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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Walk of shame ... twice!!

Help. I posted before that on Saturday the car died close to home requiring that I rely on the kindness of others to push it back to the garage. That one was an easy fix as the positive battery cable end had broken. Got that fixed Sunday morning.
So we grease up with the sun block and drive 30 miles to a car show. No problem. Drive almost all the way back and stop at a store to buy something then she would not start. Turned over but did not catch. Only coughed a few times. I noticed there was no sound of the fuel pump. We happened to be at a Canadian Tire and a couple of mechanics came to look but did not want to roll it into the shop as they said they wouldn't be able to get it on their lifts (whatever). CAA came but he didn't want to load it because he was afraid of doing damage with his winch cable to the front end. Anyway, nice CT guys helped push it onto the flatbed and we got home. This morning, on a hunch, I tried it and the fuel pump ran and it started. What is going on? Vapor lock? Before you say it we all had a go at banging the gas tank to jar the pump into life. That did not work.
It is a 1988 5.0 with Cobra intake, converted to MAF with 24# injectors, cobra computer, 95mm MAF, 65mm Edelbrock intake. It has always been hard to start when cold.
The walk of shame twice in one weekend was a tough one to swallow. Fixed that with a couple of beers.

All input welcomed as usual.

Thanks

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:05 PM
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On my fox body 'stang, the fuel pump relay failed a time or two. I always carried a spare as it was easily accessible under the drivers seat. If you just hold it in your hand when you turn the key you can feel it click if it is working.If you are sure the pump isn't coming on, I would start there, but if the pump itself may be starting to fail it might still be intermittent. Otherwise, the inertia switch could be suspect although it is unlikely it reset it self, but who knows - I have seen stranger things.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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On my fox body 'stang, the fuel pump relay failed a time or two. I always carried a spare as it was easily accessible under the drivers seat. If you just hold it in your hand when you turn the key you can feel it click if it is working.If you are sure the pump isn't coming on, I would start there, but if the pump itself may be starting to fail it might still be intermittent. Otherwise, the inertia switch could be suspect although it is unlikely it reset it self, but who knows - I have seen stranger things.
OK thanks. The relay wouldn't fix itself overnight would it? I do wonder about the fuel pump. I think it is original. How would I test that? The inertia switch was new with the build. I did check that at the time and it hadn't been tripped.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:43 PM
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Lets start with the basics. Yes, check the relay. If it over heats, it will not click on. So it could fix its self over night. My money is on the fuel filter.

My MKII with pretty much the same engine has the hot air intake issue. It starts fine, and while moving, there are no issues. Once in traffic or stopped, the idle jumps till it dies. Then it will not start unless you give it some gas. Moving the air filter forward is my next project.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:00 PM
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OK thanks. The relay wouldn't fix itself overnight would it? I do wonder about the fuel pump. I think it is original. How would I test that? The inertia switch was new with the build. I did check that at the time and it hadn't been tripped.
If the relay cools down it can work. Run the car & see if the relay gets excessive hot.


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:06 PM
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With the EEC-IV when you turn the ignition to on the pump will run for a couple of seconds to charge the lines then shut off until the ECU sees a signal from the TFI module indicating that the engine is cranking. The usual failure mode for the TFI modules is to occur when hot---sometimes "healing" themselves when they cool. I'd be suspicious of the TFI module...

Good luck,
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:56 PM
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That's true also, and a good possibility. The problem with intermittent faults is you can't fix it until it quits. It is easy and cheap enough to throw a new relay and tfi module on it. and see what happens. I hate "shot-gunning" stuff like that but when you weigh it against the inconvenience of getting stranded on the side of the road , sometimes it makes sense.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Lets start with the basics. Yes, check the relay. If it over heats, it will not click on. So it could fix its self over night. My money is on the fuel filter.

My MKII with pretty much the same engine has the hot air intake issue. It starts fine, and while moving, there are no issues. Once in traffic or stopped, the idle jumps till it dies. Then it will not start unless you give it some gas. Moving the air filter forward is my next project.
Thanks. I will check the relay and maybe just replace.
Not so sure about the fuel filter. Although not impossible it has only had one tank of gas through it.
Didn't know about the hot air intake issue. How would this stop the fuel pump from running?
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JKleiner View Post
With the EEC-IV when you turn the ignition to on the pump will run for a couple of seconds to charge the lines then shut off until the ECU sees a signal from the TFI module indicating that the engine is cranking. The usual failure mode for the TFI modules is to occur when hot---sometimes "healing" themselves when they cool. I'd be suspicious of the TFI module...

Good luck,
Jeff
Thanks Jeff. Always value your advice. Is there any way to test the module?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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That's true also, and a good possibility. The problem with intermittent faults is you can't fix it until it quits. It is easy and cheap enough to throw a new relay and tfi module on it. and see what happens. I hate "shot-gunning" stuff like that but when you weigh it against the inconvenience of getting stranded on the side of the road , sometimes it makes sense.
So true

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:48 PM
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TFI issues

As always, I 100% agree with Jeff . . . the TFI could be your culprit here.

