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  #21  
Old 08-16-2003, 01:31 PM
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irbob irbob is offline
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The resister wire goes to the alt.

First I've heard about the cap being out of phase. Open a new topic about your question to see what others say.

Hmmmm...complete step by step...guess i better reword my TFI page. What grade level should I use?
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2003, 01:43 PM
gopack gopack is offline
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Just bought my first GW last Friday, and already I want to try this TFI upgrade thing. My question is what details are being left out of all the instructions that I've read?
I'm not a mechanic (an engineer) but I'm pretty good at following directions. So what little things will I need to do once I've put the in the new parts? Or will it just start and run like a top?
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2003, 02:13 PM
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Make it at about 3rd grade Bob...and only one syllable words! [img]smile.gif[/img]

That's the thing gopack. It's really a pretty straight-forward deal, so much that a step-by-step isn't really necessary. Just replace the parts and you're ready to roll. Mine started right up and I haven't done anything since except recheck to make sure everything is secure. It's only been about 500 miles or so now for me, but no problems. By the way, I'm now hanging around the 14 mpg range running the air conditioning constantly (man it's been hot this week)...up from the 11-12 that I got just running the air every now and then.

Dave: are you running a stock or aftermarket. If aftermarket what brand is it? I have two so I might try running at 12v all the time. That's really the question I'm trying to answer: will I fry my coil at a continuous 12v?
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2003, 03:17 PM
davez26 davez26 is offline
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She's a stocker. I ran with the original wiring for a while, then popular opinion swung to 12v feed, so I hacked out the original feed,(resistor wire, noted by it's odd texture and covering, and ran standard wire. I didn't notice a whole lot of difference, but enough to note a change. I probably could have taken some smog measurements, mpg, etc before and after, but hindsight is 20/20. The coil used is designed for 12v, it will run fine with the standard wiring, but will run a bit better with 12v. Some people do it, some don't. We spend a whole bunch of time posting about it,asking, but I have yet to see a post titled, "I am a Dummy, I used a 12v feed to my coil and my truck died and it killed my coil." Mine has been great, no coil death to report here.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2003, 04:25 PM
Georgia Mike Georgia Mike is offline
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I've got an '88 5.0 Mustang with the TFI coil pack and I don't ever recall seeing any resister inline with the power wire. Maybe I'll check it out tomorrow and let you guys know what the voltage to it is from the factory. That should clear things up,eh?
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  #26  
Old 08-17-2003, 12:53 AM
gopack gopack is offline
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Easy Rider - Well if it is that straight forward then I'm going to give it a shot. I'm not an engine guy, so this kind of work would be new to me. What may seem easy to you could throw me for a loop. Couple of questions if you dont mind:
1. When the spark plug wires get changed do they have to go back on in a certain order?
2. Will the timing need adjusted after? (I read a post somewhere that made mention to this).

Thanks again for all the help.
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  #27  
Old 08-17-2003, 09:19 AM
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Plug wires can go on in any order, as long as they go in the same spot. Just make sure you do them one at a time and put them on the same terminal on the distributor cap and the same spark plug.

For the other question, if it's running good before the upgrade then you shouldn't *need* to change the timing, however you may be able to advance it a bit more with the new setup, not sure. Guys?

Anthony
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  #28  
Old 08-17-2003, 02:04 PM
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All in all the wiring is same, just do things one by one...step by step. Be certain that the spark plug wires to each spark plug go to the right spot on the distributor, just like your stock set up. How I did it:

1) Remove the old distributor cap leaving the spark plug wires in tact.

2) Then install the distributor cap adapter, new rotor, and new distributor cap.

3) Pick a spark plug wire on the old distributor cap and locate the corresponding hole in the new cap. You can use the little notch cut-out along the bottom edge of each cap as a reference point.

4) Remove the spark plug wire from the distributor and from the spark plug that it runs to.

5) Remove the old spark plug and install a new one gapped at .045.

6) Install the new spark plug wire on the new plug and new distributor cap on the hole that you previously identified; use the spark plug wire you just removed as a guide for the length you need for your new one.

7) Then just keep going one by one like that until it's all done.

8) Then take out the coil and install the TFI. Just match up the wires pos & neg. It's a good idea to solder and use some shrink tubing (only about $2.00 at radio shack for the tubing). You'll have to fab a bracket. I liked the one on irbob's website, so I used that. That's all there is to it really.

I took a little longer than other people because I've only had my wag for a year and I hadn't ever changed out the plugs. Doing that is the hardest part, but easier now that I know what's up. Universal joints for your sockets are a must! Anyway that's that. Good luck. I'm sending you a personal message with my phone number. Call if you have trouble.

