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98 Mystique (Mistake) No Start Help!!!!!

12-06-2006, 04:39 PM
I work in a shop with my father and we have been in business for 25 years. We have this 98 Mercury Mistique that has become the biggest headache for us in all these years. Let me tell you the story and you can see if you can shed any light on the situation.
2 Years ago the car got towed into our shop. It was owned by a young man from out of town. The car was leaking antifreeze and he had severly overheated it. He left the car with us and went home-we dug right in. A small 3 inch coolant bypass hose had a hole blown in it, it had leaked all of the antifreeze out and the headgaskets had blown. We did all of the neccesary work that involves the the head gaskets. We even put new timing chains and guides on the car. Did I mention that this is a 2.5 Duratech. Getting the cams alligned was a real bear of a job. Anyway, after all this work was done we fired the car up. The thing purred like a kitten!!!! The car was running great! I drove the Mercury Mistake around town and put about 20 miles on it. Things were looking good. This is when the story takes a big turn for the worse. I was returning to the shop during mile #21 and it started to run a bit rough then smoothed out and then got rough again. I pulled around back of the shop and turned the car off. I took a peak under the hood and everything looked ok. The car then did not want to restart. It eventually would start if you tried long enough, but it was getting harder and harder to restart every time. Eventually the problem got to the point where it did not want to start at all. We had so much time and parts wrapped up in this job, we needed to deliver it to the customer. Besides the point that the car stopped running, the kid from out of town decided that he didn't want the car anymore. He had given us the go ahaed on the work, and now decided that we should just keep it. There goes the pay check! Now we had to get it running so we could sell the damn thing to get our money back. we tryed to figure this thing out for a couple months and came up with nothing. We were so dicusted that we eventually pushed the thing back in the trees and threw a tarp on it. There it sat for 2 years. After many thereapy sessions (not really), we have decided to pull it out of the weeds and give it another shot. Here are some details to things that we had tried. Remember that it ran perfect after the major work was done.
It turns over, has compression, has spark, has fuel, no codes, starting fluid doesn't change a thing, computer shows readings coming from all major sensors, It has been a long time since we did anything to it that I can't remember everything that we tried, but if someone suggests some things I can tell you if we tried it or not.
If anyone can dawn some light or has some major experiance with these Duratech motors, you could be someones hero. I will personally deliver a fruitcake to your door if you can help. In the meantime that rope hanging from the tree out back is looking better and better.

12-06-2006, 06:30 PM
Timing the cams on the V6 is a bit of pain. Ford issued a TSB regarding how to time the cams. Im pretty sure the TSB is different than the original shop manual. Perhaps this could be why. I'll see if I can dig up the TSB from the actual Contour/Mystique forum on contour.org.

EDIT: Found it! This explains the TSB i was talking about.

12-07-2006, 10:19 AM
The car ran great for 20 miles, I am pretty sure the timing must have been on. Any other ideas?

12-07-2006, 10:57 AM
The car ran great for 20 miles, I am pretty sure the timing must have been on. Any other ideas?

If all sensors are working correctly and the 3 main plug harnesses located on the back passenger side next to the valve cover are tightly plugged in (many people including myself have thought they were plugged in only to find out I had to take a pair of plyers to make sure they were connected), then the only thing I can think of is, perhaps the injector wiring harness is cracked causing the injectors to arch and run full duty. 95-97 Contours/Mystiques as well as early 98s with the V6 duratec were susceptible to cracked insulation on the wiring harnes and there was a recall regarding this. Unfortunately, only 95-97 Contours/Mystiques were covered under this recall. This is also mentioned in the FAQs on contour.org. Pull the upper intake manifold off and inspect the injector harness.

12-10-2006, 07:46 PM
Any update on this?

04-15-2007, 03:48 PM
My mystique was read by other computers other than ford motor company machine!! I had to finally take mystique to the ford motor company to get the real codes for her problems. I had to replace the wiring harness and the transmission but no one else could tell me dear!! It is not you it is the tempermental car you have to fix. They for some reason are not able to be read from other computers.

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