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Old 09-21-2009, 20:32   #1 (permalink)
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just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

Hey guys, just bought a 97 t-bird LX with a v8 and only has 70,000 miles on her. however, she has a service engine light. The guys at autozone sayz, the code means cylinder #2 mis-fire. So, maybe a plu, maybe an injector, maybe a coil pack or plug wire. The car idles low about 600 rpm, and she runs rough. At high speed, not so noticeable. I know nothing about these t-birds, so any idea's where i should look first? Are these cars known to have trouble with injectors, or coil packs? I can't afford to take her to FORD, so i need some help trying to figure out my problem. I appreciate any /all suggestions..

Thanks guys,
mach
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Old 09-21-2009, 21:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

I'd pull the spark plug and see what it looks like. At 70k, it may never have been tuned up.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:30   #3 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

Yep, I was thinking the same thing... however, I've heard horror stories about trying to pull plugs out of these 4.6 motors. I've been told they are prone to strip out. Once that happens, your screw'd. Is there a trick to breaking loose the plugs? I was thinking a good first step would be plugs and plug wires, but oem plug wires are 100.00. Which plugs should i use. Autozone has several for my t-bird. From $2 to $7 bucks each. Which plug is the way to go?

Thanks,
Mach
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:41   #4 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

We've found the best ones to use ar Autolite dual platinum. You don't have to worry about which cyl. fires which way by getting the dual platinum.
The plugs strip out if the proper torque is not used. If you don't tighten them enough, they'll losen and blow out. To tight and when the cyl. head stretches with the heat, they strip then. Also use anti-sieze on the threads.
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Old 09-25-2009, 17:50   #5 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

UPDATE on problem. My dad tried to do me a favor and took my daughters t-bird, over to a local shade-tree. He tried changing the spark plug, installed a new fuel injector, changed the plug wire... but still cylinder #2 has a mis-fire. that is the only code the guys at autozone could pull off of it.He said the coil was firing, but could not explain why the car has a miss.He did a compression check, and all cylinders have good compression. the mechanic noticed that the fuel injector, spark plug and wires, appeared to have been recently changed, as if somebody else had been fighting this same problem, but i guess they couldn't figure it out. I really need to get this t-bird on the road, my daughter loves this car.
I'm thinking maybe a bad computer, or perhaps some type of a sensor. Maybe a fuel filter? At this point, i don't know...Any ideas? I may still install a new set of plugs and wires, but now I'm doubtful that will fix it.
Thanks guys,
Mach
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Old 09-25-2009, 18:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

Why not switching coils and see if #2 is still misfiring. That will rule out the coil or let you know that's what's doing it. 2 plugs fire at the same time. from the same coil. One fires positive, the other negative. That's why the plugs should be dual platinum, otherwise the electorde wears out very fast.
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Old 09-26-2009, 16:15   #7 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

I used the autozone online troubleshooting guide. I come up with bad spark plug. and absolute worst case scenario is timing may be off.

You are aware that the engine has 2 timing chains right? One for each cam.

My parents own a same year car and they had the inevitable intake gasket failure (@ 99k miles). The car was never driven hard and mom noticed the temp gauge peg out (by this time it was too late). The culprit was the plastic intake manifold had cracked (common in 4.6's) and popped the head gasket.

To make a long story short while putting the car back together dad didn't have the cam sitting right and started the car and shattered the #3 piston.

Check your oil for possible a/f contamination. I hope that it doesn't go that far but something to think about as a worst case possibility.

Good luck
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Old 09-26-2009, 19:47   #8 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

Update.. Today i installed 8 new autolite irridum plugs, and a set of Borg warner plug wires.(approx. 120.00 worth of parts.) This fixed about 90% of my rough engine problems. The engine now idles at 800 rpm instead of 600. However, the car still has a stumble to it. I cleared the service engine light, and drove it pretty hard for about an hour. Eventually the service engine light cam back on. This time the code says, mis-fire in cylinder #5. So, after installing new plugs and wires, i feel like its got to be either an injector, a power pack, or computer issue. Any idea's on how i should precede from here? Should I look at an injector, or do i look at power packs or computer, or am i missing something obvious? I've never changed an injector, whats involed in removing and installing a new one ? Thanks guys for your help... we are getting much closer
Mach
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Old 09-26-2009, 19:54   #9 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

I really do appreciate all the input, thanks guys...
Mach
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Old 09-26-2009, 20:31   #10 (permalink)
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Re: just bought a 97 t-bird, but has service engine light?

Since it changed from 2 to 5, I wouldn't think it's an injector. Did you switch coils to see waht would happen? #2 and #5 run off the same position on the coils, so if you switched them, the coil is the culprit.
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