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Thread: How far and how much can I tow?

  1. #21
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    Anybody know if this is a reputable brand of distributor? 70 bucks at rock or 100 at o'reilleys.
    https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...&jsn=12&jsn=12

    Also can someone recommend a good current source for a cheap but valid tfi module.. thank you.

  2. #22
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    I'm running one of those Spectra Premium models. IIRC, some were manufactured in Taiwan and some in China, and while one wouldn't think it would make much of a difference, the Taiwan made one was better built. Also, I strongly do recommend removing the TFI module from those and making sure there's enough heat sink compound between the distributor and module. Neither of the ones I saw had a suitable amount, so I doubt they'd last long term. Also, since you have a '88, you want a distributor with a steel gear, not cast iron. Cast iron is for the older, flat tappet cars.

    TFI module wise, I've got a Motorcraft unit on mine right now and I have the generic one from the Spectra unit in my glovebox along with the tool. I also have used BWD/Standard Ignition and found it to be fine. Just avoid the cheap, no-name modules and you should be fine.
    Last edited by Kodachrome Wolf; 12-21-2019 at 12:14 PM.

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  3. #23
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    What ever you do get a Motorcraft TFI Module not some cheap one as advised by KWolf, just read my saga of what misery I went through with an Advanced Auto dizzy.

  4. #24
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Good luck finding a Motorcraft module though. Almost always a special order item. I've had good luck with the parts store brands from Autozone and Oreilly's. Also, as with all brands made any more, bad out of box happens more often than it should.

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  5. #25
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've had the same Napa one on my car for years now.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoulevardRide View Post
    Pretty good reaction times Eddie, that 3rd race looks real close, looks like you got him on the tree... and superior horsepower.
    Are you running a c4/8.8 in your Mustang?
    Has an 8.8 with 5.13's, spool & 33 spline axles.Trans is a tremec TKO 5spd stick

  7. #27
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    So I acquired some tools to replace the tfi
    Click image for larger version. 

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    20 bucks all in, delivered, and the wrench is a snap-on which i thought was pretty cool. already tried it out on the bolt.
    Am holding off on buying a spare tfi until i can figure out a current, decent brand on the cheap. don't really want to buy a whole distributor + timing light at this point... just not a fan of carrying a lot of stuff in the trunk. thanks for the help

    88 LTC, sandalwood
    96 MGM, white

  8. #28

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    Rock Auto sell the TFI in various cheapies from 18 bucks up to Motorcraft at $72 and a Standard at $80.

    I've found a few things with the TFI over the years:
    1. Back in the day, they WERE pretty marginal and could go bad in many different ways.
    2. They were blamed for everything from actual ignition problems, to unrelated problems including sunspots and the flu.
    3. Newer TFI modules are better, and this improvement happened in the late 80s-early 90s or so? Except for the cheapest of the cheap, a TFI module is better made now than when TFI cars were being built new.
    4. The things that kill TFI modules are HEAT, VIBRATION, and WIRING PROBLEMS.

    So, in light of #4, if you're reasonably sure you have a bad TFI, I wouldn't hesitate to use ANY newer TFI to at least figure out if that's it. But first make sure your car isn't overheating and has airflow through the engine bay, the motor mounts are solid and the engine isn't knocking to pieces, and that there's no short/open circuits or anything that could fry the TFI in the ignition wiring. Poor wiring connections can cause heat in the TFI itself, especially if there's no heat transfer grease between the TFI module and the body of the distributor.

    When changing a TFI module, make sure you use the heat transfer paste. Putting a TFI on dry (or with the wrong paste--seen people use regular grease!) is a great way to cook it. Decent brands come with a little packet, and you don't need a lot, just enough to make a thin layer between the distributor and the module. One of those packets in the picture above should be plenty.

    I keep a spare Motorcraft TFI because I know I want a Motorcraft TFI in my car. I'm just picky. I also keep a cheapo (WVE or whatever $20 got me years ago) because I want to troubleshoot with a cheapo, in case my problem killed off my TFI and not the other way around.
    In your case, I'd buy the cheapo to get you from the side of the road to your destination, and then you can worry about the better one later. Even a crummy TFI SHOULD last a few weeks / a few thousand miles and that would get you across the US and back. You're going on vacation, not traveling to the moon--I am pretty sure there's an auto parts store in Florida.

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