Question about 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX

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Car turns over but sounds like no fuel. I checked for spark and I have that. I don't hear the pump turn on. Before I go and take the tank down what test can I do to verify the problem.

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The best way first is to remove the gas cap and listen as close as possible to the filler neck while you have someone else cycle the key from off to run ( the fuel pump will only run for about 10 seconds when the key is turned from off to on, unless the motors running and if it would run I know we would not be here ) you will hear a buzz sound if the pump runs, if not get yourself a test light and gain access to the inertia switch, which is in the trunk on the left side possible behind the trim panel, its at black plastic switch with two wires,ones pink with a black tracer and the other should be dark green with a yellow tracer. locate your self a good ground point for your test light clamp and hook it up, (its very important that you find a good ground point or it will cause you to get false results causing you to replace unnecessary parts)now once you have a good ground spot take the other end of your test light and back probe the pink and black wire,now have a assistance cycle the key from the off to the start position while you watch the test light, if everything's right you should see the test light glow for ten seconds (if not check the # 13 position fuse in the fuse box under the hood) if your test light glowed in the last test, now move your test light probe to the dark green and yellow wire (the other wire on the switch) and recycle the key, you should again see the test light glow for ten seconds,(if not and you had a glow on the last test either your inertia switch is trip or bad) if you find you had a glow on the pink and black wire but noting on the dark green and yellow try depressing the red center button on the inertia switch and retest if still noting and you had a glow on the pink and black wire, replace the inertia switch. if you found that you had a test light glow on both sides of the switch your fuel pump is bad, the only other possiblity is the wiring between the inertia switch and the fuel pump, which is a very limited amount of wiring and I have not seen it before. hope this helps,let me know how you make out

Posted on Dec 30, 2010

  • tripod454 Jan 01, 2011

    Good morning. I tested both wires and they both light up for 10sec when the key is turned to the on position. My problem is now the fuel pump correct?

  • george_1256 Jan 03, 2011

    I am truly sorry it took me a day to get back to you ! yes you are correct if your test light came on on both sides off the inertia switch it needs a fuel pump, the test you performed confirmed all other possibility's have been ruled out with one possible exception and would be the wiring between the inertia switch and the fuel pump and that being very unlikely and very hard if not impossible to test with the fuel tank installed. If I was performing the repair,once the fuel tank was removed I would thoroughly inspect the wiring from the connector at the fuel pump (fuel tank) to were it enters the floor pan. Inspect it for any signs of being pinched or broken (damaged) if no signs of damage you can with confidences replace the pump and properly repair your T-BIRD Thanks for using fixya


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You can check the fuel return line. The line has a disconnect under the hood near the engine. If you disconnect that, and try to start the car, the fuel pump should push fuel out the open end. Another way is to have someone by the fuel tank on the ground (be extra careful here), and turn the key on, just don't start the car. The pump should prime(making a noise). The last way is the hardest, and that's to disconnect the wires to the pump, and check them with a multi-meter. just turn the key on, and it should show power going to the pump. If the pump is making noise, or priming, have you checked the fuel filter? I have dropped a few tanks in my time, and the easiest way is to use a piece of 2 by 4 on your jack head to help support the tank, when going up or down with it. I hope this helps you.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010


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