FE Build 1989 5.0 won't start when hot except when using starting fluid

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
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A friend of mine used to pull cars from the auction with a cavalier....it had a redneck style hitch. That thing was dangerous but pulled a car dolly with many cars behind it. If he would've ever needed to make a fast maneuver it would've been all over.

You could get that thing running right and sell it for a good tow vehicle....like an explorer or tahoe....or jeep cherokee....or old clapped out pick up truck. Don't risk your life for a few pennies.

You could even get an old Ford 2wd truck with a bad engine or transmission and swap your stuff in it.
 
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JoeysAutos

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Call O'Reilly or AutoZone they may have a rental.
Mark the 10* btdc line on the balancer, also the 12* line and the 14* line.
Mine likes 12*.

Okay, finally got this done. Went ahead and picked up a cheap Harbor Freight timing light just to have in case I want to mess around with it in the future. I set it to 10* because from my understanding more retarded engines are easier to start. Still refuses to start once it's hot though.
 

JoeysAutos

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A friend of mine used to pull cars from the auction with a cavalier....it had a redneck style hitch. That thing was dangerous but pulled a car dolly with many cars behind it. If he would've ever needed to make a fast maneuver it would've been all over.

You could get that thing running right and sell it for a good tow vehicle....like an explorer or tahoe....or jeep cherokee....or old clapped out pick up truck. Don't risk your life for a few pennies.

You could even get an old Ford 2wd truck with a bad engine or transmission and swap your stuff in it.
What is it about an old ford 2wd pickup that's any safer than this vehicle? They're both full frame, we're talking same drivetrain, and this already has new front brakes and the rear will be too before I tow anything. Already put airbags in to stiffen up the suspension. So what's the difference? One is normal to see someone towing a car with and one looks :leghump:ing sick pulling a trailer. That's the way I see it anyway. Im already just imagining the look on every cummins drivers face when I pull up to the gas station with a Ram behind this thing :rlaugh:
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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The town car is fine for pulling stuff around within reason. Take it from me, I tow for a living, the janitor here nicknamed it 'the dump truck' .
You just have to be real about it. Do you know what the gvw on that car is? Gross vehicle weight is the car loaded including what it is towing.
 

JoeysAutos

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Hey a fellow tow jock! I used to do some asset recovery back a few years ago. The GVWR on my lincoln is 5475lbs. I slightly disagree with your definition of GVWR because GVWR does exclude trailers. It does include trailer tongue weight however. So 5475 minus the 4110lbs of curb weight that gives me 1,365lbs of room for my ass(180lbs), gas(108lbs), and trailer tongue weight. Plus, I mean in reality the true GVWR is even higher than stated on the door jab with the addition of the helper airbags. Not saying I can tow anything I want with this thing, but for a car hauler I really don't see what the danger is.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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Dealing with towing the DOT will include the entire rig, tow vehicle, trailer and it's load as one weight, that is different that what the factory rates GVW at.
Now that lincoln will make a good tow vehicle adding in properly setup trailer brakes, a little underpowered maybe but that can be addressed.
 

JoeysAutos

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Ahhhh I get ya now. Is there actually a way for me to get that specific GVW number for my car? It would be nice to know considering how much attention from law enforcement this thing is going to attract lol
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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You don't want to do that, it could become a commercial vehicle and you don't want to buy that insurance and tag bill.
Private vehicles can pull a house down the road as long as you own the house. Here in FL you don't have to pull into weigh stations and DOT will not pull you over, but, and there is always a but, if you wad that mess up in a wreck your insurance company could leave you hang'n if you are over weight , not to mention lawyers.
Just use your head and be careful.
You wouldn't believe the hack jobs driving around today.
 

JoeysAutos

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Haha, okay so DOT may or may not leave me alone but in the event of an accident, the insurance is going to be looking at what to determine if I'm overweight? GVWR?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Haha, okay so DOT may or may not leave me alone but in the event of an accident, the insurance is going to be looking at what to determine if I'm overweight? GVWR?
Well, the chance is always there, I kind of think in the worst case scenario after towing wrecked cars all my life, and that is alot of cars, trucks and trailers.
 

