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Sport Trac a little trouble starting?

Thread in 'Performance' started by Bo Murphy, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Bo Murphy

    Bo Murphy Member

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    I have a 2001 sport trac and when I bought it, it had the original battery in it. When you go to start it no mater the length of time it has been off, sometime you have to hold the key in alot longer to get it to start up. Some times it doesn't start the first time, but the second time you try it will, it was feeling like it was weak starting so I replaced the battery and it fixed the weakness but not the trouble starting. I replaced the fuel filter, belts, and battery. Does anybody perhaps know what might be causing this?
     
  2. shawn stonbraker 2

    shawn stonbraker 2 Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    When was the last time the plugs were changed? And with what type. I notice before I had one go bad on me, that the Bosch Plugs that were in mine, it took longer cranks to start it. Now that I have Autolite Platnums in there, it starts right up. Very little cranking and this is with the original battery that came in it in 2003.;)
     
  3. Bo Murphy

    Bo Murphy Member

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    I dont think they have ever been changed. I will see if that is it. Thank you, I will let you know if it works.
     
  4. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Yours sounds exactly like a fuel pressure problem. Next time you try to start it do this, turn the key to the on position for about 5 seconds, turn the key off for about 5 seconds, turn the key on for about 5 seconds and then without shutting it off try to start it. What this will do is allow the fuel pump to prime the system. If this works it usually means that the check valve in the fuel pump has gone bad and is allowing the fuel to return to the tank instead of staying pressurized in the system.
     
  5. RodgerGeorgia Tellefson

    RodgerGeorgia Tellefson Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    The OEM Motorcraft or the Autolite XP Extreme Performance spark plugs would be what I would get if if were me.
     
  6. Andy Cabrera

    Andy Cabrera Active Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    My vote is with l1tech's answer. My '02 does the same thing. I turn the key on & off 3 times then start it & it works fine. It's a fuel pump issue. Unless it gives you issues while driving, I would leave it until you have some free time to replace it. Maybe someone else with more ST experience can recommend a fuel pump brand other than the faulty OEM Ford one.





     
  7. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    Early 2001 and 2002 Sport Tracs were notorious for having a leaking fuel pumps. The pump is in the tank so the leak does not lose gas, just fuel pressure.



    The easiest way to test this is to simply turn on the ignition key but do not try to start it. You may hear the fuel pump running for about 10-15 seconds and shut off. Now your fuel system has built up the proper pressure.



    Now turn the key all the way off. Now turn on the ignition and try to start it. If it starts immediately, it means your fuel pump is leaking and losing pressure and needs to be replaced. Turning the key on to prime the pump will work for a while, but the pressure loss will continue to get worse until it will not be able to build iup enough pressure.



    The reason you need to turn the key off before trying to start is the computer does not see fuel pressure the first time and will not activate the ignition if it does not see adequate fuel pressure within a few seconds. Turning the ignition off resets the computer and when you turn the key back on, it will see the proper fuel pressure and be ready to start the engine.



    I had a 2001 Job1 that had the same problem and so did nearly everyone who had the Early 2001-2002 Sport Tracs. It was listed in the FAQ section of this site (if it still there)



    ...Rich
     
  8. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    In regards to Richard L post



    On any Ford vehicle with an electric fuel pump the fuel pump runs for 2 seconds when the key is turned on. It will shut off after that and will not run again until the the key is either cycled off and then back on or the key is turned to the start position or obviously if the vehicle is running.



    These years ST do not have a fuel rail pressure sensor so the pcm has no clue as to what the actual fuel pressure is. Not trying to be a ahole here but wherever you got the information about the pcm turning off the ignition due to fuel pressure not being seen is completely wrong. On vehicles that do have a fuel rail pressure sensor they also usually incorporate a fuel pump control module that controls the speed of the fuel pump. Now in this situation if the fuel rail pressure sensor didn't see fuel pressure the control module would send full voltage to the fuel pump in an effort to increase fuel pump output, it would not and never will deactivate the ignition for not seeing fuel pressure.
     
  9. hal keiner

    hal keiner Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    l1teach,



    Thanks for the information on the fuel pressure issue and how the ECM responds to low pressure. My ST has had the leaky check valve problem since I bought it used a few years ago. I confirmed this by connecting a fuel pressure gauge to the rail. It annoys my wife having to wait a few seconds for the motor to start, but I have not wanted to spend the money on having the fuel pump replaced.



    Do you have any thoughts on installing an external check valve to the fuel line to fix the problem? I found the below reference check valve repair kit. I called the manufacturer to see if it will work on a ST and whether the fittings are compatible with a ST, but did not get a satisfactory response, i.e., they didn't know for sure and had no knowledge of it actually being used on a ST.









    [Broken External Image]:
     
  10. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Personally I would never even think about using one of these check valves and have never seen one installed. Something about having plastic fuel lines makes me not want to cut them to splice something like this in. If something were to ever happen to the check valve and you had to remove it you would be on the hook for a whole new fuel line assembly and some of them aren't easy to replace.



