88 Ford Thunderbird starts but won't stay running


Old 06-18-15, 04:40 PM
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88 Ford Thunderbird starts but won't stay running

I have a 1988 ford Thunderbird turbo coupe that starts but wont stay running. I have already done the following: fuel pressure @ 38lbs, new tomco 15508 injectors, new pressure reg and fuel pump, tps @ .95v to wot 4.55v, new IAC. New plugs @.034 gap, new wires, cap, rotor, Has decent spark and 145 +/- compression all cyl's. Meter tested the TFI sensor all reads fine, have not checked VAM sensor yet all vaccum ports ok
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Old 06-18-15, 05:46 PM
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I moved your post to its own thread so you would get better exposure. Have you checked the voltage to the MAP sensor for 5v? Have you run the codes? Oops, '88 may not be OBD.
Old 06-18-15, 06:36 PM
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What happens to the fuel pressure after it cranks?

If it drops and engine stalls, then you need to do a follow-up checking the fuel pump circuit. Have found problems at all points along Ford fuel circuits.
A fuel pump that draws too much current can overheat and ruin relays, collision switches, etc.

Ignition switches returning from start to run position can be faulty. The list goes on..............

Good Luck!

Old 06-18-15, 06:42 PM
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That uses the Ford EEC-IV ignition system. I've worked on plenty of them with intermittent and heat related problems.

How long does it run after you let go of the key ?
Old 06-18-15, 06:50 PM
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When you say decent spark, do you mean mean that it has a blue tint? If not, replace the coil. Otherwise, it sounds like the fuel is stopping, after the initial squirt.
Old 06-21-15, 11:53 PM
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If you mean that the engine will run for a while and then die out like it's running out of gas you might consider a bad ignition module. This model of Ford uses the TFI-IV modules that are notorious for heat failure.

Those modules get red hot in a minute even on a cold engine start. A large blister on one of my finger provided that bit of info to me once upon a time.

The intent by Ford was that heat would transfer into the distributor housing and coolant flow through the thermostat housing would help cool it down. Bad idea.
The later Fords that used these modules had them relocated to a heat sink away from the distributor.

I've owned several versions of Fords with these modules and carried an extra module in the glove box; just in case.
Old 06-23-15, 10:46 AM
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Yep, try a new TFI module.
If it tested good on a meter then it was probably cold or cooled down.
Once hot, no good...
Old 06-25-15, 02:06 AM
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Very true. I've had those intermittent failures on several of my TFI Fords and by the time you start to test them they've cooled a few degrees. When tested they show good.
You can test a faulty module a 100 times and it will show fine a 100 times unless it's one of those very rare examples that suffered a hard failure and stayed dead.

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