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Old 05-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
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Plugs and Boots, Filters, and changing Codes, OH MY!!

A long story, but I feel like the little boy that lost he chewing gum in the hen house, and thought he found it... three times!


I have and engine misfire that will not go away. More than a short time, anyway!

History

First noticed when driving in heavy rain. Finally read about the J-Tube fix from Ford. Ordered and installed it. That problem was long, long ago and far, far away! Definitely helped the problem, or solved it and new ones are showing up. I live in AZ so driving in rain is not big problem now.

A couple of years ago the misfires started accruing again, and gas mileage was dropping. Installed new air filter and mileage got a little better. Lots of dust in AZ! Engine still misfiring! Next I change the fuel filter. Seemed to help, but not for long. Misfire getting worse.

Bought and installed a Scan Gauge II about 15 months ago. Next time out, got misfires on Cylinders 4, 8, and 9! Some time while driving, the engine would misfire, and the SG would go crazy! All data would be lost or invalid, like MPG for the day at 1.5, mile driven today 1,500. etc... Way out of the park. Engine parms would also be mixed up. If I stopped and turned the engine off and restart it, current data would be OK, but old or running (trip) data would still be off and any trip and daily value was worthless. (This has happened a few times.) Also, some the charactors on The SG would look like the Chinese Alphabet untill I turned the engine off and back on!

So, finally got around to ordering and install new coils and boots for the three cylinders showing the scan codes. Out on the next trip I still got the misfires, and scan codes for same cylinders.

This time I change the spark plugs, the old ones showing wear and tare, but not overly so. I also changed five more coils and boots (I bought a set of eight, so I was short two new coils.) I had put off new plugs after horror stories and problem with the V10 Spark plugs in the early 00's. Finnaly bought a torque wrench and installed new ones.

So after changing plugs, coils, oil, air filter, and anti freeze in the ol V10 and putting on two new front tires and rotating the rears, and adding new windshield wiper fluid and installing two new wiper blades (still have problems with steps and power seat, but that's another stroy), I had to drive to Las Vegas on Friday just for a test drive (That's my story, and I sticking to it).

On the way there, about 230 miles of various driving, hills, flat, as high as 7,000+ feet elevation. My SG picked up one misfire, Cyl #1 (new plug, same old coil). I reset it before driving home. I checked the gauge just this side of Hoover Damn and it said 9 codes were recorded. Misfires P0000, P0301, P0309, P0305, and a couple of others (misfires) that I don't remember. Some of the charactors were messed up, but that went away while driving.

We stopped for lunch so when I restarted the engine, I was going to record the codes and reset the SG. Very strange codes, the misfires were not there except for P0309 , and other like U0959 (2x), U1BDB (2x), C1BD9. Reset the SG and drove about 60 more miles home without any more codes showing up!

Note, before changing the plugs, I could feel the engine missing. Very noticeable, when under a very slight load, like just cruzing along coming to a slight grade, and would go away, or at least become unnoticeable when pulling up a grade. On this last trip, I did not feel the misfires at all, neither did my Co Pilot.


So.... The question is, "What is the problem?"

I thought it had to be cylinder specific, like fuel injector, wires, or maybe the computer chip (could that be?)

What could I have done during the plug change? What would screw up the SG data? Bad ground? Where?

Does the SG Read in new data every time you press SCAN, or does it store the from previous scans and just add to them when you rescan? i.e., were the bad codes in the SG, or were they read in from the engine computer?

Gas mileage hanging in @ just under 7 MPG. Has gotten as 6.5. Used to be consistent 7+. 60K miles on the rig. Original owner!

Note 2-

Sometimes just driving along, the speaker on the rear camera monitor will buzz, a random tune, but kinda rhythmic. Even with the sound turned off. Also, horizontal scan on the monitor will un-sync every now and then. Have even seen it darken out in time with the turn signal while driving in the rain.
Might this support the bad ground theory?

Please help...
!

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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I would start inspecting the wiring connectors to the ECM and it's sensors. Look for corrosion in the pin connectors. Clean them throughly with electrical contact cleaner ( RadioShak ) and make sure the connections are tight. If the multiple codes still continue you may need to take it to a Ford Heavy Truck dealer for diagnosis. If your chassis is less than 8 yrs. / 80,000 miles the ECM is still covered under the federal emissions warranty by Ford.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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I would make sure the OBD II connectors are all tight and no corrosion. Check the modular plug on the ScanGauge II for loose connection or corrosion.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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You said the scan guage went crazy.. That is significant

It suggests, big time,, that you have an electrical issue, possibly a poor ground (likely engine to chassis)

Short, but true, story: Friend of mine is an automotive engineer, worked for yet another company (I drive GM, you FORD, so it's yet another company)

Well they had a car that went through front wheel bearings like they were candy. I mean it could destroy bearings in as little as a couple hundred miles.

