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no spark for my windstar

04-09-2008, 01:20 PM
hello all im looking for help from this great site. i have an 99 windstar lx 3.8 and im having an crank but no start problem. i removed an spark plug wire an grounded it an i had no spark. i was told crank sensor so i change that an no good. tested the coil pack tested good but changed that also checked the wires they are also good. i have power going to the coil pack so the relays must be good :screwy: so what am i missing thanks for you help :banghead:

04-09-2008, 04:12 PM
Of course, you need to veryify fuel pressure at the fuel rail ... does it wet a shop rag at the Schrader valve when the engine is off? (CAREFUL !!!)

Also some voltage at one of the pins on the coil connector (I'll look at the wiring diagram, if needed, for more detail). There's also the cam sensor on top of the "synchronizer" ... kinda behind the alternator.


04-09-2008, 05:25 PM
Hi 12 ounce first thing i did was check to hear if the fuel pump was was coming on. The next thing i did was spray starter fluid into the intake when cranking. I also had 12 volts going to the coil with the key forward but no spark at the plugs thanks for your reply

04-09-2008, 05:41 PM
If the pump make noise, you likely have pressure, but I would check the rail to make sure.

That leaves the cam pos sensor as a "low hanging fruit".

04-09-2008, 06:47 PM
Camshaft Postion Sensor (CPS) location.

I have it labeled "cps" in yellow print in the picture.
Things around it may look a bit this is my '96 3.8L......but yours will have the CPS in the same location.
You can click on the "+" in the bottom right corner of the picture to zoom in so that you can see more detail.

Zoomed in, you will see 2 small bolts on the TOP of the nylon body of the CPS.
These are the ONLY bolts that you should remove when changing the well as unplugging the electrical connection.
The bolts down by the the base of the mount should NOT be touched, as this will result in problems getting it lined back up correctly.

In short.....the CPS is Easy to change.

As far as spark......the coil pack contains 3 coils.......each coil secondary winding fires 2 spark plugs.
The primary coils are driven DIRECTLY by the PCM (computer) on the Windstar......
The PCM provides a ground path for 1 end of the primary coil......and the other end of the primary coil is connected to +12 volts.

The fuel injectors are driven the same way......1 end of the coil in each fuel injector has +12 whenever the ignition key is ON......and the other end of the coil in each fuel injector connects to the PCM.....and the PCM provides a momentary ground to energize the fuel the correct sqirt of fuel.

It IS worth checking to see if you have fuel pressure at the test point at the middle of the front of the fuel rail.
The fuel pumps have been known to fail....
Of course.....a good fuel filter is a must.......

If the battery is might drop down in voltage when you crank the motor......and not have enough voltage to keep the fuel pump running.

Fuel problems are common.

Total loss of spark is not real common (loss of spark to one or 2 cylinders is not uncommon).....which is why folks have mentioned the fuel system.

I have reminded you....but I am guessing that you have done some test to make certain that you do not have spark.....and not just guessing.....and want to give you a "what to check next" in case plan "A" does not work. case you find that you do have spark.....and it is not step would be to verify fuel pressure.

I have most likely given more explanation than needed....but I am trying to make the explanation help others who read this post.

04-09-2008, 06:58 PM
When you turn on your key, does your Engine light Lite up?
Fuses under hood next to battery, look in manual for the correct ECM control fuses. A test light on Ground, and testing each side of the fuse should lite the test light, with them powered. If you dont know, When the fuse is plugged in, ther are little metal tops that you can touch with a testlight to see if they are blown. No need to pull them out if you have a light.
ALSO, The TRS sensor can cause a no start because it powers a few things.. Like if you disconnect the TRS, You have no dash lights, Nothing at all inside with the key on.. TRS is Transmission Range Sensor.. or Net saftey switch under your Intake rubber, on top of your transmissions case connecting your Shifter linkage..

Cam sensor will also kill things as stated.. Check easy to hard and let use know, whats you get out. Voltages? Power here there etc.. All of us are good at what we do here! Stay Positive and work smart, simple things are always worth looking at first!

There are some sensors that turn on the fuel pump, so make sure that is pumping.. Make sure you have a good ground when checking for spark and do NOT try to look for spark without the PLUG GROUNDED!! Not resting on the engine! You can FRY a MAF or even the Coil Pack from an ungrounded Plug, arcing somewhere else getting to ground, which will kill anything electronic, sensors etc..

Ive had a ford winne in the past has a dirty nasty crank sensor plug due to water, and dirt gettin in ther because its so low to the ground.
The connections inside the pins were green way inside..

If anyone needs help, some odd questions, just PM me.. Ive worked on just about everything alfa, rolls, benz, Ferri, Lotus, suki, Mack, Hino, GM, Ford alot of exotics..
Been all over the US to headquarters of many Companies. Electrical Diag, ABS, Reprog Vmack, airbag sys, ETC ETC just about every system out there.. Retired Master, and Still learning as this field is always getting changed around..

04-10-2008, 05:48 AM
thanks all ill be up and running real soon with all the help i received i will give the cps a try today. I hope i can help someone out like you guys helped me (

10-18-2010, 12:16 PM
I had the same symptoms. My problem turned out to be a faulty crankshaft position sensor. It was rusty/corroded.


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