Common misfire problems?

Photonfanatic

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Q) But I can tell you that it would indeed be possible to build a heat resistant PIP, which would exceed OEM quality standards.
A) Agreed but no one has done it, I wonder why?

I can't say that I know for a fact, that they haven't already done it. Take one of those expensive Mallory or MSD or Accel dizzys. I'm assuming they've either beefed up the heat shielding or otherwise fixed the problem, because you don't really hear about this problem from the high dollar aftermarket distributors. At least, I've never heard about it in all my days of forum lurking on the various mustang boards. But I really have no idea what they've done to address the issue, if anything. If I ever buy one of those things, I may try to get an answer from them about this, at least so I can know what to expect in the future, once the part has a lot of miles on it and has been through a lot of heat cycles. Perhaps someone here that owns one, could answer.

I don't agree with the pip being easier to swap than the whole distributor, you have to fully break down the distributor to replace it, that's not easier than pop the cap off, pull the old dizzy out and slam a new one in. The reason there isn't some super duty PIP on the market is lack of demand at this point. Its something you really only replace a couple times over the life of a car, almost all the ones I've replaced have been OE in 1995 and older vehicles.

I also feel that the assumption that because it comes out of a Motorcraft box it's a better part isn't always correct. Small electronics parts often come out of one factory in several boxes, and I've installed brand new parts from just about everyone that were bad out of the box, Motorcraft included.

I'm one of those people who don't really have any intention of selling my car. In fact, I intend to buy more mustangs lol. So for me, long term is still something of a small issue. But if these PIPs actually live a long time before they start malfunctioning, then its probably not a really even a concern. It seems odd though, that they die slowly. What is the cause of this? According to this thread, it seems like they can start causing misfires and not actually die.

A couple of questions.
1) Is the misfire at idle or during cruise?
2) Is it possible to get a smoke test? Best way to locate unmetered air that may be entering the engine.
3) What brand of spark plugs and heat range.
4) Brand of MAF meter
5) Brand of injectors
6) Stk. ignition system (I'm not talking about the coil)



1. So far, I have only noticed it at ilde. It doesn't seem to be there at higher RPM's than idle.
2. I might go ahead and rig up my own smoke machine. Been wanting to do it for awhile, now I have a valid excuse to do so. Something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5O5gzIAuhc
3. Just plain Bosch platinum plugs. Gapped appropriately. Unknown on their heat range.
4. As for the MAF meter, as far as I know its the factory Ford one. Definitely not aftermarket. I cleaned it when I did the tune up, about 5k miles ago.
5. Injectors are likely the ones that came with the car. The car is mostly stock, with only a few minor upgrades to suspension.
6. You said "Stk" ignition system, so I'm going to assume you mean "Stock" ignition system. Other than the cap and the rotor and the plugs and plugwires, I'm operating under the assumption that the whole ignition system is stock.
 

Michael Plummer

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I don't agree with the pip being easier to swap than the whole distributor, you have to fully break down the distributor to replace it, that's not easier than pop the cap off, pull the old dizzy out and slam a new one in. The reason there isn't some super duty PIP on the market is lack of demand at this point. Its something you really only replace a couple times over the life of a car, almost all the ones I've replaced have been OE in 1995 and older vehicles.

I also feel that the assumption that because it comes out of a Motorcraft box it's a better part isn't always correct. Small electronics parts often come out of one factory in several boxes, and I've installed brand new parts from just about everyone that were bad out of the box, Motorcraft included.
I believe I said enough on this issue and I respect your opinion.
 

Michael Plummer

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1. So far, I have only noticed it at ilde. It doesn't seem to be there at higher RPM's than idle. (Misses at idle, good to know).

2. I might go ahead and rig up my own smoke machine. Been wanting to do it for awhile, now I have a valid excuse to do so. Something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5O5gzIAuhc (Honestly, I would go to a shop that has a smoke tester machine first. Then if you still felt the need to build a smoke tester then okay but lets see if we can correct your issue beforehand).

3. Just plain Bosch platinum plugs. Gapped appropriately. Unknown on their heat range. (I would do this first. In your application I would use the same brand and type of replacement spark plug as the original spark plug that came in your engine).

