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Discussion Starter #1
Well,
Besides torturing people with questions on this forum, I was on that flatratetech.com forum a lot and read whole bunch of stuff from those ASE techs.
Looks like Vulcans had a recall on them (for certain years only), because Atlanta idiots forgot to plug in octane number in the computer and ECU defaults to 93 octane.

Well, I got that done and the ping was still there. I took it again and ther replaced MAF.
After that I did fresh double-plat. sparkplugs, they also checked the gaskes and etc. Nothing! It was still pinging under hard acceleration.

So just recently I went and got the coolant flushed (not just drained and filled). God damn Vulcan was still pinging (a bit less, but...). So I finaly decided to go the "snake oil" route and trust some marketing hype for Red Line's Water Wetter. Guess what, after one bottle (as per instructions) - $7 - ping is GONE!!! Only when temperatures outside are above 75 and I do hard acceleration a bit uphill, only than does it knock!

So, after 6 trips to the dealer, 1 flush, and $7 bottle of pinkish stuff ping is GONE!!!
 

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Is it possible to put a knock sensor in the Vulcan? It seems like it's spark knock to me, and a colder spark plug might help the pinging out.
 

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Well, the redline water wetter stuff isn't really "snake oil" perse - some SHO owners who track their cars have used it and report lower temps. Also, it's big with the sport bike people as well. I think this stuff was originally marketed towards them... :unsure:
 

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Probably, you didn't need to do this much brain storming. It is an established fact that combustion chamber temperature is causing ping in Vulcans. Stok t-stat is 195 degree. You could have just changed your t-stat to 180 degree one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sure, I could have changed the t-stat, BUT I have to commute every day and gas in Chicago is now $2.10 (if you can find it for that). I am not going to do anything that makes me spend more money on gas than I need to.
Also, I think that Water Wetter just cools the engine better without modifying temperature noticeably enough for the computer. I have noticed no change in how fan kicks in or anything else, just no pings.
I did think about colder spark and so on, but I have ESP, so I want to avoid breaking it by installing anything that is/looks non-OEM. Now if it was not a commuter car too... performance chip would already be in it :)
I got 50K on it now, 25K more and I will be doing mods than, since I will have my Ford500 or Benz M-class (you know, kids and stuff friendly) to do commuting and the bull for the "play time" (since it is worth almost nothing according to any dealer you meet).
 

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We have a 2000 Vulcan that pings like crazy too. So the 180 thermostat will help or stop it? How does it effect gas mileage??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I suggest very much against t-stat swap. ECU will think that engine has not completely warmed up and will dump extra fuel into the mixture, so you will run rich, your MPG will SUCK big time.
Believe me, I have been through this hell for past year or so, service advisors at Northridge Ford here in Chicago know my voice when I call (that is how much I have tortured them). It is Atlanta plant idiots who failed to build headers right, they are not being cooled properly. The TSB I had done on my car to set the computer straight did not do $hit but waste my half day.
Change the sparks, flush the coolant, pop-in the Water Wetter. Cheaper, quicker!

BTW, call the dealer and check if you have an outstanding brake switch safety recall, I just found out mine did (and I follow these things very closely).
 

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Originally posted by apolinaras@May 5 2004, 11:19 PM
I suggest very much against t-stat swap. ECU will think that engine has not completely warmed up and will dump extra fuel into the mixture, so you will run rich, your MPG will SUCK big time.
Believe me, I have been through this hell for past year or so, service advisors at Northridge Ford here in Chicago know my voice when I call (that is how much I have tortured them). It is Atlanta plant idiots who failed to build headers right, they are not being cooled properly. The TSB I had done on my car to set the computer straight did not do $hit but waste my half day.
Change the sparks, flush the coolant, pop-in the Water Wetter. Cheaper, quicker!

BTW, call the dealer and check if you have an outstanding brake switch safety recall, I just found out mine did (and I follow these things very closely).
You're referring to the engine running in a constant open loop. Engines will do this if the computer determines that the coolant isn't hot enough; it'll run blindly, which means dumping fuel into the engine to prevent detonation (because rich is better than lean.)

Closed loop occurs at a temperature below 180, though; I haven't found any solid numbers, but the places I have found reference 130 (I bet it's a bit higher than that.) Putting a lower temp thermostat in may be able to decrease the temp of the engine to a point where pinging will cease; if this is true, actual MPG will raise, because detonation is actually the engine working against itself. The engine should also feel more powerful, although the increase may be negligable.

In the least, if a lower temperature thermostat reduces temperatures too much, a CEL will appear, saying "Insufficient Coolant Temperature for Close Loop" or something along those lines. Our Explorer gets that in the winter, because the thermostat won't close all the way. If the light comes on, put the old temp thermostat in, simple.
 

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180 degree t-stat is part of performance mod. many people do to increase HP. Impact on gas milage will be no more than 0.5 mpg.
I will do it shortly, I can let you know...
 

