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#174517 - 06/24/03 06:18 PM Symptoms of failing ignition module??
KevinVarnes Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Okay, I've been reading this board long enough to know I should probably have a spare in my trunk but. What are some of the common symptoms of a failing ignition module on these cars ('91 351W 2 barrel)? On the T-Bird DIS it will spit all kinds of codes and run sporadically well and bad. My Vic has just started running bad lately as it has gotten warmer outside. This morning (temps in mid 70's) it ran just fine as it always has. However, after sitting out in the parking lot all day baking in the sun, when I went to drive home it would barely run and had a terrible miss. I managed to limp it home using some two feet driving techniques. I would be willing to bet the carb is okay since it runs fine when it is cold, and engine temp has no bearing on how well it runs. Only outside temp. Any ideas?
_________________________
'95 T-Bird SC 5 Speed
'89 XR7 5-Speed
'92 Base T-Bird
'91 Crown Vic P72 351W
'93 T-Bird SC AOD

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#174518 - 06/24/03 10:11 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
AOD Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 11496
Loc: Asheville, North Carolina
hmmn, i dont think temperature affected my modules failure. it failed in the middle of winter, but the signs that it was going to go was the car died while driving once. i happened to be coming to a stop sign on an ice covered road with traffic...but it was just out of the blue failure. the engine started back up, and made it over an hour to a friends house, and died as i turned into his driveway, and would not start again.

if your car is running bad, i dont think its automatically the module. vapor lock? coil getting too hot? these can be reasons.

i'm not really sure what to advice on this one besides what i've suggested.

~AOD
_________________________

'85 2-Door Crown Victoria - Faster than the Sig Police!
302 HO, -0.022" E7 Heads, Weiand Intake, Edelbrock 1406 Carb, Mechanical Fuel Pump, HEI Distributor, 180* T-stat, Shift Kit, HO Governor, Lokar Cables, B&M Torq Master Converter, FRPP Trans Cooler, Mustang Headers, 2.25" Dual Exhaust, Flowtech H-pipe, Hooker AeroChamber Mufflers, 2.5" Side-Exit Exhaust, Police Shocks, Cut PI Front Springs in the Rear, PI Rear Sway Bar, 17" Sport Wheels, 245/50/Z17 Tires, 4.10 Rear End Gears, Trac Lok Diff
'05 Crown Victoria LX Sport '02 Jeep Liberty '95 Mazda Miata '82 Honda MB5 Motorcycle

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#174519 - 06/24/03 10:57 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
KevinVarnes Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Well the number one killer of the DIS modules on my other cars is heat. That is why I suspected the module. On a whim I went out and replaced it anyways since I was out and happened to be driving past a parts store. Didn't appear to help it any. Looking under the hood that thing has more potential vacuum leaks than you can shake a stick at. I think I'll go out tomorrow and buy about 4000 feet of vacuum line and start there. I also noticed the vacuum line going from the PCV valve to the base of the carb has what appears to be a fairly large crack down by the carb, but it appeared to be sealing. Of course the infamous VV carb is always a suspect anytime the engine starts running rough. Strange how it would just start doing it all of the sudden though. It ran fine when I came home for lunch. I'll also check the coil to see what is going on there. Just for the record the car has new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, PCV valve and now a brand new ignition module. I may be putting on that four barrel carb a little sooner than I had initially planned. I'll also check for symptoms of vapor lock, but I just started it 15 minutes ago after it had been sitting for at least three hours and the outside temps have gone down quite a bit with no change. Looks like the Supercoupe is going back into the daily rotation.
_________________________
'95 T-Bird SC 5 Speed
'89 XR7 5-Speed
'92 Base T-Bird
'91 Crown Vic P72 351W
'93 T-Bird SC AOD

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#174520 - 06/24/03 11:19 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
PatsPOS Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/28/01
Posts: 1505
Loc: westcentral PA
Kev...unfortunately, there's no cast-in-stone way of knowing whether or not a DS-II module is good or not. Talk to anyone who's been around them long enough, and they'll tell you there's about a thousand ways for them to die. I've had a couple crap out immediately...runs fine one day, then the next day no start. I had one go kinda quick, where suddenly I got this badass miss and I was lucky to make it home. My brother once had a quirky failure on his Fairmont...it kinda acted like a rev limiter. He could turn 5500 RPM for a few days, then 5200, then 4700, etc., but it never missed (man, THAT one was a pisser for us to figure out! ).

I like AOD's theory about vapor lock. Problem is, the only surefire way I know of to cure it is to re-route the fuel line away from anything hot. I've talked to a couple guys that have wrapped aluminum foil (shiny-side out, of course) around the line and zip-tied it. Obviously, zip-ties near hot exhaust manifolds are a stupid idea. Then there are old-timers out there that swear putting a clothespin on the fuel line does the trick, on the theory that the wood acts as a heat sink. I never tried that one, though....

Keep us posted...let us know how it runs tomorrow morning. If it's still running crappy, there might be some other things to check.

Pat
_________________________
'91 CV P74 (18.09 @ 75 MPH)
'89 F-150 F14 (18.37 @ 73 MPH)
(and a '75 Gran Torino with a 460 (14.03 @ 97 MPH), but we won't go into that)
Congressman Jack Murtha called me a racist and a redneck...jeez, tell me something I DON'T know!


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#174521 - 06/24/03 11:23 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
PatsPOS Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/28/01
Posts: 1505
Loc: westcentral PA
Looks like I posted several hours too late!

Pat
_________________________
'91 CV P74 (18.09 @ 75 MPH)
'89 F-150 F14 (18.37 @ 73 MPH)
(and a '75 Gran Torino with a 460 (14.03 @ 97 MPH), but we won't go into that)
Congressman Jack Murtha called me a racist and a redneck...jeez, tell me something I DON'T know!


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#174522 - 06/24/03 11:37 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
KevinVarnes Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
But, but, on the original ignition module it says that it is "Tested Tough" and it has this little lightning bolt thingy on it. Surely this component could never fail on me?!? I will not know how it runs tomorrow as I am going to drive the T-Bird to work. I am going to pull it into the garage tonight and start replacing vacuum lines at will. I was also going to try to find an insulation method for the fuel line (aluminum foil is an option) to try to ward off any thoughts of vapor lock. A coil may be in the works as well as it is the only remaining original ignition component on the car.
_________________________
'95 T-Bird SC 5 Speed
'89 XR7 5-Speed
'92 Base T-Bird
'91 Crown Vic P72 351W
'93 T-Bird SC AOD

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#174523 - 06/24/03 11:47 PM Re: Symptoms of failing ignition module??
AOD Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 11496
Loc: Asheville, North Carolina
wood is a HORRIBLE heatsink.

you'd have better heat conduction with a paper clip!! :shocked:

~AOD
_________________________

'85 2-Door Crown Victoria - Faster than the Sig Police!
302 HO, -0.022" E7 Heads, Weiand Intake, Edelbrock 1406 Carb, Mechanical Fuel Pump, HEI Distributor, 180* T-stat, Shift Kit, HO Governor, Lokar Cables, B&M Torq Master Converter, FRPP Trans Cooler, Mustang Headers, 2.25" Dual Exhaust, Flowtech H-pipe, Hooker AeroChamber Mufflers, 2.5" Side-Exit Exhaust, Police Shocks, Cut PI Front Springs in the Rear, PI Rear Sway Bar, 17" Sport Wheels, 245/50/Z17 Tires, 4.10 Rear End Gears, Trac Lok Diff
'05 Crown Victoria LX Sport '02 Jeep Liberty '95 Mazda Miata '82 Honda MB5 Motorcycle

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