4. As for the MAF meter, as far as I know its the factory Ford one. Definitely not aftermarket. I cleaned it when I did the tune up, about 5k miles ago. ( May I ask how you cleaned it and with what)

5. Injectors are likely the ones that came with the car. The car is mostly stock, with only a few minor upgrades to suspension. (If the spark plug change to stock doesn't work, I would either get a new set of injectors or send them out for cleaning).

6. You said "Stk" ignition system, so I'm going to assume you mean "Stock" ignition system. Other than the cap and the rotor and the plugs and plugwires, I'm operating under the assumption that the whole ignition system is stock. (Yes, I meant stock ignition and what brand of spark plug wires are you using?)

Sorry for all the questions but troubleshooting a vehicle over the internet is a tough, tough task. Lots of assumptions, things were done and done correctly. Pertinent information left out and the list goes on. So please understand it's a part of the process especially with an issue that can be caused by a host of different components.
 

Photonfanatic

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Cleaned the MAF with the recommended percentage alcohol, which was recommended by this board. Forgot what I used, but it was some type of rag or towel that doesn't leave behind any fibers. Also as per the recommendation of this board. This has been a few years, I don't drive the car much. Its more of just a toy car at this point.

I'm trying to avoid paying a shop to fix it. I'd like to do it myself, so if I bought that smoke machine off amazon for $43, at least I'd have yet another useful too to ad to my too arsenal.

I've heard of these cars having injector problems. My injectors are old, and do have a lot of miles on them.
 

CC'S95GT

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I've heard of these cars having injector problems. My injectors are old, and do have a lot of miles on them.

Really? I havent heard of any injector proplems. I have 230,000+ miles on my GT. on the origional motor without a problem with them. Maybe your having problems because you don't drive it very often.
 

Photonfanatic

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Really? I havent heard of any injector proplems. I have 230,000+ miles on my GT. on the origional motor without a problem with them. Maybe your having problems because you don't drive it very often.

Ok maybe I should rephrase that. I've met a guy who had injector screw up. I think you're right about it not being common at all. One of the guys had a white GT with 196k on it, and one injector screwed up and had to be replaced. Another one was on a stangnet. Those are the only 2 I've ever heard of. But I had heard of it. I know its probably safe to assume that's the last thing I should check, but oh well.
 

ttocs

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I have not heard ANYTHING good about msd dist in the past 5-6 years myself and been told to stick with the stocker. Now I had a crack in my cap and replaced that with msd but the dist/dizzy itself I hear is not that reliable with them, especially for what you pay for them.
 

Photonfanatic

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I have not heard ANYTHING good about msd dist in the past 5-6 years myself and been told to stick with the stocker. Now I had a crack in my cap and replaced that with msd but the dist/dizzy itself I hear is not that reliable with them, especially for what you pay for them.

Same here, I've been hearing "Might Suddenly Die" thrown around a lot. What are some other high end dizzy makers, that make them for these cars? Perhaps Mallory, or Accel? After all the defects Ford has with their dizzy, I'm kind of reluctant to put another time bomb in the car. You know its just going to fail again. But these other (high end) companies have their reputation to consider, whereas Ford just starts using a different engine entirely.
 

ttocs

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I still have the original dist and all its parts in my car but it only has 105 k on it. not sure who else was good as I was always told to get the ford dist. IT would be nice to have a reliable dist but I am almost afraid to see the price on that...
 

CC'S95GT

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I think your making a mountain out of a distributor mole hill.
The stocker fails as ofter as anyother wearable component, Water pump, alternator, smog pump, o2's, cats, coil, etc.
For most people, the dizzy goes out somewhere between 130k and 150k give or take. I would think that's an acceptable amount of miles. Sure we all would like parts to last forever.
The real issue with the dizzy's is the unrealiability of the remanned dizzy's. And from what I can tell, a bad one rears it's ugly head pretty fast. If you get a good remanned dizzy then your good for a while. I've got 4 years on a remanned and probably around 60-70k miles.
WE as few 5.0 owners know about the dizzy and just have to deal with it.
Are the higher end Accel, Mallory, and MSD dizzy's really perform that much better or last that much longer? I don't see anyone saying they've got 200k+ miles on theirs.
They definately look better. Has anyone tried polishing the stock dizzy? Or even powercoat?
 

