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Discussion Starter #1
This is not my 88 Bird with the GT40 headed 5.0. I'm having a problem with the 95 T-bird LX with a 3.8 and 69,000 miles I just bought. Ok here it goes. I hope you guys can help me:D


Lets start with a story.

Last night I was driving to my parents house are the car was running fine. I pulled up infront of their house the car just shut off. It wouldn't start back up. It had fuel but no spark. I went in and ate dinner and went back out about 1/2 hour later to check the car. It fired right up. I drove it home and figured I'd take it to AZ today to get it scanned for codes. I drove it to AZ today with no problems.They hooked it up and it didn't throw any codes. On the way home two blocks from my house it died again. I waited 1/2 hour and like magic it started right up again. Drove it home and shut it off. I could start it right up and did so 3 times in a row. I figured that the TFI module was dying and I went out and bought a new one (Motorcraft). I got home about 1/2 hour later and decided to check to see if the car would fire before I put the new module in. It wouldn't. I put the new TFI in and it still wouldn't fire. I had to go to work so I didn't mess with it for about 4.5 hours. I brought my dad with me so I could check for spark and the damn thing fired up.


Sooooo here's where I found something interesting. After it started tonight I was playing with the ignition switch (you know the part where you put the key in ) and found something interesting.

1. If you turn the switch and pull on the key between *off* and *run* the heater blower motor comes on for second.

2. If you jimmy the key between *off* and *run* you can pull the key out and start the car with no key and it will run.

So I'm wondering if my problems could be traced to a bad ignition switch. Could it over heat and cause all these problems?



HELP! HELP! lol

Thanks
 

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That sounds like the ignition switch to me. My 84 Vic does this everytime the switch dies. I know Ford had an issue for a while w/ their switches so it wouldn't surprise me.

Just my .02

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is there any way to check if it's the ignition switch before I go out and buy one? Well besides pulling it out and seeing if it looks like **** :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I pulled the harness off the ignition switch and the switch looked fine. No burn marks, melted plastic, or gooey stuff. So I'm guessing I can eliminate the switch as the problem. I had it idle in my driveway for 25 minutes and it wouldn't stall. I shut it off and then checked under the distributer cap. Everything looked ok. I then went to start it back up and it wouldn't start (tried it 3 times). I went into the garage to grab a screwdriver to check for spark and ran back out. Before I checked for spark I tried to start it again and the damn thing started on the first try :redmad: . I couldn't make it stall again. The only way I can make the damn thing stall is to drive it, which is not a very good idea incase I get stuck somewhere and it stalls or doesn't start:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I verified no spark:gapteeth:

So far I have replaced: cap, rotor, coil, and TFI (all Motorcraft stuff). I replaced the cap, rotor, and coil today. I purposely drove the car to the parts store to *warm it up* (the parts store is 7 blocks from my house) to pick up the parts. It stalled right after I started it outside the parts store but fired right back up. I drove it home changed the stuff and no start. So I checked for spark at the # 4 plug: no spark. Checked for spark from the coil wire: no spark. I waited 20 minutes and tried again. The car started (I then knew that I put the stuff on right:gapteeth: ). So something is getting hot and shuting off. At this point it has to be the ignition switch right? What the hell else could it be?
 

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The pickup in the distributor can cause no/intermittent spark when it wears out. I don't see how the igntion switch can cause a no spark condition unless it's preventing the PCM from getting power. Is the CEL (Check Engine light) on when you turn the key on?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When the key is turned to on all the lights come on then go out when you turn it to run. I don't know how the distributer could cause the problem though. When it gets no spark it gets no spark from the ignition coil as well. It's something before the ignition coil that's causing it. I know the ignition coil works because I just bought a new one and it started with the new one installed. Time to burn the car :mad:
 

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You don't understand how the distributor works then. There is a magnetic pickup that detects the spinning of the shaft. This signal is sent to the TFI module and the module determines when the coil should fire. If the pickup or module isn't working, spark isn't going to be commanded when it should be. Since you replaced one and the problem hasn't changed, it's time to suspect the other.

And it's still important to know if the CEL comes on when you turn the key on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wasn't trying to be an ass I've just never really messed with a Ford TFI because it's never given me a problem on other Fords I've owned:) (surprisingly). I'll replace the pick up and see if that solves the problem. Thanks for the tip.

I just assumed that the CEL light was comming on as a pre start *check* like it does in my 88. The light goes out when the motor starts. It does come on when it stalls though. Thanks again.
 

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I wasn't implying or stating that you were being an ass. I was simply stating that you don't know how the components of the distributor work.

The reason I asked about the CEL coming on is to verify that the ignition switch is providing power to the PCM. If the light didn't come on, that would mean either the light was burnt out or that the PCM wasn't powered up, and if it wasn't powered up you wouldn't have spark or anything else.
 

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I forgot about the dist. I have also fought this before and ended up being a bad pickup in the dist. I replaced the dist. with a spare I had and all was well. And the more I think about it, the more it sounds like this than the ign. switch.

Jay
 
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