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Gents,

My 1984 Capri Turbo RS is having ignition troubles (I think). Stock rebuilt engine with PiMP controlling it and still running the original distributor. 

The problem is recent and intermittent. The engine quits, tach gets jumpy, power drops, pops from intake and exhaust if I leave the throttle open. The data logger has moments showing 9000 rpm when the engine clearly isn't turning that fast.

Given the questionable quality of components available in present times, it is worth trying to replace the PIP and TFI? Is it worth the expense of going in a different direction such as distributorless or coil-on-plug? Does this sound like a wiring issue instead?

Screencap showing the spike in RPM. Data points are about 70 milliseconds apart.
Is this completely random, or are there certain conditions it will be more likely to do it?   If it is random and not conditionally dependant, I would very closely examine power wiring to distributor, PIP wiring for distributor to EEC pin 56, and verify the engine as well as ECU is well grounded with nothing loose.   If any of these things "leaves" and "comes back" it will be read as extra ignition pulses.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that it does "seem" to be temperature related. It's most noticeable with higher rpm and wider throttle. It may be occurring at lower rpm and small throttle openings but since it's not so jolting, I don't catch it.

The initial appearance was in August (Phoenix), it was okay for the first 30 miles driving to work in the cool air (70F) and started acting up during the last couple miles. Driving home in the afternoon heat (110+F), it was a struggle to keep it running after only a few minutes.

A couple weeks later, I tried a shorter drive in similar temperature and it quit and refused to re-start for about 30 minutes.

The datalog above was a couple weeks ago and it took about 20 minutes of driving before it would begin cutting out. That's why I did a screencap as I didn't want someone to sift through a huge datalog file.

So only three real drives since August due to the reliability. In the limited cold starts (moving cars around the garage), it has started as expected.
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I realize that you have a PiMP, Mike ~ BUT.....it's still relying on the TFI module and PIP for triggering, right? Obviously, those are both widely known to be problematic. Sooo.......do you or a nearby friend have a known-good spare 2.3 distributor that could be swapped in as a process of elimination in order to determine whether or not they're the culprit(s)?  <shrug>
Yes, still stock TFI distributor. The TFI module was replaced about 2 years ago. As far as I know, the distributor is otherwise original 1984.

Ray, I am flattered you think I have friends.  Big Grin  Yes, I do own another distributor. It's installed in the '85.5 SVO which has 300K miles.  Dodgy  Other than the TFI module, I believe that distributor is also as Ford produced it during the Reagan era.
(11-17-2020, 12:15 AM)Mike Croke Wrote: [ -> ]Yes, still stock TFI distributor. The TFI module was replaced about 2 years ago. As far as I know, the distributor is otherwise original 1984.

Ray, I am flattered you think I have friends.  Big Grin  Yes, I do own another distributor. It's installed in the '85.5 SVO which has 300K miles.  Dodgy  Other than the TFI module, I believe that distributor is also as Ford produced it during the Reagan era.
In light of the well-known fact that the TFI module is sensitive to heat, I'm gonna go out on a limb and blame the TFI.  Do you know if the unit that was replaced 2 years ago was a genuine Ford unit?  Cheap knockoffs will not be as reliable as OEM engineered parts, but even a Ford unit can go bad.

My .02
(11-18-2020, 06:52 AM)TurboRagtop Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-17-2020, 12:15 AM)Mike Croke Wrote: [ -> ]Yes, still stock TFI distributor. The TFI module was replaced about 2 years ago. As far as I know, the distributor is otherwise original 1984.

Ray, I am flattered you think I have friends.  Big Grin  Yes, I do own another distributor. It's installed in the '85.5 SVO which has 300K miles.  Dodgy  Other than the TFI module, I believe that distributor is also as Ford produced it during the Reagan era.
In light of the well-known fact that the TFI module is sensitive to heat, I'm gonna go out on a limb and blame the TFI.  Do you know if the unit that was replaced 2 years ago was a genuine Ford unit?  Cheap knockoffs will not be as reliable as OEM engineered parts, but even a Ford unit can go bad.

My .02
I would also pull the Dizzy itself to verify the drive gear is not worn.
The distributor is now out and disassembled. The gear looks good.

I don't see anything obvious such as oil leaking in, internal arcing, debris, etc. However, one of the two screws holding the PIP to the distributor body was very loose. In fact it fell out while I was gently tapping the gear from the shaft.

So, I'm back to my original question. Since real Motorcraft parts are no longer available and the internet is filled with tales of counterfeit and poor quality replacements, do I replace with whatever is available and take my chances? Or do I switch to something more modern?
In 2018 when I got my stock TC it would jerk right around 2000 rpm's every now and then, so I order them from Rock Auto.

Don't know if they fixed the problem but I've never had that issue again.

Now the only time it jerks is when I hit the Boost limit. LOL
(11-18-2020, 05:27 PM)Mike Croke Wrote: [ -> ]Since real Motorcraft parts are no longer available......
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Hmmm......I thought for sure you were wrong about that, Mike ~ BUT, I just spent a lot of time searching the web for a genuine Motorcraft TFI module (one that actually has "Motorcraft" cast into the plastic cover) and apparently they ARE .NLA.....too bad! Lots of places are selling versions they SAY are Motorcraft ~ BUT, w/o the Motorcraft logo.....I'm not convinced (plus, the sites with "reviews" don't speak kindly of 'em). 

Genuine NOS Motorcraft iterations occasionally pop up on eBay (original = Motorcraft DY-425 or Ford E43Z-12A297-A), but a sure-fire way to retrieve the genuine article for a decent price is to go to P-n-P or any ."you-pull-it" J/Y and snatch one off the distributor of an early V6 or V8 Mustang, Crown Vic, LTD II, Ford truck, etc.. Just make sure that it's LIGHT GRAY and has the Motorcraft logo. Don't forget to take either a deep 5.5mm socket or a "TFI tool" (available at most A/P stores). <shrug>
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