    If the cost of the fuel pump bothers you think of it like this....how much is that starter gonna cost you when it finally gives up the ghost? And you know that it will give up at the worst possible time...visions of a pregnant wife having to go to the hospital to give birth come to mind....
     
  11. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    l1tech,

    Does it really matter if the fuel rail has a pressure sensor??? If you try to start it it will not start until you cycle the ignition off and try to start it the second time. And yes you are trying to be an Ahole! :rolleyes:



    ...Rich
     
  12. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Richard



    Not sure what you are getting at. My only point is this. Without a fuel rail pressure sensor the pcm has absolutely no way to determine if there is fuel pressure present or not so it would be impossible for the pcm to not fire the ignition due to lack of fuel pressure and also even on vehicles that the pcm is able to monitor fuel pressure output the pcm still will never not fire the ignition due to lack of fuel pressure. If you are experiencing a prolonged crank due to fule pressure bleeding off you will find if you crank long enough it will fire. The reason it starts sooner if you cycle the key is that basically you have activated the pump 2 times without firing the injectors, this builds pressure alot faster in the system then trying to actually start the engine. By just trying to start it you have to take into account that the injectors are now firing without adequate fuel pressure and volume, also you have to consider the voltage drop at the fuel pump due to the starter being engaged, most will drop to somewhere around 10-11 volts at the pump while the engine is cranking. While this may not seem like alot it is enough to decrease fuel pump speed which will also decrese the pumps ability to supply the proper amount of fuel.
     
  13. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    l1tech

    Take it from someone who owned a 2001 Sport Trac...The pump runs longer that 2 seconds. More like 6-10 seconds. And if you have the leaking fuel pump like I had, you can crank all day and the engine will not start until you cylce the ignition off and the second time it will start instantly. The vehicle was only 2 months old when I took it back to the dealer. The tech told me that when the ignition is turned on and it does not sense proper fuel pressure immediately, it will not activate the ignition to fire. That is the exact symptoms my Sport Trac had



    Prior to taking it to the dealer, I discovered that if you turned the key on for 10-15 seconds you could hear the pump running (6-10 seconds). They cycle the ignition off and then attempt to start the vehicle it would fire immediately.



    ...Rich
     
  14. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Richard



    Do you have a natural gas vehicle?? That is the only way a 2001 ST would be equiped with a fuel rail pressure sensor. WITHOUT THIS SENSOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE PCM TO KNOW WHAT THE FUEL PRESSURE IS AND THEREFORE IMPOSSIBLE TO DISABLE THE IGNITION DUE TO LACK OF FUEL PRESSURE....that dog don't hunt(I love that saying) I think your "dealer mechanic" got one over on you, and if your fuel pump runs longer than 2 seconds than so be it, every Ford that I have ever tested that has an intank electric fuel pump, the pump will stay energized for approx 2 seconds when the key is turned on, now if you try to start it they will stay energized for a bit longer if you release the key wothout shutting it off.
     
  15. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    l1tech,

    If you never owned an early Sport Trac with the fuel pump problem, you never experienced the problem, so what ever you say is pure speculation for the sake of argument.



    DON'T tell my fuel pump ran for only 2 seocnds when I know it ran much longer.



    DON'T tell me that if I kept cranking ti would have started because I cranked continuously as long as I dared without damaging the starter or killing the battery without a hint of starting. Cycling the ignition off and back on started the engine immediately, and that's what I did till the pump was replaced.



    DON'T tell me about a fuel rail pressure sensor since it makes no difference when the vehicle won't start and a fuel rail sensor has nothing to do with the cause. It won't start because the fuel pump is leaking fuel pressure and it needs to be replaced. That's exactly what I told Bo, and that is not inaccurate. I also told him a simple test to see if it was a leaking fuel pump, and it has worked for dozens of people here for over 8 years



    Finally, DON'T tell me about your experience with Fords if you did not have a 2001 Job1 Sport Trac. There were enough bugs and weird things happening that did not follow what Ford techs expected that nobody got the right answers from Ford and even the engineers at Louisville acted like they didn't know what was going on. So DON'T tell me you know more than any of the other members of the Ford comedy club. :D:D:D



    ...Rich
     
  16. Les

    Les Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Now if I needed some information about a problem with my Sport Trac, would I call Richard L who once owned a Sport Trac, or would I call l1tech, who has actually worked on cars and trucks and makes a living doing it. You be the judge...
     
  17. mookie

    mookie Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    Les wrote:


    How about... some know everything about some things and some know something about everything, but nobody knows everything about everything!:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2009
  18. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Richard



    You need to read my posts a little more carefully. What the Ford "dealer tech" told you is an impossible situation to have happen due to the fact that your 2001 ST had absolutely no way of knowing what the fuel pressure was so therefore it could not disable the ignition due to lack of fuel pressure. I am just simply telling you what the system is incapable of doing. I also gave in on how long your fuel pump runs because that isn't something that is set in stone.



     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2009
  19. Aaron Muller

    Aaron Muller Member

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    Having that problem right now. Will be replacing the pump in the near future. It dors only run 2 sec when key is first turned on.

    Y
     

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