They are known to [sorta] fail in the way you describe - go ahead, ask me how I know this). Ford lost a law suit because of heat related failures with the TFI module.

There is a way to test it but not conclusive because it doesn't take in to account the heat soak issue.

So, that being said, there is a way to [maybe] recover it if you get out there on the road and it quits on you - carry a water bottle that you have frozen over night, pour it over the TFI module and it probably will recover.
Another fact about the TFI: IF you are running the "grey" colored module, even if it won't "crank" start, you should be able to push start the car.

This method won't work with the "black" module.

There are a few solutions to this issue with the factory placed TFI module, the best is to relocate it to an off-engine place - that is what I did to mine after two episodes exactly like yours . . .
Here's mine, relocated to the PS footbox



And the block off plate to cover its old mounting location:



HTH

Doc

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:59 PM
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Thanks. I will check the relay and maybe just replace.
Not so sure about the fuel filter. Although not impossible it has only had one tank of gas through it.
Didn't know about the hot air intake issue. How would this stop the fuel pump from running?
I am not fully convince that the fuel is the problem. With my car the pump only turns on till there is pressure and then it turns off. I have a fuel pressure gauge in the engine bay that has helped me with similar issues before. After you crank over the car for a couple of tries, smell the exhaust for fuel smells. That would be a good low tech way of checking if you are getting fuel to the engine. I assume that you have checked the ignition also. I was stuck on the side of the road for a while because the coil to distributor wire came loose. It looked good, and then when I pushed down, it went click.

Also, there is no shame being here. I have been on the side of the road way too many times. Now days, I take the kids out and we go over everything in the engine to make it a learning experience. Then they talk back to me with funny sayings like, "didn't you replace the spark plugs yesterday" and even, "You know they make a click sound when you push them in." Kids these days...
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 10:12 PM
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On my old GT, I had issues at different times with both the TFI module as Jeff pointed out as well as with the relay as sread pointed out. When my relay went bad, with it being under the seat, I could usually bang on it a few times and get it to run.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 10:13 PM
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TFI Testing

IF you really want to test it . . .




Doc
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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As always, I 100% agree with Jeff . . . the TFI could be your culprit here.

They are known to [sorta] fail in the way you describe - go ahead, ask me how I know this). Ford lost a law suit because of heat related failures with the TFI module.

There is a way to test it but not conclusive because it doesn't take in to account the heat soak issue.

So, that being said, there is a way to [maybe] recover it if you get out there on the road and it quits on you - carry a water bottle that you have frozen over night, pour it over the TFI module and it probably will recover.
Another fact about the TFI: IF you are running the "grey" colored module, even if it won't "crank" start, you should be able to push start the car.

This method won't work with the "black" module.

There are a few solutions to this issue with the factory placed TFI module, the best is to relocate it to an off-engine place - that is what I did to mine after two episodes exactly like yours . . .
Here's mine, relocated to the PS footbox



And the block off plate to cover its old mounting location:



HTH

Doc
Thanks Doc it does help. Have ordered the module. It is good to know there is a temp fix for the grey module if it happens again. Did you buy a relocation kit or fab that yourself? If a kit can you suggest a supplier?

Steve
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:48 PM
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Steve,
I'm using the McCully Racing relocation kit but a search for them wasn't any good. LMR has a kit. Also Summit Racing and more. Just search for TFI relocation kit.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Steve,
I'm using the McCully Racing relocation kit but a search for them wasn't any good. LMR has a kit. Also Summit Racing and more. Just search for TFI relocation kit.
George
Thanks George. Hope all is well there. Are you on the road now?

Steve
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:52 PM
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TFI Relocation

Here's the link to the vendor mentioned (I don't believe a FFCars vendor):

McCully Racing Motors- We have exactly what your over-heated TFI Module Needs!

( - probably going to get myself in trouble for posting non-participating vendor links - )

OR

Scour the bone yards / pick-a-part lots for the one FORD made for this issue. (Bronco's and Rangers - early 90's) don't forget to get the "extended" harness.



Built my own block-off plate from 1-1/2" aluminum 90° angle

Doc
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Big Blocker View Post
Here's the link to the vendor mentioned (I don't believe a FFCars vendor):

McCully Racing Motors- We have exactly what your over-heated TFI Module Needs!

( - probably going to get myself in trouble for posting non-participating vendor links - )

OR

Scour the bone yards / pick-a-part lots for the one FORD made for this issue. (Bronco's and Rangers - early 90's) don't forget to get the "extended" harness.



Built my own block-off plate from 1-1/2" aluminum 90° angle

Doc
Thanks. Module and kit ordered. Special tool to make removal easy only 4 bucks. Lets hope this fixes thee problem. Not fun getting stranded.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 04:07 PM
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if you did not do it yet I would also change the fuel pump relay, they do fail intermittent sometimes.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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IF you really want to test it . . .




