Bronco Forum - Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been chasing down one grimlin after another with this thing. Just finished ZF swap, headers and MSD upgrade/timing bump. 1st timing was way off, but she would run. Reset timing just in time for fuel pump(in-tank) to go out. So replaced both of them just to be sure. Plenty of fuel pressure out of the pump, and at the rail. So I pulled the plugs to be sure I was getting fuel in the cylinders. They were wet and BLACK which makes me think I'm not getting near enough (or none) fire, but am def getting fuel. Then I checked the plugs and I've got spark, but it's real weak(orange/small). Should this be enough to start the BKO? Would the spark be weak due to the dirty plugs(even though they are brand new)?

I've heard about a lot of problems with the MSD's, but the onlything I've been able to find through searching is people having probs with the 6A. I only replaced the coil, cap, rotor, wires, and plugs, but didn't use the 6A. Has anyone had probs with the MSD coil? If so, wouldn't a bad coil cause NO spark rather than a weak spark? Any input would be appreciated, thanks:thumbup
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,995 Posts
I just swapped in a new stock 302 EFI motor and went with MSD ignition parts for the 2nd or 3rd time IIRC using 9mm FMSR wires and I haven't had any problems so far but there's always a possibilty of bad products....... My MSD coil is 48K volts and after the 500 mile break in I'll be able to tweek it up using Sixlitre's igniton & timing upgrade.
These are usually 12v coils, you only need about 8 volts to start so anything under that would cause a problem but it sounds more like a possible TFI module, fuel pressure regulator or fuel injectors (check for elec.connector resistance) or plenum leak did you happen to pull codes from the PCM, you are running EFI in that 89 right......?

What brand plugs and gap are you using........................?

:thumbup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just swapped in a new stock 302 EFI motor and went with MSD ignition parts for the 2nd or 3rd time IIRC using 9mm FMSR wires and I haven't had any problems so far but there's always a possibilty of bad products....... My MSD coil is 48K volts and after the 500 mile break in I'll be able to tweek it up using Sixlitre's igniton & timing upgrade.
These are usually 12v coils, you only need about 8 volts to start so anything under that would cause a problem but it sounds more like a possible TFI module, fuel pressure regulator or fuel injectors (check for elec.connector resistance) or plenum leak did you happen to pull codes from the PCM, you are running EFI in that 89 right......?

What brand plugs and gap are you using........................?

:thumbup
Where is the TFI? fuel press regulator is new. Only code I got was an EGR code(which I've had forever) PCM is also brand new. Yes, EFI. I just used the cheap autolites gapped at .055 for the timing bump. I thought this could have something to do with the weak spark since I've set my timing back at 10 BTDC, that and my battery being weak. But like I said, I've heard of frequent MSD problems, but can't find any info on the specifics and details of those problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,991 Posts
You haven't searched.

http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125566

Yes, I have had an MSD Coil go out and I note that the newer coils are manufactured differently. Test your coil and look for a BIG spark from the ignition box while testing that. MSD Ignition seems to work well when working, but the reliability for the cost is questionable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You haven't searched.

http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125566

Yes, I have had an MSD Coil go out and I note that the newer coils are manufactured differently. Test your coil and look for a BIG spark from the ignition box while testing that. MSD Ignition seems to work well when working, but the reliability for the cost is questionable.
Actually... yes I did. And I read that thread, and just read it again. I clearly stated that I did NOT upgrade the ignition box to the 6A, which is what that thread mostly describes. My primary question is, if I have a bad MSD coil, will it throw weak spark or none at all? You say your's "went out", does that mean it just quit or got very weak?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,991 Posts
My MSD TFI Coil failed completely, 1 week after warranty was up. Test your primary and secondary resistance on your coil. If it isn't within spec, replace it.

After I replaced my bad coil, my truck still would not start. I then had my MSD TFI tested, (which is located on my MSD Distributor), replaced it with a Motorcraft TFI and all was well.

