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Problems with Dura Spark ignition system on a 2.8L V6 engine, '76 - '78 Mustang/Capri

I need info, specs and wiring diagrams to help me identify and troubleshoot a Dura Spark ignition system on a 2.8L V6engine, which I’ve been told is from a '76 thru '78 Mustang or Capri (probably ‘76). I'm troubleshooting, rewiring & replacing most of the ignition system. I believe this is Dura Spark II system, but not certain (it might be Dura Spark I) with no EEC-IV or TFI. It has electronic ignition, there are no points on the distributor, it does have a dual vacuum module and has separate/remote mounted Ignition Control Module (with 2 connectors, 6 wires).

The engine has run reasonably well at times, but now won’t start and has burned out 3 ignition coils and 1 or 2 ICM’s in just a few hours of operation over last few months. (BTW - This engine is on an old Case tractor in a remote location so impractical to take to a mechanic, and I need to move it right away.) I need help to correctly identify exactly which ignition setup this engine has, and the correct ignition wiring diagram &info for this setup. I’ve received much conflicting advice on the engine and ignition system type of coil, type or necessity of resistor. What kind of coil should it have and which is it supposed to have – a resistor or resistor wire,(& what is a “ballast” resistor? Is it different from a regular resistor?).FYI - I’ve contacted Ford & Motorcraft parts dealers with little useful info, only that the distributor and ICM models were discontinued with no alternate replacement. The only online services don’t begin until late 80’s models and the only repair manuals I can find begin with the ’79 to ’83 models which don’t apply directly to these models. I’m trying to find older manuals at local used bookstore, but don’t have time. Any advice or resources that can help me get the specifications for the entire ignition system would be helpful so I can get the correct parts and correct any wiring problems.

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  • Anonymous Mar 17, 2014

    I've had my 1991 Ranger 2.3 at the local Ford dealership for 18 weeks. Today they told me they give up on it, because they think on an old truck, they only way to "fix" things is to keep throwing parts at it until it runs right, and that would cost me more than the truck is worth. The "check engine" light has been on for years. New wires and plugs (8), new cat converter and new timing belt. It runs perfectly 70% of the time, and then suddenly has NO power. All you can do is 5 MPH with pedal floored. If you're lucky, it "kicks back in" and you get full power back. They "suspect" it is the TFI module, which from what I read, is attached to the distributor. I don't think I even HAVE a distributor in this oddball engine. Where is this module, and is this the same thing as the ICM (Rockauto lists an ICM module but not a TFI). Thank you!

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  • Ford Master
  • 5,568 Answers

Very small help:
> ,(& what is a “ballast” resistor? Is it different from a regular resistor?).

Ballast resistors are special; they have what is known as a 'positive temperature coefficient' meaning that they increase in resistance with temperature.
This provides a very hot spark to start, then a reduction in current as the resistor warms up.
This prevented points and coils from frying from unnecessarily high current.
Early electronic ignition systems still used them, I don't think any modern car has them now.

If you have a larger public library, it might be worth a look on line (if available) or a visit to search for a manual; have found some classics there.
If you find it there - copy it, then RETURN IT! :-)

Posted on Jun 11, 2008

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change all of them, you will be glad you did.
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