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Thread: 1986 TC won't start

  1. #1
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    Default 1986 TC won't start

    Ok, so I'm new to this forum but a few months ago i was driving my 86 TC (the fuel gauge doesn't work) and i knew i was low on gas but it died. So i walked to the gas station a few blocks down and got gas, but no matter what i did, it wouldn't start. The engine will turn over but not start. I have a feeling it's the fuel filter or fuel pump, but i can still hear the fuel pump so it must be working right? Any help is appreciated!

    Please & Thanks!

    -Ben
    1986 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe "Jenna" 240,000 miles... was running strong until a few months ago... =/

  2. #2
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    You need to check for fuel and spark. Not much we can do without any more info.
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

  3. #3
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    Fuel filter is only $10. Why not just change it to rule it out?
    1986 Mercury Cougar - 2.3T/T5 swap, TC brakes and suspension and rearend, 3" exhaust, 255 lph fuel pump, Stinger BOV, Gillis MBC @ 18 psi
    2003 Chevy Suburban Z71 - Daily driver
    2015 Chevy Volt - Wife's daily driver

  4. #4
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    module on distributor went bad. very common for them to drop out for no reason out of the blue.
    John

  5. #5
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    Check your ignition switch first, then check spark and let us know.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  6. #6
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    I'm going to change the fuel filter sometime this week when i don't have to help my parents, or work, or sleep (dang it! lol)
    Fox Salvage-i will check on that, how much does the module on the distributor cost?
    Haystack-what's the best way to check for spark?

    Thanks for the tips and suggestions guys! I will look at it today or tomorrow hopefully, i would just like to get the bird runnin again!
    1986 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe "Jenna" 240,000 miles... was running strong until a few months ago... =/

  7. #7
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    Fox Salvage-Can you put up a picture of the module on the distributor? Is it the part that is plugged into on the side of the distributor?
    1986 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe "Jenna" 240,000 miles... was running strong until a few months ago... =/

  8. #8
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    Yes, the ignition module (usually called the TFI) is plugged into the distributor.

    Here is a picture of it on my 86 and then a link to what it looks like off the car (Autozone link.)


    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=118646_0_0_

    To check for spark, pull a spark plug and wire and lay the spark plug on one of the shock towers (with the wire connected) Crank the engine and see if it sparks.



    If changing the TFI, you may need the special TFI tool pictured below.
    1986 Mercury Cougar - 2.3T/T5 swap, TC brakes and suspension and rearend, 3" exhaust, 255 lph fuel pump, Stinger BOV, Gillis MBC @ 18 psi
    2003 Chevy Suburban Z71 - Daily driver
    2015 Chevy Volt - Wife's daily driver

  9. #9
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    Ahh gotcha! Is that a special tool or just a small philips head on a socket drive? because i have a lot of tools my dad gave me so i could possible have the latter lol
    I figured that was what you guys were talking about, thanks so much!

    Sometimes I wish there was no need for sleep like today! And yet other times i wish i could sleep forever
    1986 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe "Jenna" 240,000 miles... was running strong until a few months ago... =/

  10. #10
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    Actually, the side you need is the other side. It is a really thin walled 5.5mm. A regular 5.5 won't fit.

    Only $5 at Autozone.
    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...fier=2362_0_0_
    1986 Mercury Cougar - 2.3T/T5 swap, TC brakes and suspension and rearend, 3" exhaust, 255 lph fuel pump, Stinger BOV, Gillis MBC @ 18 psi
    2003 Chevy Suburban Z71 - Daily driver
    2015 Chevy Volt - Wife's daily driver

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