Engine 1990 fox 5.0 missing on 3 cylinders

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Any help would be great. Bought a 1990 fox the motor had been swapped out of a 1995. All the 1990 top end and electrical was used. Car is not firing on 3 cylinder. Cylinder 2,4,and5 are not firing. New items are plugs,wires distributor, mas sensor,throttle sensor. Egr was deleted I have went over everything I think and can't seem to find the problem. New injectors and all are clicking fuel pressure is 38 with key on. All of this was done by previous owner. Check engine light comes on wen revved up but then goes back off.
 
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Club

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Aug 5, 2018
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I will run the codes this week . What is the cylinder balance test. And thanks for the help. everything is new I haven't done timing cause it is missing reset to to top dead center and stabbed the the distrubitor no change adjusted distributor no change. Will it read out codes when the check engine light isn't on?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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Go to the 5.0 technical/how to thread, lots of stuff in there to help you. There is instructions on how to check for codes including the cylinder balance test.
remember the basics.
 

Club

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I have tried 3 different firing orders I'm guessing stock cam it none of the three made a change. Getting us to the site but I did find the thread thanks.
 

Mustang5L5

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This is pretty much mechanics 101.

When you have a cylinder not firing, you check fuel, air and spark and compression.

Pull the plugs one at a time and check for any oil, damage, etc on the plugs. Then lay each on the engine and crank it over and check for spark.

Fuel is a bit tougher. Unplug each injector and test resistance of the coil. Should be 14.4 ohms. Next, attach a fuel pressure guage to the rail. Using a 9v battery, touch leads to the injector to fire it, and see if fuel pressure bleeds down. Try on good injector first. They sell (possibly rent) kits for pulse testing injectors like this but you can make your own with a 9v battery lead, and injector harness plug, and a momentary switch inline.

Finally, compression test on all 8 cylinders.
 

Club

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I checked compression all between 113 and 118. All injectors new and checked with tester 14.4 ohms and clicking while running. Plugs are pretty black but dry ones firing look the same as the cylinders that aren't. Wen I change the firing order the cylinders that were not firing start firing. Mabey need to start over and recheck in case I screwed something up.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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polk county florida
That compression seems kinda low to me but it is close in each cylinder, I would pull the valve covers and verify the timing events, you can also make sure the rocker arms are adjusted correct.
 

jrichker

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Cylinder balance test: use this to find dead or weak cylinders:

Revised 09-Sep-2017 Added reminder to write down the stored codes and engine running codes.

The computer has a cylinder balance test that helps locate cylinders with low power output. You’ll need to dump the codes out of the computer and make sure that you have the A/C off, clutch depressed to the floor and the transmission in neutral. Fail to do this and you can’t do the engine running dump codes test that allows you to do the cylinder balance test.

Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

Be sure to turn off the A/C, have the clutch depressed to the floor, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.


Here's how to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

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If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.

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The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.

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The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

What to expect:
You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems.
This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and drivability problems

Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you dump the codes and then you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, clutch depressed to the floor and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10
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Alternate methods:
For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

Or for a nicer scanner see www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader 3145.
It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $22-$36.
Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping
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Write down the codes that the computer outputs since they will give you information on problems that are stored in the computer's memory


Cylinder balance test


If you have idle or IAC/IAB problems and the engine will not idle on its own without mechanically adjusting the base idle speed above 625-750 RPM, this test will fail with random cylinders pointed out every time it runs. The IAC/IAB must be capable of controlling the engine speed to run in the 1300-1500 RPM range. Playing with the base idle speed by adjusting it upwards will not work, the computer has to be able to control the engine speed using the IAC/IAB.

Warm the car's engine up to normal operating temperature. With the test jumper in test position, start the engine and let it stabilize. It should flash a 10 and then a 4 and maybe an 11. If no 11, then there are other codes that will be dumped.

Write down the codes that the computer outputs since they will give you information that the computer found when it is running. These are often different from the stored codes.

One of the first tests it does is to open the EGR all the way, this will cause the engine to stumble and almost die. If the engine dies here then you have EGR problems.
To start the cylinder balance test, briefly floor the accelerator past 2500 RPM and let off the accelerator. The engine will stabilize at about 1300-1450 RPM and the cut off the fuel injectors one at a time. The engine speed will drop briefly and the computer will turn the fuel injector for the cylinder under test back on. Then it starts the process for the next cylinder. When it has sequenced through all 8 injectors, it will flash 9 for everything OK, or the number of the failing cylinder such as 2 for cylinder #2. Quickly pressing the throttle again up to 2500 RPM’s will cause the test to re-run with smaller qualifying figures.
Do it a third time, and if the same cylinder shows up, the cylinder is weak and isn’t putting out power like it should. See the Chilton’s Shop manual for the complete test procedure

See View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDXrkKS4jTE
for a visual tour through the process. There is no voice narration so you have to listen carefully for the engine sounds. I posted the link for the benefit of Stangnet members who had questions about how to do a cylinder balance test. I do not own that video and I am not the creator.

