Engine 89 GT dies on first cold start

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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So basically on the first cold start I start the car and it stumbles and then dies. I start it up again and it fires off super quick and then all is fine. Really only does it on cold starts after sitting for a night. I can catch it before it stumbles and keep it running. It doesn’t matter how many times I prime it. The fuel pump is brand new. I don’t think the fpr is bad. Anyone have any suggestions that I could look into? It’s becoming a little annoying. The car is basically a bone stock 89 GT and other than that runs and drives pretty good
 
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jrichker

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Dump codes sticky

Look at the top of the 5.0 Tech forum where the sticky threads are posted. One of them is how to dump the computer codes. Codes may be present even if the CEL (Check Engine Light) isn’t on. You don’t need a code reader or scanner – all you need is a paper clip, or if your lady friend has a hair pin, that will do the job.
I highly suggest that you read it and follow the instructions to dump the codes. http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/how-to-pull-codes-from-eec4.889006/
 

sav22rem22

Active Member
Feb 6, 2020
195
23
28
19
North Carolina
Dump codes sticky

Look at the top of the 5.0 Tech forum where the sticky threads are posted. One of them is how to dump the computer codes. Codes may be present even if the CEL (Check Engine Light) isn’t on. You don’t need a code reader or scanner – all you need is a paper clip, or if your lady friend has a hair pin, that will do the job.
I highly suggest that you read it and follow the instructions to dump the codes. http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/threads/how-to-pull-codes-from-eec4.889006/
My only codes are smog related stuff as the previous owner ripped all the evr stuff off. The intake was capped off accordingly though.
 

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
195
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North Carolina
Did you get the engine running codes as well as the stored memory codes?
So for the engine running codes I got 94/44 and a 31 and that’s it. Makes sense since the previous owner smog bypassed and ripped all evr lines off. Also in the KOEO all I got was smog related stuff as well no stored memory ones. Cylinder balance test also came back clean with a 9 both times. I’m planning on doing another code dump today since the car has been ran and driven properly for a long time now. I’ll come back with what it comes with
 

sav22rem22

Active Member
Feb 6, 2020
195
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North Carolina
What is your ignition timing set at?
So I actually just checked the timing a few days ago. It was incredibly low due to me assuming that the marks on the balancer were 10 and 14. So I now have the timing set at around 10 degrees. The car didn’t die last time I started it cold it did stumble for a second but caught itself and ran good
 

jrichker

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So I actually just checked the timing a few days ago. It was incredibly low due to me assuming that the marks on the balancer were 10 and 14. So I now have the timing set at around 10 degrees. The car didn’t die last time I started it cold it did stumble for a second but caught itself and ran good
My experience was that too much spark advance will cause a cold engine to die on startup the first time.

Setting the timing:

You can forget about anything beyond this point if you don't have access to a timing light. You will never get the timing set right without one.

Note: If you don't have access to a timing light, most of the larger auto parts stores will rent or loan one if you have a credit card or leave a cash deposit.

Paint the mark on the harmonic balancer with paint -choose 10 degrees BTC or 14 degrees BTC or something else if you have NO2 or other power adder. I try to paint TDC red, 10 degrees BTC white and 14 degrees BTC blue.

10 degrees BTC is towards the driver’s side marks.

Note: setting the timing beyond the 10 degree mark will give you a little more low speed acceleration. BUT you will need to run 93 octane to avoid pinging and engine damage. Pinging is very hard to hear at full throttle, so it could be present and you would not hear it.

Simplified diagram of what it looks like. Not all the marks are shown for ease of viewing.

ATC ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '!' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' BTC
---------------- > Direction of Rotation as viewed standing in front of the engine.

The ' is 2 degrees.
The ! is TDC
The ' is 10 degrees BTC
Set the timing 5 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 5 marks towards the driver's side to get 10 degrees.

To get 14 degrees, set it 7 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 7 marks towards the driver's side to get 14 degrees.

