Wiring questions; can you help?

JCullen

Member
Jan 2, 2020
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4
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74
Indiana
I am not sure what the ACT is or exactly what does but will investigate it.
The EGR I believe is a diaphragm looking device on the intake manifold, correct?
And it sounds like the ACT is an electro mechanical device.
I am using an 87 Turbo coupe ECU that had a 5 speed manual transmission.
The engine I bought came from an 85 Thunderbird that had been rolled and a father/son team bought it after hearing it run, put some oil in the cylinders and were going to use it in a project but had too much on their list so they sold it. They had it running. It had 60 k miles on it. So I do have fair confidence in the engine.
Not sure what a VAM is but will look into it.
I was thinking my turbo is a T3. It came from the stock 85 exhaust manifold that was part of the 85 engine. The intercooler is a lightweight unit I bought because the 87 turbo coupe intercooler was too large and heavy to get inside my Model A hood. I have changed the position of the inlet and outlets to keep the flow going in the shortest manner.
I have the MAP or BAP mounted above my master brake booster and am wiring it up. You can see it and the relay controller box mounted above that brake booster in the photos.
Your paragraph that speaks of LA3 strategy is way over my head. Don’t think I understood anything there. I have been building cars in one form or another, on and off since I was 17 but most were carb engines, VW, Porsche, Chevy V8 etc until I put the Miata in the pickup. In that case I had the entire wrecked Miata that I had owned before with just 50k miles. So I had the entire wiring harness, matching ECU and all sensors.
I taught electronics for 13 years (1968-1981) so the wiring does not intimidate me, it just takes me a while to get up to speed on things I have never done before.

Again, I thank you for your input. It has been very helpful in getting me up to speed on several things.

And, I must mention that when I talked to Stinger Performance, the fellow told me my Miata fuel pump would not deliver enough fuel volume for the hp. I would rather not take out the Miata pump from the tank so I am thinking I will add another pump inline but external of the tank. I found one that will deliver more than needed and I realize the pressure regulator on the fuel rail controls the pressure not the pump. The pump just keeps fuel moving.
 
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JCullen

Member
Jan 2, 2020
44
4
8
74
Indiana
I am not sure what the ACT is or exactly what does but will investigate it.
The EGR I believe is a diaphragm looking device on the intake manifold, correct?
And it sounds like the ACT is an electro mechanical device.
I am using an 87 Turbo coupe ECU that had a 5 speed manual transmission.
The engine I bought came from an 85 Thunderbird that had been rolled and a father/son team bought it after hearing it run, put some oil in the cylinders and were going to use it in a project but had too much on their list so they sold it. They had it running. It had 60 k miles on it. So I do have fair confidence in the engine.
Not sure what a VAM is but will look into it.
I was thinking my turbo is a T3. It came from the stock 85 exhaust manifold that was part of the 85 engine. The intercooler is a lightweight unit I bought because the 87 turbo coupe intercooler was too large and heavy to get inside my Model A hood. I have changed the position of the inlet and outlets to keep the flow going in the shortest manner.
I have the MAP or BAP mounted above my master brake booster and am wiring it up. You can see it and the relay controller box mounted above that brake booster in the photos.
Your paragraph that speaks of LA3 strategy is way over my head. Don’t think I understood anything there. I have been building cars in one form or another, on and off since I was 17 but most were carb engines, VW, Porsche, Chevy V8 etc until I put the Miata in the pickup. In that case I had the entire wrecked Miata that I had owned before with just 50k miles. So I had the entire wiring harness, matching ECU and all sensors.
I taught electronics for 13 years (1968-1981) so the wiring does not intimidate me, it just takes me a while to get up to speed on things I have never done before.

Again, I thank you for your input. It has been very helpful in getting me up to speed on several things.

And, I must mention that when I talked to Stinger Performance, the fellow told me my Miata fuel pump would not deliver enough fuel volume for the hp. I would rather not take out the Miata pump from the tank so I am thinking I will add another pump inline but external of the tank. I found one that will deliver more than needed and I realize the pressure regulator on the fuel rail controls the pressure not the pump. The pump just keeps fuel moving.
I do plan one more project car. I am collecting parts now. Using Mazda RX8 front and rear subframes, build my own frame in between, move a 2.5 liter turbo Subaru into midship position. Will be using a VW Karman Ghia body shell for the exterior look.
I restored a few VW bug lately and have a 550 Porsche a Spyder recreation now. Old car nut for sure.
 

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JCullen

Member
Jan 2, 2020
44
4
8
74
Indiana
I read about the ACT and I do want to keep it functioning. On this 85 SVO there is a sensor on the bottom side of the intake with a single wire connected to it. I believe it is the ACT.
Another question, next to that sensor is a water connection. I am assuming this is an intake manifold heater? ? I believe I will block this off. Is there a problem with doing that?

Yesterday, I spent a great amount of time trying to figure out where three wires go regarding the ignition system. On the schematic of the ECU it shows where 5 of the 6 wires on the distributor go but not the 6th. On the 85 Ford shop manual, it shows where the wires go, although in a very confusing system of pages and pages. However, there is no color match for one wire on the coil. I will figure it out but Ford diagrams are very confusing compared to those I have read before.
 

junkyardwarrior

Active Member
Jan 10, 2011
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As I understand, you're planning on using the Miata ECU? I am not sure that's gonna work with a 2.3, particularly not a turbocharged one. That's what the LA2 and LA3 are-those are catch codes that designate a a particular computer, and the la2 and 3 are specific to a turbo 2.3 in a 87-88 thunderbird 5 speed. Catch code PE is an 86 SVO computer, A9L catch code is a 89-93 5.0 5 speed computer, etc. The catch code is on a sticker on the computer's housing.

