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Old 05-19-2010
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new plugs/wires - no spark

hey all, I switched out my plugs and wires today with a set of Taylor ThunderVolt 8.2 wires and motorcraft plugs.
both the wires and plugs are the correct application for my 99 ranger XLT with the 3.0L engine. but now my truck wont start.
I did everything according to how Ive been taught and the only problem I encountered was 1 of the old plugs was cracked and fell apart when removing it. I managed to get all the pieces up with some super sticky duct tape I have, and I made absolutely sure none fell into the piston chamber.

anyways, the only thing I can see might have something to do with it, is both at the coil and at the plugs, the wires are not seated real tight. my old wires I had to use pliers to get them off the plugs (both while seated and once removed) and I had to really work to get them off the coil. but the new wires are really loose at both the coil and plug and I can pull them off the plug with my fingers, even while seated.
I know its all ran correctly, and I made sure everything is seated correctly.

I ran out of daylight today, so I couldnt switch my old wires back and see if it starts again, but I'll be doing that first thing in the morning unless someone has an idea.
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Old 05-19-2010
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check for corrosion inside the coil buckets

your wires are not connecting with the coil contacts
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Old 05-19-2010
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thanks
Ill also give that a look at tomorrow.

I cant recall if my old mechanic said this or I read it somewhere, but I dont need to reset anything do I ?
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Old 05-19-2010
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no you do not

if it is corroded -- use baking soda and water to dissolve the corrosion

use compressed air to completely blow out any remaining debris
find some die-electric grease to seal the connectors from any more moisture
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Old 05-19-2010
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that was actually my next question, the old wires at the coil are completely immolated with that grease, could it be there is too much of it ?
also, looking at the old wires, they are in really good shape, no corrosion on them, so Im thinking there wont be any in the coil buckets, but as mentioned, I wont really know until I look tomorrow, Im just trying to get as much ideas/info as I can before tomorrow to try so that hopefully, 1 or all will solve my problem.

my wife said it best tonight
"why take a perfectly running truck and f*** with it ?"
lol
I guess she will never understand

and thanks for your ideas, anything that will help.
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Old 05-19-2010
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here are some pics of the old wires.
the main reason I wanted to switch them out is the burned spots near the heads, plus, once a week or so, I have a failed start and it usually takes me 2-3 cranks to turn it over, then its fine for 1-2 weeks again.
I figured that Id start with plugsnwires and go from there, hoping for the best

anyways, as you can see in the 2 close ups, the connectors are in really good shape, and are smothered in die-electric grease (the pics dont show it nearly as well as it is in person)
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new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-003.jpg   new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-004.jpg   new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-005.jpg  
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Old 05-19-2010
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got a few more pics of the actual wires, and tried to get a good pic of the seating on both the coil and the plugs, but it didnt come out too good so not sure if it helps any.
(ignore the placement of the wires, I havent cleaned them up or clipped them yet, wanted to make sure everything worked before doing so)
Attached Thumbnails
new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-006.jpg   new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-009.jpg   new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-011.jpg   new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires-012.jpg  
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Old 05-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0sitmatr View Post
got a few more pics of the actual wires, and tried to get a good pic of the seating on both the coil and the plugs, but it didnt come out too good so not sure if it helps any.
(ignore the placement of the wires, I havent cleaned them up or clipped them yet, wanted to make sure everything worked before doing so)
Honestly, they don't look they are pushed down far enough on the ignition pack, The top of the clips should be pushing out and not in as they appear in the pictures.

I wish I was there to help ya. :(
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Old 05-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillyard View Post
Honestly, they don't look they are pushed down far enough on the ignition pack, The top of the clips should be pushing out and not in as they appear in the pictures.