The paint marks you make are your friends if you do it correctly. They are much easier to see that the marks machined into the harmonic balancer hub.

Make sure that you set he timing when the engine is up to operating temperature.

At this point hook up all the wires, get out the timing light. Connect timing light up to battery & #1 spark plug.

Remove the SPOUT connector (do a search if you want a picture of the SPOUT connector) It is the 2 pin rectangular plug on the distributor wiring harness. Only the EFI Mustang engines have a SPOUT. If yours is not EFI, check for a SPOUT: if you don’t find one, skip any instructions regarding the SPOUT
Warning: there are only two places the SPOUT should be when you time the engine. The first place is in your pocket while you are setting the timing and the second is back in the harness when you finish. The little bugger is too easy to lose and too hard to find a replacement.

Start engine, loosen distributor hold down with a 1/2" universal socket. Shine the timing light on the marks and turn the distributor until the mark lines up with the edge of the timing pointer. Tighten down the distributor hold down bolt, Replace the SPOUT connector and you are done.

The HO firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8.
Non HO firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8

attachments\51122
 
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sav22rem22

Active Member
Feb 6, 2020
195
23
28
19
North Carolina
My experience was that too much spark advance will cause a cold engine to die on startup the first time.

Setting the timing:

You can forget about anything beyond this point if you don't have access to a timing light. You will never get the timing set right without one.

Note:
If you don't have access to a timing light, most of the larger auto parts stores will rent or loan one if you have a credit card or leave a cash deposit.

Paint the mark on the harmonic balancer with paint -choose 10 degrees BTC or 14 degrees BTC or something else if you have NO2 or other power adder. I try to paint TDC red, 10 degrees BTC white and 14 degrees BTC blue.

10 degrees BTC is towards the driver’s side marks.

Note: setting the timing beyond the 10 degree mark will give you a little more low speed acceleration. BUT you will need to run 93 octane to avoid pinging and engine damage. Pinging is very hard to hear at full throttle, so it could be present and you would not hear it.

Simplified diagram of what it looks like. Not all the marks are shown for ease of viewing.

ATC ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '!' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' BTC
---------------- > Direction of Rotation as viewed standing in front of the engine.

The ' is 2 degrees.
The ! is TDC
The ' is 10 degrees BTC
Set the timing 5 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 5 marks towards the driver's side to get 10 degrees.

To get 14 degrees, set it 7 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 7 marks towards the driver's side to get 14 degrees.

The paint marks you make are your friends if you do it correctly. They are much easier to see that the marks machined into the harmonic balancer hub.

Make sure that you set he timing when the engine is up to operating temperature.

At this point hook up all the wires, get out the timing light. Connect timing light up to battery & #1 spark plug.

Remove the SPOUT connector (do a search if you want a picture of the SPOUT connector) It is the 2 pin rectangular plug on the distributor wiring harness. Only the EFI Mustang engines have a SPOUT. If yours is not EFI, check for a SPOUT: if you don’t find one, skip any instructions regarding the SPOUT
Warning: there are only two places the SPOUT should be when you time the engine. The first place is in your pocket while you are setting the timing and the second is back in the harness when you finish. The little bugger is too easy to lose and too hard to find a replacement.

Start engine, loosen distributor hold down with a 1/2" universal socket. Shine the timing light on the marks and turn the distributor until the mark lines up with the edge of the timing pointer. Tighten down the distributor hold down bolt, Replace the SPOUT connector and you are done.

The HO firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8.
Non HO firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8

attachments\51122
Thanks as always JR. I’ve got the whole top of the engine apart to finally install my explorer upper and lower so I’ll make sure my timing is spot on once everything is reinstalled. I also want to thank you for an old thread on those fuel rail quick disconnects. You’re the only person I could find who gave the proper size for those irritating plastic tools that I needed to do the job. They sure were a PITA but I got it done