Here's the catalog specs on the MSD TFI Coil, PN 8227:
Turn ratio 85:1
Primary Resistance .44 ohms
Secondary Resistance 5.5 K ohm
Inductance 7 mH
Max Voltage 48 K V
Peak Current 300 ma
spark duration 250 us
 

·
Practicing Infidel
Joined
·
15,299 Posts
Check the two (sometimes three) wire plug

that feeds the coil. Check the wires to it too. NAPA sells new plugs with 18 gauge pigtails you can splice in.

Ford's repair plug has 10 gauge wires running to it. Never burned up another coil after that repair.

Sixlitre
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My MSD TFI Coil failed completely, 1 week after warranty was up. Test your primary and secondary resistance on your coil. If it isn't within spec, replace it.

After I replaced my bad coil, my truck still would not start. I then had my MSD TFI tested, (which is located on my MSD Distributor), replaced it with a Motorcraft TFI and all was well.

Here's the catalog specs on the MSD TFI Coil, PN 8227:
Turn ratio 85:1
Primary Resistance .44 ohms
Secondary Resistance 5.5 K ohm
Inductance 7 mH
Max Voltage 48 K V
Peak Current 300 ma
spark duration 250 us
So the TFI is the actual coil? (sorry, new to ignition stuff) I'll check the specs out today. Thanks for the info. If this doesn't work, I'm dragging her to the Stealership tomorrow.:banghead
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Check the two (sometimes three) wire plug

that feeds the coil. Check the wires to it too. NAPA sells new plugs with 18 gauge pigtails you can splice in.

Ford's repair plug has 10 gauge wires running to it. Never burned up another coil after that repair.

Sixlitre
I'll do that Six. One kinda off subject question though. I've got my 3G Alt that I want to put in. I just need to round up Fireguy's website so I can order my harness. Would this new harness replace the plug you're talking about, or would he have one in a kit possibly? Just don't want to buy it twice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,991 Posts
First rule out your coil. Replacing it with a known good coil, as Sewiv suggests, is one way to rule it out as the problem. The MSD TFI Coil is a "coil". Do not confuse the name "TFI Coil" with the actual "TFI Module" as this coil is designed to work with your TFI system. I also like Sixlitre's idea of checking the plug and wires to it.

The TFI (Thick Film Ignition) Module electronically controls distributor advance, as directed by the computer. This is not a vacuum advance, but an electronic advance. My TFI Module is located on my distributor and is plugged into the computer harness.

Using Fireguy's 3G harness will not replace the coil plugs. It will somewhat become an extension of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok, update.... decided to recheck my timing. It was 180 out:twak. reset it and she started. But still not right. The best I could get was a rough idle and backfiring everytime I press the gas @ about 11-12 degrees BTDC . Tried from 0 degrees up to around 18 BTDC and everywhere in between.

Also not the coil, swapped in my spare and ran the same. Have to leave for a little while. I'll be checking all the wires when I get back. And I did make sure they were in the correct order:thumbup
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,995 Posts
Did you take the distributor completley out at any time............? :scratchhe

Worst case is you pull it out, pull the number 1 plug and with a big torque wrench on the crank bolt turn the motor and bring up the number 1 pistion to TDC while covering the #1 hole with you thumb until you get a good push of air, you'll feel it and the pistion will be at it's highest point. :doh0715:

Set the Harmonic Balancer to 0 on the timing mark, drop the distributor in just enough to get it on the oil pump shaft but be able to rotate the dissy shaft and rotor to match the #1 lead on your distributor cap so check your Haynes for reference, mark the dissy housing inside for reference of the rotor and another mark for the distributor in case you need to pull it out in the future. The dissy will want to go CCW first then CC, the reason for this is the width of the cam gear and dissy grear fitting together so make sure you set it in correctly so the rotor and reference mark line up on #1 lead on your cap. ( mine is at 1 oclock)

You may have to lift it up and turn it a bit until it correct, once that's done make sure the dissy is in all the and tighten it up, check for correct wiring routing and start it up until normal operating temp, shut off and disconnect the spOUT losen the dissy bolt then set your timing, reconnect the spOUT, tighten dissy and you should be good to go.

