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No start after timing chain replacement

TDI Ranger

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I need some help. Back in July I purchased a 2011 Ranger Sport with the 4.0 SOHC, The truck had a blown head gasket. I briefly heard the truck run it started up but ran with a miss. There were codes for cylinder misfire on #5+6.

I pulled the engine and sent the heads to a machine shop to be reworked. I purchased the OTC tool kit and valve spring compressor to set the chain timing. The engine was reassembled using the 2003 Ford service manual I have.

After the engine was put back in the truck it would not start, no codes, no PATS issues. I preformed a preliminary diagnosis and found there was no spark. There is a fuel injector pulse with a noid light but no spark. Referencing the 2003 service manual, for the diagnosis the CKP, PCM, and coil are the major components in the ignition system. The CKP is good, wiring good, coil is good, and proper voltage and grounds are good. I came to the conclusion the PCM had lost it's ability to close the ground on the coil. I replaced the PCM replaced with a used one and had it reflashed and PATS unlocked. No spark... I had 2 other really good technicians I know go over the truck. They came to the same conclusion. Bad PCM.

I gave up and took it to a Ford dealer with 3 master techs and informed them of everything that was done and told them to fix it. They diagnosed it with a bad PCM. I told them I wasn't convinced that was the problem but told them to go ahead. After several weeks I found out new PCMs are on back order until next year. I bought a remanufactured PCM from O'Reilly and they installed it. No Start....

I am being told the engine is out of time and it will be 23 hours labor to fix it. I am not beyond a mistake. I'm not perfect, but it was set per the 2003 manual with OTC tools.

Here is my question. Has something changed on the 2011 where the CMP is being used to control the ignition? On a lot of engines the CKP is the primary timing source and the CMP is a reference. The engine will run like crap with a failed CMP, but it will run. It will not run with a CKP failure. Using only the CKP, If the cams were out of time and somehow I didn't bend valves, wouldn't this be the same? If it was out of time it should still spark right? Just at the wrong time?

Help. I'm going to pick up the truck from the Ford dealer Monday. The first thing I'm going to check is the cam timing again. I'm really not expecting anything to be wrong, but.... I'm really at a loss. Does anyone have any information on the 2011 ignition system?

Thanks for the help
 
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Madman54

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No spark. So I am assuming that the engine does crank, and does not fire because there is no spark?
always check you battery. Although no tlikely to be the cause of this problem, it could be, and it could save you hours of frustration chasing a problem.

assuming the battery is good and fully charged.,...
start at the problem and work backwards.
not spark at the wire? how bout the ignition coil?
what about the circuit for the ignition coil?
many times the reference woltage and/or ground are shared between mukltiple sensors. a short to ground or power can cause these issues.

beyond that you would want to check the Crank sensor, which can be done (kind of) without an oscilloscope. then the Cam sensors.

its not usually very likely, especially in something that is that new that the PCM fails. It does happen, but not often.
Its even far less likely that you have a second pcm that has failed.
 

Uncle Gump

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Even if the engine was out of time... it should still spark.

I would pull a plug on each bank and run a compression test on them. That alone will tell you if the engine is timed correctly.

If you heard it run prior to pulling it... and after install it doesn't spark. I would think it would be something you fooled with at some point. After replacing the PCM a couple times and properly configuring the PATS system?? It's probably safe to say the PCM isn't your problem. You're left with a couple components... wires and connectors.
 

TDI Ranger

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I left some details out of the first post. Most likely I did something, or it could be bad luck. I just have to find it.

The battery is good. The engine cranks over really good and the voltage while cranking is acceptable. The PCM has roughly 10.8 v while cranking.

The CKP is putting out a signal. I am getting about 1+/- volt AC while cranking. A friend read the meter while I turned the key so I don't remember exactly. The wiring is ok from the CKP to PCM. I checked continuity and for shorts at both ends of the harness. There is a tach signal and the injectors pulse normally while cranking. I did not have a oscilloscope at the time. I have one now. I can test it when I get the truck back. I don't feel like this is the problem.

The coil has 12v power and I have continuity between the 3 signal wires to the PCM. No shorts between these 3 and any wires in the harness. I have a good ground between the coil pack bolts and the engine block and the battery The PCM is just not closing the ground at each section of the coil. New spark plugs and wires were on the engine.

After testing all of this is when I put the parts shot gun after it. I have known good parts from my other ranger which was running when the engine was pulled.

One at a time I replaced the coil, CKP, and even the CMP. No start.
This is when replaced the PCM. No start. At this point I was really frustrated. I had 2 other techs start over and look at the truck. They had no luck.

At that point that is when I took it to the Ford dealer. I searched out a dealer with a master tech, because I didn't believe a regular tech would find the problem. I explained the whole situation to them. I told them I didn't think it was the PCM but something else. A few weeks later I find out they diagnosed it as a bad PCM. I told them to go ahead. After the 2nd one was installed, no start. I was told the engine is out of time and it will be 23 hours labor to fix it. I am picking up the truck Monday and bringing it home.

