5 yr warranty on ignition control modules

Just found out there is a 5 year 50,000 mile warranty on the ignition control module. Suggest car owners keep their paperpwork.
I had tried a module our of a used distributor from a wreck and also
seeing if a module could be repaired, with helpful info from this newsgroup, before giving up and buying a new module. The new one had a warranty so I dug out the work order from 5 years ago when the module was last replaced and found the warranty stapled to it. It had 2 weeks left on the warranty so I was able to replace the failed one at no cost and return the new one I had purchased.
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Good deal Tony D.

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William wrote:

What company is it? I had one replaced a few months ago, but my mechanic didn't give me any warranty papers.. In fact, I've never had a mechanic give me a warranty paper on any product they've installed. I do have the mechanic's itemized bill which shows when a new one was installed. Thanks.
GS
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GarySport ( snipped-for-privacy@aol.comjknnot) writes:

Its a Mitsubishi J207 module off a 1989 Ford Festiva distributed in the USA and Canada by Standard Motor Products, www.smpcorp.com. Their Canadian subsidiary is Blue Steak Electronics, www.bsecorp.com. The module was installed in Feb 1999 so the warranty has been around for at least that long. The warranty is on a slip of paper inside the Standard box that the module comes in. When the module was replaced in 1999 I didn't like the $248 price quoted by the mechanic at the neighbourhood garage so I called around and got one for $175. Maybe it was because I bought the module myself and took it in to the neighbourhood garage that I got the box with the warranty in it. The mechanic installed the module without any electrical grease which could have shortened its life. When I took the failed module in for exchange there was only 2 weeks left on the warranty. :)
I wrote up an account of replacing the module for the automotive newsgroup here on the FreeNet. It repeats a lot of what was posted here in response to my questions but I'll append it here in case it might be of help to a few people. I also sent a copy to www.fordfestiva.com and put a copy on my website.
---------------------------------------------------------------
This is the story of replacing the electronic ignition control module in my old car and what I learned from the exercise. I hope it helps other car owners.
In 1999 the ignition control module on my 1989 Ford Festiva was replaced. In late 2004 the car was again not running properly (see below). Using a volt meter, hand held tachometer, and hand held vacuum guage I was able to trace the problem to the distributor. I suspected a faulty electronic ignition control module inside the distributor but had no way of testing it. None of the auto repair shops I called could test the module. They could only do a complete electronic engine analysis costing $65 to $100 (Canadian dollars). A new auto parts store that opened up in our neighbourhood had a device to test ignition control modules. They would test customers' modules free of charge. My module failed the test. In an attempt to save money I bought a distributor off a wreck but that module also failed the test. I spent some time investigating if the module could be repaired but could not find an electronics repair shop (more below). I bought a new module. The price range I got on new modules by telephoning auto parts stores ranged from $147 to $291. The lowest cost was at a parts store on the other side of the city. Without the car I could not get there. However, the new auto parts store would match any competitor's price so I was able to buy a new module there for $147. When I went to install the new module I noticed it had a 5 year, 50,000 mile warranty. I got the work order for the old module out of my file and found stapled to it the same warranty. There was still two weeks left on the warranty. There was no milage recorded on the work order but I keep a computer spreadsheet summary of all work done on the car. The milage was recorded there. I exchanged the old module for a new one under warranty and got a refund for the new module I had purchased. The old modlue had to be exhanged at another parts store where I had originally bought it. (I rode my bicycle 4 miles through the snow and 4 miles back back to make the exchange.) That parts store had an older module tester. Perhaps all parts stores have them. It was used to confirm the old module was faulty before making the exchange. I installed the new module using a special di-electric heat transfer grease to protect it (see below). The car idled worse than before. I could not figure out what was wrong. I slowly drove the car to the nearest garage where the mechanic spent half an hour making some adjustments and taking it for a test drive. This entire episode cost me $86.50 for the used distributor, $1.15 for the electrical grease, and $40.25 for the mechanic's labour. The auto wrecker would not give me a refund on the used distributor because it had electronics in it. There was no problem getting a refund on the new module I bought because it was still sealed in its plastic bag.
The ignition control module for the 1989 Festiva (both carbureted and fuel injected engines) is manufactured by Mitsibushi in Japan. It has the part number J207 in raised letters on the plastic body. The module is distributed in the USA by Standard Motor Products (www.smpcorp.com) as part number LX627, and in Canada by a subsidiary called Blue Streak Electronics (www.bsecorp.com) in the Standard package.
Both my module and the one off the wreck failed the test (www.DIStester.com) in exactly the same way. The car would start but instead of idling at 750 rpm it idled at 1200. The needle on the handheld vacuum guage was steady at 21 but droped every 8-10 seconds to 18 which is supposed to mean an ignition problem. The printout from the DIS tester was ....
DIS TEST RESULT (Version 011802) CABLE#: U7 FAIL Quiescent current: pass Current_Limit: pass Freq at Crank_rpm: pass Freq at Low_rpm: FAIL Freq at Idle_rpm: FAIL Freq at High_rpm: FAIL Dwell at Crank_rpm: pass Dwell at Low_rpm: pass Dwell at Idle_rpm: pass Dwell at High_rpm: pass Peak Voltage #1: FAIL Current at Coil #1: pass
On advice posted at rec.autos.tech I applied a di-electric heat transfer grease to the module when it was installed to protect it from voltage spikes and to draw away heat if it got hot. Some that were recommened were Radio Shack Transistor Heatsink Grease, Tech Spray Heat Sink Compound, GC Electronics Heatsink Grease, and Wakefield 120 Series Silicone Oil-based Thermal Joint Compound. The only one I could find locally was at Radio Shack in the $10.00 size. Instead I used a 4 gm tube of MG Chemicals Silicone Heat Transfer Compound (www.mgchemicals.com/products/860.html) from a local electronics hobby shop. Before using it I sent email to the technical contact at Blue Streak asking him to check the specifications on the MG webpage. He replied giving his approval but noted that Blue Streak recommends its own product. The 4 gm tube was two times as much as needed for the module. I spread the grease on the base plate in the distrubutor before installing the new module.
Before buying a new module I investigated getting the old one repaired. I think it can be reparied but could not locate anyone in my area who could repair electronic circuits. Some people in the rec.autos.tech newsgroup had repaired older control modules. Some had substituted modules off cars other than their own. The early ones all did the same thing. In most cases all that was required was to replace a $2 capacitor or a $3 transistor on the coil primary circuit. People on the www.electroncis.repair newsgroup thought it would not be worth the effort. I pried open the module which was replaced in 1999. It has a hard plastic body glued around the edge to a metal base. There are 5 electrical connectors sticking out of the plastic body. The two in the middle go into the pickup on the distributor shaft. The shaft has 4 points (one for each spark plug) which pass two ends of an iron magnet and induce a voltage to time the spark plug. The two electrical connectors on the left of the plastic body go to the primary circuit terminals on the ignition coil. There is a constant voltage in this circuit except when a spark plug is supposed to fire. At that instant the voltage drops inducing a high voltage in the secondary circuit of the ignition coil which is routed to one of the spark plugs by the rotor and cap on the distributor. The electrical connector on the right side of the plastic body goes to the car computer. When the engine warms up the computer uses the oxygen sensor to decide how much to advance the tming of the spark plugs and sends signals to the ignition module. When the computer is not controlling the spark timing it is controlled by the points on the rotating distributor shaft, by the vacuum advance digaphragm mounted on the side of the distributor, and by the centrigufal weights on the distributor shaft. This is a hybrid system half way between the older purely mechanical system and the later purely electronic system. Inside the ignition control module is a small ceramic wafer circuit board. I could identify resistors and transistors and some other devices, the purpose or function of which I do not know. The ceramic wafer was glued securely to the metal base. I could not budge it. However off to the left of the ceramic wafer are two devices mounted on a smaller wafer which lifted easily off the metal base. I suspect these are a diode and transistor connected the primary coil circuit. I suspect these would be ones which would have to be replaced. For that reason I think the modules can be repaired. I am saving my old modules in case Mitsibishi stops making them. One day the Festiva will be an antique and people will want to repair the modules. When I pried open the module I broke all five wires connecting the circuit board to the electrical connectors on the plastic body. They would have to be resoldered. The inside of the module is almost completely filled with a clear silicone gel which has to be cleaned off. Its called "potting" gel by electronics technicians. It protects the devices from electrical fields around the distributor. When working on the module a person should touch something metal to discharge any static electricity. A person cannot feel the very small high voltage charges which can damage electronc devices.
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I read a few of your back posts and realized that you should be able to repair your module if the IC is still intact. Here's how. Use the old module IC's output and hook it to the same pin on the new module. If all is fine, replace the part after it. Before attempting this make sure you repair the worse than-before-idle issue.
Based on the readings above my concern is that the IC, clamping zener or Power transistor could be bad. You pass on the dwells but not on frequencies. To find out you might want to monitor the IC frequency output that drives the power transistor. A logic analyzer could do the trick but a new power transistor is cheaper. Replace it, the zener diode and bring it back to the testing center. There's less risk of damaging it than trying it on a car.
I constructed a test jig for this purpose from scrap parts taken from old NEC modules. This could tell me if the IC is bad, for instance. But as it appears your IC is controlling current fine - it should be fine.
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Couple things to add.

