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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Just two weeks ago, I had the ground side pull out of the capacitor!

This is very good to know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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I didn't get any radio interference, which I guess is odd. But, maybe if it was the power side, it would have. [dunno]

Few questions though. Why isn't it just grounded through it's mounting bracket? Maybe it is, and the ground wire is extra gounding? [dunno] 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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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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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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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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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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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"Ignition transformer" = ignition coil. The capacitor/condenser is in the battery voltage power supply circuit to the ignition coils. Not exactly sure where it's grounded, but I would secure it to prevent movement and to help prevent wire breakage/damage, as we've seen.
 

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Would that be on my 03 SPI? and if so where is it if u dont mind showing me a pic.
 

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this only has one wire going in. where might it go. why would it be sparking to the coil pack? went to ford dealer he said it was a resistor they do not have it go to auto parts store. went to auto zone and they said it was a capsitor and they do not carry it try another parts store?????? would any on know just where it mounts? as you can see from the pix 1 wire and the other shows the wire going to it and just wher
 

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C2H5OH
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Move your finger up. See the little black box?
Find the wire coming out of it and connect the 2.
 

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iminhell the wire plugs into the piece in the first pic. just not sure where it bolts to. I am starting to wonder if the coil pack is bad and that is why it is sparking and it has nothing to do with the capacitor.
 

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Rufino - this starts to get confusing 'cause you tagged onto an old thread (2010) that was showing an issue with a different engine - not the same wiring as yours. And sorry to say, we haven't heard from Grumpy lately - miss him.

Loose connector next to a cracked coil, wouldn't be surprised if you get a spark jumping to it from the coil. Would likely run better just by moving that wire, but you'll need a coil ASAP if it's sparking out the side as the picture seems to show. We usually see cracking in the base you can't see without removal (where the insulating plastic was poured in at the factory). That's a common visual sign of a failing coil, usually shows first as missing at higher RPM or when it's damp.

Luck!
 

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just did mine at 158k, part number 9S4Z*18801*A got it off amazon fo about $20.00
the ground bolt and mount bolt heads are 8mm, ground nut is 10
time to repair 17 minutes.
weirdly ford left a u perfectly shaped for holding a 10mm closed end wrench while tightening or loosening,

im not gonna detail instructions since its literally 2 bolts and a connector.
dont connect the connector until the end though safer that way.
 
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