Question about 1988 Ford Bronco II

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The engine dies if I don't keep the ignition turned forward. Any ideas?

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Pull the distributor cap off and watch the rotor as you crank the motor. If the rotor doesn't turn your timing belt is broken. If the Engine is actually firing while you have the starter engaged but dies immediately when you let off even when you press the accelerator check to make sure the starter isn't staying engaged in the flywheel as that will kill the motor and burn your starter out. If all is good so far do a compression check. If you don't have good compression on all cylinders your engine maybe firing but with no compression will not run.

Posted on Aug 08, 2010

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  • timwampler70 Aug 08, 2010

    Thanks. The engine runs great if the key turned forward, but it dies at the default position. I've been told it could be a module or ignition switch. Any ideas?

  • James Young Aug 08, 2010

    That is unusual unless the ignition module has gone bad. It gets power through to the starter and engine electronics when you are in the start position but it cuts power when in the run position. You could put a toggle in between the power wire and the run position hot wire and manually control this but I do not recommend it. Too much chance you will leave the toggle in the on position and you would have to run a separate wire to the battery to power this. When the switch leaves the start position it actually activates a different circuit to power the vehicle components. I would try replacing the ignition module based on this. If the engine runs when in the start position and the starter disengages after the engine starts that may be the problem. Get a replacement module. When you get the column open where you can access the connectors disconnect the connector from the installed module and connect it to your replacement and see if that resolves the problem. If it does complete the swap. If it doesn't then you know there is another problem.

  • timwampler70 Aug 12, 2010

    I replaced the ignition module. I put in a new battery and when I connected it, the engine started to turnover. I had to disconnect the battery to get it to stop and the key was in the off position. I don't think it's the module because it did the same thing with the old one. Any suggestions?

  • James Young Aug 12, 2010

    OK. try removing the ignition module then connecting the battery. If the vehicle still cycles the starter then you need to replace the ECM. If it doesn't then replace the ignition switch and see if you can start and the vehicle will run with the key in the run position. If it still requires you to hold the key in the start position for it to run, Replace the ECM. Make sure you have checked all the wiring involved for shorts and if you have an alarm with a remote start feature make sure the alarm is disabled while you are doing these test.



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