So here is the big question. Does the cam position sensor affect spark on a 2011 4.0? According the the 2003 manual it does not.

Thanks for the help
 

TDI Ranger

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I picked up the truck from the dealer today. I was told it is out of time, and the CMP does control spark on the 2011. Anyway when I got home I pulled the driver's side valve cover and installed the timing tools. They fit just as good as when I timed it originally, but I did find a possible problem.
The crankshaft TDC mark on the balancer is slightly off from the pointer on the CKP. If the tone ring has moved, this would put the engine out of time. Has anyone ever had this happen with the stamped sheet metal type?

In the pictures the timing tool is against the block and in the proper location on the tone ring. The cam tool goes right in the camshaft and the CMP lobe is pointing up. I couldn't get a straight on shot of the alignment mark on the balancer.

I'm going to install a new balancer and check the timing again. I think something is wrong with the alignment of the tone ring.
 

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Uncle Gump

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I'm no expert with these... but I have a hard time understanding how the engine being "slightly" out of time causes a no spark situation.

I remember looking at one of these (older version) and the timing chains let go... It cranked like it had no compression but it still had spark.

@RonD not sure if you have seen this post... maybe there is something you can add to help?
 

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If the Crank and Cam sensors are not in sync then no spark, on some models and some engines
This was a software change, added in the early 2000's as far as I know
Didn't think the 4.0l SOHC had it, 3.0l Vulcan did, but I chalked that up to no oil pump if no Cam sensor signal, so best to stop the engine, sooner than later, lol

Cam sensor IS the "distributor" timing on distributorless engines, and no, or incorrect, distributor timing means no start, this has been true for 100+ years, lol

Cam sensors were not used on earlier fuel injected distributorless engines so just the crank sensor was used
And when cam sensors were first added you would just get a Code if it was out of sync with crank sensor
Cam sensor was required for lower emissions

Apparently a Ford engineer decided that an engine should not be "allowed" to start or run if crank and cam are out of sync, so not just a warning code anymore, tow truck required
 

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I have seen the outer hub on the crank pulley slide back and grind into the crank sensor, it may have also turned so the timing marks were out of position. It would be worth verifying that TDC is where the mark thinks it is before you do a lot more work.
 

TDI Ranger

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IT RUNS!!

I removed the radiator and condenser to gain access. I was able to get a better look at the alignment mark on the harmonic balancer. It does not line up to the pointer for sure with the timing tool installed. I removed the balancer and installed a brand new one I had. I wanted to check the timing with another one to see if there was a difference. Just out of curiosity I connected everything back up and put a spark tester inline. It started and ran! I couldn't run it but just seconds because the transmission lines were unhooked with no radiator.

It apparently was a defective harmonic balancer. How and why I don't know. Because I had a injector pulse with a noid light. I didn't change the cam timing. Tomorrow after work I'm going check the timing again with the new balancer and then put everything back together.
 

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Wow! Nice find. I'd have never thought that would cause a no-spark...
 

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Hmmm... I'm going to have to remember this one.

I know the early EDIS systems used a high data rate reluctor wheel. It developed a signature profile for TDC number 1 cylinder by having a missing tooth. Does this reluctor wheel have an odd ball tooth?
 

TDI Ranger

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This is honestly the last thing I thought it would be, especially since I have an injector pulse and tach signal.

Both have a missing tooth. The OTC cam timing tool fits in this slot. The original is the stamped sheet metal type and the new one is the type that has the groove machined in the balancer.
 
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Uncle Gump

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Well that makes more sense to me now. The ECM is looking for TDC of number 1 cylinder from the crank sensor AND the blip from the cam sensor to say it is on the compression. If there is a miss match it won't spark.

Crazy stuff... glad you found the problem. That's a real head scratcher.
 

TDI Ranger

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I rechecked timing with the new balancer. It is spot on. The timing mark aligned with the CKP pointer. Everything was put back together, cleared the fault codes I created and started the engine. It ran great for about 2 minutes then it started making a slight tapping noise. While I was trying to find the source of the noise, it started getting worse. At that point it decided to shut it down. Something let go and it got really, really bad before I could run around to the switch

The noise was coming from the passenger side. I removed the valve cover and found two hydraulic lifter collapsed. Nothing else looked out of the way. I removed the lifters. Took them apart cleaned them and put them back in. I disabled the ignition and cranked the engine to see if they would re prime. When I came back around to the engine, the camshaft had run forward half way off the roller followers.

After digging around the internet I found another case where someone went through this. They went through 3 camshafts before they figured it out. Apparently I installed a spacer backwards on the rear jackshaft timing sprocket. I don't know....

I am going to try my best to not have to remove the engine again. These 4wd truck with automatics are about the worst vehicles I have ever worked on. There is no room and everything fights you. Manual transmissions are so much better.

Is it possible to service the rear timing set in the truck?
 

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The simple answer is no.


Actually, the only answer is no.

Unless you'd prefer to remove the transmission and fight even harder than you already have. There's also the option of removing the cab, but you still have to separate the engine and transmission to get to all of the timing system.
 

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