Do a compression test on all the cylinders.
Take special note of any cylinder that shows up as weak in the cylinder balance test. Low compression on one of these cylinders rules out the injectors as being the most likely cause of the problem. Look at cylinders that fail the cylinder balance test but have good compression. These cylinders either have a bad injector, bad spark plug or spark plug wire. Move the wire and then the spark plug to another cylinder and run the cylinder balance test again. If it follows the moved wire or spark plug, you have found the problem. If the same cylinder fails the test again, the injector is bad. If different cylinders fail the cylinder balance test, you have ignition problems or wiring problems in the 10 pin black & white electrical connectors located by the EGR.

How to do a compression test:
Only use a compression tester with a screw in adapter for the spark plug hole. The other type leaks too much to get an accurate reading. Your local auto parts store may have a compression tester to rent/loan. If you do mechanic work on your own car on a regular basis, it would be a good tool to add to your collection.

With the engine warmed up, remove all spark plugs and prop the throttle wide open with a plastic screwdriver handle between the throttle butterfly and the throttle housing. Crank the engine until it the gage reading stops increasing. On a cold engine, it will be hard to tell what's good & what's not. Some of the recent posts have numbers ranging from 140-170 PSI. If the compression is low, squirt some oil in the cylinder and do it again – if it comes up, the rings are worn. There should be no more than 10% difference between cylinders. Use a blow down leak test (puts compressed air inside cylinders) on cylinders that have more than 10% difference.

I generally use a big screwdriver handle stuck in the TB between the butterfly and the TB to prop the throttle open. The plastic is soft enough that it won't damage anything and won't get sucked down the intake either.

A battery charger (not the trickle type) is a good thing to have if you haven't driven the car lately or if you have any doubts about the battery's health. Connect it up while you are cranking the engine and it will help keep the starter cranking at a consistent speed from the first cylinder tested to the last cylinder.
 

Mustang5L5

This is a big reason why I pulled it out
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
31,756
7,949
224
Massachusetts
I checked compression all between 113 and 118. All injectors new and checked with tester 14.4 ohms and clicking while running. Plugs are pretty black but dry ones firing look the same as the cylinders that aren't. Wen I change the firing order the cylinders that were not firing start firing. Mabey need to start over and recheck in case I screwed something up.
There are only two firing orders.

1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 is the 302HO/351 firing order and should be the correct one.

All other Ford 5.0's use the 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8 firing order.

Are you sure the motor is a 1995 5.0 HO? The HO cam is installed? Did this combo ever run correctly? It's possible to swap a few of the injector harnesses around so that they fire the wrong injector. Did you recently finish this swap and are trying to get it running right?
 

jrichker

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This doesn’t prove that the block is a HO block. Some trucks evidently use a HO firing order with a low lift cam (this will result in less than the desired HP output). However, it will definitely prove that a block can’t be HO because the firing order is wrong.

Remove the #1 & #3 spark plugs. Put your finger in #1 spark plug hole. Crank the engine over until you feel compression on #1 cylinder. Slowly turn the engine until the TDC mark and the timing pointer line up. Mark TDC on the balancer with chalk or paint. Put your finger in #3 spark plug hole and crank the engine 90 degrees. You should feel pressure trying to blow past your finger. If you do not feel pressure, repeat the process again. If you feel pressure, it is a HO engine.

No pressure the second time, remove spark plug #5. Put your finger in #1 spark plug hole. Crank the engine over until you feel compression on #1 cylinder. Put your finger in #5 spark plug hole and crank the engine 90 degrees. If you feel pressure now, the engine is not a HO model, no matter what it says on the engine.

Using a small carpenter or machinist square to mark the harmonic balancer off into 90 degree sections may be helpful here.

A 15/16 deep socket & breaker bar or ratchet may be used to turn the engine.

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


Do an end to the injector wring test to make sure that the injectors are properly sequenced for a HO engine and computer

Disconnect the main connector from the computer and pull it down so that you have good access to the computer side of the connector.
Place one voltmeter lead in pin 40 or 60 - they are both the main computer power ground. This lead does not change for any of the tests
Disconnect all the injector connectors from the injectors.
You will re-connect them one at a time to do the testing. Once you have checked an injector lead, disconnect it before testing the next injector. Fail to do this and you will get incorrect results

Turn the ignition switch to Run
Check pins 37 & 57; you should see 12 volts.

Computer wiring harness connector, wire side
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Computer wiring harness connector, computer side
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Here are the HO injector wires that are different; check to see that you have 12 volts on them one at a time.
Connect injector #3, look for 12 volts on pin 12 on the computer. Disconnect the injector connector from the injector before testing the next wire.
Connect injector #7, look for 12 volts on pin 42 on the computer. Disconnect the injector connector from the injector before testing the next wire.
Connect injector #5, look for 12 volts on pin 14 on the computer. Disconnect the injector connector from the injector before testing the next wire.
Connect injector #4. look for 12 volts on pin 13 on the computer. You are finished now and can reconnect all the injector connectors to the injectors.