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  1. #26
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking-Tall View Post
    Tapping the holes and threaded oil galley plugs are the absolute best answer, but not so much to do so after an engine is together... unless extremely careful with where the tapping operation shavings go... as in, NOT get into or remain in the engine anywhere. Years ago I removed all the pressed in rocker studs from the pair of '72 302 heads I was running, because one stud that hadn't been suspect when checking them all earlier ended up beginning to pull out later, and so I tapped for and installed 3/8 screw-in rocker studs and used Chevy rocker balls and nuts with the Ford rail rockers, after having rebuilt the engine a few thousand miles before that, and very, VERY carefully ensured that none of the iron shavings went down into the heads' coolant passages (stud rocker holes go into coolant) or were left to wander around the cylinder head tops...Good luck with it.
    Well, I was able to get all three oil passages tapped and plugged with the engine still in the car. It turned out perfectly, and now have 60 psi of oil pressure at around 1400 rpm on the distributor. Turned out better than I hoped.

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    I got everything back together today, and even swapped out my brand new rack assembly that leaked new out of the box. Now, the only issue.... no spark. I checked everything 3 times, and its all connected perfectly. I hooked my timing light up, and no spark with it connected. Swapped the coil, same thing. My MSD has its light on like it should. I am thinking that my ignition module went south. I got the distributor used from a friend with this module on it, so I have no idea of its history. I do know that it looks very old. As I crank the engine over, randomly I'll get some sound of ignition on the intake side (like a pop inside of the intake), but very rarely. No matter what, I get no light on my timing light as I crank, so no spark to the wires.

    I pulled the distributor to pull the front of the engine apart, but other than that, I haven't done anything that would cause the module to go south. I have good fuel pressure, voltage at the coil, and no spark at all.

    Anyone have a module just go south out of the blue, or do they typically act up intermittently? It was running pretty rough when it last ran, so maybe it was acting up then as well.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  2. #27
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    Yeah, those TFI modules are a poor design, especially the distributor mounted pieces. Is your TFI a Motorcraft piece? Normally they go bad when hot, but will work when cold. I'd check for spark going forward coil, then at distributor cap, then at a plug.. Also check the column mounted ignition switch and make sure it hasn't separated.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  3. #28

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    I've actually only seen one tfi module fail, and it was an aftermarket msd on a buddy's 4 banger stang. When it died, it just randomly wouldn't start. He went grocery shopping, said he was only inside 10 minutes and it wouldn't start, not even a block from his house.

    I keep a spare dizzy around with module in case one ever fails. 14 years and probably a half million miles between probably 14 cars, and havent had one fail me yet. Everyone else I talk to seems to have a bunch of problems with them.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  4. #29

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    http://sbftech.com/index.php?topic=588.0

    Follow this write up. 10 minutes in you will know whats up.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubn View Post
    Fortunately, I got my Cobra Mass Air Meter back yesterday, so I think I should be set. My camshaft isn't terribly radical, so running the Cobra ECU, stock Cobra MAF, and factory Cobra 24# injectors it should all run like factory (but hopefully breath a little better with my 2.02 heads, Intake, headers and exhaust).
    I'm curious to see how this works out. I've been under the impression anything you change like that should require a tune. I'm currently running A9P with mostly "Cobra" (Explorer) stuff. Erratic, I believe your advice to me was to simply swap to Cobra ECU and MAF, which I may still do. I'd like to cam it though so I'm not limited to stock Cobra performance. If I remember correctly, I believe I've heard Cobra stuff doesn't respond to mods as well as A9s do.

    Anyway, my SEFI engine has never run that well, but when I installed my EGR stuff back in, it made a significant improvement in its willingness to idle. So, take that for what it's worth. It certainly seems happier with it installed, and I can't believe having it there hurts performance much, if at all. Also, I see you have an MSD module. I know a guy that went through several of those and went round and round with their customer service. He was never able to get his car to run right with one installed, so he dumped it.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  6. #31

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    Tuning is always best but tuning is never cheap. The concept of make it run decent without tuning is why I suggested 93Cobra ECU with 24's and a Cobra MAF.