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What are the most common misfire causes on the 302 cars? I have a 94 GT and its got a bit of a stumble at idle. I talked to my long term mechanic friend, and he said that 99% of the time, its the same problems coming in on the same cars. He said they'll get some odd stuff in every once in awhile, but once you've fixed a few, you begin to notice a pattern. He said nowadays, he can pretty much go right to the problem a given vehicle is having, just because he's fixed that same problem on so many others already. And that its a recurring theme with most vehicles.

Given his response, I wanted to ask this question. So what is the common misfire that most of these 94-95 5.0's get? My other one also had it. My buddies cars have had it, before they sold them. I'd be willing to bet its something that most, if not all of them suffer from until its corrected. Anyone have any idea?

I've given it a full tune up, dizzy cap, rotor, plugs, wires, O2 sensors, air filter, fuel filter. It has maybe 5k miles on that tuneup. So what else? What are some areas I could check?

If you know you are getting spark, I'd check the fuel system next
 

Photonfanatic

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Well what people seem to be saying here is, most of these ignition components can still work, but half assed, and cause a misfire. The car will still run, but not quite like it should.

How difficult is it to actually tear down, and rebuild a dizzy? It seems like that would actually be a lot cheaper. I could get a used 5.0 dizzy off ebay or something, and rebuild it with a new PIP and a new pickup coil. Really go through it all, and make sure its all in spec and working properly. I need to do it on the cheap if I can.
 

CC'S95GT

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It's not to hard to disassemble is you have the right tools.
The gear and lower collar need removed. and that's just a roll pin. Then press them off. Pull shaft out of the top. Unscrew PIP.
The problem is, there is no was to replace the shaft bushings if they're worn. If the bushings get worn then the rotor could be closer to some pins on the cap than others. And that could cause a misfire, If the wear gets to bad then the rotor will hit the pins on the cap and break the rotor. Or the windows in the reluctor wheel will hit the PIP and break it. Either way your not anywhere.
I'm not saying the bushings will be bad, just that it's something to look for if you plan on just replacing the PIP.
 

Photonfanatic

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It's not to hard to disassemble is you have the right tools.
The gear and lower collar need removed. and that's just a roll pin. Then press them off. Pull shaft out of the top. Unscrew PIP.
The problem is, there is no was to replace the shaft bushings if they're worn. If the bushings get worn then the rotor could be closer to some pins on the cap than others. And that could cause a misfire, If the wear gets to bad then the rotor will hit the pins on the cap and break the rotor. Or the windows in the reluctor wheel will hit the PIP and break it. Either way your not anywhere.
I'm not saying the bushings will be bad, just that it's something to look for if you plan on just replacing the PIP.

Since its the shaft bushings, couldn't I just do like that one member said, and wiggle the rotor, and be able to tell if they're bad or not? Cause wouldn't trying to move the rotor side to side, tell you if the bushings were bad? Also, I ran the codes on my car, even though there was no check engine light on. Here is what I found:

I did the KOEO test. (key on engine off)

"189 Fuel system at rich adaptive limit at part throttle. System lean bank 2"

I'm afraid as someone who isn't a trained Ford technician, I don't know what that means. The system is at its limit trying to adapt to running too rich? And this is occuring at half throttle. Yet at the same time, the left (or right?) side of the engine is running lean? Perhaps the left or right bank of injectors..:no:


KOER (key on engine running) result:

"111 system pass"


Could the 189 code cause a misfire? And how the heck to go about fixing it?
 

CC'S95GT

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Since its the shaft bushings, couldn't I just do like that one member said, and wiggle the rotor, and be able to tell if they're bad or not? Cause wouldn't trying to move the rotor side to side, tell you if the bushings were bad? Also, I ran the codes on my car, even though there was no check engine light on. Here is what I found:

I did the KOEO test. (key on engine off)

"189 Fuel system at rich adaptive limit at part throttle. System lean bank 2"

I'm afraid as someone who isn't a trained Ford technician, I don't know what that means. The system is at its limit trying to adapt to running too rich? And this is occuring at half throttle. Yet at the same time, the left (or right?) side of the engine is running lean? Perhaps the left or right bank of injectors..:no:


KOER (key on engine running) result:

"111 system pass"


Could the 189 code cause a misfire? And how the heck to go about fixing it?

YES that would be how to ck the bushings. I just wanted to you to know to ck that before you replace the PIP.

When ever I got the "lean" codes it was due to a dirty MAF. And that was from the K&N filter. I went back to a paper filter or a non oiled filter and havent had it again.
 

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