1984 Ford F-150 Spark Box

This truck has a 4.9L engine with a 3 speed automatic transmission. It has approx. 109,000 kms and it runs very well for its age. I had it on the
highway today because I needed it for work, probably only the 3rd or 4th time I've driven it on the highway since I've owned it. Besides revving quite high (usually around 3000 - 3500 @ 110 km/h), I noticed it was starting to hitch while driving up long inclines or hills in general. On the way to work, it did not do this, only on the way home. If you try to accelerate past 115 km/h, it would suddenly start sputtering and then 3-4 seconds later it would be fine. It almost acts as if it is running out of fuel, which it is not. Usually it would do this in 5-6 cycles and then it would work normally again. In the 45 minute drive home, it did this probably 4 times altogether.
What I want to know is whether this truck has the spark box/ignition module that seems to be a common cause of problems on older vehicles. I've read a few posts recently that were similar in nature to my problem and the solution was to clean the electrical connections and reapply new heatsink grease. There is an electrical module mounted to the drivers side inner fender that has the word "Standard" on the face of it. It kind of looks like a heatsink, about 10" x 10" square. I haven't tried to unbolt it and look for other markings, but I can also tell you that there is a flat wiring connection on the bottom front of it that splits into two round wiring harness connectors. These are both connected to harnesses that lead into the distributor (I think, one goes there for sure).
If it turns out to be the spark box at fault, are these replaceable with aftermarket parts made by Accel or others? Or would I have to go to the dealer for a replacement? It seems to me that the first car I owned, a 1986 Tempo, had the same type of problem. It would suddenly bog out and sometimes stall. I remember replacing some type of ignition/spark box, seems to me it may have been the same part, but that was over 12 years ago.
Thanks for any info. Sharky
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Most auto parts stores should carry those...

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Backyard, what is the name of the part? Is it a Duraspark ignition module, or is it called something else?
Thanks Sharky
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several specific versions and it has to match the application...any 80's ford that doesnt have the TFI, I believe.
go to autozone.com (yeah I know they arent in CA) and look it up
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Thanks for the information Backyard Mechanic. I'll call either NAPA or Carquest and see if they can find me one. That or I'll pull the module from the fender and see if I can find any more numbers on it. Chances are, with a quick Google search, I'll find what I'm looking for. I did a bit of searching on the internet last night and I found one web site that shows an MSD module that is supposed to work with most older carbureted 6 and 8 cyl. Ford distributors. MSD also sells the adaptor that plugs into the original Ford harness. Depending on if I can find one to work with my 4.9L and it's price compared to the original Duraspark module, I may go with the aftermarket part.
I'm sure other companies such as Accel, Bosch and K&N probably make compatible parts as well, so I think I'll do a bit of research on my own before I make any decisions on what to buy. For now, I'll probably just replace the heatsink grease in the harnesses until I can find a new module.
Again, thanks for your help, much appreciated. Sharky
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You're making this harder than it is. If your truck is carbureted and has the module on the fenderwell, here it is: http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?mfrcode=GPS&mfrpartnumber=EL107&parttype 4&ptset=A
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I'm just making sure I am getting the correct part, that's all. Yes the truck is carbureted and the module is mounted on the left fender. Even though I can't order that part through Parts America (they don't ship to Canada), it is what I am looking for. Now if only I can find a store somewhere in Canada that sells the same part, and hopefully is not much more expensive than $18.48.
BTW, CJB, I am not even certain this is what is wrong with the truck. Although I am leaning towards it, because the more I think about it, the more I remember my old Tempo having the exact symptons the truck is having. And I know for a fact this is the part I replaced on the Tempo. Once it was replaced, the Tempo ran great and never hitched again. I know I paid alot more for it than $18.48, it was more like $200 including the dealer repair bill.
Sharky

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?mfrcode=GPS&mfrpartnumber=EL107&parttype 4&ptset=A
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