Replace Pick-up Coil/Distributor Post ! - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006 Thread Starter
mxndemon's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34
Thumbs up Replace Pick-up Coil/Distributor Post !

i finally found my prayer post thanks MLC Stang this weekend its finally gona be done =) was there anything else anyone can add ?


I’ve gone through this exact same problem with my 95 GT.

It’s the PIP module in your distributor. That stands for Profile Ignition Pickup module. It’s also called a Hall Effect sensor, because that’s the name of the solid state device that makes the PIP work. And, the Ford parts books call it the distributor Stator, because it’s the part that doesn’t move. The rotor (a round disk with a window cut in it for each of the eight cylinders in the engine) spins through it.

It is the equivalent to a crank sensor on a Ford modular 4.6 liter V8. Because our cars still have distributors on them this sensor must be in the distributor, not on the crankshaft.

When each window passes the Hall Effect sensor in the PIP module, the permanent magnet in the PIP module causes a voltage to flow through the Hall Effect sensor. That voltage is read by the PCM (the EEC-IV main computer) and tells it exactly when each cylinder is at base timing (e.g. 10 degrees BTDC). Armed with that info, the PCM can tell the TFI Ignition module to switch the ignition coil to fire each spark plug at the right time.

The problem with Hall Effect sensors is that they are extremely temperature sensitive devices. In extreme duty environments like sitting on top of a car engine, the cylinder heads of which typically get to around 230 to 240 degrees F, the sensors require sophisticated temperature compensation circuitry to provide a constant (and accurate) signal over a temperature range from about -40 degrees to +240 degrees F. Since they have an analog output (that looks like a sine wave), they also require clipping circuitry to make the analog signal look like a nice clean digital (ON or OFF) signal to the PCM.

It does get worse over time, and it’s really not safe to have your car die on you in the middle of traffic! After just a couple of weeks mine was crapping out at least 3 or 4 times a day just like you reached over and turned off the key. Really not safe! The thing is temperature sensitive, so once it starts to degrade it will just continue to get worse.

The part only costs about $50.00 at the Ford dealer. The bummer is that the distributor has to be removed from the car to install the thing! The sensor portion slips over the center shaft of the distributor, so the drive gear has to be removed from the bottom of the distributor to install it.

Replace your PIP module, and you’re good to go!

Install Instructions:

Unless you have had a distributor apart before and re-installed one and got your ignition timing right, you should have someone else do this. You can spend all day getting the distributor back in right. If you don’t, your timing is hosed!

The drive gear on the bottom of the distributor shaft is held on with a pin (metal shaft) that’s inserted through the gear and into the distributor shaft. You have to take a punch and drive the pin out, then pull off the gear with a gear puller if it’s on really tight. Don’t hit it with a hammer!

The stator (PIP module) is inside the distributor case (the big part at the top that the distributor cap mounts on), BUT it is in the very BOTTOM of that part! When you pull the entire distributor shaft up and out of the body after you have removed the drive gear from the bottom, you will see where the old one mounts in the bottom of the distributor bowl (case). You just can’t get access to that area without pulling the entire innards of the distributor out.

Once you have the new PIP module installed in the bowl, you have to press the drive gear back on the shaft and re-install the pin that holds it in place. If you don't have a press of any kind to get the drive gear back on the shaft, you need to get a very large nut or old bearing you don't want to help install it. Put the drive gear on the shaft and then put the large nut or bearing over the shaft on top of the gear. Now you can smack the nut/bearing with a hammer to drive the gear back on the shaft without damaging the gear.

That's the basics of it. Knowing that, you can decide if you want to tackle the job yourself, pay a shop to do it for you, or buy a different distributor to drop in.
MLC Stang
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