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Old 10-09-2005, 16:01   #1 (permalink)
Bradley
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Thunderbird won't start


Greetings all ...

I have an 87 Thunderbird 5.0 that decided not to start over the
weekend. The symptoms are :

Turn the key, engine cranks but doesn't start
Fuel flow is good
Battery is being drained by attempts, but is chargeable
Power to ignition coil
Distributor and rotor are clean and dry
Rotor turns each time, but no spark
Plug wires are less than a year old
Spark plugs are old, but in good condition

I've already replaced the ignition coil and the throttle position
sensor and it still won't start. Any and all suggestions welcome.

TIA

--
Bradley

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Old 10-09-2005, 16:01   #2 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

There oughta be a primer for ford owners.

You have a tach, right? Switch to 'on' needle jumps a little, you hear
the fuel pump..

Crank the engine, if needle bounces a little.. tach is getting spark
signal. Thus primary of coil is good, at least.

But I bet you see it bounce once with key on then it lays there as you
crank.

Since it ran good, then wont start... I bet you'll get an igntion module
wrench, take off the TFI on the side of the Distributor (dont bother dist
setting unless you must) and it will have a hard caky substance that
USED to be heat sink grease.

* * * * Clean all that off both surfaces before you install the new
module...and put fresh heat sink grease on... that 'lube is important!* *
* * *

Otherwise get a used dist off a wreck, remove the module in front of
counter guy and check for greasy grease and that it's motorcraft.

If you do that you can test for spark as soon as you get home just by
hooking up the wire harness and spinning dist. Then you will also have
the pickup in case that is bad. Which you should ALSO be able to change
without disturbing the dist.

Otherwise new Motorcraft or Echlin good.. Wells or no-name bad.

- - - - - - - -- - - -
For us old- Tbird drivers, Spare Used dist, starter and alternator is
always good to have around



Bradley <not@the.moment> wrote in news:lf2cnQtuTol3FdTeUSdV9g@ptd.net:

>
> Greetings all ...
>
> I have an 87 Thunderbird 5.0 that decided not to start over the
> weekend. The symptoms are :
>
> Turn the key, engine cranks but doesn't start
> Fuel flow is good
> Battery is being drained by attempts, but is chargeable
> Power to ignition coil
> Distributor and rotor are clean and dry
> Rotor turns each time, but no spark
> Plug wires are less than a year old
> Spark plugs are old, but in good condition
>
> I've already replaced the ignition coil and the throttle position
> sensor and it still won't start. Any and all suggestions welcome.
>
> TIA
>


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Old 10-09-2005, 18:01   #3 (permalink)
Bradley
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

In article <Xns96EAB71E7644Cpettyfogery@207.115.63.158>, pettyfog@yaywho.com says...
>
>
>There oughta be a primer for ford owners.


I wish - my life would be a lot less stressful :-)

>You have a tach, right? Switch to 'on' needle jumps a little, you hear
>the fuel pump..
>
>Crank the engine, if needle bounces a little.. tach is getting spark
>signal. Thus primary of coil is good, at least.
>
>But I bet you see it bounce once with key on then it lays there as you
>crank.


My tach is part of the digital instrumentation ...

>Since it ran good, then wont start... I bet you'll get an igntion module
>wrench, take off the TFI on the side of the Distributor (dont bother dist
>setting unless you must) and it will have a hard caky substance that
>USED to be heat sink grease.
>
>* * * * Clean all that off both surfaces before you install the new
>module...and put fresh heat sink grease on... that 'lube is important!* *
>* * *
>
>Otherwise get a used dist off a wreck, remove the module in front of
>counter guy and check for greasy grease and that it's motorcraft.
>
>If you do that you can test for spark as soon as you get home just by
>hooking up the wire harness and spinning dist. Then you will also have
>the pickup in case that is bad. Which you should ALSO be able to change
>without disturbing the dist.
>
>Otherwise new Motorcraft or Echlin good.. Wells or no-name bad.
>
>- - - - - - - -- - - -
>For us old- Tbird drivers, Spare Used dist, starter and alternator is
>always good to have around


--
Bradley

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Old 10-09-2005, 18:01   #4 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

Bradley <not@the.moment> wrote in news:q_GcnQBd8uCwA9TeUSdV9g@ptd.net:

> In article <Xns96EAB71E7644Cpettyfogery@207.115.63.158>,
> pettyfog@yaywho.com says...
>>
>>
>>There oughta be a primer for ford owners.

>
> I wish - my life would be a lot less stressful :-)
>
>>You have a tach, right? Switch to 'on' needle jumps a little, you
>>hear the fuel pump..
>>
>>Crank the engine, if needle bounces a little.. tach is getting spark
>>signal. Thus primary of coil is good, at least.
>>
>>But I bet you see it bounce once with key on then it lays there as you
>>crank.

