Mid Wire Tuck - Engine Fires Wont Stay Running

Bmwz389

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Dec 5, 2009
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Hey guys,

I had to move my mustang to the garage today so I quickly threw my pass side wiring back together (factory location/grounded relay in new location). The drivers side should be completed. I have temporary grounds in place. My common ground for where the service disconnect is had a wire already cut from when i purchased it (which I assume ran to the battery ground). This has been rerouted under the fenderwell. The small ground leads on the core support are temporary locations on the core support (hidden).

I start the vehicle up and it runs fine for a few seconds then spits and sputters then stalls out. I have a battery light on. The battery tested 12.6 v KOEO and 12.36 v Key off. The battery gauge reads just over the first line when running both wont stay running long enough to recharge the battery.

I did unhook the alt cables to reroute to wires running to the core support but they are connected.

There are a few vacuum lines broken or disconnected at the vacuum tree on the pass side strut box (mainly to the smog system). Vacuum lines on the firewall tree are all connected.

Any ideas what did before I start diagnosing a ton of crap? I have rerouted every single wire on the drivers side, and extended the wires to the starter relay.

Which grounds would affect a battery light? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks guys!

- Brandon
 
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jrichker

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Grounds

Revised 28-Oct-2012 to add signal ground description & possible problems if it is bad

Grounds are important to any electrical system, and especially to computer controlled engines. In an automobile, the ground is the return path for power to get back to the alternator and battery.

Make sure that all the ground places are clean and shiny bare metal: no paint, no corrosion.

1.) The main power ground is from engine block to battery: it is the power ground for the starter & alternator.


2.) The secondary power ground is between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It is often missing or loose. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges. The clue to a bad ground here is that the temp gauge goes up as you add electrical load such as heater, lights and A/C.

Any car that has a 3G or high output current alternator needs a 4 gauge ground wire running from the block to the chassis ground where the battery pigtail ground connects. The 3G has a 130 amp capacity, so you wire the power side with 4 gauge wire. It stands to reason that the ground side handles just as much current, so it needs to be 4 gauge too.

The picture shows the common ground point for the battery , computer, & extra 3G alternator ground wire as described above in paragraph 2. A screwdriver points to the bolt that is the common ground point.

The battery common ground is a 10 gauge pigtail with the computer ground attached to it.
Picture courtesy timewarped1972
ground.jpg


Correct negative battery ground cable.
56567d1230679358-positive-negative-battery-cable-questions-86-93-mustang-oem-style-ground-cable.gif


3.) The computer's main power ground (the one that comes from the battery ground wire) uses pins 40 & 60 for all the things it controls internally: it comes off the ground pigtail on the battery ground wire. Due to its proximity to the battery, it may become corroded by acid fumes from the battery.
In 86-90 model cars, it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/lt green wire.
In 91-95 model cars it is a black cylinder about 2 1/2" long by 1" diameter with a black/white wire.
You'll find it up next to the starter solenoid where the wire goes into the wiring harness.

All the grounds listed in items 1,2 & 3 need to bolt to clean, shiny bare metal. A wire brush or some fine sandpaper is the best thing to use to clean the ground connections.


4.) All the sensors have a common separate signal ground. This includes the TPS, ACT, EGR, BAP, & VSS sensors. This ground is inside the computer and connects pin 46 to pins 40 & 60, which are the main computer grounds. If this internal computer ground gets damaged, you won't be able to dump codes and the car will have idle/stall/ performance problems

5.) The O2 sensor heaters have their own ground (HEGO ground) coming from the computer. This is different and separate from the O2 sensor ground. It is an orange wire with a ring terminal on it. It is located in the fuel injector wiring harness and comes out under the throttle body. It gets connected to a manifold or bolt on back of the cylinder head.

6.) The TFI module has 2 grounds: one for the foil shield around the wires and another for the module itself. The TFI module ground terminates inside the computer.

