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2.3 litre won't start

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Old 07-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2013
Vehicle: 1988, 1987, 1984
Location: WA
Posts: 1
Default 2.3 litre won't start

Hey gents,

I have spent almost 20 hours diagnosing and troubleshooting.. and I'm at my wit's end. Hopefully someone here can shed some light on my problem as I really have no direction right now and could use some help.. I've searched the forum here and am unable to find a solution..

The vehicle.. 2.3 litre '89 foxbody.

My troubleshooting so far:
- new cap/rotor
- new plugs
- checked for spark, spark OK
- checked for compression, compression OK
- checked for fuel, fuel pressure is 38lb at the fuel rail
- I have another 2.3 litre foxbody that I've swapped components from to check for component failure. So far I have swapped/checked the following:
- coil
- ignition module
- ignition switch
- battery ground
- fuel tank shutoff switch
- engine control assembly (ECA)

Last year she was running great. I winterized her, and this spring/summer I'm unable to get her to start.

What I am finding peculiar is that when I check for spark, I am not pulling the plugs but using a spark check tool. Leaving the plugs in there, I am still smelling fuel. My thinking is that I shoudln't be smelling fuel, unless a plug were pulled so the fuel would be coming out of the combustion chamber via the plug hole.. but because the plugs are all in while checking for spark with the tool.. it leaves me wondering whether this might be an indication of a problem.. however I am unsure where to go from this point.

Any insight/suggestions where to go from here would be greatly appreciated.. I love this car and want her running again. The only thing I have done is left her in the garage for the winter when she was running perfectly.. and now cranks but won't start..

Thank you,
- harleygord
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
5th Gear Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Vehicle: early '00, '08, '91, '96
Location: Clermont, FL
Posts: 2,952

I would check spark with the plug as the plugs may be fouled and need replaced. All the tool is telling you is that spark is reaching the plug, but not that it is sparking to ignite the fuel in the cylinder..

1991 2.3L I4
1996 3.8L V6
2000 3.8L V6
2008 4.6L V8
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