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Any fix for water in spark plug wells 4.6L?

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by pjw73nh, July 18, 2011.

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    1. pjw73nh

      pjw73nh Active Member

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      See my original thread http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=322777

      I have read a lot about this issue. I have a 2008 w/ 4.6L. I (thought) I checked the wells this weekend. I took compressed air and a long screwdriver and circled around each plug/COP to loosen the dirt etc. Then blew it out. I got more dirt out of #7 and #8 than the others, but not that much overall. There was no sign of moisture (but the car is not skipping now either). This is where the "thought" part comes in. I "thought" I WAS looking in the wells. Apparently I need to take the COP's off and look in the "real" wells. I didn't do this. Is this correct? Is the water I am supposed to be seeing UNDER the COP rubber seal?

      Also, This "water in the wells" issue appears to be on many Ford products with this engine. Seems to affect many 4.6l's back to the mid 90's. Some say manifold gaskets. Some say the plastic manifold itself. Some just say poor design. Some say heater/coolant hose leaks.

      Did Ford ever acknowledge any of this? Even if it is just a TSB? Seems to be common enough that something should have been issued. Not looking for a handout from them. Just an acknowledgement of the problem.

      Does anyone know if the later versions of the engines are different (better). If so do you know what year. IE is my 2008 a "good" one...

      Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

      Thanks.

      P.../NH
       
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    3. waskly

      waskly Well-Known Member

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      washing your engine will get water in plug wells.

      only fix is silicone the plug boots in, which i would say not to do.

      washing a cop engine will get water in the wells end of story.

      a leaking manifold will leak if it leaks on the plugs it will go in the wells. its not a water proof seal.

      just dont wash the engine with a hose.
       
    4. vipersinu2

      vipersinu2 Active Member

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      change spark plugs, that will get rid of that mis-fire. the plugs are expensive about 20 bucks each plug. and read up on changing the plugs because the plugs can break off in engine.
       
    5. dxgmmpa

      dxgmmpa New Member

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      This reply may be to late to add value to the topic but I had an interesting related issue that only started happening when I changed the way I parked my truck. My driveway is on an steep incline. For the longest time I parked facing front uphill. I have no water in the plugs problem until I started to park my truck front facing down hill. I changed because it was easier for me to release the parking brake (see another thread posted on the subject). After a three day rain plugs 6 and 8 got water in the well and started misfiring. Like my doctor said. "If it hurts to do that... Don't do it".
       
    6. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      It's been said and I tested it on mine:

      the water in plug wells is from the windshield. When it rains the water drips thru the clip holes at the bottom of the shroud - way to go Ford. I though my manifold cracked or something worse.

      I bought a piece of aluminum siding trim at Home depot and screwed it over the motor under the windshield to divert the water to the sides (not on the ECM)
       
    7. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      Can we get a picture of this?
       
    8. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      let me see if I have any, and if not I'll take one and post
       
    9. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      [​IMG]
       
    10. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      [​IMG]
       
    11. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      Awesome! Thanks for the pictures.
       
    12. steve6534

      steve6534 Active Member

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      Is that isolation module on the right side stock ? I have the same year, model, and engine and I only have a power distribution box there.
       
    13. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      It's for my Fisher plow. I just attached it to the cover of the fuse box.
       
    14. dxgmmpa

      dxgmmpa New Member

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      Interesting... I'll give it a try this weekend. Definitely before the next rain. I just changed out my spark plugs after 75K miles. It was breaking up at high speed. It is running well now and I want to keep it that way.
       
    15. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      I took a garden hose and poured the water very gently on the windshield and watched it go down, and then drip on the cylinders thru the clips.
      Sorry Ford - the stupidity has no limits.
       
    16. dxgmmpa

      dxgmmpa New Member

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      water in plug wells

      I just want to share my fix in this thread after reading the home depot fix for this problem. Thanks for the idea. It works.