Doc
Hi Doc: Well old module tested OK but it was cold of course. Considered putting it in the oven but I am replacing it anyway.
So your block off plate: Did you seal it to keep out water or is it just to stop wasps building nests in the dizzy?

Steve
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 01:20 AM
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Block off plate

Keep the Wasps out, of course . . . now that there is funny.

Didn't seal it at all, just there to keep most of the dirt out. It's been on the car a few years now with no issues. I don't tend to do a lot of driving in torrential down pours, not sayin' I haven't been caught in one but . . .

If you build one, as opposed to buying one from McCully, the hardest part is getting the hole for the leads big enough to keep the leads from shorting out against it . . . a little trial-n-error worked for me.

FWIW, once a year I do a complete nut-n-bolt session on the car and one of the things on the list is blow/clean out the dizzy PIP area.
Everything in the dizzy is hermetically sealed cuz it's an electronic part.

Also FWIW, I believe the FORD spec for failure is 254°F. If you are interested in the law suit wording,

go here --> http://www.mustangsvo.org/fordnews/2...ettlement.html



Doc

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed??

So have replaced and relocated the TFI module. The relocation kit was a little finicky but fairly straight forward. Had to bend the spade connectors to get them to fit tightly in the distributor. Turned the key and after lots of cranking she fired up. I guess only a long drive will let me know if I have fixed the hot-no-start problem.
Obviously this does not seem to fix the cold start issue. Seems to take a lot of attempts to get her going. Fuel pump runs every time I turn the key. Is it possible it is never getting up to pressure or leaks down fuel pressure when it has been sitting?
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Now three times!!

Well took the car for a long drive to see if replacing the TFI fixed my issue. It didn't. Ended up stranded on the side of the road for three hours while the tow trucks (three of them) tried to figure out how to load and tow it. The first one wanted to winch it by the quick jacks. Um, no.
Anyway it is now at a trusted garage. I give up. Hopefully it won't be too painful. Was driving fine again till it started coughing and sputtering and eventually died. Would turn over but not catch.

Grrrr!!
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 05:08 PM
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When you relocated the TFI, did you replace the faulty one with a new FORD (Motorcraft) unit? or even a cheap Chinese unit from the autoparts store?

Next thing in line would be a fuel issue as you stated that it "sputtered" to a stop - low fuel pressure will make an EFI engine do that as opposed to just shutting off, which is more ignition related. As fuel pressure drops in the rails, the engine will "sputter" and hesitate, might even backfire due to the lean condition.

Doc

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 05:42 PM
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Well took the car for a long drive to see if replacing the TFI fixed my issue. It didn't. Ended up stranded on the side of the road for three hours while the tow trucks (three of them) tried to figure out how to load and tow it. The first one wanted to winch it by the quick jacks. Um, no.
Anyway it is now at a trusted garage. I give up. Hopefully it won't be too painful. Was driving fine again till it started coughing and sputtering and eventually died. Would turn over but not catch.

Grrrr!!
I feel your pain. FWIW I keep a 10' by 3" nylon strap in my trunk and loop this over the front 4" cross tube and then have the flatbed guy hook to the strap. I keep my foot on the strap while he winches the car to keep the strap off the body work. Have never had a guy say I can't do it this way. If I do I'm calling another truck. Scott

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Big Blocker View Post
When you relocated the TFI, did you replace the faulty one with a new FORD (Motorcraft) unit? or even a cheap Chinese unit from the autoparts store?

Next thing in line would be a fuel issue as you stated that it "sputtered" to a stop - low fuel pressure will make an EFI engine do that as opposed to just shutting off, which is more ignition related. As fuel pressure drops in the rails, the engine will "sputter" and hesitate, might even backfire due to the lean condition.

Doc
Yep thanks Doc. As a matter of fact it did back fire quite a bit instead of accelerating this last time. Garage thinks it is the fuel pump. At this point I just want it done.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Scott: One guy did have a strap but wasn't sure about the pressure of the strap on the oil cooler opening. Final solution was to roll the front wheels onto 2X4 scraps and use the wrecker to lift and tow it. Guy said he wasn't allowed to tow convertibles. The other driver pointed out that it is not a convertible but a roadster. Anyway the second and third operators were very professional and just wanted to make sure no damage occurred. Took some time.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Guelph, Ontario
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Solved?

For anybody still munching popcorn and following think the shop solved the issue. New fuel pump. Picked it up yesterday and it started first turn. Drove great. Got home and let it sit in the hot sun for a while. Still started first turn. Won't really know till I take it for a longer drive but there is already a noticeable difference.

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:56 PM
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Did you check your relay temperature after the run? would be interested to know how warm/hot it got


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Kevin

Raleigh, NC. MK-IV 8243 Coyote (2014)/TKO-600
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