This could be a warning sign that sparks didn't jump gap on the plug. And you know where the sparks goes - right back into the clamping zener. If the zener fails, it can cripple the power transistor or worse the IC. (The IC also contains a clamping zener to protect it but, it can fry.) You need to identify the bad plug or plug wire and get rid of it.
Another note; if you fail at high rpm, it's double the bad news. Imagine sparks zapping the zener hundreds of times more that if it were at low rpm. This is more damaging in my perspective.

If the ECM (car computer) raises the rpm, if that's what you're saying, this only makes it possible for the driver gets home safely at the cost of your module.
>When the engine warms up

You haven't mention any additional signal generations and feed back wires from the module which inputs to the ECM/ECU, if we're talking about the same type, which I have in mind the Toyota VAST system.

The diodes are usually zeners. Find one that can handle 10KV or more. The power transistors are sometimes darlington with built in zeners. Try salvaging them from the auto recycle yards. Certain ignition systems don't have clamping zeners but most do. One last caution, remember to bring a microscope.
Let us know how you car is doing.
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And somewhere around the time of 02/08/2004 06:03, the world stopped and listened as Indin ummer contributed the following to humanity:

Not if the voltage/current is within the zerner's tolerances.

Sounds like the ECC-IV systems that Ford used. My Ranger uses it and it has 5 wires. Two to the coil, two to the distributer, one to the computer.

Forget salvaging parts because you never know what condition the parts are in and if they are reliable. Buy new ones. http://www.mouser.com http://www.digikey.com http://www.mcmelectronics.com and a bunch of others.

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