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Random Misfire on 3 cylinders

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by slimfitz, January 24, 2013.

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    1. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Hello all I am pulling my hair out trying to solve a misfire on my wifes explorer. Its a 2006 Limited 4.6 V8. I am getting code p0303 for a cyl 3 misfire. So I swapped coil packs 2&3 cleared the codes. Well the cyl 3 misfire again. I figured it has 130000 miles the plugs are probably bad. So at 13 bucks a piece I bought a set of plugs for it. Still I am getting cyl 3 misfire. So now I swapped injectors 1&3 and cleared codes. I still end up with this cylinder 3 misfire. I am going to borrow a noid light and check the harness now. Has anyone else ran into this issue? Thanks for any help Mike

      Edit: Also maybe Im numbering the engine cylinders wrong. Is it the same as all my 302 and 351s? 1234 on pass and 5678 on driver side?
       
      Last edited: January 25, 2013
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    3. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      You are correct, # 3 is passenger side bank, third from the headlight. I had similar thing on #8, I found out I had water dripping theer from the windshield. Check for any corrosion inside the well, check the wires going to the coil. Can you test if you have the spark ?
       
    4. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Yes I will test for spark tonight when I get home. I have been reading up on it. Seems that a O2 sensor could cause this. But wouldnt that affect the whole bank? Also a plugged cat? wouldnt that affect all cylinders?
       
    5. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Got home today verified spark, checked injector harness, and coil harness. Cleared codes. Took it for a short drive and romped on it. Now i have cylinders 1,3,&4 all with random misfires. No other codes. Now this has me thinking that my passenger o2 is bad. But i have no code for an o2. Which o2 adjusts the fuel? Front or back?
       
    6. steve6534

      steve6534 Active Member

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      Very strange.. Do you happen to have access to a scan tool to see the output of the o2 sensor ? The fronts control the mixture - The rear is only there to gauge the efficiency of the catalytic converter.
       
    7. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Yes i have an old school snap on brick scanner. I gave up tonight when i couldnt feel my hands anymore because of the cold here. I will go out in the morning and mess with it some more
       
    8. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      I went back out there tonight and plugged the scanner in. I could not figure out how to read the o2 readings on this scanner. I thought that it could but I guess not. I am thinking about swapping both of the front o2's and see if it moves to the other side. I see that they are going to be a pita to get to. So this will def wait till tomorrow. Steve hope you guys are warm Im right over in Browns Mills near Ft Dix
       
    9. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Well I went out today and pulled the passenger o2 sensor. Could not get the driver side out so I just went and bought a new o2 for the passenger side. Still have the same codes. Just to be sure I swapped injectors again, and now swapped coil packs from the other side of the motor. This is driving me crazy. I want to hook up my fuel pressure gauge but it looks as if Ford for some unknown reason did not put a schrader valve on the fuel rails. How the hell does someone check fuel pressure?
       
    10. steve6534

      steve6534 Active Member

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      Definitely been pretty cold lately :) So sounds like o2 wasn't the culprit. I noticed the lack of a schrader valve as well - I think the only way to read the pressure now is with a scanner that can read the correct PID. Honestly the next thing I looked at would be compression on those cylinders since you've just about eliminated everything else. Does the truck seem to have a lack of power ?
       
    11. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Yes the explorer is a dog. Has absolutly no balls. Will only do about 40 MPH and it shutters as it misfires. I wanted to do a compression check but because the triton motors are the only motors to use a 16mm spark plug that adapter is not included in very many kits. My compression gauge had all of them except 16mm. No stores had an adapter local. I had to order it yesterday and it should be here some time this week. It is really driving me nuts trying to figure this out. I put my coolant pressure tester on it today. Lost about 4 PSI over an hr. I figured it may have pushed coolant into a cylinder so I pulled the plugs and turned it over. No coolant in cylinders.
       
    12. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Well its confirmed. Cylinder 3 has bad rings and the head gasket between 3&4 is popped. This sucks. I cant believe this motor at 130k is this bad. I change the oil every time the light comes on withen a few days. I just cant fathom it being this bad. Ive had cars where I never changed oil and never had any issues!
       
    13. steve6534

      steve6534 Active Member

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      Well that's horrible news ! At least we know what it is now but it sounds like the worst case scenario. This really makes me worry about mine - I'm only at 83k and also religiously change the oil but I wonder about the design now. My last two explorers with the 4.0 OHV I drove to 225k and 242k and they were still running strong when I sold them.
       
    14. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      Slimfitz -

      that's a bad news, sorry to hear that.

      Normally those tritons run way past 200k miles without major issues. Mine is also 06 v8, and I got 150k miles, and it's still strong like new. Have you had it since new ? My guess it was overheated at some point. That weakens all the components, and then it's a matter of time till they fail.

      Are you planning to fix it ?
       
    15. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      Well i dont want to scare you with yours. Mine was probably put together on a Friday right before quittin time. Im still not sure if im going to rebuild this motor or if im just going to drop a junkyard motor in. I was so pissed last night i forgot to put some oil in the cylinders and see if it was the rings on cyl 3. Today im going to go home put a couple tablespoons in in and rerun the compression check. This weekend i will pull the motor and open it up. We bought it with 40000 miles on it.
       
