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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, hope all is well with everyone, it's been a while since I've been on. To be very honest, my '90 Taurus has been running super well and I haven't thought much about it. How's that, dependable and capable; I love these cars!
Anyway, my wife drove home 20 freeway miles last night and parked. This morning I went out and it just cranks. I thougth for sure it was the throttle position sensor so I swapped for a new one and it made no difference.
While cranking I pressed the valve on the fuel rail to check for gas and fuel shot strong, hard and high in the air. The fuel pump is only about a year old so I was happy is still is pumping.
I checked for spark and nothing was visable. I had an old coil so I tried that, but again, it made no difference.

I now suspect it's a sensor of some sort. Any suggestions?
 

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try your ignition control module, it located on the side of the distubutor. you can take it off and take it to autozone and they can test it for you.
 

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Hey guys, hope all is well with everyone, it's been a while since I've been on. To be very honest, my '90 Taurus has been running super well and I haven't thought much about it. How's that, dependable and capable; I love these cars!
Anyway, my wife drove home 20 freeway miles last night and parked. This morning I went out and it just cranks. I thougth for sure it was the throttle position sensor so I swapped for a new one and it made no difference.
While cranking I pressed the valve on the fuel rail to check for gas and fuel shot strong, hard and high in the air. The fuel pump is only about a year old so I was happy is still is pumping.
I checked for spark and nothing was visable. I had an old coil so I tried that, but again, it made no difference.

I now suspect it's a sensor of some sort. Any suggestions?


if it were me i would use my fuel presure gague to see if the fuel presure drops as the ignition fires if it does not it is a sign the injector are not opening.


this and since there is no spark visible cheek it again tonight they are hard to see durning day light hours any ways the other guy said some thing about the one module there is also hall effect sensors on distrubtor type engines. this tells the pcm to fire the spark coil and injectors. so best bet is to find a good wiring diagram of the ignition system and test each componet this is if for sure you got no spark. ya i do not think it is the hall effect but just rtember it is there. there is stuff like that module the other guy said and a lot of other stuff. so the digram is the best way to know what you got then all you got to do is find it on the engine.
 

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Description & Operation
See Figures 1 and 2
Taurus and Sable models equipped with the 2.5L, 3.0L, and 3.8L engines incorporate an ignition system using a Universal Distributor. The ignition system includes:




A universal distributor that has a diecast housing with a Hall effect distributor stator.

An "E'' type ignition coil which transforms battery voltage on the primary circuit, into about 28,000 volts on the secondary circuit each time the ignition coil receives a signal from the Ignition Control Module (ICM).

An ignition control module which features EEC-IV or PCM-controlled ignition coil charge times.



Some of the earlier models are equipped with a TFI-IV module. TFI stands for Thick Film Integrated and incorporates a molded thermoplastic module mounted on the distributor base. In later systems, the TFI-IV module's functions are carried out by the ignition control module.
In this system, the distributor is driven off the camshaft and uses no centrifugal or vacuum advance. The distributor operates by using a Hall effect vane switch assembly, causing the ignition coil to be switched on and off by the EEC-IV and TFI-IV modules on earlier vehicles, or the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and the Ignition Control Module (ICM) on later vehicles.





Fig. Fig. 1: View of the Hall effect vane switch assembly






Fig. Fig. 2: View of the rotary vane cup which is made of ferrous material

The vane switch is an encapsulated package consisting of a Hall sensor on one side and a permanent magnet on the other side. A rotary vane cup, made of ferrous material, is used to trigger the signal OFF and ON. When the window of the vane cup is between the magnet and the Hall effect device, a magnetic flux field is completed from the magnet through the Hall effect device and back to the magnet. As the vane passes through this opening, the flux lines are shunted through the vane and back to the magnet. During this time, a voltage is produced as the vane passes through the opening. When the vane clears the opening, the window edge causes the signal to go to zero volts. The signal is then used by the EEC-IV or PCM (as applicable) for crankshaft position sensing and the computation of the desired spark advance based on engine demand and calibration. The voltage distribution is accomplished through a conventional rotor, cap and ignition wires.
 

