2000 Mustang V6 cranks, no start, and no fuel pressure (BUT has started intermittently)

Dvanstra

New Member
Oct 11, 2019
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0
1
17
Surrey, BC
Right about a month ago, I purchased a used 2000 Mustang 3.8L V6 coupe. I got it for $600 bucks (a steal of a deal), knowing full well that the car needed new cats and a new exhaust system entirely, especially since the car is 19 years old now.

After I brought the car home on a flatbed trailer, I went to town and ordered the parts I needed. So far, I have my new cat installed, but I'm still waiting for my catback to come.

The car sat for about 2 weeks, where I would often start it up, get it to a warm temperature and just drive around the city for a bit. Sadly, I found that after these two weeks passed of doing this, the car had trouble starting.

At first, I thought it was the fuel pump, as I couldn't hear it prime when I turned my key to the 'on' position. The car gave me no codes, but it also contained NO fuel pressure in the fuel rail Schrader valve (not even a drop came out). After this, I decided I would rule out air and spark being the problem with the car, and I tested the plugs, injectors, and replaced the air filter. At the same time, I cleaned the MAF sensor, and completely degreased the IAC valve. Checked the inertia switch, made sure it was pressed in, and also checked my PATS system wasn't disabling the car from starting. But still, the car would just crank and the engine wouldn't fire up. No problems there, so the only place left for me to look was the fuel issue (somewhere between the injectors/fuel rail and the tank).

The next day, after I had tested all of this, I went outside at 8:30 AM and the car fired right up. There were no problems. I had fuel pressure, I had air and I had spark. The engine was running, and honestly, I was completely shocked. The car ran for about a week without having any issues, and now the damn thing won't start again. I just don't understand. I even went as far to replace the Camshaft position sensor, as I saw on a forum that it could be causing the engine to have difficulty starting.

I really hope someone on this forum can help me, as I am completely lost and I don't want to be throwing any more money into this car. Yesterday, the car started but then stalled. Tried starting it after that, but I got a code P0401 I believe, which states that EGR flow is insufficient. Took the EGR out and cleaned it well. Made sure the plunger worked so the EGR could create vacuum. Car still won't start after that.

I will be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this consistent issue, and maybe someone else here on StangNet has had the same thing happen to them, but I am so tired at looking at issues that aren't exactly what I'm through.
 
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wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
5,762
493
164
Houston Texas
It seems to me that likely you are dealing with an electrical problem. It would help if you CONFIRMED the presence of power at some key points. THEN go where the test results point. For example is there initial key on +12 volts at the trunk mounted IFS switch. For the V6, the PCM should turn the fuel pump on for a few seconds to prime the pump. The pump will stay off until the PCM sense that the motor has started. For this test it would be best to use a test light that will "load" the circuit.

I know you have an ODB2 reader. But do you have an ODB2 scanner? If you did, it might make short work of your problem. For example, do you KNOW what the fuel pressure is? Think about how different the trouble shooting effort would be IF you had the ability to "command" the PCM to turn on the fuel pump at will.

ForScan ODB2 scanner w ELM327 USB

Here's some more information that may help.

1996+ Crank with no start check list

Pay attention to the part about what the check engine light is supposed to do during cranking.

Pay attention to the part about what the theft light is supposed to do at initial key on.
 

wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
5,762
493
164
Houston Texas
I will be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this consistent issue, and maybe someone else here on StangNet has had the same thing happen to them, but I am so tired at looking at issues that aren't exactly what I'm through.
Part of the reason why there are so many "issues" that aren't helpful is because soooooooooo many people open up threads and don't follow up.

If you really are "eternally grateful" then do a favor to those that follow later and update the thread with your experiences (good or bad).

If you did end up replacing the fuel pump, that could be useful information to someone else with a similar symptom. In addition to any "lessons learned" during the repair. (good or bad).
 

Wrihar

New Member
Dec 21, 2019
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0
1
72
San Luis Obispo, ca
I had a similar problem on my 2000 mustang 3.8 with long cranking times before starting. I did the usual things like change the plugs and fuel filter but that did not help. It always cranked for 5 to 8 seconds before starting after it had been sitting a while.
The problem long cranking or hard starting problem turned out to be a leak in the hose going from the fuel pump to the fuel tank flange (in the tank). This is a special flex hose that had a pin hole in it. It allowed the pressure to bleed down after a few minutes. You need to drop the tank and remove the flange on the top of the tank to get access to it. I simply replaced the hose with a high quality fuel injector rubber hose and 2 worm screw clamps.
To verify this is the problem put a fuel pressure gauge on the Schrader valve (tire valve stem type of valve) on the fuel rail. (front left corner of the engine on a 3.8 Liter engine). The pressure should be about 30 psi and 40 when just turn the key on. Newer engines do not have this Schrader valve and you will need to put an adapter in the line somewhere by opening one of the spring clamp fittings... maybe at the fuel filter or on the engine somewhere so you can measure the pressure. You need a special tool to release the spring clamp fittings available at most auto parts stores for a few bucks. I suggest undoing the output line of the fuel filter and slide your pressure gauge onto the fuel filter outlet and then turn the key on to test the pressure. It should remain at 30 psi after you turn the key off. If you have a problem you will note the pressure will bleed down after you turn the key off. If it bleeds down it could only be 3 things. A leaky injector, a bad check valve in the fuel pump or a leak in the hose ... which was my problem. The pressure should be maintained for a long time (in the order of days) after turning the key off. As a work around to keep from cranking so long and killing your starter and battery you can cycle the key on and off a few times to charge the rail before starting. This will give you time to prepare.... and get the tank empty so you can drop the tank easily. If you need to replace the fuel pump Napa sells the fuel pump by itself for $152. Most other auto parts do not stock it. Good Luck.