    It will work fine with a different cam as long as respect that it is EFI. Too much overlap will send you to tuning jail. I believe 110 is the limit. 112 or 114 or 115 is much more preferred by a MAF setup.

    Good luck getting your project wrapped up!

  7. #32
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Ok, I did some troubleshooting today, and I believe that I found that the module it toast. I checked primary voltage at the coil, and I have 12v there with the key on. I loosened the distributor, and disconnected the coil wire from the center of the distributor, and put a stock plug into the coil boot, and grounded it to the side of the block. With the key on, when I rotate the distributor about 40 degrees or so, I get a nice spark on the plug and I hear the fuel pump relay engage the fuel pump for about a second or so. Back and forth, getting good spark, and the fuel pump priming.

    So, that eliminates the coil, as it is giving good voltage. I believe that it also eliminates the trigger in the distributor, as both the plug fired, and the fuel pump was triggered. I did all this with the MSD bypassed, just to eliminate it from the equation.

    Now that I made sure that the coil makes spark, and that the car knows when the distributor should fire, I am thinking the only thing left is the actual module. After doing all of these tests, and bypassing the MSD, I put it all back to normal, and no spark at any cylinders.

    Just checking here to see if my logic is sound, or if I am missing something.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  8. #33
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    Indeed. Get some thermal compound and a Ford module and I'll bet you're back in business.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  9. #34
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Ok, so ran to Napa to buy a module, and they said they had a tester for my module... cool. Ran home, pulled the module, and ran back to Napa... tested it on their little tester... and it shows to be good... .what? So, I run home, check all fuses, reinstall the module, and I get a couple pops in the exhaust, but nothing on my timing light (its connected to the number 1 cylinder).

    So, I know that the testers can sometimes be strange, but not sure what to think. So, I bought a new module, but haven't installed it yet, since I can't return it if I do. I also bought an MSD Billet TFI complete distributor, that will be delivered to the parts store tomorrow, because I am wondering if maybe something else in the distributor is causing the issue. Trying to decide If I swap the module, or just wait on a complete distributor? Also, before I do anything, I wanted to check with you all here, and see if there is any other thing that could be causing the issue.... like the ECU? If I am getting the fuel pump priming when turning the distributor, is that any indication that the ECU is fine? Any other test I can do to see if the ECU could be preventing ignition, or have I done all I can? It feels like I've done everything, and even though Napa's tester shows the module as ok.

    One last thing.... if the rollover switch at the back of the car were to have been tripped somehow... does it cut off the fuel pump, or does it affect ignition in any way?

    Thanks everyone
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  10. #35
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    Inertia switch only kills the fuel pump, it's not in the ignition circuit.

    Here's my take on it. The TFI modules normally can't be tested at the parts stores, as I mentioned earlier they NORMALLY act funky once warm but test good cold. Your situation is different as yours won't fire cold. That would lead me to think possibly the PIP in the distributor. Have you ran diagnostics on that? Either way, I'd hold out and try the distributor since it has a new TFI as well - even though the MSD TFI will likely fail quicker than a Motorcraft piece.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  11. #36
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Well, I figured with me sweeping the distributor back and forth, and the fuel pump pumping everytime I sweep about 50 to 80 degrees (just a guess), I figured the hall effect/PIP sensor was ok, but maybe not. I am inclined to do exactly what you mentioned, and just get the MSD complete distributor tomorrow and see if that resolves it.

    So, I'm gauging that nothing in the ECU could be causing this, correct?

    Edit... I just confirmed that if the pump is priming, then the ECU is powering up and should be able to be eliminated from the troubleshooting.
    Last edited by vdubn; 01-21-2018 at 08:29 PM.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  12. #37

  13. #38

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    So the tfi modules go bad as they heat up. Have them test it 3 or 4 times in a row and ill bet it fails.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  14. #39

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    Nice work with the oil galley plugs





    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible 3.8L ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar 3.8L LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird 5.0L ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan 200-6
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT (390ci 4spd)
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang Fastback
    1974 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

  15. #40
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    I checked voltages at all of the pins on the TFI connector, and they all come back normal, so the wiring looks to be fine. So, from the looks of things, the ECU and wiring all check out. Looks like the PIP is difficult to test, so I will just plan to swap the distributor out tomorrow and see how that goes.

