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Unread 11-19-2007   #1 (permalink)
Matti44 is offline Rookie


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Default 1988 mustang 302 Starting/Ignition issues

First off, this is my first post. Howdy.

I'm working with a 1988 (I believe) 302, that was donated from a mustang. Having no luck getting this thing to run... anyways, here goes:

With the coil-to-cap wire snug on the distributor terminal, I get an occasional fire, but no start. When I pull the lead off, and allow it to arc from the end of the lead to the cap terminal, it fires right up, but runs poorly, and rich. The firing order is correct, unless it's a later engine, and I've now replaced the distributor, ignition module, coil, and gone through another cap and rotor as a check.

While its running, the timing seems to be about 10-15 degrees advanced (rust on the crank pulley keeps me from getting an accurate number). Light throttle application and it accelerates, seemingly smoothing out. Heavy throttle causes an intake backfire, and the engine falls on its face. Advancing the timing worsens this problem, ritarding the timing makes the engine run rougher, and takes all of its throttle response...it won't accelerate whatsoever after ritarding the timing.

Advancing timing causes an intake backfire, ritarding causes a backfire, like it's 180 out. Rotating the distributor shaft 180 degrees, and I still get the same thing. What has me confused is the coil-to-cap lead. Snug, it won't run. Loose, it will.

I just got another firing order I'm going to try tomorrow; 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8... this sound right? Currently its 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8.

I've also heard that the cam can jump timing.... could this be a possibility as well?

I've learned the fuel pressure regulator is bad, and have been told that's half the problem. It doesn't seem like that would cause as big of a problem, but could it?

I'm at a loss here, I'm ready to give up. Any ideas?

Edit: I forgot to mention that it's fuel injected. Not sure how much of a difference it would make, but if it's needed, there it is. -End edit-

Last edited by Matti44; 11-19-2007 at 06:41 PM. Reason: omitted information
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Unread 11-19-2007   #2 (permalink)
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Hiya and welcome to the site.
If it's an H.O. engine, that 1-5 and so on firing order is all wrong. It's supposed to be the 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 order. And for a cam to jump timing takes some doing so I highly doubt that's it. It's the firing order, use that 1-3... order and it should work.
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Unread 11-19-2007   #3 (permalink)
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I'll give that firing order a shot tomorrow... I'm crossing my fingers, I'd like to hear this car run correctly (sounds rather mean running the way it does though, heh).

How can I tell if it's an H.O. motor? The engine is not the original engine in the car (It's in a 1988 T-bird). Browsing the junkyard, I've noticed several intake configurations on the 302...This particular one has the plenum on the driver's side, with the throttle body angled forward, on the passenger side, in front of the fuel pressure regulator... All the plate on the intake says is "5.0 EFI" which tells me very little...(I'm not a Ford gearhead, my main specialty is GM stuff, bash me if you wish )

Again, I'll try the new firing order tomorrow after work, and I'll let ya know what happens. I want to buy this car, but I'm not gonna buy it if I can't get it to run, it's a potential daily driver....for now . Thanks!
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Unread 11-19-2007   #4 (permalink)
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ussually there is a plate on the upper intake that says 5.0L HO. if it is fuel injected and looks like the picture i attached then it is a HO, for t-birds they had the upper intake fliped to the other side( it was the inatake setup they had for that car) in mustangs the throttle body is pointed to the pass side. i would try that 1-3 firing order and it sounds like it will run, also check out the plug wires, cap, rotor, and spark plugs, make sure they are making good contact and look good, no corrosion on the cap and rotor terminals just the basic tune up stuff
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1988 mustang 302 Starting/Ignition issues-dscf0986.jpg  1988 mustang 302 Starting/Ignition issues-dscf0363.jpg  1988 mustang 302 Starting/Ignition issues-index.jpg  
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Unread 11-19-2007   #5 (permalink)
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Or was it more like this one. This intake was from a 90's Thunderbird engine and it could say either H.O. like this one or it could say EFI. I just couldn't find a picture of the EFI one but the firing order should still be the 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. Good luck with it.
And we don't bash here, we have several GM owners and GM enthusiasts here.
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Unread 11-19-2007   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleAutosports View Post
Or was it more like this one. This intake was from a 90's Thunderbird engine and it could say either H.O. like this one or it could say EFI. I just couldn't find a picture of the EFI one but the firing order should still be the 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. Good luck with it.
And we don't bash here, we have several GM owners and GM enthusiasts here.
Eagle, they used that sn-95 style intake on a thunderbird? i know there was a new style that came out in 94 the had that casted elbow in it, but didnt know they used that style in 1988, i guess they could have switched the 88' intake to a sn-95 style for a so-called increase, i dont really take sides i like GM vehicles too
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