1989 Ford Probe Engine dies - now won't start

Tiny
YAMADOG35
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 FORD PROBE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 12,000 MILES
While driving at various speeds the engine would suddenly shut off. If the key was turned all the way off and then I would try to restart, the engine would start back up. This happened once or twice over a period of several months and then all of a sudden happened three or four times within a period of a few days. The last time it would not start back up. No spark. A similar thing happened at about 60,000 miles and the problem was some sort of "relay" discovered after expensive troubleshooting.
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Sunday, March 8th, 2009 AT 7:44 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
The most common cause for the problem you describe is the TFI module which is located on the side of the distributor. They are prone to heat breakdown and get worse or time until they just quit. You can remove this module, two screws, and take it into most parts stores, and they can test it for you. Hope this helps.
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Sunday, March 8th, 2009 AT 9:18 PM
Tiny
YAMADOG35
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the input. I finally got a chance to look at this Probe today. I was excited because there was a small module on the outside of the distributor just like you said - only one screw. But the wire attached went into a wire "bundle" that disappeared into the "bottom" part of the distributor housing (below the rotor, etc.) So I can't detach it. The other wires that also went into this bundle were attached to the module that underneath the rotor inside the distributor cap. Do I have the correct module? I see no way to disconnect it unless I cut the wire. Should I be looking for a different module. Thanks!
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Sunday, March 15th, 2009 AT 5:34 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Let me check this out and I'll get back to you. It probably won't be 'til morning.
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Sunday, March 15th, 2009 AT 7:50 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Sorry it took so long to get back, it's been a tough day on the keyboard.
DO YOU HAVE the 3.8 engine? If you do, you don't have the TFI system. It's the cup distributor. When you mentioned the big wire connector by the dist, my last 2 remaining brain cells came together and a flag went up. Please advise.
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 9:41 PM

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