Engine 88 gt long tube plug change

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
136
75
38
52
Cuba, AL
#21
sorry I'm just going off of the parts list the guy had in the add. He's not even the one that did all the stuff to it. He bought the car and didn't know much about stangs. So he probably miss labeled some of the parts. Im also new to stangs but I'm learning. But I just went out to make sure. Didn't see a box just the dizzy and the msd coil. It's usually mounted in the engine bay right?
No problem at all. Just trying to help. And yes, it's normally under the hood.
 
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08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#22
Thanks, WAYNE WALDREP for bringing up an Excellent point, whether you need apply this info.now, or down the road- MSD is NOTORIOUS for making mainline ignition products that FAIL!
If there’s a problem like yours, and MSD parts are present-its highly likely they may be involved..Getting through the basics, first, narrows down where the issue exists, whether a fuel system issue, or Ignition.
.Once the basic troubleshooting is covered (Costs little to nothing) & a history established, then it’s time for testing components & replacing, if needed.
Cheers!
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
10,885
3,339
193
polk county florida
#23
If I may jump in here, and keep in mind I still get and read several magazines, and in nearly all the high dollar builds they use msd stuff, now I know it is advertiser driven and you rarely hear about the vehicle after the write up, some have gone on to do things like dragweek and power tour, even the anti tour with no problems. What happens two or three years later of course is rarely updated but if they where
MSD is NOTORIOUS for making mainline ignition products that FAIL!
these shops would not use them, not saying they are not problematic as evidenced several times in this forum. That said the Ford ignition system in these fox cars are very capable, dependable and can inexpensively handling 350 hp or more,
An msd type system is just not needed for most stuff we do to our stangs.
JMO and not based on any real world stuff.
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#24
Thanks, WAYNE WALDREP for bringing up an Excellent point, whether you need apply this info.now, or down the road- MSD is NOTORIOUS for making mainline ignition products that FAIL!
If there’s a problem like yours, and MSD parts are present-its highly likely they may be involved..Getting through the basics, first, narrows down where the issue exists, whether a fuel system issue, or Ignition.
.Once the basic troubleshooting is covered (Costs little to nothing) & a history established, then it’s time for testing components & replacing, if needed.
Cheers!
Hey man a quick update I got a fuel pressure tester today. Test came out good had 41 on the gauge with stock regulator. Maybe this is a spark problem
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#25
If I may jump in here, and keep in mind I still get and read several magazines, and in nearly all the high dollar builds they use msd stuff, now I know it is advertiser driven and you rarely hear about the vehicle after the write up, some have gone on to do things like dragweek and power tour, even the anti tour with no problems. What happens two or three years later of course is rarely updated but if they where

these shops would not use them, not saying they are not problematic as evidenced several times in this forum. That said the Ford ignition system in these fox cars are very capable, dependable and can inexpensively handling 350 hp or more,
An msd type system is just not needed for most stuff we do to our stangs.
JMO and not based on any real world stuff.
Yeah wanye was talking about that if it was him he would go back to a stock dizzy. I think I also have a msd style coil. Says "performance TFI coil" on it
 

08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#26
If I may jump in here, and keep in mind I still get and read several magazines, and in nearly all the high dollar builds they use msd stuff, now I know it is advertiser driven and you rarely hear about the vehicle after the write up, some have gone on to do things like dragweek and power tour, even the anti tour with no problems. What happens two or three years later of course is rarely updated but if they where