    This is tough, as it was starting without issue before I lost oil pressure, but it never did run perfect.

    Haystack... I had the guy at Napa test it twice, and it warmed up pretty good, but still passed. I am a bit skeptical of the testers, like what Ourobos mentioned, so hopefully I'm not wasting money... so far it all seems to be pointing to the Distributor. The module looks like an original Motorcraft part on this 1986 distributor I bought off a guy. No idea how many miles.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  16. #41

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    Is replace both tfi and pip if it were me. They work together.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  17. #42

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    I suspect your map has went. They have a diaphragm that gets brittle and they just go. It will make all the right noises and code scan fine (usually) but never fire.

    You can probably guess why/how I know this..... yep -- good old school of hard knocks.

    Also since you converted SD to MAF be sure you remove and plug the vacuum line and let it hang there open. Vacuum will make a MAF car run like crap. Rich is the main problem.

    good luck getting your beast to come to life again!
    Last edited by erratic50; 01-22-2018 at 07:10 AM.

  18. #43
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    My MAP sensor is brand new. No vacuum connected to it. Its from an 89 to 93 Stang. Could it cause a no spark condition?
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  19. #44

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    Would cause lack of fuel map to run.

    didnt catch that there is no spark.....

  20. #45

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    Map sensors and baro sensors are pretty much all the same. I went out to start my 320k mile or so cougar one day, and it was running super rough. Couldn't get it to really start, just a bunch of random pops.

    After troubleshooting I though my fuel pump went, but I still had fuel pressure at the rail. I got no map sensor code, but decided it was probably the issue anyways.

    Just for fun, I tried the one off my dads 460
    0 van. Fired right up and idled beautifully.

    I've also gice a map sensor to a stang guy broke down in the AutoZone parking lot from an sd car and his was a maf. Same thing there.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Tuning is always best but tuning is never cheap. The concept of make it run decent without tuning is why I suggested 93Cobra ECU with 24's and a Cobra MAF.

    It will work fine with a different cam as long as respect that it is EFI. Too much overlap will send you to tuning jail. I believe 110 is the limit. 112 or 114 or 115 is much more preferred by a MAF setup.

    Good luck getting your project wrapped up!
    Thanks! And good luck vdubn!
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  22. #47
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    The ignition system is a stand alone unit. Meaning, it will produce spark when it turns and is powered up.The computer has nothing to do with it working.
    If the fuel pump turns on when you turn the distributor, then the PIP is working. The computer only changes when the spark happens and does not make it spark. Those tester at the store are pretty much junk! I would not rely on them at all.
    You mentioned turning the distributor and it produce a spark. I'm not getting exactly what it is your saying. Did you have the distributor out, and was the spark plug hooked to the coil out put? If it, sparked then, it should spark when in the engine. If your not getting spark out through the cap to all of the plugs, then that is where you need to look.

  23. #48
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Well, to add insult to injury, I had this all typed up, and lost it.... awesome, so here goes again.

    I am fit to be tied with this car, literally about to give up. I have diagnosed a lot of stuff that seems much more complicated that this should be, and I am thinking it has to be something really silly. I have been working through as many test procedures I can find, and every one I've run, shows that everything is working just like it should. I bought a complete new MSD Billet TFI distributor, same exact issue, nothing changed. I still can't get spark to the plugs.

