North American Turbocoupe Organization



No Spark
Cullen Offline
Member
#1
I have installed a 2.3 Turbocoupe engine in my 29 Ford pickup and am wiring it from scratch. I have been unable to get any spark. I am using a new distributor, ignition module and pip.
All I need for the wiring is the engine operation so I don’t need an entire wiring harness.

I have a factory wiring diagram and three other diagrams from the internet but things don’t match up on all the diagrams. One diagram shows a “SPOUT conn” in line with the wire going from pin #36 of the ecu to the ignition module. What is this spark out device and what role does it play in the ignition system?

Any help or direction would be appreciated.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#2
With the SPOUT (SPark OUTput )circuit open / disconnected ignition timing will remain at the base timing value of (10 deg stock) or whatever you set it at by rotating the distributor at all times. SPOUT circuit sends a variable on time square wave from the PCM to the TFI to tell the TFI the correct spark advance for a given RPM, engine temp load, etc.

Disconnected / open SPOUT circuit will NOT stop the TFI from firing the coil and producing spark.
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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Cullen Offline
Member
#3
Thanks. That is pretty informative. So if I read your post correctly, I could set the timing with distributor movement and a timing light. Or allow the ECU to change timing according to conditions. Either way, that connection does not have to be hooked up to get spark? Is that correct?
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BJL Offline
Moderator
#4
its best to set base timing then put spout in and let the ECU command spark advance.
what year is the harness out of and what ECU are you using? pc1, 8ua,lb3,la3 , lb2, lb3? those are some of the ECU identification..
when can then determine what diagram to use to check and make sure you have everything that is needed.
Brian J Larkin
88TC 320k miles
T3, FMIC ,3in stinger exhaust, gillis,
255 walbro, afpr, 5spd swap,spec clutch, sn95 5 lug,.
89 Cougar XR7 3.8SC Auto
95 Ranger Splash 3.0 auto
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#5
^^^^ +1 to what Brian said.

Yes, even with the SPOUT circuit open / disconnected you should still have spark but there will be no timing advance or retard commanded by the PCM.
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
Reply

Cullen Offline
Member
#6
Okay to both of you but I have no spark.
As stated at the top, I am putting a 2.3 turbo engine from an 85 Tbird in my 29 Ford pickup. I got an ecu with the engine but no wiring harness. I have made my own harness. And have checked the wiring over dozens of times. Problem is, I have a comprehensive factory wiring diagram that I have gone by but others have directed me to 3 other wiring diagrams and they don’t all jive with each other. I do believe I understand it better all the time but can not get fire. It is possible I have a wire wrong somewhere but in the basic ignition system, it looks like the factory diagram.
I have tested the ignition control module and the pip after I found there was power to the the proper terminals on the control module. While cranking, I got a test LED to flash when hooked to test the module and then none when testing the pip. Now I have the pip signal okay but not the module signal to the test LED.
I will check the numbers on the ECU. There was one that came with the engine that has many fewer pins so I am not using that. I have no idea what car that came from. I also have a salvage ECU from an 87 Tbird Turbocoupe that have wired. I took for granted it would interchange since so many parts do and I got advice that it would swap.
I believe I may have a bad ICModule now as I can not get the test LED to flash at all now when testing the 5th wire down on the ICM or the coil switching terminal.
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Cullen Offline
Member
#7
I built this pickup in 2018 using Mazda Miata suspension front and rear. Then I used the Miata engine and 5 speed transmission. But with 117 hp and only 100 ft/lbs of torque, it would only push the non aerodynamic Model A 55mph on a flat road.
I researched and found that it takes 8 times the horsepower to double the speed of a given aero shape. The Miata is very aerodynamic. The Model A is not at all aero.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#8
Either you have something wired wrong, the TFI and/or PIP is bad or the coil is bad.

The EEC IV / TFI ignition system is actually very simple and easy to diagnose and troubleshoot.

Are there any codes (KOEO or CM) stored in the PCM? Does the fuel pump run constantly during cranking? If not either the PIP is bad or you have a wiring 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
Reply

Cullen Offline
Member
#9
I checked my complete wiring diagram today for what seems like the 10th time. There were no real issues that stood out but there is one area that I am confused about. I have an 85 factory wiring diagram, complete. It involves about 15 pages both sides. Hard to follow at first but I also have 2 other diagrams that are simpler to look at but incomplete. The schematic of the ecu shows pin 4 connected to the 5th (downward) connection on the control module and that is where it stops. On the factory schematic if shows pin 4 connected to the coil through a resistor and that same terminal of the coil connected to terminal 5 of the control module. I have not seen this resistor in other diagrams. I have had the pin 4 through a 22 ohm resistor connected to the coil and from that same terminal of the coil to terminal 5 on the control module.

I have tested the pip and the control module on a bench test using an LED light and they show good. I am really leaning to the fact that my ecu may be bad. I salvaged it from an 87 Turbocoupe that had been sitting outside for 20 years. This seems to be my next area to check.

I am only wiring the ecu to operate the engine. AndI have eliminated some things that a normal 2.3 turbo engine uses, like premium vs regular fuel pump switch etc.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#10
What is the ECU code (LA, LA2, LA3, 8UA, etc). There are some pinout differences depending on the ECU. These ECUs are very robust with the only significant issues being fried electrolytic capacitors. If you open up the ECU (4 hex head screws, 3 or 4 mm if I remember correctly) bad caps will be obvious. If you are a competent with a soldering iron or gun they can easily be replaced, as the circuit board is only single layer.

Check for codes. A ton of weird codes or no codes outputted are a sign of a failed PCM. Another sign of a failed PCM (in stock configuration) is fuel pump and /or cooling fans running any time the key is in run.

I think that resistor is 22,000 ohm and is in the IDM circuit. IDM = Ignition Diagnostic Monitor. IDM circuit sends a signal to the ECU to tell the ECU the TFI has fired the coil when the TFI has been commanded to fire the coil via the SPOUT circuit. If the ECU does not get the coil fired signal from the IDM circuit the PCM sets a code 16 indicating a TFI failure. 87 and 88 for sure had the IDM but I THINK some earlier ECUs did not have IDM.
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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