these shops would not use them, not saying they are not problematic as evidenced several times in this forum. That said the Ford ignition system in these fox cars are very capable, dependable and can inexpensively handling 350 hp or more,
An msd type system is just not needed for most stuff we do to our stangs.
JMO and not based on any real world stuff.
GENERAL KARTHIEF, Thanks for your input, I also do my best to keep current for sake of my Tuning shop. I run a 1994 MSD distributor, 7AL & crank trigger setup in my 450HP 347CID. No issues. Over the years, IMO, MSD hasn’t maintained the quality levels they once upheld. There also seems to be a quality level that separates the full race designated MSD products, and the Street/Strip products most used. Mechanically, they seem solid, Electronically, highly sensitive to voltage spikes, DC waveform anomalies and temperature variables, physical shock. Over time- they are likely to fail. There’s no way MSD doesn’t know this, why care, people buy them- it’s all about $$.
People are hanging onto their Car’s longer these days. Soon, added clarity of MSD’s vulnerabilities & Fords abilities will emerge..
On the same page with you where MSD is highly funded media- propaganda driven marketing campaign, target audience aimed at general folks building at typical 270-350 (Net) HP levels, similar to this thread. When an issue occurs, we automatically revert back to Ford products- why? they work so reliably! So, why not stick with them from the beginning? Not as Perrty as MSD? A strong, reliable spark is all you need, for these builds.
As we all collectively share the same goals, your experience is always welcome!
 

08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#27
Hey man a quick update I got a fuel pressure tester today. Test came out good had 41 on the gauge with stock regulator. Maybe this is a spark problem
Hi, So you ran through the list & cleaned the MAF, cleaned & regapped plugs, checked the Fuel regulator by removing the line, pull a vacuum on it and ensure you tasted no fuel? What did you find, didn’t mention troubleshooting aside from Fuel pressure (which is good)- did you also measure it with regulator unplugged ? There’s a removable plug, called a SPOUT, in the Distributors wiring, a grey jumper- verify it’s still present. That info is all useful, what did the plugs look like? This saves you $$ from throwing parts at it. Once the basics are done, then it narrows it down. Testing the TPS is another step, and make sure your 02 sensors are connected, no wires melted to the exhaust.
I’d start with a basic tuneup. I’d asked, previously- do you have an active CEL on? Replace your Wires, Cap, Rotor, plugs, If you have access to another Dizzy, by all means- drop it in. Other Wires on hand- try them, too. If you have things on hand to substitute, known to function- use them.
The grey sensor mounted on the distributor, where the wires plug into is called the TFI (Thin Film Ignition). This can be tested at Advanced Auto for free. Bring a hair dryer to simulate engine heat while it’s tested. This is another common issue.
Clean out the Dizzy’s Stator.. Before you throw excess money at this, check that. Pull the cap and rotor. The wheel that the rotor sits on is the armature. Remove the two little screws that hold it on. Take it off and clean any rust off with some steel wool & spray it out with CRC MAF cleaner. Wipe it clean. If your Stator is loose you'll have to replace it. It's easier to just replace the dizzy with a stock one. About 120$ at NAPA.
If everything else checked out OK, I’d like to know what you did find, I do suspect wires or Dizzy, but one at a time will save $$, and it will perform better than before, once the issue is cleared. Your Coil may be weak, but Coils generally work or don’t (not always). Running it in the dark, revving it will identify Cap & Wires Arcing, easily.
I’ll give you some others to test next. Do you own a Volt-Ohmeter, or a Scantool?

