Remote Tfi: Engine Shuts Off Code 14

larrym1961

5 Year Member
Dec 18, 2010
565
32
49
57
Idaho Falls Id
#1
I installed a Remote TFI from Factory 5 Racing during the Summer. Every since I have swapped to the Remote TFI my car will run for maby half an hour or 5 minutes then die I will attempt to re start and no start, no spark. I test the codes and get a code 14 and this happens with 3 differant Motorcraft TFI's I can't imagine that 3 TFI's would be bad when I never had this problem with the TFI's on the Dizzy itself.

Anyone else experience this problem with a remote TFI or do I really have a PIP going bad? Or I just need to scrap the Remote TFI and relocate the TFI back to the distributor?
 
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jrichker

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SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
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#2
Guess what? it's not a TFI problem...


Code 14 - Ignition pickup (PIP) was erratic – the Hall Effect sensor in the distributor is failing. Bad sensor, bad wiring, dirty contacts. Factory tach will sometimes read erratically.

Revised 8-Apr-2017 to correct SPOUT problem symptoms wording

The PIP is a Hall Effect magnetic sensor that triggers the TFI and injectors. There is a shutter wheel alternately covers and uncovers a fixed magnet as it rotates. The change in the magnetic field triggers the sensor. They are often heat sensitive, increasing the failure rate as the temperature increases.

PIP Sensor functionality, testing and replacement:
The PIP is a Hall Effect magnetic sensor that triggers the TFI and injectors. There is a shutter wheel alternately covers and uncovers a fixed magnet as it rotates. The change in the magnetic field triggers the sensor. A failing PIP sensor will often set code 14 in the computer. They are often heat sensitive, increasing the failure rate as the temperature increases.

Some simple checks to do before replacing the PIP sensor or distributor:
You will need a Multimeter or DVM with good batteries: test or replace them before you get started.. You may also need some extra 16-18 gauge wire to extend the length of the meter’s test leads.
Visual check first: look for chaffed or damaged wiring and loose connector pins in the TFI harness connector.
Check the IDM wiring – dark green/yellow wire from the TFI module to pin 4 on the computer. There is a 22K Ohm resistor in the wiring between the TFI and the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 22,000 ohms +/- 10%.
Check the PIP wiring - dark blue from the TFI module to pin 56 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the SPOUT wiring – yellow/lt green from the TFI module to pin 36 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the black/orange wire from the TFI module to pin 16 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the red/green wire; it should have a steady 12-13 volts with the ignition switch on and the engine not running.
Check the red/blue wire; it should have a steady 12-13 volts with the ignition switch in Start and the engine not running. Watch out for the fan blades when you do this test, since the engine will be cranking.
If you do not find any chaffed or broken wires, high resistance connections or loose pins in the wiring harness, replace the PIP sensor or the distributor.

The PIP sensor is mounted in the bottom of the distributor under the shutter wheel. In stock Ford distributors, you have to press the gear off the distributor shaft to get access to it to replace it. Most guys just end up replacing the distributor with a reman unit for about $75 exchange

PIP problems & diagnostic info
Spark with the SPOUT out, but not with the SPOUT in suggests a PIP problem. The PIP signal level needs to be above 6.5 volts to trigger the computer to pulse the fuel injectors, but only needs to be 5.75 volts to trigger the TFI module. Hence with a weak PIP signal, and the SPOUT in, you could get spark but no injector pulse. You will need an oscilloscope or graphing DVM to measure the output voltage since it is not a straight DC voltage.

See http://www.wellsmfgcorp.com/pdf/counterp_v8_i2_2004.pdf and http://www.wellsmfgcorp.com/pdf/counterp_v8_i3_2004.pdf for verification of this little detail from Wells, a manufacturer of TFI modules and ignition system products.
 

larrym1961

5 Year Member
Dec 18, 2010
565
32
49
57
Idaho Falls Id
#3
If I replace the Dizzy for a new PIP what is a formidable replacement for the stock Motorcraft I have now? I have a MSD (May Suddenly Die) Pro Billet sitting around but not sure if I want to trust it enough to be a good replacement to stock given their reliability issues.
 

