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Unread 10-30-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
Brg0012
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1983 CJ7 
 
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what are the symptoms of failing ignition control module?

just like the title says what are the symptoms of failing ignition control module?

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Unread 10-30-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
rivalarrival
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Cranks, no start. They can be temperature-sensitive, failing when they heat up, running fine when cold. (Every one I've ever replaced has become intermittent, correlated to temperature)

If you suspect ignition module failure, pull the center wire off the distributor cap, stick a spark plug in there, rest the plug on the motor (so that it is grounded) and have someone turn the engine over a couple times. You should see a ton of spark. If nothing, the plug is well grounded, and no engine codes, you can start thinking ignition module.

Touching the plug while your friend turns over the engine can be painful in the "Oww, the damn thing just arc welded me" way.
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Unread 10-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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I had one in the late 80's that wouldn't start when cold (summer time, cold meaning engine hadn't been running) occasionally. Try it a few times over the course of 15 minutes, and then it would run. Totally intermittent. I figured it couldn't be the module, in that something electronic would either be flat dead or else it would work, right? How can a computer chip be intermittent? It was the module...
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Unread 10-30-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
only in a jeep cj
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My experience with a bad modual was of course 3 hours away from my house. Started losing speed/power on the interstate. Pulled over, ideled fine. Ran and acted like normal up to 35mph, then engine spits, sputters, misses, and no high rpm. I limped in the emergency lane to the next exit. Auto zone said it tested fine. I knew it wasn't. Another customer overheard and said that it my be failing under more of a load than what autozone test equiptment offers. For 13 bucks, I rolled the dice. Bought it and replaced it in the parking lot. She ran fine at 80MPH all the way home.
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Unread 10-30-2009, 11:24 PM   #5
PERK
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mount 2 of them on the fender..always 'cause 1 will fail....
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Unread 10-31-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
Mike Romain
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They can just up and die while driving. let it cool down and they may work again. I know folks that have used electroninc freezing spray on them to help diagnose this.

If you do go for a new module, buy anything except a 'wells' unit. I have seen more of those being bad out of the box, than working ones. One gent that came to me for help had even paid $3k in fixes and tows because two new modules were intermittently bad.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
Olrev
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If you've got a pull apart or local junkyard, go digging through older Fords looking for the modules. Make sure they aren't oozing goo, a sure sign they're dead/dying and make sure they have the plugs intact. I've found plenty of good units (with the blue grommet) in an hour of poking around, cost was minimal, so I keep one in my jeep and a few more in the shop. It's cheap insurance and will get you by until you can get a new high quality unit.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 08:35 AM   #8
Mike Romain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olrev View Post
It's cheap insurance and will get you by until you can get a new high quality unit.
I agree and the OEM Ford motorcraft modules are Far better than the aftermarket parts.
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
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Unread 10-31-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
TwistedAmbition
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Take it up to the local parts store and let them test it. I messed around with the mysterious no starts, intermittent starting, and out right dying and replaced two ignition coils, wires, plugs, distributor parts, etc, before having the module tested. Ran a lot better with new wiring, plugs and module though. Should have checked this forum first.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 11:05 AM   #10
JeepHammer
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The module can do some strange stuff when it's going out.

It might start, but not run when you return the key switch to the run position.
It might not want to start while cranking, but catch and run when you return the key switch to the run position.

It might just shut down at random times for no apparent reason.

Or it might not want to start when hot, but start fine when cold.
-----------------------

Like the guys say, the discount store 'Replacements' aren't factory quality.
Most of them are made in South Africa, China or Korea, and they aren't up to factory specs at all.

If you buy one, ask for Borg Warner module. It's not a guarantee it will live and work correctly in your 25+ year old wiring,
But you stand a better chance with Borg Warner than you do with the 'Cheap' ones they sell.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #11
h2ojeep
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I have heard of pouring cold water, coke (softdrink) etc to cool them off. But when it goes, for the most part they cant be repaired.

In my jeep, I'm probably not going to be close to town or some place convenient.

My philosophy is that similar to a spare tire. When you are in the middle of nowhere and it quits, not much one can do. so like the spare tire, i carry an extra in the bottom of my tool box.

Few tools needed, Quick and easy to change, and are less expensive than a spare tire, so why not. A sound judgment to me.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 05:51 PM   #12
skidplate77
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I put in my thhird module, and I don't have it on the road yet! Someone suggested to run a dedicated ground wire to the module case. Since I did that, this one has lasted a bit longer...
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Unread 10-31-2009, 10:10 PM   #13
John Strenk
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I got a tach on my jeep and if I have a module problem The Tach just quits moving. If the needle s bouncing then the electrical system is still working. and time to check the carb.
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Unread 11-01-2009, 08:47 AM   #14
cj5752
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Wire it to use a GM HEI module. Problem solved.
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Unread 11-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #15
Renegade86
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Never had a problem with mine but heard and read many stories of them failing. So to give me peace of mind, I converted to HEI. Starts, runs, and accelerates so much better.
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