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Re: How I holed my piston...

Carl Morris wrote:
> All,
>         Dave was curious about how I holed my piston,
> so here I go...
>         The year was 1990, and I'd owned my SVO for over
> 3 years.  Occasionally, from the very first week I'd owned
> it, it would suddenly start running like crap, usually when
> I'd been driving it continuously for a long period of time.
> I was in the army, and only road tripped about twice a year,
> and it never actually stranded me.  I had the computer
> checked, but no codes ever showed up.  It bugged the crap
> out of me, but the dealer said there was nothing they could
> do if I couldn't make it do it at the shop.
>         It started happening a little more often, sometimes
> after only about half an hour of driving, but sometimes it
> would still go for months without doing it.  I thought my
> fuel pump(s) were going out, and replaced them and changed
> my filter...no change.  There didn't seem to be anything I
> could do, so I just drove it that way...
>         One night is was coming up I24 from Nashville towards
> Clarksville, TN, and some guy in a late model (at the time)
> GM with a quad 4 started messing with me.  I floored it, and
> it started to run like crap (missing and bucking...sometimes
> if you let off the gas and floored it, it would go away).  I
> was so pissed off I just stayed on it and figured, "Well, if
> anything goes wrong, at least I'll know what caused it".
> Famouse last words...about 30 seconds later (the car was still
> running poorly, and I still had it to the floor ;-)), there was
> a loud pop, and I laid the biggest smoke screen you ever saw.
> I'd holed a piston (I think the TFI was sending out sparks to
> some of the cylinders randomly).  When you hole a piston under
> boost, you instantly pressurize your crankcase and blow out
> your gaskets...and my PC valve was blown out of it's hose, too.
> This blew oil all over the motor that made the first part of
> the smoke.  Then, as soon as you let off the gas, crankcase
> oil gets sucked into that cylinder and blown out the exhaust
> pipe.  The only way to stop the smoking was to run at exactly
> neutral throttle.  Anway, I drive it the 10 miles to my house,
> and ended up buying a remanufactured short block, and having
> my head and turbo rebuilt.  Oh, if only I'd known then what I
> know now ;-).  Man I could build a great motor for what I
> paid for a stock one :-(.
>         The bad thing was I still didn't know it was the TFI
> causing my problem.  I finally figured that out when it totally
> quit shortly thereafter, and I haven't had the problem since.
> It's a story of youth and stupidity...but it's handy to know.
> Moral:  If your EFI Ford runs like crap only when the motor is
> warm, but doesn't set any computer codes, always suspect the
> TFI module...
> --
> Carl_Morris@StorTek.Com

Amen to that Carl! I learned with a new Standard Ignition replacement
module in my friends '87 TC. It would buck, breakup and run like shit
after four minutes of operation when run from cold. After many hours of
diagnostic time I discovered it too was the module!

John Garasimowicz, '87 TC