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Thread: 1991 Mark VII Dead. Details inside, help needed. :)

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    screwy 1991 Mark VII Dead. Details inside, help needed. :)

    I know it's not a box but it's very similar to one plus I like you peeps better!

    Anyway, back story is one day Ashley drove to work then home. On her way home she stopped off to a store, made a rough left turn over some bumps and such. She said the car coughed & sputtered for a good 1/8th of mile before returning to normal. She pulled into the store & parking spot fine, idling no problem. When she went back to start the thing, all it would do is crank. I get to the scene, check fuel pressure, sometimes reads 10 but then drops to zero. Spray starting fluid down the hatch while cranking and get nothing. So I check spark by pulling one of the dizzy wires off and get this sickly looking yellow spark. I try to start it again with starting fluid but no dice, figured it would light off even with that spark, I mean it jumped a good inch and a half... Anyway, I start looking around at relays but without a shop bible for one of these things I'm lost. There's shit all over the passenger side firewall, driver's side firewall and right by the battery. I jiggle 'em all and it causes things to click a bit. Another site says the fuel pump relay is in the trunk. It's cold so I said "fuck it" and had it towed to a shop.

    Fast forward two weeks later... They said the harness going into the ECC relay was junk so soldered in a new one, now they have fuel. However, they said it ran like junk and found intermittent spark when they jiggled the TFI harness. So they found that to be all corroded & junk and so they replaced it. Then the said someone "Had the timing waaay off!" so the reset it and fixed it. Well, I picked it up, dropped the chevy off so they can fix the exhaust manifold gasket leak and so I noticed right off the bat the timing was waaaay too advanced. Like step in throttle and instant skittles in a can, WTF?? Also, it idled rough in gear (stumbly) and high in park. Anyway, it was late, I make a list of what I want to check, drive it to work the following morning nice and easy with no issues other than the idle stuff. I could get into the throttle fine with no skittles so long as the engine wasn't lugging..

    So, I get home yesterday, check the timing and it was so retarded it was off the scale, I couldn't even tell you what it was, like a good 1.5" to the left of the 0 mark, but why the skittles in a can??... Also, it should be noted that they made a mark at 10* but didn't set it there, I soon found out why... I put it back to 10, idle is great and in gear it's silky smooth. Light throttle driving is fine but the instant I go to get into it beyond say 33% it acts like it has a misfire.... Then I go to start it this morning and nothing, crank like before. No time to check cause employer dictates that I must be here by 6. Ah well. My plan is to drop my known good spare dizzy in to see what happens and then run my scanner to see if I've got a dead ECT sensor. WTF? What else would you guys check? If I didn't just spend all this money on fresh fluids and the remaining parts I'd have sent it to the scrapper. It's still too good mechanically though, despite it not being worth anything...
    Last edited by DerekTheGreat; 11-10-2017 at 07:45 AM. Reason: Timing was retarded, not advanced. I'm retarded.
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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Sounds like dizzy issues. TFI or weak PIP or both. Could also be throttle position sensor giving bad readings and making it go full advance.

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Update!
    Thanks for the response, sly. Guess that's one thing I could test. So far, I dropped in a spare dizzy complete with TFI module and such. Reused cap & rotor which looked better than what the spare had. No difference. Started when I advanced the timing more though. Tested old dizzy first, worked and then dropped in the new one with no change.. My question is now, am I using the right mark to set the timing? When I set it to 10* I used the leading edge all the way to the right. Looks like they(the shop) used the notch/U shaped part of it. Here's a pic:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mark VII TIming Tab.jpg 
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    Well, if I use the far right edge it doesn't like to restart. If I use the "U" shaped notch it likes to start back up but then you end up with instant skittles if you get into the throttle, not to mention the idle goes back to crap when in gear. Best compromise I've come up with is setting my 10 degree mark in between that U and the right most edge. Starts back up, idle is like it was before the thing died, maybe a smidge worse and skittles only happen about 75%+ throttle. Oh, I've got 35psi of fuel when running. If I jiggle the brown/black relay on the passenger side firewall it causes the thing to drop out. Kinda fixed that. Is that the ECM or fuel pump relay? I'd still like to verify the ECT, need to get my bible & ohm meter out. Also need to verify the TPS. I hooked my scan tool into it but like most EEC IV crap all I can do is self test and read codes. I got one code, 33 or 34, "EGR Won't Open" or "EGR Didn't Open" I forget, something along those lines.
    What do you guys think?
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    I post a lot... turbo2256b's Avatar
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    hAVE YOU CHECKED TO SEE IF IT JUMPED TIMING? Usually can check if the chain is stretched by grabbing a fan belt and pulling the belt left and right. If it moves quite a bit before it locks up the crank chain is loose.
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Nope, there's an idea though. I can also see how much slack is there too. Thanks, I'll add that to the list.
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    One other thought is the inertia shut down switch going bad
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Thats a 91, should be the good chain. I changed mine north of 200K and it was actually not worn enough to worry over.

