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Thread: Help with EEC III crank no/rare start

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    Default Help with EEC III crank no/rare start

    Hey guys ive had this issue with my 1981 Lincoln Continental Mk VI (ECCIII, 5.0 CFI) i cant seem to wrap my head around. She will crank like no ones business, but no start. A while ago (2 months or so) i could fire her up after 4-6 tries or 1-3 with starting fluid, then she would run no problem. Shortly after, she developed a nasty habit of stalling as soon as i load the electrical system (headlights will often do it, radio, etc). She would not like to start after these stalls. Now recently, (2 weeks) she has refused to start no matter how many times i crank her, gas it, or feed her starting fluid. With starting fluid she will kick like about to start but then stall like theres no fuel. Maybe 1 in every 20 attempts would lead to a successful start.

    So heres where im at; i replaced the Ignition Control Module, Ignition Coil, battery and cables, alternator, spark plugs, wires, and dist cap. I checked the fuel pump (pressure at a solid 39-40), checked for spark (got plenty), and the engine runs great once its running. Im thinking its the Crank POsition Sensor, that would explain the no/very rare start, right?

    Im kind of at a lose, not sure where to go after this if it isnt the CPS.

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    So i replaced the CPS, shes still cranks and cranks and cranks. Someone said maybe the timing chain is worn so bad? HOw can i check it without the engine running?

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    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    Remove distributor cap and rock the crank back and forth (15/16" socket on the crank bolt). If the crank moves before the rotor, then the chain is probably worn.

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    this looks familiar. I could swear I saw this on another forum just minutes ago

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Hey man, there must be a lot of downed MK VI's out there!

    Ok so the timing chain is tight, the the crank moves the rotor almost perfectly. Glad for that, it wouldve been a huge job. The balancer looks like it usually does, nothing out of the ordinary.

    So i started all over again, checked the plugs and wires, found a few plugs loose and 4 or so wires were the boot began to melt, looks like from the heat of the exhaust mani. Fixed that and now we have different symptoms - She will WANT to start, no starting fluid needed even, but as soon as she fires up she starts to die. I can floor it, and sometimes thatll keep it alive, but half throttle will kill it.

    While i was looking around i noticed there was a lot of oil hanging out behind the egr. I cant keep her running otherwise i would check for intake leak by the rear seal, but its all pointing toward vacuum leak now i recon. Im going to pull it off and reapply the gasket later tongiht.

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I'd be looking more at vacuum lines than the manifold gasket. There is a long hose over to the B/MAP on the passenger side fender. If that leaks, its going to run very stupid. It probably still needs changing to stop the oil vomit but I have a feeling thats not going to make it run right. Not sure how the TPS is tested on EEC-III either but if thats bad it won't run either.

    How are the electrical connections into the CFI unit? I think the design is basically the same as later ones. There should be a plug on the front where the harness connects to the injector unit. If that is all crapped up, it may only be running on one injector. If it sat for a long time with old gas, theres a chance the injectors are snotted up with dead gas.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    TPS on EECIII runs on 8-9 volts source, not the five from TFIV, but i checked it and she reads from ~3V to ~8V at full throttle, so it appears fine. The CFI is the exact same as my 84 TC, i rebuilt it a year or so ago (less than 2000 miles). The black connector in the front has seen better days, the one slot where two wires go in has maybe a 1/4in of exposed wire. Everything else on the connector seems solid.

    I emptied the tank a year ago, shes got 1/4 tank new gas maybe 1 month old. I also swapped injectors with an 85 Merc GM (v8 CFI of course), not new but different. She ran fine for a while and has gotten continually worse. Is there a way to clean/test injectors without it running?

    I loosed the intake and am having a hell of a time removing the distributor. The plastic case around the rotor (a weird cross pattern one) busted on me, and the damn thing still wont even budge. Ive tried rocking the crank a little to free it, but no cigar. Any ideas? Ill be changing out all the vacuum lines here tomorrow, but now i definitely have to fix the distributor. Finding parts for EECIII is a pain!

