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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know which model of the MSD would be appropriate for the 88 3.8L. That model T-bird had the engine with Mass Air EFI, the balancer shaft. It has a distributor (cap and rotor) but not points. The stock coil is square and small, not the round cylinder type.
 

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Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
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thats interesting. The 5.0 in my moms 88 lincoln town car has the same coil as my 93. As does my mom's 90 lincoln 5.0 and my 90 base bird. I'd of thought the 88 3.8 would be the same since the 5.0 is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So they have the standard round type of coil? Not the small kind of squarish type? And I agree, they should all be the same.
 

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well open your hood and take a look ;)
-Thomas
 

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Jedi Master
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Thomas said:
thats interesting. The 5.0 in my moms 88 lincoln town car has the same coil as my 93. As does my mom's 90 lincoln 5.0 and my 90 base bird. I'd of thought the 88 3.8 would be the same since the 5.0 is.
i agree they should be them same as the 5.0's (coil)
 

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oooooooh thats IS a cylinder shaped ignition coil, it just has a rectangular bracket around it that is removable. Most ford cars between 86-93 had that very coil that you have but use different shaped brackets to bolt them to something. Just get an MSD coil for an 86-93 mustang 5.0 and it'll be like yours.
-Thomas
 

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Thomas said:
oooooooh thats IS a cylinder shaped ignition coil, it just has a rectangular bracket around it that is removable. Most ford cars between 86-93 had that very coil that you have but use different shaped brackets to bolt them to something. Just get an MSD coil for an 86-93 mustang 5.0 and it'll be like yours.
-Thomas
yup, that second one was used on older v8's, as Thomas said get one from a 86-93 mustang and youre good to go.
 

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The Parts Guy
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I believe the one you're looking for is Summit Racing Part #: MSD-8227. By the way, I have one in stock that I only used for about three months. If you're interested in it, let me know.

-Rod
 

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I have one on both my 90 and 92....alone its not really all that great of an improvement, more of a bling factor IMO. When I added the coil and the the MSD 6AL to my 92 I had fun, smothed out the idle and felt stronger.....at least I did before it got wet and started smoking. :)

(Little FYI for all of you, for 30 bucks MSD will repair any of their non DIS ignitions)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, here is where I'm getting confused. To get a benefit from MSD I have to have an MSD coil and an MSD 6A?

The coil by itself is probably not going to do much.

The reason I am asking is I get a little pre-ignition at full throttle with 89 octaine. If I run 91 I don't. I was hoping that a better spark would allow me to run the cheaper gas and not have any harm to the engine on the occasion I jump on it. Don't really want to use the 91 as most of the time my foot is out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
racecougar said:
I believe the one you're looking for is Summit Racing Part #: MSD-8227. By the way, I have one in stock that I only used for about three months. If you're interested in it, let me know.

-Rod
What are you asking for it?

Do you have any other used parts from a early 90 mustang? Looking for spindels (4 lug) and a non ABS M/C from a 87-93 V8 Mustang.
 

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Adding a hotter spark wont fix your preignition problem. The coil alone wont do much if anything at all. The 6AL was free so its gains were worth the price of admission. Not really needed unless you are trying to sqeeze out all the potential power in the 3.8. (I think thats what we are all trying to do, :) )

You should have asked about the root problem first. I'll suggest putting a can of seafoam through your intake with hopes of cleaning out some carbon and changing your plugs before you go blowing money on unneeded parts.
 

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The Parts Guy
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MeanGene said:
What are you asking for it?

Do you have any other used parts from a early 90 mustang? Looking for spindels (4 lug) and a non ABS M/C from a 87-93 V8 Mustang.
$30 shipped. I don't have any Mustang parts, I just part out MN12's.

-Rod
 

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I'd check the timing, plugs and wires, replace fuel filter and clean the fuel system before I spent/wasted money on a MSD.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Have new 8mm wires with new distributor cap and rotor along with new Platinum plugs. The car also has a MagnaFlow muffler and K&N filter in the stock AF box. Not sure how to set the timing on these new computer controlled engines. When I tried to set the idle I found out that you don't do it by adjusting the idle screw. The computer controls that, you only set the Throttle position by voltage. I have been playing with that a little. My manual does not state what the voltage should be. Does anyone know. I started out at 1v DC and fine tuning by ear/butt from there.
 

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for the TPS, it should be between .96v and .98v. You can adjsut the throttle screw but you should do so, then readjust the TPS to the voltage stated earlier so it knows that is idle and not part throttle.

For the timing, it's just the same as the old cars. It's got a distributor, and you turn it clockwise to advance timing. For exact time setting you want a timing light. It hooks up to the #1 spark plug wire and flashes a light on the harmonic balancer that will light up at the exact time the harmonic balancer passes by a pointer and whatever number the pointer is pointing at, thats what the timing is set at. You have to start the car to do this, pull the spout connector, and it helps to rev the motor a little bit while doing it.

And it is EFI, but it is not Mass Air, it's MAP

-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Believe it or not I was a professional mechanic about 20 years ago, only not on cars but motorcycles. So I know about engines and transmissions, timing, setting the cams. But when it comes to the car stuff, I am a little lost. I just did the head gaskets on the car, was the first time I worked on a FI system on a car. One of the early Kawasaki's had it, but it's not the same. If you want to know how to take apart a Norton Commando vertical twin, or press apart a crank for a 2 stroke, I can tell ya that.

What the heck is a spout connector?

And I did not follow you on the TB sensor. I thought that you adjusted the voltage of the TBS via the idle screw. Is there something I am missing here?
 

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no, you need a voltmeter, you probe the ground wire and sending wire of the TPS harness to get the voltage. You turn the key forward but not running, then loosen the TPS bolts and adjust the TPS until its within the optimal voltage range.

The spout connector is located behind the passenger side shock tower, it's a little harness with a grey plug in it. Just pull the plug. This brings it to the true timing.

-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the info. I have my timing set to 11* BTDC now and will give that a try. FWIW the 1988 3.8L has a non-adjustable TPS.
 
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