7.) The computer takes the shield ground for the TFI module and runs it from pin 20 to the chassis near the computer.


See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. Be sure to have the maximum load on a circuit when testing voltage drops across connections. As current across a defective or weak connection, increases so does the voltage drop. A circuit or connection may check out good with no load or minimal load, but show up bad under maximum load conditions. .

Voltage drops should not exceed the following:
200 mV Wire or cable
300 mV Switch
100 mV Ground
0 mV to <50 mV Sensor Connections
0.0V bolt together connections



Extra grounds are like the reserve parachute for a sky diver. If the main one fails, there is always your reserve.

The best plan is to have all the grounds meet at one central spot and connect together there. That eliminates any voltage drops from grounds connected at different places. A voltage drop between the computer ground and the alternator power ground will effectively reduce the voltage available to the computer by the amount of the drop.




Alternator troubleshooting for 86-93 5.0 Mustangs:

Never, never disconnect an alternator from the battery with the engine running. The resulting voltage spike can damage the car's electronics including the alternator.



Revised 15 April 2012 to add simple check for regulator failure in Engine off ignition on, battery fully charged section, item 2.

Red color text applies to cars with a 3G alternator.

Do all of these tests in sequence. Do not skip around. The results of each test depend on the results of the previous tests for correct interpretation.

Simple first step: Remove the alternator and take it to your local auto parts store. They can bench test it for free.


Use a safety pin to pierce and probe the insulated connectors from the rear when doing tests with the connector plugged into its' mating connector.

Engine off, ignition off, battery fully charged.
1.) Look for 12 volts at the alternator output. No 12 volts and the dark green fuse link between the orange/black wires and the battery side of the starter solenoid has open circuited.
3G alternator: Look for 12 volts at the stud on the back of the alternator where the 4 gauge power feed wire is bolted.
No voltage and the fuse for the 4 gauge power feed wire is open or there are some loose connections.

2.) Look for 12 volts on the yellow/white wire that is the power feed to the regulator. No 12 volts, and the fuse link for the yellow/white wire has open circuited.

Engine off, ignition on, battery fully charged:
1.) Alternator warning light should glow. No glow, bulb has burned out or there is a break in the wiring between the regulator plug and the dash. The warning light supplies an exciter voltage that tells the regulator to turn on. There is a 500 ohm resistor in parallel with the warning light so that if the bulb burns out, the regulator still gets the exciter voltage.
Disconnect the D connector with the 3 wires (yellow/white, white/black and green/red) from the voltage regulator.
Measure the voltage on the Lt green/red wire. It should be 12 volts. No 12 volts and the wire is broken, or the 500 ohm resistor and dash indicator lamp are bad. If the 12 volts is missing, replace the warning lamp. If after replacing the warning lamp, the test fails again, the wiring between the warning lamp and the alternator is faulty. The warning lamp circuit is part of the instrument panel and contains some connectors that may cause problems.

2.) Reconnect the D plug to the alternator
Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see 2.4-2.6 volts. No voltage and the previous tests passed, you have a failed voltage regulator. This is an actual measurement taken from a car with a working electrical system. If you see full or almost full12 volts, the regulator has failed.

Engine on, Ignition on, battery fully charged:
Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see battery voltage minus .25 to 1.0 volt. If the battery measured across the battery is 15.25 volts, you should see 14.50 volts

Familiarize yourself with the following application note from Fluke: See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .


You will need to do some voltage drop testing of several of the wires.

Start looking for these things:
1.) Bad diode(s) in the alternator - one or more diodes have open circuited and are causing the voltage to drop off as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

2.) The secondary power ground is between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It is often missing or loose. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges. Do the voltage drop test as shown in the Fluke tech note link. Measure the voltage drop between the alternator frame and the battery negative post. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.

