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Old 03-11-2010, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Well the wifey called while I was out of town yesterday and said a block from work the check engine light was on and the car was sputtering so she drove it into her parking spot and called me. I had her park it for the day and restart it at the end of the day. There was no CEL, so I told her to drive it home about 9 mi. About 1/2 mi from home the light came on steady with no sputtering (she then tells me it was flashing before ) so she calls again and I had her drive to AZ and they read a P0301. When I got back today I consulted my service disc and checked the coil, #1 & # 5 plugs, used a borescope on the #1 & #5 cylinders and checked the resistance across the #1 spark plug wire. The car only has 63k on it and I changed plugs (used OEM) at 46k 3 ys ago. Everything checked out OK except the wire which tested as an open circuit so I'll pick up a set of wires from the dealer tomorrow because I don't have time to wait for a mail order even though it hurts me to pay $93.56 incl tax vs $44.32 incl S&H at rockauto.

Found some good stuff in the manual I want to share:

MEASURE resistance of spark plug wires. REPLACE if greater than 7,000 ohms per 30.5 cm (1 foot).
MEASURE resistance of spark plugs. REPLACE if lower than 2000 or higher than 20000 ohms.

Measure resistance of suspect coil between CD and IGN START/RUN circuits at coil pack connector. Is resistance less than 5 ohms? No?
REPLACE coil pack.

Measure resistance of suspected coil secondary between coil pack towers. Is resistance between 10K and 14.5K ohms? No?
REPLACE coil pack.

See the attachment for some good info and where to test the coil [attachment=32524:Coil_packs.pdf]

PS I ran across somewhere here that someone picked up a set of Motorcraft wires at O'Reilly so I checked their site and I'll pick up a set for $56.83 total ! I love this site!
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File Type: pdf Coil_packs.pdf (80.8 KB, 894 views)
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Trying to remove and install the wires without breaking the 8 or so clips that hold them to the posts on the valve cover bolts is a real pain. I pulled the pass side upper and lower cowl and the intake off (from the air cleaner box to the throttle body) for better access. I only partially broke one clip above cylinder 2 and we'll see how long a nylon tie wrap lasts there. Pulled the negative battery cable, took a shower, reconnected the battery and went for a ~10 mi spin. So far so good and the very slight roughness at idle that's probably been there for as long as I can remember is gone. Now if it would only cure my pinging when running 87 I'd be ecstatic. I'll smoke that pipe dream on the next tankfull. Hope someone finds this rambling helpful. Peace...
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Still pinging on regular so back to premium

Also P/N on those pesky ignition wire separator clamps that clip on the valve cover bolt studs is F48Z12297A for the ones that hold 2 wires.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default 1997 Taurus 3.0 2v w/CYL 1 Misfire (p0301)

I have had a hell of a time with this one since someone else had the car before me and had done a cylinder head job on it. When someone else messed with it before you got it and the seller doesnt mention a flashing engine check light that comes on if you gun it, you kinda wonder how much back tracking you have to check out. Well, here is the adventure. Before I begin, I'll add that I am a ASE Technician, with 10 years experience, mostly GM and Honda.

P0301 Misfire Cyl 1, comes up any time you hit that gas to pass or get on a california freeway. At first I thought the coolant was being consumed and did seem that way. Like the car was sipping it or something till it got just to the bottom of the cold fill range, but it never seems to go any lower really once it gets there. Keep in mind, I never fill a res above the full line cold. At first I was scared and thought I was in it to shell out some dough to send the heads to a good machine shop, thinking some hack got a hold of it, but I did the block check with the chemical and it never even turned greenish blue, pumping the bulb for 3 minutes. Now Im thinking intake gaskets since I see a bunch of rtv around them, but when I get the intake off, I dont see any indication of a problem really other than sloppy work. Once I see all this Im back to thinking the Head Gaskets or valve seats since the cyl 1 intake valve is the only valve with some carbon patches on it.