Finally figured it out.. To save a few cents they had not put a ground strap on the engine,, One copper braid later... The wheel bearings now last 100K or more
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:56 AM   #5
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Question

OK, just went out and looked for the ECM. As per a post on another thread, I looked just in front of the steering column and found two possibilities. There are two small (about 1-1/2 inch square) plastic boxes with covers just in front of the brake pedal. One (on the left) is just a littler larger. Which one is the ECM. Hard for me to reach in and lift the covers, and I do not know what the ECM looks like, anyway!

The wiring harness is very tight and solid there and I could not move it around. Not easily accessible, the space is a lot smaller than I am.

What I did see that I did not like was a bolt and nut, just smaller than 1/4 inch coming through the fire wall to the left of the two plastic boxes. The harness, almost an inch in diameter at that point was riding on it, and looked like it might have worn through into the harness. That could sure screw things up! A little vibration from the engine when its just starting accelerate or just hitting a bump in the road could screw things up! Don't know if it is THE problem, but it did not look good. Any thought on this?

There is no way I can get into there far enough to inspect it visually!
May have to do the best I can by feel, make sure it is insulated well and away form the bolt, and just drive back to Las Vegas!

If I have to remove the Drivers seat and doghouse cover to get into there, I will, been there, done that, it is just not fun, tho!

Harold
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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Your situation is somewhat unusal but not unheard of, and you may very well have hit the nail on the head. Some of the wires in the harness need to be shielded to avoid being influenced by errant electrical signals. If the insulation and/or shielding is compomised the ECM could be interpreting the signals incorrectly and causing a misfire. Before you try anything else I would thoroughly inspect the harness and make sure all wires and shielding are intact.

If any insulation is worn away you'll have to either wrap the area with electrical tape, heat shrink tape, or in a worst case scenario cut out the bad section and install a butt splice. If shielding is worn or cut (without actually exposing bare wire) you can usually wrap the area with tin foil.

A while ago I was talking with a technician at our local Ford truck garage. He mentioned a similar problem. The factory suggested they wrap each of the shielded wires in the harness with aluminum foil for a distance of 3 feet from the ECM and test drive the vehicle. They complied with the request and much to their surprise the miss went away. Then they slowly removed the foil until the miss returned. In the end it only required about 6" of foil on a single wire. (Sorry I didn't ask which wire). It must have been inadequate or poorly installed shielding from the factory since there was no evidence of physical damage.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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One thing to check is your grounding circuits. make sure that the battery and chassis grounds are clean and tight. Also clean and tighten any other grounds you can find. You can get a dielectric grease from a building center (in the electrical department) to apply to the connections as you reassemble. A loose or dirty ground can really cause some strange problems.

Ken
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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Hiker,

>>The factory suggested they wrap each of the shielded wires
>> in the harness with aluminum foil for a distance of 3 feet
>> from the ECM .

Why does this remind me of an old "Honeymooners" episode?

Certainly makes sense, tho! I have seen much stranger things!

I have pulled the harness away form the bolt, as far as I could. The harness is actually secured to the firewall on that bolt! May have to cut it loose. I have inserted a piece of sheilded rubber for protection. There is no way to do the foil thing, without major rework of the harness. too big, too tight, and and impossible to get to.

Will just have to conveince the co pilot to go to Las Vegas again for another test!

I now believe I have had two distinct problems. Actual misfires fixed with the plugs &/or boots. And a data problem caused by the harness. But then, why would the data problem get worse and the misfire get better just because I worked on it?
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdossett View Post
A long story, but I feel like the little boy that lost he chewing gum in the hen house, and thought he found it... three times!


I have and engine misfire that will not go away. More than a short time, anyway!

History

First noticed when driving in heavy rain. Finally read about the J-Tube fix from Ford. Ordered and installed it. That problem was long, long ago and far, far away! Definitely helped the problem, or solved it and new ones are showing up. I live in AZ so driving in rain is not big problem now.

A couple of years ago the misfires started accruing again, and gas mileage was dropping. Installed new air filter and mileage got a little better. Lots of dust in AZ! Engine still misfiring! Next I change the fuel filter. Seemed to help, but not for long. Misfire getting worse.

Bought and installed a Scan Gauge II about 15 months ago. Next time out, got misfires on Cylinders 4, 8, and 9! Some time while driving, the engine would misfire, and the SG would go crazy! All data would be lost or invalid, like MPG for the day at 1.5, mile driven today 1,500. etc... Way out of the park. Engine parms would also be mixed up. If I stopped and turned the engine off and restart it, current data would be OK, but old or running (trip) data would still be off and any trip and daily value was worthless. (This has happened a few times.) Also, some the charactors on The SG would look like the Chinese Alphabet untill I turned the engine off and back on!

So, finally got around to ordering and install new coils and boots for the three cylinders showing the scan codes. Out on the next trip I still got the misfires, and scan codes for same cylinders.

This time I change the spark plugs, the old ones showing wear and tare, but not overly so. I also changed five more coils and boots (I bought a set of eight, so I was short two new coils.) I had put off new plugs after horror stories and problem with the V10 Spark plugs in the early 00's. Finnaly bought a torque wrench and installed new ones.

