1992 Ford F150 - Weird Distributor Issue - Doesn't Run

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neonbeef
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1992 Ford F150 - Weird Distributor Issue - Doesn't Run

Post by neonbeef » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:22 am

More travails, people, more travails. I will highlight the problem in the paragraph below for those of you who want to get right to it. But, I think that a little background information will be helpful.

I'm pretty sure I have a mechanical problem, and it revolves around the distributor, but isn't the distributor.

As mentioned in an earlier thread, we have been able to get the truck to idle. However, we couldn't begin tuning it until we had the O2 sensor (HEGO) in place. So, we managed to finish installing the exhaust system and install the O2 (HEGO) yesterday afternoon.

I knew we were going to need to set the timing, as it had been moved by roughly 180 degrees between the dyno (engine only) and installing it in the truck. That still pisses me off. The short story is that when we first tried to start it, it would backfire and spit flames out of the headers. Kept advancing the spark plug wires one move at a time and needed to move them four times for it to run. Okay. Good enough. Did some other things on the truck, then put the distributor in 180 degrees (the right way). Then it didn't start. Took a damn long time to figure out that the MSD 6AL spark box wasn't working (or the wiring along the way). Put it back the the original TFI system, and voilà; we had spark again and could get it to idle.

Is it a faulty PIP sensor? I don't see how it could be.

That brings you up to speed to last night. As I mentioned, we finished the exhaust and O2 sensor. So, now I try to datalog. Somehow, Superlogger was checked, so that was about 30 minutes of idiot time for me. I still don't know how that happened. It kind of idled... kind of. So, we start to "ear adjust" the timing. Retarding it wasn't the answer. So, advancing it helped greatly. It idled, but would still die if the gas pedal was pressed. Too much fuel, or not enough fuel? I don't know. Why? Because when we advanced the timing "too much", we heard strange clicks coming from the fuel injectors, fuel pump relay, and one from below the throttle body (I'm not sure what that one is). Now, we do have two fuel pump relays. The original one we just leave in for now because it runs the fuel gage (it will be switched over to the new one, which runs the fuel pump).

We couldn't hear it at first because of the electric fan. But, these would all click. We tried jiggling the wiring harness coming out of the distributor (which is the old, original one because I hat the design of the MSD, with the TFI directly on it). That didn't make anything click. Only when the distributor was moved did it cause the clicking. We took out the original fuel pump relay (here again, this doesn't run the fuel pump).

We purchased a new distributor and, once again, voilà, it idled even better than it had before! Awesome. Still need to adjust the timing a bit more, we think. Started moving the distributor and the same damned problem again with the clicking. We cannot get it to pop at all. It's getting spark, so it's a fuel issue, right? But what is the connection between adjusting the timing and the fuel injector circuit.


I did manage to log when it was running last night. But, I don't see that as being helpful right now as this seems like a mechanical issue.

Any ideas? I don't think it would be the PIP sensor as the whole distributor is new.
Be well, and have a great day!
Wayne

1992 Ford F150 Std Cab/Flareside/4X4/Toughened E4OD

393 Stroker/Eddie 5.8 EFI Intake and Heads/Fiveology Racing 76mm MAF & WAY1/Comp Cams XE 274/Eagle Rotating Assembly Kit/Green Giant Injectors/MSD Plugs, Wires, Distributor, 6AL Spark Box/9.9:1 compression

AHACB Strategy/Moates QH/BE - Core Tuning

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cgrey8
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Re: 1992 Ford F150 - Weird Distributor Issue - Doesn't Run

Post by cgrey8 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:55 pm

You will hear clicking when you move the distributor with KOEO. As tines on the reluctor wheel inside the distributor pass by the hall sensor, it triggers pips which cause the fuel pump relay to click and whatever else gets modified and activated during a "push-start" crank condition such as changes to ISC and maybe activation or deactivation of other relays? Point is, it's not surprising to me that you hear clicking when twisting the distributor.

What I'm curious about though is why the distributor got turned 180 out of phase between the dyno and engine install? And why did you move the plug wires instead of restabbing it? Oil pump shaft concerns?

Now if you are hearing odd clicking when you twist the dizzy AND the engine is running then that's interesting. I wouldn't think that should happen at all and I'd start suspecting something in the wiring harness up to the TFI at that point. Make that top priority to figure that one out even if it means unlooming the harness and confirming, without a doubt, that it's not in the connector or harness. With the engine running, I can't imagine what other than a wiring problem, would cause odd ticks from the system.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA

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neonbeef
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Re: 1992 Ford F150 - Weird Distributor Issue - Doesn't Run

Post by neonbeef » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:39 pm

Hello cgrey8,

I have no idea how the dizzy got moved 180 degrees. And, yes, moved the plug wires back to where they needed to be.

It was easier to move the plug wires (thinking it was going to be one or two moves tops) because of the placement of the fuel line. Just kept going with it. No oil pump shaft concerns. And, I knew I was going to replace the dizzy anyway.

I have another wiring harness I could use. It's out of a 1992 Ford Flareside Nite I just picked up. No engine in it right now. Could also switch the TFI, just to make sure. Regardless, going to be working on it tomorrow. Will put the ohm meter on it and check the wires. That's what part of the plan is right now, anyway.
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64246717_334011350578176_7180869106239799296_n.jpg (93.32 KiB) Viewed 350 times
Be well, and have a great day!
Wayne

1992 Ford F150 Std Cab/Flareside/4X4/Toughened E4OD

393 Stroker/Eddie 5.8 EFI Intake and Heads/Fiveology Racing 76mm MAF & WAY1/Comp Cams XE 274/Eagle Rotating Assembly Kit/Green Giant Injectors/MSD Plugs, Wires, Distributor, 6AL Spark Box/9.9:1 compression

AHACB Strategy/Moates QH/BE - Core Tuning

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cgrey8
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Re: 1992 Ford F150 - Weird Distributor Issue - Doesn't Run

Post by cgrey8 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:20 am

I've never heard of a Ford TFI coil going bad before, but I'm sure they do. So try swapping it out too if you have one on hand from another TFI vehicle. That's an easy swap to test just to eliminate any doubt about it.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA

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