North American Turbocoupe Organization



88 TC running terrible
Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#1
I bought a 88 TC couple months ago and had one hell of an adventure getting it home! After 5 minuets of driving it would start to run erratic (tac bouncing all over the place) then shut off. Let the car sit a couple minutes then it would start back up fine....run good for 5 minuets then start that process all over again! After 5 1/2 hours of driving I thought it was the fuel system so I replaced gas tank, fuel pump (Walbro 255 kit now), changed inline filter. Still doing the same thing so I replaced o2 sensor, IAC, TPS (set to .94 volts), spark plugs, wires, distributor cap & rotor. Still doing the same thing! My neighbor & I started checking things out and we noticed that when the key is turned to on position there was a lot of random clicking going on in the engine bay and we heard some like liquid. Come to find out the car was just randomly squirting fuel from #1 & #4 injectors flooding the car (probably cause of bucking and tac going crazy when driving). I also just replaced the larger black box along side the passenger strut tower with a brand new one thinking maybe that had gone bad but now after installing that....car won’t even start and you hear a bunch of the same clicking noises. Could the LA3 ECU just be fried? Any help would be most appreciated!
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boboli Offline
Member
#2
I would first try to get codes from the computer. It's more likely something else is wrong than the LA 3 but its possible. Also remember these old Fords have ignition switch problems. They fall apart and can cause all sorts of weird stuff including a fire! So check that too. You also mentioned changing all the ignition parts except for the pickup in the distributor. Maybe it's going bad. I'd stop throwing parts at it until you do a little diagnosing. It'll save u a lot of aggravation
1988 turbo tbird, 5spd, 140k, all stock except boost control valve.
1986 dodge omni glh turbo, 111k, my money pit.
1989 mustang Lx 5.0 convertible, tropical yellow/ tan interior, 1of only 144 made, 164k, aod, all stock including overheating TFI!
89 Jaguar XJS convertible, LT1 conversion, now fighting the prince of darkness (aka Lucas electronics)
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Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#3
I gotcha, I’ll try doing that and see what kind of codes come up! Yea I wanted to kind of start fresh which is why some of the parts were bought but I do agree that a little more diagnostic checks need to happen before another part is bought!
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
Classic TFI and/or PIP issue.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#5
Looks like I found the issue....took the ECU from the kick panel and found a PAC performance Chip taped to the top. Removed tape and chip...reinserted the chip so it wasn’t wiggling and now the car runs good!!!! Unfortunately another problem has surfaced (typical for cars over 30 years old) I have developed a small fuel leak at the lines on the drivers side so going to address those immediately.
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Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#6
The PAC performance chip has 8UA on it...does that make any type of difference seeing that it’s plugged into a LA3?
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#7
It could very well make a difference. Most if not all generic "performance chips" do virtually nothing.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#8
I’m really thinking about just switching to a Pimp Stand-alone so that I can have full control and tune the car. I retapped the chip to the LA3 but it still acts up from time to time so to save myself from aggravation....I think it’s best to make the investment for the stand-alone
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#9
I would suggest you get it running right with the unchipped stock PCM BEFORE going to a stand alone like the PIMP. Everyone will tell you this (go ask this question on Stingers forum)...... if the engine has mechanical issues (vac leaks, burned valves, worn cam, cam / ignition timing screwed up, wiring issues, sensors out of range, etc, etc, you will never be able to tune it with a standalone.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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Storm Trooper Offline
Junior Member
#10
That is exactly what I’ve done over the past couple weeks. Fixed a couple boost leaks, ditched the chip.....now the car runs great....no hiccups at all and is very fun to drive and reliable!
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