until this point (in the testing) you have verified that the module does have power, that it does have ground and that it's not creating a switching signal for the ignition coil. In this step you have confirmed that the PIP sensor is generating a PIP signal (as indicated by a blinking LED light). So, if the Ign. module is getting power, ground and the PIP signal (as evidenced by the blinking LED) is has to create a switching signal... if it doesn't, it's fried.

If the LED DID NOT blink On and OFF as your helper cranked the engine If you have no pulses, recheck all connections. Try again. If you still have no pulses. The Profile Ignition Pickup sensor (PIP) is BAD and the cause of this NO START condition. You'll need to replace the PIP sensor to solve the No Start No Spark Condition on your Ford (or Mercury or Lincoln) vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, the Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) sensor is just a crankshaft position sensor located inside the Distributor. This is the sensor that tells the ignition control module (ICM) when to start activating the ignition coil to start sparking away. So, if this PIP module is missing (as indicated by the LED not blinking on and off), the ignition control module will not function.


In an earlier post I referenced test 2 failing, in reviewing my notes I made an error and mixed up tests 2 and 3. So it "appears" that my ICM is bad AND the PIP is bad if my tests were completed correctly. My apologies for the error and confusion on my part.
 

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yo Charley,

Good! That http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/ford/4.9L-5.0L-5.8L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1

I a good reference and can be done at home mainly because the Bronco is a no start and the test is divided into easy to do parts sections on coil, etc.

Also; "Stator and TFI both share the same grounds and power circuits, when one fails the other might be bad as well. It's a standard practice at dealerships and most quality repair shops to replace the TFI and stator at the same time. This prevents the problem from re-appearing a few weeks latter."
Source: by Ryan M (Fireguy50)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yo Charley,

Good! That http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/ford/4.9L-5.0L-5.8L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1

I a good reference and can be done at home mainly because the Bronco is a no start and the test is divided into easy to do parts sections on coil, etc.

Also; "Stator and TFI both share the same grounds and power circuits, when one fails the other might be bad as well. It's a standard practice at dealerships and most quality repair shops to replace the TFI and stator at the same time. This prevents the problem from re-appearing a few weeks latter."
Source: by Ryan M (Fireguy50)
Thanks man, I was debating on just picking up the PIP or going with an entirely new distributor all together. Do you know if the change of the PIP is as simple as unscrewing the two screws and pulling it out? Don't want to spring for a new distributor if it's an easy swap out. I'll be ordering the TFI seperately but I think the cost of a PIP and TFI is about the same as getting a new distributor isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yo,
Some reman firms such as A1 Cardone have been said to re-use existing PIP.

Here is the R&R in a stang to show most of the process

and in a 96 Bronco
Yeah I've read a lot of horror stories about the Cardone remans. Gotta be cost conscious but don't want to save now t pay later either. Probably going to go with this one. $66.00 States that they are all new components (chinese I'm sure). I can have it here tomorrow and that exact same distributer is $50 more at the local place. Don't like rolling the dice on cheap parts but I don't really have a choice in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
also, in the mustang link it shows the distributor and block notched out fo reference. Is this the case in Broncos? Can't say that I recall seeing these marks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Had the same problem a whole ago, turns out when replacing the tstat I bumped the stator out of place. no spark and no movement on the tach when cranking. Took two days to notice I was missing the front bolt to the distributor and it pivoted out of the plug. Doesn't the stator ground through dielectric grease? Could it have dried leaving no connection to the distributor? I'd check that before a whole new distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alright so I got my new distributor in on Saturday but couldn't get to it until last night. Set the timing according to Steve83's detailed instructions, set the distributor, set the spark plug wires, NO SAPRK. Went through the diagnostics of the coil, checked the ground and positive side of coil, secondary and primary, ran through the TFI diagnostics again and now I'm signaling and the PIP passed as well so I guess that's progress. It got late and dark and I was tired from a full weekend of other things so I guess I'm back to doing more research.

It has to be something really simple, I keep going back to the coil but the coil tests fine and the leads to the coil are also testing out ok as well as the TFI now. Vicious circle here. If everything on the TFI and the coil test fine, what could cause the coil to fail to send spark? I believe the next step is to start checking the PCM?
 
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