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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 09:50 AM
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Ford TFI info - bad news!

For those of you not so familiar with the Ford TFI system, here is some information for you. The TFI coil was designed to be used exclusively with the TFI ignition module. For those of you using the TFI coil with the Duraspark ignition module in your Jeeps, it will work, however, despite what others might lead you to believe, you ARE NOT getting 100% out of the TFI coil. The TFI SYSTEM is just that... "a system." It consists of MORE than one component. Using the coil WITHOUT the module is not advised and will achieve only limited results.
See this link to better understand:
http://www.nettally.com/silly34/tfi.htm

In addition, the TFI setup does not have a very good reputation. There have been dozens of articles printed on this subject and many of them are available online.
See the following links to see just why.
http://www.mustangpower.com/_disc2/000000ac.htm
TFI LEFT ME STRANDED!

http://www.auto.com/autonews/qford12.htm
FORD TFI LAWSUIT

http://edmund.com/edweb/news/messages/349.html
MORE TFI LEGAL ISSUES

http://autolounge.com/archive/messages/3981.html
IGNITION PROBLEMS

Also, another weak point in the TFI setup is that the "cap adapter" used is actually slightly different than the stock Jeep distributor cap. Near the vacuum advance unit, the stock Jeep cap has a nice sealing lip which prevents moisture from entering the distributor which can lead to sputtering, stalling, etc. The distributor cap adapter does not have this sealing lip. It actually has a large gap that leaves your distributor subject to moisture problems! See the attached photo which clearly identifies this problem area.

Just thought you might find this information useful. Incidentally, the GM HEI setup for the Jeeps is a much better choice. The GM HEI distributor incorporates it's own ignition module and coil as a "matched set."



Attached Images
File Type: jpg 9-148453-Gaps.jpg (32.7 KB, 1 views)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 10:39 AM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

RandyJ,
You've come to the wrong place to try and put down the TFI coil and Ford component upgrade. Using the TFI coil standalone and not as a system may not be using the coil to its full potential, but it is leaps and bounds better than the stock setup. As far as its reliability, using this coil is not going to decrease the reliability of the ignition system. The problems with the TFI that your websites mention (and many of us are already aware of) are with the TFI ignition module, not the coil. The upgrade for Jeeps does not use this module, it uses the factory Duraspark module. First you say that we aren't getting everything out of the system by only using the coil and then you show articles discussing TFI MODULE failures. Let me repeat that, it's the module that fails, not the coil! Your first two comments do nothing but contradict each other. As far as moisture goes, show me a factory Jeep cap that still doesn't cause the ignition to sputter when exposed to water. The location of the distributor is its biggest downfall and there is nothing we can do about that. You may feel that HEI is superior in that it is a "matched" system, but it has enough faults (crossfiring, poor ventilation, module failures) to make it inferior to the Duraspark setup using the Ford components and TFI coil. I have the HEI distributor in one Jeep and the Duraspark with upgrades in another and I can tell you firsthand that the upgraded Duraspark Jeep starts faster, idles better, and has more seat of the pants power. In addition, this setup has been bench tested in a controlled environment where it was subjected to conditions known to cause ignition failures. It proved to be as reliable and powerful as anything else out there short of using a capacitive discharge module. If you are interested in buying my HEI distributor, I'll be more than happy to sell it to you because it is coming out! Go away, you're beating a dead horse.

How does the blind man pick up the "Seeing-eye" dogpoop?
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 11:10 AM
 
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Dude...you have just opened pandora's box...this thread will now officially become ugly. What kills me if the fact that you have ONE post (this one) and you didn't fill out your profile...a no go on this board! I think the TR upgrade was meant to help people with a fairly cheap way to IMPROVE, not replace with the best, ignition system...and I think the results speak for themselves.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 11:11 AM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Well, I thought I'd chime in on this one...

I have the GM HEI upgrade and it's been working fine. I've no complaints with it, in fact, I'm quit a fan of it and made my rasons known on this forum quite some time ago.....

I'll be making the TR upgrade to the OEM distributor and sending it to the UK for a fellow Jeeper as soon as my CJ gets back together. So on to the comments on Randyj100's Post.

1. Fill out the Profile... including email address. Otherwise the post can be counted as a "Hit and Run" post... these type of posts offer more heat than light and benefit nobody. Remarks from a fellow Jeeper are better received.

