Engine '87 GT - No Ignition - Motor Died Suddenly

Eulers

Member
Oct 12, 2010
57
3
9
CAR: 1987 Mustang GT. Totally stock. No mods.
PROBLEM: Car died suddenly while idling at a stop light intersection as if someone hit an electrical switch. Will not restart. Will not even give a hint of combustion.

TROUBLESHOOTING DONE TO DATE:
  1. Sounded Fuel Pump during initial Key On. I can hear the fuel pump prime up for several seconds with the key in the On position.
  2. Sprayed Starter Fluid into the intake manifold & then cranked over the engine. I tried this a few times. There was not even a hint of combustion.
  3. Next, I replaced the coil.
  4. I measured 11.9V from Ground to the Red Wire on the Coil.
  5. Now am using JRICHKER's Checklist entitled "Cranks OK, but No Start Checklist for Fuel Injected Mustangs ". It's posted in several areas and I'm using his version found here
  6. Am stuck on Checklist Item #1:
    • Upon jumping "the screw to the big bolt on the starter solenoid that has the battery wire connected to it", I got no spark.
    • I proceeded as directed but I got no "fat blue spark", in fact no spark at all.
  7. So am stuck on Checklist Item #1 and have a problem before even getting to #1B (i.e. I don't have a MSD box per #1A).
  8. Am miffed about the next step to take.
Any suggestions really appreciated at this point. Thanks in advance.
 
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Eulers

Member
Oct 12, 2010
57
3
9
Ok. THanks a91what. I'll do that.
Is there a way to test the PIP without a NOID light?

Noid Lights available near me are only for "Ford TBI" and I have EFI. I dont' know if the connector pins would be the same.
I'll try with spout disconnected nevertheless.
 
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Eulers

Member
Oct 12, 2010
57
3
9
QUESTIONS:
  • Am I correct to disconnect the <Ignition Coil 6-Wire Connector> from the TFI module in order to hook up the test light & crank the engine while the <6-Wire Connector> remains disconnected ? ?
    • (I am sticking the test light probes into the 6-Wire Connector's female terminals)
  • Can I test against the Red/Blue Wire or the all Red Wire & then pair either with the Green/Yellow Wire ? ?
    • I don't have a Red/Green Wire like JRichker describes
    • So I did two tests & I hooked up the test light across:
      • First the Red/Blue Wire and the Green/Yellow Wire: Resulted in no blinking LED test light (for 12v)
      • Secondly the all Red Wire and the Green/Yellow Wire: Again resulted in no blinking LED test light (for 12v)
      • Both tests were done with the <6-Wire Connector> disconnected from the TFI while the engine was cranking
Ref. JRichKer : "Place one lead of the test light on the red/green wire on the ignition coil connector and the other lead on the dark green/yellow wire on the ignition coil connector. If the TFI is working properly, the test light will flash when the engine is cranked using the ignition switch. "

Thanks in advance
 

Eulers

Member
Oct 12, 2010
57
3
9
I'm confused so bear with me....
When I pull off the grey Connector from the original 1987 grey TFI module (OEM & mounted to my distributor), to which should I hook up the test light?:
  1. To the male pins inside the cup of the TFI Module casing?
  2. Or to the female terminals on the connector?
I did #2.

Thanks again.
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
2,172
518
164
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
His checklist is good, but somewhat out of order for priority. "B" & "C" should be near the bottom of the list.
Especially when I see this: 1987 Mustang GT. Totally stock. No mods.
Skip to "G" - Ignition Switch.
Ignition switches had a recall which Ford replaced for free.
Any Ford dealer can look up your VIN to see if it was ever replaced. Doesn't mean the replacement is good, just more likely that it is.
TFI's had a class action suit, I got nothing. I think you actually had to prove yours went bad & paid Ford for a replacement.
 

Eulers

Member
Oct 12, 2010
57
3
9
Pardon the delay. To continue the saga for others' benefit,here is the outcome: It was the TFI ignition module.
DETAILS:
August 23rd, I ordered the NOID lights from Amazon along with a better test light and also the special Ford TFI removal tool.
The Special TFI removal tool is a must IMO.
Upon receipt, I performed tests as suggested.
Indications in results were the TFI. So:
  1. I ordered the first TFI from Rock Auto and waited four days for its arrival.
  2. Next day after its arrival and as suggested in the forums, I first took it to Auto Zone for a bench test before installing it.
    1. As the forums suggest, probabilities are that the TFI can be DOA. It was. It failed the bench test.
  3. Next day I figured I'd bring the original Motorcraft unit down for a bench test - It failed.
  4. Auto Zone had one of their DuraLast TFI in stock, so I asked to have it bench tested before I purchased theirs.
    1. The DuraLast unit failed the bench test.
  5. I arranged for a second Duralast TFI to be delivered to the store overnight
  6. The next day I was informed that the second unit had arrived at the store.
    1. So I went in and asked them to bench test the second Duralast unit. IT PASSED!
  7. I installed that Duralast unit into the Mustang & it started instantly. Ahhhh. Relief.
I hope this helps someone.
Thanks for the help for all who participated in the thread.
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
2,172
518
164
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
That's a lot of failed new TFI's.
Didn't know that AutoZone has a bench test rig for these.
That's good to know.

I guess, they are all made in China, now, with no QA testing of any kind.

I've had no problem with the MSD that came with their Pro Billet, about 6 years ago.
Still have the 30 year old OEM one in a box.
 
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mikestang63

SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
10,245
7,044
204
In the garage
you dont need a NOID light
Just use a test light with two paper clips or pins or you can use a 194 bulb with pieces of wire on each terminal end
Or you can use a DVOM and measure the voltage pulse