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My car is Chicago built, and it pings like mad. Are they idiots as well?
 

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More than likely, it's a timing issue. Either the gasoline is of too low an octane rating or too low of a grade or some condition in the engine is creating excessive heat, or a combination of the two.

Have a compresion test done to measure your compresion ratio. 9:1 Ratio will call for 91 octane or higher. 8:1 is normal for 87 octane. 10:1 is dangerous for regular vehicles, unless you are programmed to run on 100 octane fuel on a regular basis.

The spark is igniting too far away from the spark plug or the spark is too weak. If your timing is over advanced, then the spark plug is igniting too early. You may need a new knock sensor or have the computer reflashed or try a better spark plug.

Other general reasons for preignition, knock & pinging, self-ignition:
-too-lean fuel/air mixture (not enough gas for the air present)
-incorrect valve timing
-engine cooling system inadequacy
-faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve
-high intake-air temperature
-driving in too high a gear
-excessive carbon deposits
-poor combustion chamber design/shape
 

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When I posted it, I remembered that it doesn't. Even though there is no sensor, the PCM controls the valve timing somewhat, so it may need to be reflashed or you need a new one.
 

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Try a different fuel source. Some companies don’t put key additives in their fuel mixture to help against knocking. Domestic vehicles need all the additives available to run without denotation problems. Sunoco Gas, Union 76, Texeco all use Oxidation inhibitors. This prevent gasoline from developing gums that clog up the works. When gasoline reacts with oxygen in the air, peroxides or gums can form and degrade the fuel’s antiknock quality and attack plastic parts. Soluble gum can lead to engine deposits, and insoluble gums can plug fuel filters. Inhibiting oxidation is particularly important with fuel-injected engines, which may be subject to higher temperature and oxygen-exposure stress.

I know that bulk gasoline companies (generic, store brand name fuel ei, Costco, SAMS) and Arco do not use Oxidation Inhibitors or Corrosion additives in their fuel mixtures. This can adversely effect the performance of our vehicles. Most foreign cars are unaffected by this, because their programming and emissions are different. So stay away from cheap bargin fuels if you want your car to last.
 

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I've got my pinging under control with 93 octane, but I don't want to spend extra money in these days for 93...So I 'll go ahead with t-stat replacement.
 

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Originally posted by FullDuplex@May 6 2004, 01:07 PM
I've got my pinging under control with 93 octane, but I don't want to spend extra money in these days for 93...So I 'll go ahead with t-stat replacement.
This will cause you to dump more fuel. Unburnt fuel will glog your cats and ruin your oxygen sensors and will cause even more fuel to be dump or even cause a fire. If you don't want to spend the money, you will in the long run. Go like this too long and you won't be able to pass smog.
 

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Have a compresion test done to measure your compresion ratio. 9:1 Ratio will call for 91 octane or higher. 8:1 is normal for 87 octane. 10:1 is dangerous for regular vehicles, unless you are programmed to run on 100 octane fuel on a regular basis.
Our Duratec's have a compression ratio of 10:1. Am I missing something?

This will cause you to dump more fuel. Unburnt fuel will glog your cats and ruin your oxygen sensors and will cause even more fuel to be dump or even cause a fire. If you don't want to spend the money, you will in the long run. Go like this too long and you won't be able to pass smog.
This is assuming that the engine's pinging ISN'T caused by the engine running too hot; I bet they've tried many different gas locations, it's hard to think the Vulcan ping problem would be so widespread if it were really gas quality. Besides, acting like a slightly lower temp thermostat is going to cause holy hell any time soon is asinine; if the ping doesn't go away, it's not exactly impossible to just put the old one back in, and if it does go away, that was a lot easier and cheaper than, say, getting a computer reflashed. And, if nothing else works, we can just assume that the pinging problem is a flaw in the vulcan design, although it doesn't seem to have hurt it's reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Computer re-flash costs nothing! There was a TSB and recall on all Vulcan with engines built in Atlanta (but the whoe car assembled in Chicago). Call your dealer and ask them to run a search on your VIN in the Oasis, they will tell you if you need to get that done or not.
 

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The knock issue has been with the Vulcan since its inception. The funny thing is only a select few are problematic. You do tend to hear about them because it sucks to have a newer car knocking like an old beater. Ford has many TSB's out on this problem for different years. I have read about the lower temp T-Stat being used to correct knocking with no apparent problems on one of the Ranger Forums.
Its nice to know the Water Wetter is working also. Good job Apolinaras! Please let us know if the fix stays.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I will tell you this, in 1 month Chicago is going to get hot as hell, so Water Wetter will get its chance to shine. I truly believe that this knock problem can be fixed only by doing the whole combination: the TSBs, new spark plugs, fresh filter every 15K, coolant flush every 35-50K, Water Wetter on every flush, wash the engine every 2nd time you wash the car. Result will be no (or less) pings, and you will keep your car in better shape.
 
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