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96 F250 stall while plowing with MVP vplow

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by pcurtice, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. pcurtice

    pcurtice Member
    from Yooper
    Messages: 35

    I have a strange situation and am not sure if it is coincidence or not. Is it possible for my plows' electrical system to hamper my trucks electrical system related to the ignition system? On several occasions my truck stalled while plowing (pushing snow into bank). Interestingly enough on one time when it stalled I tried starting it and it was obvious there was no spark. After a few turns with the key it still wouldn't start. Plow was in V so opened it up to take a look under the hood to see if anything obvious was wrong. Closed the hood, started right up. A couple of more times after stalling, same thing. Operate plow up and down truck starts up. One morning it wouldn't start so lifted the plow up, truck started. After doing a repair not related to the ignition system truck wouldn't start. Today after a week of trouble shooting this no spark issue it came to me to operate the plow and then try starting it. Truck fired. Trouble shooting was hard on this one. I eventually started throwing parts at it, new ignition coil, ICM, and distributor this past week. Still no spark after replacing those items. So is there something I should look for in my plows wiring, connections, grounds, etc.? I am leaning towards something is loose on my truck and the movement of the plow and activity of plowing causes this intermittent problem. Maybe there is an issue with the plow? Tomorrow, weather permitting I plan on going over all connections and grounds on truck and plow but also wondering if anyone has had this experience before, and maybe some technical info to pass on to me. I presented the issue of no start no spark on a truck forum and unfortunately have had no luck in determining the cause. I have used trouble shooting tutorials, advise from those in the know, probed wires, connections, modules, etc. All I know is my truck wouldn't fire until I operated the plow today. The truck has been sitting for over a week with no activity. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Western1

    Western1 Senior Member
    from MI.
    Messages: 719

    Sounds like you could have a issue with the grounds. I would check over all the grounds and where plow wiring interfaces with truck.
     
  3. pcurtice

    pcurtice Member
    from Yooper
    Messages: 35

    Yep, thinking the same. Thanks. As far as the plow interfacing with the truck that I can think of would be where it ties into the headlamps, ground and power at the battery?
     
  4. Western1

    Western1 Senior Member
    from MI.
    Messages: 719

    Yes that's correct. Sometimes ground will go to something other than battery. Maybe try changing it? Keep us updated. Any other issues like voltmeter drawing done a lot with plow movement or dim headlights?
     
  5. averhoog

    averhoog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Are you sure it's not spark could be no fuel. But would def look into plow wireing try wiggling wires to try to get it to stall
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,319

    If the engine cranks then it's not a ground issue as the starter draws way more power than the ignition coils, ECU etc.
    Nothing electrical reflects the position of the plow. There is only the battery cables feeding the pump motor, the headlights and the ignition signal wire. You might check where the plow ign signal wire ties in. Maybe it's sharing a connection with the ECU fuse?
    Finally, maybe your mount is loose and rubbing on something or your plow cables are tugging on something as they pass through the grill and run through the engine compartment. If the mounts are loose the cables might be pulling a bit and in turn they could be pulling on OEM wires that they are tied to. All long shots.

    I would be troubleshooting from the other end. Figure out, for sure, what is stopping the engine. Is it actually a failing spark or no fuel pressure. Then check that system to see what is breaking down. Possibly you will find an association with the plow that way.

    I don't know of anything on the plow that would stop your spark other than bad battery connections but that would also affect the starter motor.

    This is an anomaly!
     
  7. pcurtice

    pcurtice Member
    from Yooper
    Messages: 35

    Yes Western1 it seems to draw a lot of amps during operation. I don't normally do my plowing at night because of this. Battery/alt can't keep up with lights on. It has been a concern of mine and I am thinking I need a new motor and or fresh battery. Plow moves fine but battery gauge does drop when operating the plow. I just plow my own place and do most of it during daylight. Never connected it those issues to this problem though.

    michnick, thanks for the response will check out what you recommended plus truck grounds that affect the ignition system.
     
  8. fhafer

    fhafer Member
    Messages: 69

    Check to see if your truck has an inertia switch. In a front-end impact, the inertia switch will cut power to the ignition...some cut power to the electric fuel pump.