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Distributor Cap and Rotor



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. If equipped, remove the distributor cap cover, then disengage the electrical connector, if applicable.




Fig. Fig. 1: If equipped, remove the distributor cap cover






Fig. Fig. 2: Disengage the electrical connector

  1. If necessary, tag and remove the spark plug wires from the cap.
  2. Loosen the distributor hold-down screws.
  3. Remove the distributor cap by lifting it straight off the distributor to prevent damage to the rotor blade and spring.




Fig. Fig. 3: Lift the distributor cap straight up to prevent damage to the rotor blade and spring

  1. Matchmark the position of the rotor, then pull it upward to remove it from the distributor shaft and armature.




Fig. Fig. 4: Matchmark the position of the rotor for installation purposes






Fig. Fig. 5: Pull the rotor upward to remove it from the distributor shaft and armature

To install:

  1. Install the rotor according to the marks made during removal, making sure to align the locating boss on the rotor with the hole on the armature, then fully seat the rotor on the distributor shaft.




Fig. Fig. 6: View of the spring, blade and the locating boss on the rotor

  1. Position the distributor cap on the housing, noting the square alignment locator, if equipped. Tighten the hold-down screws to 18-23 inch lbs. (2.0-2.6 Nm).




Fig. Fig. 7: Location of the square alignment indicator on the distributor cap

  1. If removed, connect the spark plug wires to their correct location on the distributor cap as tagged during removal.
  2. If equipped, install the distributor cap cover, then connect the negative battery cable.
Ignition Coil



See Figures 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Disconnect the distributor-to-ignition coil wire from the ignition coil.




Fig. Fig. 8: Disconnect the distributor-to-ignition coil wire-early model 2.5L shown

  1. Disengage the TFI-IV harness or the engine control sensor wiring connector from the ignition coil, as applicable.




Fig. Fig. 9: Disengage the engine wiring connector from the coil-early model 2.5L shown

  1. On the 3.8L engine, disengage the engine control wiring connector from the radio ignition interference capacitor.
  2. Remove the ignition coil retaining screws and the ignition coil and radio interference capacitor (if equipped) from the ignition coil mounting bracket.




Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the ignition coil retaining screws

  1. Remove the ignition coil cover from the ignition coil by releasing the locking tabs on both sides of the cover, then remove the ignition coil.




Fig. Fig. 11: Ignition coil and related components-late model 3.0L shown






Fig. Fig. 12: Ignition coil and related components-late model 3.8L shown

To install:

  1. Install the ignition coil, then attach ignition coil cover, making sure the cover is firmly in place.
  2. If removed, connect the ignition coil and radio interference capacitor, then install the ignition coil retaining screws. Tighten the retaining screws to 25-35 inch lbs. (2.8-4.0 Nm).
  3. Connect the coil wire, then engage any electrical connectors that were removed.
  4. Connect the negative battery cable.
Ignition Control Module (ICM)

In earlier models, the ICM was referred to as the TFI-IV Ignition Module; the name was later changed to Ignition Control Module (ICM).
2.5L AND 3.0L ENGINES



See Figure 13
  1. Remove the distributor cap and position it away from the work area, with the wires still attached.
  2. Disengage the engine control sensor wiring connector (late model vehicles) or the TFI-IV harness connector from the ignition control module.
  3. Remove the distributor from the engine. For details, please refer to the procedure located later in this section.
  4. Place the distributor on a work bench, then remove the two module retaining screws.

Do NOT attempt to lift the module from the mounting surface before moving the entire module toward the distributor flange! This will cause the pins to break at the distributor/module connector.
  1. Pull the right-hand side of the module down toward the distributor mounting flange and back up to disengage the module terminals from the connector in the distributor housing. The module may then be pulled toward the flange and away from the distributor.
  2. Remove the module from the distributor.




