CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

F250 1989 Died all of the sudden

I have a 1989 F250 4x4 with a 1990 460 EFI under the hood. As i was driving All of the sudden as i finished turning a corner the truck died. No Spudder like it ran out of fuel but more like someone had turned the key off.

I tried to restart it but i kept it short i was near other houses and it was 3am in the morning. on my way to work So i popped the hood, thinking okay we had a bad rain storm after all its washington state Moister in the Cap and rotor. Wellllll went to pop it off Distribtor is lose, oh joy. but the cap was dry but i did take a dollar bill to the rotor to clean the tip off and the cap too. make shift emmery cloth Still nothing when i tried to start it again.

Any ideas? I am getting ready to check for spark from the coil * hoping it just a lose coil wire lol* But would the Computer taking a vaction for life cause this.?

The TFI module is the most common cause of your problem but when it fails the pickup is usually on its last legs and replacing the distributor and module together saves grief in the near future. The distributor requires special tools to remove the pickup coil and often the drive gear is damaged by DIYers. And check the instructions for setting basic timing.

The distributor was loose? How loose? Loose enough to have allowed the gears to jump a tooth?
Solely because of that comment I’d start by checking the ignition timing. If that proved to be okay, then I’d look at the ignition system overall and at the fuel supply & metering.

I wholeheartedly support Rod’s comment, but that comment you made popped a red flag with me.

loose enough to turn it by hand… But bad news… if the TFI or the TCM is bad i am well screwed :frowning: not even ford makes the part and i can not find aftermarket anywhere… well off i go into the fire to see if it might be something so simple… its stupid.

oh fyi. truck was running great up till that point when it died. was like i said… someone just reached over… and turned the key to the off position

I’m going along with the TFI module due to their past history.

The TFI is a stocking part at many McParts stores as is the most common computer but there are several less common computer numbers that are factory special order. But Ford computers are very reliable.

Another vote for the TFI module. Very common issue and will do exactly as you describe: truck running great, all of a sudden dies like someone turned off the key. Should be a stock item at any auto parts store.

Was the distributor hold down bolt loose? Or do you mean that the rotor was loose?
The reason I’m asking is because I recently ran into a vehicle that just quit while driving it.
The distributor hold down bolt wasn’t loose, but the rotor had a LOT of slop. Upon removing the distributor for inspection, I saw that the distributor gear was completely wasted. The camshaft gear was fine, however. A new distributor did the trick.

Found out the guys was looking at the TCM not the TFI great help now a days i tell you. found the tfi for 44bucks. from all the symptoms I’ve been having seems to be little to the doubt that’s this is the problem. Thank you all :slight_smile: And DB just the hold down bolt. rotor is nice and tight. Thank you again all for you help.

Well here it is about a month later had to wait for the rain to stop in washington state as i have no garage LOL anyways the TFI was the problem. Thanks everyone :slight_smile: Merry Christmas.