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1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off


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PhilLove
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Jun 8, 2009, 7:50 PM

Post #1 of 6 (1798 views)
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1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off Sign In

1988
Ford
Thunderbird
5.0L v8
Automatic
129,000 miles

Leading Up to the Problem (i think)
Car overheated really bad and shut off on me. wouldnt start till it cooled down. 2 days later it overheats and i have to put water in it 3 times before I get 40 miles. I stop and shut the car off. I turn the car on and fill it with water and it just shuts off. Also the fuse for my speedometer (electric numbers), radio, and interior lights, all on the same fuse will not stay. everytime i put in a new one it blows automatically. idk if this could have any effect or not.

Problem
The distrubtor is loose, i can turn it left to right with a little force. If i put the distributor all the way to the left the car will turn on but shut off within 20 seconds, like it stalls or dies. Now if i push the distributor anywhere else it will turn over but not start. I know hte fuel pump works because i can hear it kick on, and smell a rich gas smell.

any help will be appreciated this is my only means of transportation.


Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
Loren Champlain Sr profile image

Jun 8, 2009, 8:01 PM

Post #2 of 6 (1790 views)
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Re: 1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off [In reply to] Sign In

Phil; You've got several problems going on here. First, you need to find out where the water is going and fix it. Overheating an engine will kill it. If it hasn't, already. If an engine gets hot enough, the cylinder walls will loose their lubrication and compression. Which could account for the rich condition. Once you've conquered the overheating, then get the timing corrected. Retarded timing or over-advanced timing can cause overheating, or at least add to it. After these have been done, let us know 'where' you are at and we can go from there.
Loren
SW Washington


PhilLove
New User

Jun 8, 2009, 8:05 PM

Post #3 of 6 (1786 views)
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Re: 1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off [In reply to] Sign In

I fixed the overheating problem. I had a cracked hose. I meant to put that in my post. That's fixed. Ive tried to get the timing fixed but the car will not start from anywhere except the distributor being turned as far clockwise as I can get it, and it only stays on for 20 seconds max.


Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
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Jun 8, 2009, 8:24 PM

Post #4 of 6 (1783 views)
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Re: 1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off [In reply to] Sign In

Phil; Might be time to check the timing chain for excessive slop. Using a socket and breaker bar on the crank pulley through bolt, turn the engine clockwise until the timing mark lines up with TDC. Then, turn it counterclockwise making note of how many degrees you turned it until you feel resistance. This will tell you how many degrees of timing chain slop (slack) there is. Anything over 6 degrees is unacceptable. 6 degrees, being max. Also, would be nice to know what kind of compression in each cylinder.
Loren
SW Washington


PhilLove
New User

Jun 8, 2009, 8:38 PM

Post #5 of 6 (1780 views)
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Re: 1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off [In reply to] Sign In

ty for ur help. ill get back to you as soon as possible


Asilus
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Jun 9, 2009, 9:48 PM

Post #6 of 6 (1761 views)
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Re: 1988 Ford Thunderbird 5.0 v8, starts then shuts off [In reply to] Sign In

You have a intermentent electrical shortage, basically a hot wire is touching a ground or the body would be my first guess for the blowing up of the fuses heh.. As for the distrubtor being loose, when you move it side to side your adjusting the timeing on your engine, though it isnt a critical ammount. Point being be carefull when you move it and hope its not a interference engine. My suggestion to fix that would be set the distrib in the middle, have a friend crank the car and move it forward or back, wichever way improves the idle, if it comes to a point where your all the way 1 direction with it and it still runs like crap, its time to have your timeing done, wich I wouldnt suggest doing unless you have experience ( Iv bent valves in the past by making 1 minor mistake )




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