North American Turbocoupe Organization

TFI - PIP Replacement
andrewjs18 Offline
TFI - PIP Replacement
By Dan Eaves, Jeff Korn & Joe Frazier

Ever get that feeling that something just isn't right with the way your TurboCoupe is running or idling ?  OK…stupid question huh? A common symptom incurred a few minutes after start-up is bucking/jumping that last between 15 secs to a minute, then runs fine until next cold start-up.  One thing that's possibly wrong is the TFI or PIP.  TFI or PIP?  What the heck are those things…well a TFI is the Thick Film Ignition module and the PIP is the Profile Ignition Pickup sensor.  The TFI is the module on the side of your distributor that the wiring harness plugs in to.  The PIP is inside the distributor and is what tells the TFI the Crankshaft's position…then the TFI tells the EEC-IV when to fire each plug.  The PIP is also known as the Stator.  These components work together using what is called a Hall Effect.  The Hall Effect is a magnetic flux field that creates voltage as the windows of the Vane Cap passes by the PIP. Replacement of the sensors is fairly straight forward.

First, remove the distributor (be sure to set the Crank to TDC on the #1 Cylinder and the Cam at the center alignment mark).  Remove the Distributor Cap and Rotor.  Next remove the Vane Cap by removing the two black screws holding it to the mounting plate (the Vane Cap can only go back on one way to the mounting plate).  Next, drive out the roll pin that is holding the drive gear to the distributor shaft using the appropriate size punch.  Removing the gear from the shaft can be done using a gear puller, however I just held the gear and hit the shaft with a rubber dead-blow hammer until it came off.

To remove the TFI requires a 7/32" socket…but leave it to Ford…it won't fit the hole in the TFI module.  What I did was grind the sides of a cheap socket (see picture below) so that it was thin enough to fit in the hole surrounding the screws.

After the screws are removed, pull the TFI module down on the right and then the left to detach it from the connector on the PIP.

To remove the PIP simply remove the small screw holding the octane rod to the distributor base, lift it off the plastic tab on the PIP and pull it out.  Next remove the two screws holding the PIP to the distributor base and pull it straight up and off.  The new one installs in reverse order.

To install the new TFI module, clean the mating surface on the distributor base to get all of the old grease off. Then apply a very thin coat of heat sink grease, also known as silicon thermal paste to the back of the new module. It should come with the new TFI module. If, not it can be obtained at Radio Shack or auto parts stores. DO NOT use "RTV", "RTV silicon", or "chassis grease" Carefully slide the module up into the three prong connector on the bottom of the PIP sensor. Secure the module with the two mounting screws. It would also be a good idea to use some "dielectric grease" in the 3 prong TFI to PIP connection and the TFI to wiring harness connection.

Apply a thin coating of motor oil to the shaft and insert in into the distributor.  Carefully align the drive gear on the shaft so that the hole for the roll pin will be aligned.  I drove the gear on by first drilling a hole in a wood block to accept the shaft the rotor slide on to.  With the distributor upside down on the block of wood I used a piece of pipe over the shaft and hammered the gear down to the roll pin hole.  Once the gear is aligned with the roll pin hole, install a new roll pin with a punch.

Check to make sure that the shaft spins freely without binding. I actually had one of the tabs of the Vane Cup that slightly hit the PIP sensor.  It was corrected by bending it in slightly.

Reinstall your distributor and reset the base timing (Spout out…).

The original PIP I had had a Ford number of E7ZE-12A112-A2A.  The replacement part had a Ford number of E8PZ-12A112-A2A. It was $49.87 from Ford.

The original TFI had a Ford number of E6SF-12A297-A2A.  The replacement number was a E43Z-12A297-A2A.  It ran a whopping $109.58 !

All I can say is have I noticed and immediate improvement in a stable idle and smoothness of acceleration.  Hopefully my TC loves me again.

The distributor's components:

The PIP Sensor


Vane Cap       Rotor        Octane Rod


Distributor Cap                  TFI             Distributor Base with Shaft

The original PIP


The drive gear, roll pin and the shaft (as removed before cleaning)


The new PIP sensor installed


New Rotor and Vane Cap installed


New TFI installed

Note: to ease installation of the TFI
you can grind down a cheap socket.
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