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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm baffled, I installed a set of Livewires today on my 86 GT that has been converted to mass air. I didn't touch a thing except removing the old plug wires and installing the livewires. I've been reading a bunch of threads with people having issues with their car having no start issues, but mine is just installing the wires and that's it. It cranks very well, but it will not start.

I've driven the car 3 times this week without issue, the last time was yesterday without issue. Within the past 1800 miles i've changed the plugs, fuel filter, 130 amp alternator, new motorcraft battery, the fuel pump was just changed when I bought the car as well, and some normal maintenance parts since I got the car in January of this year.


I used the firing order below and placed the plug wires on the distributor cap as it shows. I also asked my friend, who happens to have an 86 GT with Taylor plug wires I believe, and he sent me detailed pictures of the plug wires and he numbered where each one goes on the cap and it matches my car exactly. So i'm not sure how something like a starter relay, ignition switch, fuel pump (which it's not, because I can hear it clearly when I turn the key), coil, or other thing. Perhaps somehow at the same time I changed the plug wires, something else blew, seems unlikely, but I guess it's possible. I also put the Ford Racing plug wires back one to see if I somehow got faulty Livewires, but still the car would crank, but not start.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?



 

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My logical thinking would be you accidentally bumped/unplugged something during the install. Either that or you're experiencing one heck of a coincidence with something failing. I'm leaning towards the first one.

Have you verified you're getting spark?
 

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Start real small......I believe that cap comes with a new rotor,was old one removed and new one not installed?
 

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Quite baffling indeed, my first thought was the firing order too.

Just throwing out an idea here: maybe the thickness of the livewires' insulation around the boot are not letting them seat entirely on the spark plug as they should?

I know I've had times where even my stock replacement wires hadn't seated right, which caused something like what you're describing. That's why I always double, triple, quadruple check that they seat completely now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
My logical thinking would be you accidentally bumped/unplugged something during the install. Either that or you're experiencing one heck of a coincidence with something failing. I'm leaning towards the first one.

Have you verified you're getting spark?
I would love to think it's a simple clip that came off, but I just pulled off the Ford Racing wires and put on the Livewires.

I used a crude method with a plug wire and gator clamp to check for spark, but yes, I am. The fuel pump is cycling every time I turn the key to the on position.

Did you check the fuses?
After I stared at the engine, I though to check the fuses. There was one blown and I was happy, but it turns out it was a 15 amp fuse at 11a for the Ford Premium Sound. Not sure if that's just the head unit. I removed all the audio from my car when I got it since it had some stupid giant dual subs and twin amps and was in the way of my rear view. It has a Sony head unit, but it's not connected, so that shouldn't matter that the 15amp fuse is out for the radio.

Start real small......I believe that cap comes with a new rotor,was old one removed and new one not installed?
I don't think the red MSD one was installed, but I don't understand why the car ran since I had it in January, and when I put new plug wires on it, it won't start. I haven't moved the distributor at all.

Quite baffling indeed, my first thought was the firing order too.

Just throwing out an idea here: maybe the thickness of the livewires' insulation around the boot are not letting them seat entirely on the spark plug as they should?

I know I've had times where even my stock replacement wires hadn't seated right, which caused something like what you're describing. That's why I always double, triple, quadruple check that they seat completely now.
I wouldn't think so since I put the Ford Racing wires back on to make sure the Livewires weren't faulty after it was cranking but wouldn't start and I had the exact same problem with the Ford Racing plug wires when I put them right back on.

I'm going to check the PCM power relay in the morning along with the starter relay, TFI module, and coil, which I doubt, but it's possible. I wish it was like my Modular Mustang with COPs. Those aren't hard to mess up placement lol
 

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Is there spark? If no check around the coil wires and plug. May have come loose when changing the coil wire.
 

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Did you remove the cap? Are you sure the rotor is pointing at the right cylinder when firing?

Some other things to consider, put a noid light on an injector and make sure it’s actually getting power while cranking. Also try cracking the throttle when cranking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm baffled, I installed a set of Livewires today on my 86 GT that has been converted to mass air. I didn't touch a thing except removing the old plug wires and installing the livewires. I've been reading a bunch of threads with people having issues with their car having no start issues, but mine is just installing the wires and that's it. It cranks very well, but it will not start.

I've driven the car 3 times this week without issue, the last time was yesterday without issue. Within the past 1800 miles i've changed the plugs, fuel filter, 130 amp alternator, new motorcraft battery, the fuel pump was just changed when I bought the car as well, and some normal maintenance parts since I got the car in January of this year.


