2.3 with no spark. help!

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by md89stang, Feb 22, 2012.


  1. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    Hello all you other 2.3 mustangers! I've got a thorny problem and I need some help with this one, as I'm all out of good, poor, and crazy ideas.

    I have an '89 stang with the single plug head and TFI distributor. I have converted to the high-amp alternator. While adjusting the timing belt, I slipped, and my pry-bar contacted the pully of the alternator, which for some reason was energized (ignition off, key out, but I didn't disconnect the battery). This resulted in an arc/spark. I don't know if that contributed to my problem or not, but since that time, I do not seem to have any spark at all. The engine started and ran poorly before, (which is why I was rechecking my cam timing in the first place ) but not since. My engine spins just fine, but no fire in the cyls. The darned thing smells like it is flooding, but I thought that was impossible with fuel injection...

    Here is what I've done so far: Checked static timing, checked the distributor cap and wires, changed spark plugs with an alternate set, changed the coil, and I just replaced both the ignition module and the pick-up inside the distributor. I've run a hot wire between the positive side of the battery and the positive side of the primary on the coil, too. So far, nothing helps. Not a cough, not a sputter, just the sound of the starter turning the engine. I'm unemployed and I can't afford to keep throwing money at this thing.

    So please, if you know of any other reason that I might not be getting spark to the plugs, please let me know your thoughts. Is there some sort of fusable link somewhere that I'm not aware of? Is there a fuse I should check? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. I really need to get this car back on the road as soon as I can, with as little expense as possible.

    a very frustrated and puzzled - md89stang
  2. 79'293stang

    79'293stang Active Member

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    Did you try changing the TFI?
  3. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    Yes, as I said in my original post "I just replaced both the ignition module and the pick-up inside the distributor", meaning the TFI. Someone on another mustang forum suggested a bad fusable link. Do you know where it is and how to identify it?
    Thanks!
  4. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    I was just able to identify and test a fusable link from the starter relay , and as far as I can tell, it still is OK - there is no resistance from ther terminal on one end to past where it merges with other wires in the harness. It was a dark green wire, just as the wiring diagram indicated. I cannot find one in the alternator wiring, though, even though the diagrams say it should be there.
    Any other suggestions, from anyone?

    md89stang
  5. 91TwighlightGT

    91TwighlightGT Active Member

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    I am wondering if you fried the computer...

    Have you tried to pull any codes?
  6. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    Hi! Thanks for your response. Yes, I did run the Key On, Engine Off test, and nothing special came up, just the 84 code I get because I deactivated my EGR valve. This thing has me stumped all the way around. Have a good weekend, 91TwighlightGT!

    MD89Stang
  7. 91TwighlightGT

    91TwighlightGT Active Member

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    Okay, let's start from the top...

    Cranks OK, but No Start Checklist for Fuel Injected Mustangs


    Special Notes
    • All text applies to all models unless stated otherwise.
    • 94-95 Model-Specific Information in Red
    • Most of the items are electrical in nature, so a test light, or even better, a voltmeter, is helpful to be sure they have power to them.


    Place car in neutral or Park and set the parking brake to ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll away.

    1.) Remove push on connector from starter solenoid and turn ignition switch on. Remove the coil wire from distributor & and hold it 3/8” away from the engine block. Use a Metal Jumper to connect the screw to the big bolt on the starter solenoid that has the battery wire connected to it. You should get a nice fat blue spark.


    No spark: Possible failed items in order of their probability
    • MSD or Crane ignition box (If so equipped)
    • Coil
    • TFI Module
    • PIP sensor in distributor. The PIP sensor supplies the timing pulse to trigger the TFI and injectors. See paragraph 5A - a Noid Light will tell if the PIP is working by flashing when the engine is cranking.
    • No ECC or Computer Power - ECC or computer relay failure
    • 86-93 models only: ECC relay next to computer - look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires
    • 94-95 models only: EEC or PCM power relay in the constant control relay module. Look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires.
    • No ECC or Computer Power - Fuse or Fuse link failure
    • 86-93 models only: Fuse links in wiring harness – Check to make sure that there is 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires. All the fuse links live in a bundle up near the starter solenoid.
    • 94-95 models only: 20 amp EEC fuse in the engine compartment fuse box. Look for 12 volts at the fuel injector red wires.
    • Ignition switch - Look for 12 volts at the Ignition Coil Red/Light Green wire. If it is not reading 12 Volts: possible blown fuse link or faulty ignition switch. Remove the plastic from around the ignition switch and look for 12 volts on the red/green wire with the switch in the Run position. If there isn’t 12 volts then the ignition switch is faulty. If 12 volts is present in the Run position, then the fuse link is blown.
    • 94-95 models only: Check inside fuse panel for fuse #18 blown – 20 amp fuse
    • Bad or missing secondary power ground. This ground is located between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges.
    • Computer
    • Engine fires briefly, but dies immediately when the key is released to the Run position: Pull the small push on connector (red wire) off the starter relay (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Hold the switch in the crank position: if it continues to run there is a problem with either the ignition switch or TFI module. Check for 12 volts at the red/green wire on the coil with the switch in the Run position. If reading 12 volts, then replace the TFI. If not reading 12 volts, replace the ignition switch.
  8. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    Thanks, 91TwighlightGT!!! Excellent info! This really ought to help me nail down where I have probs. Just hope the EEC itself hasn't gone kaboom!
    I'll go through this list step by step the next free day I have with reasonable weather (car is outside!), and let everyone know what's up. I will go ahead and do a quick fuse check now, though!
  9. md89stang

    md89stang New Member

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    Hi, again, stangers!
    Well, I now have spark to the distributor. (not sure when it returned, but it is now there - thanks !) Plug wires and cap and rotor are good, so I have to assume spark is to the plugs, too. But it keeps soaking the plugs with fuel. Twice I've pulled the plugs, and twice they have been soaked with gas. So, now I have a bad Flooding condition.....

    The only thing I have done to the fuel system recently was incidental; I noticed my idle air valve was not on correctly, resulting in an, I supposed, an air leak, so I remounted it correctly. It is almost new with less than 750 miles on it. Any chance that somehow it is causing the flooding? I have stock injectors, which have never given me a problem, and also when I did my recent head work, I replaced the fuel pressure valve on the fuel rail.
    So, where should I start now?

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