The car is definitely an '88 3.6L V6 Thunderbird but has at some time had
the engine replaced.
This engine matches the car in terms of hoses mechanical connections etc and is a 3.8 FI V6. But I want (need) to exchange the Ignition control module.
Well it ain't where my Haynes manual says it should be, clamped to that flat part on the distributor (the flat spot is!). and so far I've searched under the hood for any of the ignition modules ever used on thunderbird 3.8's as far as I know with no success, the coil Is there and it and the distributor look standard TFI IV.
Anyone got any suggestions where I might look? :banghead:
How is it mounted to the distributor? Is it screwed in? Dunno what "clamped to" means... I'm just thinking it may be right.
The flat spot on the distributor is there but there's no ignition module
connected to it, by screws clamps or anything else and no electrical
connecters of the right type anywhere near it.
That's my point. I can't find the Ignition control module anywhere under the hood so far. Maybe the use of the phrase 'clamped to' was a little inaccurate but since there;'s nothing there, clamped or screwed to is what it's not
If the car was retrofitted with a 3.8 V6, it may have a remote ignition
module which is about 3 inch x 3 inch and bolted to the metal of one of
the wheel wells or inner fenders.
Oops, sorry :oops:
??? Why can't you trace the wiring from the distributor to the module? not the plug wires. Don't understand.
Cuz were not as smart as you, lol. :sleep:
Cause the wires from the distributor go to a single plug then disappear into a harness that goes back towards the firewall where it joins a bigger harness that seems to serve just about everything in the engine compartment. Same thing with the wires from the coil, which finish up in the same harness. I assume the ones from the module wherever it is do tha same thing!
What exact distributor do you have in that engine?
I'm not exactly sure how I tell, I don't recall any markings, Cerrtainly the '1' that's supposed to be on the cap by the 1 cylinder terminal (as per the Haynes book) is *not* there. But maybe a photo will help? I'll take one tonight and post it.
"scratchin butt, no I mean head" :laughing: Well, if you don't want to remove the wire loom to trace the wiring, you can always go to a telco supplier and purchase a tone generator and a inductive amplified probe. The gererator will emit a 1khz tone on the wire(s) to which it is connected, the probe will identify the wire when the probe is placed on the insulation of the correct wire(s) to which the generator is connected. I WOULD disconnect battery and ECM. :2cents:
It looks exactly like the Cardone 302688 shown at:
If you look at that you'll see the flat place where the control module is supposed to be screwed on. but just like this picture mine has no module there. Suggesting to me that it is elsewhere and should look like on of the standard modules used on this car. Can I see it anywhere though? - Nope!
Did you search the firewall? Look for a square box, maybe colorful, on the firewall...
Maybe something on the firewall like what you see in the bottem left-hand corner of that picture.
Theres a reason it's not there come to think of it. Ford had a recall for the modules because they got fried from the heat when mounted there. They even tried including an heat dispercing paste to put on the distributor in a failure of an attempt to stop the module mounted on the distributor from frying. I guess someone fried 2 or 3 like I have in the Crown Vic and got fed up and moved it. Or they stuck on a performance one like in that picture above and it's on the firewall or cleverly hidden from theives because it runs close too $300... :2cents:
I did look for that model, it's listed in my book, couldn't see it but I
got the impression that model needed a distributor with vacuum advance,
which mine don't have. I'll do another search tonight.
Thanks for the ideas.
Both my former 94 Areostar and my 92 CV had the remote modules
I will have to do a little research to tell you if your 3.8 has a vacume advance or not.
I'm doubting it does have a vacuum advance... :2cents:
The distributors on the older 3.8 V6 with feedback carbs had vacume
The car equipped with EEC-IV ECMs (Newer 3.8 L V-6) built from 1989 and later had a remote module on the radiator support bracket or the fender well and no centrifugal advance. Timing and saprk advance is done by the ECM (I am familiar with this system since I had it on the Areostar I mentioned) Do you know if the replacement engine was 1989 or later?
1996 and later had DIS (distributorless ignition) similar to my 1992 Crown Victoria
If by radiator support bracket, you mean the cross member which amongst
other things has the latching mechanism for the hood in it then you got it
right. None of the books I read even hinted at this, but there it was in
front of the radiator on the passenger side so neatly bolted into a heat
sink it didn't even look like the module I was seeking.
Thanks to all.