JoeysAutos

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Yeah I'm definitely not planning on getting in any accidents, if I were to be towing full size pickups or such with this thing it would be very safely and slowly. I just know cops are going to love pulling me over in this thing the way I'm going to build it so I really try to keep everything legal for 90-95% of it's operation.

Still though this is assuming I ever get this thing running right. Would a carburetor swap make it too gutless to tow with you think?
 

Rdub6

So while I wait to figure out my rear end issues
Dec 29, 2017
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Yeah I'm definitely not planning on getting in any accidents, if I were to be towing full size pickups or such with this thing it would be very safely and slowly. I just know cops are going to love pulling me over in this thing the way I'm going to build it so I really try to keep everything legal for 90-95% of it's operation.

Still though this is assuming I ever get this thing running right. Would a carburetor swap make it too gutless to tow with you think?
Nobody “plans” on getting in accidents. No matter how safe you are being, there are plenty of other morons out there that can cause problems! If they find fault with your rig, they’ll be coming after you, whether it was your fault or not!
Just make sure your ducks are in a row in case something happens!
 

JoeysAutos

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No, a carb swap is even more trouble and going back in time anyway.
Well do you have any ideas? Is there anything else I should check? I'm genuinely stumped and at least I could get a carbed engine to start while hot quite easily.


For towing?

Over a town car?

Is that a real question?

Yes I am genuinely asking what the difference between those two vehicles is in terms of safety while towing. The towing package on this generation of town car has a 5000lbs towing capacity which is the same as a cheap f150. I don't see how my 5000lbs towing capacity is less safe than some random f150's 5000lbs towing capacity just because it has a tiny cab with seats that don't recline and a bed in back. Just doesn't make sense to me.
 

Noobz347

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Off the top of my head, I would say, 'springs, shocks, brakes, gearing and the arrangement of the vehicle for utility'.

I've towed stuff with sedans before. It can be done but it wouldn't be my first choice. Hell, mirrors alone are a game-changer.

I would also imagine that are differences in the arrangement of the axles and bearings but I've never taken them apart to look. Is a town car setup for half-ton weight-bearing? Seems to me that trucks are setup stiffer in the rear while a town car would be setup for ride quality.

Either way... If you're planning on towing something the size and weight of a full-size truck, with a town car, you might look at a weight distribution/leveling hitch.

Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch​


When you brake, your cargo is already higher than you. It will pitch the tongue forward and down.
 

JoeysAutos

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Off the top of my head, I would say, 'springs, shocks, brakes, and the arrangement of the vehicle for utility'.
These town cars all came from the factory with auto leveling air shocks that stiffen up the rear while towing or otherwise loaded down. They're comfortable as well as practical utility vehicles. Brakes on some cheap f150 are gonna have to be completely redone if they're genuinely gonna be safer than this car's brakes.

I don't know if you've ever sat in an old f150 but their mirrors are terrible. Its not that hard to macgyver something effective though, really.

Sure, the angle isn't perfect, but that's not something that a cheap f150 is immune from either. Both are going to squat at max towing capacity. Neither are going to stop perfectly. There's just not a whole lot of difference between the two, really.
 

$wine

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Dec 16, 2020
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Okay, finally got this done. Went ahead and picked up a cheap Harbor Freight timing light just to have in case I want to mess around with it in the future. I set it to 10* because from my understanding more retarded engines are easier to start. Still refuses to start once it's hot though.
Any update on your troubleshooting efforts. I'm having the same issue you are with my '91 5.0, been fighting with this for weeks now (no start when hot). I have to let here sit for a few mins before she's able to start again. I would have no spark, no injector pulse. Fuel pressure is fine. Motor spins over fine. I've gone through the checklist multiple times, no success. The only thing I have not tried is relocating the tfi module.

new coil
new solenoid
new distributor
new ect
checked and cleaned all grounds
tried different ignition switch (even though there was no obvious reason to)
tried different computer
timing is set
cranks fine when cold
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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I set it to 10* because from my understanding more retarded engines are easier to start.
10* before top dead center?
A retarded or should I say ignition impaired engine is not easier to start.