>
> My tach is part of the digital instrumentation ...
>


Well, then... just PRETEND it doesnt bounce.

If you have a test lite.. put it on the dist side of coil and look for
'blips'..needle wiggle on a VOM.

Ign module wrenches avail any parts store about 5 bucks

>>Since it ran good, then wont start... I bet you'll get an igntion
>>module wrench, take off the TFI on the side of the Distributor (dont
>>bother dist setting unless you must) and it will have a hard caky
>>substance that USED to be heat sink grease.
>>
>>* * * * Clean all that off both surfaces before you install the new
>>module...and put fresh heat sink grease on... that 'lube is
>>important!* * * * *
>>
>>Otherwise get a used dist off a wreck, remove the module in front of
>>counter guy and check for greasy grease and that it's motorcraft.
>>
>>If you do that you can test for spark as soon as you get home just by
>>hooking up the wire harness and spinning dist. Then you will also
>>have the pickup in case that is bad. Which you should ALSO be able to
>>change without disturbing the dist.
>>
>>Otherwise new Motorcraft or Echlin good.. Wells or no-name bad.
>>
>>- - - - - - - -- - - -
>>For us old- Tbird drivers, Spare Used dist, starter and alternator is
>>always good to have around

>


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Old 10-09-2005, 22:01   #5 (permalink)
Bob
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start


"Backyard Mechanic" <pettyfog@yaywho.com> wrote in message
news:Xns96EAB71E7644Cpettyfogery@207.115.63.158...
> There oughta be a primer for ford owners.
>
> You have a tach, right? Switch to 'on' needle jumps a little, you hear
> the fuel pump..
>
> Crank the engine, if needle bounces a little.. tach is getting spark
> signal. Thus primary of coil is good, at least.
>
> But I bet you see it bounce once with key on then it lays there as you
> crank.
>
> Since it ran good, then wont start... I bet you'll get an igntion module
> wrench, take off the TFI on the side of the Distributor (dont bother dist
> setting unless you must) and it will have a hard caky substance that
> USED to be heat sink grease.
>
> * * * * Clean all that off both surfaces before you install the new
> module...and put fresh heat sink grease on... that 'lube is important!* *
> * * *
>
> Otherwise get a used dist off a wreck, remove the module in front of
> counter guy and check for greasy grease and that it's motorcraft.
>
> If you do that you can test for spark as soon as you get home just by
> hooking up the wire harness and spinning dist.


Make sure the distributor is grounded or you'll still get no spark.

> Then you will also have
> the pickup in case that is bad. Which you should ALSO be able to change
> without disturbing the dist.


That's a trick I'd like to see!
Bob


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Old 10-09-2005, 22:01   #6 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

"Bob" <bob@n0spam.net> wrote in news:z2m2f.10197$Ue7.561@fe03.lga:

>> Then you will also have
>> the pickup in case that is bad. Which you should ALSO be able to change
>> without disturbing the dist.

>
> That's a trick I'd like to see!
> Bob
>


or... mebbe not

Ooops!
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:01   #7 (permalink)
MasterBlaster
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start


"Bradley" wrote

> I have an 87 Thunderbird 5.0 that decided not to start over the
> weekend. The symptoms are :
>
> Rotor turns each time, but no spark


As checked where?
- Pulled plug, reconnected wire, held against block while cranking?
- Pulled wire from plug, held wire *near* block?
- Pulled coil wire from distributor cap, held wire *near* block?

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Old 10-10-2005, 10:01   #8 (permalink)
Sharon K.Cooke
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Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

MasterBlaster wrote:
>
> "Bradley" wrote
>
> > I have an 87 Thunderbird 5.0 that decided not to start over the
> > weekend. The symptoms are :
> >
> > Rotor turns each time, but no spark

>
> As checked where?
> - Pulled plug, reconnected wire, held against block while cranking?
> - Pulled wire from plug, held wire *near* block?
> - Pulled coil wire from distributor cap, held wire *near* block?


TFI module, probably. Get the engine codes read to help pinpoint the problem.
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Old 10-11-2005, 00:01   #9 (permalink)
Bradley
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Thunderbird won't start

In article <434A8E66.E332C33A@cox.net>, scooke@cox.net says...
>
>
>MasterBlaster wrote:
>>
>> "Bradley" wrote
>>
>> > I have an 87 Thunderbird 5.0 that decided not to start over the
>> > weekend. The symptoms are :
>> >
>> > Rotor turns each time, but no spark

>>
>> As checked where?
>> - Pulled plug, reconnected wire, held against block while cranking?
>> - Pulled wire from plug, held wire *near* block?
>> - Pulled coil wire from distributor cap, held wire *near* block?

>
>TFI module, probably. Get the engine codes read to help pinpoint the problem.


It was the TFI module. All is well now :-)

--
Bradley

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