I wish I was there to help ya. :(
not sure I follow you ?
are you talking about the locking levers ?
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Old 05-20-2010
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the little ring on the bottom of each coil connector
they should not be visible when the wire connectors are properly snugged down
the clamps should be thoroughly locked to the bottom of the connector rings
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Old 05-20-2010
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and to answer you're grease question, no, you cannot have too much grease (well i'm sure you could, if you tried to, but it would be an amount so ridiculous that a 12 year old wouldn't have to ask if it was too much, he would know...

if the connections aren't tight, you can try (plug end, not sure about coil end) tightening the rings inside the boot, with a pair of needle nose pliers... the other thing could be they are so tight you think they are clipped on, when they aren't... make sure you have the wires in the right order, this sounds like the problem wi me... lastly, did you gap your plugs?

i remember on my mustang (distributor) there was a wire that went to the distributor, and if you disconnected it (which i had a few times) it would cause no spark...
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Old 05-20-2010
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well
Im completely at a loss.

Ive done everything mentioned in this thread, plus I checked a couple of other things a friend of mine who is a mechanic said (relays/fuses) Ive put the old wires back on, checked the gap, checked to make sure everything is seated nice and tight on both coil and plugs, then I rechecked it again, and then again after that. checked to make sure Im getting spark but as it is bright outside I couldnt really tell, it looks like it, but it was pretty faint if it was.
I cant imagine my coil is bad since before I changed the plugs/wires it was fine, but I guess it could be.
Im def getting gas as I can smell it mildly after I try to crank the truck a couple times, which I only try for a few seconds at most, never more than 2-3 secs to avoid flooding.
the only thing I can think of now is to get new plugs and give them a try, while the plugs I have are new and ford motorcraft parts specified for my engine, I guess its possible they are a bad batch from the company ?

I am so freakin pissed right now its not even funny. I know the wires are good, Im pretty sure the plugs are good, but I'll know that better later on when I put the old ones back in and try them. but of course, I still need to use one of the new plugs since one of my old ones was falling apart when I took the plug wire off.

or maybe I will just go buy new plugs straight off... still not sure on that.
I even asked my friend if he would stop by when he gets off work and take a look, but he has to go straight to his second job and wouldnt have time until possibly sunday.

thanks for all the advice everyone, I do appreciate it, Im just furious since I could have traded my truck for an escape that just had all this done to it already (new plugs/wires, new coil, new alt) but I backed out because I like my ranger too damn much.
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Old 05-20-2010
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Im giving up
I called the mechanic that used to work on my truck and he said he will stop by later today, so I'll have something to tell then.
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Old 05-20-2010
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easy sunshine! we fix!

you put the old wires back on.... and your result was? i'm assuming no work... seriously, check to make sure the wires are in the right places... i think this is your issue... when you are checking for spark, make sure you have the outside of the plug grounded to the block, and make sure that you are holding it with insulated pliers... you should be able to see it quite clearly... if you have spark there (which i suspect you won't) then it is your wire placement... no two ways about it...

if you DON'T have spark here, test for spark with one of your old wires, and a screwdriver in the end (again, to the block, make sure it's not shorting out though, as this could fry your coil) if this works, try the same with a new wire... if this works, it's your plugs, if it doesn't, it's your wires...

something else you can try is get a can of starting fluid, spray into the intake and try then, it ignites easier than gasoline, so if you have a weak spark, it should still kick (i would do this right at the throttle body, don't spray into the rubber boot)

if you eliminate your wires and plugs ( by means of spark testing) it's got to be your coil packs or wiring TO your coil pack...
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Old 05-20-2010
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lol
thanks weezl, I need a good laugh

Im going to wait for my mechanic, he is old school, but with new school tricks and has helped me out in a jam before. he couldnt stop by today as his schedule had him working later than usual, but he said he will def stop by tomorrow morning.

I thought about wire placement, but I went wire by wire when doing the change over, so Im pretty confident in them being correct.
also, thanks for the advice on the spark test, I didnt have it ground before, so that is most likely the reason I saw either no spark or very little. but Im still going to wait until tomorrow as it will def be easier to test with someone else here to help.

