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Old 08-11-2007, 11:50 AM   #1
donrafa7
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HELP random misfire

I went to get my car smogged (03 zx3, 2.3 duratec) and it came back with a random misfire code. The car is fine when driving , but when idiling for a while it will want to die unless i give it gas. I wan to change the coil and plugs and just wanted to know if the plugs/coil for a zetec will fit a 2.3 duratec. and if anyone has a good set they are selling?


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Old 08-11-2007, 12:05 PM   #2
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well I guess I have the coil on plug thingy which is expensive to replace any ideas on how to test if any of the individual coils are bad or anyone got any ideas on what could be causing the problem, maybe MAF or DPFE sensor?
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:21 PM   #3
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How old are your plugs and wires? Could just need a tune up. You should be able to scan and find out which cylinder is misfiring.
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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WOW. I just checked the plugs and they were starting to rust. I bought the car with 70k and I've put about 5k into it. Must still have original plugs. will change today
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:53 AM   #5
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Each cylinder has it's own individual coil. These coils from ford are known to go bad, mum's E150 had 2 replaced by 100k and pop's f350 has had 5 replaced at only 36k

Hook up a scan tool and go and watch which cylinder is misfiring and then take a coil off the cylinder that is not misfiring and switch it to the cylinder that was and if the misfire moves clyinders you have identified a bad coil


By the way the stock spark plugs are good to 100,000 miles. Don't argue with me other wise. They are good. The only reason that it is recommended to change them early is to avoid seizure in the head.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donrafa7 View Post
well I guess I have the coil on plug thingy which is expensive to replace any ideas on how to test if any of the individual coils are bad or anyone got any ideas on what could be causing the problem, maybe MAF or DPFE sensor?
Don't go parts jumping. It can detract you very very far from the original problem.
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:09 AM   #7
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First, welcome to FF !!

Secondly, the coils SHOULD be fine.

There is a history of issues with them, but before we go throwing parts at the car, lets start simple.

With 70K on the clock and rusty spark plugs, chances are that the car has never had a tune up.

Start by resetting the code (if it hasn't been done already), then replace the spark plugs with new - be sure to gap properly.

Your next step is the wires. Replace them.

Electricity flows like water and follows the path of least resistance. When wires begin to break down, the electricity generated by the coils will go where it encounters the least amount of resistance.

With new plugs and wires, that source of resistance is the spark plug itself. It channels spark to the electrode and blammo...a controlled spark. When wires break down, resistance is encountered further upstream and the electricity can (and often will) arc through the wire. Especially if there are cracks or breakdown within the core of the wires.

As the wires continue to degrade, the current backs up more and can result in shorting out the coil(s).

Start with plugs and wires and see how it runs.

If the misfire is still there, then clean the Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor and throttle intake.

BG makes excellent products for this and I would advise you to do it anyway as part of the tune up. This should be done PRIOR to replacing the plugs as the cleaner can foul new plugs.

Remove the intake snorkle from the intake. Spray the BG cleaner directly into the intake and with a clean soft rag, remove all the carbon that is visible. Once that is done, start the car and manually maintain the idle using the throttle lever on the side of the intake. You should be able to manipulate the throttle using the spring/lever combination. While the car is running, spray the cleaner DIRECTLY into the throttle opening.

The car will bog a little, but just open the throttle more and keep spraying. If the cars stalls, then restart and repeat.

You will need to do this a couple of times.

Cleaning the MAF is more straight forward. Spray the cleaner (It will specify that it can be sprayed onto the MAF) with the car OFF.

Let the cleaner evaporate before reinstalling.

DO NOT TOUCH THE MAF with your hands or rags. You could damage the sensor and they are not inexpensive.

If these steps result in a misfire, then move onto the coils.

Plugs and wires will run you about $60 vs. several hundred for one or more coils.

Good luck and happy !
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:00 PM   #8
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Well I changed the plugs and got some auto lite 103 iridiums. The car seems to be running better and the check engine light has not came on in the last 100 miles or so i put on it. Still a little studder on start up when idling, but much much less than before. I'm pretty sure i'm gonna change the wires and clean out the maf sensor later this week. thanks
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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By the way what should I ask for when looking for some replacement wires I looked online at autozone and called them, but they didn't have any wiresets for the 2.3L duratec engine
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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If you are coil over then you will be replacing the boots. no wires involved,make sure you get some spark plug boot protector.Helps seal the boot so you ca remove them easier at a later time.
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