Heads-up....wire problem that gets you towed. 56K friendly - Focus Fanatics
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:23 AM   #1
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Heads-up....wire problem that gets you towed. 56K friendly

I don't take credit for finding this. There was a recent thread on this problem.....and the owner did get towed, and the dealer never found the problem. The owner finally saw an electrical spark on the head.

It'll blow the engine control fuse, if the broken wire touches a ground. It's the capacitor located on the pass side top of the engine....here's a photo.



I had mine covered with some wire covering stuff, but I took it apart.....sure enough some insulation on the wire was broken, and bare wire was exposed. If this wire completely breaks, and the wire can move around enough to touch a ground......the fuse blows. Here's what mine looked like....



The fix....I covered the break with silicone adhesive, and zip-tied the two wires together to prevent excessive movement. When the silicone dries, I'll recover the wires with tape, and re-route the ground connection for a more gentle curve. These wires will always have some movement. You need to check them out...before you get towed.




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Old 08-16-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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Just two weeks ago, I had the ground side pull out of the capacitor!

This is very good to know!
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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Yep....there are two wires that go to/from the capacitor. The wire that goes between the engine wiring harness and the cap is the one that can blow the fuse. The second wire from the cap to the ground probably couldn't blow the fuse if it breaks.....it normally goes to the ground.

If that fuse blows, the car dies......and the starter won't even work (according to the person who got towed). Fortunately.....the car will run with that capacitor unplugged. You just might hear some engine electrical noise on the radio.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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I didn't get any radio interference, which I guess is odd. But, maybe if it was the power side, it would have.

Few questions though. Why isn't it just grounded through it's mounting bracket? Maybe it is, and the ground wire is extra gounding? That would explain the lack of radio interference. But, more importantly, is this like the capacitor in a points set up? And, what happens to the stored electricity if the ground is removed? Or, let's say the power wire is broken, but doesn't short to ground, what could happen? I wonder if it would shorten the life span of the COPs.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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I haven't tried anything with the thing. I figure if Ford put it there, it was for a good reason. Maybe it affects AM only.....don't really know. You'd hear the noise if you revved the engine.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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I agree, it's there for a good reason. I can't imagine Ford putting even a $0.50 part on millions of cars for no reason. Mine's only a temp fix for now, but when I get a new one, I'll open this one up. Yeah, maybe it is just the AM that is effected. I didn't try that.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:08 PM   #7
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Mine is broke on the ground side. Will have to inspect it better to make sure the live side is OK. Thanks for the heads-up!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:04 PM   #8
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To most of us this simply a condenser, but Ford's description of it is..... "Ignition transformer capacitor". Damn......I thought that it was a bloody great, super duper flux capacitor.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:18 AM   #9
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transformer capacitor? in order for it to be a transformer it must step up or step down the voltage... but then again when used in conjuncton with a capacitor or inductor it can act as a filter for certain things...
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:13 PM   #10
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i took mine off a while back for something and never put it back in, haven't noticed any ill effects.
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