Cranks, no start...
Let me begin by saying that I know it can be next to impossible to accurately "internet diagnose/troubleshoot" an issue, so by no means am I looking for or expecting someone with the wave of a computer mouse to fix my issue. Just looking for some alternative insight, experiences, and ideas.
I'll try to provide all possibly relative information, this may be a bit lengthy.
Within the last 2-4 years the truck has had a new set of Stage 1 single shots installed, new T500 HPOP, new HPOP lines, and a new ICP sensor. Also replaced the oil cooler o-rings about 1.5 months ago.
The truck has been good for the last couple years. Randomly however over the last couple of years the radio would just turn off for no reason. Sometimes it would come back on in a minute or two, sometimes it would take a lot longer, or not until the next day. This only happened maybe 3-4 times over the last 2-3 years, so admittedly I never made it much of a priority to pursue. Now, also possibly relative, from time to time after a hard rain I would notice a "wet" smell inside the cab, occasionally have condensation on the inside of the windshield, and a few times found a little water on the passenger side in the "track" under the rubber door molding. Again, it didn't happen every time it rained, and since there were no other obvious issues, I didn't make it a big priority.
Now, about two weeks ago a buddy of mine needed to borrow the truck to use so that he could tear into his '05 6.0 to do some fixes and mods, so he's been using my truck.
His driveway is at an incline, and he's been backing it in, so the front of the truck has been pointing down hill. I mention this because I think it may be relative.
So, a few days ago he started the truck to move it around in the driveway and it started fine, but then after a minute or two he says the RPM's started dropping and then it shut off. Since then, it won't start. It cranks but won't start. Engine oil level is full. I checked the HPOP oil level through the top plug, it was only about a 1/3 full, so I topped it off, still no start. I believe if the IPR is sticking open a little that could cause the HPOP to drain down a little. I don't think this is a major concern at this point.
First thought was CPS, so I swapped that with a new spare I keep in the truck. No change. I see between 500-750rpm when cranking so I'm pretty sure we can rule out the CPS.
After this, I actually noticed the nut had come off the back of the IPR and the cylinder was almost off. Replaced the nut, tightened back down, no change.
Next thought was maybe the IPR itself was bad. Disconnected the IPR which I understand will cause the truck to default to a 700psi reading. No change, still cranks but no start.
Since this was an easy/quick thing to try, next I swapped the starter and glow plug relays with each other. Now, here's where it gets a little more weird. Both are NAPA GPR 109 or 110 relays. After swapping them, nol crank, no start. So, that makes me think the relay that was installed at the glow plug position, now installed on the passenger side fender/wall was/is bad and also the relay installed now at the glow plug relay position get's REALLY hot, to the point of even starting to smell it a little. Even turning the key off doesn't stop it from heating up. Key off, key completely out the ignition and the truck is acting like the key is on. Relays buzzing, etc. So, I disconnect the batteries, remove both relays. Unfortunately, by this time in the evening NAPA was closed, so I go to Advance Auto and get two new relays. I know, not the best choice/quality part, but I'll address that once the truck is firing again. So, put the two new relays on, reconnect the batteries, same thing, cranks but no start.
Next thought is maybe a bad chip. Truck has a DP Tuner F5 installed. So I pull the chip out the PCM and then try to start. Again, no change. So I put the chip back in.
Admittedly this should have been one of the first steps, but at this point we grab my buddies top of the line Matco scanner and hook it up to the OBD II port. Interestingly it can't establish a connection to the PCM. So, I grab my el cheapo eBay Bluetooth OBD II adapter that I use with the Torque app on my phone that I know for sure has worked on my truck before....same thing, can't establish a connection to the PCM. Now, during all this the WTS (Wait To Start) light has been coming on when turning the key on to the run position as well as the SES (Service Engine Soon) light for a few seconds. As I understand this confirms that the PCM is running through it's "self test" mode, so it's at least getting power. Doesn't mean there still couldn't be something wrong with it since neither scan tool can connect, but it's at least energizing.
Now, this is where we left it Friday night as we ran out of daylight. We had hooked jumper cables up to the battery from another vehicle in between all of these multiple crank attempts, so when we stopped Friday night the batteries still were adequately charged and would turn the truck over fine. I couldn't get over there Saturday to mess with it further, but when my buddy got back home Saturday evening he had to grab something out of the truck and he said the batteries were almost completely dead. The dome light would barely illuminate when he opened the door. So, something has been drawing on the system with the ignition off to almost kill the batteries.
This made me start thinking maybe I should look toward the GEM. Now, there are a few things that make this seem like a likely cause. The water in the cab in the past (but only on the passenger side), the radio randomly turning off a few times, and then that my buddy has been parking the truck with the front down hill which would have allowed any recent rain that was leaking into the cab (either from a bad windshield seal or the roof clearance lights) to run down the A-pillar and drip onto the GEM. But, I've read that the GEM has nothing to do with the starting of the truck, just control of lots of various accessories and systems.
I was able to get back over there for a little while yesterday. Pulled the lower dash panel and there were no visible signs of water or moisture in the area of the fuse block. Checked every fuse, none blown.
Removed the fuel filter, drained the bowl, turning the key on immediately fills it back up, so it's not a fuel delivery problem, at least up to that point.
The truck is high mileage (350k or so) and for the last couple of years when first starting the engine it would take a second or two until the oil pressure would register on the gauge. I've read this isn't uncommon on higher mile trucks, and that although not impossible, it's EXTREMELY rare that a LPOP fail....so I don't think the no start is coming from a lack of oil pressure or anything.
I pulled the driver side fender liner and removed the IDM. This whole general area was damp, and there were signs of water running down the inner fender area here back by the A-pillar as well as on the IDM case. Also, inside the harness plug, and the plug on the IDM there appeared to be a very small amount of moisture.
So my current thought is maybe a bad IDM? I'm going to try to get over there today after work and test the harness from the IDM to the injectors by OHM'ing them out. If all that's good, then to "test" the IDM I'm going to see if I can borrow a known working one from somebody to try. Is there any way to test the IDM off the truck? Can a Ford dealer do this? I have a friend or two at some dealerships.
I'm also going to really spend some time in the fuse block/GEM area inspecting. Maybe even remove both to check for any signs of moisture or corrosion. I know the GEM isn't causing the no start, but it or the fuse block could be causing a voltage issue to the PCM causing the no start and the inability of the scan tools to connect.
I'm also going to try to see if I can pinpoint what the key off draw is. I believe a way to do this is to disconnect grounds on both batteries, and use a volt meter (or test light) between the battery post and the terminal on each one at a time. If I see voltage (or the light come on), start removing one fuse at a time until I see the voltage drop (or light go out) to identify what circuit is causing the key off draw.
Well, I believe that's pretty much all the info I have at this point and gets the situation up to current.
Again, I'm not expecting someone to definitively tell me exactly what my problem is or what certainly is the failed part. Just wanting to get some ideas, thoughts, or suggestions on where to go from here.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and for any responses.
'00 Ford F250 4x4 PSD
'89 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am
'03 BMW 530i Sport
Last edited by Hi-psi; 03-24-2014 at 10:10 AM.