    Balancer could be spun though. That will make the timing look to be all screwed up even if its not.

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    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    fuel pump is original

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
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    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    the fuel filter i changed prob 6 yrs ago.

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
    2006 Lincoln Town Car Signature. Stock for now
    1989 Ford F-250 4x4 much much more to come, sefi converted so far.
    1986 Toyota pickup with LSC wheels and 225/60/16 tires.
    2008 Hyundai Elantra future Revcon toad
    1987 TriBurner and 1986 Alaska stokers keeping me warm. (and some pesky oil heat)

    please be patient, rebuilding an empire!


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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    Thats a 91, should be the good chain. I changed mine north of 200K and it was actually not worn enough to worry over.

    Balancer could be spun though. That will make the timing look to be all screwed up even if its not.
    ^^^Balancer is totally worth a look. Seems like me and all my buddies with HO cars back in the day shit balancers at some point, and that was 15 years ago or so. Food for thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Update!
    Thanks for the response, sly. Guess that's one thing I could test. So far, I dropped in a spare dizzy complete with TFI module and such. Reused cap & rotor which looked better than what the spare had. No difference. Started when I advanced the timing more though. Tested old dizzy first, worked and then dropped in the new one with no change.. My question is now, am I using the right mark to set the timing? When I set it to 10* I used the leading edge all the way to the right. Looks like they(the shop) used the notch/U shaped part of it. Here's a pic:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mark VII TIming Tab.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	81.8 KB 
ID:	48779

    Well, if I use the far right edge it doesn't like to restart. If I use the "U" shaped notch it likes to start back up but then you end up with instant skittles if you get into the throttle, not to mention the idle goes back to crap when in gear. Best compromise I've come up with is setting my 10 degree mark in between that U and the right most edge. Starts back up, idle is like it was before the thing died, maybe a smidge worse and skittles only happen about 75%+ throttle. Oh, I've got 35psi of fuel when running. If I jiggle the brown/black relay on the passenger side firewall it causes the thing to drop out. Kinda fixed that. Is that the ECM or fuel pump relay? I'd still like to verify the ECT, need to get my bible & ohm meter out. Also need to verify the TPS. I hooked my scan tool into it but like most EEC IV crap all I can do is self test and read codes. I got one code, 33 or 34, "EGR Won't Open" or "EGR Didn't Open" I forget, something along those lines.
    What do you guys think?
    hold up a minute.... Make sure you are are following the proper timing procedure, because it doesn't sound like you are using the correct marks.

    1) there are degreed marks on the balancer, which read BTDC and ATDC, make sure you are using the correct ones. use a wire brush, or something similar, and clean the balancer so you can see these marks. use a white paint marker or wax pen and clearly highlight 0 degrees and 10 degreed BTDC. the white markings should show up clearly with a timing light.

    2) make sure you are removing the timing spout connector from the harness, this removes the timing advance the ECM adds to the timing curve. it should be in the harness near the TFI module connection. - NOTE, only remove and install the connector the the KEY OFF. A Ford engineer I talked to many years ago told me removing the spout connector with key ON can cause damage to the TFI module.

    3) use a proper timing light and make sure you are connected to #1 spark plug wire.