The fuel pump. If I understand it correctly, you want to run an external pump inline with the original fuel line, using the OEM Miata pump to feed it. If the Miata pump won't supply enough, the inline pump will be starved. Basically the inline pump would move more fuel than the Miata pump would, which starves the engine. Pressure follows volume. If volume isn't there, pressure drops off.

On the bottom of the intake there are a couple different things going on. One is the sensor, that is the knock sensor. Just unplug it and leave it. It is not needed and causes more problems than it is worth. On the water, you can do what you want with it-some guys disable water, others leave it alone. I chose to leave mine. The nipple connects to one of the two coolant lines that wrap around the back of the head.


On the wiring, it's sometimes easier to visit stinger's web page and find diagrams and pinouts there, if not, you can google and find them online (usually). I do not know what harness you're using, though. Most of the stuff I've dealt with was either OEM, or OE swapped (Mustang, thunderbird, merkur) or a custom swap (sand rail and then later on a rail dragster)--both of those used the Ron Francis harness because of it's simplicity.
 
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JCullen

Member
Jan 2, 2020
44
4
8
74
Indiana
As I understand, you're planning on using the Miata ECU? I am not sure that's gonna work with a 2.3, particularly not a turbocharged one. That's what the LA2 and LA3 are-those are catch codes that designate a a particular computer, and the la2 and 3 are specific to a turbo 2.3 in a 87-88 thunderbird 5 speed. Catch code PE is an 86 SVO computer, A9L catch code is a 89-93 5.0 5 speed computer, etc. The catch code is on a sticker on the computer's housing.

The fuel pump. If I understand it correctly, you want to run an external pump inline with the original fuel line, using the OEM Miata pump to feed it. If the Miata pump won't supply enough, the inline pump will be starved. Basically the inline pump would move more fuel than the Miata pump would, which starves the engine. Pressure follows volume. If volume isn't there, pressure drops off.

On the bottom of the intake there are a couple different things going on. One is the sensor, that is the knock sensor. Just unplug it and leave it. It is not needed and causes more problems than it is worth. On the water, you can do what you want with it-some guys disable water, others leave it alone. I chose to leave mine. The nipple connects to one of the two coolant lines that wrap around the back of the head.


On the wiring, it's sometimes easier to visit stinger's web page and find diagrams and pinouts there, if not, you can google and find them online (usually). I do not know what harness you're using, though. Most of the stuff I've dealt with was either OEM, or OE swapped (Mustang, thunderbird, merkur) or a custom swap (sand rail and then later on a rail dragster)--both of those used the Ron Francis harness because of it's simplicity.
I am using an 87 Thunderbird turbo coupe / 5 speed ecu.
I am making my own wiring harness. I soldered new wires onto almost every color coded short lead that was cut near the 87 ECU. I labeled each with the ecu PIN number, what the wire was to go to and the color code. Then I wired the other end to plugs with stub wires or soldered directly to wires coming off of a sensor.
Since the engine is an 85 turbocoupe, I found a complete Ford wiring diagram book for that 85 car. The 85 turbo engine did not have an intercooler but I have added one.
There is one fitting on the lower right side of the intake plenum that has no sensor in it. Thinking that must be where the ACT attaches.
It seems to me that the water inlet on the bottom of the plenum provides hot water that flows through the intake and then the intake temp sensor down between the injectors can sense the temperature of the water. I assume that water flows into the head near the upper temp sensor.
You make a good point on the fuel pump. I will have to find one that I can adapt to my custom built tank.
If you look at the photos I posted, you will see some of my own wiring harness, the intercooler and other devices. Yesterday I built a bracket that holds the air vane. I am getting close to trying to crank it over.
It has been a real challenge to get all of this under the hood of a Model A Ford pickup.
Note, the radiator is in between the frame members in the front portion of the pickup bed.
 

JCullen

Member
Jan 2, 2020
44
4
8
74
Indiana
I am using an 87 Thunderbird turbo coupe / 5 speed ecu.
I am making my own wiring harness. I soldered new wires onto almost every color coded short lead that was cut near the 87 ECU. I labeled each with the ecu PIN number, what the wire was to go to and the color code. Then I wired the other end to plugs with stub wires or soldered directly to wires coming off of a sensor.
Since the engine is an 85 turbocoupe, I found a complete Ford wiring diagram book for that 85 car. The 85 turbo engine did not have an intercooler but I have added one.
There is one fitting on the lower right side of the intake plenum that has no sensor in it. Thinking that must be where the ACT attaches.
It seems to me that the water inlet on the bottom of the plenum provides hot water that flows through the intake and then the intake temp sensor down between the injectors can sense the temperature of the water. I assume that water flows into the head near the upper temp sensor.
You make a good point on the fuel pump. I will have to find one that I can adapt to my custom built tank.
If you look at the photos I posted, you will see some of my own wiring harness, the intercooler and other devices. Yesterday I built a bracket that holds the air vane. I am getting close to trying to crank it over.
It has been a real challenge to get all of this under the hood of a Model A Ford pickup.
Note, the radiator is in between the frame members in the front portion of the pickup bed.
Also, I will not be using a heater so those water lines will not exist. I have cut the thermostat housing and rotated it so the water will outlet in a downward direction and then to the rear for cooling in the radiator. Obviously, this is not the typical 2.3 Ford application.
 
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