3.) Bad regulator that does not increase field current as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

4.) Bad sense wire - open circuit in sense wiring or high resistance. The yellow/white wire is the voltage sense and power for the field. There is a fuse link embedded in the wiring where it connects to the black/orange wiring that can open up and cause problems. Disconnect the battery negative cable from the battery: this will keep you from making sparks when you do the next step. Then disconnect the yellow/white wire at the alternator and the green fuse link at the starter solenoid/starter relay. Measure the resistance between the alternator end of the yellow/white wire and the green fuse link: you should see less than 1 ohm. Reconnect all the wires when you have completed this step.

5.) Bad power feed wiring from the alternator. Use caution in the next step, since you will need to do it with everything powered up and the engine running. You are going to do the Fluke voltage drop tests on the power feed wiring, fuse links and associated parts. Connect one DMM lead to the battery side of the starter solenoid/starter relay. Carefully probe the backside of the black/orange wire connector where it plugs into the alternator. With the engine off, you should see very little voltage. Start the engine and increase the load on the electrical system. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.





Alternator wiring circuit
Notice the green wire connects to a switched power source. The circuit contains a 500 ohm resistor in series between the switched power and the alternator. Connecting it to switched power keeps the regulator from drawing current when the engine is not running. The resistor limits the current flowing through the wire so that a fuse isn't needed if the wire shorts to ground.

Also notice the sense wire connects to the starter solenoid and it is fused. It connects to the starter solenoid so that it can "sense" the voltage drop across the output wiring from the alternator.

Replacement parts:
14 gauge fuse link for stock alternator.

Bussman BP/FL14 Fusible link
AutoZone

Dorman - Conduct-Tite 14 Gauge Fusible Link Wire Part No. 85620
Advance auto parts #85620
Pep Boys - SKU #8637594
 

Bmwz389

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I was looking for this post again! Thank you!

To my knowledge neither 1 & 2 grounds were touched.

#3 was moved to inner fender. I did not clean up the grounding location as I probably should have. It was layed over undercoating with a selftapping screw. If this ground was incorrect, wouldn't the vehicle not fire over due to the ECU not being grounded?

Also, the wiring to the starter relay had been modified at one point. I have 2 different wire sets of 2 wires running to ring end terminals. Unlike the factory yel/grn/blue wires. Would you have a breakdown of if those factory wires split into two wires down the harness?
 

jrichker

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No good computer ground and the injectors don't pulse and the fuel pump won't run when the engine does fire off..

64326d1287785504-fusible-link-burned-up-need-help-87-93-5.0-mustang-fuse-links.gif


Fuse links come with a current rating just like fuses. A clue as to what current they are designed for is to look at the size wire they protect.

Choose the fuse according to the wire size.


Wire size current table:
53745d1205096904-how-determine-proper-fuse-wire-size-wire-gauge-current-capacity-lenght-chart.gif



18 gauge wire = 5-8 amps
16 gauge wire = 10-12 amps
14 gauge wire = 15-17 amps
12 gauge wire = 20-25 amps
10 gauge wire = 30-40 amps
8 gauge wire = 50-60 amps.

Keep in mind that the wire size in the chart is for the circuit itself, not the size of the fuse link. The packages of fuse link repair material you can get at the auto parts stores also will have a current rating on them.
 

Bmwz389

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Okay I'll take a look at my starter relay and make sure I didn't miss a wire. It may be possible I missed hooking up a wire when i replaced to solenoid after it broke. I kinda grabbed in the dark lol.

I will note that I did DRIVE the mustang, and kept it running my manually idling it with my foot. So, the pump is working, and so are injectors. That rules out ECU ground!

If one of the wires (specifically one within the 14GA green FL, could that be giving me the battery light and low voltage? It seems to me like it's running off of straight battery. It was fully charged and a brand new battery. I didn't run it or drive it for very long, just moved it out and back into the driveway.

Thanks a TON man!
 