Oh and it didn't solve the cutting out problem. In fact the recovery wait time is now up to an hour or more. So something's shutting me down and refusing to let me start until it has cooled. Suggestions so far are Engine Control Module wich is a shop replacement part. This is now interfering with my work schedule so maybe that's the solution!. :ohcrap:
What do you mean by a shop part?
My Haynes book says don't try to replace this yourself, have the dealership do it.
I would suspect a reluctor or hall effect pick-up plate in the distributor
or a crankshaft or camshaft position sensor before I would suspect the
Have you checked for trouble codes?
Exactly, they're very exspensive. I've only known of about..3 to go bad. They're the last thing you should think about replacing. :2cents:
The cutout and taking a long time to cool and restart sounds like what happened to an 86 Dodge I had when the pick-up plate went bad in the distributor.
I guess I'll find out. It's become such a pain I have the local ford dealer running a diagnosis on it today. Hopefully their diagnostic computer will come up with an (expensive) answer. :ticking:
let us know what he finds
Well so far he claims that the 'aftermarket' Ignition Control Module I
installed is giving weak signals and he wants $300 to replace it. A $50
part that takes 5 minutes to change (I did it in that time).
I have told him to run the car 'til it fails and then try seeing what's causing the problem. Because I'm convinced they just tested it by starting it and putting the computer on without waiting for it to fail.
This is an official Ford Dealership.
Maybe it's time to see if Ford have a complaints process since I spelt out the problem when I left it there and he read it back to me.
Well this morning after the dealership claimed it fixed, I was in the
middle of a 1/4 mile long tunnel (West Rocks for anyone who knows CT) when
the motor died yet again. I manged to roll to the end of the tunnel and
pull over (whew) and had the dealer send a wrecker to rescue it at no
charge, and Loan me a car to get to work. Now he has today to come up with
a plausible explanation why he didn't find the problem since the report he
gave me contained a very accurate description of the fault as I told him
about it first time.
From those print outs I have more ammunition as to why he didn't diagnose it first time - thanks. I will probably let him do the diagnosis this time and then say "Nope can't afford it" and take it away and fix it myself :)
More to come......
You should have never gone to the dealership. :cussing: Come on man, you
should know better than that. :screwy:
:laughing: sucks doesnt it.. :laughing:
Yeah I know. But it's gone on so long and as a consultant I was losing
income hours over the thing. Now I'm driving a *free* loaner from the
dealership and earning again while they look at it and try to figure out
what's going on.
Well they seem to have fixed it. Runs a bit rough but it no longer cuts out or refuses to start - Well it didn't yesterday anyway. The dealer claims they replaces the stator to achieve that. and after my mishap "NO CHARGE" So we'll see Now I jyst have to stop the oil pan leak.
It's the sensor in the distributor that sends the timing pulses to the Igniition control module.
Hehe well *that* problem is fixed. I still have Oil leaks, slightly rough running undr load and I need to replace the tranny filter and rear brake shoes but all of thos now look relatively simple except the s3als on the pil pump and rear pinion. And even those I know where they are. :heh:
Some of it's done.
Rotor Distributor cap wires and plugs all new. But I should probably recheck plug gaps cause this is when the problem first started.
Fuel filter was changed twice in the last 3 months because the original was full of some nasty red powder substance and within a week of changing it my son ran the tank dry so for the low cost I thought it expedient to do again. Previous one didn't show any foreign deposits on changing.
I do have to put the link in and check the codes.
Then I'll go on to other things
I guess I also have to do the RH engine mount as the dealer replaced the LH one and now they are showing (vibration) signs of bein inbalanced.
But tonight I have to install a water heater for a friend so it'll be later in the week :rolleyes:
Water heater is working and I ran a code check on this (I think it's OK but
just checking. KOEO gave a fast flash then 11 11 pause single flash 14 18
14 18. I think that's the memory from before the ignition was fixed since
14 & 18 are Ignition errors.
Just have to stop the oil leak without removing the transmidssion and replace the right Engine mount. (left one's been done and now there's vibration from the other.
It sounds like you are on target. Those codes are ignition system related.
Code 18 in particular is probably the reluctor/pick-up failure in the
distributor which the stealership (I mean dealership) fixed. This means
the rough running issues are more than likely the tune-up related issues I
Lift the negative battery terminal for a few minutes and clear the codes. Allow the car 15-20 miles the next time you drive it to relearn how you drive.
Oh man! That means I have to do the radio presets again! Before the kids get their obnoxious stations set in.
sounds like my 14 yr old