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Misfire V6 3.0 Ranger Running bad rough after engine washed cleaned!


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Ranger
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2008 V6 3.0 Ford Ranger 2WD automatic.
bought this truck about a year ago 70K miles.


I wasn't really planning on washing the engine because I knew it could mess things up, but two days ago I washed the Winter road salt from underneath (my previous 2000 Ranger V6 4.0 had only 80K and ran great but was destroyed by salt rust), and while I was at it I washed the engine. Never again I guess.


I let the truck sit in sun a full day with hood open before even driving (drove from driveway to street only).
I drove about 40 minutes the next day and it drove rough and CEL came on, blinking at times.
My code reader = Cylinder 1 misfire.
I drove it today and got cylinder 5 misfire, possibly also cylinder 1.

I then removed all the spark plugs and the other ends of cords going to the distributor ignition coil pack thingy. I left the hood open with a giant fan for hours and used the blower side of a shop vac in each of the spark plug holes.

I bought new spark plug wires and spark plugs from autozone.
But I figured the old parts should be dry and I reinstalled them. I put dielectric grease on both ends of the cords. But still drives rough. Drove it slow for about 10 minutes and seemed ok, brought it up to 60 MPH and got problems and very noticeable rough idling after going fast.

The truck always had an issue when going about 45 MPH it's supposed to switch into a higher gear but wouldn't shift very smoothly, it sort of bucked a bit but nothing serious. But now that 45 MPH area really bucks pretty bad. Somehow the CEL didn't come on after I cleared the codes and removed battery terminals but maybe the new codes are pending. Reader didn't show any codes or pendings after this last drive.

This girl has the same model and year
and shows the manual says plugs should be gapped 0.042-0.046"
But she might be reading the wrong year manual or something?
I don't have the manual booklet, but every other PDF manual online including the official Ford site says gap should be 0.051–0.057" which is about what the existing plugs measured (some were around .062 and I slightly pinched them to .057 before reinstalling).

Autozone's computer matches my 3.0 V6 to Boschs I bought that are .044 but the existings were .057 and the official ford PDF also says .057.
And these new Bosch plugs say Do Not Gap and Do Not add Anti-seize.

I'll try and get a reply from Ford on which plugs to use, or should I throw these new .044 Boschs in with the new cords? I don't think it's even the cords or plugs or coil pack though since I let it dry so well. BTW, the plugs on the truck don't have any gaskets or anything, just metal washers but I let it dry well.

If I put the .044 Boschs in and the gap is too small and supposed to be .051-.057, it'll run rich and bad for the engine but will I easily notice it being the wrong gap to solve the riddle of what plug gap is needed?
I think maybe a previous owner replaced the coil pack because mine doesn't have the red sticker that I see in videos that indicates which terminal is for which cylinder unless maybe it washed off but I didn't see it, so therefore if coil pack was replaced likely plugs were also and maybe the .057 " gaps that were in there are incorrect.
On a sort of non related thread I read someone had a misfire problem sort of bucking only around 45 MPH too and I think they solved it by changing the spark plug or possibly even gapping, so maybe the largely-gapped plugs I have caused that buck even before this washing problem made it worse?

Air filter was bone dry but I'll use MAF cleaner just in case.
Maybe removing and letting the fuel injectors dry fixes? I don't even know what those are or if I have them but seen it mentioned as a potential fix.
thank you so much.
 
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I was able to get Ford on the phone rather quickly, the guy could tell me the OEM part spark plug is a Motorcraft SP413.

When I google that to try and find the preset gap is again two different things I find .050 and .054.
Remember the ones in there were .057-.062 but could enlarge over time, and the PDF manual says use 0.051–0.057". Pretty sure what's in there already are Motorcraft possibly SP413 thus weren't changed out by someone prior but some did enlarge.

That girl's video paper manual specs a smaller gap (could be wrong year manual) and what autozone's site matches to my car are all different ranging from .044 ("do not gap") to most are .050 though which should be good.

So 0.05 is what I'll get. I'll return these new Bosch .044 "Do Not Gap" for something .05 and just see how it runs.

Also clean MAF sensor with MAF spray.
And likely change the plug wires while I'm changing the plugs although tempting to just see if it'll fix itself with just new plugs.
 

Jazzer

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It's preferable to gap new plugs to the smaller specified gap, as the gap
will enlarge over time, as you said.

I'd spray WD40 in every plug end and connector you can find, it's what it was made for, (Water Displacement 40th formula.)

-Jazzer
 
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I read some hesitation about using WD-40 all over everything but also many quoting the same thing you did and telling good results.

it's fixed running better than ever!
I doubt it was from cleaning the mass air flow sensor but I did that too with MAF spray, and replaced all the plugs and wires.

I think water got in a wire or two, I didn't realize originally that the wires aren't solid, the boot on the coil pack just slides over the wire basically and water could have gotten in there and still not dry after almost 2 days and some test drives.


I got some mid grade gappable plugs and gaped them .051 is good, that's on the lower side of the recommendation and likely will enlargen over time to max spec .057".


Much less bucking into highest gear around 50 MPH also now, maybe trans related, I'll probably at least change all the fluids for now.
It idles so smooth can barely know it's running. I'm glad it's running clean and good now, should make engine last longer, hopefully rust doesn't kill it first though but it's not too rusty at all.

also god bless this guy's diagram because I made my own diagram originally but doubled checked online and got SO confused because there are SO many different contradicting diagrams and firing orders when google image searching 3.0 2008 ranger coil pack diagram firing order etc and I almost changed 2 of mine around to match other diagrams but had it right originally and same as this diagram:
 

bills4065

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My 2007 has the Type 2 coil pack, 3.0 L also. Check your coil pack closely. These coil packs are prone to heat cracking. I had to remove mine and totally clean it up. the crack was right in the one coil pack itself.
 
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55trucker

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mild
Odd, for the last 40 + years I've always given the engine bay of every vehicle I've owned a bath, (I don't like a dirty engine bay), I've never suffered a problem after doing so. Trick is to do so at a manual car wash with hot water. The engine is already hot, One baths the engine and the engine bay, (I do both soap & a rinse), fire the engine up immediately, any residual water will evaporate in a very short time. Works every time, I get the feeling that you've an issue that isn't entirely the fault of the wash........did you wash the engine with hot or cold water & was the powertrain fully warmed up?
 

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