Electrical Tick when connecting negative terminal to battery. Tick no longer happens but car doesn't start

50notch90

Member
Jun 3, 2006
10
8
13
Greenville IN
I'll try to keep this brief as I know there is a checklist for crank but won't start. Not trying to skip it but if this is a possible issue I may as well start with it. I'm curious as to what this tick may have been anyhow. I have a '90 5.0 mostly stock with some minor bolt-ons. I've replaced several components to get the car road ready after years of sitting. It had always started and ran up until yesterday after finishing up the power steering pump and oil change.

While bleeding the pump I disconnected the coil wire (yes, it's been reconnected). Then I connected the negative to the battery. When I connected the terminal I heard some random clicking / ticking noises for 10 - 15 seconds. I didn't think much of it and went about the bleeding. After I was finished I reconnected the coil wire and started the car. Ran fine and I started and ran the car 4 or 5 times after. Ran normal each time it started.

Now, if I connect the terminal to the battery I no longer hear the ticking noises. I've tried connecting the terminal with the key on and off but no tick. Any ideas what that tick could have been? I'm just wondering if that tick was something going out. It sounded as if it was coming from different locations so I'm not sure. Like I said, I'll follow the checklist so I won't put every detail in here. I've only had time to check the inertia switch so far. It will start with starting fluid but then dies shortly after.

I started the car after changing the oil to get oil in the new filter. topped it off with a little more oil and no more start. I know the oil change didn't cause my issue so something died somewhere. That tick is bothering me and I can't find any info on what it may have been? Thanks
 
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08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
771
111
53
Massachusetts
Hi,
If you heard a click previously with the key on, or off, it was a relay. Foxes are littered with them. Which one(s) depends on what accessories are present or circuits that happen to be on. Was the key On when you heard this?
Media in the tank settles & creates issues when a car sits. Same with rust & grounds.
I understand the ‘Click’ curiosity, but troubleshooting should be higher up on the list to get her running an’ Clickin’ again- yes?
Pull & solidify grounds, check them all. Battery to chassis, battery to block, block to chassis, battery to EEC.
Are all other accessories working?
Fuel pump relay under the seat, check.
Did you check the Drivers side fuses yet?
Voltage check at the inertia switch..?
Have a manual? Diagram’s posted on site.
Good luck.
-John
 

50notch90

Member
Jun 3, 2006
10
8
13
Greenville IN
Thanks John for replying. I left out a lot of details as I didn't want others thinking I was trying to skip the not starting checklist but will answer some of your questions here. I was trying to find what the clicking was here before going through the checklist.

The key was on when I heard it. I no longer hear it and the curiosity was a part of my troubleshooting considering I no longer hear this at all. It's the only thing I notice that's different. Besides my car not starting.
I've been going through the car replacing as much as possible as time and money permits for almost a year now. The tank has been dropped, fresh gas (about a month old now), new pump, new sending unit, new tank to filter hose, new filter. I had a mechanic friend look at the tank (certified mechanic) and the tank is clean.
I've checked all known grounds and they seem good and have been cleaned. I added a new 3g alternator and also added a 4ga ground for the alternator. I did not remove any existing grounds.
New battery and the charge checks out fine with it.
New ignition switch. The old one was working but was coming apart so I replaced it.
All other accessories work that were working before such as locks, windows, lights and radio
Drivers side fuses were checked along with relay and inertia switch
I rented a fuel pressure gauge and I get 40 when trying to start the car.
I'm getting an odd reading with the tps. I've followed the videos on how to check and when checking the green wire it reads 4.60 - 4.75 volts. I've tried 2 multimeters and get the same reading. No matter how I turn it or where I put the ground it's the same reading. I thought the tps only affected idle but this can cause a no-start issue as well? Seems too easy but I may order another one unless I can figure out I'm doing something wrong. I had checked it a long time ago and remember it being correct then, so maybe that's it. I'm trying to see if anyone else has had this reading and if something else could be the cause of the high voltage

I've not checked the spark troubleshooting but since the car starts with starting fluid I assumed the spark is there correct? I'm pretty newbie when it comes to the troubleshooting part I'll admit so I could be doing something wrong but I follow what I read and see on YT and usually get through it.
 

50notch90

Member
Jun 3, 2006
10
8
13
Greenville IN
Forgot to add. I checked 3 of the injectors and they are showing 12 volts. Do I need to check all 8? From what I understand this was just to see if the PIP sensor was okay and if one works that meant the sensor was good. I went ahead and checked the three that were easy to check.
 

