'87 Taurus starts, but shuts off when I let go of the key...help.

Hi everyone,
Hope I can get some idea of what the problem might be... The car has been running well till today.
I turn the key, it starts up fine but when I let the key go and it
returns to normal running position the engine stops and sounds like it is "winding down".
I can't get the car to my mechanic till Tues and was hoping to get some idea what to expect when I do.
Thanks for any info on what might be happening.
1987 Taurus wagon 130k, 3L V6.
Not sure if this has anything to do with it but we had a new radiator installed about 2 weeks ago and the front axles are scheduled to be replaced in January.
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idle air controller is bad

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wrote:

Thanks for the response. Is an air controller failure an expensive problem?

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end user opined in

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On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 14:05:35 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

a faulty ballast resister. are they still in use? ...thehick
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frank-in-toronto opined

That was my first thought.. and yes, could be, could also be the ignition switch.
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On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 14:05:35 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

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end user opined

Does the check engine light come on and fuel pump run when you first turn to "run" position
I have the emission scematics but they dont include ignition
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On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 14:37:25 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

I assume the fuel pump is running since the engine does start without any problem, but I see no "check engine" light at any point.
This might be a dopey question but does this car even have a check engine light? I used a flashlight to look at the dashboard indicators and didn't see one.
When I turn the key to the basic run position I see the oil light and battery light. I think that is normal since the battery is draining and there is no oil pressure at that point.
In another forum I have been pointed to a faulty ignition switch/relay, a bad Integrated Controller Relay Module (makes sense since this is near the radiator and we had that replaced recently) and possibly a faulty ignition module.
Tom mentioned the idle air controller but the fact that the engine stops running pretty much instantly makes me think that isn't it. If it was an air fuel mixture problem wouldn't it sputter a bit rather than simply shut off?
1987 Taurus wagon 3L V6
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end user opined

I meant does the fuel pump run when you turn to "on"..before you crank - there should be a 2 second cycle if not... CCRM or ign switch

That's a good question! Ford was erratic in how they implemented it in the 80's

Yep, the circuiting through there is convoluted.. and you are right, always look near the previous incident

I dont think the ignition module's it.. but that reminds me you should have the thing relubed.. I'm not kidding!

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most of the time about $40-50 for the part for a do it yourselfer. around $200-300 for dealer repair

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wrote:

If the IAC is bad would the engine shut off instantly, or sputter a bit?
I ask because the engine seems to stop running very fast as soon as I let go of the key, no sputtering or anything and if it was an air fuel mixture problem I would think it would run rough before stalling.
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end user wrote: This is the way the car will behave if you use a key that has not yet been programmed. Are you using a new key?
Try starting it with a different key.
-ivan-

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On an *'87* taurus, dont think so....
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I don't remember if the Taurus had one, but it behaves like a TFI module going bad. Of course it could also be:
starter relay ignition switch voltage regulator
The "winding down" sound is probably your fuel pump.
ivan wrote:

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Has this exact same problem with my 87 Taurus (may it rest in peace, my son totalled it). It was the TFI module that hangs off the distributor. Module was about $50 from parts store and you will need to buy a special tool ($5) to remove the module (unless you want to pull the distributor out).
Not a guarantee this is the problem, but sure sounds like it. PS. My Taurus had 147K miles at the time of it's demise and engine was running fine.
-K

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