    So, tonight, here is what I tested, and the results:
    - Checked for voltage at the coil with KOEO, 12v
    - Checked ground between TFI plug and distributor body, perfect
    - Checked for voltage at TFI plug, on the wire for supply voltage with KOEO, perfect
    - Checked for voltage during engine cranking on the next pin down on the TFI connector, perfect
    - Checked voltage at the red injector wires with KOEO, perfect
    - Checked that the fuel pump primes with the key on, every time
    - Loosened the distributor clamp, with the KOEO, rotated the distributor back and forth, and the fuel pump primes repeatedly

    On a whim, I removed the distributor cap so I could see if the rotor was spinning smoothly. I also disconnected the secondary (high voltage) wire from the coil, and cranked the engine over. I got huge white arcing sparks from the secondary post on the coil to a close ground. Like 1" to 1.5" long arcs... awesome spark that was striking multiple times as the distributor was rotating.

    Dynodon64, I had a brand new spark plug connected to the other end of the coil wire (where it normally would connect to the center of the cap, the other -end still connected to the coil). While cranking the engine, got good spark. Now, the plug wires are brand new MSD 8MM Heli-Core Solid Suppression ignition wires, but through all of my tests, my timing light never flickers no matter which plug wires I have the pickup connected to.

    It would appear that everything should be working, but two things worth noting. No matter what, or where I connect my timing light, I get no flickering. Try it on another car, flickers without issue. Second, the car ran pig rich for about 20 to 30 minutes, because I had the wrong Mass Air Meter on the car. Is there any chance that all of my plugs are fouled so bad, that they would prevent the car from starting? I am guessing yes, but why won't the timing light flicker, totally stumped. The plugs are totally black, I checked a couple.

    I will buy new plugs tomorrow, and see if that fixes it. I am skeptical, but everything else looks perfect.

    One last thing, about every 10 crank rotations, I get a pop in the intake, like it wants to start, but still no indication of spark on the timing light.

    Is there any reason that the type of wires could be a part of the issue? Are there certain plug wire types that are not compatible with the MSD ignition systems? I know it sounds like I am reaching, because I am. I am desperate to figure out why I can't get spark to the plugs.

    I am totally lost and appreciate all of the help.

    Here is a pic of one of the plugs
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    Here is a pic of my plug wires:
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    Last edited by vdubn; 01-26-2018 at 12:48 AM.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

  24. #49

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    Since, process of elimination, your timing light checked out on the other car... they sense and flash when spark jumps the plug gap, so, your suspicion (and their appearance) of fouled spark plugs is quite likely. Fouled plugs are dead short circuits, not firing and/or bypassing the plug gap and sending "spark" straight to ground, not making the air:fuel go BANG. Try the new plugs, and good luck with it.

    Any time plug wires or the coil wire is suspect, get out your multi-meter and check how many ohms of resistance each has from one end to the other. Wire manufacturers usually supply the information somewhere about how many ohms per foot their wires have or should have... and also by process of elimination, if they do not connect at all when checking them, also known as zero (actually, infinity) continuity, there will be the no spark reason...
    Last edited by Walking-Tall; 01-26-2018 at 02:27 AM.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible 3.8L ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar 3.8L LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird 5.0L ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan 200-6
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT (390ci 4spd)
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang Fastback
    1974 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

  25. #50
    FEP Supporter vdubn's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike, I also found that the MSD wires I have are solid core wires, which MSD says is a no-no. I don't think that the wires are causing this issue, but it looks like I need spiral wound wires anyway, so I'll get those when I get the plugs and swap them out at the same time.

    I'll report back with my results. Thanks again.
    85 GT Hatchback, T-Tops. 2012 Coyote 5.0L Swap, T56 Magnum, GT550 Dept of Boost kit, with Eaton M122 SC, RAM 11" Powergrip clutch, BBK Long Tubes/OR X-Pipe, Flowmaster Axle Back, Stifflers DS Loop, and Rear X-member, AJE Tube Crossmember with AJE-Mod Mounts, 3.73 Posi 8.8, 5 lug Cobra 13" fr and 12.6" rear disc swap, 2004 Hydroboost Swap, MM SubFrame Connectors, MM Panhard Bar, MM front A-Arms, MM rear control arms, MM CC Plates, MM Coilovers w/Koni dampeners, MM Torque Arm (soon to be installed).

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