Almost 4 years later! Now what am I in for?

Discussion in '1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by Lesane, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Almost 4 years ago, I posted THIS and then THIS. To sum it up, I installed a custom FMIC, got my car painted, new exhaust, new tires, did a tune up and detail, then something went BAD in the engine. It no longer ran. I posted that thread planning on doing a swap of some sort. I went to work that night and was told I would be leaving for Japan in 4 weeks. I never had a chance to get into the engine and find out what went wrong. The government payed for indoor storage, and my car sat covered until I returned a few months ago. It sat for almost 4 years in storage, and now sits in my garage. A friend was supposed to do a few preventative storage measures for me while gone (Stabil, moth balls, put it on jack stands and occasional wax), but did none. In that time, I have been COMPLETELY out of the car world, and I don't even know where to start. Can someone point me in the right direction? Something is wrong with the engine, so I think I am going to pull it and tear it down. Or should I start to pull the top end while still in the car? What about the tires, they actually look ok, but are they safe after 4 years of storage? What other stuff needs to be checked, or trashed/replaced? Brake lines come to mind, along with fuel lines and tank, radiator, etc.? It seems a little overwhelming, and I really feel like I am going to overlook a lot. Any advice appreciated! Thanks.
  2. Address it from the simplest to start. Make sure you anti-theft system is not activated. Make sure your battery is good and the connections on the terminals are good. Look through the engine compartment and make sure everything is connected. Look it over twice. Actually touch the connections to make sure they are firmly connected. Make sure there is no debris or any liquids that got into the spark plug chambers. Once you have confirmed that everything is straight, then start the car and look for a CEL. Scan the ECU while you're at it. If no CEL, then while it is running go over the connections again. Gently wiggle them to see if it gets better or worse. If that leads to a dead end, then while it is running, try disconnecting some of the wires one at a time to see if the problem gets better or worse. Start with the Spark plug coils, then try the fuel injectors, and so on. If you get to a wire and disconnect it and the idle quality changes then move on to the next one and see if the change is similar. If there is no change in the idle quality, or if the change is noticeably less than the others that you disconnected, then the problem is with that wire/sensor/plug/injector/whatever. If all this doesn't give you any definite leads, then take the spark plugs out and look them over. Make sure they are all intact and properly gapped. Look at the tips and the ceramic. Make sure the spring and boot on each coil is making good contact. And make sure the boot is not ripped or sliced or anything. Other things to check...

    Turn the key to the "On" position but do not start the engine...listen for the fuel pump to engage
    Make sure you are getting fuel pressure to the schrader valve
    Go in the trunk and make sure the fuel disengage switch has not been activated
    Check all your fuses
    Make sure the Cam Position sensor is connected
    Go under the car and make sure the Crankshaft position sensor is connected

    Now some questions. Is it turning over at all? Will it start? If so, does it stay running or does it shut off? Do you have to keep your foot on the gas to keep it running? When it is running, does it sound like it's missing?
    Kilgore Trout likes this.
  3. These cars like to be driven, it is amazing how many problems will come from lack of use. Check under the hood for mice nests. If the mice got in there you will have trouble.
  4. Off topic. Moth balls are gross. I used them in my boat once and regretted it. I recommend dryer sheets instead. Critters hate them and the car smells decent afterwards.
  5. Thanks for everything so far! Three50won, I appreciate the detailed approach, and you definitely gave me a few things to think about that I didn't before. I didn't clarify in this tread (but mentioned in the others) that the engine for sure doesn't run. Something went really wrong, enough for metal in the oil. I'm not planning on trying to start it, as it will only make things worse.
    I really want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything else. I have a feeling I'm going to think everything is ok, and burn my car down because of an old fuel line, or crash because of bad break lines, or something of the sort. I'm just looking for some more confirmation/suggestions on things that do go bad from not being used.
  6. If you have metal in the oil then it is possible you messed up your bearings during a dry start...
  7. Whatever went wrong happened on a daily drive 4 years ago. It shut down, and wouldn't run. It hasn't been turned over since. I drained some oil for a quick look, and saw some metal. It was a bad day...