Fig. Fig. 13: The ignition control module (or TFI ignition module, as applicable), is located on the distributor

To install:

  1. Coat the metal base of the module with Silicone Dielectric Compound D7AZ-19A331-A, or equivalent meeting Ford specifications, approximately 1 / 32 in. (0.79mm) thick.
  2. Place the module on the distributor housing mounting flange.
  3. Carefully position the module toward the distributor housing, then align the three distributor connecting pins.
  4. Install the two module retaining screws, then starting with the upper right-hand screw, tighten the screws to 15-35 inch lbs. (1.7-4.0 Nm).
  5. Install the distributor as explained later in this section.
  6. Install the distributor cap, then tighten the mounting screws to 18-23 inch lbs. (2.0-2.6 Nm).
  7. Engage the engine control sensor wiring connector or TFI-IV harness connector, as applicable, to the module.
  8. Connect the negative battery cable.
  9. Using an inductive timing light, check the timing and adjust as necessary. This procedure is covered later in this section.
3.8L ENGINE



See Figure 14
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the screws attaching the cowl vent screen to the top of the cowl.
  3. Separate the engine compartment cowl seal strip from the cowl vent screen and the cowl dash extension panel in the area of the ignition control module.
  4. Lift the cowl vent screen off to allow access to the ignition control module/TFI module assembly.

The connector latch is underneath the ICM/TFI shroud. Press upward to unlatch.
  1. Disengage the engine control sensor wiring connector from the ICM or TFI, as applicable.

The ignition control module and heatsink are mounted with the heatsink fins pointed downward.
  1. Remove the two retaining nuts attaching the ICM/TFI and heatsink to the dash panel, then remove the ICM/TFI and the heatsink.
  2. Remove the two module retaining screws, then remove the ICM or TFI from the heatsink.
  3. While holding the module connector shroud with one hand, pull the seal off the other end of the module.




Fig. Fig. 14: Location of the ignition control module-3.8L engines only

To install:

  1. Coat the metal base of the ICM or TFI module uniformly with Silicone Dielectric Compound D7AZ-19A331-A or equivalent, about 1 / 32 in. (0.79mm) thick.
  2. Place the module onto the heatsink. Install the retaining screws, then tighten them to 15-35 inch lbs. (1.7-4.0 Nm).
  3. Push the seal over the module connector shroud and heatsink studs with the metal part toward the heatsink.
  4. Insert the module and heatsink into the cowl dash extension panel enough to have the mounting studs protrude into the engine compartment side.
  5. Hand-tighten the retaining nuts to 44-70 inch lbs. (5-8 Nm).
  6. Engage the engine control sensor wiring connector to the module.
  7. Install the cowl vent screen and retaining screws, then install the engine compartment cowl panel and seal strip.
  8. Connect the negative battery cable.
Distributor



See Figures 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Disconnect the engine control sensor wiring from the distributor.
  3. With a marker, chalk or crayon, mark the position of the No. 1 cylinder distributor cap wire tower on the distributor housing for installation reference.
  4. Loosen the distributor cap hold-down screws, then pull the cap straight up and off the distributor to prevent damage to the distributor rotor blade and spring.
  5. Position the distributor cap with the ignition wires intact, out of the way.




Fig. Fig. 15: Position the cap with the wires intact out of the way for ease of removal

  1. Matchmark the position of the rotor, then remove it by pulling it upward from the distributor shaft and armature.
  2. Disconnect the hold-down clamp and distributor retaining bolt, then remove the distributor from the engine by pulling it upward.




Fig. Fig. 16: Removing the distributor hold-down bolt. Note: The preferred method requires the removal of the rotor when removing the distributor.






Fig. Fig. 17: Lift the distributor from the engine; once the distributor is lifted partly out it, may be tilted slightly and removed

  1. Cover the distributor opening in the cylinder block or engine front cover, as applicable, with a clean rag to prevent any foreign material or debris from entering the engine.
To install:


CAUTION
Before installing the distributor, you must coat the entire drive gear and the camshaft distributor gear through the distributor hole with Engine Assembly Lubricant D9AZ-19579-D or equivalent.



Inspect the distributor before installing it. Inspect the O-ring. It should fit tightly and NOT have any cuts. The distributor drive gear should be free of nicks, cracks and excessive wear. When rotated, the distributor should move freely, without binding.