2. Are there valid points to Randyj100's posts?

a. Systems: Yes, systems are engineered to work together without problems... if the engineers did their jobs. But owners of any product stretch the envelope with backyard engineering. Often this type of engineering pays off in the field and the OEM Engineers never had a clue that the system would work in that manner, or never marketed it for a host of reasons... too many old parts in the warehouse, too late to market, would be precieved as too little to late, playing catch up with the competition, etc. So the upgrade never makes it into the market place when it could have eaily been incorporated. That doesn't mean the backyard engineering ain't good...infact, it just ignores "Business" reasoning and goes ahead and takes parts, puts them together and makes them work. Ain't that the way with a Jeep?

b. Yes, if you don't carry an extra ingnition module and yours dies on the trail, you are toast untill you get a new one. Untill that time you will be stranded. It's common sense, which to my dismay, most people don't have. Even with the OEM ignition, carry an extra module. It's cheap insurance, like a few quarts of oil in the back of the CJ. Don't leave home with out it.

c. Legal isssues/Lawsuits: Humm... enough people are let down and a lawyer gets involved and then victums a created. Ignition moudules rarely die in one blaze of glory. There are signs, missing, hard starts, etc. However most people do not pay enough attention the warning signs of a sick vehicle. When it dies, that's when they pay attention. Where there's smoke there's fire. These type of drivers are too busy putting out fires to pay any attention to the smoke. Most Jeepers I know are NOT that way. An engine hick-ups and their out there tuning, fiddeling and tweeking till it runs perfectly.... or worry unitll it does.

d. The Cap adaptor: I've really no idea if this would help. I'm waiting for TR's take on this one. Could it hurt or help? My jury is still out.

Conclusion: One possible nugget from the post, two fools gold ideas and a whole lot of flame for an idea that's worked for the last 6 - 9 months for a whole lot of Jeepers, and saved them a whole lot of money. I think the thought could have been presented a whole lot better and engendered a lot more discussion than destruction.

Good Jeepin'

Larry
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 11:17 AM
 
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Hmmm....sounds like someone's HEI conversions are not selling as well as they used to....

'79 CJ-7
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 05:29 PM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Yeah, someone isn't making enough money from their HEI's. I have a couple of qualms with your lovly little post.

1. That first link doesn't tell me crap. How can you put down something and cite that as your source? Its like saying Kia's suck and then you back it up with a brochure about the color schemes. Its just ineffective.

2. I bought The TFI stuff because I'm Cheap. It works, lets be done with it.

3. Because of the adaptor's height, and dangerously large hole, it seems it will be better in the wet. I had a problem with the old cap getting wet, and not running. No problems now. And if it bothers you that much, go buy some RTV and fix the "Problem".

Why would anybody let their ass get chapped becuse someone isn't using what they like? I'm not a fan of body-lifts, but I don't yell at people for saving money.

Ed

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 07:33 PM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Well, I don't have either one of these ignitions on my Jeep, so the point is moot to me. But I will let you in on a little secret here in Colorado. If you try to seal your dist. cap up air tight, all it will do is keep moisture in. I have found out that letting the dist. cap air out and have circulation, you are less likely to have water condense inside the cap and cause mis-firing. The front range is simi-arid, and usually the average humidity is only about 11%. To me the idea of a vent is benificial. Besides, from the pics of the o.e.m. cap, It looks like there is a vent in the same place. Notice the step, tell me that that one will seal. I do know that there is one on the cap itself , it should aid in circulation. But then again, I usually stay out of water over 3 feet, common sense.

Fords ignition problems were mostly the t.f.i. module (chip on the side of the dist.) and their p.i.p.( stator) going bad. I have only seen one coil go bad in years of working on these systems. Granted, they do look a little funny of the scope because of the lack of the "condenser, coil occelations" but always put out well over the required 40KV. How did ford overcome the early faults? went d.i.s. almost no problems on any of their systems built on the last 5 years. Lets compare that to G.M.'s dis packs, Shoot! you don't want to even know how many coils, dis modules, and p.c.m.'s that I have changed. That dosn't even count shorted cam angle sensors, and open crank angle sensors, or internally shorted injectors. For those of you wanting to know, I think that Mopar's spfi is the easiest, straight forward, failure free system I have ever seen. And this is from a guy that drives a Saab and Audi Quattro. I have been sensored, that is a first!

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 08:05 PM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] non-vented caps will accumulate enough ionized air that they will begin crossfiring. I like the Ford caps because they have a vent that can be attached to an air pressure source....like a Caddy leveling system compressor....and will positively charge the distributor and help keep water out. On our Jeep setup we will be using the TFI coil in conjunction with an MSD 6A module, a module which is allegedly compatible with the TFI. On that same Jeep we will also have a complete secondary ignition system, coil and all which is the basic Jeep system with an aftermarket Accel cannister type coil. Both systems will be connected via a dual coil cap adapter, dual Hall-effect triggers, and will be selected by a switch that connects the feed for the selected coil. We don't want our Jeep to quit when the Reno-Klintunites are chasing us to get that last remaining citizen-owned gun.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

CJDave
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 09:04 PM
 
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

This looks like a hit and run, but I'll give the guy the benefit of a doubt...

