Question about 1985 Mercury Cougar

6 Answers

I have an 85 mercury cougar with a 302 v8. I cannot get the engine to start. I turn they key, and the starter works and it sounds like it will start, but it never does. It acts as though the coil wire has been removed from the coil and distributor cap. I have drained my battery in attempts to start it after replacing several parts. After replacing these parts, I tested it and discovered i am STILL not getting any spark from my spark plugs. i replaced the coil, I replaced the ignition box, I replaced the ecu computer, I replaced the fuel injection relay, I replaced the distributor unit (not the cap or rotor button, but the distributor itself). I am about to replace the ignition switch on the steering column. My question is, what would the plugs to not spark? Its not the coil, the coil was replaced with a new one, and then replaced again. Could it be the solenoid?

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  • 9 more comments 
  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    Well, the plug is new, (first thing I tried was hooking up a new plug to the plug wire, grounding to the frame and looking for spark after I replaced the coil) I had no spark, which made me wonder about the ignition box or ecu. Im half tempted to hold on to the coil output node while someone cranks the car just to see if I get shocked by it. Based on what I see so far, I do not think the coil is putting out any juice, even though the 12v tester says its getting power when the key is on. Could it be the solenoid?

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    I want to clarify a few small things. I tested for a spark with a clean new spark plug, grounding it to the frame of the car, and starting the car, but there was no spark output. I doubt its my coil wire because those wires are only 8 mos old, (though it is possible, its unlikely). I simply havent any spark from the coil, and ive replaced the coil twice, yes twice... lol.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    It is not the plugs. none of the plugs are getting fire from the distributor cap, in fact, the distributor cap isnt getting fire to distribute. there is no power to spark the plugs with, so replacing the plugs would not be a solution.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    I did not check my compression. What happened was, one day I was at work. Car started fine that morning, ran like a top, no spitting, no sputtering, no indication of any failures of any sort. I got to work, worked about 2 hours and had to leave for my next job site. I hopped in the car, hit the starter and she just wouldnt turn over. I had to get a tow home, and thought "Well, that coils been there since 1985, so imma drop in a new one and that should fix it" no dice. So, I also replaced the Ignition box, Still nothing. So, I pulled a plug wire, hooked a NEW plug to that wire, grounded to the frame and noticed that I wasnt getting a spark. I thought maybe I had a bad coil wire, so, I swapped coil wires on my friends truck, and I still had no spark (his truck has a ford motor as well). So, I thought there must be a sensor or something amiss in my ECU computer. So, I replaced the computer, but ONLY after I replaced the ignition box again, thinking I might have gotten a bum box. Still nothing. So, I replaced the ECU, and still nothing. I was getting desperate (and broke), so I made Autozone replace my ECU again, and after 2 ecus, and 2 ignition boxes, no change. I replaced the distributor, and re replaced the coil. thats 2 coils, 2 ignition boxes, and 2 ecu computers, and I still got no spark to my plugs and my fuel injectors are not shooting fuel into the head. The throttle body is getting fuel pressure, but it is not injecting into the head. I am confused as to why this is happening. The only thing I have not yet replaced in the ignition system is the ignition switch on the steering column, and I bought one last night for 12 bucks, so if that doesnt do it, I dunno what is left.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    I think so too, either a fuse or a short somewhere, but Where? See, I am not a mechanic, I am a computer geek, LOL. Im good at troubleshooting things, but when it comes to implementing a repair on a car, I have no clue how to do it. I read somewhere that fuse number 1 was a 15 amp fuse for the ignition system. I checked all my fuses with a 12v tester and they all checked out fine. I just dont know what else to try.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    I dont know where it would be. I know it is supposed to be in there, but i cannot seem to locate it. Is it on the firewall?

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 03, 2009

    I know its electrical, I dont know where. I am going to try replacing the ignition switch because i have replaced everything else. I dont know if its the solenoid, or if its a map sensor or if its some relay somewhere, but I just cannot understand why I do not get a spark to my plugs nor do I get fuel injection into the head, even though, i got fuel pressure to the throttle body. Its a mystery to me, which is why I came here to ask experts.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 04, 2009

    Ive had people look at it, and help me with it, and were all scratching our heads. As for a rating, I am new, but I think you are very helpful, just I dont know where to rate you at, lol. But I dont know what I am gonna do. It just STOPPED and gave no indication of failure, so without redoing the entire electrical system, im stuck, and even then, Im sure i just overlooked something stupid, but I cannot think of what is left.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 04, 2009

    I appreciate the advice and insights, But I need the car running asap, and I need more advice and more insights and more ideas to try because I am fresh out. Please if anyone knows anyone who is a Ford expert, or just has years of experience or just loves to work on cars, I'd appreciate the advice. This has been a real head scratcher, and im sure its something silly or overlooked, so im looking everywhere for anything to try. Im willing to replace the solenoid, even though the starter is turning, and Id replace the distributor cap if I got even a weak spark, and why am I not getting any fuel into my head, even tho the throttle body has pressure? I just do not understand, and I hope that by looking here I can find one answer that hits it on the head. Thanks to everyone, I appreciate it and the mercury will appreciate it too. :D

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 04, 2009

    There was no indication of failure whatsoever. No shaking, no grinding, no smoking, no sputtering, it was a perfectly fine normal car, and I shut it off, and it never started again.