I also wondered about the wiring into my coil, hence why I checked the fuses and relays, but they are all good, so if it is the incoming then it would have to be in the wiring. the only thing I can think of that I moved is a pretty thin wire (think 16g) which I highly doubt is the connection in at the coil.

so at this point, Im looking at 4 things that could have failed:
wires
plugs
coil
incoming @ coil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese_man View Post
the little ring on the bottom of each coil connector
they should not be visible when the wire connectors are properly snugged down
the clamps should be thoroughly locked to the bottom of the connector rings
it looks the same with the old wires at the coil. the main difference is the old wires are truly "locked" into place there and were a real bear to get out. while the new wires are much easier, even though Im positive they are seated all the way.
one thing I did notice on the new wires though, is the pin in the cap isnt straight from the cap, but at an angle. that would be the cause would it ?
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Old 05-21-2010
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laugh? i don';t\ remember funny i wronte, nbut i drunk now....

how did you test before? must be with plugs tested with ground to block, the spark plug wires do no self ground, so you nee da ground... you NEED to do this test to see if you have spark... a spark plug in the end of a random wire will NOT give you a speatrk in the best of contiions...
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Old 05-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by --weezl-- View Post
easy sunshine! we fix!
this is what gave me the laugh
__________________________________________________ _______________________________________


Quote:
Originally Posted by --weezl-- View Post
how did you test before? must be with plugs tested with ground to block, the spark plug wires do no self ground, so you nee da ground... you NEED to do this test to see if you have spark... a spark plug in the end of a random wire will NOT give you a speatrk in the best of contiions...
I did not ground it before, but today I will be doing so once my mechanic stops by.
I did find some info that has me a little concerned.

Quote:
95 and later have a coil pack its numbered 1 2 3 (left side/front-Back)

5 6 4 (right side/front-back)
and the firing order is: 1 - 4 - 2 - 5 - 3 - 6

and then this
Quote:
The engine cylinders / spark plugs are numbered - passenger side of engine - front to

rear - 1 , 2 , 3 and drivers side of engine - front to rear - 4 , 5 , 6

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The COIL PACK TOWERS are numbered :

coil-----3---4

pack----2---6

plug-----1---5

Last edited by d0sitmatr; 05-21-2010 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-21-2010
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WOOOOOHOOOOO !!!!!!!!


got it !
I have no idea how, but I managed to get 2 wires backwards. (5-6)
I simply have ni clue how I managed it as I did each wire individually, but I think I remember that 1 plug wire was off when I got to it, and while I thought I was sure I was in the correct plug, somehow I must have gotten confused about it.

anyways, seriously, thanks to EVERYONE for the help, I truly truly appreciate it.
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Old 05-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0sitmatr View Post
WOOOOOHOOOOO !!!!!!!!


got it !
I have no idea how, but I managed to get 2 wires backwards. (5-6)
I simply have ni clue how I managed it as I did each wire individually, but I think I remember that 1 plug wire was off when I got to it, and while I thought I was sure I was in the correct plug, somehow I must have gotten confused about it.

anyways, seriously, thanks to EVERYONE for the help, I truly truly appreciate it.
Phew! I'm glad that's resolved.

Does it run better?
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Old 05-21-2010
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sure does, thanks a lot Zach
I never doubted the parts themselves, I knew it had to be something I did, or that I caused to happen.
as it turns out, Im pretty sure I know how I messed up, when I pulled the plug on the spark that was shattered (cyl 5), I took the next one off to check it (cyl 6) and left both of them off when I went to change wires, and got them backwards once I reached them.

here is the new wires/plugs installed:
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new plugs/wires - no spark-ranger-plugsnwires_new-002.jpg  
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2010
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just a lil update
since I changed my plugs/wires, Ive not had a single misfire, the truck has started perfectly every time.
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