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1987 e150 ECM and spark issue


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TechFunky
User

Jul 6, 2023, 1:59 PM

Post #1 of 29 (1770 views)
1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

1987 Ford E150 Van

Okay so old ECM died and it was not firing the injectors and the fuel pump relay wasn't receiving adequate ground from the ECM so it was making a buzzing sound clicking on/off/on/off rapidly. The ECM also would leave the fuel pump running nonstop anytime the key was in the on position.

So I replaced the ECM with a remanufactured unit from Cardone and this seems to have fixed everything EXCEPT now all of a sudden I have no spark.

During the troubleshooting process, I did replace the spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor.

I have found that the fusible link in the attached pic burnt out but I don't know why. Should I replace it with an inline fuse or do I need to figure out what popped it in the first place? I assume it is the reason I have no spark since from what I can tell the ignition coil is receiving power and this fuse is between the distributor, ignition coil, and the ECM.

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/photos/pic/719KHftE/2036.jpg

In this pic the fusible link is circled in red, and the red arrow points to where it actually is located on this vehicle from what I can tell through all the bundles of wiring.

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/photos/pic/719KHftE/2037.jpg


(This post was edited by TechFunky on Jul 6, 2023, 2:05 PM)


Hammer Time
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Jul 6, 2023, 3:38 PM

Post #2 of 29 (1750 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

That's not a fusible link. That is a resister for the ignition system. Judging by the bare spots in the wires, it may have shorted out the ignition module or may even be the cause of the ECM failure.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
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Jul 6, 2023, 6:41 PM

Post #3 of 29 (1701 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Okay thank you, so the two cuts into either side of the resistor were made by me to test the continuity of what I thought was a fuse. So that didn't cause the ecm failure. I now assume no continuity would be normal for a resistor?

Okay so how do I diagnose this thing? The two wires to the coil gave me around 6 to 7 volts which I think is expected for this coil cause it has a transformer or something.


Hammer Time
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Jul 6, 2023, 6:52 PM

Post #4 of 29 (1697 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

A coil IS a transformer by description.

I believe you should have continuity through there with resistance. It should have 1.1ohm +/- .05ohm





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
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Jul 6, 2023, 7:58 PM

Post #5 of 29 (1687 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Okay so I had to set the multimeter to 200k and it registered about a 15. The lower ohm settings didn't give me any reading.

As far as the other test, I get 12.8 volts from distributor base to battery + and around 11 volts from distributor base to ignition coil positive.


Hammer Time
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Jul 6, 2023, 8:04 PM

Post #6 of 29 (1684 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Was it 15 or 1.5? Big difference. It's looking for 1 ohm, not 15

BALLAST RESISTOR: Wire Type - Resistance: 1.1 Ohms + or - .05 Ohms



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
User

Jul 6, 2023, 8:17 PM

Post #7 of 29 (1680 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

It gave me a 15


Hammer Time
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Jul 7, 2023, 4:00 AM

Post #8 of 29 (1649 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

You should be reading that on the 20ohm scale if your meter is not auto ranging.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
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Jul 7, 2023, 10:56 AM

Post #9 of 29 (1620 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

I got nothing on the lower ranges. Had to use the 200k range to get a reading. This is while the resistor is still installed. I am testing it at those little holes in the wire.


Hammer Time
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Jul 7, 2023, 11:01 AM

Post #10 of 29 (1617 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

You can't measure 1 ohm on a scale of 200,000.

If you got no reading on the lower scale then there is a good chance the resister is burned out but personally I would try a different meter.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
User

Jul 7, 2023, 8:41 PM

Post #11 of 29 (1576 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Checked it again on the 200k setting and it fluctuates between 15 and about 25. On any of the lower settings it fails to pick up anything. I verified my meter is reading ohms properly on some other items I own with known values.

BUT!!!

In my haynes manual the wiring diagram calls it a "resistor" for 1987, but for 1988 they refer to it as a "22k resistor". So I think we've actually confirmed this resistor is just fine since 15 to 25 on my meter in the 200k setting I believe would mean 15k to 25k.

Lets continue with the ignition coil testing! What should I try next?


(This post was edited by TechFunky on Jul 7, 2023, 9:24 PM)


TechFunky
User

Jul 10, 2023, 10:15 AM

Post #12 of 29 (1395 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

What's the easiest way to verify the coil is sending spark to the distributor?


Tom Greenleaf
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Jul 10, 2023, 10:58 AM

Post #13 of 29 (1392 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

There's a tool/tester by Lilse that will plug in coil to coil wire and light up is hooked up so can run with those in vehicle! That or end to distributor just ground it and crank engine using the small wire at solenoid can see it with one person on this.

It doesn't mean it's on time!

That if you turn crank damper most OE dampers marks were on damper this old fine clean or sand them easily see the #s.

If OE stickers in tact you find the plug (if spark) pull that out it's just a connect/disconnect to time engine I think 10* BTC.

That's when it's running not so good just craning IMO.

If spark but nothing take cap off see if rotor turns at all a gear on distributor can shear a roll pin and not move, no spark or very erratic.

Tells volumes what's going on.