08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
771
111
53
Massachusetts
Hi,
Ok, this isn’t by any means new....
I’ll ask a few questions, give a little info and we’ll go from there-K? Ask questions. Don’t add any more parts to this unless they’re tested, proven bad with the proper tool.
More parts added only multiply confusion.
Check all your grounds, pull/clean/reinstall. Many times things are found by going through & checking all wiring.
Have an aftermarket alarm system?
1) Need to find if you’re testing TPS correctly. (Below*)a TPS voltage of WOT output levels (4VDC+) sent to the EEC in your circumstance will interrupt the Pulsed grounds required to fire each of the injectors. You can pull the TPS wire off & turn it over, need to find out what’s going on, reaction or not.
2) Can hear the fuel pump prime when you turn the key to Run, verified 40 lbs at the rail- correct?
3) In addition to 12VDC at the Injectors, the Injector ground(s) are provided & pulsed on/off by the EEC, injectors will not fire without this. Timing of the Pulse control is by the EEC, per feedback from the Dizzy.
4) Have access to a NOID light? Your Mechanic friend will have one, this will show injector pulses occurring. IMO, that’s sounds like it’s not occurring.
4A) A quick test. Battery connected, mark it & the block, loosen the Dizzy, Key in Run position, rotate the Dizzy & listen for an injector’s “Click”. Don’t forget to realign Dizzy; Retighten.
4B) If someone spins the motor over, you should be able to “feel” the injectors firing “clicking” simply by placing your hand on one.
5) Clean your Salt & Pepper shakers (10 pin connectors), all your wiring for injectors & many wires vital to the EEC connect within them. Check all the pins, make sure they're clean, solid, reassemble with electric grease.
6) Did you pull the DTC’s, whether via code reader or by using a jumper, jot them down, clear codes?
- If the motor’s fires off with a blast of ether into the Intake, you’ve got spark & enough ground continuity for the ignition system to function.
You’re getting a few seconds of prime from the fuel pump each time the Key’s turned to Run(?), imagine that’s known if you’ve 40 PSI at the fuel rail, pressure doesn’t remain for long.

*Setting the TPS:
Org./White: 5V ref from EEC.
Dark Gr./light Gr.: TPS output to EEC.
Blk./Wht.: Sig Ground from EEC.
Test with KOEO. (You don’t have much choice at the moment, have faith!).
With your DVOM...
-Use the dark Green/Light Green & Blk./White wires when adjusting/setting TPS idle Voltage.
- Use the Orange/white & Black white wires to verify the TPS has the correct 5 volts input voltage from the EEC.
If you cannot adjust to < 1VDC, suspect shorted TPS, bad ground from EEC. Pin #46. EEC uses it for other sensors as well. This also routes through the Salt & Pepper shakers.
Key Off...Do a Resistance test with your DVOM from the Blk./Wht. wires to the Neg(-)Battery terminal. If greater than 1.5 Ohms of Resistance, there may be damage to the EEC, or wiring between.

Ok, Post what you find. Good luck!!
-John
 

50notch90

Member
Jun 3, 2006
10
8
13
Greenville IN
I appreciate the response and a lot of great things here. Thank you for that but we'll focus on this one thing:

You can pull the TPS wire off & turn it over, need to find out what’s going on, reaction or not.
Why would I not have done this already is beyond me. I unplugged the TPS to test the connection but never thought to try turning it over. So I unplug the TPS, turn the key and the car starts up fine. Runs a bit rough of course but it starts right up.

I already ordered a new tps anyways just in case I needed it so i would have gotten it but thank you so much for stating the obvious here. I appreciate it so much! You've saved me so much headache and aggravation.

One other question. Is there anything I need to be concerned with by the TPS going bad all of a sudden or is that just the result of 30 yo parts? It just seems odd it ran fine and then nothing. I'm not complaining if it's that easy don't get me wrong. Thanks again!
 
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08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
771
111
53
Massachusetts
Hi,
Glad to hear. TPS, you’ve confirmed it as the culprit if you were previously testing it as listed, bottom of the page & your voltage wasn’t budging while being adjusted.
I’d not plug it back in if you’ve got another TPS coming.
Good to see the EEC’s floating ground is ok. It’s used for the Injector pulses, also uses that same ground source for controlling other sensors.
Likely an internal short, can find it if you set your meter to continuity, connect your leads across the wires while the sensors on the bench.
This is a wear part that does an awful lot of work in its lifetime. Most often they get worn, others.. they wink out.
Good luck with it!

-John
 
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