The car has a new timing belt, new distr. , plugs & wires. The only things that haven't been replaced is the rotor button & the cap. When the car is started up cold it runs great, but once hot look out. :?
Did that new distributor come with a new TFI (ignition) module? If so, how long has it been on the car? The rotor and cap could have something to do with the issue a little, but not to the extent you're talking about. Ford has had several class action suits against them for the TFI modules failing not only on these cars, but everything Ford made during the 80's and 90's....in other words, this module fails a LOT. It caused people to stall out in traffic (I had it happen to me even with a replacement because it had no thermal grease between it and the distro). There was only one car that didn't have this problem: The '88 3.8 powered Mercury Cougar. It had the module mounted remotely on the radiator, so it didn't overheat. I did a remote TFI mod to my car and used a K6-2 processor heatsink to keep the thing cool...no issues since.
Try checking for error codes. It's easy, and you don't have to buy a code reader (make one for less than $1). If you don't already have a manual, get one. Even the Haynes is better than nothing.
If you didn't put thermal grease on the TFI and have been driving it for a couple weeks, then yes, it's at least damaged, and possibly destroyed. These things make a good amount of heat anyway, and being mounted on the distro makes them hotter yet. You can find thermal grease online, or at Radio Shack. You can even cheat and use dielectric grease for a little while, although its thermal transfer properties are much worse than the typical silicone thermal grease. I'm currently using Arctic Silver Ceramique (for computers) on my remote one...no problems in about 3 years.
The car acted this way prior to the replacement of the TFI. It will start when it's cold & seems to idle very rough. Once it's hot, won't restart unless the gas is held to the floor after several attempts to start. Then once started it does like when it's starting when cold.
So.....is remote mounting a TFI as easy as it seems. I assume it just amounts to running 3 wires from the distributor/TFI mounting point to the newly relocated TFI. And grounding it I suppose. Please confirm this would work. Where is a good mounting place for the TFI module?
I run an 88 4dr LX as a USPS rural route mail car. Work perfect. Just had to shorten the gear selector so my leg would pass over it as I drive from the passenger seat.
I used a computer grade power cord, 3 wire with ground shield to make the TFI to distro wire. I cut up an old TFI module I had lying around, soldered the connections up to its blades, mounted it on the distro, and then opened up the harness some to run it over to my driver's side shock tower, where the real TFI resides. It's a very easy mod, just be sure you get high temp insulation on the wire. Mine is said to melt by 80 Celsius (176 F), and it hasn't failed yet. I think it's a little low temp for the application, but am not going to replace it unless it breaks. I'd suggest 120C insulation.