    16. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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    17. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      I called my engine builder today. He can rebuild this on for that price but hes backed up 2 months. He gave the number of a junkyard that he says is very honest. I called them today and they said lately the 4.6 3 valve motors are dropping like flies. He said i was the second one this week looking for one. He has a 7000 mile 4.6 for 1600. I may go pick it up this weekend before i start.
       
    18. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      4.6 with 7,000 miles for $ 1,600 is a steal. Just make sure it's compartible with your truck. They stopped making the explorers with 4.6 in 2010 as I am sure you know, and even then I see that 2006-2008 somehow differs from 2009-2010. Probably the one with 7k miles is from Mustang, which should be ok except for the accessories and air intake which you'll swap from yours. Good luck, and keep us posted. I may need your rebuilder one day :) I am probably not that far from you.
       
    19. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      The heads are not different between mustang and explorer? Or cams? I knew there was something about 08-09 being different but was not sure. As far as my engine builder his name is Jerry at Medford Speed. Pretty close to 70 & 206 He does great work. I just had him over the summer put my 408 for my Mustang together. I have never heard anything bad about Jerry. Jerry says he has done a couple of the 4.6 but alot more of the 5.4's
       
    20. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      If he's so backed up with work, he's got to be good.

      So he said about 2 grand to rebuild the motor ?

      Thanks
       
    21. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      I just asked him for a ballpark figure. He said 2500 would prob do it
       
    22. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      May anyone ever reading this thread never ever have to pull their motor out. This is by far the worst designed vehicle to work on. I have never had so many issues. Ford's biggest problem is they put bolts behind other things and it is big pain in the ass to take the other thing out.
      The first big issue I had was the radiator. They made the fan shroud nice to where is splits in half. But that is probably the only nice thing on this explorer. The radiator is not designed to come out of the housing it is in. Why? The condensor is also housed in there and it seems as if they want it to come out as a unit. Some of us dont want to evac the AC system Ford!
      The second issue that was a huge pain in the ass was the driver side motor mount. WTF was Ford thinking on this one? You have to drop the front axle to get to the nut! Oh and you cant just drop the axle without pulling the sway bar because the bolt wont come out. So that was an extra two hours just to get the motor mount bolt.
      The next hiccup was that you cant just leave the trans in place and pull the motor. The flywheel extends to far into the bell to be able to lift the motor up and out. So I actually had to pull the driveshafts (the front drive shaft u joint straps are to small so you cant get a socket on the bolts unless you beat them on with a hammer), then drop the crossmember, and then finally lower the trans out of the way. This whole thing has taken me 15 hours today and the motor is still sitting in the engine bay. I can not believe how difficult this has been. May you never have to do this!
       
    23. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      Slimfitz -

      My hat off to you for taking on such a challenging project. I assume you must have a roomy garage and access to an engine lift and air tools. Pulling the engine from the Explorer is beyond my point of courage, radiator, differentials, tranny maybe....

      I am about to replace my leaky radiator on my 06 and from the readings I noticed that some members were able to pull it out without evac-ing the AC by bypassing the condensor - loosen up 2 bolts or something like that. The other staff the you needed to take out - thank you Ford. I've seen photos where you need to take the body or the cab off the frame (Expedition, Excuriosn, F-Superduties) so I guess the "geniuses" at Ford do not think it's a big deal for an average owner once the warranty is off. Wrong - these type of things just turn off people from buying another Ford. After reading your post I am considering selling mine before I need to spend big bucs just on labor to pull it out, at $ 100 an hour, it's getting expensive.

      I sweared not to buy another Ford after I broke a spark plug in the head and needed to drill the head and install an adapter.

      Did you buy the used motor from the junkyard ?

      All the best luck and keep us posted - interesting reading.
       
    24. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      I have not bought the motor yet. It is about an one and a half hours from me in South Jersey. I plan to skate out of work one of these days a little early and go pick it up. My garage is is fairly big but its full of junk. So I actually had to clean it out and move my Mustang out that has been on jackstands for a year and half. I do have air tools and a engine hoist along with alot of other tools.

      It might not be so bad to do again because this time around I would know what I need to do. This engine was definitely not designed to come back out very easy. It rolled down the assembly line and they put the body on top of the rolling frame. I am still confused on how the exhaust y pipe comes out. I have not figured that one out. It blocks the trans from coming down. So my trans is still up in the air by jackstands. I did finally get the motor out today. I popped off the head and it really doesnt look that bad in there. Just looks like an old motor. Im thinking the rings were just wore out.

      The radiator will come out with a little help from a prybar on the bottom while someone up top pulls it up. Just be careful with the prying. I saw the two bolts holding the condenser in but Im not sure if there is room to get to them with the radiator in the way. Mine made a single cracking noise as I was prying it. Not sure if we cracked the tank or not. That doesnt matter now. My helper accidentally dropped the jack handle right into the radiator putting a hole in the aluminum. So I had to buy a new radiator today.
       
    25. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      Do you have a lift or you are doing it just with the truck on jacks ?

      So do you think it was just worn rings or head gasket ?
       
    26. slimfitz

      slimfitz Member

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      I just have the front lifted about a foot off the ground on jackstands. I wish i had a lift. My back would be so much happier.

      I believe the rings were just on their way out. The cylinder is nice and smooth. The head looks like a normal well used head. And the head gasket is a metal multi layer gasket. Almost like Cometic. The layers were still there. They actually looked alright. I dont know if maybe the head was a little warped or the gasket was just weak. Somehow it was leaking between 3&4
       

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