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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 07-28-2012, 12:36 PM
1nwmike 1nwmike is offline
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'89 5.8L no start, no spark

My '89 F250 5.8L just stopped running about 15 secs after starting and wouldn't restart. My first thought was fuel problem, but then I found this forum and found enough info posted here to solve the problem. I thought I would share my story to help other newbies with the same problem.
I first pulled the coil wire from the dist cap and inserted a spare spark plug in the coil wire end, grounded the threads, and cranked the engine to discover there was no spark. Next I checked for power to the coil by using a 12v test light, clip attached to a ground and probe inserted into neg wire terminal on coil (wire closest to passenger side), turned key to on position test light came on bright. Next I cranked the engine to see if test light would blink, light did not blink, indicating problem in primary circuit, possible bad ignition control module or bad pickup (pip) in dist. (if light had blinked that would indicate a bad coil according to Haynes manual)
I thought I would remove the ICM to test, but had no tool to remove the two hex head screws holding it to the side of the distributor. Note: you need a deep socket either 5.5mm or 7/32", either will work, (I checked) but regular length socket won't reach the recessed bolts. I had to go to the parts store to buy the deep socket I needed ($4) so I decided to buy a new ICM ($47 lifetime warranty at Autozone). Note: color of new ICM should be same as original (this is also stated on replacement instructions). I was able to change ICM without removing the distributor but the dist had to be loosened and turned to access the old ICM, so first I marked the base of the dist and also location of rotor (with cap off) to preserve original timing when putting back in place. After removing screws holding icm you need to pull it straight down to unplug it from dist. New ICM came with small pack of di-electric grease to apply to back side of ICM to reduce heat transfer.
After putting everything back together my truck fired right up, a bad ICM was my problem. Thanks to previous contributors to this forum I was able to solve my problem and save hundreds in repair costs. I hope this post helps someone else do the same.
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