Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 22:11:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ford Truck Enthusiasts List Server <>
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Subject: small-list Digest V2000 #160
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small-list Digest Sat, 30 Sep 2000 Volume: 2000  Issue: 160

In This Issue:
Re: Subject: Hotter Spark vs NO spark!
Re: Subject: Hotter Spark vs NO spark!


Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 02:08:00 -0400
From: "William A. Hopkins" <>
Subject: Re: Subject: Hotter Spark vs NO spark!

Ford TFI (Thin Film Ignition) modules, especially those that were
mounted on the distributor, were famous, no, NOTORIOUS for
failing.  It's a bear to get off, will set you back about 45
bucks for a nice NAPA substitute, but it's a simple plug in (the
body "plugs" into the distributor upon mounting and a five or six
wire connector plugs into the external wiring. You'll more'n
likely have to get a very thin walled socket (I believe it's 7mm,
but it's been almost 10 years ago since I had one on a
distributor, Ford finally took them from that location and mount
them on a heat sink on a fender).  Get a tube of heat sink
compound if you get one, the only place for it to dissipate heat
is on the distributor shaft housing it's mounted on.
You have enough documentation with the Chilton's to remove the
distributor, that will make life easier, you can probably just
take that part to a mechanic to check.
You can also check for spark by simply pulling one plug,
grounding the outside, hooking up it's normal sparkplug wire and
cranking.  If you see a decent spark, fairly in time with the
engine, then you don't have an ignition problem.  TFI modules
would either fail dead, or simply output a rapid series of very
weak sparks.  I'm surprised that you didn't get any failure
warnings, as usually one would start fine, buck and backfire like
hell as the engine warmed, and finally go completely dead within
a few hours or a couple of days.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: "Keith Christensen" <>
> Subject: Re: Subject: Hotter Spark vs NO spark!
> Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 21:12:54 -0700
> Are some of you guys'n'gals  psychic??
> This post almost made me go off the deep edge .   Right now I wish I
> had  "any/enough" spark,  my B II is sitting at work in the parking
> lot "without spark"..... nothing out of the coil. It ran fine
> ------------------------------


Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 23:07:33 -0400
From: "Theodore D. Mills" <>
Subject: Re: Subject: Hotter Spark vs NO spark!

The one time I had the TFI module fail on my 85 Ranger, it gave no warning
at all.

Started it up, backed out of the parking space, put it in drive and it died!

No start after that.

Had it towed to the shop that gets the work I can't or won't do.....

I could have handled the repair, but the 2.8 has the distributor in the
back like a &%$k*&^ Chevy.

I didn't even want to mess with it!

112K miles on the original module and about $200 plus towing that my
insurance paid for.


Aston, Pa

84 Mustang GT (in pieces)
85 Ranger XL 2WD 2.8L
91 F-250 XLT Lariat SC 4X4x460
94 Taurus LX wagon 3.8L


End of small-list Digest V2000 #160
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