      A had a sheet metal guy make an aluminum water troth to keep water out of the sparkplug wells that looks like a Ford TSB fix. It attaches to the firewall without any new hardware to existing hardware on firewall. I am not sure how to upload photos for those interested but will find out if anyone cares to see it.
       
    17. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      I did not know Ford had a TSB

      What's the number ?
       
    18. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      I think he's saying it looks like a fix that Ford would do if there was a TSB.
       
    19. dxgmmpa

      dxgmmpa New Member

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      I am sorry for the confusion. The comment meant it say the fix is good enough to be a Ford TSB. They should make one like it. It cost me $40 for a custom made part. It probably would be easier and cheaper than redesigning the windshield cowling and clips that current pass rain water directly onto the engine spark plug wells.
       
      Last edited: May 14, 2013
    20. granadojl

      granadojl Active Member

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      I'm glad to see i'm not the only one who goes through this problem every time it rains. If you would like to email me the pictures, I'll be more than happy to post them on this forum for everyone to see. PM me or email me at "BEAST1957302 at yahoo.com"
       
    21. granadojl

      granadojl Active Member

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      Just curious how those Accel coils are working out for you. I bought a set from Amazon for $227.00 and just about all of them have failed. I'm slowly replacing them with Autozone coils just because there is a warranty that comes with them.
       
    22. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      I think I have about 7k on them and sometimes I am in shock how much power that little v8 is still making at 157k miles.

      The Accells are working great so far, if any fails I will sure report it here.
       
    23. granadojl

      granadojl Active Member

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      Here you can see the great "Drip Rail" DXGMMPA had fabbed up for his ride.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Here is what he has to say about this awsomness.

      <<...>> <<...>> <<...>>
      My driveway is on a steep incline. I like to park facing downhill. I would get water in the spark plug wells of my 06 explorer doing that. Always facing downhill and never facing uphill. I did your fix. I just paid to make it look like it belongs. Now I park facing downhill and the problem is gone. Pressure washing this engine is definitely not on the do list anytime soon without special attention to the sparkplug wells. Also just blowing out the spark plug wells and drying out the water do not seem to fix the missing for me. I tried several time and finally just changed out the plugs. I purchased 3 new boots but never install them. There was no need. In my case the trouble was with plug 6 and 7. New plugs and silicone grease around the newly cleaned boots and wells solved the problem.
      Thanks,
      -dxgmmpa
       
    24. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      Wow, that's a pretty nice looking fix!
       
    25. stacyg

      stacyg New Member

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      Could you just seal the clip holes with silicon?

      I was looking at the clip area and it seems, as others have said, the leak comes through the clip hole. Has anyone tried sealing the holes with something like JB Weld, epoxy or a marine grade silicon? I like the idea for the gutter system, but the gutter sort of already exists, it just leaks. Please correct me if I am wrong so I don't do something dumb.
      I was also thinking that adding a small amount of non-conductive grease on the bottom of the boot top seal might help the boot top seal to the top of the wells top surface. It would probably not make it completely waterproof but the surface tension should create an improved seal. Has anyone tried this?


      I stumbled onto this post because I had to replace a soaked boot today because of a major misfire. It has been misfiring very slightly for a while and I figured I had a plug that needed replaced. I was planning to do it but you know how that goes. Anyway, today, the check engine light was on and I had ODBII code for misfire in the #3 cylinder (plus other misc codes). I dried out well and replaced the #3 boot and plug then reset the codes. It now runs perfect and is now not throwing codes and does not miss at all.
      2006 Explorer XLT 4.6L 4X4 with tow package 85k.


      Thanks,
      Stacy
      Trained and Certified US Navy A-4E-TA-4J Skyhawk Jet / SH-3G SeaKing Helicopter Structural, Hydraulic and Flight Control Technician and long time hobby of troubleshooting and repairing cars.
       
    26. kbills

      kbills New Member

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      Discovered this issue when changing plugs - and apparently #8 was rusted enough due to the water that it broke while coming off. Now engine needs to be pulled to get the cylinder head off.
       

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