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Old 12-04-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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TFI module: use dielectric compound or heat-sink compound

The Advance Auto guy said I should use silicone dielectric compound on the connectors and the flat metal surface of the TFI module. He pulled a TFI module from the shelf and it comes only with silicone dilelectric compound, which is clear. The two times I've removed a TFI module if had a white compound on it that looks similar to heat-sink compound used for heat generating electronic components.

Isn't the purpose of the large metal-to-metal area to provide heat dissipation for the TFI module? If so, does silicone dilectric compound transfer heat as well as heat-sink compound?

Regardless, does anyone know what I should use on the flat metal surface of the TFI module where it contacts the metal body of the distributor?
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:40 AM   #2
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White heat-sink compound.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:42 AM   #3
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The Ford manuals say to use silicone dielectric compound, but thermal paste would also work fine. Guess it doesn't matter all that much
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:11 PM   #4
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White thermal compound
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
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Either will do.....
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:16 PM   #6
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You can get it from Radio Shack. Thats where I got my last tube http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:19 PM   #7
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silicone di-electric compound has doesnt last long enough. In Ford FACT training we were instructed to you white thermal compound AKA heat-sink compund.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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I am going to Radio Shack to get their heat sink compound. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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You use heat sink compound. Its amazing how many manuals have it wrong.

Delectric grease is just for electrical connections. Keeps them from corroding.

Im really not sure who was the moron who started telling everyone to use dilectric grease on modules. But that has got to be one of the biggest myths in the auto maint industry
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommysCarbd86 View Post
You use heat sink compound. Its amazing how many manuals have it wrong.

Delectric grease is just for electrical connections. Keeps them from corroding.

Im really not sure who was the moron who started telling everyone to use dilectric grease on modules. But that has got to be one of the biggest myths in the auto maint industry
I always thought it was supposed to be thermal compound as well, but my factory Ford manuals say dielectric grease. I guess they revised that at some point, these are 85 and 86 manuals after all.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I always thought it was supposed to be thermal compound as well
Nope. They are used for very different reasons. Using Dielectric grease instead of thermal compound is just plain wrong. Dielectric grease can boil, run, "evaporate", etc. Thermal compound stays through out temperature cycles and doesn't "boil" off (unless the parts light on fire ).

With the above said, when working on a car, I've used Dielectric grease when I should have used thermal compound because I have Dielectric grease handy in my tool box (small tube). And, having "some" protection for the metal (from oxidation. rust, etc) is better than nothing.

But, for the TFI, using Dielectric grease is not a good idea at all. The TFI gets too hot. The Dielectric grease *will* "go away". Plus, it "could" then even leave a film on the heat-sink which would reduce it's ability to transfer heat to the distributor.

Also, for a PC's CPU's heat-sink, using Dielectric Grease instead of Thermal Compound is another way of saying "I want to buy another CPU soon".

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Old 12-05-2007, 09:40 AM   #12
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Part# SL203 from Autozone
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:11 AM   #13
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I use artic silver thermal paste on my tfi.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:24 AM   #14
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And the answer is .......

Thermal compound.

Artic Silver Thermal paste is a good example. The entire purpose of putting some thing on the back of the TFI module is to disapate heat and keep thre TFI from burning up. If I'm not mistaken Ford changed where they mounted the TFI to keep engine heat away from the circuit inside.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nos8ed View Post
Part# SL203 from Autozone
I tried searching the AutoZone website and couldn't find this part number.

Also, where can I find artic silver thermal paste? I've seen this product mentioned in other threads.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:08 PM   #16
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Radio Shack carries Arcitc Silver. I just bought some there about 2 months back.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO 5-OH View Post
I tried searching the AutoZone website and couldn't find this part number.

Also, where can I find artic silver thermal paste? I've seen this product mentioned in other threads.
It's not on their website, but I made a phone call to make sure they still have it. This is what Wells puts in the box with the control modules they sell. The SL203 is a box with about 3 or 4 packets in it. I t sells for 99cents. You may have to tell the dumba$$ @ the counter it is in the ignition section or Wells section.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:32 PM   #18
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Last question, I promise.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Brawler View Post
Radio Shack carries Arcitc Silver. I just bought some there about 2 months back.
I checked the Radio Shack site and found two Arctic Silver products listed:

Arctic Silver - Silver 5 for $9.99 (Radio Shack # 28-1099)
Arctic Silver - Ceramique for $6.99 (Radio Shack # 28-1098)

Which one are you guys using?
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:34 PM   #19
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Either one will work

Either one will work

Arctic Silver - Silver 5 for $9.99 (Radio Shack # 28-1099)
Arctic Silver - Ceramique for $6.99 (Radio Shack # 28-1098)

Ceramique has some properties that might be of benefit to sophisticated electronics components but for our application, a TFI bolted to a distributor, both are equal.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:46 PM   #20
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Thanks for all of the informative responses.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:34 PM   #21
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No more Radio Shacks in Toronto.
This heat sink stuff isn`t cheap here.
A local computer store has OCZ Ultra 5+ silver thermal compound for $7.99cdn for only 3 lousey grams.What a rip.

