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Post Info TOPIC: Fuel Pump Troubleshooting for 86-90 Mustangs

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Fuel Pump Troubleshooting for 86-90 Mustangs

The following assumes thaty you are going EFI.

Fuel Pump Troubleshooting for 86-90 Mustangs

Clue listen for the fuel pump to prime when you first turn the ignition switch on.
It should run for 5-20 seconds and shut off. To trick the fuel pump into running,
find the ECC test connector and jump the connector in the lower RH corner to

If the fuse links are OK, you will have power to the pump. Check fuel pressure
remove the cap from the Schrader valve behind the alternator and depress the
core. Fuel should squirt out, catch it in a rag. A tire pressure gauge can also be
used if you have one - look for 37-40 PSI. Beware of fire hazard when you do this.

No fuel pressure, possible failed items in order of their probability:
A.) Tripped inertia switch press reset button on the inertia switch. The hatch
cars hide it under the plastic trim covering the driver's side taillight. Use the
voltmeter or test light to make sure you have power to both sides of the switch

B.) Fuel pump power relay located under the drivers seat in most stangs built
before 92. On 92 and later model cars it is located below the Mass Air Flow meter.
C.) Clogged fuel filter
D.) Failed fuel pump
E.) Blown fuse link in wiring harness. All the applicable fuse links are in the wiring
harness up next to the starter solenoid.
F.) Fuel pressure regulator failed. Remove vacuum line from regulator and inspect
for fuel escaping while pump is running. If you find fuel escaping, the regulator has failed.

Theory of operation:
The electrical circuit for the fuel pump has two paths, a control path and a power

Control path:
The control path consists of the inertia switch, the computer, and the fuel pump
relay coil. It turns the fuel pump relay on or off under computer control. The
switched power (red wire) from the ECC relay goes to the inertia switch
(red/black wire) then from the inertia switch to the relay coil and then from the
relay coil to the computer (tan/ Lt green wire). The computer provides the ground
path to complete the circuit. This ground causes the relay coil to energize and
close the contacts for the power path. Keep in mind that you can have voltage
to all the right places, but the computer must provide a ground. If there is no
ground, the relay will not close the power contacts.

Power path:
The power path picks up from a fuse link near the starter relay. Fuse links are like
fuses, except they are pieces of wire and are made right into the wiring harness.
The feed wire from the fuse link (orange/ light blue wire) goes to the fuel pump
relay contacts. When the contacts close because the relay energizes, the power
flows through the contacts to the fuel pump (light pink/black wire). The fuel pump
has a black wire that supplies the ground to complete the circuit.

[B]Remember that the computer does not source any power to actuators, relays
or injectors, but provides the ground necessary to complete the circuit. That
means one side of the circuit will always be hot, and the other side will go to
ground or below 1 volt as the computer switches on that circuit.[/B]

Diagram of wiring for 86-90 Cars

Diagram Courtesy of Tmoss and Stang&2birds

See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring

Ignition switch wiring

Fuel pump, alternator, ignition & A/C wiring

Computer,. actuator & sensor wiring

Now that you have the theory of how it works, its time to go digging.

Power circuits:
Look for 12 volts at the Orange/Lt. Blue wire (power source for fuel pump relay).
No voltage or low voltage, bad fuse link, bad wiring, bad ignition switch or ignition
switch wiring or connections. There is a mystery connector somewhere under the
drivers side kick panel, between the fuel pump relay and the fuse link.

Turn on the key and jumper the fuel pump test connector to ground as previously
described. Look for 12 volts at the Light Pink/Black wire (relay controlled power
for the fuel pump). No voltage there means that the relay has failed, or there is a
broken wire in the relay control circuit.

Check the Red/black wire, it should have 12 volts. No 12 volts there, either the
inertia switch is open or has no power to it. Check both sides of the inertia
switch: there should be power on the Red wire and Red/Black wire. Power on the
Red wire and not on the Red/Black wire means the inertia switch is open.

Pump wiring: Anytime the ignition switch is in the Run position and the test
point is jumpered to ground, there should be at least 12 volts present on the
black/pink wire. With power off, check the pump ground: you should see
less than 1 ohm between the black wire and chassis ground.

Control circuits:
The Tan/Lt Green wire provides a ground path for the relay power. With the test
connector jumpered to ground, there should be less than .75 volts. Use a test
lamp with one side connected to battery power and the other side to the
Tan/Lt Green wire. The test light should glow brightly. No glow and you have a
broken wire or bad connection between the test connector and the relay. To test
the wiring from the computer, remove the passenger side kick panel and
disconnect the computer connector. It has a 10 MM bolt that holds it in place.
With the test lamp connected to power, jumper pin 22 to ground and the test
lamp should glow. No glow and the wiring between the computer and the fuel
pump relay is bad.

If all of the checks have worked OK to this point, then the computer is bad. The
computers are very reliable and not prone to failure unless there has been
significant electrical trauma to the car. Things like lightning strikes and putting
the battery in backwards or connecting jumper cables backwards are about the
only thing that kills the computer.

Fuel pump runs continuously: The tan/ltgreen wire has shorted to ground. Disconnect
the computer and use an ohmmeter to check out the resistance between the light blue/orange
wire and ground. You should see more than 10 K Ohms (10,000 ohms) or an infinite open
circuit. Be sure that the test connector isnt jumpered to ground

-- Edited by wheels at 14:31, 2008-11-05

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