Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2002

Horse Sense:
Although the Fire Control 1000 ignition system is an analog-based ignition system, Jacobs claims the FC 1000 and its solid-state firing technology has better spark-interval stability than most digital-based ignition systems. If you aren’t allowed to run a digital system in your race class, the FC 1000 will be legal for you.

Ford's Thick Film Ignition system is what fires the spark plugs in your 5.0 Mustang every day. This system is comprised of a TFI module mounted on the distributor (or remotely in '94-'95 models), an E-core-style coil (encapsulated without any oil inside), and, of course, a cap, rotor, and plug wires to distribute the spark. The system is adequate for daily driving and can handle the OE performance range quite well when it is in good working order. But, as with any device, there is wear. In the case of the TFI system, it is usually heat related, both from underhood heat and spark travel. The coil cannot generate the power it once did, and performance drops.

Replacing the coil will fix this problem, but you'll be starting back at square one with a stock ignition. Isn't it better to put that "replacement part" cash into a superior product that will help you down the path to performance heaven? We know what your answer is-the same as ours-but don't just replace the coil. Upgrade the complete ignition while you are under the hood, and the benefits of quicker starting, better gas mileage, crisper throttle response, and more can be yours.

Jacobs Electronics released its new Fire Control ignition series last year. The FC 1000 we're installing here is an analog-based ignition system. It offers 97 millijoules of spark energy and up to six sparks (multispark) per cylinder's combustion event. This strong spark is helped by the fact that the FC 1000 is designed to offer a complete spark all the way down to 7.5 volts of input, meaning if you have a weak battery or no battery (racing conditions), the system will still provide a strong spark. The big brother to the FC 1000 is the FC 2000, which features a chip-selectable rev limiter built into it.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

The matching C-4 coil is designed to work on any Fire Control-equipped vehicle from a daily driver to an all-out race car-one ignition, one coil. We also had Jacobs send us its killer Ultra-Fit plug wires-made from 100-percent silicone jacketing and utilizing spiral-wound metal cores with a lifetime guarantee-as well as a new distributor cap and rotor.

Our subject is an '87 GT that is daily driven and has remained stock its entire life. Since we're about to embark on a few upgrades to this speed-density, five-speed vehicle, we thought it would be beneficial to start with an ignition upgrade. Take a look as we strip the GT of its tired ignition and prepare it for future work.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery