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Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Moderator: Mod Squad

94f150rules
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm

Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #1 by 94f150rules » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:26 am

I have a 94 Ford f150 with a 5 speed, it has the black ICM and it looks to have been there a long time but I'm not sure if it's stock or not. After I got my engine back in the truck and running I cleared up all my codes and did a KOER test using my Star II tester. It came up with code 213. I back probed the spout connector and got continuity. Also when I set my timing then plugged the spout in the timing only advanced 2 degrees at idle. I was surprised my ford manual doesn't have troubleshooting procedures in it for the ICM. How can I make sure it's the module before I go just swapping one in there?

pmuller9
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Re: Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #2 by pmuller9 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:33 am

What is the timing at 3000 rpm with the spout plugged in?

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MechRick
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #3 by MechRick » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:20 pm

'Spout' is the circuit from the PCM to the ignition module. When unplugging the spout connector with the engine running the code 213 will trip inadvertently. You shouldn't see it on a running test with the spout connector in place though.

When Ford finally remote-mounted the TFI to the heat sink and got it off the dizzy, failures became few and far between. It's a good idea to remove the module from the heat sink (or distributor) and re-apply dielectric compound once in a while. It dries out and loses it's heat transfer properties with age. I'll do this on every new (old) Ford I buy.

You can also pry the cover off the module and look for bubbles in the gel. This indicates a bad or broken connection on the circuit board.

There isn't really a troubleshooting procedure that works without a scope to see the PIP signal going in to the PCM and SPOUT coming out. It's cool to do that on a dual trace to see how the PCM modifies the signal to add timing advance. As an old school Ford tech, I can tell you we just substituted a known good module to diagnose TFI issues. They can give some strange symptoms, and be highly intermittent to boot.

Rock Auto has great prices on TFI modules. I like to carry a spare, along with a certified (by me) 5.5mm socket to replace the screws. Most sockets have to be ground down on a bench grinder to fit the holes in the module.
1994 F150, 4.9L/ZF 5 speed, C-Vic police driveshaft
EFI head w/mild port work, 3 angle valve job
1996 long block, stock pistons, ARP rod bolts
Stock cam, aluminum cam gear
Hedman header, full mandrel bent duals, crossover, super turbos
http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=73244
Bronco II with a 2.3L swap http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=72863
1988 F250 2x4, 460 ZF 5 speed.

94f150rules
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Re: Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #4 by 94f150rules » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:36 pm

Thank you, for your response. I guess its a lot like the old GM Coil pack modules, every shop I worked in Kept a couple good ones on the shelf for troubleshooting.

As requested I finally got to do some timing Numbers. Unfortunately I couldn't get my Sears "244.21033 Engine Analyzer" to make a good connection with the Ford Coil, so I couldn't tell what my RPMs were when I revved the engine. So I revved the engine until It wouldn't advance timing anymore. Also Im using a Dial Back gun, its been reliable when compared to my old non inductive guns so I do trust it. Lastly I cant see the 0 mark on the timing pointer on the Passenger side, so I ve been using the 10 degree notch and turning my dial to use it like a 0 mark, then adding 10 to what the dial is set to. For example if I was able to center the timing mark in the V notch and the dial on my gun said 6 degrees, then Im at 16 Degrees.

750RPM Spout Disconnected 16 degrees

750 RPM Spout Connected 22 degrees

Revved high until no more advance Spout Connected 32 degrees

I understand that the computer controls the TFI Module to create my timing curve, how many degrees does the computer add in total?

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MechRick
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Re: Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #5 by MechRick » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:57 pm

It depends on a bunch of factors, but 32 degrees sounds about right to me.

Are you still getting codes on a running test?
1994 F150, 4.9L/ZF 5 speed, C-Vic police driveshaft
EFI head w/mild port work, 3 angle valve job
1996 long block, stock pistons, ARP rod bolts
Stock cam, aluminum cam gear
Hedman header, full mandrel bent duals, crossover, super turbos
http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=73244
Bronco II with a 2.3L swap http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=72863
1988 F250 2x4, 460 ZF 5 speed.

94f150rules
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Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm

Re: Need Help Troubleshooting ICM

Post #6 by 94f150rules » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:07 pm

I didnt get a chance to check tonight, Im going to disconnect the battery tomorrow when I get home from work and let it sit until I get home from dinner with my girlfriend then Ill run all the tests again.

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