I used the firing order below and placed the plug wires on the distributor cap as it shows. I also asked my friend, who happens to have an 86 GT with Taylor plug wires I believe, and he sent me detailed pictures of the plug wires and he numbered where each one goes on the cap and it matches my car exactly. So i'm not sure how something like a starter relay, ignition switch, fuel pump (which it's not, because I can hear it clearly when I turn the key), coil, or other thing. Perhaps somehow at the same time I changed the plug wires, something else blew, seems unlikely, but I guess it's possible. I also put the Ford Racing plug wires back one to see if I somehow got faulty Livewires, but still the car would crank, but not start.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?



put the old wires back on to rule out/confirm it is just a spark plug wire issue.
I'm baffled, I installed a set of Livewires today on my 86 GT that has been converted to mass air. I didn't touch a thing except removing the old plug wires and installing the livewires. I've been reading a bunch of threads with people having issues with their car having no start issues, but mine is just installing the wires and that's it. It cranks very well, but it will not start.

I've driven the car 3 times this week without issue, the last time was yesterday without issue. Within the past 1800 miles i've changed the plugs, fuel filter, 130 amp alternator, new motorcraft battery, the fuel pump was just changed when I bought the car as well, and some normal maintenance parts since I got the car in January of this year.


I used the firing order below and placed the plug wires on the distributor cap as it shows. I also asked my friend, who happens to have an 86 GT with Taylor plug wires I believe, and he sent me detailed pictures of the plug wires and he numbered where each one goes on the cap and it matches my car exactly. So i'm not sure how something like a starter relay, ignition switch, fuel pump (which it's not, because I can hear it clearly when I turn the key), coil, or other thing. Perhaps somehow at the same time I changed the plug wires, something else blew, seems unlikely, but I guess it's possible. I also put the Ford Racing plug wires back one to see if I somehow got faulty Livewires, but still the car would crank, but not start.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?



Toss the old wires back on to confirm if it is the wires or not. If the old ones work then.....check resistance across new wires. Livewires are really low resistance.
 

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Sounds like no spark at all cylinders at once, if you had spark on anything would think it would run somewhat. Check coil plug and wiring, make sure coil wire to distributor is seated and contacts inside are not crushed not making contact. Unrelated observation- you need a lot shorter belt, your tensioner is almost all the way unloaded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Before anything else, I want to say I tested the TFI module, starter relay, coil, and cycled the fuel pump 3 times to build fuel pressure and checked the schrader valve and fuel came out. The owner before me did some funky wiring with a Sony head unit and some giant twin amp, twin kicker subs, and speakers in a custom box. I obviously got rid of it since it was heavy as hell and blocked my rear view vision. It worked just fine up until I got rid of it, but he did some of the worst wiring i've ever seen. I noticed a 15amp fuse was blown and I removed the sound system about a month after I bought the car. Thinking he somehow did some weird wiring to the starter relay since I saw his wire connected to there and connected something that shouldn't be connected, I replaced the 15 amp fuse and it didn't seem to make a difference.

I forgot to test the the PCM power relay.

I find this all very odd, since the very first thing I did was just change the plug wires and nothing else. Then when that resulted in my car just cranking, but not starting, I placed the Ford Racing wires back on and I got the same crank, but no start result. Like I said in my earlier post, I drove the car the day before this happened without any issue.



Is there spark? If no check around the coil wires and plug. May have come loose when changing the coil wire.
Yes, like I said in my other post, I used a gator clamp to test for spark, but perhaps something blew and now it's not getting spark so I will check again.

Did you remove the cap? Are you sure the rotor is pointing at the right cylinder when firing?

Some other things to consider, put a noid light on an injector and make sure it’s actually getting power while cranking. Also try cracking the throttle when cranking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I did remove the cap, but I didn't touch anything and just placed it back on. It only goes on one way since it has the two clips and an alignment notch that will only let you place it on the way you took it off. I was hoping not to have to come to this step, but I may remove the plug at cylinder #1 and set it TDC and reset timing on the car.

I tried going to AutoZone to buy a noid light, but they didn't have one, so I used my continuity light and closed my garage door so I could see the red light on the tester light up. On another note, I also cycled the fuel pump 3 times to build fuel pressure and checked the schrader valve and gas did come out.


try using the old coil wire.
Along with placing the old wires on the car, I also tried placing the Ford Racing wire from the cap to coil while I had all the other Livewires in place and no difference.

put the old wires back on to rule out/confirm it is just a spark plug wire issue.

Toss the old wires back on to confirm if it is the wires or not. If the old ones work then.....check resistance across new wires. Livewires are really low resistance.
I have tried that already. It was actually the first thing done to make sure the Livewires weren't faulty.


