1997 E150 Econoline Conversion Van - Ignition Coils or Spark Plugs? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

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1997 E150 Econoline Conversion Van - Ignition Coils or Spark Plugs?

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1997 E150 Econoline Conversion Van - Ignition Coils or Spark Plugs?

 
  #1  
Old 07-23-2017, 04:46 AM
hussite
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1997 E150 Econoline Conversion Van - Ignition Coils or Spark Plugs?

Hello, some of you might laugh at this question but...

I have a 1997 e150 5.4L conversion van and I seem to be getting a misfire in 5th gear at low RPMs. However, I'm not getting any codes. I wanted to replace my spark plugs but, the mechanic at the shop I went to said I don't have spark plugs I have ignition coils.

I found some fairly priced OEM Motorcraft ignition coils on Amazon that I want to get to replace my ignition coils. However, when I was searching I keep running into information on spark plugs that sites like Autozone says fit my van.

Does my van have ignition coils and spark plugs? It seems like common sense that the ignition coil is over my spark plug. But I don't know what the mechanic was talking about. Maybe he meant it doesn't have a distributor cap?

Thanks for your input!
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:19 AM
Wildman25
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Nobody will laugh at your question......
.......might giggle a little thought.......

The 1997+ 5.4 Mod engine has "Coil on Plug" design.

Here's a Link to a page that pretty much explains the set-up.

Just the first page or two will get you 'into the know' the rest of the pages are typical arguments........

Another thing is, the Van's or E-series only have the 5.4 engine with 2 valves, Not the 3 valve engine, so keep that in mind.

What you might have is a bad plug, or worn out plug, you didn't state the mileage on this van. I had this on my 'new to me' '05 last year, the OEM plugs had over 175K on them and were shot.

They should be changed at 80-100K at least, but there a pain to do, and most shop will not work on vans, cause they don't like vans.

The coils will show up on the CEL if they go bad, the worn out plugs will not.

The coils can be tested by Ohm's as you have each one out, and that will tell you the condition of each coil. Don't just go out and buy new aftermarket coils, if you need to replace one, use a Motorcraft coil.

Also, use the recommend Motorcraft spark plugs. Nothing else. and you'll have better results.

Replace the springs and boots with a 8 piece kit, as the this is cheap ($20) insurance and the old rubber boots can be cracked and heat rotted.

So........after you have this wealth of information, you can go back to the mechanic and inform him correctly.
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:02 PM
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thanks for the reply

Wildman25,

Thanks for your reply. My van has about 115k miles on it. I picked it up with 105k for $5,000. After 10k miles I already sunk almost another $4,000 into it replacing all the u-bolts, brake lines & bleeders, fuel lines, fuel filter, and 1 ignition coil that was giving me a misfire while the van idled.

I tried to trade it in and they only offered me $800 for it, so I'm keeping it after all I've invested into it so far. It's parked right now, mostly got it for roads trips and camping.

I still have an ABS issue which doesn't let me push on the break sometimes (usually only once after a cold start), like it thinks it's icy out when it's just humid. And the (I'm hoping) misfire which starts when I'm going around 45-50mph. Below that speed, it seems fine. And when It starts to misfire if I punch the gas and it drops down a gear I can't notice the misfire anymore.

Full disclosure, I was using the power washer I have at work and washing it all the time last summer, and probably sprayed too much water around the wheel wells and into the grille. I think that's where most of my problems came from.

I Really don't want to put much more money into this van so I'm attempting to replace all the coils, plugs, and ABS sensor myself. I am sticking with the Motocraft line for it. As of now my experience working on cars is limited to replacing a couple of alternators, a cam shaft sensor, a windshield wiper motor, and changing my oil.

One thing, you stated that "the Van's or E-series only have the 5.4 engine with 2 valves, Not the 3 valve engine"

Could you elaborate a bit more on that? I'm not sure what that means for my trouble shooting purposes.

Thanks
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:39 PM
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Regarding 2 or 3 valve, I believe he was explaining that the different posts in his link covers both so he wanted to make sure you did not get confused if you read the link.

It is a gasoline engine, so it has spark plugs.
For your coil on plug (COP) setup each spark plug has a coil on top of it, versus the older style remote mounted coil pack "brick" with heavy spark plug wires running to each cylinder.
Either the mechanic misspoke or you misunderstood. Many times technical support people, doctors and mechanics produce a whole lot of information at once while explaining their craft and the "layperson" does not readily absorb new concepts and the vernacular of the trade.