Bmwz389

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I checked my relay and no wires were missing. Everything is bolted down tight. Anybody have any more insight? I'm not the best at reading wiring diagrams.
 

jrichker

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Okay I'll take a look at my starter relay and make sure I didn't miss a wire. It may be possible I missed hooking up a wire when i replaced to solenoid after it broke. I kinda grabbed in the dark lol.

I will note that I did DRIVE the mustang, and kept it running my manually idling it with my foot. So, the pump is working, and so are injectors. That rules out ECU ground!

If one of the wires (specifically one within the 14GA green FL, could that be giving me the battery light and low voltage? It seems to me like it's running off of straight battery. It was fully charged and a brand new battery. I didn't run it or drive it for very long, just moved it out and back into the driveway.

Thanks a TON man!
How did the engine run when you did the test drive? It sounds like you now have a no idle problem?
 

Bmwz389

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It seemed to run just fine! I didn't beat the hell out of it, but as long as I'm manually idling it...aka keeping my foot on the throttle it'll stay running.

I fixed my broken vacuum lines and my FPRvacuum line was disconnected but once i fixed all them the problem still remained (I thought for sure once i saw the FPR vacuum off that was the problem, disappointing).

I also fixed the battery light issue, I missed the wire for it on the starter relay, whoops! I just did all this tonight, but am back to square one. It ran perfectly fine before the wire tuck.

Are there any specific grounds that would cause a stall out? I noticed the ECC internal ground stated it would cause it, but is there a way to test this ground?

Also, does the ignition blaster ground through its mounting frame? I havbe tha zip tied to a few factory holes right now. I'd like to source a likely culprit related to my harness before I start a full series of tests lol.

One last question, are there any sensors/conntections along the drivers or passenger side that would attribute to a stalling situation?

Thanks!

- Brandon
 
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jrichker

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If the computer ground is in good shape and the battery ground it connects to is bolted down to clean, shiny metal, it should be OK.

The ignition coil does not ground through the metal mount bracket.

You guys with idle/stall problems could save a lot of time chasing your tails if you would go through the Surging Idle Checklist. Over 50 different people contributed information to it. The first two posts have all the fixes, and steps through the how to find and fix your idle problems without spending a lot of time and money. I continue to update it as more people post fixes or ask questions. You can post questions to that sticky and have your name and idle problem recognized. The guys with original problems and fixes get their posts added to the main fix. :D

It's free, I don't get anything for the use of it except knowing I helped a fellow Mustang enthusiast with his car. At last check, it had more than 159,000 hits, which indicates it does help fix idle problems quickly and inexpensively.
 

Bmwz389

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Okay, I ran the Ignition On test reading the CEL light flashing.

If I did read this right I got 11...11...1...34...66...34...66.

So, reading this I have:

34 - EVP voltage above closed unit
66 - No MAFS sensor signal.

My money is in the direction of the MAFS, it was stalling and stumbling like the MAFS was bad. I tried doing a bit of research and could not source the grounding location for the MAFS, does it ground in the computer? There was a relay I moved on the passenger side firewall that has a few wires identical in colors as the MAFS. Which relay is that? I didn't think it grounded because its clipped to a metal bracket.

Thanks so much dude.

Also...

88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif


Could the "EEC Power Relay" be a culprit? I'm looking mainly at grounding locations because everything worked properly before. It's a bit overwhelming lol.
 

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jrichker

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Okay, I ran the Ignition On test reading the CEL light flashing.

If I did read this right I got 11...11...1...34...66...34...66.

So, reading this I have:

34 - EVP voltage above closed unit
66 - No MAFS sensor signal.

My money is in the direction of the MAFS, it was stalling and stumbling like the MAFS was bad. I tried doing a bit of research and could not source the grounding location for the MAFS, does it ground in the computer? There was a relay I moved on the passenger side firewall that has a few wires identical in colors as the MAFS. Which relay is that? I didn't think it grounded because its clipped to a metal bracket.

Thanks so much dude.

