Question about 1987 Ford Thunderbird

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1987 Thunderbird 3.8 V-6. Have replaced plugs

1987 Thunderbird 3.8 V-6. Have replaced plugs wires, coil, ignition module and dist. stator assembly. Fuel injector spray, have spark and compression. Engine will not start . Is replacing the ''PCM'' next step?

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  • dcrb44 Jul 01, 2009

    Fuel injectors spray fuel, after extended cranking had to change oil as it was diluted with fuel. When testing for spark, a spark plug attached to plug wire and grounded, it does emit a spark when cranking engine, but spark is not a strong "blue " snap type spark but rather more of a faint orange spark. Also when cranking and checking for spark holding wire close to ground or distributer cap, spark occurs but seems "weak"

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Check fuel pressure and fuel filter it sounds like your not getting enough fuel to motor
spray a little starter fluid into throtlebody
if it runs you have a fuel prob. keep us posted

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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NO POWER TO THE DISTRIBUTOR ON 87 CADI DEVILLE THERE IS POWER TO CAP


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This truck uses a distributor, so the job of crank - cam sensors is handled by the pick-up coil in the dist.
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1987 cutlass ciera TBI carb -fuel to carb but no fuel injecting into carb-jet module is good-What other problem


If there is fuel to the fuel injectors in the top of the throttle body TBI (Throttle Body Injection) but they do not function, then most likely there is no signal or pulse to the fuel injectors. Check the ECM and the Fuel Injection fuses first.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil, and a faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems or all of them to malfunction.

That does sound like a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Aug 13, 2010 | 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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No spark from spark plug wires I think it may be the distributor cap or interior parts under cap like rotor and condensor but dont want to change parts thats are fine i replaced the plugs but still no...


There wrere two types of HEI (High Energy Ignition) distributors used by GM in 1985, one was the original design with the ignition coil mounted in the top of the distributor cap, and the second had the coil mounted seperate from the distributor and used a coil wire.

There is the possibility that the ignition coil is faulty and first check to see if full battery voltage is even getting to the "Pos" (+) positive side of the ignition coil when the key is in the "Run" position, and also if the coil is seperate from the distributor that full battery voltage is getting through the "Pos" (+) or positive side of the ignition coil and over to the distributor ignition module, dis-connect the wire connector from the ignition module and if battery voltage is not present at the connector to the ignition module with the key in the "Run" position but it is present at the "Pos" side of the ignition coil, then the ignition coil is faulty. If battery voltage is present then check the ohms between the high tension terminal (where the coil wire goes on the ignition coil) and the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil by first dis-connecting the wires from the ignition coil and then test with the "Neg" lead from the ohm meter in the high tension terminal on the ignition coil, and the "Pos" lead from the ohm meter to the the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil, and the ohm reading should be between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms and if not replace the ignition coil. A faulty ignition coil can also damage the ignition module.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil, and a faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems to malfunction.

That could be a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Let me know if you require any further assistance.


GM HEI Ignition Coil (Mounted In Distributor Cap Type)
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Jul 30, 2010 | 1985 Chevrolet Chevy

1 Answer

1979 chevy van not getting spark.was running fine day before.turns over fine,getting fuel.could it be the module


First thing is what condition are the distributor cap, ignition rotor, and spark plug wires in?

There is the possibility that the ignition coil located in the top of the distributor cap is faulty and first check to see if full battery voltage is even getting to the "Bat" or "Pos" (+) positive side of the ignition coil when the key is in the "Run" position. Then check the secondary resistance to the ignition coil.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil. A faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems to malfunction.

That does sound like a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Let me know if you require any further assistance.


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Jul 29, 2010 | 1979 Chevrolet C/K 3500

1 Answer

What would cause my car to not send spark to the spark plugs


The first thing is do you know when the last time was that the distributor cap, ignition rotor, and spark plug wires were changed?

There is the possibility that the ignition coil is faulty and first check to see if full battery voltage is getting to the "Pos" (+) positive side of the ignition coil when the key is in the "Run" position, and also that full battery voltage is getting through the "Pos" (+) or positive side of the ignition coil and over to the distributor ignition module, dis-connect the wire connector from the ignition module and if battery voltage is not present at the connector to the ignition module with the key in the "Run" position but it is present at the "Pos" side of the ignition coil, then the ignition coil is faulty. If battery voltage is present then check the ohms between the high tension terminal (where the coil wire goes on the ignition coil) and the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil by first dis-connecting the wires from the ignition coil and then test with the "Neg" lead from the ohm meter in the high tension terminal on the ignition coil, and the "Pos" lead from the ohm meter to the the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil, and the ohm reading should be between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms and if not replace the ignition coil. A faulty ignition coil can also damage the ignition module.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil, and a faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems to malfunction.

That could be a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Let me know if you require a firing order diagram any further assistance with testing or diagnostic procedures.




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Jul 29, 2010 | 1995 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer

The car was purring I shut it off came out of store in 5 minutes started it up and the idle is rough and first exceleration has lack of power until RPM rises to around 1100 then it smooths out.It has been...


There is a very good possibility that the problem is in the distributor, and your intuition serves you well.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil. A faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems to malfunction.

That does sound like a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Jun 24, 2010 | 1991 Cadillac DeVille

2 Answers

No spark to plugs or coil.


Do you have power to the coil with the key in the run position and when cranking? (ignition switch)

Mar 26, 2009 | 1987 Ford F 150

1 Answer

Have a 1989 f250 that will turn over when turning the key but wont fire, we can't any spark from the plugs. we've checked all the fuses and relays and can't figure out why it wont start.


It sounds like the TFI Module may be defective, this is the heart of the ignition system, it is a black or grey module with about 6 wires plugged into it on the side of the distributor (it may also be mounted on a finned heat sink on the inside of the left front fender), In rare cases it is the another ignition componet like the ignition coil or distributor stator, make sure you check the coil wire and the distributor for any signs or of being damaged (dist cap and coil lead need to be replaced), white powder on ther coil or distributor terminals is the give away of damage.

Also perform the following test, check with a 12 volt test light: On the coil primary ( connector at coil) there are two wires, one is red. Make sure you have voltage at this wire with the key on, then probe the other wire, usually green, crank the engine and this circuit should blink. If it doesn't, make sure the distributor turns, if it does then replace the ignition module and the stator inside the distributor.

I recommend you use Motorcraft or Ford parts. The aftermarket modules can be a problem as far as reliability. If the distributor rotor doesn't turn when you crank the engine, then you may have a timing gear problem

Jul 25, 2008 | Ford F-250 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1993 thunderbird rough start/idle


try to replace also plug wires specially the ignition coil wire

May 27, 2008 | 1993 Ford Thunderbird

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