North American Turbocoupe Organization



Breaking Up Under Boost
Mikey97D Offline
Member
#1
A few weeks ago I noticed that the car would break up under boost in 3rd gear on long hills at about 10 psi.  1988 TC 5spd

The spark plugs were changed about 3-5k miles ago by my mechanic while chasing a fuel issue when I first got the car (injectors clogged, crap all thru the fuel line and the gas tank not using the correct lines to connect).  Car has been running great since that time until recently.  I ordered Motorsport plugs (Copper) and last weekend finally got some time to work on the car.  First wire came apart when starting on cylinder #1.  I ordered wires from my local auto parts store that are nothing special.  If you have suggestions for wires that don't need to be assembled please make a reference.  

When I took the intercooler off I noticed it was barely in the intake / throttle body side.  The plugs I removed were gapped .035".

I gapped my new plugs at .028".  Installed new wires.  Made sure the intercooler was fully seated on both input and output.

Warmed the car up fully.  Did a short burst in 2nd after a traffic light where it accelrated "normally" but as I was letting off I thought I heard a "pop" before the waste gate relieved pressure.  Also the turbo sounded louder than I remember when in the boost like a leak or something.  

Went to a spot to run it thru the gears and it started breaking up on flat ground in 2nd and then into 3rd.  Also the leaking sound was there.  Checked under the hood and the intercooler was still in the rubber connectors, but I have not inspected those rubber pieces.

I've ordered a silicone kit for the intercooler with clamps from Stinger.  

In the mean time while waiting for the silicone couplers, suggestions on what to inspect?
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#2
(09-27-2019, 01:07 PM)Mikey97D Wrote: A few weeks ago I noticed that the car would break up under boost in 3rd gear on long hills at about 10 psi.  1988 TC 5spd

The spark plugs were changed about 3-5k miles ago by my mechanic while chasing a fuel issue when I first got the car (injectors clogged, crap all thru the fuel line and the gas tank not using the correct lines to connect).  Car has been running great since that time until recently.  I ordered Motorsport plugs (Copper) and last weekend finally got some time to work on the car.  First wire came apart when starting on cylinder #1.  I ordered wires from my local auto parts store that are nothing special.  If you have suggestions for wires that don't need to be assembled please make a reference.  

When I took the intercooler off I noticed it was barely in the intake / throttle body side.  The plugs I removed were gapped .035".

I gapped my new plugs at .028".  Installed new wires.  Made sure the intercooler was fully seated on both input and output.

Warmed the car up fully.  Did a short burst in 2nd after a traffic light where it accelrated "normally" but as I was letting off I thought I heard a "pop" before the waste gate relieved pressure.  Also the turbo sounded louder than I remember when in the boost like a leak or something.  

Went to a spot to run it thru the gears and it started breaking up on flat ground in 2nd and then into 3rd.  Also the leaking sound was there.  Checked under the hood and the intercooler was still in the rubber connectors, but I have not inspected those rubber pieces.

I've ordered a silicone kit for the intercooler with clamps from Stinger.  

In the mean time while waiting for the silicone couplers, suggestions on what to inspect?

It’s the general opinion of most here that only Motorcraft plug wires have any value. I’ve used others and ended up going back to those bright orange Motorcraft ones.

Plug gap should be .32.” Also, plugs should be Autolite 764, but I have ran many different types over the past 28 years. I  really liked Splitfire until they stopped making them for the TC. Recently I’ve been running Motorcraft Platinum SP-493 plugs with no issues. (From the Haynes manual: “too wide a gap reduces speed and power; too narrow a gap causes uneven engine idling.”)

It sounds like you’ve got some sort of obstruction in one of the turbo vacuum lines, or perhaps you need to carefully inspect the large rubber connectors that connect the intercooler. A few months ago I began hearing a loud WHOOSH when I would get on the gas, turned out there was a split—only visible through close inspection—in the lower connector that was allowing boost to escape.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#3
(09-30-2019, 09:34 AM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(09-27-2019, 01:07 PM)Mikey97D Wrote: A few weeks ago I noticed that the car would break up under boost in 3rd gear on long hills at about 10 psi.  1988 TC 5spd

The spark plugs were changed about 3-5k miles ago by my mechanic while chasing a fuel issue when I first got the car (injectors clogged, crap all thru the fuel line and the gas tank not using the correct lines to connect).  Car has been running great since that time until recently.  I ordered Motorsport plugs (Copper) and last weekend finally got some time to work on the car.  First wire came apart when starting on cylinder #1.  I ordered wires from my local auto parts store that are nothing special.  If you have suggestions for wires that don't need to be assembled please make a reference.  

When I took the intercooler off I noticed it was barely in the intake / throttle body side.  The plugs I removed were gapped .035".

I gapped my new plugs at .028".  Installed new wires.  Made sure the intercooler was fully seated on both input and output.

Warmed the car up fully.  Did a short burst in 2nd after a traffic light where it accelrated "normally" but as I was letting off I thought I heard a "pop" before the waste gate relieved pressure.  Also the turbo sounded louder than I remember when in the boost like a leak or something.  

Went to a spot to run it thru the gears and it started breaking up on flat ground in 2nd and then into 3rd.  Also the leaking sound was there.  Checked under the hood and the intercooler was still in the rubber connectors, but I have not inspected those rubber pieces.

