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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sons '02 Taurus DOHC has been triggering a check engine light. Autozone said it's a misfire on cylinder #2. He had someone replace the plugs and wires about 50K miles ago and I suspect it might just need a plug and wire change again. What else might be triggering the engine light? Do the injectors often go bad? The car stumbles on acceleration. It idles fine in park but when I slowly raise the RPM to around 3K it begins to misfire.

I plan to tackle the plug change this weekend. I know I will need to pull the intake to gain access to the rear plugs. What parts (gaskets) can I purchase ahead of time for this project? I understand the intake gaskets are reusable, but I would rather not attempt to get the original gaskets to reseal again. Can these gaskets be purchased? What about an EGR gasket, etc?

Anything I need to be aware of when pulling the intake? I don't want to create any vacuum leaks on this job.
 

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I had mine done by a mechanic buddy .... after taking a good look under the hood. Yup will need to pull out the intake manifold.

What I'm thinking is there might be more to it. Todays plugs last up to 100miles easy. I could be the wires, I'd try that before pulling the plugs, might just be all there is to it. Another thought is fuel injector have you run a few cans of fuel injector cleaner through. I'd do that first; each tankful add a can. If you don't see some improvement after 2 tankfuls, then buy some new wires. Changing out the plugs would be your last fix-it option
 

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Either a plug, wire or coil. Startby pulling the plug of the cyl that's having the issue(which would be center rear head) and see what's doing.
 

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Depends what spark plugs you used for replacement. You can't use any plugs on these engines, they will fail over time. I recommend the Motorcraft spark plugs (AGSF 32FM Motorcraft Platinum Spark Plugs) in combination of Magnecor ignition cables.

And you don't need to take off the UIM off to replace these plugs. Removing the coil pack should give you enough room to replace the spark plugs with the correct socket extensions. You'll need to use fuel line hose to install the new spark plugs and then finish them off with a socket.

Monsoon
 

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^+1 with Monsoon if copper or bosch plugs and cheap wires were used. Stick with autolite or motorcraft double platinums or iridiums for the plugs and wires too. Might get by only removing pass. windshield cowling.
 

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When I did mine I removed the passanger side cowl(upper and lower) and the coil being that I was replacing it anyway and I had pleanty of room to get my bear claws in.
 

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There are 6-oval gaskets in there. They like to fall out on the re-install. Fel-Pro has a set that included the (lower?) intake gasket also If you can purchase the ovals without the intake set, you won't have un-used intakes gasket having around. Get the EGR gasket .
Honestly, remove the air filter box, remove the throttle body, then remove the upper intake manifold. The rest will be so smooth after that. It also removes the fear of what's under the hood. This comes from a guy who owns a '97 Neon, where you can change all 4 plugs during a traffic light stop.

I had 95K on the factory plugs and wires. I went OEM on the plugs and Motorcraft on the wires.
If you have been pretty happy with the way the car generally ran, then trust the engineers who designed and built it and replace it with what they had. Motorcraft plugs and Motorcraft wires. Those engineers went to school longer than the parts people.
It took me a long time to convince myself that OEM is better 90% or more of the time than after-market. I'm glad that Ford OEM are more ready available, meaning availbale outside the dealership, than trying to find genuine Mopar products for my Neon, which are mostly dealership only.
 

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Also, it is not uncommon on these cars for unscrupulous shops to change the front three plugs and not the back three.
Or all but the one they cant get to easily, thus causing a misfire.... When I changed mine it was misfiring. There was 1 original 134K mile motorcraft platinum plug in it and 5 autolite irridiums. I was told a "mechanic" did the tuneup, and if that was the case that 'mechanic' should not be in buisness anymore(unless that 'mechanic' was the owner blaming someone else for his lack of knowledge/experience).
 

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Or all but the one they cant get to easily, thus causing a misfire.... When I changed mine it was misfiring. There was 1 original 134K mile motorcraft platinum plug in it and 5 autolite irridiums. I was told a "mechanic" did the tuneup, and if that was the case that 'mechanic' should not be in buisness anymore(unless that 'mechanic' was the owner blaming someone else for his lack of knowledge/experience).
So maybe he had one hand. Can't count above 5.:lol2:

Pic of factory single platinum plugs in '01 DOHC with 111K on them.
No misfire, no issue, just "about that time". Wires all good, ohmed them and checked insulation, all OK. No issue with the UIM, reused gaskets, no problem.

I used AutoLite double platinum, and the quality looked good.

But with my Lin Cont plug replacement not so easy. They started to misfire under load at 99K. With a 90 degree engine the back row is really close to the firewall and really deep. I had to use 3 extensions and assemble each and feed then down the hole. Then un assemble each one at a time to get them back out. Live and learn. I should have removed the fender brace for more access.



Happy maint.

-chart-
 

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1^ Now that's Motorcraft performance. Those plugs look normal, except may be the gap looks large. :)

Monsoon
 

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1^ Now that's Motorcraft performance. Those plugs look normal, except may be the gap looks large. :)

Monsoon
Those plugs were about .006" over front bank, about .012" over back bank. Back is expected to be worse on waste spark system. I was really surprised at their good condition. Guess with COP we should and double platinum we should expect at least 200K.

However, see the attached pic, these from Lin Cont with ~99K on them. They are not platinum but that did not matter. I may be wrong, but, I think that is from premimum gas. I guess Ford did not think with COP and half as many sparks they did not go for platinum. I put AutoLite XP in it anyway. I do not expect to see another 100K in that one. RUST!

-chart-
 

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Looks like a lot of build up on those plugs.
IMO some extended WFO operation is needed, like answering those next lane challanges....... heheheheh
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I pulled the intake and replaced the plugs and wires. The car still continues to throw a "misfire cylinder #2 and misfire on start up". I'm not sure where to go next. The coil can be replaced without removing the intake again and is $90. The injector requires intake removal again and is $75. You can feels a misfire once in a while at a stop light and pulling away from the light. It also want to misfire under heavy acceleration.

Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just pulled the #2 plug wire out of the coil. I replaced it with an old plug wire and old plug. Then I grounded the end of the plug to the engine to see if I could see the plug firing when the car is running. The plug is definately firing steady. The odd things is I expected the engine to run rough because #2 cylinder was no longer was connected to the coil. That wasn't the case. The engine ran fairy smoothly, or exactly the same way it did when all 6 cylinders were connected to the coil. How is this possible?
 

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Pull the coil and carefully inspect it for cracks (esp. on the bottom), corrosion, cracked towers, bulges and general damage. While off, run it to autozone for a free primary and secondary resistance test. If it tests out of spec., its bad, if it tests in spec., it may still miss under load. Not a completely definitive test. You can do the tests yourself if you have an ohmmeter and a haynes or chiltons repair service manual with the how-to and specs.
 

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You don't need to pull the manifold off to change the rear bank plugs.

You need a stubby ratchet, a couple of extensions and be able to work by feel.

Mike.
B)
 

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My mom's 2003 Taurus (with Vulcan motor) recently exhibited a misfire on cyl 3, after I replaced all 6 spark plugs. The gaps on the old plugs were wide. Anyways, I replaced the coil pack and all is well on her car now...I think.

I realize that your car is a Duratec...just thought I would mention this though...
 
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