Code 29 (insufficient VSS input) = Hard Starting???

NcogNitto

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Feb 27, 2006
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On a stock '89 with 16K miles.

I stopped at a convenience store and when I came out the car started and then died right away. I cranked it over again multiple times and no fire.
I popped the hood, poked around for the usual suspects and with the key on it looked like the gauge was not registering any fuel pressure and I wasn't hearing it prime any more after the initial start up and die.

Finally after sitting for a couple of minutes I cranked it over until it fired up and ran fine. I drove back to work and at the end of the day when I went to leave it was hard starting again, but fired up shortly after hold-cranking it.
I can't recall if the pump primed on this one?

Drove home and when I went out after an hour or so to pull the codes it fired right up. So I pulled the KOEO codes and first got 11 (all is well) and then got a code 29 (VSS insufficient input) and that was all that showed up.

Then I went for the KOER codes and it wouldn't complete because the book says I need to fix the KOEO codes first?


My question is does the VSS affect start up?
Also is the VSS wired into the fuel pump relay at all?

This is the first time it has ever acted up at all. :scratch:
Thanks for any insight you can give me. :shrug:
 
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jrichker

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The VSS (vehicle speed sensor) has nothing to do with your starting problems. It will keep the cruse control from operatiing and possibly cause some stalling problems when you slow down to stop.

It sounds like you are already on the track of the problem with no fuel pressure.

Fuel Pump Troubleshooting for 87-90 Mustangs

Clue – listen for the fuel pump to prime when you first turn the ignition switch on. It should run for 5-20 seconds and shut off. To trick the fuel pump into running, find the ECC test connector and jump the connector in the Upper RH corner to ground.


If the relay & inertia switch are OK, you will have power to the pump. Check fuel pressure – remove the cap from the schrader valve behind the alternator and depress the core. Fuel should squirt out, catch it in a rag. A tire pressure gauge can also be used if you have one - look for 37-40 PSI. Beware of fire hazard when you do this.

No fuel pressure, possible failed items in order of their probability:
A.) Tripped inertia switch – press reset button on the inertia switch. The hatch cars hide it under the plastic trim covering the driver's side taillight. Use the voltmeter or test light to make sure you have power to both sides of the switch
B.) Fuel pump power relay – located under the driver’s seat in most stangs built before 92. On 92 and later model cars it is located below the Mass Air Flow meter.
C.) Clogged fuel filter
D.) Failed fuel pump
E.) Blown fuse link in wiring harness.
F.) Fuel pressure regulator failed. Remove vacuum line from regulator and inspect for fuel escaping while pump is running.

The electrical circuit for the fuel pump has two paths, a control path and a power path.

The control path consists of the inertia switch, the computer, and the fuel pump relay coil. It turns the fuel pump relay on or off under computer control. The switched power (red wire) from the ECC relay goes to the inertia switch (red/black wire) then from the inertia switch to the relay coil and then from the relay coil to the computer (tan/ Lt green wire). The computer provides the ground path to complete the circuit. This ground causes the relay coil to energize and close the contacts for the power path. Keep in mind that you can have voltage to all the right places, but the computer must provide a ground. If there is no ground, the relay will not close the power contacts.

The power path picks up from a fuse link near the starter relay. Fuse links are like fuses, except they are pieces of wire and are made right into the wiring harness. The feed wire from the fuse link (orange/ light blue wire) goes to the fuel pump relay contacts. When the contacts close because the relay energizes, the power flows through the contacts to the fuel pump (light pink/black wire). The fuel pump has a black wire that supplies the ground to complete the circuit.

Remember that the computer does not source any power to actuators, relays or injectors, but provides the ground necessary to complete the circuit. That means one side of the circuit will always be hot, and the other side will go to ground or below 1 volt as the computer switches on that circuit.

See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host)

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/IgnitionSwitchWiring.gif

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91eecPinout.gif

Now that you have the theory of how it works, it’s time to go digging.

Look for 12 volts at the Orange/Lt. Blue wire (power source for fuel pump relay). No voltage or low voltage, bad fuse link, bad wiring, bad ignition switch or ignition switch wiring or connections. There is a mystery connector somewhere under the driver’s side kick panel, between the fuel pump relay and the fuse link.

Turn on the key and jumper the fuel pump test connector to ground as previously described. Look for 12 volts at the Light Pink/Black wire (relay controlled power for the fuel pump). No voltage there means that the relay has failed, or there is a broken wire in the relay control circuit.

Check the Red/black wire, it should have 12 volts. No 12 volts there, either the inertia switch is open or has no power to it. Check both sides of the inertia switch: there should be power on the Red wire and Red/Black wire. Power on the Red wire and not on the Red/Black wire means the inertia switch is open.

