'07 Explorer V8 missing under light to moderate load

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#1

I have a 2007 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6 V8 with 75K miles on it. Recently I noticed what feels like a slight engine misfire when in OD at approximately 1500 RPM. If I put slightly more load on it, the missing stops. It also runs flawlessly in all other conditions. It does not miss if I run the engine up to 1500 while parked in neutral, or under heavy load. I never noticed this in March when I drove 2400 miles round trip from Maryland to Minnesota and back. On that trip, I actually got 21 MPG when cruising on the interstates as long as I wasn’t traveling into a headwind. To be honest, everything seems fine except this unusual miss while climbing a very shallow grade at around 55-60 MPH. Any ideas on where to start?


#2

The next time you feel this misfire, slightly step on the brake pedal while maintaining speed. If the misfire stops the problem might be torque converter clutch shudder.

This is the product I use to eliminate clutch shudder.

http://www.lubegard.com/~/C-230/Dr.+Tranny+Instant+Shudder+Fixx

Tester


#3

Wouldn’t this effectively be the same as very slight increase on the accelerator pedal? The RPMs remain close to the same unless I go over the threshold where the OD kicks out.

Also, it says that the product you recommend is not compatible with Ford Type F or CVT applications. I have a sealed transmission so I would not be able to add anything to it myself anyway. I should also add that the check engine light is not and has never been lit, and I put my analyzer on it and it has no codes. I have also never had the plugs replaced due to the risk involved. However, I was thinking about having this done at the Ford dealer since they charge about $380 and they can handle the tricky part of the breaking plug issue. Also, I figure if anyone has done several of these, the Ford dealer would be the most experienced at it.


#4

Could be a failing ignition coil. IIRC this vehicle has COP ignition, so it could be one of eight. In this scenario a CEL isn’t likely going to be triggered, and in order to figure out which coil it is, you’d have to have a scanner hooked up to the vehicle while driving, and see what it picks up when the event occurs.


#5

I’ve heard you can buy coil packs for a reasonable price. I am not sure how easy they are to replace. I looked at some YouTube videos and don’t really have a feel as to whether I could do it myself. I should probably have the plugs replaced anyway.


#6

I just went out and took a look at the accessibility of the coil packs on my Explorer. They don’t look too tough to get at. Are there any “gotchas” when it comes to replacing them? Also, what are good coil packs? I have seen them on the web from less than $70 to almost $200 for the set of 8. I did see a YouTube video which makes them look pretty easy to replace.


#7

Yes. Wasting money replacing parts without a proper diagnosis.


#8

Thanks for that sage advice. I was not going to change them unless for some reason replacing the plugs for the first time does not yield any results. The recommended time to change the plugs is at 100K, but since the last few years have been more in town driving, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get that out of the way. After all, the truck is 11 years old. Anyone else with experience changing out the coil packs on a 4.6 Litre V8 2007 Ford Explorer? It seems pretty easy and also not all that expensive if I do it myself.


#9

I may as well add to this. The symptoms are similar to my 2009 Ford Escape Limited which had cam timing sensor issues. Those threw codes and set the CEL. That repair ended up costing me close to $1000. At least it runs like a top now.


#10

Make sure the ignition system is working flawlessly before considering anything else. Replacing the plugs is a great place to start. Mark them as they come out to id the cylinder, so you can compare one to the other, what the tips look like can often provide a clue to a problem. I had a similar symptom on my Corolla one time, and it turned out to be the plug gaps had widened beyond the spec’d dimension range. New NGK’s installed with proper gap, back in business. Makes sense to read out the diagnostic codes too. You could have codes pending, even though the CEL is off. You paid for the diagnostic system, might as well use it.


#11

That was my first idea. I figured I would need to get those damned plugs replaced eventually anyway, so why not do that sooner than later. I am going to have the dealer replace the plugs as I am sure they have more experience doing that on one of these engines than anyone else. I will see if they can check the coil packs at the same time. I miss the old days when it was a matter of minutes to do a full tune up. I was a mechanic about 45 years ago when cars were simple. I do appreciate the reliability of the cars today though. This Explorer has been pretty much flawless since I bought it new in 2007. It will go through over a foot of heavy snow in the winter and has plenty of power. It is also the most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned for driving long trips. It also doesn’t have a speck of rust on it. I plan on keeping it until I die or it dies.


#12

Problem solved. Took the car to a very reputable repair shop. They found cylinders 5 & 8 missing intermittently. The throttle body also needed to be cleaned. I elected to have a complete tune up since it was going to be inevitable anyway and the truck runs like new. The fuel mileage for this V8 is back to around 21 on the highway. They did end up replacing all of the coils and plugs. I don’t feel bad as I have had very few defect related problems with this truck in 11+ years.


#13

Thanks for getting back here with the news - that’s how we all learn.