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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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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007, 11:18 AM
pmipmatt73 pmipmatt73 is offline
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ignition system problem 88 ford f150

i have a 1988 ford f150 5.8L 351 windsor engine.

im not getting any spark at the plugs. i had auto zone check my ignition module and it was fine. we also just got a new ignition coil. i have a volt meter and im getting some kind of power through all the wires leading to the distributor, but im really not sure how much voltage is even supposed to come out of the ignition coil. i have a spare ECC and i swapped it but it didnt help. my spark plug wires, distributer cap, rotor and spark plugs are all pretty new.

not sure if this is the correct way to test power coming out of the coil but i put a spark plug on the ignition coil wire and grounded the plug while turnin the engine over and i didnt get any spark out of it.

anyone have any idea what could be going wrong?!?!?! this has ben bugging me for awile.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:10 PM
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More than likely you have a bad pick-up coil (AKA PIP Sensor) in the Distributor. You will have to replace the distributor with a rebuilt one.

But first make sure you are getting power to the Coil with a test light.

Here is a link to a diagram of your system.
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g9...tion/PG025.jpg
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:47 PM
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ok i am getting 12 volts to the coil but i think there may be something wrong with the ground wire. when i take the ground wire out i get 12 volts of current off of it(negative), but when i plug it in the coil it doesnt read 12 volts negative it reads 12 volts positive. i did the spark plug test on the coil wire, and i didnt get any spark. i read the volts coming out of the coil wire (to distributor), 12 volts. and i really dont think the coil is bad because i replaced it, and the same thing is happening.

so basicly im not getting enough current out of the coil. and its acting strange.

Last edited by pmipmatt73; 07-16-2007 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:49 PM
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Like I said above it sounds like you have a bad "PIP Sensor" (AKA Armature, AKA Pick-up coil, AKA Hall effect Stator device, AKA Hall effect vane switch) inside of your distributor.

The above is true if you also have a good TFI Module on the Distributor.

The above talked about Item (PIP Sensor):

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by subford; 07-16-2007 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:18 PM
pmipmatt73 pmipmatt73 is offline
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oh alright. so even though there is no spark coming out of the ignition coil....it still has something to do with the distributor? i think i kind-of understand because i looked at this and another (easier to understand) diagram from a haynes manual. ill try it and see what happens
thanks alot for your help.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:21 AM
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nope. that wasnt the problem. bought a brand new distributor and still no spark at the plug or the coil. and the ignition coil is still doing that thing as i mentioned above.

any other ideas? ive ben researching about it and trying to figure it out but so far i dont have anything.

Last edited by pmipmatt73; 07-17-2007 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:49 AM
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If you have a new Distributor (and it is turning) with a new PIP sensor in it, a new Ignition Coil, Power at the Coil with a good Coil Plug, Good wiring then it has to be the TFI Module.

Do not buy it at auto zone, get it at a Ford Dealer or a salvage yard with the Motorcraft brand on it.

I have run into a bad plug on the Ignition Coil more than once for this problem.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:14 PM
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that didnt solve my problem either. ive ben reading out of a haynes manual and its pretty brief on some of the things i have to do....

however i know that

1. my ignition control module harness is fine and im getting good current through its wires i checked it with the help of a haynes manual.

2. my "key on" wire to the ignition coil is working. the other wire has 12 volts negative while its unplugged from ignition coil, turns into 12 volt positive when plugged into coil.

3. i replaced ignition coil, ignition module, and distributor with all brand new parts.

still same problem... no spark out of ignition coil. (is there a quick way to check ignition coil? maybe its crap???)

this is weird... (at least i think so)

so can anyone give me some advice on what the next step is? i really appreciate your help.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmipmatt73
2. my "key on" wire to the ignition coil is working. the other wire has 12 volts negative while its unplugged from ignition coil, turns into 12 volt positive when plugged into coil.
I have no idea what you are talking about here. There is not 12 volts negative anyplace on your truck.
The Ignition Switch puts 12 volts positive on the BATT side of the coil. Power flows through the coil windings and out the TACH side and is grounded by the TFI Module when it sees a PIP pulse and delays the grounding with information from the SPOUT. The TACH side sometimes has a (-) on it but this just meant it went to ground.

You may also want to burn the Haynes manual when you are done an get a good Ford Manual for your truck.
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Last edited by subford; 07-17-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:48 PM
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ok thank you for clearing that up for me i didnt know how it worked. what confused me is some mechanic cut off the plug leading to the ignition coil. now it has two wires that fit on it (not bare wire it has fittings on each end.) i just thought that that side was negative and the other was positive.

however i pretty much have a brand new ignition system that doesnt work. i have no idea why. and i cant find out whats wrong.

now that i dont have any parts to point the finger at... how would i go about checking the wiring system???
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:59 PM
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Just for kicks why not pull out the SPOUT jumper and see if it makes any difference.

Also put your test lights point on the TACH side of the Coil with the wire clip on a good ground, crank the engine and see if it flashes.

VOM (DVM) meters are not much good when working on the Ignition system so if you do not have a test light buy one or make one.
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Also put your test lights point on the TACH side of the Coil with the wire clip on a good ground, crank the engine and see if it flashes.
Is this in-line with the negative coil wire, or just probe with it connected? Wouldn't the test light just ground the coil if the negative wire was still attached to the coil and be on all the time?
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPNCSU2006
Is this in-line with the negative coil wire, or just probe with it connected? Wouldn't the test light just ground the coil if the negative wire was still attached to the coil and be on all the time?
With all of the wires hooked up the test light will flash as you crank the engine probing the TACH side. No not in-line with the negative coil wire.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:48 PM
pmipmatt73 pmipmatt73 is offline
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when i tested it the light turned on without turning the engine over or anything. and yes the light did kinda flash but i think that was because when i turned the engine over the starter drained up the power.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:12 PM
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The test light should be on until the TFI grounds it then the light will go out completely. While cranking if it just dims the TFI is not working.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:12 PM
 
 
 
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