The Tan/Lt Green wire provides a ground path for the relay power. With the test connector jumpered to ground, there should be less than .75 volts. Use a test lamp with one side connected to battery power and the other side to the Tan/Lt Green wire. The test light should glow brightly. No glow and you have a broken wire or bad connection between the test connector and the relay. To test the wiring from the computer, remove the passenger side kick panel and disconnect the computer connector. It has a 10 MM bolt that holds it in place. With the test lamp connected to power, jumper pin 22 to ground and the test lamp should glow. No glow and the wiring between the computer and the fuel pump relay is bad.

If all of the checks have worked OK to this point, then the computer is bad. The computers are very reliable and not prone to failure unless there has been significant electrical trauma to the car. Things like lightning strikes and putting the battery in backwards or connecting jumper cables backwards are about the only thing that kills the computer.
 

jrichker

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NcogNitto said:
:hail2:

I wonder why no other codes would show up on the KOEO test?
If the fuel pump has electrical power, it can be completely dead and the computer doesn't care. It has no way to sense fuel pressure on 5.0 Mustangs.
 

NcogNitto

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Feb 27, 2006
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If the fp was getting the required juice from the relay then why would it fire up after 10+ seconds of continuous cranking?

Also, how does the circuit know not to prime the lines after the initial "on" of the key?

Building oil pressure and vacuum wouldn't kick the pump into working, would it?

The only other strange thing was that the "check oil" light came on after it started up the first time at the in-convenience store? :scratch:

I just don't want to replace five or more $30 parts just to find that the fuel pump is going tu :bang:
 

HISSIN50

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JR's right on.

With needing to do the extended cranking, two thoughts.

If you cycle the key to 'on', let it prime, and then turn the key off and repeat a couple times (before ever trying to crank), does the FP build pressure (per your gauge)? Does it start every time when you do have pressure?
FWIW, you can follow JR's write-up to jump the pump on continuously (it's the Mustang Works link). It seems to me that the computer pulses the ground to the FP relay on a simple timed interval (what? Like 3-5 seconds maybe). That's it, and why I recommend the repeated priming before cranking test.

Good luck.
 

NcogNitto

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Feb 27, 2006
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Hmm I don't know, but I have a suspicion that it's the pump.
I picked up a new VSS and relay anyways to help rule them out.

The tough thing is getting the car to duplicate the problem so I can test it at that time to do a process of elimination.

If the fp relay was bad I think it would have shown up as a code :shrug:

I'll let you know what I find.
 

HISSIN50

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It seems to me that if the FP relay was bad, you wouldnt hear the pump prime when you turn the key on (or the car would be stalling out as you drive).
 

NcogNitto

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Feb 27, 2006
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HISSIN50 said:
It seems to me that if the FP relay was bad, you wouldnt hear the pump prime when you turn the key on (or the car would be stalling out as you drive).
That sounds logical :scratch:

If the relay was internally weak (had a burned, intermittant contact) I imagine it would have cut out on the bumps or when I was going 190 down the freeway. :shrug:

The fuel pump acted like the culprit, from past experiences with them on fox Mustangs.

A few years ago I drove another fox over to my father's house and when I went to leave it did the exact same thing.
Fire up once, real quick and then died, except the fuel pump never came back to life. Luckily I could fix it in his driveway, and I knew it was the fp because the car had 130K on it.

I just figured 16K isn't a ton of use, but then again, it is an electrical part.

Guess I'll just have to go out and pick up a 255 and adjustable reg to support the small charger that'll be going in down the road. :nice:

Thanks for all the help and insight :hail2:
 

HISSIN50

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I would probably do more diagnostics on it before swapping out parts.

And FWIW, if you do have an intermittant pump, that seems to stem from hitting bumps, the inertia switch is just as likely (or more so) than the relay.

Good luck.
 

joel5.0

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Agree with HISSIN50, more diagnostics would be the less expensive way to go....since you couldn't confirm it was priming, there are 3 other areas that might cause that problem as well...the ignition switch, an intermittent EEC ground or the EEC relay...and they wouldn't show as codes either. My 2¢.
 

NcogNitto

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Feb 27, 2006
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I've got a million things going on right now so I don't have all the time in the world, but after work I kept trying to get it to fail and it wouldn't.

I hate intermittant problems. :bang:
When things fail completely you can just fix them, but like this you never know and it would make driving the car unpredictable and nerve racking.

You never know whether it is going to start up or not.
So much for pulling codes on this one :notnice: