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Old 07-24-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
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Troubleshooting bad coil/plug?

During my last trip, I started noticing a vibration when accelerating and also a noise sounding like an exhaust leak. It runs smooth and quiet when I get up to cruising speed. I have engine cover off and visually cannot see anything unusual. How do I determine if it is a spit plug or bad coil?
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:20 PM   #2
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Assuming this is a Ford F53.

1) First, if its a spit plug, you'll hear it, LOUDLY....

2) Are you setting any codes. OBCII codes will detect misfires and tell you what cylinder..

3) How many miles - you may be ready for new plugs and COPs (Coil on Plug).

4) I can just about guarantee you have exhaust leaks, specifically, broken manifold bolts. These are usually on the last two cylinders.

5) Your chassis may be subject to a TSB for wheel vibration. Check with a a Frord dealer, OR next time you have a wheel off, measure the inside diameter of the wheels lug holes.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Yes it is a 2002 F53, 4r100 trans, with 88k miles.

I guess it isn't a spit plug, since I hear nothing like I would expect to hear if a plug were out. I don't have a code reader, so can't diagnose which cylinder/cop my be going bad. Other than pulling plug on each cop, I have no way to find out.

As for the vibration, it feels like the classic out-of-balance problem. It occurs from about 50mph up to 55. If I lift off the throttle at that speed or it goes into cruise mode, the vibration is gone.

I will check torque on front lugs meantime.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
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One other thing came to mind during that vibration that it was caused by a U-joint or the center bearing going bad.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:50 PM   #5
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You may have a loose plug. I wouldn't wait for one to fly out before checking them.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:51 PM   #6
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A simple code reader will set you back maybe $30.00, so why not pick one up.
Also, it is sounding like a u-joint vibration. Does it come on slightly at 25 or so mph? Crawl under and have a look.
Maybe you can see a little rust dust coming from one, or get a little play if you can park with a wheel chock stopping it, so the drive line won't have any pressure on it.
Happy Glamping.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
One other thing came to mind during that vibration that it was caused by a U-joint or the center bearing going bad.
Absolutely.. Look very carefully at the U-joints, While you're under there, give them a couple squirts of grease, they should have zerk fittings. (May as well hit the front end while you have the grease gun, there are 9 grease points on the front end.)

Quote:
Yes it is a 2002 F53, 4r100 trans, with 88k miles.
Yah, You're ready for new plugs and COPs.

I recommend using Autolite APP-103 plugs.

I also use these COPs.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10Pack-RED-...1/162867125213


Mark the old ones so you know what cylinder they came from, then put them in your spare parts box.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:39 AM   #8
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Get a reader. I like this one from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLQAHS/

Then download the "Torque" app for you droid. I prefer the purchase one over the free version.
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(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:16 AM   #9
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@ waiter21 There are no zerk fittings on the u-joints.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagrv View Post
During my last trip, I started noticing a vibration when accelerating and also a noise sounding like an exhaust leak. It runs smooth and quiet when I get up to cruising speed. I have engine cover off and visually cannot see anything unusual. How do I determine if it is a spit plug or bad coil?
You have not spit a plug yet. If you do, you will know it and so will everyone else in a block of your coach. It does sound as if you have a plug working itself loose. It is usually the #4 plug for some strange reason. It was #4 on mine. #4 is 4th plug back on the passenger side. At 88 thousand miles, I would go ahead and change all plugs and coils to be on the safe side. Make sure you torque to 28 lbs so you will not have it happen again. Let us know what you find.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:39 AM   #11
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@ waiter21 There are no zerk fittings on the u-joints.
I probably should have said, Check if your u-joints have fittings, if so, give them a shot of grease. Both, my 1999 and my ole 2001 had zerk fittings on the u-joints. Ford probably stopped having them in newer years.
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It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:15 AM   #12
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Waiter21,

Wow!!! That's a great price for 10 COP's. I know the dealer sells the COPs for waaaay more than $4.60 each. With only 33,000 on our 2013 engine I'm sure we don't have and need to change any but that's still a great price.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Wow!!! That's a great price for 10 COP's. I know the dealer sells the COPs for waaaay more than $4.60 each. With only 33,000 on our 2013 engine I'm sure we don't have and need to change any but that's still a great price.
I ran those on my ole 2001 Mirada and am currently running them on my 1999 Soutwind, no problems..

Save the old ones as spares.
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(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:09 PM   #14
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@ Waiter21 ...Looked at the OBDII scanner and looks good. Will it tell me which, if any cylinders are misfiring? Couldn't find that in any of the documentation. Of course, it would depend on what the ECU sends it. Also, I'm assuming (I know, I know) Torque will work on my Windows 10 laptop, which is what I would prefer. I do have an Android tablet and phone also.

As far as lubing the 9 zerks on the front end, I do it every time I change oil...about every 5k miles.

Thanks for the help.

BTW, can't get to it for a few days, but I promise to let you know what I find.
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