--------------------------------

*Poster: Randyj100* said...
*For those of you not so familiar with the Ford TFI system, here is some information for you.*

Not many people are familiar with any ignition system, or this debate would never have begun.
---------------------------------

*The TFI coil was designed to be used exclusively with the TFI ignition module.*

The TFI coil was used for at least two years with the first generation DuraSpark module... 84 and 85 when the ('TFI' module- Second generation DuraSpark, or DuraSpark II, take your pick) was being field tested.
Ford admits there is no change in the coils produced now to the ones produced then, except for a winding flaw was corrected.
There is only one part number for all years.
The first generation of DuraSpark modules are powering millions of vehicles in third world countries with the TFI coil as stock equipment...
Ford doesn't use the Canister coil anymore on anything from the factory, not even for export to the third world...
--------------------------------

*For those of you using the TFI coil with the Duraspark ignition module in your Jeeps, it will work, however, despite what others might lead you to believe, you ARE NOT getting 100% out of the TFI coil.*

I never said you were getting 100% capacity from the coil... You would have to have a capacitive discharge module to do that, and Ford never used any version of the "TFI" ignition with Capacitive Discharge.
I said it puts out 1-1/2 or more times of useable spark energy over the canister coil, and is cheaper than the 'MEGA' coils...
It cranks out more than the required 30,000 volts, Spark Duration times just about double the old canister coils, and cranks out enough amperage to get the job done...
(Amperage is marginal, but about 1-1/2 times the amperage of a can coil, and if they made it any more potent, it could actually kill, so this is as good as it gets do to product liability...)
--------------------------------

*The TFI SYSTEM is just that... "a system." It consists of MORE than one component. Using the coil WITHOUT the module is not advised and will achieve only limited results.*

That's what I have been preaching all along!!
Ford used the TFI coil for two years in this country with the first generation of DuraSpark module, AS A SYSTEM... (It worked pretty well too!!)
Even hobbled with a module that doesn't have near enough current switching, it's still a huge improvement over points or the canister coil, and pretty much as dependable as any ignition can be if you give the module a good ground and keep it away from header heat...
--------------------------------

(MISCELLANEOUS WEB SITES CLIPPED)
--------------------------------

The question of TFI failure was brought up....

As I, and many others have said before, It was the second generation DuraSpark modules, (or what this guy is calling TFI modules), that were failing...
The First generation DuraSpark modules we are working with do just fine...
Lots and lots of 70's and early 80's vehicles out there still getting around with the original DuraSpark modules...
For instance, how about all those 78 to 90 Jeeps out there...
(Jeep actually mounted them too close to exhaust manifold heat with no ventilation)
--------------------------------

*Also, another weak point in the TFI setup is that the "cap adapter" used is actually slightly different than the stock Jeep distributor cap. Near the vacuum advance unit, the stock Jeep cap has a nice sealing lip which prevents moisture from entering the distributor which can lead to sputtering, stalling, etc. The distributor cap adapter does not have this sealing lip. It actually has a large gap that leaves your distributor subject to moisture problems!*

The 'LARGE GAP' he is talking about is moot unless you are deep water fording.
It is about 1/32" X 1/2" at most on a warped distributor housing.
I have an odd view point, but that isn't 'Large' to me, and the Ford cars and trucks have been running just fine with it for 24 years, and still going strong...
He never mentioned the 1/8" to 1/4" drain hole in the housing... Wonder why?
How about the 1/8" X 3/4" long open slot where the vacuum advance arm goes into the housing on the I-6??...
The outside rim of the I-6 cap adaptor seals just fine. (I-6 is in his picture)
I have recommended time and time again that if you are going to deep water ford,
1. Drill and tap the drain hole in the bottom of the housing. Screw in a MIG welder tip to use as a vacuum nipple. Splice it into the PCV line.
2. Drill the distributor cap, and epoxy a vent to it, if it doesn't already have one.
Hook that vent to a clean air source, like from inside the air cleaner, or a small air filter above the water line...
3. Use weather strip adhesive to 'glue' the cap adaptor to the distributor housing.
You shouldn't have to remove that adaptor very often, so 'gorilla snot' is the way to go.
4. Use dielectric grease in the cap groove to seal it to the cap adaptor.

That little spot on the cap adaptor is the least of your worries...
(I wasted this much time on it because getting the distributor wet is a real concern where I live, and this might help someone that hasn't seen this before...)
---------------------------------

*Just thought you might find this information useful.*

Haven't seen anything new yet...
--------------------------------

*Incidentally, the GM HEI setup for the Jeeps is a much better choice. The GM HEI distributor incorporates it's own ignition module and coil as a "matched set."*

That's true. It's a matched set of 60's technology, with a ton of flaws, hasn't been updated cense it was released in 74, and scabbed into an engine that was never meant to use it...
(What happened to the 'System' approach you were touting a while ago...?)
--------------------------------

I stayed civil, and I gave him the benefit of a doubt...
Anyone think I was too gruff, or rude to him??

Later folks, Aaron.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2000, 09:18 PM
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Re: Ford TFI info - bad news!

Where is the real TR and what have you done with him?

Well done TR... a well constructed and civil post. I am very proud of you!

Good Jeepin'

Larry
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