It is quite likely that your van has the original spark plugs at 115,000 miles. If you do not know when or if they were changed then they are probably past due. The original Ford service interval is 100,000 miles for a spark plug change, so you can see that the original owner may have bailed right at service time. Many people including myself find that is far too long to leave a spark plug in an engine. It may (or may not!) still run and work as a spark plug but ~20 years of rust on the plug is never a good thing.
All good advice above about coils. They usually do not need to be replaced all at once, only replace as needed. The Motorcraft coil is made by Denso which can be bought for half the price of the Motorcraft branded coil. ~$23 on Rock Auto. Definitely stick with the Motorcraft plugs. Get 8 spark plugs and 8 boot kits, swap them out, see how it runs and go from there.

Another thing, please do not ever spray pressure hose into the grille. It bends the fins on the radiator or AC which restricts airflow across it and limits cooling. It is a good thing to clean off bugs and debris, but the pressure spray of most car washes is way too strong to be used safely on a radiator. When you need to clean the grille itself, spray at an angle so that the pressure spray does not impact the radiator directly.
Water can get into the spark plug holes, but it does not "just evaporate out" no matter how much I want it to. If water does seep into the spark plug hole it can cause a misfire. In this case the coil needs to be removed and the spark plug hole blown out with compressed air.

I have found that the cheapest and easiest diagnostic tool is the Torque app for Android and a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter. This can show misfires in real time, and also just as important, it can show if it isn't a misfire to eliminate that as a possible issue. You can do this for $20 if you already have an Android device.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...l.torque&hl=en
https://torque-bhp.com/wiki/Bluetooth_Adapters
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:13 PM
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Thanks a lot for your input Sam I Am. I'll start with the spark plugs!
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:01 PM
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ABS

Usually the ABS light is from the sensor located above the rear end or it's wiring, less then $20.
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:32 PM
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ABS

Yea, I got a computer to read the code. Just difficult to get under that van. Not much space.
 
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:41 PM
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I'd like to know more about the 5th gear!

My 97 5.4 has about 225k miles on it now.

I've replaced 2 of 8 coils over the past few years and 15K miles or so.
Both gave me a code (but no CEL for some reason) so I could change the correct coil. I had to use my OBD2 scanner to pull the code.

When I did the first coil, I changed all the plugs, wires, & springs to eliminate them as the issue. I knew they had been in there a while (maybe 100K?).

When my coils go bad, I feel a slight miss at idle but it's most noticeable when the torque converter locks up at light throttle cruising speed - say a little over 40 MPH just after the shift to OD. The whole van shakes. I'd swear it was a bad transmission or mounts or something.

I don't drive the van often and when I do I cover some miles (1000 - 2500) so I keep a spare coil and the tools to change one (even the pesky ones under the fuel lines - 6 & 7 I think). I don't want to get stranded in the middle of SW USA on I10 because of a bad coil.

Changing coils/plugs/wires is easiest with the seats out. Worth the 15 minutes to do it.
 
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jbwheels View Post
I'd like to know more about the 5th gear!

My 97 5.4 has about 225k miles on it now.

I've replaced 2 of 8 coils over the past few years and 15K miles or so.
Both gave me a code (but no CEL for some reason) so I could change the correct coil. I had to use my OBD2 scanner to pull the code.

When I did the first coil, I changed all the plugs, wires, & springs to eliminate them as the issue. I knew they had been in there a while (maybe 100K?).

When my coils go bad, I feel a slight miss at idle but it's most noticeable when the torque converter locks up at light throttle cruising speed - say a little over 40 MPH just after the shift to OD. The whole van shakes. I'd swear it was a bad transmission or mounts or something.

I don't drive the van often and when I do I cover some miles (1000 - 2500) so I keep a spare coil and the tools to change one (even the pesky ones under the fuel lines - 6 & 7 I think). I don't want to get stranded in the middle of SW USA on I10 because of a bad coil.

Changing coils/plugs/wires is easiest with the seats out. Worth the 15 minutes to do it.
Replace ALL coil packs and plugs, use only Motorcraft plugs, the factory ones, and NO they don't always throw a code, I dealt with this not too long ago, mine was barely drivable, started with a miss when it went into overdrive, it degraded till it was bucking constantly. I spent $35 on a pack of 8 coils from ebay, it runs like new, it has 146000 miles on it.
 
 
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