First, spark at all then if on time marks hard to see paint them where they line up so you can see the right spot,

Tom



Hammer Time
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Jul 10, 2023, 11:02 AM

Post #14 of 29 (1388 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

There is no reason to even question timing if the distributor hasn't been moved.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
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Jul 10, 2023, 11:22 AM

Post #15 of 29 (1384 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In


In Reply To
There's a tool/tester by Lilse that will plug in coil to coil wire and light up is hooked up so can run with those in vehicle! That or end to distributor just ground it and crank engine using the small wire at solenoid can see it with one person on this.



Wait do you just mean any old test light? I have one. Can I just go from ignition coil on one end of test light to engine block with the other and if it lights up then it is sending spark to my distributor?


TechFunky
User

Jul 10, 2023, 11:27 AM

Post #16 of 29 (1383 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In


In Reply To
There is no reason to even question timing if the distributor hasn't been moved.


I replaced the cap, rotor, wires, and spark plugs, but I did not adjust the timing or pull the distributor base or turn it or anything of that nature.


Hammer Time
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Hammer Time profile image

Jul 10, 2023, 11:38 AM

Post #17 of 29 (1378 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In


Quote
Wait do you just mean any old test light? I have one. Can I just go from ignition coil on one end of test light to engine block with the other and if it lights up then it is sending spark to my distributor?


Not unless you want to buy a new testlight. That's 40,000 volts



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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Jul 10, 2023, 11:42 AM

Post #18 of 29 (1376 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

It's not so common nor is an 87 still out there. Just look at a rebuild distributor for these, that lower gear hits cam gear can shear off a roll pin so it isn't turning but you can watch that now.

Other issue is so much dust inside just air blow it out the sensors under cap can fill gap with yuck and mess u spark usually just run lousy before that??

OE these came with a rubber raincoat nobody put back on isn't helping the show now wasn't for good looks,

Tom



TechFunky
User

Jul 10, 2023, 12:03 PM

Post #19 of 29 (1373 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In


In Reply To

Quote
Wait do you just mean any old test light? I have one. Can I just go from ignition coil on one end of test light to engine block with the other and if it lights up then it is sending spark to my distributor?


Not unless you want to buy a new testlight. That's 40,000 volts


Okay so whats the easiest way to test this?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 10, 2023, 12:08 PM

Post #20 of 29 (1370 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TechFunky
User

Jul 10, 2023, 12:42 PM

Post #21 of 29 (1365 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

What do you call this? Is it an inline spark plug tester or something else?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 10, 2023, 1:11 PM

Post #22 of 29 (1358 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Here, Lisle #20610. Range of $$ is ~6-$12.00 new.

Product review 100%. Here's description.........

> Inline Spark Tester LIS-20610
12.12
Gives a Visual Check of the Ignition System. Quickly diagnose problems with all ignition systems. Connect the tool between the spark plug and the plug wire. The tool is double-ended to offer a straight boot and a 90° boot on one tool. With the engine running, the tool flashes a mirror image of ignition spark. <<

It's color if used to these tells you how strong voltage is no fuss. One person testing + can leave it on and drive around if out of the way!

Other models can reach deep down a plug hole with adaptor ends.

A MUST HAVE. You may have spark just all wrong time IDK.

Gotta begin somewhere assorted ways this is dirt cheap for the info it gives you plus leave on once working in most cases color of fire tells all if wrong voltage or skips. Can't beat it, can rig to anything with a spark plug - chainsaws if you want! Tom



TechFunky
User

Jul 10, 2023, 1:58 PM

Post #23 of 29 (1346 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

I understand how to use that tool to check for spark at the plugs but how do I use this to test the coil itself? Like to make sure it is sending the high voltage signal to the distributor.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 10, 2023, 5:03 PM

Post #24 of 29 (1319 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Oh no? If you don't get that send this work out. Yes you can test a coil no point it's too simple to see it work - no testing needed.

Nothing doesn't mean it's a coil, something - either tool better than hold a bare wire with a screwdriver in end close to ground to see spark you will be shocked - I mean shocked really shouldn't harm you just hitting your head or surprise you'd jump alright is when you get hurt,

Send it out - too simple the harder part is when things don't show a thing wrong and it doesn't run, react at all, nail that down why.

What engine of possible 2 I think most likely, both good way too old now so had some care or wouldn't be here, Tom



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 11, 2023, 12:49 AM

Post #25 of 29 (1259 views)
Re: 1987 e150 ECM and spark issue Sign In

Refresh this: Took some looking there are more versions of what is out there for possible distributors and ignition systems out there for this thing.

It will make a difference on why a no spark issue is found not yet convined that's proven.

Look for youself - wild differences in distributors just on the 4.9 I-six. One notorious for head gasket problems not this issue though.

Gotta know what this is.

Was subject to Califoria standards or 48 State stickers would say so. Vin #s needed for parts still changes just parts.
No spark is no spark or determine incorrect spark??

Don't waste parts tossing as any proof that is still not included the new stuff isn't proof. Failures of new worse that OE even this old if anything left OE??

Many versions of that this Van was or used as. How OE is it or fussed with up to hacked for anything that made it run??

If you don't know that much harder for next move to fix this.

Can't know for me NONE are out there TMK and this wasn't that old were trouble by model year, 1987 some sold part way thru that model year find out what month made.

No point in in this thread if unsure of no spark testing how basic seems to elude this owner's understanding is so crude to doing a thing to it can't win at this.

Glad to try to help, owner has to know this is or stuck there end this,

Tom







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