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'89 460 dies suddenly while driving?

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:25 AM
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Exclamation '89 460 dies suddenly while driving?

For the last two months my truck has been trying to die while driving and this morning it finally did. I will be driving along just fine and i'll hear a sound (whisper "shoe" fast and emphasize the "sh") coming from my warped and ticking exhaust manifolds. I'll look down and see the rpm's drop to zero and then come back up again and everything will be fine.

Once it did the same thing only it backfired with a loud pop also.

The only real hint I can give you is that in the 4 times this has happened I was either coasting or on a long downhill with very little throttle. The time it backfired I was on the interstate, I climbed a hill with quite a bit of throttle and then let off completely when I got onto an off ramp.

This morning when it died completely I pulled over and tried restarting once. It didn't fire so I jumped out and popped the hood (once this happened to me in an old suburban and I found a smoking wire that was a big hint so I wanted to be fast). I didn't see anything obvious so I got back in the truck, it started right up and I drove it 5 more miles in to work with no problems.

I definitely get an electrical feeling over a gas problem, what do you think?
If I have to start diagnosing tonight after work I think i'll start with the distributor.
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Gone - 1990 F250 XLT Lariat RC LB 4x4 302/M5R2 - 1951 F1 w/226 - 1962 F100 w/223 - 1989 F350 XLT Lariat CC LB 4x4 460/ZF-5 - 2004 Explorer Limited AWD 4.6l - 1982 Bronco 300/6 4WD 4spd
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:32 PM
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If it helps this happened to me again on the way home tonight.

I was sitting at a light idling, the light turned green so I started through the intersection and the truck died about 3/4 of the way through.

I tried to start it and it just cranked, tried again, cranked, tried again, same thing. So I sat there for 30 seconds, tried it again, cranked and did the same waiting 30 seconds in between 4-5 times, nothing.

I opened the hood, checked the connections at the distributor, pulled the SPOUT connector, plugged it back in (it wasn't loose I was just making sure). I got back in the truck and it started right up.

Since i'm mentioning the SPOUT connector, i'll mention that my truck has the timing issue where I can't advance my timing because when I disconnect the SPOUT the truck won't keep running. I guess most of you can pull it and the truck will keep running while you change the timing. When I pull mine the truck dies instantly. Maybe this is connected, maybe not?
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1996 Crew Cab Short Box 7.3l Powerstroke
2004 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4 - Wife's

Gone - 1990 F250 XLT Lariat RC LB 4x4 302/M5R2 - 1951 F1 w/226 - 1962 F100 w/223 - 1989 F350 XLT Lariat CC LB 4x4 460/ZF-5 - 2004 Explorer Limited AWD 4.6l - 1982 Bronco 300/6 4WD 4spd
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:53 PM
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Another hint for you;

The problem has gotten worse but is now very consistent. I've driven four times since yesterday morning. In all four drives, the truck drove about 5 miles and died. It then takes about one minute before it will fire again. Messing with the SPOUT connector does not appear to make a difference and this lat time it happened I was on the throttle climbing an incline so it's not just when i'm coasting.

My guess is that since it has to wait 1 minute before it starts that something must be getting hot that doesn't like to be hot? But once I start it up again it seems to drive fine for a long time, if something was getting hot in 5 miles, I would think once the truck is warm it would get hot again even faster???
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1996 Crew Cab Short Box 7.3l Powerstroke
2004 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4 - Wife's

Gone - 1990 F250 XLT Lariat RC LB 4x4 302/M5R2 - 1951 F1 w/226 - 1962 F100 w/223 - 1989 F350 XLT Lariat CC LB 4x4 460/ZF-5 - 2004 Explorer Limited AWD 4.6l - 1982 Bronco 300/6 4WD 4spd
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:20 PM
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The symptom you describe is a difficult one to figure out. You need to determine if you are losing fuel pressure or spark. I really suspect the latter. Two common causes of sudden loss of spark is a faulty TFI module or PIP (stator) inside the distributor. The hard part is figuring out which one is the root cause. There are a few troubleshooting procedure you can use.

I like this one the best: Ford Ignition Module Test. Fender Mounted Module (ICM).

This is a good one too: How to Solve an EFI No Start

Invest in a spark tester:
Click the image to open in full size.
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