PotM GrandMarq.NET - Panther Headquarters Forum Index PotM
GMN Chat Room GMN's STORE!! GMN's Gallery Please!!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: broke down. what to check first?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    105

    Default broke down. what to check first?

    Riding along in my '87 mgm, and after buying gas and groceries, it shuts down. I coasted to a stop, counted to 10, and cranked. Nothing. What should I check first? Should I let it cool down for a few hours? I'm visiting Mom, so my only diagnostic tool is a spark indicator. Perhaps I should buy some ether.

  2. #2
    Minivans are tangible evidence of Evil.. 85MercPark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Check simple stuff. Coil connection. Got gas?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2000 Grand Marquis LS
    2000 F150 XLT 6 inches of lift.
    1987 Bill Blass Mark VII - Sold
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park- SOLD. to a little old lady
    Mercury Owners Group member
    Save The Whales, Restore an Old Station Wagon!!

  3. #3
    I once owned a box panther... BuffaloRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Columbus OHIO
    Posts
    724

    Default

    I'm far from an expert but I'll do what I can to help. I'd guess that you lost fuel or spark, you just have to find out which one and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    I coasted to a stop, counted to 10, and cranked. Nothing.
    What exactly do you mean by nothing? Does it literally do absolutely nothing, or does it crank but just not fire up?
    Do you still have electric in your car? Like lights, stereo, and shit? If so, I believe that would rule out battery/charging problems. But if not I would start with a visual inspection of the battery and alternator cables and connections, maybe even take your battery to a parts store to see if it's dead (if possible). How hot was it when the vehicle shut off? Maybe it's some kind of "thermal lockout", or whatever it's called, of the TFI module... I dunno.

    If you have electric, put the key in and turn it to the on position (before starting) and see if you can hear the fuel pump kick on. You're problem could be fuel related...

    One morning I got into my car to go to work, pulled out of my complex, and boom, the car died (still had electric though) After some help from the forums here, I was lead to the fuel pump relay as a possible culprit. I replaced that and it fixed the problem. I don't know if that's the same as your situation, but it's the first thing that came to mind.

    Best of luck to you!


  4. #4
    Minivans are tangible evidence of Evil.. 85MercPark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Tfi module. Good possibility


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2000 Grand Marquis LS
    2000 F150 XLT 6 inches of lift.
    1987 Bill Blass Mark VII - Sold
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park- SOLD. to a little old lady
    Mercury Owners Group member
    Save The Whales, Restore an Old Station Wagon!!

  5. #5
    Hobbit
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,343

    Default

    You said you got gas, is it possible you got a tank of bad gas? When you turn the ignition on do you hear the fuel pump prime? I don't know much about 302s but if there is a pressure relief valve on the fuel rail try pushing it and see if fuel squirts out. That will at least tell you that you got fuel at the rails. To check for spark, pull one of the plug wires off and hold it next to ground and see if you get spark as someone cranks.
    Last edited by Mr Bean; 07-04-2015 at 09:22 PM.

  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    40,248

    Default

    If the engine turns over but won't start when hot, thats typical TFI failure mode. If it starts again once it cools off, its either TFI or the pickup in the distributor. Both can die in the same way and with the same symptoms. You'd also see no spark if this happens. They don't always come back when cold either. The one I had go bad just shut off clean and that was it.

    If its bad gas, a honk of starter fluid in the throttle body will make it run for a couple seconds.

    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

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  7. #7
    Minivans are tangible evidence of Evil.. 85MercPark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Yes. A TFI left me stranded once too. Need a special tool too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2000 Grand Marquis LS
    2000 F150 XLT 6 inches of lift.
    1987 Bill Blass Mark VII - Sold
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park- SOLD. to a little old lady
    Mercury Owners Group member
    Save The Whales, Restore an Old Station Wagon!!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Gentlemen, thanks for the replies. After sitting from 4:30pm to 10:00pm, electrics are strong, and cranking was vigorous. "Nothing" means nary an indication of a cylinder firing. A inductive spark test on one wire shows none. My time was limited tonight. I'll revisit in the morning. I'll then listen for the fuel pump at run, before start.
    85MP, I'm unfamiliar with TFI failure. What tool is needed? Some nearby parts stores offer loaner tools. I hope one of them is open Sunday.

  9. #9
    Proud Owner Of A 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis! miamibob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South East Florida
    Posts
    4,478

    Default

    Most store probably sell it. It has a small socket, on one side. Be sure to REALLY clean the dizzy part the TFI mounts to and apply thermal paste (like the stuff used on computer CPU's)! I think it is a 5.5mm hex socket but someone here can confirm. 7/32" socket should also work but getting to both screws may be interesting. You may have to pull the dizzy to install. What year/model are we talking about??


    "Hope and dignity are two things NO ONE can take away from you - you have to relinquish them on your own" Miamibob

    "NEVER trade your passion for glory"!! Sal "the Bard" (Dear Old Dad!)