    4) use the correct the timing marks - As you pointed out, you should be using flat trailing edge to the right (in your picture) with the spout connector removed, engine running and the timing light installed, twist the distributor until the 10 degree BTDC mark lines up with the flat area of the pointer.

    From experience with with timing these engines, if you have to twist the distributor all the way right or left to get to the correct marks, something mechanically is wrong. The TFI module should be roughly at a 30 degree angle away from the thermostat housing.
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    My screen name is GREEN, Bitches ! 88grandmarq's Avatar
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    also... here is the link for the all the trouble codes and what they mean.

    http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...-trouble-codes
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    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    i know for a fact the timing was good on that engine....iirc i had it set to 12btdc for slightly more oomph.
    sounds like this shop may be clueless about the spout connector.

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
    2006 Lincoln Town Car Signature. Stock for now
    1989 Ford F-250 4x4 much much more to come, sefi converted so far.
    1986 Toyota pickup with LSC wheels and 225/60/16 tires.
    2008 Hyundai Elantra future Revcon toad
    1987 TriBurner and 1986 Alaska stokers keeping me warm. (and some pesky oil heat)

    please be patient, rebuilding an empire!


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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If none of this seems to add up, find TDC on the compression stroke of #1 and see if the balancer marks agree. If its way off, the balancer may be spun. Inspecting the rubber between the inner and outer ring will probably be a clue there. I would expect to see signs of damage, and the outer ring probably won't be sitting quite square. Mine had a visible wobble when running before I replaced it. It hadn't spun but the outer ring was shifting.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    Your timeing chain may have some slop so it might be a good idea to change the gears and chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    i know for a fact the timing was good on that engine....iirc i had it set to 12btdc for slightly more oomph.
    sounds like this shop may be clueless about the spout connector.
    thats my point, it sounds like the shop may have fixed a harness problem, which was causing the engine to die/sputter, but then timed the engine incorrectly. which is why I am saying to pull the spout connector, use the correct timing marks and re-time the engine.

    Gadget also makes a good point of mechanically checking the balancer by putting #1 cylinder on TDC and see where the pointer lands.
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    fuel pump is original
    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    the fuel filter i changed prob 6 yrs ago.
    When I put it all back together we drove it for a couple weeks then went through and changed all the fluids and filters. I can't check the fuel pressure when moving but at idle it's 35psi or better. I don't like the gauge though, it holds the pressure reading after it's removed and so sometimes when I'm checking it, the pressure slowly creeps up.. I heard checking fuel pressure with a tire gauge is a good way to wreck said tire gauge, gotta get a real gauge...

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    Thats a 91, should be the good chain. I changed mine north of 200K and it was actually not worn enough to worry over.
    Balancer could be spun though. That will make the timing look to be all screwed up even if its not.
    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    ^^^Balancer is totally worth a look. Seems like me and all my buddies with HO cars back in the day shit balancers at some point, and that was 15 years ago or so. Food for thought.
    I'll take a look at that. Theoretically, if the thing has spun I still should be able to set the timing close enough so I won't have too much advance though right? Seems I can't get it right.
    Quote Originally Posted by turbo2256b View Post
    One other thought is the inertia shut down switch going bad
    How does one check for that, you talking about the thing in the trunk?

    Quote Originally Posted by 88grandmarq View Post
    hold up a minute.... Make sure you are are following the proper timing procedure, because it doesn't sound like you are using the correct marks.

    1) there are degreed marks on the balancer, which read BTDC and ATDC, make sure you are using the correct ones. use a wire brush, or something similar, and clean the balancer so you can see these marks. use a white paint marker or wax pen and clearly highlight 0 degrees and 10 degreed BTDC. the white markings should show up clearly with a timing light.
    I believe I am using the right marks, the ATDC marks only go to 10 degrees whereas the BTDC run up to 30 IIRC. 10 was already highlighted by the shop, verified that by wiping their mark away to make mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by 88grandmarq View Post
    2) make sure you are removing the timing spout connector from the harness, this removes the timing advance the ECM adds to the timing curve. it should be in the harness near the TFI module connection. - NOTE, only remove and install the connector the the KEY OFF. A Ford engineer I talked to many years ago told me removing the spout connector with key ON can cause damage to the TFI module.