I've ordered a silicone kit for the intercooler with clamps from Stinger.  

In the mean time while waiting for the silicone couplers, suggestions on what to inspect?

It’s the general opinion of most here that only Motorcraft plug wires have any value. I’ve used others and ended up going back to those bright orange Motorcraft ones.

Plug gap should be .32.” Also, plugs should be Autolite 764, but I have ran many different types over the past 28 years. I  really liked Splitfire until they stopped making them for the TC. Recently I’ve been running Motorcraft Platinum SP-493 plugs with no issues. (From the Haynes manual: “too wide a gap reduces speed and power; too narrow a gap causes uneven engine idling.”)

It sounds like you’ve got some sort of obstruction in one of the turbo vacuum lines, or perhaps you need to carefully inspect the large rubber connectors that connect the intercooler. A few months ago I began hearing a loud WHOOSH when I would get on the gas, turned out there was a split—only visible through close inspection—in the lower connector that was allowing boost to escape.
Thanks for the info.  Any chance you have the part number for the wires?  I am finding the Motorcraft wires but they are not orange so wondering if they are still correct.  Thanks!
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
Motorcraft plug wires for the TC: WR4011C. RA has them for a reasonable price. They have light gray colored insulation. Never seen Motorcraft wires with orange insulation. Every set of Motorcfaft wires I have ever bought for any of my Fords have had light gray insulation. Be sure to use dielectric grease in the boots at both ends.
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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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#5
(10-01-2019, 12:41 AM)Jeff K Wrote: Motorcraft plug wires for the TC: WR4011C.  RA has them for a reasonable price. They have light gray colored insulation. Never seen Motorcraft wires with orange insulation. Every set of Motorcfaft wires I have ever bought for any of my Fords have had light gray insulation. Be sure to use dielectric grease in the boots at both ends.
Thanks Jeff for the part number!
Will use the dielectric grease.   

The new rubber / silicone tube came in yesterday with better clamps.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow I will get a change to inspect.  I am going to check the cam timing too and then the ignition timing once together running.  I also picked up a vacuum pump to check the vacuum system.  I think someone here mentioned using brake clean to help find leak?  Does that make the idle go high or stall?

Edit: After reading this thread I think I will make a cap and check for boost leaks. I have a pressure regulator kicking around from air brush painting so why not put it to use.
https://turbotbird.com/thread-vacuum-boo...ong--31325
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
The boost leak tool makes leak testing easy. Keep pressures around 10 psi. You can use soapy water in a spray bottle to look for leaks.
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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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#7
(10-01-2019, 12:31 PM)Mikey97D Wrote:
(10-01-2019, 12:41 AM)Jeff K Wrote: Motorcraft plug wires for the TC: WR4011C.  RA has them for a reasonable price. They have light gray colored insulation. Never seen Motorcraft wires with orange insulation. Every set of Motorcfaft wires I have ever bought for any of my Fords have had light gray insulation. Be sure to use dielectric grease in the boots at both ends.
Thanks Jeff for the part number!
Will use the dielectric grease.   

The new rubber / silicone tube came in yesterday with better clamps.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow I will get a change to inspect.  I am going to check the cam timing too and then the ignition timing once together running.  I also picked up a vacuum pump to check the vacuum system.  I think someone here mentioned using brake clean to help find leak?  Does that make the idle go high or stall?

Edit: After reading this thread I think I will make a cap and check for boost leaks.  I have a pressure regulator kicking around from air brush painting so why not put it to use. 
https://turbotbird.com/thread-vacuum-boo...ong--31325


My mistake on the spark plug wire color. I was thinking of an older set of MSD wires I got from Summit Racing a while ago; my present Motorcraft set is in fact light grey.

Sorry for the confusion.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#8
I put the Motorsport Plug Wires and the new couplers with better clamps on the in & out of the intercooler. I am still waiting on the cap and rotor to arrive. The old bottom coupler out of the turbo to the intercooler was so loose that the clamp did nothing. Checked the cam timing.

Although it was raining last night I wanted to know how it was running. No breaking up and runs well (flat ground).

Took it to work this morning (about 35 miles). Had a long hill to test 3rd gear under boost and the only thing to happen was the rear wheels broke loose.

I am going to wait until winter when I take it off the road to check the vacuum lines and do a pressure test on the boost system.

I still want to check my fuel pressure too.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#9
(10-04-2019, 12:38 PM)Mikey97D Wrote: Took it to work this morning (about 35 miles).  Had a long hill to test 3rd gear under boost and the only thing to happen was the rear wheels broke loose.

Sorry, but I don’t understand what that means.

”Broke loose”? From the axle?

The road was slippery and you hydroplaned or fish-tailed?
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#10
(10-05-2019, 07:16 PM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 12:38 PM)Mikey97D Wrote: Took it to work this morning (about 35 miles).  Had a long hill to test 3rd gear under boost and the only thing to happen was the rear wheels broke loose.

Sorry, but I don’t understand what that means.

”Broke loose”? From the axle?

The road was slippery and you hydroplaned or fish-tailed?
The road was damp from the night before (looked dry but wasn't).  Surprised me that it got loose.
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