Ford TFI module relocation project

I recently had a Ford TFI module failure on my 87 Merkur XR4Ti. While I was troubleshooting the problem I was amazed how hot the Ford TFI module gets. I had taken the faulty Ford TFI module to the local AutoZone to have it tested and it tested bad so I purchased a new one. I asked them to test the new Ford TFI module before I left. During the short test the Ford TFI module got very hot setting on the test bench. That got me to thinking. Why try to cool a hot electronic device like the Ford TFI module with a distributor that has to reach +200įF at operating temperature.

When I build computers I take great lengths to perfect the cooling of the CPU. An overheated CPU can cause the computer to just shut off. Thatís kind of like the problem I was having with my car. I know about special heat transfer paste and heatsinks to help keep the CPU temperature in a computer under control. So I decided I would apply these techniques to the Ford TFI module in my car.

I prepared a massive copper heatsink and planned on placing it on the fender well in an area that the OEM Ford TFI module wiring harness could reach. I took the new Ford TFI module and sanded the bottom aluminum surface so it was very smooth and flat. I learned to do this on CPU heatsinks. I used a very thin coat of ceramic heat transfer paste and mounted the Ford TFI module to the copper heatsink. Next I had to make a harness that would run between the relocated Ford TFI module and the distributor where the Ford TFI module used to be. To help make this simple I used the bad Ford TFI module and cut it open so I could solder my harness wires directly to the pins that plugged into the distributor. I then had to make a plug for the other end of my harness that would connect to the Ford TFI module that was now on the fender well. I made a quick mold and used fiberglass resin to fill the opening in the old Ford TFI module and also to create the plug end of my TFI relocation wiring harness.

(Click on for larger images)
TFI Relocator TFI Relocator on Distributor
once i have the time to remove the TFI module from my car i will post some more picutres on the mod and how it did it.

The relocation is working wonderfully. I plan on perfecting the Ford TFI module relocation harness and heatsink then producing a batch of them. Heck I own 6 Merkurs and the other 5 could have this problem any day. I recall similar Ford TFI module issues a few years ago with a Ford Escort I owned and I know several other people with Fords that carry a spare Ford TFI module with them expecting to have failure and wanting to be prepared. Iíve always heard an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I am current using a aftermarket replacement TFI module however I have been told that the Ford Motocraft TFI module is much more reliable than an aftermarket replacement TFI. Even after doing this mod i would certainly suggest to keep a spare TFI module with the means to replace on the roadside with the mod it will be so much easier to do if it dies too!

Ford models that use the EEC-IV TFI module which are affected that I could dig up are:
1983 Capri (2.3L)
1983 Escort/Lynx (1.6L)
1983 Mustang (1.6L)
1983 Thunderbird (2.3L)
1983 Ranger (2.8L)
1984 Crown Victoria (5.0L)
1984-85 Escort/Lynx (1.6L)
1984-86 Escort/EXP TC (1.6L)
1986-88 Escort/Lynx (1.9L)
1985-90 Escort/Lynx HO (1.9L)
1985-1989 Merkur XR4Ti (2.3L)
1984-90 Tempo/Topaz (2.3L)
1985-94 Tempo/Topaz HSC (2.3L)
1984-89 Mustang/Capri (2.3L)
1984-86 Mustang SVO TC (2.3L)
1984-86 Mustang/Capri (2.3L)
1984-85 Mustang/Capri (3.8L)
1984-94 Mustang/Capri HO (5.0L)
1984-88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe/Cougar XR7 (2.3L)
1984-87 Thunderbird/Cougar (3.8L)
1984-91 Thunderbird/Cougar (5.0L)
1986-87 Taurus/Sable (2.5L)
1986-95 Taurus/Sable (3.0L)
1986-87 Taurus/Sable (3.8L)
1986-87 Continental (3.8L)
1984-92 Mark VII (5.0L)
1984-89 Town Car (5.0L)
1984-85 LTD/Marquis (2.3L)
1984-86 LTD/Marquis (3.8L)
1984-94 LTD/Marquis (5.0L)
1985-87 Aerostar (2.3L)
1986-90 Aerostar (3.0L)
1984-89 Ranger (2.3L)
1986-91 Ranger/Bronco II (2.9L)
1984-90 Bronco (4.9L)
1984-91 Bronco (5.0L)
1984-85 & 1988-91 Bronco (5.8L)
1984-91 F-150 Pickup (4.9L)
1984-91 F-150 Pickup (5.0L)
1984-91 F-250 Pickup (4.9L)
1984-91 F-250 Pickup (5.0L)
1984-85 & 1988-91 F-150 Pickup (5.8L)
1984-85 & 1988-91 F-250 Pickup (5.8L)
1984-85 & 1988-91 F-350 Pickup (5.8L)
1984-91 E-150 Van (4.9L)
1984-91 E-150 Van (5.0L)
1984-85 & 1988-91 E-150 Van (5.8L)
1990-92 Probe (3.0L)
1995 Sable (3.0L)
1995 Taurus (3.0L)