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I seem to remember someone telling me they had to use a pipe wrench to un-stick a distributor once. I don't know if it came out intact or if it just broke to pieces. Maybe fire a bunch of penetrating oil around the base and hope for the best? Also possible that putting some heat to the block where the distributor goes through would break it loose.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Managed to pry the dizzy out, now i have to order a new round rotor and dizzy adapter (because i busted them like a moron), they will be here Sat morning. Hopefully ill get the vacuum line redone tomorrow, ill keep yall posted

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    Oooook so here we are. I ordered a new cap adapter and rotor (i had to order to adapters because apparently BDW, oriellys brand, fucked off the molding), installed it. I pulled the intake and redid the gaskets, so thats good. Still just cranks and cranks, nothing happens with starting fluid.

    I suppose the only thing left is to swap the old vacuum lines. Whats an easy way to check TDC? Maybe the dizzy jumped a bit when i put it back in

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    put your thumb over the spark plug hole of #1 and turn the crank manually. When it stops pushing air out and starts sucking it, you've gone just past TDC. You do want TDC on the intake stroke IIRC. Exhaust stroke would be out 180 degrees. Or the other way around... I never can remember which stroke off the top of my head.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
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    TDC on the compression stroke. If you're coming up on the exhaust stroke, it won't be pushing air past your finger.


    Does it have strong spark at the plug end when it won't fire? I do remember fooling with an EEC-III car that had similar symptoms but that one was a replaced balancer. The new one didn't have the crank trigger. It sparked somehow, no idea how, but it wasn't at the right time. If there is any chance that your wheel has turned relative to the crank, that might explain it. You can probably test that with a timing light easy enough. It should light up at a bit before TDC on #1. if its not somewhere between say TDC and 20 BTDC, something is wrong.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    compression... right... one of these years I'll actually remember that part of it... of course if I thing through the cycle... it makes sense.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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    Ok, now im sure shes timed well, as well as is possible, after trying a few variations i found the one that best matches instructions and (almost) runs best. The way she is now, i can easily get a fire and a few turns when using starting fluid, but then she stalls, i cant get her to stay alive. I checked fuel pressure a few months back it was a solid 40psi.

    Is all Spark the same? What is weak spark vs strong spark and what is just enough to run the vehicle?

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If it won't jump a 1" gap with strong blue-white spark, its probably not enough to make it run right. If its yellow, its probably not going to be enough to make it run, or not run well.


    Is the distributor rotated to the right spot? Timing is not supposed to be adjustable on these. I believe there is a notch or something on the distributor hold-down clamp. Just make sure its locked in to wherever it goes. Also, the rotor itself must be in the right place. If the distributor was dropped a tooth off, its probably not going to run for shit.



    I know just barely enough about EEC3 to say I know something about it, but probably not really enough to actually work on it. DOesn't seem anyone else does either, which is unfortunate.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Yeah shes been a real pain in my ass to work on, finding info is damned difficult and a lot of sources mix up their shit with TFIV. Thanks for the help Gadget, its always nice to find knowledge on the interwebs.

    It definitely wont jump 1", i had a buddy help and we had to get closer and closer until finally it jumped 1/2". Was a bit underwhelming to be honest.

    The dizzy has a flange on the base, it can only be locked down in one way. The rotor is aligned to 1cyl on TDC and the dizzy meshes with the teeth in only two potential ways (neither want to line up perfectly). Tried both and stuck with the soundest option.

    Know how to test the ignition module?

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    weak spark is more likely to be the coil than the ignition module. Mostly those work or they do not. About the only way I know to really test one is to swap it and see if anything changes. Fairly piss-poor diagnostics but its all I got.

    Might be worth checking the voltage that its getting. The ignition system is supposed to bypass the resistor wire when cranking. If thats not hooked up, or the battery is just weak, it won't give you much. Bad plug wires can do this too.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    How do i check the resistor wire? Where can i find it?

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    There is probably an ohm spec for it in the manual. Usually though, they're good or burned open. If its got about 9 volts at the coil with the key on, its probably OK. I don't know exactly where it lives on that car. Any chance you've got an EVTM or the factory shop manual for it ? If you don't, I'd get one.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heres a pic of the rotor at TDC. The dizzy fits the block only one way, the sleeve adapter fits the dizzy only one way, and the dizzy itself is notched giving the rotor only one option. The dizzy and the sleeve both have small notches that have to line up, then of course the rotor will only fit on the dizzy one way, with the arrow lining up with the notches below it. Im assuming this procedure is correct? Maybe the arrow points at #1?

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