I've had this annoying ignition noise (broadband radiated) coming through all my two-way radios. I'd already replaced the spark plug wires and had been putting off the plugs due to how annoying they are to do. Finally I gave in this weekend and decided to do them.
This is how the last two days went.
Wake up in my friend's basement on the couch. Surprised I actually remember falling asleep, I help him put the empties in the trash and seek out breakfast.
Begin work on what should be the simple part. Remove and replace the driverside front and middle plugs just fine. This of course requires 3ft of socket extensions and a universal to do it without breaking your arm in 3 places. I pull the boot off the driverside rear plug and the stupid connector inside the boot rips off the wire and stays on the plug. CRAP, now the wire is wrecked. I call the local NAPA where I bought them a while back. They don't have any wiresets for my engine anywhere on the shoreline. They suggest I call the dealer and if they have one, they will pick it up and drive it up to me at the firehouse where I'm working on the truck. Spent 1/2 and hour trying to get someone to pickup the phone in the parts dept. They don't have a wireset anywhere on the shoreline either. I called Advance Autoparts, same story. I called Big A auto parts, still screwed. Nobody within 30 miles of me has a spark plug wire for this thing. Now it's noon. Thank god one of my friends that is a mechanic said he knew how to fix it and to meet him at the shop where he was working on his own truck anyway. Hop in the utility truck and bring my busted wire to him. He fixes it and I'm back on my way to victory. It is now about 1:30pm and I finally finish the 3 on the driverside. I looked at the passenger side. I looked at it for about 20 minutes. I said screw this, I'll do it tommorow. I blew all my patience on the driverside and didn't have the motivation to dig my way to the passenger side ones. Went home, ate some Mac & Cheese, sat in my recliner for most of the rest of the day, dozing off to make up for the lack of a full night sleep friday night.
Wake up in my own bed, contemplate sleeping all day but remember I have another three plugs to replace. Bastard.
Start removing the inside fenderwell and associated crap. This takes me about 1/2 an hour or tugging and messing around since I always missed a screw or plastic rivet. Stupid crap. Finally gain access. Pull the front wire off and wouldn't you know, the damn connector rips off just like the other one. Cheap defective wires. Best quality my ***. NAPA is going to hear about this on Monday. So I call my buddy who fixed the other one yesterday and he's now on his way down to fix it again. I replace the plug and move on to the middle one. Much to my dismay, the connector rips off on that one too. This is getting rediculous. Set that wire aside to be fixed also. Replace the middle plug which requires folding your arm in half and standing on your head while touching your nose. Pull the wire off the rear plug. I knew it was going to break just like the others but it pulled off in one piece. Imagine that. I looked inside the boot and the connector is about to fall out; bastard it did break. 4 out of 6 wires suck. Great. Replace the plug which wasn't hard since my arms were already broken in 4 places and my hand was turned 180 degrees. I forgot to mention before, the morphine drip helps. Replaced all the wires my friend fixed good as new... probably better than new. Replace the wheel well parts and all 50 screws and plastic rivets. Stupid design engineers should be required to do basic maintenance work before sending the plans to be mass produced.
I take the truck outside and god damn, the RF noise is still there. So much for the plugs fixing it. It idles fine. I go to drive around the block and find that I have hardly any power and the engine is stuttering under load. Just freakin great. I bring it back inside and proceed to investigate. Since there is nothing obvious wrong, I conclude there must be a problem with the passenger side of things since it worked fine before that.
This time I wise up and decide to take the wheel off and make life easier on this job. I jack the truck up, place my jack sands and try to take the wheel off. I'm a moron. Remove the jack stands, lower the truck, loosen the lug nuts, and jack the truck up again. Remove the wheel. Now we're making progress. Diagnosis begins.
- The manual states the gap should be .052-.056
- The sticker says the gap should be .062-.064
- The plugs I took out were all .062-.064
- I didn't notice the sticker and did what the book said. Wrong.
Regaped all the plugs on the whole truck to .062 and reinstalled. Upon installing the passenger side rear plug, it feels loose around the porcilin. The damn thing was cracked. Bastard. Regap one of the old plugs and install that in it's place. Then I notice that two of the wires aren't seating all the way down and clicking into place. I had to trim the boots shorter to get them to go down all the way and click into place. Stupid crap wires are the bain of my existance. Never buy Belden wiresets. They apparently suck..
Of course, since I can't drive the truck with 3 wheels, I have to put everything back together 100% and just hope it works. Reassemble the truck, lower it from the jack, and drive outside. Of course, the noise is still there. Drive around the block and it runs great. Thank god.
Job is complete. Problem didn't go away. I'm bleeding. I wasted $100.00 on parts. Life is good.
So thats how my weekend went. I needed to vent.