    "Cars are for driving - PERIOD! I DON'T TEXT, TWEET OR TWERK!!!!"

  10. #10
    Minivans are tangible evidence of Evil.. 85MercPark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Just ask for a TFI tool at the parts store. Depending on your distributor position sometimes you can turn enough to get to it sometimes it has to come out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2000 Grand Marquis LS
    2000 F150 XLT 6 inches of lift.
    1987 Bill Blass Mark VII - Sold
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park- SOLD. to a little old lady
    Mercury Owners Group member
    Save The Whales, Restore an Old Station Wagon!!

  11. #11
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    40,248

    Default

    I'd honestly just buy one. The last one I bought was like 10 bucks. For that much you can just chuck it in the glovebox and know you'll never need it again.

    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

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Miamibob, I have a 1987 Grand Marquis LS, with a 302 cid engine.
    Last edited by jim; 07-05-2015 at 12:11 AM. Reason: typo

  13. #13
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Shelby Township, MI
    Posts
    3,474

    Default

    If the TFI is the problem some 7/32 sockets will fit into the holes where the TFI bolts are but many have too wide of sidewalls so getting the tool might be your only option if you can't find a socket that will fit.
    Also, to remove the TFI you may need to turn the distributor or even remove it, depending on its orientation, to get at the TFI bolts. If you do, make sure to mark where the rotor is pointing before you move or remove the distributor. If you remove the distributor, when you put it back in if you have the rotor pointing to the mark you made (before removing it) the rotor will turn as you drop the distributor in and you will end up being one tooth off. If that happens just take note of what way the rotor turned then point the rotor just before the mark so that when it turns while dropping it will end up right on the tooth.

    Make sure you don't have spark before messing with TFI/distributor. If you have spark, and the fuel pump primes when you turn the key on, then check the fuel pressure, even without a gauge you should be able to tell at the schrader valve on the fuel rail if it is very low, however you may not be able to tell if it is marginally low.
    Last edited by VicCrownVic; 07-05-2015 at 12:40 AM.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning sometime in the 2020s, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  14. #14
    Southern
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    922

    Default

    O'Reillys sells a TFI tool if I remember right...

    I was going to say check your fuel pump and eec relay - but if no spark-time to check TFI and coil.

  15. #15
    Proud Owner Of A 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis! miamibob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South East Florida
    Posts
    4,478

    Default

    Here are some samples of one would look like:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TFI_tool.gif 
Views:	53 
Size:	25.2 KB 
ID:	43195


    "Hope and dignity are two things NO ONE can take away from you - you have to relinquish them on your own" Miamibob

    "NEVER trade your passion for glory"!! Sal "the Bard" (Dear Old Dad!)

    "Cars are for driving - PERIOD! I DON'T TEXT, TWEET OR TWERK!!!!"

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    105

    Default

    At 10:00 am I paused at run to confirm the fuel pump noise, then started it on the first try. Three subsequent restarts in the last few hours without incident are pointing towards intermittent ignition failure. I did confirm that my firing indicator tool functions properly, so yesterday's start failure seems to be no spark. I inspected the coil output terminal, which seems ok. What are the procedures for troubleshooting the ignition system when it's working? Should I preemptively replace the TFI?

  17. #17
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lewisville, TX
    Posts
    22,217

    Default

    hot issues are almost always the TFI. Otherwise... coil.

    DO NOT FORGET to put the thermal grease (should not be clear) on the module where it mounts to the dizzy. Otherwise it will die in short order.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  18. #18
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    40,248

    Default

    THe pickup can also fail like this, but I'd go with TFI first. If it does it again, its probably the pickup in the distributor.

    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

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  19. #19
    Goal was 'giving back', done by 2020.
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,132

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by miamibob View Post
    Here are some samples of one would look like:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TFI_tool.gif 
Views:	53 
Size:	25.2 KB 
ID:	43195
    The first photo looks an awful lot like a finger ratchet, which you can get pretty cheap:

    for Canadians: http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...ampaign=hosted

    for Americans: http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...set-94011.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/18-pc-1...set-67973.html

    If a finger ratchet would work, you could use it for other stuff too instead of having a one-job tool.
    Last edited by IPreferDIY; 07-06-2015 at 08:45 PM.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box 'tuba', headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks, aluminum driveshaft, ARA3 PCM

  20. #20
    Proud Owner Of A 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis! miamibob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South East Florida
    Posts
    4,478

    Default

    I included the photo of the last tool because sometimes you can get in there without removing the dizzy. The finger ratchet may not enough clearance.


    "Hope and dignity are two things NO ONE can take away from you - you have to relinquish them on your own" Miamibob

    "NEVER trade your passion for glory"!! Sal "the Bard" (Dear Old Dad!)

    "Cars are for driving - PERIOD! I DON'T TEXT, TWEET OR TWERK!!!!"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
GMN Approved Links!


www.rockauto.com www.adtr.net