,
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
10,885
3,339
193
polk county florida
#28
http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=698148
This is a checklist that shows you how to test stuff in these cars, it's for a surging idle but it will help with most problems related to surging/missfiring and stuff like that, one of the first things I always suggest is to check for codes, you can have codes without the cel and the 88 and older stangs don't have a cel. The list shows you how to check codes.
Jrichker put this checklist together and his is, after all our 'favorite tool'
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#29
Hi, So you ran through the list & cleaned the MAF, cleaned & regapped plugs, checked the Fuel regulator by removing the line, pull a vacuum on it and ensure you tasted no fuel? What did you find, didn’t mention troubleshooting aside from Fuel pressure (which is good)- did you also measure it with regulator unplugged ? There’s a removable plug, called a SPOUT, in the Distributors wiring, a grey jumper- verify it’s still present. That info is all useful, what did the plugs look like? This saves you $$ from throwing parts at it. Once the basics are done, then it narrows it down. Testing the TPS is another step, and make sure your 02 sensors are connected, no wires melted to the exhaust.
I’d start with a basic tuneup. I’d asked, previously- do you have an active CEL on? Replace your Wires, Cap, Rotor, plugs, If you have access to another Dizzy, by all means- drop it in. Other Wires on hand- try them, too. If you have things on hand to substitute, known to function- use them.
The grey sensor mounted on the distributor, where the wires plug into is called the TFI (Thin Film Ignition). This can be tested at Advanced Auto for free. Bring a hair dryer to simulate engine heat while it’s tested. This is another common issue.
Clean out the Dizzy’s Stator.. Before you throw excess money at this, check that. Pull the cap and rotor. The wheel that the rotor sits on is the armature. Remove the two little screws that hold it on. Take it off and clean any rust off with some steel wool & spray it out with CRC MAF cleaner. Wipe it clean. If your Stator is loose you'll have to replace it. It's easier to just replace the dizzy with a stock one. About 120$ at NAPA.
If everything else checked out OK, I’d like to know what you did find, I do suspect wires or Dizzy, but one at a time will save $$, and it will perform better than before, once the issue is cleared. Your Coil may be weak, but Coils generally work or don’t (not always). Running it in the dark, revving it will identify Cap & Wires Arcing, easily.
I’ll give you some others to test next. Do you own a Volt-Ohmeter, or a Scantool?

,
Hi, So you ran through the list & cleaned the MAF, cleaned & regapped plugs, checked the Fuel regulator by removing the line, pull a vacuum on it and ensure you tasted no fuel? What did you find, didn’t mention troubleshooting aside from Fuel pressure (which is good)- did you also measure it with regulator unplugged ? There’s a removable plug, called a SPOUT, in the Distributors wiring, a grey jumper- verify it’s still present. That info is all useful, what did the plugs look like? This saves you $$ from throwing parts at it. Once the basics are done, then it narrows it down. Testing the TPS is another step, and make sure your 02 sensors are connected, no wires melted to the exhaust.
I’d start with a basic tuneup. I’d asked, previously- do you have an active CEL on? Replace your Wires, Cap, Rotor, plugs, If you have access to another Dizzy, by all means- drop it in. Other Wires on hand- try them, too. If you have things on hand to substitute, known to function- use them.
The grey sensor mounted on the distributor, where the wires plug into is called the TFI (Thin Film Ignition). This can be tested at Advanced Auto for free. Bring a hair dryer to simulate engine heat while it’s tested. This is another common issue.
Clean out the Dizzy’s Stator.. Before you throw excess money at this, check that. Pull the cap and rotor. The wheel that the rotor sits on is the armature. Remove the two little screws that hold it on. Take it off and clean any rust off with some steel wool & spray it out with CRC MAF cleaner. Wipe it clean. If your Stator is loose you'll have to replace it. It's easier to just replace the dizzy with a stock one. About 120$ at NAPA.
If everything else checked out OK, I’d like to know what you did find, I do suspect wires or Dizzy, but one at a time will save $$, and it will perform better than before, once the issue is cleared. Your Coil may be weak, but Coils generally work or don’t (not always). Running it in the dark, revving it will identify Cap & Wires Arcing, easily.
I’ll give you some others to test next. Do you own a Volt-Ohmeter, or a Scantool?

,
Thank I actually didn't get to the plugs by the way. I have to drop my headers. That's a different story. But I tested the regulator with hose on and off. With the hose off I got some where around 38ish I'll have to do it again to make sure but with it on I got 41. I used to have a voltmeter at my old house but I lost I planned on buying another 1 anyway. I'll give the dizzy cap pull a try tomorrow, it's dark.
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#30
Thank I actually didn't get to the plugs by the way. I have to drop my headers. That's a different story. But I tested the regulator with hose on and off. With the hose off I got some where around 38ish I'll have to do it again to make sure but with it on I got 41. I used to have a voltmeter at my old house but I lost I planned on buying another 1 anyway. I'll give the dizzy cap pull a try tomorrow, it's dark.
http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=698148
This is a checklist that shows you how to test stuff in these cars, it's for a surging idle but it will help with most problems related to surging/missfiring and stuff like that, one of the first things I always suggest is to check for codes, you can have codes without the cel and the 88 and older stangs don't have a cel. The list shows you how to check codes.
Jrichker put this checklist together and his is, after all our 'favorite tool'
Oh yeah I forgot to mention I'm throwing code 31 and 85 KOEO I know that's probably an issue
 