Fig. Fig. 18: If the O-ring is cracked or nicked, it must be replaced


TIMING NOT DISTURBED






This condition exists if the engine has not been rotated while the distributor was removed.
  1. Install the distributor and the rotor, aligning the distributor housing and the rotor with the marks made during removal.
  2. Install the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp. Only snug the bolt at this time.
  3. Connect the wiring harness to the distributor.
  4. Install the rotor and the distributor cap. Make sure the ignition wires are securely connected to the distributor cap and spark plugs. Tighten the distributor cap screws to 18-23 inch lbs. (2.0-2.6 Nm).
  5. Connect a suitable timing light to the engine (following the manufacturer's instructions) and connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and set the initial timing. Timing procedures are located later in this section.
  6. Turn the engine OFF , then tighten the distributor hold-down bolt to 17-25 ft. lbs. (23-34 Nm) on the 2.5L engine, 14-21 ft. lbs. (19-28 Nm) on the 3.0L engine, or 20-29 ft. lbs. (27-39 Nm) on the 3.8L engine.
  7. Start the engine and recheck the timing to verify it did not change while tightening the hold-down bolt, then stop the engine and remove the timing light.




Fig. Fig. 19: After the distributor is installed, check the timing with a timing light

TIMING DISTURBED



This condition exists if the engine has been rotated with the distributor removed. To correctly install the distributor, the No. 1 piston must be at TDC of the compression stroke.
  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire and the spark plug from the No. 1 cylinder.
  2. Place your finger over the spark plug hole, then rotate the engine clockwise (by turning the crankshaft pulley) until compression is felt at the spark plug hole.
  3. With the No. 1 piston on the compression stroke, align the timing pointer with the TDC mark on the crankshaft damper.
  4. Align the locating boss on the rotor with the hole on the armature. Install the rotor on the distributor shaft, making sure it is fully seated on the distributor shaft. Rotate the shaft so the rotor tip is pointing toward the distributor cap's No. 1 spark plug tower position.
  5. While installing the distributor, continue turning the rotor slightly, so the leading edge of the vane is centered in the distributor stator assembly.
  6. Rotate the distributor in the block to align the leading edge of the vane and distributor stator assembly. Make sure the rotor is pointing toward the distributor cap No. 1 spark plug tower position.

If the vane and distributor stator cannot be aligned by rotating the distributor in the block, remove the distributor just enough to disengage the distributor gear from the camshaft gear. Turn the rotor enough to engage the distributor gear on another tooth of the camshaft gear. Repeat this procedure, if necessary.
  1. Install the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp. Only snug the bolt at this time.
  2. Connect the wiring harness to the distributor, then install the distributor cap. Tighten the distributor cap hold-down screws to 18-23 inch lbs. (2.0-2.6 Nm).
  3. Install the No. 1 spark plug and wire.
  4. Connect a suitable timing light (following the manufacturer's instructions) and connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine, then check and adjust the timing, as necessary.
  5. Turn the engine OFF , then tighten the distributor hold-down bolt. Tighten the bolt to 17-25 ft. lbs. (23-34 Nm) on the 2.5L engine, 14-21 ft. lbs. (19-28 Nm) on the 3.0L engine, or 20-29 ft. lbs. (27-40 Nm) on the 3.8L engine.
  6. Start the engine and recheck the timing to verify it did not change while tightening the hold-down bolt, then stop the engine and remove the timing light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replys, so much information.
Since my earlier post, I've swapped in a new voltage regulator. It did nothing. I'm not wanting to swap the ignition module as the CA version is $100! I've aklready spent $50 and achieved nothing. I'm still wondering about the ignition coil…
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm going to pick-up a new $20 coil today as the car still has the original. I realize it's a gamble, but I have had these go out on me on prior cars I've owned. I'm trying to avoid spending $100 for a proper diagnostic at a shop. If this last effort doesn't fix it, I'll be forced to tow it in.
While picking up the coil, I'm going to rent their fuel pressure tester also. I want to ensure I have the right amount of psi from the one year old aftermarket fuel pump.
 

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could try testing that coil like so. and you can take the icm in to auto zone and they will test it for you. just be care full they do it right nd not lie to you that it bad.








