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· FFCobra Owner
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854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a helpful suggestion and maybe someone has an answer as to why!
Driving the other day down to work and all of a sudden.....gone was my power! There was no warning , not a hint of an issue, but the car just died! I have had it happen 3 times in 5 years w the car. This TFI module just has a mind of its own. I understand it just is part if the deal, that there is no way to solve the potential for it going out. Is this 100% true?
Regardless, I am carrying one from now on w a sharpie, Allen wrench and call it my TFI emergency kit
The real issue isn't the replacement, but where and when the darn thing goes out! Imagine, 405 fwy at 75 , fast lane, and heavy traffic? Goes out, you are screwed!
Keep it in mind, is all I am suggesting.

Fred z
 

· Charter Member
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3,740 Posts
Fred Z,

If this is the first time you have owned a Ford that uses a TFI module I guess it is scary.

One thing I buy from the dealer is a Ford factory TFI module.

The aftermarket TFI modules are a roll of the dice.

You may get one that last years or you may get one that last months, but usually it's months especially if you drive it daily.
 

· Official OLD GUY
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3,877 Posts
Sharpie?

Not sure why the need for a "sharpie" but I'd make real sure you have the special tool to remove/install it and a small tube of the dielectric grease that is needed . . . That's what I carry in my Cobra survival kit.

Any thoughts to retrofitting your unit with the remotely mounted unit used in trucks? I'm thinking of looking into that as a winter mod . . . mounting it away from direct engine heat might help it last longer. There has been some discussion (albeit, inconclusive) about the original 5.0 radiator fan helping to keep an air flow on/over it . . . we don't have that option in our cars.

Doc :beerchug:
 

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739 Posts
I used to carry a spare TFI with tool in my 2.3 mustang. I had quite a bit of trouble with them for a while too. That car luckily had enough room I didn't have to loosen the distrubutor.

As others have indicated, heat is the problem here. I am sure you are using dielectric grease between the distributor and TFI to help disipate the heat? There was a Ford vehicle that got a remote mounted TFI from the factory (can't remember off the top of my head now). That may be a less expensive solution, though the link below looks very reasonablly priced.
 

· Moderator
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8,023 Posts
Fred sometimes the PIP can give the same symptoms. As noted above these are pieces that I would only buy from Ford and I would replace the PIP and TFI as a pair not just one or the other. The PIP is what the TFI plugs into in the distributor.
 

· section 8
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5,135 Posts
I'm with Mike on this one , been driving EFI fords since 1986 and never had a failure ! Scan test the car for erratic pip codes. You may also find if you are using a Ford distributor that you can buy a good rebuilt with those parts on it at a fair price from Napa or carquest. I've installed these on customer cars with no failures . Just be sure to get the correct gear when you order , or order the cast gear one if cheaper and swap the gear. Last time I check a quality module was almost 100 bucks. Matter of fact I have a Napa reman dist in the FFR 5 years and 6k miles . Multiple failures like you are having are odd, you really cant install it wrong , unless you forget the grease so that leaves poor quality parts.. Bob
 

· FFCobra Owner
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854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks boys. I am on it. I am getting the better of the TFI's out there and having an extra in the trunk. But, yes, I am planning on mounting it somewhere away from the heat. Now I feel much safer. That thing sucks when it goes.
appreciate all your help.
fred z
 

· 2010 FFCars Graduate
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Mine went out in a parade of all places. Slightly embarrassing. Was like some gremlin ran up under the hood and twisted the distributor 30 degrees. It was hot and with the slow parade it went out. It's located near the PS header so I replaced and wrapped the header with insulation. So far OK but I've given up on parades.
 

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4 Posts
Just a helpful suggestion and maybe someone has an answer as to why!
Driving the other day down to work and all of a sudden.....gone was my power! There was no warning , not a hint of an issue, but the car just died! I have had it happen 3 times in 5 years w the car. This TFI module just has a mind of its own. I understand it just is part if the deal, that there is no way to solve the potential for it going out. Is this 100% true?
Regardless, I am carrying one from now on w a sharpie, Allen wrench and call it my TFI emergency kit
The real issue isn't the replacement, but where and when the darn thing goes out! Imagine, 405 fwy at 75 , fast lane, and heavy traffic? Goes out, you are screwed!
Keep it in mind, is all I am suggesting.

Fred z
Use heat transfer paste on the back of the TFI module, NOT dielectric grease. Make sure that the distributor surface is clean and then apply a thin layer of heat transfer paste to both surfaces.
 

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Use heat transfer paste on the back of the TFI module, NOT dielectric grease. Make sure that the distributor surface is clean and then apply a thin layer of heat transfer paste to both surfaces.
I found that most parts stores don't know what you're talking about when you ask for the thermal paste - but if you go into any computer parts place they'll know exactly what you're looking for as it's used between the CPU and the heat sink in computers - and they'll have it in convenient small tubes for single use (or just order it off the web)
 

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I found that most parts stores don't know what you're talking about when you ask for the thermal paste - but if you go into any computer parts place they'll know exactly what you're looking for as it's used between the CPU and the heat sink in computers - and they'll have it in convenient small tubes for single use (or just order it off the web)
I can tell you from experience the thermal paste works. I removed a CPU once to clean a bunch of dust. Put it back together and it would run for a while then shutdown. The computer mechanic found it right away and I fessed up.

Ernest
 

· FFCobra Owner
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854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have it covered now and I thank you all for the help. I have 2 new TFI's at my guys shop and one goes in the car, and will be remotely located with some heat paste and be done with it all. I have the 2nd one in my road kit and with the tools to install if ever again necessary.
Again, you all rock.
thread over.

fred z
 
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