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#31
31 - EGR position sensor below minimum voltage
check for voltage (about 5v) at the supply (VREF) with ignition on, engine not running. If no power, then something is wrong with either the computer or the wiring leading up to the sensor.
85 - Canister purge circuit failure
If the canister purge valve fails and sticks open, or physically damaged, it will create a vacuum leak that can affect idle speed quality. A vacuum leak can also affect acceleration.don’t think it’s the real issue, but repair it, and the EGR voltage issue.
Clear the codes
Hello again, glad you retrieved the codes, not any lean conditions, issue leaning towards ignition. As you’re no longer on a Speed Density platform, I’d been treating your 88’ like an 89’ (Only the 2.3L Cars had a working CEL in 88). Can you confirm you inspected and cleaned the MAF sensor?
If you’re running a good PSI at idle, it doesnt guarantee the flow is being maintained under high RPM demand. Testing for this is easy. I’d suggest doing that tune-up,, including the fuel filter.
Does this also occur when the Car’s just starting to warm up? Before this occurred, did you just stop to get more fuel?
Check out the link that GENERAL KARTHIEF listed, J.RICHKER puts articles is a very easy to follow, highly useful fashion. Use all the tools available to you, here.
Cheers!
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#32
31 - EGR position sensor below minimum voltage
check for voltage (about 5v) at the supply (VREF) with ignition on, engine not running. If no power, then something is wrong with either the computer or the wiring leading up to the sensor.
85 - Canister purge circuit failure
If the canister purge valve fails and sticks open, or physically damaged, it will create a vacuum leak that can affect idle speed quality. A vacuum leak can also affect acceleration.don’t think it’s the real issue, but repair it, and the EGR voltage issue.
Clear the codes
Hello again, glad you retrieved the codes, not any lean conditions, issue leaning towards ignition. As you’re no longer on a Speed Density platform, I’d been treating your 88’ like an 89’ (Only the 2.3L Cars had a working CEL in 88). Can you confirm you inspected and cleaned the MAF sensor?
If you’re running a good PSI at idle, it doesnt guarantee the flow is being maintained under high RPM demand. Testing for this is easy. I’d suggest doing that tune-up,, including the fuel filter.
Does this also occur when the Car’s just starting to warm up? Before this occurred, did you just stop to get more fuel?
Check out the link that GENERAL KARTHIEF listed, J.RICHKER puts articles is a very easy to follow, highly useful fashion. Use all the tools available to you, here.
Cheers!
Ok so I got some maf cleaner this morning. My cel is mysteriously on for an 88. Well you asked if it misfired when the car is warming up. I actually tried to test that on the way to get maf cleaner. It didn't misfire while the engine was cool and for some reason it didn't want to doit while it was warm either. It seriously pulled all the way through. Now I do remember when it used to doit, I would let the engine warm up to the first bold white Mark and then I would take off and try to do a pull. That's when it would miss fire. I also did fill up that it started. But I only remember it doing it that day after work.
 
