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Ford Explorer Won't Pass Emissions

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by thephotohound, Aug 16, 2007.

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  1. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    No, you would have a hole in your piston :)

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  2. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    If the object did not blow out it would have gouged the cyclinder wall and pretty much instantly you would have a miss fire.

    Some kids changed some spark plugs on the Deans SUV (Com. college program) and that happened but instead of turning the engine over with the plug out they reinstalled one and then started it up. It misfired almost instantly and required a short block.
  3. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Babalu - I take it that means I'd definitely know it if something was in there?!

    Struggle - Sorry for my ignorance, but what does a misfire sound like? When the motor is idling, I can't hear a thing.
  4. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    A miss would be most noticed under a load driving it and at the exhaust exit it would be kind of a wathump sound that would be very consistent. The engine should be shaking as well if it was missing. Since it appears you have a V8 it would be less pronouced then say on a V6.

    Most likely after the engine is at operating temp if you where to power brake the engine ( foot firmly pressing down on the brake pedal when in drive push the throttle down to where the vehicle does not move up to around 3-3500 rpms). when doing this if there is a mis most likely it would set a code as it would be a hard miss and not intermintent. It would also be very good idea to firmly set the parking brake as well when doing this and only do this for say 5 seconds. If done for to long of a time transmission damage can happen.

    MAKE SURE NO ONE IS IN FRONT OF THE VEHICEL OR BEHIND if you do this test.

    Hopefully it is fine.
  5. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    I will definitely check when I get home, but I can tell you now that I am hearing a light, consistent sound, kind of like "thup, thup, thup" very, very quickly... almost like there's a pinhole exhaust leak. (no ticking, vibration, or shaking, though). I will try the gas pedal/brake test tonight. So I should be looking for some hard misses (that are hard to miss, if you know what I mean?) a check engine light?
  6. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Yes it should be a hard miss (noticeable) of course it will never pass any inspection if it is missing. The sound you are hear is near the engine or near the rear exhaust? You could just be hearing an injector ticking which is not uncommon.

    Is this a 5.0L or the 4.6L engine. I am guessing it a a 5.0L

    If it does seem to miss under load the next step would be to a leak down test of the cyclinder you had the spark plug problem as it will show wether the cyclinder is holding compression or not.

    If it fails that then it is a worst case problem and will need engine replacement of some sort.
  7. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Good news... it's definitely not missing. Smooth as silk, and passed the brake pedal test with flying colors. I believe what I am hearing is just (like you said) an injector ticking (very faint)... phew...
  8. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear that :coolsmile:
  9. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Thank you for all of your advice (everyone)... Just when you thought it was just for stove advice........

    I don't know what I would do without this forum!!!
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Things to avoid when purchasing a car/truck A car or truck that sits idle over common ground spells a lot of additional repairs,

    Ground moisture eats brake lined freezez wheel cylinders and eats gas and transmission lines I have seen gas tan=ks rust out oil pans covers rust out and it not need to be there for a long time 6 months can be all it takes. When parked ina garage or on ashpalt the moisture problem is lessened plus if still on the reoad the fir flow from driving dissipates the moisture.

    A sitting vechicle is a bad thing to do, especially over bare ground. This might explain the rusted in spark plugs.
  11. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Good point, Elk. It did sit on asphalt, but I have noticed more rust than I expected. That explains it.
  12. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    HERE WE GO....

    Went to get it inspected today... failed for ball joints on one side (he seemed to think it was the upper) and P0401 for (most likely) a DPFE sensor. Best case is $50-$70 for the sensor and $45 for a ball joint. I'm not one to half-a$$ it, though, so I'll probably do all 4. However, I've never done a ball joint, so I have no idea what I'm in for, either. I'll pick up the press and the fork this weekend and keep the Haynes close by... any suggestions?
  13. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Of course you were pulled over and stopped while taking this picture :)
  14. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Well, you may indeed have a bad ball joint, but reporting bad ball joints during a mechanical inspection has always been a favorite ruse for many an unscrupulous mechanic outfit. They usually have the car up on one of those jacks that lets the wheels hang, get you out there, and push up on the wheel. The wheel (and tire) move upward a bit, they say that is indicative of "bad ball joints". But it isn't, at least not according to the person who told me about it (my dad, Air Force Staff Sgt. airplane mechanic who did his share of shade tree auto jobs).

    I once drove five years and around 60,000 miles on "bad ball joints", sold the car to my brother, who drove another 20,000 on the "bad ball joints", and well, those were some pretty good "bad ball joints". I've had this happen to me twice, with two different cars. Once at one of those nationally franchised outfits that seemed to have a predetermined dollar figure they wanted from me, and once at "Honest Abes Auto Repair" shop, about five minutes from where I live now. The last time was 7.5 years ago. I'm still driving on those "bad ball joints". I never returned to either of those shops. In fact, I even paid twice for a second inspection to avoid the remote possibility of having my car sabotaged at "Honest Abe's" shop. That dude was scary.

