Spark plugs / Attempt to kill RF noise. VENTING!!! Grrrr. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 11-13-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Spark plugs / Attempt to kill RF noise. VENTING!!! Grrrr.

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.

Saturday:

8am: 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.

10am: 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.


Sunday:

9am: Wake up in my own bed, contemplate sleeping all day but remember I have another three plugs to replace. Bastard.

11am: 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.

3pm: 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.





Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-13-2005
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fuquay Varina, NC
Posts: 3,048
did you go through the wheel wells? for the plugs

EDIT: nevermind you can see im too lazy to read the entire post

Last edited by SoundPer4mance; 11-13-2005 at 07:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-13-2005
FoMoCoFiddy's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Smackdownville Tx
Posts: 4,508
Heh, makes me love my 5.0..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-13-2005
Strider0O0's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,588
great.. can't wait to do mine. i bought them a few weeks ago.. went to start them, but noticed i can't see the passenger side.. so i stopped there, lol.

any tips on how to do it?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-13-2005
Morph's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 979
One more reason to run the plugs till i'm down to a 2Cyl. :)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-13-2005
zabeard's Avatar
who?
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: IN
Posts: 26,045
lol... took me 2 hours tops and i had bigger JBA plug wires which required modification to the clips for the wire to work in them.

sorry to hear about your troubles
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-13-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider0O0
great.. can't wait to do mine. i bought them a few weeks ago.. went to start them, but noticed i can't see the passenger side.. so i stopped there, lol.

any tips on how to do it?
For the passenger side, jack it up and remove the wheel. Take out the inside plastic wheel well. You'll have as good a view of them as you are going to get. You will only be able to use the socket wrench and the socket, no extensions or anything. And you'll need a narrow socket wrench, one of those fat ones won't fit. The rear one in peticular only allows you a few clicks of the socket wrench to turn so it is really annoying... that one top of the fact that you are reaching all around the engine to get to it in the first place.

For the driverside, you can do the front one without anything fancy. The middle and rear ones will be easiest with a short extension on the socket, a universal, and two or three long extensions coming up to the wrench.

Have some hand cleaner and bandaids close by. If you drink, I suggest having a supply of whatever you like right next to the bandaids.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-13-2005
Swoop1156's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hanover, Maryland
Posts: 1,965
Matt,

I don't know how anyone else could make a story on changing wires and plugs so damn...inspiring! It was comical just to sit here and read about your pain and suffering.

Does that make me sick?

Good times...looking forward to the 4.0 Splash plugs and wires...Mustang is good to go.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-13-2005
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Haverhill, MA
Posts: 1,907
on my 99 i was able to do all from the top i guess i am just lucky, i also have the belden wire set i did have to push the wire threw the boot more to make it click on.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-13-2005
zabeard's Avatar
who?
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: IN
Posts: 26,045
i changed all of mine from inside the fenders, besides the front left one.
i really didnt think the install was bad at all.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-14-2005
Rand's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Barberton,Ohio
Posts: 1,189
I've had massive rf noise since mine was new... new plugs didnt change it either..
I really notice it on the CB. it goes from 0-1 on a 4 scale(engine off) to 3 when running

Rand
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-14-2005
D.
Unregistered User
 
Posts: n/a
I change my plugs at least every 2 weeks durring the summer, I share your pains/aches and foul words that were grumbled or yelled.

My sincerest condolences.
D.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-14-2005
n3elz's Avatar
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Posts: 10,620
I put clip-on ferrites on the plug wires and it helped SOME.

I've also now discovered that some of my "alternator whine" was the alternators voltage regulator. The other two I had (stock and replacement) both had a real problem with this.

One thing I noticed was that the frequency of the whine didn't change much with engine speed -- just the intensity. That seemed weird.

But it's not: the regulator uses pulse width modulation at about 400 hz to regulate the field (rotor in an alternator) current. That's what I was hearing.

Something is different about this 130 amp alternator -- it doesn't whine in the electronics. Must be filtered better or something. It still uses a switching regulator, but apparently either the design is different, or the reactances in the bigger alternator filter them out. Don't know.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-14-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
There is no whine in this at all. It is all ignition spark popping. I'm 90% sure I've narrowed it down to the EDIS module. If I wrap it in tin foil and ground the foil making it shielded, it reduces the noise a little bit. It also seems to change intensity as the engine warms up. I've also noticed that at idle, a big splike in the noise is syncronized with a visible and audible stumble in the engine. This noise wasn't always there, it just started last year. All of this now leads me to believe it broke somehow and there is arcing inside it.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-14-2005
n3elz's Avatar
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Posts: 10,620
That was actually a problem in some earlier ones (they failed like that internally) and presumably can still happen.

