Home Ford Ranger Forum Builders Guide How To Tech Other Articles Featured Rangers Readers Rangers Classifieds Shirts & Decals

 

Go Back   The Ranger Station Forums > Help Forums - Engine & Transmission Forums > 4-bangers > 4-Cylinder (2000 & Older)

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
BPLP
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
I use this vehicle for: DD and fun
Rep Power: 1
BPLP is on a distinguished road
Default Coil Pack Q on 1996 (and mature discussion)

So I've been reading about this duel plug mod and I DO NOT WANT TO START AN ARGUMENT about it but I would like to know

1) on a 1996 does the front or rear coil pack fire the combustion? (is the combustion side on the intake or exhaust side?)

2) Is there any way to test whether it is separate spark between the combustion on the fire side and the exhaust on the other side?

I do want to do some actual testing if possible but I do not want to start an argument about this. I want to take in inputs and try stuff on my truck to see if anything changes.

This should be hopefully scientific and not opinion based please.

I have switched the 1 and 4 wires on the intake side coil pack and the 2 and 3 wire on the same side coil pack.

After thinking about this it should be a redundant thing to do considering the 1 and 4 cylinders fire together so by switching those it still fires those two together at the same time during the exhaust stroke not the combustion stroke.

Would it be best to switch the 1 and 2 cylinders and the 3 and 4 cylinders on the intake side?

I want to run a test(s) or find concrete information to know for sure that there is a fire happening during the exhaust stroke, so any information with evidence on that would be great!

Please lets come to a conclusion to this confusing topic with evidence to back it up!

Any ideas as to what to try would be great guys!

-Benjamin
BPLP is offline   Reply With Quote
Advertisement - Don't want to see the forum ads? Click HERE to find out how to be a Supporting Member.


5% Discount Code: 01783FE29A6986 Expires: December 30, 2018
Old 05-22-2018, 11:48 AM   #2
RonD
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 11,987
Vehicle Year: 1994
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
Rep Power: 53
RonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant future
Default

Ford uses a Waste spark system with all their Coil Pack engines

Waste spark was the first spark system ever used on gasoline engines and is still used on most single cylinder 4-stroke engines.
Waste spark uses the Crank shaft to time spark, points, or sensor, on the crank shaft times when ignition coil fires spark plug.
Since it is a 4 stroke engine that would mean spark plug would fire at every TDC, compression TDC and exhaust TDC both.
Firing at compression TDC keeps engine running, firing on exhaust TDC is "wasted" but doesn't hurt anything, and no it is not to "burn" unused fuel, lol.

Waste spark is just a simpler system to use, which is why it was the first spark system and is still used today.

Fords Coil packs have 2 spark plugs connected to each coil in the pack, 2 spark plugs share a coil
V6 engine would have 3 coils in the pack
V8 4 coils
4cyl 2 coils, dual spark plug 4cyl 4 coils

When an engine is designed it needs to be Balanced, with even number cylinders, i.e. 4, 6, 8, 10 this is done by having 2 cylinders at TDC at the same time and then varying the degrees of when each "matched set" is at TDC
V8 would have 90deg spacing, so 2 pistons would be at TDC every 90deg of crank rotation, 4 x 90 = 360deg
V6 would be 120deg spacing
4cyl 180deg spacing(which makes these engines vibrate at low RPMs, lol)

So 4cyl has 2 pistons at TDC every 180deg rotation of the crank
Match sets are usually 1 and 4, 2 and 3
You can tell the matched sets by firing order
4cyl 1-3-4-2
Divide firing order in half and put one above the other
1-3
4-2
So 1 and 4 are matched, and 3 and 2 are matched

V8 1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2
1-5-4-8
6-3-7-2
1/6, 5/3, 4/7, 8/2 are matched sets, firing order can change, especially on V8s, thats a function of the CAM used, but the Balanced Matched sets stay the same

OK so you know 1 and 4 are at TDC at the same time and BOTH can be sparked without a problem, so when you remove the distributor(and replace it with Crank Sensor) and single coil why bother replacing it with 4 coils, when you really only need 2
So thats what Ford did.
Now to get a bit more power, and better MPG(which lowers emissions), Ford went with dual spark plugs in the Lima engines, kind of a precursor to "swirl" which is popular now, with 2.3l head design you get best full combustion with the two spark plugs igniting the air:fuel mix, so better power and better MPG with lower emissions.

So both spark plugs in each cylinder fire at the same time, not alternating, and on every TDC
On each coil pack 1 and 4 share the same coil, so each fires at the same time

Since each coil in the pack has 2 spark plugs connected they are wired in Series, this means one spark plug sparks from center to tip(normal), and the other sparks from tip to center(reversed)
Some think the reverse spark is "weaker", can't say one way or the other.
But Ford does wire the spark plugs so one spark plug in each cylinder has normal spark and the other reverse spark.
The "spark plug mod" changes that so one cylinder has both "normal" and the other both "reverse", so not so sure that would be a good thing IF(big if) reverse was weaker.

You can swap 1 and 4 spark plug wires, doesn't hurt anything
Same for 2 and 3
No benefit except for anecdotal stories about better performance.

Waste spark is just a simpler system to use, no mystery, spark every TDC, simple

One heads up about spark plugs and Waste spark system, since spark plugs are in series, single platinum(iridium) tips would only wear better with normal spark, they would wear the same as regular copper plugs on the reverse spark wire.
This is why you will often see TWO factory spark plug numbers for Waste Spark engines
Both Single platinum but one set with platinum tips and other set with platinum centers, Double Platinum gets expensive when buying MILLIONS of spark plugs, lol, so Ford just used single platinum.
What it means for you is that you should either get regular copper or Double Platinum, because single platinum will wear out the same as regular copper on half the spark plugs

Last edited by RonD; 05-22-2018 at 12:05 PM.
RonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 12:11 PM   #3
BPLP
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
I use this vehicle for: DD and fun
Rep Power: 1
BPLP is on a distinguished road
Default

Okay! Thank you for all the information!

