98 windstar 3.8 problems

Asked by Nov 21, 2011 at 07:08 PM about the 1998 Ford Windstar

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

98 windstar 3.8 - Freind borrowed the car and it died (she said it got hit by lightning) wasnt getting gas checked fuses checked power to fuel pump, had a pump so swapped it out to see. Got gas. no spark. couldnt figure out why we had no spark changed (brand new) crank sensor, still no spark. (Junk Yard) coil pack, still no spark. (junk yard) Brain whatever u call it ECM?PCM? firewall passenger side, but the numbers werent the same but she fired right up so we thought she was good. had spark, had lights, had power, ran fine. drove her home after letting her run for half hour or so, drove to a few places on the way home just fine.  Next day battery dead, charged battery, had a drain on it, went dead again, smelt rubber burning like a short or something. The wifey let her friend take it to a certified mechanic but he started it up and the battery blew up and that was that. towed it, bought a new battery, started it, had smoke coming thru the heater vents above the radio in the center dash battery starting leaking acid. hooked up a reader, alternator was overcharging crazy (over 50 instead of the usual 14 or so),  got another alternator (autozone said the alternator was fail) no juice going back to the battery at all, fuse 19 (GEM/rap) inspected gem, seen burnt pc, replaced gem(junk yard) no smoke, runs, no juice to battery still, no headlights, no power to blower when turning heat on. fuse 19 no longer pops tho. someone has suggested wiring harness but it disapears into the dashboard..... any help would be appreiceted. have not let it run very long cus im scared lol i dont want to burn anything up.  Thanks

5 Answers

if it was hit by lightning,it is already fryed.sell it to a salvage yard for parts.


Can be as stupid as the reset button for the fuel pump , situated in the jack compartment.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Lightning sounds like BS... until every electrical component in the van shows evidence of overloading. I second Papa's opinion: take out whatever parts you can use & scrap the remains. These vans have all kinds of problems, electrical and otherwise, even without lighning striking them. There's probably some burnt insulation and/or shorted circuitry in at least one harness. You could spend dozens of hours chasing it and still come up empty. If you do want to dig in, check voltage draw with key off engine off; key on engine off; and key on engine on. Then start pulling one fuse at a time to disable systems and look for the voltage draw to disappear. This should eventually tell you which systems/harnesses are faulty. Then you get to back probe individual connections on those harnesses to pick out the specific connection(s) and/or sections of wire that are shorting. Good luck.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Its fuel pump inertia switch hit the button and your good. Your issues will be solved



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