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#33
Glad to hear! If you didn’t just get a load of bad fuel, and your MAF is clean, It’s now certainly isolated to the Ignition, likely narrowed to (2) possibilities. It sounds like it may be your TFI, the grey rectangular box mounted to the distributor, or the PIP. Most common issue where temperature variables are involved.
Start with the TFI, They are not expensive, sensitive, and Advanced auto tests them for free, bring a hair dryer to simulate engine heat while testing. Usually in stock. 50$
Simple removal, if you can’t get at the TFI’s screws, use a sharpie to mark a line on your distributor, and onto the block. (If it has the ‘special screws’, store will have the bit you need)This will ensure timing will remain the same when you reinstall. Loosen the distributor hold down clamp, rotate the distributor to access/remove the (2) screws on the TFI. When you reinstall, rotate the distributor to the line, lock it down.
You will need to apply heat transfer paste where the TFI contacts the distributor, it is the TFI’s heat sink, clean off old, apply new paste generously.
The CEL is present on the 88’s, bulb is there-on ALL Mustangs, connected on the 4 Cylinder cars, but NOT the 5.0’s until 89’. It was either connected by the person that built it, or I’d suspect your Mustang May be a converted 4 Cylinder car into a 5.0.. Do you have (4) Lug Rims, or (5)?
Cheers! John
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#34
Glad to hear! If you didn’t just get a load of bad fuel, and your MAF is clean, It’s now certainly isolated to the Ignition, likely narrowed to (2) possibilities. It sounds like it may be your TFI, the grey rectangular box mounted to the distributor, or the PIP. Most common issue where temperature variables are involved.
Start with the TFI, They are not expensive, sensitive, and Advanced auto tests them for free, bring a hair dryer to simulate engine heat while testing. Usually in stock. 50$
Simple removal, if you can’t get at the TFI’s screws, use a sharpie to mark a line on your distributor, and onto the block. (If it has the ‘special screws’, store will have the bit you need)This will ensure timing will remain the same when you reinstall. Loosen the distributor hold down clamp, rotate the distributor to access/remove the (2) screws on the TFI. When you reinstall, rotate the distributor to the line, lock it down.
You will need to apply heat transfer paste where the TFI contacts the distributor, it is the TFI’s heat sink, clean off old, apply new paste generously.
The CEL is present on the 88’s, bulb is there-on ALL Mustangs, connected on the 4 Cylinder cars, but NOT the 5.0’s until 89’. It was either connected by the person that built it, or I’d suspect your Mustang May be a converted 4 Cylinder car into a 5.0.. Do you have (4) Lug Rims, or (5)?
Cheers! John
I have 4 lug wheels. It's does however have the mustang GT kit. But the that built it could just put them on.
 