If your timing is off because it's incorrect it could make the motor run rich thus black plugs etc.

By doing it this way, there's no question that you're starting from the correct position, there's always a chance MFG's products can be faulty even brand new so have them tested, like the TFI Module etc.
How are the injectors firing......................?

How old is your IAC, there's a thread that tells you how to clean it yourself.
You might as well test your TPS while you're at it......

Spark plug wires can also be a problem, my number 5 & 6 boot ends tend to burn thru on the bottom due to an OEM design fault on the exhaust header, not quite enough clearence right there so I keep a close watch and I use old boot ends cut up for extra insulation and that seems to work.

Create a list of suspects and then eliminate one at a time until you find the culprit problem.

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

·
Practicing Infidel
Joined
·
15,299 Posts
I'll do that Six. One kinda off subject question though. I've got my 3G Alt that I want to put in. I just need to round up Fireguy's website so I can order my harness. Would this new harness replace the plug you're talking about, or would he have one in a kit possibly? Just don't want to buy it twice.
Nope

like Seattle says you need a separate coil harness plug (it's the one that plugs right into your coil). Check Fireguy's site, bet he sells em' too.

I had troubles until we put that new plug and it's wires on. After that, no mo' burned up coils:thumbup

Sixlitre
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, been in the bed sick for last 2 days so haven't had a chance to check everything out yet(voltages and resistance). I'm gonna jump on it 1st thing tomorrow hopefully. Just have a few questions.

1. The PIP is the crescent shaped module inside the top of the dizzy that some people refer to as the "Pickup" right? If so, that is new also(I forgot I replced it when I rebuilt my dizzy.

2. Could a bad TFI Module(dizzy mounted) cause the rough idle and backfiring I'm getting? I know they are notorious for the no start problem and dieing on highway once they heat up, but not sure about running rough.

3. are these the relays I need for the EEC/FP relay swap? http://rjminjectiontech.com/?p=15
they are a little over halfway down the page "heavy duty 30amp+ Relays"

I have to order my 3G Alt. harness, charge cable, and coil plug from Fireguy and figured I'd get the Bosch stlye relays and pigtails at the same time. That is if my TFI module, coil, PIP, and plug wires all check out.

I looked through my maintenance records today while I was laid up just trying to verify what all I had done. It turns out I was wrong, I never replaced the TFI module, just the coil, cap, rotor, pickup, wires, and plugs. So basically that is the onlything not new, hope thats it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,995 Posts
The problem I had a few years ago with my TFI was that it would start up fine and run for a while and then stall while driving PITA, I could wait 20-30 minutes and it would start right up and then repeat same. I had to replace the dissy and module because the place I took it to said the wiring inside the dissy was degraded and they burned me charging $500.00 so I don't take the BKO in any more due to the help of this site.

Modules either work or fail, so have it tetsed for free and Napa has a Dissy with TFI & PIP with core exchange for $125.00ish out the door so I don't know that's causing a rough idle, did you pull codes from the PCM (assumming EFI) you could have a vacuum leak ie: code 44 which would be your Thermactor Air System which is part of your Emissions and will definatley make it run lousy.

If the timing is off it will make it run rough, make sure you unplug the spOUT if you check or re -time it.

What about your IAC -Idle Air Contol which is located on the side of the throttle body, how old is it and when did you clean it last.

Check your Map Sensor - Manifold Absolute Pressure..................?

Maybe.........fuel injectors/connectors....long shot

FPR -fuel pressure regulator up on top or upper intake manifold leak from the Plenum gasket........