[ August 18, 2003, 05:04 AM: Message edited by: Easy Rider ]
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  #29  
Old 08-18-2003, 05:36 AM
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Easy Rider here's the deal with the MSD install. With the TFI upgrade I connected the original coil wires to a MSD TFI coil wiring harness so it would plug right in to the TFI coil and also so I could keep the stock coil wires intact.

If you add a MSD like I did the wiring is changed around some so here it goes. The original coil wires will be disconnected from the coil, or the MSD TFI coil harness in my case. One of the coil wires will now be connected to the MSD unit. Only one wire gets connected, the other coil wire is not connected to anything anymore, I can't remember which one right now but the MSD instructions will tell you. The MSD 6A now feeds the coil, there will be a harness coming off of the MSD unit and that will connect directly to the MSD TFI coil wire harness. Also you will need a MSD Motorcraft distributor harness(about $15), unplug the original distributor harness from the Duraspark and set it out of the way. I left mine in there so I could switch back to the Duraspark if I needed to for some reason, and plug the new harness into the distributor and then the MSD unit and your set, plus you'll have the original ignition as a backup by switching around a few wires if you leave all the old stuff in there.

Well there it is, original coil wire to MSD. MSD to coil. MSD to distributor with new harness. Power and ground. And like I said, if you leave the original ignition pieces in you'll have a backup by simply plugging the original distributor harness back in and plugging the coil wires back onto the MSD coil harness.

[ August 19, 2003, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: 89grand ]
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  #30  
Old 08-19-2003, 04:30 AM
Matthew W. Woodruff Matthew W. Woodruff is offline
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FWIW, I contacted MSD a while back to find out if an MSD coil requires a resistor wire. They said "no."

My understanding is that the resistor wire is used to keep the old-style oil-filled coils from overheating. The resistor is by-passed when starting (so the coil gets a full 12v) but is switched back in while running.

If you keep the resistor wire in the circuit with an MSD coil, you are probably getting less than the "advertised" output voltage.
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  #31  
Old 08-19-2003, 04:45 AM
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12v will burn up points not the coil - points are the reason for a ballast resistor
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  #32  
Old 08-19-2003, 05:52 AM
Matthew W. Woodruff Matthew W. Woodruff is offline
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Then why would you have a ballast resistor in a breakerless (electronic) ignition?

Not disputing, just asking ...
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  #33  
Old 08-19-2003, 06:17 AM
mtn goat mtn goat is offline
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How I understood it, the resister wire is meant to keep the module from over working and burning up. The coils...at leist the MSD and TFI coils can handle the voltage fine, its the module that would overheat and die.
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  #34  
Old 08-19-2003, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew W. Woodruff:
Then why would you have a ballast resistor in a breakerless (electronic) ignition?

Not disputing, just asking ...
didn't even consider it when responding no offense taken - from my understanding all electronic vehicles are designed to work down to 9.6v in case of alternator failure - I can't say I've ever seen a ballast resistor on an electronic dizzy
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  #35  
Old 08-19-2003, 06:56 AM
Glenn_tx Glenn_tx is offline
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From the research I did when doing mine, I looked at Ford TFI sights, they are getting 6v to the coil from the factory with the system, not 12v.
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  #36  
Old 08-19-2003, 07:34 AM
Georgia Mike Georgia Mike is offline
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Just checked the coil on my Mustang. It's getting a full 12.8 volts with the ignition on W/O the engine running,and 14.2 volts at idle.
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  #37  
Old 08-19-2003, 12:07 PM
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Ok heres my $0.02
I went to the junkyard yesterday and pulled some Ford TFI Coil Sockets (the thing that plugs into the coil), and some coil brackets. MOST of the newer trucks I looked at had the resistor, in fact the wire for the resistor had a connector on it that plugged into a connector attached to the resistor. Obviously that second positive wire on the coil socket is for the resistor.
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  #38  
Old 08-20-2003, 03:51 PM
Frankenstien Frankenstien is offline
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Well I must say when I did the swap I fried 8 coils and 6 modules. I checked every resource on the web. Finally ended up finding a Ford Guru who said that all TFI's on fords up to a certain year had a resistor built in. I bought a ballast "resistor" wire from Orielys that was a standard part on a 89 F350. My coil and module runs much much cooler now and havent had a problem since. The guys at the Ranger Station website have a lot of great info on this subject. Be sure to buy a plug wire set from a 91 ford because it has the right coil wire. I believe that me and few others came to the conclusion that if you wired it up manually you needed a resistor but if you go and get the harness out of a later model truck it is already built in. Thus the confusion. However this is with a stock TFI coil I have no experience with after markets for this application.

J
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