Sounds like no spark at all cylinders at once, if you had spark on anything would think it would run somewhat. Check coil plug and wiring, make sure coil wire to distributor is seated and contacts inside are not crushed not making contact. Unrelated observation- you need a lot shorter belt, your tensioner is almost all the way unloaded.

Like I said in my other post, i'll re-check spark, as it was just fine when I checked it right at the beginning, unless something blew and caused an issue.

Thanks for the observation, i'll look into belts, if I can get it running lol.
 

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You need to confirm actual fuel pressure. Fuel just squirting out the sqhrader valve tells you nothing, that could be 10-15psi, your engine want run on that low of pressure. Also need to confirm your actually getting spark coming out of the coil, I stick a screwdriver in the coil wire and turn it over to see if it arcs next to some metal. Next pull a plug and leave it in the wire to confirm actual spark on the plug. Could be a weak spark, want know till you actually see it.
 

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TFI module on distributor....had the same thing happen other day after changing wires...crank and no start.....no idea why the timing of it happened (see what I did there). Bought a cheap ass one from rock auto and the little tool for 5 bucks and I was back up running.
 

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Is it possible that you simply have the plug wires in the wrong location on the cap? Did you replace them one at a time, or take them all off at once? Need to verify that #1 wire is in the correct position relative to the rotor.
 

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First- check to make sure you are getting spark out of the coil on the way to center cap post. Pull off the wire at one end then the other of the wire and hold it 1/4” off and the spark will jump across off its there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You need to confirm actual fuel pressure. Fuel just squirting out the sqhrader valve tells you nothing, that could be 10-15psi, your engine want run on that low of pressure. Also need to confirm your actually getting spark coming out of the coil, I stick a screwdriver in the coil wire and turn it over to see if it arcs next to some metal. Next pull a plug and leave it in the wire to confirm actual spark on the plug. Could be a weak spark, want know till you actually see it.
You're right on that, I need to check on actual fuel pressure, not just that I have fuel pressure. I really doubt fuel is the problem and ignition is the route of this issue, but that will be my very last thing to check is everything fuel related.
I will try the screwdriver method for the coil wire. I have already confirmed spark like I said previously, i'm going to pull a few plugs tomorrow and see what the state of them look like since they only have 1500 miles on them.

TFI module on distributor....had the same thing happen other day after changing wires...crank and no start.....no idea why the timing of it happened (see what I did there). Bought a cheap ass one from rock auto and the little tool for 5 bucks and I was back up running.
I like this answer, it doesn't mean it's the problem with my car, but I would love if that's the issue and you seem to have the exact same problem, just changed wires, car cranks and no start. You're the only person who has posted that actually answered my last question of my original post. Not that I don't greatly appreciate all the answers of what to check for, but I found it very odd that I changed the plug wires and the car would crank and not start, and yes, I did it one wire at a time.

I can always buy a TFI module and return it if that doesn't solve the problem.

Is it possible that you simply have the plug wires in the wrong location on the cap? Did you replace them one at a time, or take them all off at once? Need to verify that #1 wire is in the correct position relative to the rotor.
One at a time, and then I triple and quadruple checked the position of the wires. Asking my friend to take detailed pictures of his plug wires and cap and he had his numbered just like mine. I even thought the cap and rotor may have been faulty, mainly the rotor and it looked shorter than the new one and it was a no go.

First- check to make sure you are getting spark out of the coil on the way to center cap post. Pull off the wire at one end then the other of the wire and hold it 1/4” off and the spark will jump across off its there.
I will check that out as another poster suggested.




Thanks everyone, I will let you know when I get it started and what the issue was.
 

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I don't know how it is where you are but typically you can't return electrical components once they have been installed. But I bought a TFI module for like 20 bucks off of rockauto. It worked for me, hopefully yours is a quick cheap fix like that too. I guessed instead of actually diagnosing it. Everyone has provided good suggestions, you certainly could try it and get lucky but it may require a lot more investigation if it doesn't. Good luck. Let us know what you figure out.
 

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Checking for spark is FAST and EASY and FREE. Check the low hanging fruit first my fellow stang banger.
 

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Checking for spark is FAST and EASY and FREE. Check the low hanging fruit first my fellow stang banger.
OP......you gotta listen to us old heads up here thats been around the block or two. Dont just guess and throw money away buying parts you didn't need. If you got spark coming OUT of your coil and there's spark at the spark plug, then you want need a thick film module. It will be fuel related then. Air, Fuel, Spark.
 
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