Also...

88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif


Could the "EEC Power Relay" be a culprit? I'm looking mainly at grounding locations because everything worked properly before. It's a bit overwhelming lol.
Look at the diagram. There is no relay in the MAF circuit. If the EEC relay was bad, you wouldn't get power to the computer and couldn't dump the codes.

The MAF has a power ground for the heater that is provided by the computer's power ground.

Code 66 or 157 MAF below minimum test voltage.

Revised 10-Feb-2014 to add 95-95 Mustang code 157 and 94-95 ECC diagram

Insufficient or no voltage from MAF. Dirty MAF element, bad MAF, bad MAF wiring, missing power to MAF. Check for missing +12 volts on this circuit. Check the two links for a wiring diagram to help you find the red wire for computer power relay switched +12 volts. Check for 12 volts between the red and black wires on the MAF heater (usually pins A & B). while the connector is plugged into the MAF. This may require the use of a couple of safety pins to probe the MAF connector from the back side of it.

Computer connector for 88-93 5.0 Mustangs

Diagrams courtesy of Tmoss and Stang&2Birds

ECC Diagram for 88-90 5.0 Mustangs


ECC Diagram for 91-93 5.0 Mustangs


94-95 Diagram for 94-95 5.0 Mustangs



There are three parts in a MAF: the heater, the sensor element and the amplifier. The heater heats the MAF sensor element causing the resistance to increase. The amplifier buffers the MAF output signal and has a resistor that is laser trimmed to provide an output range compatible with the computer's load tables. Changes in RPM causes the airflow to increase or decrease, changing the voltage output.. The increase of air across the MAF sensor element causes it to cool, allowing more voltage to pass and telling the computer to increase the fuel flow. A decrease in airflow causes the MAF sensor element to get warmer, decreasing the voltage and reducing the fuel flow.

The MAF element is secured by 2 screws & has 1 wiring connector. To clean the element, remove it from the MAF housing and spray it down with electronic parts cleaner or non-inflammable brake parts cleaner (same stuff in a bigger can and cheaper too).

89-90 Model cars: Measure the MAF output at pins C & D on the MAF connector (dark blue/orange and tan/light blue) or at pins 50 & 9 on the computer. Be sure to measure the sensor output by measuring across the pins and not between the pins and ground.

91-95 Model cars: Measure the MAF output at pins C & D on the MAF connector light blue/red and tan/light blue) or at pins 50 & 9 on the computer. Be sure to measure the sensor output by measuring across the pins and not between the pins and ground.


At idle = approximately .6 volt
20 MPH = approximately 1.10 volt
40 MPH = approximately 1.70 volt
60 MPH = approximately 2.10 volt

Check the resistance of the MAF signal wiring. Pin D on the MAF and pin 50 on the computer (dark blue/orange wire) should be less than 2 ohms. Pin C on the MAF and pin 9 on the computer (tan/light blue wire) should be less than 2 ohms.

There should be a minimum of 10K ohms between either pin C or D on the MAF wiring connector and pins A or B. Make your measurement with the MAF disconnected from the wiring harness.

Actually MAF pins C & D float with reference to ground. That translates into the fact that the MAF signal output has no ground. The signal output of the MAF is a differential amplifier setup. Pins C & D both carry the output signal, but one pin's output is inverted from the other. The difference in signal between C & D is what the computer's input circuit is looking for. The difference in the two outputs helps cancel out electrical noise generated by the ignition system and other components. Since the noise will be of the same polarity, wave shape and magnitude, the differential input of the computer electronically subtracts it from the signal. Then it passes the signal on to an Analog to Digital converter section inside the computer's CPU chip.

See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/

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

Fuel pump, alternator, ignition & A/C wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

Computer,. actuator & sensor wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Fuse panel layout
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/MustangFuseBox.gif

Vacuum routing
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangFoxFordVacuumDiagram.jpg
 

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