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Hey guys, new to the board! I've spent countless hours searching here and other forums/sites for some insight into what the problem could be.

We installed a new water pump; I have no idea what happened or where we made a mistake, but now the car won't start.

The car:
1997 Thunderbird LX V8.
230,000 miles.
New alternator, new mega fuse, new radiator, new fan motor, new coil packs, plugs are a couple years old, new battery. New fuel filter, and now new water pump.

Symptoms:
Coolant leaking for at least 2 months.
Identified leak coming from water pump and changed immediately.
NOTE: Aside from the leak, the car ran fine, good power, very reliable! (There were some preexisting issues, but it started on first crank every time.)

What we did:
Jacked up the car, put it on stands.
Disconnected the battery, both terminals.
Disconnected the hose from radiator to thermostat for better access.
Removed serpentine belt.
Removed Alternator for access to water pump.
Removed water pump pulley
Removed water pump.
NOTE: A moderate amount of coolant did leak out when we removed pump.
Installed new water pump according to the instructions.
Re-installed pulley.
Re-installed alternator
Re-installed belt
Connected the hose back to the thermostat.
Re-connected the battery.
Refilled coolant.

Results:
Back the car out of garage and it was running VERY BAD!
Brakes were hissing in the cabin (when engaged).
Acted like it was going to die at any moment.
Turned it off.
Restarted, put it in reverse and it died.
Restarted and let it idle for a moment as we were trying to check for any leaks.
Drove it around the block, NO POWER whatsoever!
Got it back in the driveway and let it idle.
After a moment it improved.

Next day drove it about 70 miles.
Brakes still hissing in the cabin (when engaged).
NOTE: While power seemed to have been restored, it did pull when I had AC on in Cruise.
The next day I drove it about 30 miles, parked, when I went to leave it wouldn't start...and that's where I'm at. It turns over, but will not start.

I'm hoping someone can see where we may have made a mistake or recognizes the current symptoms and can tell me where I need to focus my attention. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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It's easily coincidental, but the ..

Brakes were hissing in the cabin (when engaged).
tells me the booster has failed at least partly.

And if it fails and vents to the atmosphere, you'll have one great big vacuum leak. Which will cause most of the symptoms you state.

I'd pull the vacuum hose to the booster, plug it, and see how that does for the idle and power.

NOTE! THIS WILL KILL YOUR POWER BRAKES!! DO NOT DRIVE IT IN TRAFFIC LIKE THIS!!!

In either case, a new booster is highly recommended.

RwP
 

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It has a huge vacuum leak; you reset the computer, so it's having a fit trying to run, because there's a ****load more air in than there should be, according to the maf.

It smooths out because it can adapt for some amounts of failage, over time.

If the booster is bad, it's probably bad due to the also bad master cylinder leaking brake fluid into it; this will fail a new booster quickly.

Check your other vacuum lines; most will be bad if original.
 

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yep, hook a vacuum gauge to the booster and pull some vacuum on it too, the diaphragm inside is most likely torn if its hissing.

if she doesn't hold vacuum or its full of brake fluid like grog said, pull the whole thing and change both the master cyl and booster, bleed everything out and you'll be golden.

i would bet since you unhooked the battery and reset the PCM, shes trying to relearn run settings and the default run tables wont keep her going with the vacuum issues. plus worn 200k millage parts and pieces.

and as grog said, start changing EVERY piece of vacuum line you can find if their dry and brittle. spraying a can of some carb cleaner around the intake and vacuum locations helps find the leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info guys! Really appreciate it! Going to get started on these vac hoses ASAP! Hopefully I can get this thing started. And that vac hose diagram is really going to help. Thanks 96PRLBRD!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
**UPDATE**

Changed out vac hoses where needed.
Plugged booster hose.

Still cranked, but did not start.

Tested the valve on the fuel rail. Fuel sprayed out, so I should be getting enough fuel...
 

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Though it wouldn't explain the booster hiss, I'd take a look at the crank sensor. Specifically the connector and wiring going to it. Coolant could have wept through the connector when it gushed out, or the serp could be hitting/fraying the wiring, causing intermittent loss of signal(which will give you stumbling and no starts). If these symptoms happened only after what you did, that'd be my number 1 suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just curious at any point after the water pump install, did you hose the motor down?
No.

I thought the crank sensor as well, but we simply cannot get the A/C compressor out of the way to replace it. Some fluid (not a flood) did run down onto the crank pulley below the water pump. Could it have leaked into the crank case, causing this problem?
 

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No.

I thought the crank sensor as well, but we simply cannot get the A/C compressor out of the way to replace it. Some fluid (not a flood) did run down onto the crank pulley below the water pump. Could it have leaked into the crank case, causing this problem?
The crank pulley has a seal behind it. Unless you aimed a high pressure water hose right at the seal, no, no water could have made it's way past it.

If you can't get to the three bolts that hold the A/C compressor to the engine, I would take it to someone who can. Crank sensor is very important as you can see. Not saying it's the reason for your issues, just that it is a suspect at this point.
 

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The crank pulley has a seal behind it. Unless you aimed a high pressure water hose right at the seal, no, no water could have made it's way past it.

If you can't get to the three bolts that hold the A/C compressor to the engine, I would take it to someone who can. Crank sensor is very important as you can see. Not saying it's the reason for your issues, just that it is a suspect at this point.
Ok, awesome! That's good to know about the seal.

I do agree that the sensor needs to be replaced and at the very least crossed off the list.
 

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I had the same issue I replaced the break booster and it run great. It had a leak from it making it n like crud. mine runs great now when I noticed it when it started up after the water pump had been replaced. It seemed like it was not running normally before the water pump replacement. I also replaced some of the hoses leading to the break booster to make sure no more leaks. also stopping came to mind as well. The ac compressor I replaced as well do to he ac pully came off. no more issues in at regard.

Oh sorry I just got off of a 14 hour shift I am sorry about the spelling and errors. I am sorry about that horrible read as well. I wanted to put in what had happened to me as well on what I had to replace.
 

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If it turns out to not be the hose, the booster itself can indeed be bad. You are having start issues, so crank sensor is possibility, but it wouldn't make hissing in the cabin. Its a pain of a job, might as well do master cylinder too. It will be worth it my brake system is aces compared to when I got the car.
 
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