Engine Observations While I Changed My Pip Today

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by sixt9coug, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Well I got another OEM PIP for my car recently, and I figured today was a good day to finally change it. I have made numerous threads stating my issues with them over my ownership of this car, but the most recent was here - http://www.stangnet.com/mustang-for...or-our-cars-that-isnt-a-piece-of-crap.874694/

    Which leads directly into what this thread is all about. Today I was feeling good enough to get off of my hefty ass and change the PIP out. My car still runs currently, but poorly due to what I believe is ANOTHER malfunctioning PIP. Being that I haven't done a PIP in years, and due to the fact that I am a pack rat of old car parts, I didn't want to go into this blind so I took my old, dead OEM distributor apart to swap the PIP into there and reuse that instead of my failing Napa reman.

    THIS distributor is the original one to my car (175K miles) with a used OEM PIP that was swapped in when the car had around 140K miles.

    This is what I found along the way.

    First off, here is what we have to work with. A NEW OEM PIP! Woot woot! Sourced from Amazon, less than $50 for the unit. Hell yeah!


    I trust you can all find out how to take apart the distributor. It's not too hard, just get something small enough to punch out the roll pins, and a vice really helps. I used a punch, and some hex keys to make it happen. Of course I also used a vice.

    Now, when I got everything apart, I noticed a few things odd. First things first, I had a LOT of wiggling going on with the original PIP. It was not tight, but it was certainly able to move a bit. I thought that it wasn't supposed to move at all, and well...... it sure seems I was right. There was quite a bit of dust on the inside of the distributor, and I will detail that more later. When I pulled the PIP out... I noticed something else... see anything strange?


    See those spots under the PIP? Looks like some wires were rubbing.... let's take a look at the wires themselves....


    Huh... that's not good. It doesn't look like they broke through the insulation, but well, all that movement in the PIP I'm sure wasn't good for that at all.

    The PIP is a pretty precision device that works in conjunction with a hall effect sensor. There is a reasonably tight clearance that comes along with that sensor as it passes through the sensor in the PIP. Well, remember when I said that the PIP was kind of loose? Well.... what happens to the clearance there?


    Hey waddayaknow? The hall effect sensor was moving enough now to make contact with the PIP on the inside. Well :poo:, that's not good now is it? Hmm... however, that's metal.... metal is hard... what did that do to the PIP?


    D'oh. See that dust? It's from the incessant grinding of the hall effect sensor on the PIP. That's not good.


    Well, where did the movement come from? Well, I know WHERE it came from....


    That's where the PIP attaches to the distributor shaft. Somehow, it got loose there, and this allowed it to have a bit of play. The distributor shaft itself seemed pretty tight still, and I didn't notice excessive play, but somehow the PIP moved a bit. The new OEM PIP had NO play on it whatsoever, so this seemed to be an "ain't right" moment. Good to have a new PIP I guess.

    So it's time to reassemble the distributor. I clean the distributor shaft, and I notice this......



    Well crap. Again. Those grooves look pretty bad. I ran my nails across them, because you know, that's how I get down when I'm being all technical, and you can feel the grooves pretty good. So at this point I called a buddy for help and advice and we agreed that seeing as this beast is a 175K mile pig now, that maybe it's time to retire this distributor.

    So now, the plan is to wait until tomorrow, take the reman unit that's currently in the car and swap the new PIP into there, hoping that the shaft is better, the bearings are new, and that the unit overall is more structurally sound, and I can get a new PIP in there to make it electronically beefy too.

    So with that gentlemen, I will leave you until tomorrow to let you know how that goes.
  2. Swapped in the new PIP today into the proper distributor. I put the old, failing PIP into the old, failing distributor now so I have a "functional" spare should the need arise again.

    The car runs well again, and the hesitation/bog seems to be gone. I will keep an eye on it, but I hope that the OEM unit takes care of it.

    Now I need new plug wires. Mine are pretty ugly.
  3. Good to know & here's hoping it lasts for a decade or so! ;)
    sixt9coug likes this.
  4. I hope so too! Tired of chasing dizzy demons.