But I remember your descriptions and it sounded to me like your problem was always worse than mine. The noise blankers in my HF (ham rig -- 1.8 mhz to 30 mhz) and CB always took my noise out -- implying it's really not that bad. Your noise always seemed more intractable.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-14-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
When I get out of work, I will make a recording of it.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-14-2005
D.
Unregistered User
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Something is different about this 130 amp alternator -- it doesn't whine in the electronics. Must be filtered better or something. It still uses a switching regulator, but apparently either the design is different, or the reactances in the bigger alternator filter them out. Don't know.
Theres a filter, I just asked.
D.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-14-2005
n3elz's Avatar
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Posts: 10,620
Whatever it is, it's nice!!!

Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-14-2005
D.
Unregistered User
 
Posts: n/a
I'm wondering if Matt might posess the same issue. If so, theres another Altenator on the store shelf ( the one UPS replaced :) )

D.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-14-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Here is a recording of the sound. This is on AM 121.500 so there is no squelch noise, just the pure radiated RF noise from the ignition.
http://www.kb1fpd.com/rfnoise.wav
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-14-2005
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Anchorage,Alaska
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Here is a recording of the sound. This is on AM 121.500 so there is no squelch noise, just the pure radiated RF noise from the ignition.
http://www.kb1fpd.com/rfnoise.wav
that's a weird noise... my truck doesn't make any that I know of.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-14-2005
n3elz's Avatar
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Posts: 10,620
Man, that DEFINITELY sounds like a single coil pack or the circuit it feeds. You can almost see the spark waveform looking at the audio waveform! It's the damped oscillation after each impulse that's reminiscent.

The repetition rate is too low to be all of them. I'm liking your coil pack theory after listening to that.

You can see the decaying impulse in the graph below. If there were other coils doing it, I wouldn't expect the long "silences" between impulses. It even sounds wrong for "general" ignition noise, which is what I have -- that is "filled in" a lot more than yours is.

Also, an additional arc or open circuit lowers the frequency (by increasing the resistance) of the circuit and results in longer period for the damped oscillations. You'll find that in spark waveform diagnostics where how long the impulse lasts is telling as to whether the circuit is properly loaded -- although I'm no expert in it.


That's a LOT of energy that high up in the spectrum also.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-14-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
And John, this is radiated across every usable band. It is broadband in a big way... like everything I have from 46Mhz up to 900Mhz.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-14-2005
n3elz's Avatar
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Posts: 10,620
Well, if you put a tank-circuit (parallel LC circuit) on it, you'd have an ancient and venerable device -- the spark-gap transmitter!

Seriously, an arcing point source connected to a resonant circuit to force the radiation into a "narrower" (but not real narrow, lol) frequency spectrum is how they worked.

Without something to constrain the spectrum, the arc is primarily oscillating at the RLC time constant of your spark system (coil, wires, block resistance, spark gap, etc.) but it's not high "Q" so the arc is basically white noise while it's struck. Not a happy situation for a communications system!

If your truck will run briefly without a plug connected, you could pull the wires off the pack one at a time to identify the circuit causing the problem. Two different wires may change the nature of the signal and they would be the ones for the cylinder pair on that coil pack. I don't know that it tells you much, but it would be a confirming diagnoses.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-14-2005
FireRanger's Avatar
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 0
Unfortunately, you still have to replace the entire coil pack.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spark Plugs Wires & Spark Plugs vancouverisland 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 8 07-26-2017 12:28 AM
GRRRR...clear corner issue. need ideas... crawly1025 Exterior Semi-Tech 27 01-13-2009 08:40 AM
New Spark Plugs - Better MPG - Halo Plugs SnowWhite 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 3 05-29-2007 06:06 AM
Changing plugs, kill 4x4??? chuck0505 Drivetrain Tech 2 11-15-2006 08:38 PM
Noise supression / shielded spark plugs and wires?? FireRanger General Ford Ranger Discussion 13 11-04-2004 06:34 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:54 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.