    Just a thought. As I said, you may actually have bad ball joints, but sometimes a second opinion at a "second trusted mechanic" shop is in order.
  15. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    MO Mass has some pretty tight inspection requirements now... Unfortunatly any play and I mean any play in the ball joints will cause a failure.
    It sucks....... It like failing because your window doesn't roll up tight anymore......
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Just jack the car up until the weight starts coming off the wheel and then take a lug wrench or big screw driver and pry up on the joint. If you see any movement at all, change it. That thing is all that is holding the front wheel on for all intents and purposes. Just be sure you have the right size drill bit and a good drill for drilling out the rivets and it isn't a bad job at all.

    Haynes in one hand, wrench in the other. I love the parts where they say "To remove the framus use Ford special tool X4MCC8V24R3. If not available a pair of pliers will do.".
  17. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    As to bad ball joints with the now modern lubed for life ball joints what most often happens is the seal/boot will get a small tear and allow water intrusion and then the joint fails. Ford has issues to some extent for this.

    I believe you have to press the joints out and back in. I have done them on the 97 version 4wd on Ford 150 trucks and they are not for most light do it yourself people. You must be confident in your skills to do this job. Also many times the half shatfs for the front axle will not seperate from the bearings so you have to unbolt the half shaft at the axle and slide the spindle out all in one peice. This must be done without damaging the ABS sensor or brake calipar hose etc.

    If you have the right tools it is a very easy job but if not you might be taking some trips to Sears for a 12 point socket and axle nut sockets etc.

    Start spraying ball joint nuts with pentrating oil now. Wire brush off any exposed threads on fasteners you are going to take off.

    Did you use any antiseez on the spark plugs? If not then replace them earlier than the first interval was as the can seize again.

    It is possible to go a very long time on loose ball joints but most likely you will spend more money on tires then the ball joints will cost to replace. Everytime the suspension cycles (anytime the car moves) the ball joint will move and any abnormal amount of play will cause the alignment to be off with natural suspension movement making the alignment off most of the time the car is moving and the steering can pull or drift in some cases as the ball joint will not be centered properly.

    A neighbor brought a car over to me one day to inspect it and I tell you what you could have knocked me over with a feather after I pushed the front tire in while off the ground. I was amazed that the wheel had not seperated from the lower control arm. THe wheel must have moved over 1 1/2" or more when pushed. The wrost I had ever seen. She junked the car as it had way more things wrong then they had money to spend on it and carry a family in it.
  18. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Mo - Great advice. Thank you for your input. Struggle - I have most of the tools... I just need a ball joint press and fork.

    I forgot to mention that 1 -2 inches on the inside of each of the front tires is BALD. I mean bald. The rest of the tread is approx. 1/2 gone. When he moved the wheel, it had a good 3/4 inch to 1 inch of play in it (on the passenger side) and very little on the driver side. That leads to another question:

    He (mechanic) said that it was most likely the upper that was the culprit on the passenger side, and that the lower might be OK. For an extra $30, doesn't it make sense to do both at once? If I'm not mistaken, shouldn;t you remove the lower to properly press the upper back in anyway? And furthermore, even if the driver's side is passable, should I just replace those as well? Or does it not matter?

    Thanks.
  19. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Usually the lowers fail before the upper.

    Always replace both when possible the cost is cheap compared to the labor and hassle of having to redo them later.

    Then you should be good to go for another 100K
  20. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    GVA...That one might be a stretch. If the window lets go... it's doubtfull it will send you off the road straight for a tree or worse a minivan loaded with kids on their way to a soccer game.

    While properly maintaining a vehicle is important....If I had to choose between having to control a vehicle with no brakes or no steering... I would choose the no brakes.

    I think most professional truck drivers would agree with the above statement.

    At least if you can steer... you still have some control.
  21. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I would lean towards doing all four ball joints... perhaps some "one stop shopping" at a reputable shop. Someplace that will do the ball joints... and a front end alignment (depending on the vehicle 4-wheel alignment).

    When it comes to things like ball joints (steering components-most critically important system on the vehicle) I wouldn't take chances.

    If you can't steer it's all over...
  22. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    That sounds pretty bad. And I think I'd do them all while I was in there and be done with it. I agree: no-steer = no-good! And definitely get a front-end alignment after replacing things.
  23. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    No it's not a stretch when you bring the truck to 2 shops and they won't replace them cause they don't have enough play to warrant replacement from a MECHANICAL standpoint. But from the inspection station perspective when they put that 5 foot pipe under my trucks front tire and practicaly lifted it off the jack they saw a little play and failed it...
    That is a load of crap.................................This was what I was getting at.... This is the enhanced saftey inspections. Oh here's another one I brought my daughters car to get a sticker a couple of years ago and every thing passed except one fog lamp was out ............ Yep.... FAILED......... I said it's a fog light guy said it doesn't matter it's on the car it needs to work.
    And another a friend had a P/U with a cap on the back....... His Third brake light on the trucks cab was out, not that you could tell cause the cap was blocking it, yep.......FAILED.... He had to take the cap off to change the bulb and then put it back on.........

    Then I look around at the POS cars out there next to me on the highways and get even more pissed....
  24. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    GVA, Time for you to find a new inspection station. You've got a rough crowd! And don't forget to bring a fruit basket for the inspector. :lol:
  25. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    It's been different stations each time :-S
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