Can't Get '85 2.8 to run


ford4wd08

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Sorry for missing some of that in your responses. If you have spark and it's at the right time, and it won't fire with starting fluid...
Sorry again for not reading all the previous posts, but where do you stand on compression?
No worries, i appreciate the responses.

Compression hasn't been tested, but engine only has 60,000 miles.

I don't currently have a tester. If you only knew the amount of dirt dobbers nest on this engine. I did find some in the beather and carb intake.

Maybe they got to the intake manifold?
 


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RonD

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Put your hand over the carb while cranking engine, should feel alot of suction/vacuum, if so then intake is clear

You can also hook up a vacuum gauge, should get at least 3" of vacuum cranking, thats enough for engine to start
 

ford4wd08

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Put your hand over the carb while cranking engine, should feel alot of suction/vacuum, if so then intake is clear

You can also hook up a vacuum gauge, should get at least 3" of vacuum cranking, thats enough for engine to start
I had thought about that as well.

Guess I'll give it a try in the morning.
 

ford4wd08

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Went out and tried again this morning. Used spark tester on the coil. It was lighting up when I turned over the engine. Doesn't seem likeky the cause, but I'm going to replace the TFI moduke today for safe measure. If I had to guess it is the original that is 34 years old. With their history well known on this site figured it is worth a shot.

I made a qiick video of it turning over. If i can upload it, I'll post it here.
 

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Video of turning it over.

 

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I could be mistaken, but it sure sounded like it was firing both times in that video.
 

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And stop replacing ANY parts until you can determine they're bad. Especially ignition parts since you've confirmed the ignition side is working. You're wasting time and money there.
 

RonD

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Engine is starting, but 12volt power to TFI/Coil is being cut when key is in RUN position, for sure, not a guess
Very common issue in 60's/70's vehicles
You have Spark...................but ONLY when starter motor is active

Run a temporary jumper wire from battery + to coil + and engine will start and stay running

Could be ignition switch under steering column issue
In the old days the coil would burn out faster if given 12volts all the time when engine was running, but coil needed 12volts to START the engine
So the ignition switch has TWO pathways to send 12volts to the coil
In START 12volts is sent to the coil directly(TFI), thru the safety switch actually
In RUN the 12volts passed thru a Ballast resistor(or resistor wire) so coil only gets 8volts

Ballast resistor was no longer used in 1985 but the WIRING for it was still there, no ballast resistor but TWO separate pathways, your RUN pathway is broken

Diagram here: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/images/durasparkwiring.GIF

The "S" on ignition switch sends 12v directly to the Coil +
In "R" position a separate wire is used, and this wire is broken so when key moves from START to RUN coil loses power

You may even have a ballast resistor and it is bad, google: Ford Ballast Resistor to see what it looks like
You no longer needed it so just remove and bypass it, hook the two wires together
It will usually be on the firewall, drivers side
 
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Glad to hear we heard the same thing there.
 

ford4wd08

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And stop replacing ANY parts until you can determine they're bad. Especially ignition parts since you've confirmed the ignition side is working. You're wasting time and money there.
I would normally agree, but i have no problem replacing wear items on the ignition system. I'm only out about $150 bucks.
 
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ford4wd08

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Engine is starting, but 12volt power to TFI/Coil is being cut when key is in RUN position, for sure, not a guess
Very common issue in 60's/70's vehicles
You have Spark...................but ONLY when starter motor is active

Run a temporary jumper wire from battery + to coil + and engine will start and stay running

Could be ignition switch under steering column issue
In the old days the coil would burn out faster if given 12volts all the time when engine was running, but coil needed 12volts to START the engine
So the ignition switch has TWO pathways to send 12volts to the coil
In START 12volts is sent to the coil directly(TFI), thru the safety switch actually
In RUN the 12volts passed thru a Ballast resistor(or resistor wire) so coil only gets 8volts

Ballast resistor was no longer used in 1985 but the WIRING for it was still there, no ballast resistor but TWO separate pathways, your RUN pathway is broken

Diagram here: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/images/durasparkwiring.GIF

The "S" on ignition switch sends 12v directly to the Coil +
In "R" position a separate wire is used, and this wire is broken so when key moves from START to RUN coil loses power

You may even have a ballast resistor and it is bad, google: Ford Ballast Resistor to see what it looks like
You no longer needed it so just remove and bypass it, hook the two wires together
It will usually be on the firewall, drivers side
I believe that was your second post! The logic makes sense.

I'll go out and try it here in a minute.

Thank you all for the advice so far.

I'll report back with another video. Hopefully of it running!
 

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The video solved it

You were saying it wasn't starting and it clearly is starting, as seen and heard in the video, its just not staying running once starter motor is no long being used(key NOT in START position)
Been there done that a lot of times :)

And the reverse happens when the START wire is bad, crank engine and no start, but when you let key go back to RUN engine fires once or twice, almost starts, lol, bad START wire
You have a bad RUN wire
 
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ford4wd08

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It runs! It runs! Finally! Thank you all for the help!


Blew a bunch if smoke for a bit, I assume dirt dobbers and cob webs then it smoothed out and just ran. I was able to jump in it and put it in gear and move it around a little.
Seemed to do great. No engine leaks.

Now the not so good news lol, seems like I have a transmission leak. I'm guessing the front main seal of the trans. Puked out some fluid on the driveway and was driiping where the bell housing meets the engine block.

I'll give it a once over in the next few days. But now i am at least able to move it in and out of a garage.

So back to my run wire. Could it possibly be the ignition switch? I just noticed that my blinker switch nor windshield wipers work with the key in the run position. I can pull the hazard lights switch and hear the flasher clicking on the fuse panel, but that circuit should be independent of the key being on. None of my dash gages worked. My radio doesn't work either and my map light and digital clock on the headliner doesn't work either. The only thing that worked in the run position was the blower fan on high only (blower resistor issue I'm sure).

Some of those items could be dead from age, but i doubt all at once?

Sounds like my run wire is cut somewhere or my switch is not working properly.
 
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fastpakr

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Ignition switch or the wiring to it, yeah.

Also, congratulating on getting it running!
 

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