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Ok without getting into too much boring detail, the other night i began to dreadfully notice a "miss" in the engine. What are the many factors that would cause the engine to "Miss"? Any help would be appreciated...
 
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Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, bad fuel injector, vacuum leak, bad head gasket, the list goes on. You'll need to do some investigating to find the actual problem.
 

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My 3.8 was missing recently and I replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor and it fixed the problem. I'd definitely look into replacing them especially if they haven't been changed in a while. Just an FYI, good luck.
 

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Little things like plugs, wires and the like can make a big difference, not necessarily in improved performance, but at least in getting the most out of what you have. I've put replacement or upgraded plugs, wires, cap & rotor and coil in my 3.8, and while I'm sure they didn't really add any HP, that engine probably runs as well now as it did when it rolled off the assembly line.

Just as 1989LX said, if you have a lot of miles on this car, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace these even if you don't think they're the direct source of the problem. The cap & rotor and coil you can easily do yourself (heck, even I managed those myself LOL), the plugs and wires are do-able if you have lots of time and band-aids


Personally, I just pay my mechanic to do the dirty work for me
 

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Rather than start up a new thread, I've been thinking of doing a tune up on the 3.8l as well. It just seems that the spark plugs (especially the rear bank) are REALLY tough to get to.

Anyone have any tips or tricks for someone doing this for the first time on a 3.8? My mechanic wants to charge $200 for a tune up (doing all the things you've mentioned). I know pretty much the basics of changing the spark plugs, wires, distributor, etc, but give it to Ford to put such a big engine in such a tight space to complicate things...

Oh yeah, is that plug wire removal tool they show in the shop manuals really necessary?
 

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Originally posted by 93taurusSX@Mar 17 2004, 01:05 PM
Oh yeah, is that plug wire removal tool they show in the shop manuals really necessary?
Yes.

Or at least unbelievably helpful. When changing my plugs, I of course had a hell of a time with the back plugs and couldn't get enough leverage to get the wires off. So I grabbed my trusty pair of pliers grabbed the #3 wire, POP! came right off. Couldn't really get to #2, so I went straight to #1 first. POP! of came #1. So I wedge my arms in, clamp down on #2, and proceeded to rip the back half of the spark plug wire off of the center conductor, and of course, the wire was still attached, but I ripped a good sized chuck of rubber off the end.

Then, not wanting an entire new set at only 30k because since the FFV has the coil pack in a different place than the standard vulcan, the wires were longer and more expensive. So I epoxied the back half of the rubber boot back on when I got the wire off. And there it sits, glued on still at 38k with no problems.

-mobiuslogic
 

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Originally posted by 93taurusSX@Mar 17 2004, 01:05 PM
Rather than start up a new thread, I've been thinking of doing a tune up on the 3.8l as well. It just seems that the spark plugs (especially the rear bank) are REALLY tough to get to.
When my brother and I just changed my plugs/wires, we had them done in less than 2hrs taking our time. At first glance, they look impossible, but they're not really that bad. The main tools you need other than rachet and spark plug socket are an extension (about 3in long I think) and a boxed end wrench for leverage on the rachet. The furthest cylinder to the left on the back bank (I think it's the #1) is the most difficult so I'd start there. It's hard to give tips on changing the plugs b/c you really just have to do it by inspection. Btw, I had no trouble getting any of the wires off w/o that tool. Good luck with it.
 

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Oh ok...when you did yours, did you take off any part of the intake or anything like that? I was looking at the back bank a coule of hours ago and I might be able to take the spark plugs from underneath or something...
 

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Originally posted by 93taurusSX@Mar 17 2004, 06:31 PM
Oh ok...when you did yours, did you take off any part of the intake or anything like that? I was looking at the back bank a coule of hours ago and I might be able to take the spark plugs from underneath or something...
Nope, I didn't have to remove anything to get to them. I talked to my neighbor (a Ford mechanic/previous owner) about changing them from underneath and he said it wasn't possible. I've never really looked but I bet he's right.
 

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Yes the rear bank is a b**** - for #1 plug, I get that one thru the wheel well (with tire removed) and a 2' extension and a universal joint on the end. #2 & #3 I use the extension, but do them from the top.
 

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yeah, i ended up paying $230 for a tune-up on my gen4. NEVER AGAIN. i bought a haynes manual for like $15 from advanced auto parts, and now i'm gonna do them myself....save much $$$ :/
 

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Originally posted by Frezhi12@Mar 16 2004, 10:41 PM
Ok without getting into too much boring detail, the other night i began to dreadfully notice a "miss" in the engine. What are the many factors that would cause the engine to "Miss"? Any help would be appreciated...
I had a missing problem with my 3.8. It would miss throughout the entire speed range from street driving to highway driving. I replaced the spark plugs (Autolite copper to Bosch Platinum), the coil pack, and the O2 sensors (Motorcraft to Bosch).

Turns out the spark plug wires were bad, and they were cheap Xact brand cables.

Replaced them with Bosch cables and the problem went away and the EEC-IV returns a code 111, meaning A-OK.

I'm willing to bet that your spark plug wires need to be replaced, especially if they're cheapies. I didn't think my spark plug wires were bad because they weren't even a year old, but I didn't think about how long cheap wires would actually last.

The new wires, coupled with the other changes and the recent oil change with Amsoil Series 2000 0W-30 along with a power flush on my transmission, has helped my car run considerably better. And, the icing on the cake was replacing the manifold and tube assembly on my A/C system followed by a system evacuation and recharge. Blows cold to 50 degrees fahrenheit. Great thing to have when driving in the Florida heat! - Reinhart
 

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I had a miss on my '91 3.0L wagon. Way down on power when climbing hills. Cleaned and gapped the plugs....nothing. Put in new plugs....nothing. Changed the wires......bingo.
-jr
 
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