Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a good car until the last year or so, but problems are developing. Fuel pump was replaced recently, but now it seems to have an ignition problem that comes and goes.

'95 GL Wagon, 3.8L V6

Ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor & wires have all been replaced.

Rotate key, fuel pump runs, starter cranks normally, but it won't fire up. This might happen once, twice or ten or more times, then suddenly it will fire and run fine. Inductive timing light won't flash while it isn't starting, but flashes normally while it's running of course. Tells me there is no spark for some reason, but I can't figure out why it comes and goes.

Until recently, once it started, all was well. There were no driveability problems. Lately though it has stumbled a few times while driving, downshifting momentarily, then continuing on as normal. Acts as if it's losing power somewhere.

I've checked every related connector I can find and all look good, no corrosion, no frayed wires.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,590 Posts
95 is EEC IV / TFI system. Could be a failing TFI or PIP (Hall sensor inside the dist), but those ususally, but not always, fail when hot.

Many Fords from the 80s thru mid 90s had problems with the ignition switch failure / overheating, and many models had recalls to replace the switch. Not saying the switch is your problem, but worth looking into. If I remember correctly, TFI/PIP and coil pare powered off a different circuit from the switch than the PCM / PCM relay so possible PCM is powered up but no power to coil/TFI/PIP, which all run off the same power feed circuit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
95 is EEC IV / TFI system. Could be a failing TFI or PIP (Hall sensor inside the dist), but those ususally, but not always, fail when hot.

Many Fords from the 80s thru mid 90s had problems with the ignition switch failure / overheating, and many models had recalls to replace the switch. Not saying the switch is your problem, but worth looking into. If I remember correctly, TFI/PIP and coil pare powered off a different circuit from the switch than the PCM / PCM relay so possible PCM is powered up but no power to coil/TFI/PIP, which all run off the same power feed circuit.

Ignition switch was also replaced about a year ago while troubleshooting another problem that turned out to be the fuel pump.


How is the coil/TFI/PIP powered?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,590 Posts
Coil/TFI/PIP are powered directly from the ignition switch. I think there is a fuse line in the circuit. Easiest way to check is to see if the coil pos terminal has 12V with key in run and start. Use a test light for this. Easy test for PIP/TFI. Hook test light from coil neg terminal to ground. Key in run, light should light up. Crank engine. Light should flash on and off as TFI grounds / ungrounds coil.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
When the ignition switch failed on my 2005, I didn't have cranking. Actually, because of no cranking, a member here was able to direct me to ignition switch. Is it different for different years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
When we say coil/TFI/PIP, are we talking about the pick-up coil/stator inside the distributor?

I can't see it being the ignition switch (again) or a fuse since it's so intermittent.

Odometer is at 108K if that matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
Coil = secondary ignition coil, wherever that is on a 3.8; TFI = Thick Film Ignition electronic ignition module, usually grey plastic piece mounted on the distributor housing; PIP = Profile Ignition Pickup, the stationary magentic pickup inside the distributor body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,061 Posts
It's been a good car until the last year or so, but problems are developing. Fuel pump was replaced recently, but now it seems to have an ignition problem that comes and goes.

'95 GL Wagon, 3.8L V6

Ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor & wires have all been replaced.

Rotate key, fuel pump runs, starter cranks normally, but it won't fire up. This might happen once, twice or ten or more times, then suddenly it will fire and run fine. Inductive timing light won't flash while it isn't starting, but flashes normally while it's running of course. Tells me there is no spark for some reason, but I can't figure out why it comes and goes.

Until recently, once it started, all was well. There were no driveability problems. Lately though it has stumbled a few times while driving, downshifting momentarily, then continuing on as normal. Acts as if it's losing power somewhere.

I've checked every related connector I can find and all look good, no corrosion, no frayed wires.
I had been previously stranded in my 90 and 93 wagon by TFI issues.
It will cause a no spark. Can be intermittent.

If your car has the old school distributor and not the coil pack, i would replace the TFI. You will need a special thin wall socket to take it off.
Make sure the heat sink goop is on the metal of the module base before
its installed.

Depending on the current cost of the TFI aftermarket, you might just
want to go to the UPULL yard and get a whole distributor and swap it
out modules and all. This will take the TFI and dist sensor out of the equation. If you do that , make sure you note where the rotor is pointing
and align the replacement unit the same way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,355 Posts
^+1 on the tfi. Mine would usually fail when warm (like the old oil-filled coils). After cooling off, car would usually start until tfi failed completely. I think ford usually replaced the pip along with the tfi when performing warranty work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had been previously stranded in my 90 and 93 wagon by TFI issues.
It will cause a no spark. Can be intermittent.

If your car has the old school distributor and not the coil pack, i would replace the TFI. You will need a special thin wall socket to take it off.
Make sure the heat sink goop is on the metal of the module base before
its installed.

Depending on the current cost of the TFI aftermarket, you might just
want to go to the UPULL yard and get a whole distributor and swap it
out modules and all. This will take the TFI and dist sensor out of the equation.
If you do that , make sure you note where the rotor is pointing
and align the replacement unit the same way
Well, I have a distributor ordered that should be here in a few days. Cost for the full unit (rebuilt) is about $60 where the stator alone was about $30. If it saves me some broken knuckles and maybe a problem pulling the gear and stator, it'll be worth the other $30.

So, the consensus is that this should solve the problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
Ummm...no? Those were suggested areas to test. Hopefully you guessed right, since you already bought the part.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top