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Raoul Duke
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1,747 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I searched for this but could not find my exact problem replicated in another thread.

1996 Cougar
4.6 V8
120k miles
Stock fuel system (never run dry, rarely run under 1/4 tank)
Fuel filter less than one year old; changed just as often

I left work on Monday evening and got into my car. When I tried to start it, it would only crank and made no attempt to catch. It's never done this before. It will crank nice and strong... and that's it. All of the ignition components are less than one year old. It ran like a Swiss watch before Monday.

When I cycle the ignition to the 'ON' position, I can hear the pump prime just as it always has for the past eight years. It's getting power. However, there is nearly zero fuel pressure at the rail.

No 'CEL', computer is good (tried swapping), inertia switch is fine, and I tried banging on the tank with a rubber mallet.

Did the pump suddenly give up the ghost? I can hear it being energized and all other systems seem to be operating properly. The only possible variable is that some kind of sensor or electrical connection got wet due to the tremendous amount of rain we got from the hurricane. I drove through some serious puddles on the way to work that morning.

Thanks in advance for any help. The car is stranded at work and I need to know what's wrong with it before I have it towed.
 

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Sounds like the fuel pump is working but not pumping enough fuel, check the fuel pressure regulator just for fun, look fo any abnormalities like raw gas when you pull the vacuum line.
 

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Raoul Duke
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1,747 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a ton for the replies.

When I get to work tomorrow, I will inspect the FPR and blast the crank sensor connector with electronics cleaner (hopefully, to displace any water that may have gotten in there).

A related question: if you have a fouled connector at the crank sensor, would it interrupt spark, fuel or both?
 

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Raoul Duke
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1,747 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It was too cold to lay under the car, so I reached my arm down behind the radiator and found the connector for the crank sensor. Even though I couldn't spray it out to displace the water, I was able to wiggle it around. I went back around, ran the key to the 'ON' position and saw 30 PSI on my gauge. The car started right up.

The question is: did I locate the problem? Would a bad connection at the crank sensor mess with the fuel pressure?
 

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A related question: if you have a fouled connector at the crank sensor, would it interrupt spark, fuel or both?
Crank sensor is used for Ignition timing so it would only affect the Spark output, it only reads when your engine actually cranks over.

Fuel delivery is activated when you turn your key to the Run position, it should have fuel pressure even if you dont crank the engine over.
 

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Raoul Duke
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1,747 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well then, logic would dictate that I may have another problem that coincidentally and temporarily vanished while I was troubleshooting. Thanks for the replies.
 
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