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1988 ford van start problems

1988 Ford E-Series Van ford van starting problems

I have a 1988 ford van e150 302 that wont start. when it did start, it ran rough, then progress to needing start fluid to start. Now it cranks but wont start at all. it sat for almost a year with additves in gas but it does smell now unlike normal gas. it has sta-bil and gas line anti freeze as additives. A rail mount high pressure pump was put on two years ago. Could the hi-pres pump been installed backwards? Now it will not start even with starting fluid, just cranks and tries(pops and backfires a little sometimes). I towed in to a mechanic to get diagnosed. In regards to the 1988 ford van start problems, the mechanics said that fuel is bad and needs drained, that in tank pumps seem to have pressure(low pressure pumps). the rail (high press pump) they say tests 15-20 psi only. the want to drain tanks, replace pump and “go from there”. They also said a multitude of problems can happen from “bad gas” ranging from injectors needs cleaning to bent push rods, lifters and crank shaft can be damaged. All may need cleaned, fixed or replacing at and estimated cost of $1000 to $1800. does this seem a little fishy ? Could it need the timing set? Or injectors bad? Im stumped

If it won’t start with starting fluid, that pretty much rules out anything to do with the fuel system. Check for spark. If there is little or none, try an ignition module. They are cheap and easy to replace. You might even spring the three extra bucks at the parts store for the little special tool to remove the two bolts holding it in. Ignition module failure is fairly common on these trucks, so give that a try if you find little or no spark to be present.

The current mechanic sounds like he simply doesn’t have any desire to work on this vehicle, and is shooting you an outrageous line to try to get you to go away and take your van with you. Since he’s chasing you away, you might want to find a mechanic who really knows a lot about Fords to look at your van. This should not be hard to do as there are plenty of Ford guys out there who know these vehicles inside and out.

smell now unlike normal gas. it sat for almost a year

It sure sounds like the gas has gone bad.  If I am correct, you need to drain the tank and I would flush it with a little fresh gasoline.