The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
Post Reply
Merkur Club web site
zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:13 pm

Hi all,

Well, what can I say? I planned to drive around for four days and other things had other plans.

The car died as I was parking it in the shed. DEAD. I checked it out and decided it was the distributor module. So, a forty five mile drive and I have a new one. After installing it the car runs again. So, I went for a long drive and the new module overheated at 88 miles and left me dead on the road. After 30 minutes of sitting with the hood up on the side of the road it started up again and began surging as I tried to drive it. It went two miles and died again on the side of the road. It is over 90 here today so sitting in the sun with the hood up was not so fun. I called a friend and we loaded the car on a trailer after it cooled off again and took it back to the storage site. I am going to make a serious heat sink mod for these modules. Any one interested in heat proofing theirs? More news soon.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

john keefe
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 552
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by john keefe » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:25 pm

I don't know if there's any on eBay, but FMS used to have a TFI relocation harness. Since you've got a spare to play with, maybe cut it open so you can use the connector portion of the shell to house wires, and run your own harness to a better cooling location. Just make sure you have a raised platform for relocated TFI to sit on, to provide cooling air underneath it. Haven't looked at one in a while, so not sure how that works out with the flat contact surface to the distributor body.

How was it driving with the new TFI? Maybe check the wiring harness all the way back to the main as far as you can go. There's a shielding wrap around one of the wires, which may have deteriorated... high-heat or current draw perhaps causing the problem, moreso than the TFI?

zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:41 pm

Hi,

It overheated yesterday but today it worked fine. 80's here now, 90's yesterday. I think I will make a large, thin copper sheet heat sink to mount with the module. I had an old spare and a running unit, both of which are dead, it seems. The new one was the one that overheated. Very strange as the car had never acted like that since new.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

GPz11
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 841
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:56 am
Location: Aurora, IL

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by GPz11 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:56 pm


User avatar
milehighXR
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 2161
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:17 pm
Location: Longmont, Co

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by milehighXR » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:18 pm

I haven't put it in yet, but I ripped off a tfi relocation heatsink from and F-series way back in the late 90s early 2000s with the intent of installing it in my XR. It hasn't happened yet. I'll take a pic and post next time I come across it.
Johnny


1 86 XR aka Naomi- my first love, now project car
1 14 black Fiesta SE aka Fiona- my new DD

DCLXVI

zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:37 pm

Hi all,

The remote system looks good. I have wondered in the past about folks complaining about these. I had the original module until two years ago and the Ford replacement died in two years. I am now going to give this some thought and make some changes in that area. Thanks for the link.

I made lemonade out of a lemon situation and worked on the car all day today, I painted the wheels with removable paint and mounted the R1 Concept slotted and drilled rotors. After driving around a bit to bed in the rotors and pads I called it a day and parked the car. The wheels came out well. I tried a silver paint on the spare last month and did not like the result so I painted it first to see if I liked the new color; a medium dark grey metallic color. I will work on it again in two weeks, I guess. I was thinking of taking it to use for a DD for a week or so but now will let that ride for the time being. It is very close to finished at this time. I can think of lots of things I would like to do though, as usual.

Oh, I found a NOS Transgo C-3-2 shift kit in an old shop in Tulsa, still wrapped in plastic wrap. That kit has valves as well as springs and can 'program' the transmission to drag race, I think. I am not racing but I will have the kit installed. The quicker an automatic shifts the less heat is generated in the clutches and fluid. Less heat = longer life or less trouble. I also found a Transgo shift kit for the A4LD that I am going to have rebuilt in the next few months. First I have other things to work on in the car, as we all do, I am sure.

Cheers



Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

JimG
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 540
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:30 pm
Location: Waterford, Virginia

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by JimG » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:48 pm

How positive are you that is the distributor module? Sounds a bit like a common problem with the fuel pump relay socket.
Jim Gosses
86 XR4TI, 165K, T-5, IC, RR, PBR Fronts, T-bird Rear Discs
Image

zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:42 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the mention of the fuel pump relay. When I turn on the key the pump functions every time. It is easy to hear it in a quiet space.

I pulled all the relays out of the box last month and cleaned all the pins with steel wool. Shiny! I did the same to the fuses some time back. I have not had any fuse box related issues. I have has some tiny tooth mark issues from mice but that was the intermittent adjuster wheel for the wiper that had its wires eaten in two. All of them. Not fixed yet as it is low on the list of things I wish to do. I seldom drive in rain with this car because it is in good shape underneath and has the usual crap wheel well plastic crumble issue. I was looking under the wheel wells yesterday when painting the wheels and changing brake rotors.

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

JimG
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 540
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:30 pm
Location: Waterford, Virginia

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by JimG » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:21 pm

What happens with the fuel pump relay is that the surrounding plastic like materials melts slightly from the heat generated by the electricl current through the pump contacts, this allows the socket contacts to slightly move away from from the relay prongs when hot, shutting off power to the fuel pump. After it cools off contact is restored. Mine is an '86 also and I had this problem several years ago, I solved it by making the relay prongs for that load circuit "fatter" by adding a layer of solder, but many have used copper braid. Hope this helps.
Jim Gosses
86 XR4TI, 165K, T-5, IC, RR, PBR Fronts, T-bird Rear Discs
Image

zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:30 pm

Hi all,

I will check that next time I am over there. All the relays feel 'tight' when unplugged or plugged back in but this could be a part of the trouble. It should be easy to see if it is a problem.

Thanks

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

JimG
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 540
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:30 pm
Location: Waterford, Virginia

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by JimG » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:19 pm

Not easy to see, as for "tight" the other prongs will keep it in the socket secure. The prongs in question are the two that handle the voltage to the fuel pump.
Jim Gosses
86 XR4TI, 165K, T-5, IC, RR, PBR Fronts, T-bird Rear Discs
Image

zxr250cc
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 11:07 am

Re: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley

Post by zxr250cc » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:18 pm

Hi all,

I have been reading a good description of the trouble I was having the other day and here is a good link to it:

https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/r ... on-module/

Cheers
1986 XR4Ti Mineral Blue Metallic

Post Reply