Last but not least "Gremlins" :doh0715: lol lol

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
The MSD stuff works great when its actually working but there is a reason why everyone calls it May Suddenly Die Ignition. I've had 3 MSD boxes and 2 MSD TFI coils fail on me and the next time you watch a NASCAR race take note that they have two MSD boxes mounted inboard and the ability to flip a switch to change between them WHEN not if they go bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The problem I had a few years ago with my TFI was that it would start up fine and run for a while and then stall while driving PITA, I could wait 20-30 minutes and it would start right up and then repeat same. I had to replace the dissy and module because the place I took it to said the wiring inside the dissy was degraded and they burned me charging $500.00 so I don't take the BKO in any more due to the help of this site.

Modules either work or fail, so have it tetsed for free and Napa has a Dissy with TFI & PIP with core exchange for $125.00ish out the door so I don't know that's causing a rough idle, did you pull codes from the PCM (assumming EFI) you could have a vacuum leak ie: code 44 which would be your Thermactor Air System which is part of your Emissions and will definatley make it run lousy.

If the timing is off it will make it run rough, make sure you unplug the spOUT if you check or re -time it.

What about your IAC -Idle Air Contol which is located on the side of the throttle body, how old is it and when did you clean it last.

Check your Map Sensor - Manifold Absolute Pressure..................?

Maybe.........fuel injectors/connectors....long shot

FPR -fuel pressure regulator up on top or upper intake manifold leak from the Plenum gasket........

Last but not least "Gremlins" :doh0715: lol lol

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
The TFI Module checked out good(4 times) at Napa a couple months ago (maybe 200 miles or so) and the pickup was replaced at that time also. But I guess they could be bad, so I'll have them checked again. only code I got was an EGR code, which I've had for ever and can't seem to get rid of. The IAC, EGR, and EGR Position Sensor are maybe 6 months old. Fuel pressure reg. and filter was replaced last month, both pumps and relay last week. I've aslo put all this in another thread because I wasn't getting many replies. guess i should have waited :twak Sorry guys, I'll add it here:whiteflag
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
from the other thread I started, I know, stupid to have 2 threads:doh0715: it won't happen again I promise

I posted this at the end of an older thread but haven't gotten any replies, so I figured this would be easiest. Sorry to repost, go easy on me. Did some testing this morning but have to call it a day so I can go to work tonight. I've been fighting starting/running problems for a while now. Got her to start/run, but with rough idle and lots of backfiring if you touch the throttle. Here's what I know:
1.) I've set and reset the timing a hundred times in the past week since I was convinced it was a timing issue. So I think timing is good. (Currantly at @ 13 degrees BTDC)
2.)New MSD TFI Coil, Cap, Rotor, Taylor wires, Autolites .055, and new pickup in dizzy(think it's also called a PIP)
3.)My multimeter crapped out so I couldn't do many tests, but took the ignition module to napa and it checked out good 4 times (2 months and maybe 200 miles ago)
4.)I have good spark at all 8 cylinders
5.)Have tripple-tripple checked my wires, they are ran correctly

Here are the question marks....
-The new plugs were black when I pulled them, and only a few were wet.
-The truck will idle fine with any one spark plug wire removed EXCEPT cylinders #'s 1, 7, and 8. If I remove any one of these 3 while running, she dies, usually with a very loud backfire!

So I'm thinking fuel problem(injectors or whats firing them). I plan to swap around some of the injectors to see if the problem follows them, but I doubt they are the problem. I know the PIP controls injector pulse, but what about the cam/crank position sensor? These seem to be my main suspects, but what do the experts think?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,995 Posts
You might want to do a wet/dry PITA compression test, wet plugs could mean not firing, valves......? I had a dead cylinder on number 2 and overall it didn't run too bad more noticeably when I would slow down and speed up in traffic from 15-25 mph it would buck and the dissy would knock and rattle until I got the rpm's to smooth out.

Check the fuel rail over for any visual problems, you will have to remove the plenum for that, also check the elec. connectors for the fuel injectors for resistance .....? no juice there could mean no firing......... I got a great set of 8 very high quality reman injectors from Precision Automotive Injectors in FLA 100 % money back etc. for $125.00 shipped in 3-4 days with a 98 % rating on EBay if you need ~

What about the MAP Sensor...........................?

Just a thought ~

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top