mikestang63

SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
9,558
6,377
204
In the garage
#4
If I replace the Dizzy for a new PIP what is a formidable replacement for the stock Motorcraft I have now? I have a MSD (May Suddenly Die) Pro Billet sitting around but not sure if I want to trust it enough to be a good replacement to stock given their reliability issues.
cardone from Rock Auto
 

larrym1961

5 Year Member
Dec 18, 2010
565
32
49
57
Idaho Falls Id
#5
I was looking at those earlier today on Rockauto Thanks for the conformation of that choice.
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
846
58
59
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
#6
Cardone are re-manufactured Ford units. I bought one that was over cleaned in the caustic bath, there were no threads left to attach the TFI.
I've had no problems with the MSD Pro-Billet, leaving their TFI on the distributor.
 

larrym1961

5 Year Member
Dec 18, 2010
565
32
49
57
Idaho Falls Id
#7
No threads for the TFI wouldn't affect my set up with a Remote TFI. The MSD while I was using it never had a problem using a Motorcraft TFI on it. It was the MSD TFI's I had problems with, two of them. The reason I pulled the MSD off was because the Stator Wheel and the PIP Sensor are very corroded. Stator Wheel is very rusty. I thought that may turn into an issue down the road.
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
846
58
59
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
#8
I know that the no threads wouldn't affect you. Was just trying to point out that the rebuilt ones can be as problematic as any of the others.
 

monte87

Founding Member
Feb 26, 2001
860
15
49
48
new york
www.youtube.com
#9
On the money, as usual. =) Blast from the past!!! Hiya been? Long time. =)

Anthony

Guess what? it's not a TFI problem...


Code 14 - Ignition pickup (PIP) was erratic – the Hall Effect sensor in the distributor is failing. Bad sensor, bad wiring, dirty contacts. Factory tach will sometimes read erratically.

Revised 8-Apr-2017 to correct SPOUT problem symptoms wording

The PIP is a Hall Effect magnetic sensor that triggers the TFI and injectors. There is a shutter wheel alternately covers and uncovers a fixed magnet as it rotates. The change in the magnetic field triggers the sensor. They are often heat sensitive, increasing the failure rate as the temperature increases.

PIP Sensor functionality, testing and replacement:
The PIP is a Hall Effect magnetic sensor that triggers the TFI and injectors. There is a shutter wheel alternately covers and uncovers a fixed magnet as it rotates. The change in the magnetic field triggers the sensor. A failing PIP sensor will often set code 14 in the computer. They are often heat sensitive, increasing the failure rate as the temperature increases.

Some simple checks to do before replacing the PIP sensor or distributor:
You will need a Multimeter or DVM with good batteries: test or replace them before you get started.. You may also need some extra 16-18 gauge wire to extend the length of the meter’s test leads.
Visual check first: look for chaffed or damaged wiring and loose connector pins in the TFI harness connector.
Check the IDM wiring – dark green/yellow wire from the TFI module to pin 4 on the computer. There is a 22K Ohm resistor in the wiring between the TFI and the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 22,000 ohms +/- 10%.
Check the PIP wiring - dark blue from the TFI module to pin 56 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the SPOUT wiring – yellow/lt green from the TFI module to pin 36 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the black/orange wire from the TFI module to pin 16 on the computer. Use an ohmmeter to measure the wire resistance from the TFI to the computer. You should see 0.2-1.5 ohms.
Check the red/green wire; it should have a steady 12-13 volts with the ignition switch on and the engine not running.
Check the red/blue wire; it should have a steady 12-13 volts with the ignition switch in Start and the engine not running. Watch out for the fan blades when you do this test, since the engine will be cranking.
If you do not find any chaffed or broken wires, high resistance connections or loose pins in the wiring harness, replace the PIP sensor or the distributor.

The PIP sensor is mounted in the bottom of the distributor under the shutter wheel. In stock Ford distributors, you have to press the gear off the distributor shaft to get access to it to replace it. Most guys just end up replacing the distributor with a reman unit for about $75 exchange

PIP problems & diagnostic info
Spark with the SPOUT out, but not with the SPOUT in suggests a PIP problem. The PIP signal level needs to be above 6.5 volts to trigger the computer to pulse the fuel injectors, but only needs to be 5.75 volts to trigger the TFI module. Hence with a weak PIP signal, and the SPOUT in, you could get spark but no injector pulse. You will need an oscilloscope or graphing DVM to measure the output voltage since it is not a straight DC voltage.

See http://www.wellsmfgcorp.com/pdf/counterp_v8_i2_2004.pdf and http://www.wellsmfgcorp.com/pdf/counterp_v8_i3_2004.pdf for verification of this little detail from Wells, a manufacturer of TFI modules and ignition system products.
 

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