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Yet another no-start

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  • Yet another no-start

    Another intermittent starting issue here. NO CEL or codes. FYI, although it is a 1998 the engine wiring harness has been replaced with a 2000 refurbished harness, so hopefully I am good there.

    Pulled the UIM off this weekend to replace a leaking rear valve cover gasket. While there replaced the PCV and found that the rod between the "secondary" throttle butterflies was no longer connected. Got that jury rigged to work (by the way, does anybody know of a source for the correct plastic clips that holds the rod onto the bellcranks for the LIM?)

    Anyway, wrapped all of that up and went to start it up and it cranked like crazy but no start, not even a burble. Tried a few more times and then decided to pull a plug and checked for spark. Had good spark. Put the plug back in and had a think for a few minutes. Went back and tried again and it started, ran a bit funky and then cleaned up and ran well. Took for a drive and ran great. Great performance. Concerned that I may have a fuel pump going bad but took a chance to drive to work this morning.

    Started right up and ran fin until 1 mile from my house. It died and would not re-start. Towed it home. Grabbed a fuel pressure tester expecting to see a dead fuel pump but the results have me questioning that diagnosis. Seemed when I first energized the fuel pump it only had 10psi, but purged the tester and for about 6 additional times it read 52-54 psi after releasing the pressure each time

    I still think I may have a failing fuel pump but wanted to see if anybody else has thoughts to the contrary or suggestions of things to check.

    Thanks everybody in advance.

  • #2
    Could be an intermittent fuel pump or filter issue...Could be IACV failure or a vacuum leak...Sounds most like an intermittent wiring issue though.
    I'm skeptical about the fuel pump or filter issue because of the "Not even a burble" statement.
    Take a close look at the three big wire connectors on the P side to make sure they're fully snapped together.

    Most people find the plastic IMRC bushings in a multi-pack at the local parts store. I have a few extra's I pulled out of the junkyard I could part with for $10. PM me if interested.
    Your car is uglier than I am! uh...that didnt come out right.


    • #3
      Had a bit more time to look around plus had an adult to help with diagnosis (my 11 year old daughter had previously been in charge of cycling the key, etc).

      Checked the fuel pressure again and the fuel pump certainly appears to be on its way out. Cycled key first time, 5psi. Second time 10psi. 3rd time, 20psi. Finally 4th time finally got 54psi. Also checked the 3 large connector on the passenger side. I never unplugged them when working on the UIM, but they were definitely jostled around, so may have unplugged. Checked them tonight and 1 of the 3 didn't seem to be seated as well as I like. Confirmed all 3 were properly clipped into place. Thanks for the suggestion, I think there is something there.

      At this point I didn't want some house brand piece of junk pump so ordered one up and it will be a few days. We will get back to the contour in a week or so.


      • #4
        Got that jury rigged to work (by the way, does anybody know of a source for the correct plastic clips that holds the rod onto the bellcranks for the LIM?)
        If you can find an auto parts store that has one of the Dorman HELP! sections, look for Dorman 47099, this is a pack of 5 clips that will allow you to replace all the plastic clips (plus a spare) for the IMRC bell-crank rods.

        They can be on-line ordered as well.

        Suggestion: Soak the clips in hot water prior to installing them, so they're less likely to break.

        On the 3 electrical connectors by the passenger rear valve cover: Part them and inspect the interiors VERY carefully. I've seen the interior water gaskets get out of place and prevent the connector from fully seating.

        And it does sound like you have a fuel pump headed South, make sure you replace the fuel filter with the pump, and keep the filter receipt, as most fuel pumps require you to replace the filter to validate the warranty for the pump. When you do the pump, carefully inspect the electrical connector on the fuel pump mounting plate, these have been known to overheat and melt, especially if some previous owner yahoo installed an unnecessary and too-large fuel pump that draws excessive current.

        2019 Corvette Grand Sport, 1LT, just stupid-fast.
        1985 SVO Mustang (turbocharged track rat)
        1989 Taurus SHO (supercharged track rat)
        1999 SVT Contour (Sedanus-Grocerygetter-Rapidus)
        2008 Mercury Milan Premier (Comfy boat)


        • #5
          Thank for the info regarding the bushings. I got a package yesterday and hope to get them installed today. I will also double check the 3 connectors. I think I got them properly connected but will check anyway. Hopefully the new fuel pump will be here later in the week and I will get that installed.

          Thanks for all of the info.