    3) use a proper timing light and make sure you are connected to #1 spark plug wire.

    4) use the correct the timing marks - As you pointed out, you should be using flat trailing edge to the right (in your picture) with the spout connector removed, engine running and the timing light installed, twist the distributor until the 10 degree BTDC mark lines up with the flat area of the pointer.
    I did have the spout connector removed, although in my frenzy of trying to find a workable tune I ended up removing it a few times with the engine running. I always put it back in with the engine running. Didn't seem to do any damage... Also, it did seem to me that the shop had no clue about the connector.. Anyway, when I set the timing I initially used the flat trailing edge off to the right, idle was great and everything else was too, up until you put your foot in it. At that point, it acted like it had a misfire or wasn't getting enough fuel. It also did not want to restart when cold, unless timing was advanced. When I put my mark (10 degrees) at the "U" notch it fires right up every time but idles wonky in gear (stumbly) and there's major spark knock under almost any sort of load. So short of behaving like there's an egg under the pedal it's not drivable. That is how they shop gave the car to me. Assholes, this is what I get for trying to change shops... It's amazing the did the engine swap 95% correct on our truck and thankfully that has no issues and is 400% better than the motor that came out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    i know for a fact the timing was good on that engine....iirc i had it set to 12btdc for slightly more oomph.
    sounds like this shop may be clueless about the spout connector.
    I wish I had checked the timing before I dropped it off there, didn't think they'd touch it. Was perfectly fine before. You could mash the gas with no problems and it ran great. Been temperamental ever since and I don't feel like letting them work on it any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    If none of this seems to add up, find TDC on the compression stroke of #1 and see if the balancer marks agree. If its way off, the balancer may be spun. Inspecting the rubber between the inner and outer ring will probably be a clue there. I would expect to see signs of damage, and the outer ring probably won't be sitting quite square. Mine had a visible wobble when running before I replaced it. It hadn't spun but the outer ring was shifting.
    Will do.

    It's starting, running and driving right now so I'll probably wait until this weekend before I touch it again. I found out that they DID NOT do anything to the ECM relay or it's harness. That relay lives on the passenger side firewall, right? There are two under the plastic cover, this one is black & brown and if jiggled, all sorts of things click and what not. If jiggled when the car is running, it hiccups... I've got it rigged so it's working (Helps if the thing is secured in it's living space). Can't get the car to act like that by jiggling any of the other relays. There are more living on the driver's side firewall and more just in front of the driver's side shock tower. The ones by the shock tower looked to have been messed with before, I noticed that when the car was dead at Home Depot..

    I'll also check slop using turbo's suggestion and if all else fails, pull the cap and watch the rotor for slop. Like gadget said I don't suspect the chain as it's a double roller and only has 151k on it.

    Thank you for all the help and suggestions, certainly helped get this thing back on the road although I feel like I paid them money for nothing. If it wasn't so cold at Home Depot and I didn't feel useless, I could have gotten it going then. If only I had jiggled the TFI harness lol.
    Last edited by DerekTheGreat; 11-13-2017 at 07:55 AM.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    replace the ECM relay and see if anything changes. It should not do stupid things when you touch it.

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    Had a guy next door had a 7 and had some trouble with it running. It was the inertia switch. It can be bypassed for a test best way to check. Just kinda thought of it as you said something about going over a few big bumps and started running funny. Make sure the red switch is all the way up and not kinda shaky it could still be bad.
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    replace the ECM relay and see if anything changes. It should not do stupid things when you touch it.
    Word. So this small black & tan relay on the passenger firewall is indeed the ECM relay?

    Quote Originally Posted by turbo2256b View Post
    Had a guy next door had a 7 and had some trouble with it running. It was the inertia switch. It can be bypassed for a test best way to check. Just kinda thought of it as you said something about going over a few big bumps and started running funny. Make sure the red switch is all the way up and not kinda shaky it could still be bad.
    Aye, aye. Yes, that's what Ashley said happened and I did initially suspect that. I'll have to get my lazy carcass to a junkyard to get one just in case this thing is bad along with the ECM relay. Which Ford cars can I pilfer one from?
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