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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After two trips to the local Autozone I have gathered what I think are the correct parts for the TR ignition upgrade. I did some searching through old posts looking for info on what to get and got some conflicting info. I got the cap, rotor, and cap adapter for an 82 F-150 with a 300. I got spark plug wires (Bosch 8MM premium wires) and coil for an 89 F-150 with the 300. But, TR mentioned getting the coil for an 92 Escort and the wires for a 92 and newer Jeep. Did I get the right wires and coil, or will I need to make another trip to Autozone. It doesn't mention anything about spark plugs, but I assume I should get them for my actual application (86 CJ7). What is a decent spark plug, Bosch? I will be putting everything on tomorrow after work.

Thanks

86 CJ-7 258/T-176, 2" bl, 31 BFG A/T or 32 SS TSL
 

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Actually, for the coil it doesn't matter what year or make of ford you get it from. As long as its from a 85 to present year ford. To my understanding all ford tfi coils are the same whether it be a 4 cylander or a 460. Just have somebody look up the part number for it, it will be the same for all newer fords. I think the reason for getting the 92 and newer plug wire is because they fit better (Are shorter) than the ones fom the ford. I have wires for the 300 I6 and they are a wee bit long.

88 YJ:4.2 I6 TR upgrade and MC2100
 

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The spark plug wires...
Get spark plug wires that have the HEI ends on them.
Late model 300 CID I-6 is what I first tried, '92 or new Jeep I-6 is what the guys say fits a little better.
You need a coil wire with the spark plug type terminal at both ends.

The coil needs to be from a vehicle that had a TFI module in the distributor.
That started happening in '86 in some vehicles, but for the trucks, not until later.
The '92 Ford Escort is what I pulled out of thin air one day... It has the TFI distributor module and the correct coil.
So do most Ford cars from '86 to '96.
Look for the metal frame on the coil, and the spark plug looking terminal for the coil wire, you have the correct one.
If you get one from the junk yard, get the coil bracket and the coil connector plug too.

*I got the cap, rotor, and cap adapter for an 82 F-150 with a 300*

Correct. '82 is the only year that Ford used ONLY the screw down cap adaptor
Make that premium cap with brass terminals and rotor and cap adaptor... From Ford Pickup, '82, 300 CID I-6.

So many cats, so few recipes...
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the clarification. I successfully completed the TR ignition upgrade after work today. I took it for a spin down the street, but it was snowing and the roads were slick. But, so far it seems to be working well. I will know more tomorrow and will start to keep track of my gas mileage to see if it improves (getting 12 mpg before).

86 CJ-7 258/T-176, 2" bl, 31 BFG A/T or 32 SS TSL
 

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How much easier does it start in cold or wet weather?

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TR or Anyone Else,

Couple easy questions. I've read plenty about this upgrade on this bbs and I plan to go ahead and do it once I get the money.

Ignition systems are my achilles heel, I don't know much past stock. What exactly does this upgrade do to improve performance? I'm guessing it just delivers a better spark. Please elaborate, I could definitely use the primer to improve my overall knowledge of the system. Bear with me, I'm getting smarter every day.

Thanks

TEXAS1AL

84 CJ-7; 258 I6; Restored-to-Stock Condition
 

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DO A SEARCH!

I developed this upgrade to help out the guys here that were bleeding through the nose to buy the aftermarket GM style HEI distributors for their V-8's.

All I did was take the '78 to '90 Motorcraft/DuraSpark ignition already used on all AMC engines and give it the three components a HEI ignition should have...
We upped the output voltage, by using the later style E-core coil off the Ford TFI ignitions.
The more important parts of spark energy are...
1. Duration. How long the spark lasts.
2. Amperage. Determines how 'rich' the spark is going to be...
3. Voltage. Determines how 'powerful' the spark is going to be.

Too little voltage, and you won't get the spark across the air gap in the distributor or the spark plug.
Too much voltage, like in those 'Super-Mega' coils, and you get a thin, fast, 'thready' spark that isn't good for trying to light the fire.
Too little amperage, and you get a spark that's more of a 'pop' than a fire starter. Amperage will also increase duration...
Too little duration, and the spark is so quick that it doesn't light the fire.

Too small of a distributor cap and the spark will 'cross fire' to terminals that it's not supposed to go to.
It's also possible for the spark to jump to ground inside the distributor instead of going to the plugs at all.
Small distributor caps also lead to spark scatter, spark getting lost in several conductors, and going to several plugs at once.

Too short of a rotor and the spark will jump to ground inside the distributor.

Non-Vented distributor caps allow ionized air called 'Ozone' (O3) to build up inside the cap, further causing crossfire problems...

What I attempted to do with the upgrade is....
1. Use stock parts so your doesn't get raped trying to have a decent ignition system. (Some of the GM Style HEI knock off's were over $600)
2. Upgrade the stock ignition system with out major modification, reducing cost, wiring problems, and keeping a stock service manual your best friend.
No extra ordinary technical knowledge needed. If you can do a tune up, you can do the upgrade.
3. Use a larger, vented cap and taller rotor.
Larger cap separated the terminals keeping cross fires and spark scatter to a minimum.
Vented cap keeps the Ozone from becoming a problem.
Taller rotor keeps the spark energy from going to ground inside the distributor.
There is also the added bonus of 'spark plug top' terminals on the cap, so you don't have a 'socket' type cap collecting crap and corroding up.
4. Using late model plug wires allows for 50 years of advances in plug wire technology...
5. Changing the ignition coil allows for increasing the three important components of spark energy with no drawbacks, and it has the added benefits of being able to mount at any angle (can't do that with oil filled coils), and the spark plug type terminal instead of the socket terminal... (not to mention it looks cool!)

All of the parts can be properly installed by anyone that can do a tune up, cost under $150 for the best quality parts, and will kick the snot out of a GM HEI when you are done, and in most states is still emissions legal.
If you buy the parts from the right place, it's emissions legal in all 50 states!

I tried to develop a 'System', not just an upgrade, or a different way of doing things...
This 'Upgrade', done correctly, will make your stock ignition system preform better than any comparable stock ignition system.


So many cats, so few recipes...
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I have kept track of the gas mileage since the TR upgrade (three tanks of gas). Well, it went from bad to really bad. I am only getting 9 mpg now. I was getting around 12 before. This is my daily driver and I drive about 20 miles to work. Any ideas to why it went down so much?

86 CJ-7 258/T-176, TR ignition upgrade, 2" bl, 31 BFG A/T or 32 SS TSL
 

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Open your plug gap up to between 0.040" and 0.045".
Use a vacuum gauge and lean out your idle mixture.
Make sure your vacuum advance is connected to PORTED vacuum and not the base plate of the carb. (Manifold vacuum is bad)

Bump your timing up to about 12 or 15 degrees, but be sure to listen for detonation!
If you hear detonation, back the timing down until it stops, then back off another 3 or 4 degrees. (to stop the detonation you don't hear.)

You can go as high as about 20 degrees, but do it slowly watching for and listening for the signs of detonation...

So many cats, so few recipes...
 

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TR,

What exactly are the signs of detonation, you mention a sound (I imagine a loud one) and other signs? After I completed my upgrade, I went to about 12 degrees, but didn't want to go any farther. What exactly is detonation?

TEXAS1AL

84 CJ-7; 258 I6; Restored-to-Stock Condition, TR Ignition Upgrade
 
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