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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 08-19-2003, 11:20 AM
bettamanpj bettamanpj is offline
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Question Ignition Control Module replacement

I have had a no spark issue with my 87 5 liter f-150 for some time now, and ive replaced almost all of the ignition except the ignition control module...I bought the part and tried to install it yesterday, it is mounted on the distributer, but it is near impossible to reach, so i plan on removing a few radiator hoses to get to it this afternoon. But i was now told that i might possibly need a special tool to remove it, that it is not simply screwed onto the distributor?? Has anyone ever heard of this, if so what tool? I couldn't get a good enough look in there last night and i would like to know before i take off the hoses. Thanks for any help.
~mike
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:24 AM
fishin1976 fishin1976 is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

You need the ford ignition module tool. Most parts stores have them for $5 or $6 bucks. Most people remove the distributer to replace the TFI module, but if you can get to it without doing that, more power to you.
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:44 AM
blu blu is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

The tool is a socket with a turned down OD.

Its funcky size socket to get the mounting screws out like 7/32, 5.5mm or something like that- you need to grind the sockets outside diameter down to fit inside the counter bored hole in the TFI module. The socket size is the same as the hex seen on the outside of the distributor near the tfi (holds the PIP in place)(fyi-so you don't grind down the wrong size).

Pulling the distributor makes more sense. You need to clean the mounting area off so you get good thermal conductivity after re-installing the module- its easier to do this with the distributor out of the truck. The PIP sensor goes bad occassionally - this will cause a no spark condition as well.
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:14 PM
90f150moneypit 90f150moneypit is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

Also, when you remove it make sure you push it down from the distributor. It plugs in from the top and if you pull it straight out it will break.
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:21 PM
bettamanpj bettamanpj is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

blu...when you say good "thermal conductivity", do you mean between the back of the icm and the distributor or on the stabs on the side of the icm...should i use a dielectric on the back of the icm? from the looks of it, it is very possible to remove the icm without removing the distributor, if i remove the two radiator hoses, but we all know that with ford fuel injection, looks can be deceiving. I'll find out when i get home from work tonight.
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:09 PM
blu blu is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

On the back of the ICM - yes you want to use a dielectric compound on the back of the ICM - between it and the distributor.

Some coarse sand paper will scrape the old stuff off the distributor in a few minutes.

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edited content below
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In my mind its a lot faster to pull the distributor out and do the job outside the truck. Mark rotor position and distributor position. The screws are tiny - so don't over torque them when reinstalling.

Last edited by blu; 08-19-2003 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:50 PM
jimdelta jimdelta is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

THE TOOL IS CHEAP. I WOULDN'T PULL THE DISTRIBUTOR UNLESS I HAD TO. TRY THE TOOL FIRST. IF YOU OWN MORE THAN ONE FORD YOU WILL NEED THE TOOL AGAIN. THE NEW PART SHOULD COME WITH THE COMPOUND YOU NEED TO INSTALL THE PART WITH. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 08-19-2003, 10:58 PM
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c96drumm c96drumm is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

The modules I've bought came with a little packet of heat sink grease. Seems like that's what it was, anyway.
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Old 08-20-2003, 12:45 AM
Traderjoe28 Traderjoe28 is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

When I replaced the ICM on my '87 in-line six, I had a terrible time trying to get it out. I thought I was going to have to remove the distributor to do it. However, after realizing it was held in by a bolt and not a Phillips or slotted head screw, I used a 7/32" deepwell socket with a 1/4" drive and it was quite easily removed without having to remove the distributor (and therefore not disturbing the engine timing). The 7/32" deepwell has a reduced outside diameter for about half (or more) of its length, and is just long enough to reach into the recessed hole on the side of the ICM and take out the bolt.

My new ICM (from Autozone) came with heat-sink lubricant. Once you remove the bolt, the ICM just pulls out. You don't even need to remove the distributor cap. As stated before, clean up the heatsink surface area on the distributor as best you can, apply the grease to the new ICM, plug it in, and run the bolt back in to hold it. Reconnect the plug to it & you're done.
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:12 AM
fishin1976 fishin1976 is offline
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Ignition Control Module replacement

Its easy to do on a Inline 6, Not so easy, however, on a V8.
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:12 AM
 
 
 
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