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2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 11-16-2015
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2.9 ignition problems

I have a 1989 Ranger 2.9 with no spark. I have replace everything (Distributor, coil, ECU). The truck started twice but quit when I let go of the key. Now has no spark again. Is there an aftermarket setup I could replace the existing mess with?
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Old 11-16-2015
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ECU isn't part of the spark system as far as starting, just FYI, it "suggests" spark advance and retard info to the TFI module via the SPOUT connection but that's all it does for spark.

TFI system is self contained, good read here on that system: Ford EEC-IV/TFI-IV Electronic Engine Control Troubleshooting

TFI system has 4 components, distributor, TFI module, coil, wires.
In the distributor is the hall effect sensor that creates a pulse for each cylinder lobe that passes, TFI module reads the pulse and sparks the coil, spark runs back to distributor and rotor sends that spark to cylinders spark plug wire.
So it is the same as a points type system but no points to wear out and adjust all the time.
The hall effect pulse is passed on to ECU so it can time fuel injectors, so if there was no spark and no fuel(on spark plug tip) then could be TFI module or hall sensor issue.


The "letting go of the key" stall was a common issue on older systems.
There was a ballast resistor that was used for the Coil that reduced the "running" voltage of the coil to 8volts to make it last longer, during starting the coil got full voltage for hotter spark, but when running the coil voltage was reduced because hotter spark is not needed.

So when key is in START position the voltage to coil is traveling on a separate wire, than when key is in RUN position, so if engine starts but as soon as key goes back to RUN the engine dies then voltage to system is being cut.
You will see that in the TFI link above, separate START and RUN wires on TFI module wires

You have the problem in the RUN circuit, could be in the wiring or even ignition switch.
With key in RUN position check for voltage at the coil's + terminal


No, I haven't seen a DuraSpark or HEI conversion for 2.9l, could probably be done but fixing TFI system would be cheaper

Last edited by RonD; 11-16-2015 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 11-16-2015
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Thank you for the reply. I have 12v at the coil with the key in the run position but I need to do a little homework on how the TFI module fits into the system. Thanks again!
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Old 11-16-2015
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There were 2 TFI modules, 4 if you count remote mounted(not on distributor).

They are not interchangeable.
Good read here on that: http://www.myo-p.com/Ford-EEC/EEC%20..._or_black.html
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