Auto parts stores don`t carry the stuff.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950HO View Post
No more Radio Shacks in Toronto.
This heat sink stuff isn`t cheap here.
A local computer store has OCZ Ultra 5+ silver thermal compound for $7.99cdn for only 3 lousey grams.What a rip.

Auto parts stores don`t carry the stuff.

Thats not a bad price..Plus you dont need as much as you think..I have a 3 ounce tube that has lasted me thru 6 computers and my TFI module with some left over..
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:45 PM   #23
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Thats not a bad price..Plus you dont need as much as you think..I have a 3 ounce tube that has lasted me thru 6 computers and my TFI module with some left over..

I said 3 grams.

1 gram = .0352 ounce

So if you have a 3 ounce tube that would be roughly 85 grams.

1 ounce = 28 grams

I hate the metric system .
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:20 PM   #24
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You can also buy thermal compound from newegg, SCUM tigerdirect, or digikey.

Here, if you buy 5,000 of them, you can get 2oz for $5.45 each.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...me=345-1007-ND
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950HO View Post
I said 3 grams.

1 gram = .0352 ounce

So if you have a 3 ounce tube that would be roughly 85 grams.

1 ounce = 28 grams

I hate the metric system .
SOrry i typed it wrong.I meant 3 grams (actual tube is 3.5 grams).
The 3.5 gram tube contains enough compound to cover a layer 0.003" thick, the 3.5 gram tube will cover approximately 16 square inches.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stangPlus2Birds View Post
You can also buy thermal compound from newegg, SCUM tigerdirect, or digikey.

Here, if you buy 5,000 of them, you can get 2oz for $5.45 each.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...me=345-1007-ND
...."SCUM" tigerdirect is the place I`m referring to for 3g for $7.99cdn.

Why does this stuff cost so much for so little?
The syringe looks so much bigger in the internet pics compared to what they give you,I was like wtf is this?LOL
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950HO View Post
...."SCUM" tigerdirect is the place I`m referring to for 3g for $7.99cdn.

Why does this stuff cost so much for so little?
The syringe looks so much bigger in the internet pics compared to what they give you,I was like wtf is this?LOL

Read what its made for:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white99gt View Post
Read what its made for:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm
I know the main use is for computer useage,but people have been using dielectric grease for years on TFI`s and I rarely read of any failures unless it`s a pos aftermarket TFI module like an Accel.

When I took my original TFI off there was hardly any heat sink or whatever the factory used and it was dried out and hard.
I put dielectric grease on it and reinstalled it 2 years ago.
This original 18 year old TFI module has 113,000 miles on it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950HO View Post
I know the main use is for computer useage,but people have been using dielectric grease for years on TFI`s and I rarely read of any failures unless it`s a pos aftermarket TFI module like an Accel.

When I took my original TFI off there was hardly any heat sink or whatever the factory used and it was dried out and hard.
I put dielectric grease on it and reinstalled it 2 years ago.
This original 18 year old TFI module has 113,000 miles on it.
Why is a accel a POS? Ive been running one almost two years with no issues.

I think most TFI's aftermarket or other wise die because of other internal distributor issues.Or one that was installed improperly.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:11 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Why is a accel a POS? Ive been running one almost two years with no issues.

I think most TFI's aftermarket or other wise die because of other internal distributor issues.Or one that was installed improperly.

I tried an Accel TFI module for a short while.
I figured I`d replace my high mileage original TFI module for something new.(mistake)

It crapped out after low mileage use.
The car still ran,but the timing wasn`t being advanced with the spout connector in place,and the car felt like a dog accelerating.

Installing the original Motorcraft TFI fixed the problem.
A mechanic on my local forum mentioned a high failure rate with Accel TFI`s.

Check your ignition timing with the spout connector in place to make sure it`s bouncing all over the place at idle like normal to be sure with the Accel TFI.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:26 AM   #31
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If it starts feeling doggy ,i may check that..But right now,its still has enough pep to go sideways in 2nd.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:42 AM   #32
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Quote:
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I use artic silver thermal paste on my tfi.
Works great.


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Old 12-08-2007, 12:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950HO View Post
I tried an Accel TFI module for a short while.
I figured I`d replace my high mileage original TFI module for something new.(mistake)

It crapped out after low mileage use.
The car still ran,but the timing wasn`t being advanced with the spout connector in place,and the car felt like a dog accelerating.

Installing the original Motorcraft TFI fixed the problem.
A mechanic on my local forum mentioned a high failure rate with Accel TFI`s.

Check your ignition timing with the spout connector in place to make sure it`s bouncing all over the place at idle like normal to be sure with the Accel TFI.
Had the same thing happen to me. Died at an intersection with no warning, module had well under 10k on it. Cop pulled up behind me and was nice enough to stop traffic while his partner helped me push the car across the road to the gas station. Then he let me use his cell to call my stepdad to bring my spare distributor with the old module on it. Still running it actually.

One of my friend's customers also had one of those Accel modules #### the bed not long after mine. Had about 5k miles on it at most, then it just quit for no reason.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:34 AM   #34
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^^^
Yeah,the Motorcraft TFI`s are the best quality.
Pop the cover and the electronics inside the Accel look like a joke compared to the Motorcraft TFI.

I think the pos Accel is probably made in China.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:07 AM   #35
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You can get it at Best Buy, too.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1075583463530
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