Jul 12, 2018
159
15
28
Massachusetts
#36
I have 4 lug wheels. It's does however have the mustang GT kit. But the that built it could just put them on.
Hi Comp., it’s not any “less” of a Mustang if it WAS converted. Didn’t want you to interpret it that way, if you did. When it comes down to it, Significant effort is required to do a swap, correctly. Sounds like yours was done well. The concern lies in the Rear end, 4 Cylinder Pony’s used the (4) lug 7.5”, the GT’s running the resilient (4) lug, posi 8.8”. Unusual for a N/A 302 with GT40/GT40P heads (non-ported) to break 300HP, but enough to break a 7.5” Rear over time.
I get 3-5 a year that make the mistake of directly bolting up GT40’s with the Explorers OE Springs/Retainers/locks, lift of a STOCK 5.0 GT Cam is too much, yet they go further & run E303’ cams (0.498 lift), add 1.7 rockers (0.527 lift), wonder why they make no power, lol! Pic’s loading next to reflect the damage..
To confirm the rear, measure from top of cover, to the bottom. If about 9” you have an 8.8. The 7.5” rear will measure 7.5”. Add 31 spline axles to an 8.8”, it’s as resilient as a GM 12 Bolt.
So, where are you at with the process? Minimally, fill your tank with 93 Octane fuel, any difference noted after cleaning that MAF? The TFI, if compromised, can completely fail.at ANY point, stranding you. Try to do a step & put it to the test, so the real issue is identified, not lost in the confusion. As for the Tune-up, if finances allow- do it, especially if it’s evident it’s not had one in a while. Any questions & we’re all here to help!
Cheers! John.
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#37
Hi Comp., it’s not any “less” of a Mustang if it WAS converted. Didn’t want you to interpret it that way, if you did. When it comes down to it, Significant effort is required to do a swap, correctly. Sounds like yours was done well. The concern lies in the Rear end, 4 Cylinder Pony’s used the (4) lug 7.5”, the GT’s running the resilient (4) lug, posi 8.8”. Unusual for a N/A 302 with GT40/GT40P heads (non-ported) to break 300HP, but enough to break a 7.5” Rear over time.
I get 3-5 a year that make the mistake of directly bolting up GT40’s with the Explorers OE Springs/Retainers/locks, lift of a STOCK 5.0 GT Cam is too much, yet they go further & run E303’ cams (0.498 lift), add 1.7 rockers (0.527 lift), wonder why they make no power, lol! Pic’s loading next to reflect the damage..
To confirm the rear, measure from top of cover, to the bottom. If about 9” you have an 8.8. The 7.5” rear will measure 7.5”. Add 31 spline axles to an 8.8”, it’s as resilient as a GM 12 Bolt.
So, where are you at with the process? Minimally, fill your tank with 93 Octane fuel, any difference noted after cleaning that MAF? The TFI, if compromised, can completely fail.at ANY point, stranding you. Try to do a step & put it to the test, so the real issue is identified, not lost in the confusion. As for the Tune-up, if finances allow- do it, especially if it’s evident it’s not had one in a while. Any questions & we’re all here to help!
Cheers! John.
I was trying to check my spark plugs and was literally able to do just one. It looked pretty good tho it was like tanish brown. I wasn't able to get to the others because the headers are in the way. Tried to drop the headers today. But I couldn't even do that because part of the headers are in the way. It's ridiculous man.
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#38
Hi Comp., it’s not any “less” of a Mustang if it WAS converted. Didn’t want you to interpret it that way, if you did. When it comes down to it, Significant effort is required to do a swap, correctly. Sounds like yours was done well. The concern lies in the Rear end, 4 Cylinder Pony’s used the (4) lug 7.5”, the GT’s running the resilient (4) lug, posi 8.8”. Unusual for a N/A 302 with GT40/GT40P heads (non-ported) to break 300HP, but enough to break a 7.5” Rear over time.
I get 3-5 a year that make the mistake of directly bolting up GT40’s with the Explorers OE Springs/Retainers/locks, lift of a STOCK 5.0 GT Cam is too much, yet they go further & run E303’ cams (0.498 lift), add 1.7 rockers (0.527 lift), wonder why they make no power, lol! Pic’s loading next to reflect the damage..
To confirm the rear, measure from top of cover, to the bottom. If about 9” you have an 8.8. The 7.5” rear will measure 7.5”. Add 31 spline axles to an 8.8”, it’s as resilient as a GM 12 Bolt.
So, where are you at with the process? Minimally, fill your tank with 93 Octane fuel, any difference noted after cleaning that MAF? The TFI, if compromised, can completely fail.at ANY point, stranding you. Try to do a step & put it to the test, so the real issue is identified, not lost in the confusion. As for the Tune-up, if finances allow- do it, especially if it’s evident it’s not had one in a while. Any questions & we’re all here to help!
Cheers! John.
But it is a 5.0 I checked the vin. But also bare with me on this . I think I have developed some pinging. It happened literally today. The same rpm range where it would miss fire is where I hear. This rattle against metal sound or it sounds like if you have a bad of candy and your trying to open it. It doesn't misfire any more for some reason but man if isn't one thing it's another
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
10,885
3,339
193
polk county florida
#39
Go back to post #28, do the checklist step by step. It will cover everything that causes problems like you are describing.
If you are hearing the engine 'rattle' (spark knock) then you are killing that engine.
I don't recall if you said what your miles were on the car.
Also if you could give us a pic of the engine, maybe we can spot something out of wack.
 
Jan 11, 2019
41
2
8
21
Lenexa,kansas
#40
Go back to post #28, do the checklist step by step. It will cover everything that causes problems like you are describing.
If you are hearing the engine 'rattle' (spark knock) then you are killing that engine.
I don't recall if you said what your miles were on the car.
Also if you could give us a pic of the engine, maybe we can spot something out of wack.
Ok I got some pics and the guy said 30000 miles on the rebuild. The bottom end wasn't touched. So I'm assuming he meant the top end it's basically built. But there's 150k+ on the cluster
 

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