So after changing plugs, coils, oil, air filter, and anti freeze in the ol V10 and putting on two new front tires and rotating the rears, and adding new windshield wiper fluid and installing two new wiper blades (still have problems with steps and power seat, but that's another stroy), I had to drive to Las Vegas on Friday just for a test drive (That's my story, and I sticking to it).

On the way there, about 230 miles of various driving, hills, flat, as high as 7,000+ feet elevation. My SG picked up one misfire, Cyl #1 (new plug, same old coil). I reset it before driving home. I checked the gauge just this side of Hoover Damn and it said 9 codes were recorded. Misfires P0000, P0301, P0309, P0305, and a couple of others (misfires) that I don't remember. Some of the charactors were messed up, but that went away while driving.

We stopped for lunch so when I restarted the engine, I was going to record the codes and reset the SG. Very strange codes, the misfires were not there except for P0309 , and other like U0959 (2x), U1BDB (2x), C1BD9. Reset the SG and drove about 60 more miles home without any more codes showing up!

Note, before changing the plugs, I could feel the engine missing. Very noticeable, when under a very slight load, like just cruzing along coming to a slight grade, and would go away, or at least become unnoticeable when pulling up a grade. On this last trip, I did not feel the misfires at all, neither did my Co Pilot.


So.... The question is, "What is the problem?"

I thought it had to be cylinder specific, like fuel injector, wires, or maybe the computer chip (could that be?)

What could I have done during the plug change? What would screw up the SG data? Bad ground? Where?

Does the SG Read in new data every time you press SCAN, or does it store the from previous scans and just add to them when you rescan? i.e., were the bad codes in the SG, or were they read in from the engine computer?

Gas mileage hanging in @ just under 7 MPG. Has gotten as 6.5. Used to be consistent 7+. 60K miles on the rig. Original owner!

Note 2-

Sometimes just driving along, the speaker on the rear camera monitor will buzz, a random tune, but kinda rhythmic. Even with the sound turned off. Also, horizontal scan on the monitor will un-sync every now and then. Have even seen it darken out in time with the turn signal while driving in the rain.
Might this support the bad ground theory?

Please help...
!

Had the same missing problem for several years. Even had the gas tank dropped and cleaned with new fuel pump installed. Many fuel filters changed, air filters, etc.

Then after wintering in Mesa, AZ and on the way to the Tucson area the same misfiring occurred. Called Ford up got the number of a place in south Tucson off I-19 and made an appointment. It seems that a factory hose clamp, under certain conditions, would leak a little coolant. This coolant would go into spark plug depressions. After a bit it would leak under the boot and short out the plug. You could see faint water marks on the boots. After shutting down the heat from the engine would gradually vaporize the coolant.

This tech really knew his stuff! Changed the hose clamp, plugs, plug boots and marginal individual coils. He also was aware of Ford's additional ground kit for the speed sensor problem.

Other than several bad coils. the MH V10 has been running like a champ.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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SRT,

Sounds like your problem lasted as long as mine.

The water leak was one of the first things I found shortly after installing the Scan Gauge. Only it was near Plug #1. Can't remember what I did to fix it, may have just moved it around, did not replace a clamp, tho. Did not do the plugs either, too scared after reading all the problems with the aluminum heads! Finally got over that fear! Next time I pull the dog house cover off, I will defiantly look at the clamp again!

Just went out and looked at the plugs, all pretty much looked the same...but

#4 & #6 looked like water may have been around them!
#2 & #5 gapped at .066 and .065. All other were between .055 & .060

Every one, keep the ideas coming!

Just as a side bar, don't think it has anything to do with the problems, but all of the spark plugs on the right bank (passenger side) were full threads, all on the left bank, (drivers side) had only 4-5 threads. Just thought that was odd! The replacements were full threads.


Harold
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:35 AM   #11
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Here is what the fix looks like! Hope it helps! Don't know when I will get to road test it.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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One way you might try to rig a shiled around some of the wires is to take a 16 to 20 ga. wire and wrap it around the wires in question...try one twist in about 4" and then ground one end of this shield only. DO NOT ground both ends.

This may or may not help. And did you check all of the grounds?

Ken
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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Ken,

I may get the dog house off this afternoon and look for ground wires. Haven't yet.

Harold
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:22 PM   #14
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OK, I got back under the dog house today. Could not find any ground wires, guess they are all under the chassis. My ground mat is wet, it actualley rained in AZ this weekend, so I will check underneath later. Co pilot is antsy for another trip.

Talked to a friend that used to work truck maintenance for Ryder and he suggested dielectric grease on the coil connectors. I put it on the plug end, just but not the connectors. So I was doing that today and and found that on cylinder #1 the connector was not seated completely. That is the one that misfired on my way to Vegas. That could definitely cause the misfire, could it also cause the codes to screw up? Inquiring minds!
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