    Hitting a snow bank hard enough could trip an inertia switch if it is installed.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. pcurtice

    pcurtice Member
    from Yooper
    Messages: 35

    Thanks for the input. Yes it has an inertia switch and interestingly enough the truck stalled 90% of the time coming into a bank in v position and usually with the blade on the rise to stack a bit higher. Same spot same bank on two occasions. I go pretty easy when I am plowing and take my time. I have heard that the inertia switch can go bad and I have seen it suggested to reset it or replace it for other issues discussed.

    I just got done cleaning up battery posts and connections to both posts, body ground, and shortly will be checking out the ground to engine block. The connections at the post needed some attention. The plow solenoid on my fan shroud looks like it can use a good cleaning also and that is on the list. Will keep you posted.
     
  10. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,319

    Wouldn't impact / inertia sensor trigger the airbags to blow in the cab?

    I was thinking about what could cause your plow cables to tug inside the engine comp. Maybe if you have the ultra 1 your lift frame bolts are loose allowing the headlights and hydro unit to move. That would pull on all the wires going in the grill, which in turn, would tug on whatever they are tied to.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  11. fhafer

    fhafer Member
    Messages: 69

    You can by-pass the inertia switch...youtube videos are online showing how to do it. I would try to by-pass it the next time you are out and see if the problem goes away. If it persists then you can eliminate the inertia switch as a cause.

    I cannot speak for all inertia switch configurations, but the ones I have worked with cut power to the fuel pump or fuel pump & ignition...they didn't deploy the air bags.
     
  12. fhafer

    fhafer Member
    Messages: 69

    Is your truck a diesel? Injection pumps have a FSSV...fuel shut off/safety valve. They open with 12vlt power to the injection pump, keyed to your ignition. This is how a modern diesel is stopped...usually. If your truck is diesel check for a loose connection, sometimes a spade connection, on your fuel injection pump.
     
  13. Western1

    Western1 Senior Member
    from MI.
    Messages: 719

    Keep plugging away. May end up being a couple of issues!
    Let us know!
     
  14. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,027

    In his post, he said looking for spark, etc. Diesels haven't had injection pumps like that in years. You need to check fuel pressure at the shrader valve text port. If good, check the fusable links at the starter relay on the wheel well.
     
  15. fhafer

    fhafer Member
    Messages: 69

    Funny, my 1994 diesel has exactly that kind of injection pump...now what year is he working on? Just sayin'
     
  16. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,027

    He's working on a gas engine, he said he had checked for spark. In 1996, the Fords had electronics running the diesels.
     
  17. fhafer

    fhafer Member
    Messages: 69

    Your right...check that starter relay fusible link. Gotta be it!
     
  18. pcurtice

    pcurtice Member
    from Yooper
    Messages: 35

    Thanks again for all the input. Will take a look at the starter relay fusible link. I am able to start it 90% if the time now. It idles for a bit of time then dies. Sometimes I lose spark. Always have fuel. Not sure if that is because it needs timing? Operating the plow is what gave it spark back yesterday. I just need to time it up now. By the way, the plow is an old Unimount MVP 8.5 vplow. I think I may have some bad wiring in a harness going into the PCM or ICM, Possibly the weight of the plow when I move it up and down, or in the act of plowing is shaking it up somehow causing a short. I read a bulletin on this type of behavior from Ford today and I may have to dig into a section of harness. We will see how she behaves after timing. The bulletin covered 95 trucks with 5.8L engine. Mine is a 96. It's doesn't seem to be to a too in depth process. This problem didn't rear its' ugly head until plow season started. At this time I would say the plow electrical system is not related to causing my problem. Operating the plow appears to have an effect on occasion. I have one nasty ground that needs attention on the engine block. It's solid but could be cleaned up. Thanks again. I'll post any news on the issue as it arises if you are interested.
     
  19. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,319

    The vehicle cranks fine after dying right? If it cranks and the lights stay on etc, then it's not going to be the fusable link because the starter solenoid, lights and electric fuel pump draw their power through that. The starter itself does not run through the fusable link but all the other stuff does.

    Now that we know it's a spark issue and not fuel we can forget about the fuel shut off system and fuel pump relay.

    Being a uni-mount plow we can conclude that it has the relay headlight controls and not an isolation module. That makes the wiring a bit simpler but still something must be tugging on wires somewhere....
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  20. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,970


    No, hell did they even have airbags back then?