94 Escort 1.9 manual. Ignition system failure

Tiny
DBEARS.
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD ESCORT
Ok, I'm not used to Fords, my last car I restored was a 92 300zx. It was totalled 2 months ago and my buddy threw me his old Ford. Here's my story.
I've got a 94 escort LX 1.9L *Standard Trans. When I first got the car I was like, wow, it's pretty beat up, but ran okay. I looked at everything, Fluids, relays and cleaned the battery terminals up. I get ODB lights such as "Check Engine" and "Fuel Cutout", but those have been on when the car was running fine. Also it used to cut out when the A/C was on, but cleaning all the terminals fixed that. I noticed that the Lock cylinder was a bit sticky or that my key was a little odd shaped, but it still turned the cylinder, everything in the car had power; the only problem was the ignition (START) did not kick in. I dissasembled the steering column and took apart the ignition switch. In that switch I noticed that one of the prongs was melted a little lower than normal, it seemed to be made that way from the factory, but I wasnt too sure.

My friend told me that I had to leave the key in the run position and press down the clutch pedal ALL THE WAY DOWN, to start the starter, (activating the clutch saftey switch). Now when I got the car, I didn't need the key to start the starter. ANYONE could just jump in the driver side and press down the clutch pedal, and my starter would activate, except the car would not RUN without the key. Wierd? (Maybe short circuit? Or blown relay?) Well after much fidgiting and cleaning, I made the fatal mistake of removing a fuse I thought didnt work WHILE THE CAR WAS RUNNING. It was the "Fuel Inj 30amp" FUSABLE LINK in the engine compartment. Since then my car wouldnt start, I replaced all of the fusable links, checked all fuses, and replaced the shorted out starter.

I've checked the voltage on plenty of things.
The Battery (when car is off) [ + & - ] gives me 8v
The clutch saftey switch seems to be working properly, when depressed gives 0.00 OHMs (complete contact)
I also tested the [+ & -] to the Starter, it read 8v. But when the key was turned to the START position and the clutch was depressed, it read 1.8v

This problem is really kickin my ass; I thought I checked almost all the relays, and when the key is turned to the run position, they all click. The only problem is the 2 relay switches on the passenger side firewall in the engine compartment, i've been lookin for replacements for those 2 but havent seem to found what they actually are yet. I took them to the ford dealership and they hooked me up with different ones, like they even knew what they were talking about. *Sarcastic Their answer was "Yeah this must be it, we sell alot of them"

I tried to test the starter by hooking up a wire & fuse from the [+] battery to the starter, and the negative, bypassing the solenoid switch. The starter gear shoots up once and does not turn (maybe low voltage?). It does it every time I make the connection. But is that normal?

****There is also a relay switch in the same fuse box as the "Fuel Inj 30amp".I looked at the wiring diagram in the service manual of where the ignition wires go, and it appears it might lead to this relay called "Cooling Fan" [H270 dc12v20a]

any ideas?

I thank you for your time and support!
-Alex McL.
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Sunday, October 22nd, 2006 AT 4:23 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JANDCMICONI
  • MEMBER
This is a pain, but I had an Escort with similar problems. After $2,000.00 of supposed repairs, I found the problem in the wire harness. There was a direct short. If you let it go, you will eventually fry the entire harness. The harness last time I checked was $1,200.00! I rewired the harness myself. Everything is fine now. Get the schematic, and trace each color wire. Good Luck.
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Tuesday, October 24th, 2006 AT 3:05 PM
Tiny
RAGS729
  • MEMBER
Start by getting a full 12 volts, 8 volts isnt enough to turn the starter and run the other electronics in a 12 volt system.
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Thursday, October 26th, 2006 AT 11:29 AM
Tiny
DBEARS.
  • MEMBER
Soo I checked the OHMs of the starter cables when I disconnected the battery. Seems there is a short somewhere :(. Ive been in and out of the car checkin every relay / fuse / wire for shorts. But I think my friend from the shop says hes got a "short finder" dunno how well that'll do but its worth a shot. Ever hear of such a device?
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Thursday, October 26th, 2006 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
JANDCMICONI
  • MEMBER
Start at the top of the wireharness, working your way down, unraveling it as you go. Carefully perform a visual inspection of the harness. Two wires may have an open when should be closed.
This requires patience, you may have to pull more than one wire thru the harness. If you find a defective one, chances are there may be a second, third and so on. Either one or both may cause the drain on the battery.
I may be out of it, and it may exist, I have not researched the device your friend is talking about.
Good Luck
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Thursday, October 26th, 2006 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
DBEARS.
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I really appreciate your help, soon as the weather heats up a bit ill get to it.
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Monday, November 6th, 2006 AT 4:41 PM

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