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1997 Ford Explorer will not start

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Nov 11, 2010, 6:22 PM

Post #1 of 3 (8920 views)
1997 Ford Explorer will not start Sign In

I have a 1997 Ford Explorer 4WD, 4.0L engine, 150K miles. About 2 weeks ago started having intermittent starting problems. Today it bit the dust.Engine turns over but no start. Pulled plug wires to check for spark, none there so replaced ignition coil. Same problem. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 11, 2010, 6:26 PM

Post #2 of 3 (8914 views)
Re: 1997 Ford Explorer will not start Sign In

 All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Nov 11, 2010, 11:28 PM

Post #3 of 3 (8906 views)
Re: 1997 Ford Explorer will not start Sign In

I would suggest following HT's flow chart to the end and find the problem or take the vehicle in to be diagnosed.....

Since Ford started using that style coil pack, 3 coil packs combined into one large pack, I have never seen or even heard of the whole pack ever failing. Losing one pack that kills 2 cylinders or even one side taking out 1 cylinder is common but never losing all 3 packs at once...

Guessing gets very expensive. If you aren't sure of the problem take it in to be checked. In the long run this will be the cheapest route..


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