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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I'm on my way home from the city tonight and I punch it to pass (I'm going about 65), the car goes into 3rd, then hit's 2nd for an instant, Check Engine light comes on, tach goes to zero, and the engine quits. :rolleyes:

I pull over, try to start it, but nothing. Called my buddy to come get me (I'll tow the car back in the morning), and when I hook a scanner up, no error codes. But when I crank the car over, no RPMs register. So, either crank sensor or trigger wheel. Being I had just downshifted, I'm guessing trigger wheel since I've read on this site the cast/powdered metal wheels have been known to fail.

Are the timing cover gaskets re-usable? If I convert to the newer, stronger stamped steel trigger wheel, don't I have to change the timing gears also?

All answers and advice is greatly appreciated!!! Thank you in advance. :)
 

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yeap new timing gear requires different crank gear or a spacer like in the trick flow lower gear kit cause basiclly using the later gears you will have to re time the motor if u want the new trigger wheel
 

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I wouldn't reuse them if they're really old....if you want to replace the crank gears, you'll have to remove the timing chains and time the motor...it's up to you, since you could just replace the trigger wheel with another cast one...that is if that even is the problem
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wouldn't reuse them if they're really old....if you want to replace the crank gears, you'll have to remove the timing chains and time the motor...it's up to you, since you could just replace the trigger wheel with another cast one...that is if that even is the problem
Well, the more I think of what happened. When I put the fluid damper on, it was hard to get in there to tighten up the crank bolt. I couldn't get an impact gun in without pulling out the radiator, so I just tapped a breaker bar with a hammer until the bolt was getting really hard to turn.

What I'm getting at is I'm afraid I didn't have the damper pulled in as tight as it would go, and maybe the trigger wheel could move a little and that play was enough to shock/stress it enough to shatter - if that is the problem like you've stated. I'll find out tomorrow when I get it to the shop and on a lift where I can pull the crank sensor off and see what's going on inside.
 

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Helps to heat up the damper before installing it, I know there was even a procedure written in the instructions for my march pulleys to put it into boiling water to get it to slip on easier. Food for thought next time you need to install it.

If the belt is lined up its probably fine though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good Morning

Hey guys, thank you for your quick responses.

Check out this idea, I think it's pretty cool. On the Internet I found where someone decided they wanted to use the late model stamped steel trigger wheel instead of the stock powdered metal one, but he didn't want to have to change the timing gears.

What he did was shave a "bushing" from an old harmonic balancer and use it for a shim. I think it's a pretty good idea; what do y'all think? I still have my original harmonic balancer. :zdunno:


 

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Honestly, if you're pulling the timing cover you may as well just pull the chains and gear as well. The 2 piece crank sprocket in these motors is just as bad if not worse than the cast trigger wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Honestly, if you're pulling the timing cover you may as well just pull the chains and gear as well. The 2 piece crank sprocket in these motors is just as bad if not worse than the cast trigger wheel.
Well, it looks like I'm definately pulling the timing cover, so I might just do that. Check out the crank sensor I just pulled out; I wonder how that got broken... *sigh*



This is what it's SUPPOSED to look like (for those of you who haven't seen your crank position sensor out of your engine):

Courtesy of Rockauto
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting

Well, I just took a small mirror and flashlight, had someone jump in the car and turn it over. The trigger/inductor wheel looks fine! So I'm gonna try just putting in another crank sensor first and see what happens!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh snap! literally!
Yup! I seriously believe that I don't have the harmonic balancer tight against the inductor wheel which moved/wiggled just enough to hit that crank sensor and break it. Sooooo, I'm gonna pull out that little rubber plug on the driver's side of the block (the one I used to get to the torque converter bolts), put a socket with a long extension on the bolt so the engine can't turn over, and tighten that crank balancer bolt up GOOD!

Then I'll put a new sensor in, tighten up the air conditioner compressor (what a pita), re-install my new Gatorback belt and hopefully - ride on!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The thing is, the trigger wheel can only move back and forth on the crank snout, thus it is a fixed distance from the crank sensor. So it can't have contacted the sensor and broken the end off. Is the end of the sensor somewhere in the engine?
:zdunno: Makes sense it's in there since I haven't taken it out!

