North American Turbocoupe Organization

Del Offline
Junior Member
Hello I just bought a 1988 turbo coupe about a month ago. It was running well but admittedly with a sluggish throttle response that i overlooked as the age of the car. About a week ago i changed my plugs and wires before traveling 60 miles home from an out of state trip. I then went to do grab a bite to eat a few blocks away and when i came out i was stranded. the car wouldn't start. I immediately replaced the plugs and wires again thinking them bad, both times with motorcraft and it had no effect. After i got it towed home and had time with it the car is idling rough, after it gets up to temp it dies or if killed wont restart unless it is given time to cool off completely. I had a mechanic look at at who said it was the ignition control module on the distributor but after it was replaced today there is little change. It seems to run a little longer now but that could easily be a hopeful illusion. I cant even get the codes ran due to the cost of towing and the amount the shops here charge due to the car's age. Frankly in at the end of my rope. I'm just out of college I work minimum wage and this car has eaten what little saving I had. I cant keep walking 3 miles to work and back. If anyone can help it would be most appreciated.

Pete D Offline
1. Del, Welcome to the board! There are good knowledgeable people here.

2. The car not starting after a tune up could be an air leak, like either the VAM hose or either o the two inter-cooler hoses. Quite often they can be off location or not properly clamped, such that there is a air leak. The lower inter-cooler hose is especially susceptible because it's hard to see it it is properly positioned, and the lower clamp in the right position. Will the car start if you unplug the VAM.

Have you checked the cam timing. It must be right before moving on to ignition timing. Sometimes the cam belt can jump one or more teeth, run smooth but fell down on power. There are articles in the "Old Tech Articles", (link on the right side of this page)on changing the cam belt and properly timing it/ checking for proper cam timing. There are also a some articles on pulling codes, including one on pulling codes yourself from inside the car on an 88. See that article.

The ignition modules can fail in different ways. One of them is that the engine can die when hot and then restart when cooled off. That is well documented. The factory recommends changing the PIP, inside the dist at the same time. Hold up on that for now and pursue checking the timing and resolving any air leaks and see if that helps or corrects the situation

Pete Dunham


w60 Offline
Senior Member
What part of AL are you in Del? I'm in homewood and go to Montgomery a few times per week.
White 88 TC Auto Trans
White 04 Honda CR/V
Blue 74 Honda Trail 70

Jeff K Offline
Did you run codes? Do you have a CM 14 (Intermittent PIP signal to PCM)? Code 16 (intermittent IDM failure)?

As Pete said, TFI and PIP should both be replaced at the same time. Use ONLY Motorcraft PIP and TFI. Rockauto has them cheaper than anyone, but they still arent "cheap". Most cheap aftermarket PIP / TFI are JUNK, and are sometimes bad right out of the box, or fail in short order.

Are you sure the coil is good and the coil is getting 12V?
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.
11 Crown Vic Interceptor
14 Toyota Camry (wifes car)
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized

boboli Offline
Check your ignition switch to make sure it's not falling apart and also codes. You can do that yourself with a paper clip.
Consider adding towing to your phone service. It costs me $3 a month from Verizon. Already used it twice this year, so I think its worth it.
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)

Del Offline
Junior Member
Thank you for the very kind welcome to the boards. I do apologize for the late reply, I had a few health issues of my own that had to be sorted before I could come back to the car. Well, after much work and employing the services of a mechanic much more skilled than myself it appears to be a failing fuel pump as well as a cracked inner cooler boot. the duel pressure maximum was around 30 lbs max with an average of 22lbs when it would quit. I will be replacing them as soon as I can. Thank you again to all who gave advice. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Dave8338 Offline
Senior Member
I would also change out the fuel pressure regulator when you do the fuel pump. That way, you know what you have.
'86 TC: Granatelli adjustible clutch kit, Energy Suspensions, they own me, New KYB's, NOS heater core in the back seat, Chuck Warren Motor Mounts, Wallbro 255, Kirban FPR, New aluminum dual core. The Goal...all I need is the TIME!!

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