1997 Ford Explorer Spark Wires Different From Each Other

Tiny
XDVIPER
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 148,000 MILES
I was going through my spark wires checking them and making sure they were in place and didn't move, so I took one out and and the first one on the left side didn't have the metal contact for the pack, while the right side one has a metal contact, they were some sort of grease in there also. Whats this about? They all have except one, I had a mechanic give me a tune up about 5 months ago.
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Monday, June 16th, 2008 AT 11:43 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
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That grease is a dielectric substance for providing an electrical "seal" between two metal points; insulating/ containing high potential electrons to your coil wires so you recieve spark at your plugs. This is why it is dangerous to pull the boots off of distributors, coil packs or spark plugs during engine operation without a safe ground and also insulation for yourself. The ignition coil (essentially a transformer) can generate upwards of 10,000 volts; enough to jump several inches to a suitable ground.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 12:07 AM
Tiny
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http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/82263_image003pz8_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/82263_image004ec2_1.jpg



See those pictures, why are those two different... I KNOW they all have to be the same. What did my mechanic do? The engine did start acting weird though. It feels much sluggish and eats a lot more gas.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 9:53 AM
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
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The blue shielding inside is missing in one of the pictures. That is a locking mechanism for the spark plug boot onto the coil. I am not sure if that blue locking mechanism should be inside the coil or on the spark plug boots. You could always go up to a parts store and check out a set of wires and a coil and look at the difference between yours and a new one(my guess would be the blue locking mechanism needs to be inside the coil pack, so you might need to replace it). If it is causing a bad connection you will need to replace the one that blue cap is a part of. It appears that another difference in your pictures is a set of switched ignition wires on the ignition coil. I am assuming that is from the same coil pack. Recheck your firing order anyway. It should be on the emissions sticker in the engine bay or printed on the intake manifold.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
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How would I check the firing order? I know it is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 from the front but how would I know if it is misfiring or not dead

and why do all of those spark wires have the metal contact where as that blue one doesn't.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 9:01 PM
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
  • MEMBER
That is a wiring order. Your firing order will be something like this - 1, 3, 7, 2, 6, 5, 8. (Give me the make, model, year and engine size of your car and I will let you know what it is). If all the wires are in the correct places as indicated on the coil pack then that is the best you can do really since the computer controls the firing order. You can loosen all of the connectors at the coil packs and one by one remove them and see if the engine shudders. Use insulated pliers or rubber gloves so you don't get shocked. If you come across one that makes no effect then that cylinder is a potential problem. You can get an OBD II code reader to do this for you as well. If the blue one does not have a metal contact that is your problem and you need to find out whether the contact is supposed to be a part of your coil or spark plug wire. My guess is the one missing the terminal connector is causing the engine to misfire. If you could pull back the rubber boot and take a good picture of that wire.
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
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Alright

it's a 97 Explorer ford, OHV 4.0 V6

I will take better pictures tomorrow and I will disconnect that wire and see if it will shudder.

And should I do this with the engine off or on?

And what can I do if the that single cylinder is not working?
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 AT 11:19 PM
Tiny
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Engine must be running. Any cylinder that seems to make no effect on the performance of the engine will be under scrutany. Check the spark plug wire, plug the connections at the plug and coil pack. Your coil pack arrangement should be as illustrated in view A.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/187088_0900c15280038c26_1.jpg

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Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 AT 12:07 AM
Tiny
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Alright, when I took the spark wire out, there was no difference when it was out and plugged in. I am worried about this, This can kill my MPG, no?

Do they sell separate spark wires, so I can just replace this wire?
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Friday, June 20th, 2008 AT 8:26 PM
Tiny
TJEGZ
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Not bad
thx.
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Friday, June 20th, 2008 AT 8:52 PM
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
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That indicates the cylinder is not contributing to the performance of the engine. Look at the spark plug and look for heavy deposits or anything unusual. Stop here if you find signs of oil or physical damage to the plug and note it in your reply. Check the firing of that cylinder by grounding the spark plug to the body and have an assisstant crank the engine (don't do this with bare hands; you risk a bad electrical shock). Check the resistance in the spark plug wire (should be 4,000 ohms per foot or 4 kohms). Make sure the spark plug is operational by disconnecting a different plug wire and grounding the spark plug to the body (don't do this with bare hands otherwise you could shock yourself badly) while cranking the engine. If you see spark your ok (note the luminosity of the spark too), if not then replace the plug. If both of these check out then your coil is the problem.
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Friday, June 20th, 2008 AT 9:36 PM
Tiny
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Alright, I had it all checked seems okay, Had it run through the code scanner and there is no misfires! Thanks for your help, but is it possible if you can give me a enlarged picture of the coil pack arrangement. I can't see anything from that picture.

What happens if the coil pack arrangement is different?
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Friday, July 11th, 2008 AT 4:10 PM
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
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The car would probably not start in any other order so if it starts then it should be correct. So the car is not missfiring and there is no rough idle? Your concern is bad gas milage? Check the O2 sensor and catalytic converter (assuming you have changed the air filter, fuel filter and possibly your pcv valve recently).
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Friday, July 11th, 2008 AT 11:43 PM
Tiny
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Yeah the engine is running smooth at the moument.

The O2 Sensors are fucked right now, I've checked it with the code reader. I've had all my filters changed within my last tune up which was 10/2007, and I clean the air filter regularly.

I just need the O2 sensors, but I do not understand what Bank01Sensor02 means.
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Friday, July 11th, 2008 AT 11:49 PM
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
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Bank1 should mean left bank or the left side of the engine (cylinders 1-3). There should be an 02 sensor on this side somewhere on the downpipe. Most of the time I have only seen one sensor before the catalytic converter and then one after (not one on both sides of the engine). Every design is a little different though.
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Saturday, July 12th, 2008 AT 1:03 AM
Tiny
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Alright I got it. I'll check out some junk yards for used O2 sensors and will try to replace them myself.

Thanks i'll update you once I get it.
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Saturday, July 12th, 2008 AT 11:36 PM

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