IGNITION COIL




See Figures 1 and 2
  1. Follow the coil wire from the center terminal on the distributor cap to the end at the ignition coil. Make sure the transaxle is in Park (AT) or Neutral (MT) and that the ignition is turned OFF .
  2. Separate the wiring harness connector from the ignition module at the distributor. Inspect for dirt, corrosion and damage. Reconnect the harness if no problems are found.

Push the connector tabs together to separate.
  1. Attach a 12 volt DC test light between the coil Tach terminal and an engine ground, then crank the engine. If the light flashes or is continuous:
    1. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
    2. Disengage the ignition coil connector on top of the coil and inspect for dirt, corrosion and/or damage.
    3. Using an ohmmeter, measure the ignition coil primary resistance from the positive (+) to the negative (-) terminal of the ignition coil. See the corresponding figures for terminal locations.
    4. The ohmmeter reading should be 0.3-1.0 ohms. If the reading is less than 0.3 ohms or greater than 1.0 ohms, the ignition coil should be replaced.
    5. Using an ohmmeter, measure the coil secondary resistance; connect it to the negative (-) terminal and the high voltage terminal.
    6. The resistance should be 6,500-11,500 ohms with the ohmmeter set on ohms x 1000. If the reading is less than 6,500 ohms or greater than 11,500 ohms, replace the ignition coil.




Fig. Fig. 1: Testing ignition coil primary resistance





Fig. Fig. 2: Testing ignition coil secondary resistance
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Awesome info. I tried the primary test and it zeroed out. As I understand it, it should have been no lower than .3.
The secondary test was more confusing as I don't have a 1000 setting, but in 2000 as well as a few other settings I tried, it always showed "8". Maybe that reflects 8000?
 

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Awesome info. I tried the primary test and it zeroed out. As I understand it, it should have been no lower than .3.
The secondary test was more confusing as I don't have a 1000 setting, but in 2000 as well as a few other settings I tried, it always showed "8". Maybe that reflects 8000?

i think it repasents 8000 tell me if you got ever thing printed you want .i am going to delete some photos there is a max photo of i think it is 25 aloud on my account till i sign up for a advanced one if you need any of them back just say some thing
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sadistic, you can delete the pics now if you need to.

I still have the problem however. I swapped coils and still nothing, no spark. I'm reluctant to remove the ICM as the distributor has to be removed to get it out. Even then, it cost $100 to swap it if they can't test it or say they can't. Do you really think it could be the problem? I'm trying to avoid taking it for a $100 diagnostic test.
Plus only being a '90, no OBDII. Any other ideas?
 

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have you check fuel pressure to see if it is getting threw the injectors? some times they plug when the fuel filter totally blows threw? clogging them it will crank and crank and no start so it is some thing to check in to. it should drop buy some thing like 2-5 psi wile cranking the engine. this is with the gague on it. i know on a gen 3 it should be about 40 psi 40 - 5 = 35 psi the needle should bonce back and forth between 40 and 35 on my car. not sure what a 90's Taurus will do.for psi for fuel pressure it worth doing same with compression testing same symptoms can happen if the gasket went. same with a multi meter and a good Haynes manual will tell you if that icm is bad with out removing it.
 

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if you do not got the proper tools it is worth less to even do a haynes manual can be found on half.com for cheap for your make and model car. here is a link to multi meter before you just throw a 100 dollar part at it test it first casue it could be any thing like a head gasket or even fuel injectors. compresion tester cost 30 fuel tester cost 30 multi metter 30 bucks owning a old car like this one i would say start with the fuel and the multi meter to find compression and fuel tester just goggle the name. it is a must on these older cars stuff happens all the time that requires them.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482139000P?mv=rr
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I hear ya about having the right tools. I have a great multi-meter and as for fuel pressure tester, you can rent them from most auto parts stores for free. I hear the pump work with the key as well as having huge spray from the fuel rail when the valve is pushed. I have to expect the FI is working correct since it drove home perfect and never any problems prior, not even a hint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
IT WAS THE ICM!

I called a friend who had an old one that he knew to still be good. After purchasing a deep well 7/32 socket, I removed and replaced the old unit and the car started right up.

Thank you for all your help, it is greatly appreciated.

LaGrasta
 
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