Intermittent cranks but won't start; engine quits while on road

Asked by Dec 22, 2014 at 05:18 PM about the 1995 Ford E-150 STD Econoline

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We have a 95 Ford E150 StarQuest by Starcraft conversion van.  

Our problem is that the engine will crank but not start, sometimes.  If you leave the key in the on position for a few minutes she starts right up.  Occasionally (well twice) when driving the engine looses power and it can then take 45 minutes or so before it will start again.

Usually, once she starts she will then start OK the rest of the day. Or not -- seems to have gotten worse lately when she hasn't been driven much.

Mechanics have checked it and said the fuel pump was fine -- they thought it was a problem with the alarm system and said they could pull a fuse to disable the alarm and she would start every time.  I can't find that fuse (can't find the interior fuse box at all -- the stupid Club Wagon user manual shows the fuses but not the location of the box).  When I remove the fuses in line with the alarm system (two boxes under the driver-side knee panel) she won't crank at all.

I tried removing the chassis ground wire from the alarm system and she started but not the next morning.  Sigh.

Any insights (and location of interior fuse box) will be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer

When I looked at F150s I found this is a common problem. Step one: replace Ignition Control Module -- our van has a newer looking one (probably was replaced when we had this problem before). Step 2: replace PIP sensor (Profile Ignition Pickup -- cam shaft position sensor in Ford-speak -- actually replace the whole distributor). Problem solved. I found a very helpful description of how to test the leads coming into the ICM at easyAutoDiagnostics.com That's how I determined that there was no signal coming from the PIP. Wish I had thought to research the problem under F150 a long time ago!

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