So from what you said, you are saying that both spark plugs are firing at TDC on the compression stroke and burning the air/fuel mixture from both sides, correct?

Then its also sparking both at TDC of the exhaust stroke but really for no other reason than being simple to make an engine do?

Would you happen to have any sources to this information?

Also, if what you say is true, I should be able to unplug either of the coil packs and run it off just one or the other?

I apologize if I misunderstood what you said, please elaborate more if I did!

-Benjamin
BPLP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 01:01 PM   #4
RonD
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 11,987
Vehicle Year: 1994
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
Rep Power: 53
RonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant futureRonD has a brilliant future
Default

Yes, engine will run with either coil pack's 3 wire connector unplugged, its also a good way to make sure all 4 spark plugs are working on still plugged in coil pack, i.e. if you unplug a coil pack and you get a misfire then one spark plug on the working coil pack is not working.

If all 4 cylinders are working, which they should, then that also shows you there is no alternating, if there was then 2 cylinders would die with a coil pack unplugged.

On the earlier Dual coil packs only the Exhaust side coil pack would be "on-line" while starter motor was engaged, the Intake side coil pack would start to work when RPMs reached 400, engine started.
This was done to give the 4 spark plugs max voltage(hottest spark) when starter motor drops overall voltage in the system.
1994 and earlier used EDIS(ICM) module for spark control and as far as I know they did this one coil pack startup, in 1995 spark control was moved to the new EEC-V computer and both coils sparked when starting

Waste spark info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasted_spark

Ford EDIS here: http://www.dainst.com/info/edis/edis.html

Dual plug info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_ignition
RonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 11:07 PM   #5
BPLP
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
I use this vehicle for: DD and fun
Rep Power: 1
BPLP is on a distinguished road
Default

So to sum this up.

Both spark plugs on the SAME cylinder fire at the SAME time, both on the combustion stroke and exhaust stroke, burning the air/fuel mixture from both sides of the cylinder.

I double checked this today by pulling the plug on my coil pack going to the driver (intake) side of the engine and it fired up and ran fine, then while running it I plugged the coil pack back in and heard a definite increase in rpms.

I did not unplug the plug going to the passenger (exhaust) side coil pack due to it being a pain to get to but I'm sure it would do the same.

I did swap my plugs back to the original position and it DID feel a little bit less powerful on the bottom end and when I swapped it back to the "modded" way it DID feel MORE powerful but not by much.

This could be 100% in my head but after driving on the same flat road in 3rd gear and then flooring it, it did feel the tinniest bit more powerful...

Maybe swapping the polarity is making the stronger spark happen first like you said or like I said, maybe its all in my head.

I will definitely do a more scientific and better controlled test with a timer and a 0-60 time on both wire setups.

Any input as to what I should try next or how to make my next test better?

Any possible explanation to my findings? (I'm sure its in my head)

(The real way to know for sure it to dyno test it but I don't have that option at the moment)

Thank you Ron for the awesome help with this discussion by the way!!!

-Benjamin
BPLP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2018, 06:04 AM   #6
tomw
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: toenails of foothills NW of Atlanta
Posts: 1,339
Vehicle Year: 1985
Vehicle Make: ford
Vehicle Model: ranger
I use this vehicle for: for everything
My credo: vertical and above ground
Rep Power: 27
tomw has a spectacular aura abouttomw has a spectacular aura abouttomw has a spectacular aura about
Default

If mentioned, I missed it... The spark jumps 'backwards' on one of the plugs, so be sure that both spark plug electrodes are in good condition. You may notice a bit of difference if you switch polarity as mentioned due to that fact. I think 'dual platinum' are the original installed equipment, but it may be the factory uses 'one sided' plugs that are not available retail, which have platinum only on one electrode.
If you replace your spark plugs with any regularity, it should not make a difference until the 'end of life' of the plug that is firing backwards(most likely, I think??), which would be firing from the outer (almost F shaped) electrode rather than the center electrode.

tom
tomw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2018, 06:56 AM   #7
BPLP
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 28
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Ranger
I use this vehicle for: DD and fun
Rep Power: 1
BPLP is on a distinguished road
Default

Ah yeah that makes sense!

I haven't replaced the plugs on my truck before, I have only had it for a little bit over a year and I truly don't know when they were changed last.

I might do that soon and see what happens.

I'll still do a 0-60 or maybe a 20-50 pull in 2nd or maybe 3rd gear (so I can get a accurate reading of the performance changes without the possibility of slower/faster shifting due to it being a 5 speed manual) before I change the plugs then after and also I will do the pull with the "plug mod" and without the "plug mod".

To make this all better I will do the "plug mod" with new plugs when I get them too!

Does anyone see a flaw in my plan other than human error?

-Benjamin
BPLP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
coil pack Cricket 4-Cylinder (2000 & Older) 8 09-10-2012 04:15 PM
coil pack Cricket 4-Cylinder (2000 & Older) 1 08-28-2012 10:14 PM
Bad coil pack? anchorshot 3.0 Liter Forum 12 02-11-2011 10:29 AM
could a bad coil pack... RumpRanger98 3.0 Liter Forum 6 04-01-2009 12:16 PM
Coil Pack Automan1988 4.0 Liter Forum 4 11-13-2007 10:38 AM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02 PM.




© 1999-2018 / 959 Media LLC / All Rights Reserved