Before I slapped myself and got into pulling the cylinder heads, I decided to check the coil cluster, despite it passing all test initially before I even began this fiasco. It bench tested with a DMM just fine, but when I flipped it over for a visual, I found something fascinating. The casting under the pack for cyl 1 and 5 has two cracks and some carbon tracing to it that showed up like a christmastree under camera flash as well. Now Im not finished but, Im going to put this guzzler back together and drive it to a job interview tomorrow morning. Im leaving the mechanic trade to get into IT since the dealerships have gone way down hill with the flat rate pay system and the private shops pay less every year and hardly have the diagnostic special equipment or even good enough scanners to call themselves a shop. After my interview I plan to buy a coil cluster pack, but since I have been out of work for 5 weeks and unemployment check still isnt here (got to love how our idiocracy works here in the US), I am broke as a joke and really dont want to burn money I can eat with. I have not worked on many fords, but I am a very skilled diagnostic tech.

What Im asking is this. Has anyone ever had the same single cylinder misfire under WOT or heavy load, and discovered a cracked coil pack on the bottom side, replaced it and it fixed that annoying come and go engine check light for the cyl 1 misfire? Also, I know some people might poke fun at me for no compression check or leak down. I did that and they were all even. Unable to do a leak down since someone stole my leak down tester from the last place i worked at, and no one even knows what they are at the tool rental places. Money doesnt grow on trees, folks. Am I right?
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default P0301 Cylinder #1 Misfire

Money doesn't grow on trees no matter how hard I close my eyes and wish.

Yes yes and yes. It has happened MANY times. I'm sure you understand how a coil pack works. The higher the engine load and higher the rpm the harder the coil pack has to work and the more often it has to fire (less time to charge up basically).

I bet if you replace the coil pack your problem will be solved. Go ahead and read the misfire sticky at the top of the maint/repair forum.

The first thing I thought when I read "cel when I hit the gas hard", I thought coil pack right away.


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Old 02-14-2013, 02:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A cracked coil pack is almost always doomed. Almost as a rule if I see a cracked coil I replace it.

As you saw, you can have a coil pass all the electrical tests and still be bad. The ONLY way to definitively test a coil is by checking for spark with a large gap. If the coil can jump a 1" gap, then you can rest assured you are getting enough energy to the spark plug under high load conditions. On a Vulcan you can test the coil with nothing more than a test light (if it's the traditional kind and not a LED one). Clip onto ground and hold the point by each tower as you pull the boot off. Pull the spark out till it stops and pay attention to the gap. This video shows the procedure:

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Get a piece of vacuum home and place it between each terminal on the coil pack and the plug wires. Since vacuum hose will carry an electrical charge you can just touch your test loght to that instead of possibly damaging a good coil. Misfires are difficult to diagnose and repair. The first thing I do is the baics. Pull the spark plugs and check for fouling or damage, then ohm out the wires and make sure they are not worn, enusre thatt everything is working properly. Then if nothing comes up on the simple stuff then start examing things further down the line. See if you can get the freeze frame data from the MIL that is stored and check to verify all of the data.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjjames23 View Post
Get a piece of vacuum home and place it between each terminal on the coil pack and the plug wires. Since vacuum hose will carry an electrical charge you can just touch your test loght to that instead of possibly damaging a good coil.
I don't think that will work for stress testing. You're only going to be carrying a high voltage spark for a few seconds, so it won't hurt the coil. If you sit there for a minute or two then you might start damaging it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by behlinla View Post
I don't think that will work for stress testing. You're only going to be carrying a high voltage spark for a few seconds, so it won't hurt the coil. If you sit there for a minute or two then you might start damaging it.
Just a simple precaution. I'd rather be safe than sorry, but thats just me. A couple seconds probably won't hurt, but then again it could. Just trying to help out.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have fixed a random misfire code with a new coil pack. And dealt with misfire situation that was caused by a cheap brand socket cracking the porcelain on the plug on removal.

Now on cdchangerguy and his pinging on regular.

When I hear pinging I think where did they get gas or what did they add to it before I go to checking the engine itself. I have "fixed" friends cars pinging by explaining that whatever snake oil they bought doesn't give them MPG's or make their car run faster. Or as simply telling them to go to another gas station. My car pings on walmart gas. Figured out the gas station there runs flat 10% ethanol. No walmart gas no ping. The reason is Ethanol burns at a much higher octane than gas. I think it's also why my MPG's suffer with ethanol gas. With walmart gas I get 14-18MPG. With speedway gas 20-24. I know people with brand spakin new cars that have the same issue.
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