My buddy thinks the end just came off (since the plastic doesn't look broke) and it just happened to get nicked by the wheel.

There could be a lot of factors. The loose wheel, worn bearings, old sensor, my beating on the car (according to Daniela lol). I see what your saying about the wheel only moving along the shaft, but maybe it's not perfectly balanced and got wiggly enough where the corner caught the sensor. Who knows? If the car runs crappy with the new sensor, I'll know the wheel must be cracked or broken. It looked ok with the mirror, but it was kind of hard to see very clearly in the 1 inch of space between the a/c compressor and the hole in the block.
 

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but it was kind of hard to see very clearly in the 1 inch of space between the a/c compressor and the hole in the block.
How did you get it out without pulling the ac loose?

:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How did you get it out without pulling the ac loose?

:confused:
Who said I got it out without pulling the a/c compressor loose? Check out a few posts before yours...

...

Then I'll put a new sensor in, tighten up the air conditioner compressor (what a pita), re-install my new Gatorback belt and hopefully - ride on!
I took the compressor loose and STILL couldn't get but barely enough room to get the crank sensor out, but there is enough room. Tomorrow the new pickup will be here and I'll get it back together. Daniela wants a new car and is sick of the Thunderbird, but I like it dang it and I won't get rid of her. After all we've been through (me and the 'Bird, not Daniela), my loyalties are intact.
 

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Who said I got it out without pulling the a/c compressor loose? Check out a few posts before yours...



I took the compressor loose and STILL couldn't get but barely enough room to get the crank sensor out, but there is enough room. Tomorrow the new pickup will be here and I'll get it back together. Daniela wants a new car and is sick of the Thunderbird, but I like it dang it and I won't get rid of her. After all we've been through (me and the 'Bird, not Daniela), my loyalties are intact.
kick her to the curb next time she suggests such blasphemy! :)
 

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Hey guys, thank you for your quick responses.

Check out this idea, I think it's pretty cool. On the Internet I found where someone decided they wanted to use the late model stamped steel trigger wheel instead of the stock powdered metal one, but he didn't want to have to change the timing gears.

What he did was shave a "bushing" from an old harmonic balancer and use it for a shim. I think it's a pretty good idea; what do y'all think? I still have my original harmonic balancer. :zdunno:




One of those shims comes with every set of TFS adjustable crank gears if you just wanted a bolt on solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Progress (lack of)

Ok, well I put the new crank sensor in and it doesn't start. So I took off the harmonic balancer and there is no trigger wheel - NONE! When I look down in the oil pan I see pieces of it. I KNEW that was wrong when it first happened, I didn't order a new one two days ago, now I have to wait until Monday to get it (I just called Ford). *sigh*

Apparently when I looked in the hole with a mirror, I must have seen the reflection of the timing chain links and thought it was the inductor wheel. Oh well, what a pisser.

As for the suggestions of doing a lot of other stuff while I'm in there, I'm not going to do anything. I'm getting a Teksid block to build, so I'm not gonna worry about changing anything in the current engine. I'm just gonna put on a new wheel, clean out the pieces from the pan and run it. When I start the new build, I'll take pictures and start a thread about it.

Sorry, I didn't have my phone with me today or I would have taken pictures of the nice timing chain I see through the front hole of my engine lol. Hey, did y'all know those powdered metal ignition pulse disc/trigger/data/inductor wheels shatter? I can prove it and I will take pictures when I fix it next week. I was gonna get the stamped steel wheel and shave off a piece of my old balancer for a shim like posted above, but I'll put my new engine together right and just get this one running again (meaning I ordered the stock replacement PM trigger wheel).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ummm, What Would You Do?

I just happened to stop by another Ford dealership today and that lady told me that the PM trigger wheel is not available ANYWHERE IN THE U.S.! So I guess the first place where I ordered it is getting me the stamped steel one, huh?

My buddy says just get an old one out of a junkyard. I say cut the old balancer for a shim and use the new one. What would any of you do in this situation?
 
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