  • Fred McCoy
    Fred McCoy Jul 04, 2009

    Also, it did not shut off on me, i shut it off normally. went to restart 2 hours later and had no luck.There wasnt any smoking any kicking, any popping and sparking, any indication of any trouble whatsoever. It was a normal everyday thing just like all the other times before, except this time, i cranked and cranked and got nothing. I WILL say, it was very hot that day, and that morning, the battery cable was loose, so I had to tighten it, but after I tightened it everything was fine. I wonder though if that might have damaged the Solenoid, and im not sure if a damaged solenoid would allow the starter to crank, but not allow spark to fire. So I am at a loss as to what to try next. Im hoping the igntion switch will be the issue, if its not, it needed to be replaced anyhow.

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  • Mercury Master
  • 6,674 Answers

Did you try resetting inertia switch in trunk behind panel at drivers side rear fender? What about module on side of distributor. (it's about 3"-4" long & 1-1/2 wide) attached to side of distributor?

Posted on Jul 12, 2009

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  • Master
  • 410 Answers

It sounds like you have had quite a few people trying to help you with this problem. Based on my experience, it sounds like to me you need to try replacing the rotor button. I noticed that your replaced the distrubutor but said that you didn't replace the button. I know that it is a simple part but I've had that stupid rotor button cause me a headache and lots of $$$ when it was just a few bucks. Give it a shot and I think that you will find it fixes your problem for you. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks for using FixYa!

Posted on Jul 05, 2009

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  • Master
  • 615 Answers

You'll have to explain more, to many things could have happened. What happened when it first cut off on you? Did it seem like any grinding or anything seized. Any abnormal smoke? Check your fuel pump first, then fuel filter, cap and rotor wires, plugs.

this is electrical diagram

http://www.alldatadiy.com/about_alldata/popup/diagrams.html

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

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  • Master
  • 952 Answers

Check if there is a fuse for the starter system. Its possible that you have a blown fuse in there... you've already replaced almost every ignition component. There is no reason for your ignition not to create any spark at all... so im thinking that you car might have a fuse for the ignition system or starter system.

Posted on Jul 03, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Jac Lawrence Pimentel
    Jac Lawrence Pimentel Jul 03, 2009

    most cars have two fuse boxes.. one under the hood and another one under that dash.. usually the fuse for the ignition system is found under the hood fuse box. You should also be able to see the ignition relay under the hood or under the dash. Im just not sure where... if i could just see the car personally i would be able to easily find it. If you can't find it, just have a mechanic find it for you. They shouldn't charge you much for that because its not much of a hassle for them.

  • Jac Lawrence Pimentel
    Jac Lawrence Pimentel Jul 03, 2009

    sorry boss, tried to check online.. i couldn't find any diagram... im sure its a fuse or relay problem.

  • Jac Lawrence Pimentel
    Jac Lawrence Pimentel Jul 03, 2009

    Boss, just have your car diagnosed by an onsite mechanic... its really hard to troubleshoot without having to personally check the vehicle, especially when you've already replaced most of the parts.. you might spend more with parts then in the end you'll only find out that you just have a bad fuse or relays...

  • Jac Lawrence Pimentel
    Jac Lawrence Pimentel Jul 03, 2009

    Hi Boss, i'd highly appreciate if you would give me a helpful rating.. thanks alot.. happy independence day

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  • Expert
  • 212 Answers

You just change the spark plug and check it because there is no spark from spark plug just change the new spark plug and check it

Posted on Jul 03, 2009

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  • Master
  • 2,923 Answers

Two things, it could be that the spark plug is dirty or busted. Try cleaning the spark plug by removing it from the engine and rub it very lightly using a sand paper. If you get the same problem, then the plug could be busted and needs to be replaced.

Have a great day!

Posted on Jul 03, 2009

  • Melvin Ramos
    Melvin Ramos Jul 03, 2009

    Sorry, you didn't mentioned that the plugs were new. I don't have a doubt with the coil, yes, it could be to starter solenoid.

    Btw, did you check the compression? Normal compression in the cylinders is 120 - 170 psi. The engine won't start if the compression is lower than 70 - 80 psi.

    Have a great day!


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