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Discussion Starter #1
So I've got a cranks but no start situation. Plugs are clean and properly gapped. Fuel is good. Compression is good. I'm leaning toward the coil. Truck runs fine when it starts which makes me unsure about anything ignition related being the problem. Ideas?
 

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imdabes
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Check the plug wires, make sure they ae nice and dry. Head to vatozone and grab a coil, unplug your old one and just plug the new one in, easy check and you can return it easy. If your fuel is good and your electric is good its a 99% ignition system. How are grounds?

Lots of times people have loose or corroded battery terminals and it causes weird starting issues, so check those too. I use military style terminals like most on here and I like to score mine inside and the battery terminal as well then clamp the hell out of them. Coat it with dielectric and never worry about it again
 

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Go by Orielly's and get a chiltons manual or Hayes
Lotta good info in there about diagnosing ignition and pretty much everything,
Maybe give us some more info?
When it doesn't start what do you have to do so it will start?
If that makes any sense.

I had a issue in my 95 bronco 5.8 where it would turn over but no start, and I took the wire coil wore off the distributor and used a Phillips screw driver and placed the tip in the end of the boot against the contact, and then held the screw driver about an 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch above an engine ground (usually somewhere on the engine or on one of the brackets mounted to the engine) and turn her over and get spark like crazy, plug the coil wire back into the distributor turned her over and she fired right up.
Replaced the distributor and haven't had the problem since :)
Not saying that this is your problem just saying that it isn't always possible to figure out the problem using the proper diagnosis.
When I had this problem I looked at both chilton and Hayes and both told me to use the test light and probe the coil pigtail method, well to my surprise when she was running everything checked out fine and when she just turned over but no start the test concluded that the coil was to blame, so I swapped coils just for giggles and still same problem. After I replaced the distributor I haven't had any more issues.
Just keep it in mind sometimes the only way to solve an intermittent problem is to replace parts, boy I know I'm gonna catch heck for saying that, but I got so frustrated with testing leading to no solution that this was my only option.
List of things I replaced before I replaced the distributor which was the issue.

2 new coils
8 motor craft plugs
New wires
New ign module
New relays
Cleaned all grounds and double checked them
Last I replaced the dizzy and problem solved

Now I'm not saying just go through the list and replace all the same stuff just saying be aware that the textbook diagnosis doesnt always produce a solution
 

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+1 on what Steve83 said. Nice procedures for proving what is wrong.
+1 also on what fordbronco1995 said. My no start problem ended up being a bad PIP in the distributor. Once replaced with a new $107 distributor, all was good.

The proper way is to diagnosis to prove what is bad through resistance and voltage checks, then replace only what is bad. The wrong way is throwing parts at it til it is fixed. However, when everything is apparently good and the problem persists, some uncommon sense, intuition, and good luck are in order!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My Jegs house brand coil was just barely within spec but either myself or the friend I was working with didn't push the wire on tight. Once we dealt with that it took another hour of fiddling and some starter fluid to figure out that the fuel tank switch had been flipped to the front, which is dry.

That sure explains why it had me stumped (and why I posted here), I thought it had fuel and was troubleshooting based on that.

Moral of the story, check the little stuff.
 
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