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Spark Plug issue (must-read)


dothedeww

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I have an 06 ex XLT with the 4.0 V6.

If you recall, I have been having major spark plug problems (fouling every 1000 miles). I replaced wires and everything, trying to figure out the problem. I replaced the stock plugs at 70000 because of poor gas mileage and stuff. I put in bosch platinums (matched up at parts store), and they fouled after 1000 miles. I then tried another brand (sorry, slipped my mind), and same thing happened. Then I went to NGK brand, same story. I went and gave in and got the motorcraft cheapo plugs to try them. They've been in 5000 miles with no signs of fouling.

Coincidence? Or can I just not put any aftermarket plugs in this explorer? If anyone has tried, please let me know.
 


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Blee1099

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We've always recommended Motorcraft platinum or double plats on the forum. Bosch, NGK, etc all seem to be really crappy on the trucks. Even the Allied Signal/Autollite seems to be better than the Bosch.
 




eXcali

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We've always recommended Motorcraft platinum or double plats on the forum. Bosch, NGK, etc all seem to be really crappy on the trucks. Even the Allied Signal/Autollite seems to be better than the Bosch.
i agree, Motorcraft is the best bet. However fouling after 1k miles is a bit outrageous. I would verify the gap on all the plugs and if it checks out I'd get it hooked up to a decent scanner that will map your fuel trims and O2 lvls. Something sounds very odd here.

If you don't have access to a good Scanner you can try resetting the computer. If the Gen 3's are the same as Gen 2 you just unhook the battery for 30 minutes. This should put it back into the learning mode.
 




dothedeww

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Ya. I checked the scanner...reset the computer.


and autolite was the 2nd brand, just checked the 18 plugs i have laying on my work bench.

I just wanna know why the autolite/bosch/ngk are so much shorter than teh motorcraft....just realized that.

and finally, i guess I may have spoke too soon.

Pulled the motorcrafts just now...

cylinder 2's gap was knocked down to 024...was at 056 when I put it in. cylinder 1, 3 and 5 all had the white part, under the electrode (sorry for terminology) cracked down the side. The gap was fine though on 1,3,5. 4 and 6 seemed normal, just a little wear.

But all six have a black spot on them...like a burn mark. Plus, on the "l-thing that goes over the electrode, the thing you use to gap the plug", there looks to be a dirt like substance. There is also a little of the dirt like substance on the white thing below the electrode.

Any of these things something I should worry about.
The problem I was having with the other plugs was that the whole bottom of the plug was turning purplish-red...looked to be burning way too hot according to my haynes manual.
 




fixxxer

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Any pics of the plugs in question?
 




dothedeww

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Camera is broke right now. As soon as I have access to a camera I will have pix up. Sorry.
 




dothedeww

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And just to add to the one that had its gap knocked down. It was knocked down from the side it looked like. like the "l-shaped thing" looked like it had been slapped sideways.
 




dothedeww

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finally...

Just wanted to say that around 4000 rpms i notice a crunching sound...kinda sounds like the intake is full of leaves....any ideas? could tihs be related?
 




nismotunedgtr

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Pinging? Bad fuel pump? FPR?
 




dothedeww

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that what I was tinhking. I just wanted to make sure it wasnt like a piston smacking on teh plug...since the gap was reduced to nothing when I pulled it....
 




shaker1

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Sounds like you might be experiencing spark knock (detonation). Possibly running too lean. The ECU can only compensate so much. Check for unmetered air (leaks) and maybe get some electronics cleaner and spray the MAF. You might want to try putting the stock air filter back in. Oiled filters have been known to foul a MAF sensor causing false readings.

Also, a combination of a free flowing air filter and free flowing exhaust might require a custom tune to avoid running too lean. If detonation is wrecking your plugs, it could be damaging your motor (pistons, rings, valves, rods).

Also, carbon build up can create hot spots that produce pre-ignition and subsequently damage plugs and other critical components.
 




dothedeww

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ya. I did clean teh MAF when i put the new intake in last week. And I checked for air leaks...none.

So I guess maybe look for a tune to see if its running to lean. Im just tearing through plugs...have to change plugs more often than oil.

And it bugs me that only 1 plug had the gap reduced to nothing. all the others just hada hairline crack in the ceramic. and im losing gas mileage if that means anything in this. 18 to about 16.
 




dothedeww

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Sorry for so many posts..just wanted to post another thing I realized.

The thing has been smoking lately. Like after a long run...ill stop and see smoke coming from teh rear...towards the front. Also when getting on the gas...ill see smoke behind me. At first i thought it was dirt on the road...but its happening more and more.

Temp's are all fine...I ran with teh code reader on to monitor everything.
 




dothedeww

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Tried to take pics today...none of them came out even close enough to clear to even see the plug.

But i pulled them today and theres a brown liquid on the bottom of each plug...smells like oil/gas. But it is the color of clean oil. Any ideas? Or is that normal?
 




shaker1

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To me it sounds like you are burning oil. Could be worn valve guide/seals or rings. This would explain the "brown liquid" and smoke. Smoke from burning oil tends to be bluish IIRC. Low compression might indicate worn rings.

Also, check your PCV system. You might get lucky and find a stuck PCV valve.
 




dothedeww

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Would this be common for an engine with 76k on it?

And I have a "lifetime engine warranty" which specifies it is good on all gaskets and lubricated parts. Would this be covered?
 




shaker1

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Sounds like your warranty should cover this. It might be wise to remove your aftermarket parts (KKM), so they don't void your coverage.
No not common at all, particularly given your mileage.You really need to have this checked out professionally, my thoughts are only guesses.
 




dothedeww

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Ya Ill definitly take off the kkm..even though i dont think personally it should void a warranty.
 




Titan08.5

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Removing AfterMarket Parts

I read somewhere that a law was passed that a dealer can not void a warranty if the aftermarket part has no relation to the part that went defective. So it would be safe to say that any aftermarket part i.e. Bolt on parts, should not have any affect on the rings if they went bad. I would agree that it would be a ring or vaulves that go bad to cause this in cars. Smoke and brownish liquid on a plug would say that oil is getting down to the top of your pistons. I hope this helps.....
 


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Explorer Junky

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We've always recommended Motorcraft platinum or double plats on the forum. Bosch, NGK, etc all seem to be really crappy on the trucks. Even the Allied Signal/Autollite seems to be better than the Bosch.
what about E-3's?? I just bought some and have yet to put them on!! Should I or no??
 




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