North American Turbocoupe Organization



Ignition cutting out and Code 14
BradM Offline
Junior Member
#1
I'm getting my TC back online and have an ignition issue (the issue was present before I started modifying it). The timing belt marks are aligned. Base timing is 12 BTC without the spout in. Car starts and idles smoothly without the spout. Insert spout and the ignition will randomly and briefly cut out at idle and when driving at normal cruising speed. It feels like the entire ignition is cutting out, not one cylinder. It happens when its cold and hot. I'm getting Code 14. I have new plugs, wires, distributor, TFI, cap and rotor. It's not the IAC (it's been cleaned and the problem exists when the IAC is unplugged; plus there is no IAC when cruising). Wires to the spout and distributor look very good and I cleaned the connectors. I think I'm left with the ECU and the coil but don't want to start throwing parts at it. Other than that, I'm out of ideas. Thoughts?
1965 Mercury Comet Caliente; 1968 Mercury Monterey; 1969 F100 Ranger; 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
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Chas K 88 Offline
Member
#2
Brad, is this the motor you just got done putting together? I can't offer any good suggestions how to fix, but maybe rather than struggling with this you should go through with your PiMPx plans. That'll offer you plenty of struggles and should be better in the end.
Chas K.
88 T-bird, 5 speed, Wiseco pistons, Gillis valve, 255LPH fuel pump, CD, tripminder, RR cam, K&N, 140 MPH speedo conversion (thanks Jeff K).
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BradM Offline
Junior Member
#3
(03-12-2021, 04:46 PM)Chas K 88 Wrote: Brad, is this the motor you just got done putting together? I can't offer any good suggestions how to fix, but maybe rather than struggling with this you should go through with your PiMPx plans. That'll offer you plenty of struggles and should be better in the end.

Yes, this is the motor I just put back in. I don't yet have the PIMPx and wanted to clear this issue before installing it so that any new problems are with the PIMPx. This ignition problem came with the car.
1965 Mercury Comet Caliente; 1968 Mercury Monterey; 1969 F100 Ranger; 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
Code 14 is intermittent loss of PIP signal. PIP = Profile Ignition Pickup, also known as the Stator. Fairly common failure. I have had PIP failure in both my Tbirds, and also on the wifes long gone Tempo. All 3 times times close enough to home I was able to make it home Replacing the PIP is somewhat of a PITA, as the distributor shaft must be removed from the dist to install the new PIP. IF still available, replace the PIP with the Motorcraft part only, no crap from the discount parts store. Some people just replace the entire distributor, but then the new dist may have a cheapo aftermarket PIP.
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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BradM Offline
Junior Member
#5
(03-12-2021, 05:20 PM)Jeff K Wrote: Code 14 is intermittent loss of PIP signal. PIP = Profile Ignition Pickup, also known as the Stator. Fairly common failure. I have had PIP failure in both my Tbirds, and also on the wifes long gone Tempo. All 3 times times close enough to home I was able to make it home Replacing the PIP is somewhat of a PITA, as the distributor shaft must be removed from the dist to install the new PIP.  IF still available, replace the PIP with the Motorcraft part only, no crap from the discount parts store. Some people just replace the entire distributor, but then the new dist may have a cheapo aftermarket PIP.

Thanks Jeff, I've already done that.
1965 Mercury Comet Caliente; 1968 Mercury Monterey; 1969 F100 Ranger; 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
TFI passes the PIP signal thru to the EEC, and TFI also monitors the PIP signal so the car will still run at base ignition timing if the SPOUT signal is lost. Check the TFI harness and TFI connector for damage, corrosion, etc. Also be sure that the foil shielding around the TFI harness is intact.
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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Chas K 88 Offline
Member
#7
(03-12-2021, 05:00 PM)BradM Wrote:
(03-12-2021, 04:46 PM)Chas K 88 Wrote: Brad, is this the motor you just got done putting together? I can't offer any good suggestions how to fix, but maybe rather than struggling with this you should go through with your PiMPx plans. That'll offer you plenty of struggles and should be better in the end.

Yes, this is the motor I just put back in. I don't yet have the PIMPx and wanted to clear this issue before installing it so that any new problems are with the PIMPx. This ignition problem came with the car.

My apologies, Stinger offers a few different kits, I should have asked which one you were getting. In my head I was thinking of the "PiMPxs" kit that I was dreaming about recently. It included a CAS which "eliminates the Ford TFI, PIP, reluctor wheel, and upper & lower distributor cap and replaces it with a modern hall effect sensor". In my dream, I was also going to order the new wiring harness which would correct wiring issues you don't know you have. I recently did something similar to my 88 Mustang when I installed a ProM EFI kit on it. It felt good replacing that 30+ year old harness and the car runs much better now.
Chas K.
88 T-bird, 5 speed, Wiseco pistons, Gillis valve, 255LPH fuel pump, CD, tripminder, RR cam, K&N, 140 MPH speedo conversion (thanks Jeff K).
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BradM Offline
Junior Member
#8
Closing this out. There were two issues.

1) The car had an ignition stumble when I bought it and it had brand new 8mm wires.
2) I upgraded the wires to 10mm and the problem got substantially worse.

For problem 2, reinstalling the old wires brought it back to the original stumble. The upgraded wires were spraying EMI (but not the upgraded coil wire). I would have never suspected them as they are Scott Wires, 10mm, 30ohms/foot, and supposed to suppress EMI https://sparkplugwires.com/spark-plug-wire-technology/

For problem 1, one of the original plug wires had a boot that was almost 1/2 inch too long, causing the connector to not seat on the plug. I suspect it was arcing and causing EMI. I cut 1/2 inch off the boot and no more stumble.

When diagnosing the problem, I put a two channel oscilloscope on the the SPOUT and PIP signals. The distributor puts out a clean PIP signal with no SPOUT and a noisy PIP with the SPOUT in. There must be a dedicated PIP circuit in the distributor that produces the signal when no SPOUT is present and then another circuit uses the hall effect to produce the PIP signal when the SPOUT is present. Only when this second circuit is used does the EMI impact the PIP signal. That's my theory. Regardless, it was not the ECU.
1965 Mercury Comet Caliente; 1968 Mercury Monterey; 1969 F100 Ranger; 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
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