F-150 #1 coil

I have a 2001 F-150 V8 4x4. it has been in the hsop four times in the past year for problems with the coils not firing correctly. I just got off the phone with the dealership and he even said it was unusual for this many to go out. The first three were within two months of each other. It has been about six months since the truck was in for the last repair. Now the number one is not working.

My question is: is this unusual to have so many go so fast? Two, is there something else happening (perhaps upstream) that is causing this? Each time we are dropping about $250.00. My husband is ready to thow in the towl on the car and buy something else but I love my truck.

Symptoms are: harder rough idleing and then hesitation and shaking when you try to accelerate.

Thank you!!!

Maybe the problem is not really the coils.
When, if ever, have the spark plugs or wires been changed?

Over time, spark plug misfires, misfires caused by plug wires (or just about anything else) can knock out ignition coils.

Maybe the coil problems are the symptom and the symptom is being treated rather than the cause.

That is what we were thinking…that these coils are a symptom of something else. I talked to the shop manager and he said there is no ryme or reason as to why these go out and there would be nothing to cause them going bad father up the line. He told me it was bad luck. That did not sound right to me. I bought the truck lightly used in 2002 with low mileage. The first time it was in the shop the #4 and #7 went out. Second time about two weeks later it was the #3, now it is the #1. The shop said each time they are changing the corresponding spark plugs. We have about 85l miles on it. Mostly just reg driving but some hauling of horse trailers.

Any other ideas to look into?

I just had the same problem *7 went then *2 two weeks later I just had all them replaced because it cost less this way. I have 150 van 4.6 lit. there is no wires only a coil on each plug.

The shop manager is wrong. A misfiring plug is rough on a plug wire, which is rough on a coil, which is rough on an ignition module, etc., etc.
It’s just like a string of dominos.

Same thing with suspension. Someone drives around for months with bad shocks/struts, finally replaces them, but the other parts of the suspension have been beaten to death in the meantime.
Bad strut kills the ball joint, which knocks the front end out of alignment, which eats the tires up, etc. (And dangerous to boot.)

JMHO, but at 85k miles and with coils going bad, replacement of the wires should be automatic and so should the plugs if they have been in there for 30-40k miles or more.

Also, if you have the 4.6 engine there has been some plug wire problems with these particular wire sets.
Last I remember, there has been about 7 variations of them in the quest for perfection.

Hope that helps and good luck. :slight_smile:
(This is still ok4450; it appears that I’ve been “signed out” again whether I like it or not.)

Did some checking and yes, your vehicle does use coil on plug so wires are not an issue. The plugs still could be and the principle is the same.

Surely these are not the original plugs?
If so, ouch.

These Ford modular V8’s all use COP’s or coil packs and come from the factory with platinum plugs good for 100K miles. There are no plug wires. The COP’s sell for $70-$120 each depending where you buy them.

The COPs come with a rubber boot and resistor. The boot seals the plug well (supposedly) from moisture. Washing the engine is THE KISS OF DEATH for these vehicles. You can destroy $500 worth of COPs in a few minutes. They are VERY tender. If water or anti-freeze gets down in a plug well, it will destroy the COP, misfire and give you a flashing CEL. Gapping the plugs at .045" instead of the recommended .053" seems to help. You can have a parts store read the codes and tell you which COP has failed and replace them yourself, saving serious money. I hope this info helps you…

I talked with the shop manager. The coils which are bad have had the corresponding spark plugs replaced. I have never replaced any spark plugs, but the manager said someone had…the plugs that are in there are not original factory parts. I have been doing a lot of reading on the problems with ford’s blowing spark plugs. Sorry for the ingnorance, but what is the difference between what happens to me and what happens to a blown plug that costs several thousands to fix? We just paid our truck off and my husband is thinking of selling it for a different manufacturer. This is the 5.4 L V8 supercab 4x4 off road package.

Well, hopefully they’re installing the proper plugs, especially in regards to the heat range. Wrong heat range can lead to misfires, and then…

JMHO, but most of those blown spark plug problems are probably shop or owner inflicted.

The threads may be shallow, but since the plugs are of the tapered seat variety this means they should be just barely snug.
I think the torque spec is 18 ft. lbs. and I would not even tighten them that much.

I can also just about guarantee you that many mechanics will use the “grunt” method and overtighten them. This pulls the threads, weakens them, and eventually a spark plug will not hold any longer and off she goes.

Have the shop check the suspected wires using a scope if they haven’t done so already. I would check the ignition ground for a problem. Maybe there is something wrong there.

I hope that someone is not washing the engine on a regular basis. Soaking these COPS with a hose will likely kill them off.

An idea. I am not familiar with the Ford COP system and where the igniter is. If the igniter is a single separate unit, it may be at fault. It could be allowing each coil to conduct too much current causing them to overheat and damaging the insulation. The high voltage would not go up because that is limited by the plug gap. There usually is no resistor in the B+ feed and the igniter transistor limits the on time of the coil to limit current build up. If the igniter is allowing the coils to stay on too long, you get the over heat – in HEI it would burn through the rotor to the distributor shaft.

Just an idea
Let us know what you find

COP=coil on plug. There is a coil for each plug and each sits on top of its plug.

On the late model Fords, there seems to be no “igniter” as such. The ECU or ECC (engine control unit, engine control computer) fires the COPs. When they fail, the CEL will come on and usually start blinking. When you “pull the codes” the failed COP will be identified by cylinder number. No 'scope required. It is SOP to install a new plug also.

The engineering reasoning for this system was to eliminate the troublesome and expensive spark plug wires. It let them make the claim “No tune-ups for 100,000 miles”. The downside is, it costs $700 or more to replace all 8 COPs. If water gets into the spark plug wells somehow, you can kiss that COP good-by…