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2007 Ford e150 4.6L - Hard Starts, Random Shutdowns

  • Tyler
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10 Jun 2018 10:16 #21352 by Tyler
Just checking in! :cheer: Any luck with the purge valve?

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11 Jun 2018 11:13 #21379 by Loachuck
I did not do the purge valve plug test - yet. Maybe I should today as I had made an appointment at the Ford dealer for tomorrow.

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08 May 2019 18:45 - 08 May 2019 18:49 #29417 by wfseward
Just found this thread, and eagerly followed(until it just ended with no apparent resolution)as I have the exact same issue with a 2005 E-150 4.6L. I've been banging away at this for a few months, with similar if not exactly the same symptoms and efforts to fix.. P061b code only. Researching this endlessly, the usual suspects are Air intake path and Throttle Body/drive by wire system. Parts replaced:

Throttle Body (ford factory new compete assembly with TPS)
New Accelerator Pedal assembly
Several different MAF's
New connectors on Throttle body and new wire bypassing harness
New PCV Valve
New Cam Position Sensor
Fuel Filter (was very dirty)
Reconditioned PCM
I have new EGR coming tomorrow as well as coil set and plugs.

Just recently ordered and received today and new Air intake horn with the MAF housing and was surprised it was complete with new air filter, clamp, and new MAF already installed, and new MAF wire harness and plug. Pretty good deal at 150$, considering factory MAF is around 100$. Looks great when you open the hood, but didn,t clear the problem. Which is pretty much the same as Loachuck. Sometimes it will run for 10 -20 min fine, then and always skip into limp mode. I can reset rolling in neutral, but lately it takes 2 or 3 tries . Usually happens on firm throttle press, (which I am doing to see if I can trip the code.)

I have been able to dive for a distance by very gentle throttle modulation (which usually irritates the car behind me).
I only have Forscan, using Bluetooth and iphone or Ipad. It does read most of the Ford PiD's and will do live data readout as guage or graph, that can be saved and emailed. I have monitored many of the parameters discussed here, but nothing jumps out when it happens.

One part of Loachucks post caught my attention regarding the CAT's. about 3 weeks before this started, I was getting a horrible metallic rattle just aft of the engine, seemed like a loose heat shield or I thought maybe the CATs where disintegrated . That noise stopped and hasn't come back. Not sure how to test CAT system.
Also, 3 weeks ago I took it to independent shop that had it for 10 days and got nowhere. Didn't even charge me. I think they were glad the van was gone. Then a week ago I broke down and took it to ford dealer, and they had it for 4 days. Tech reprogrammed/updated PCM and test drove and said it did not throw the code, so i was hopeful (but not really) that maybe it was fixed. It failed barely out of the parking lot. So at least I know it's up to me to solve (Unless there is a ford savant in the area)

The frustrating thing is, the van runs great until limp mode pops. But it is a worthless hunk of metal with this problem unresolved, as it is pretty dangerous driving, not know when it will shut down. And it has no resale value as is, other that salvage. This is my first Ford, coming from working on my own BMW's, and I thought,"American made, and easy to work on, and parts must be easy to source" Wrong on all counts
I guess at this point, probably my last Ford, unless I can fix this thing. Ok rant over. Just wondering if any thing became of the other folks who had the same problem
Last edit: 08 May 2019 18:49 by wfseward.

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10 May 2019 05:25 #29470 by Loachuck
Hello wfseward - have the coil packs and/or spark plugs been replaced?

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10 May 2019 05:27 #29471 by Loachuck
OK, sorry I just saw the last part re: new cop & plugs. Stock replacements?

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10 May 2019 15:41 #29502 by wfseward
Hey Loachuck glad you saw this and responded! Well I just got the new coil packs and plugs a few days ago and haven't had a chance to install yet. They are Motorcraft original equipment. Have to get up early to do the job as its been hitting 90 degrees by noon already here in Fla.
Really curious the status of your E150 and if you ever got it resolved.

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16 May 2019 09:18 - 16 May 2019 09:21 #29705 by wfseward

Loachuck wrote: Hello wfseward - have the coil packs and/or spark plugs been replaced?


Holy crap that was it!.
I had ordered a set of Motorcraft coils and plugs, thinking "couldnt hurt" and as I had purchased the van with no maintenance records, didn't know the state of those parts. But I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of bloody knuckles and other horrors, after reading stories of ford triton spark plug issues on the web. Now the scoop on this engine (2 valve 4.6) I did discover is, opposite of the 3v versions, they have a tendency to blow out as opposed to getting stuck and breaking off.

The truth is, it wasn't that hard at all. Once you know where the coil screw is, and armed with various extensions in both 1/4 drive (for coil bolts) and 3/8 drive for the plugs. Also was very careful to blow out plug well before removing.
Now here is the odd thing, 4 of the 8 plugs where barely tight, and came out way too easy. there was some kind of gritty residue on the threads, I would imagine was anti seize that was pretty cooked. And there was one aftermarket coil in the mix, the rest factory. The plugs actually looks in pretty good shape, although the loose plugs had carbon on the thread body.

Now I did find a few sites that recommend no anti seize on these engines, with a higher torque value of 28-30ft lbs.
Fired up the van after resetting the PCM , figuring it would change the idle settings. But engine was stumbling and missing, and it was WTF moment. but I looked over and saw I had left one of the injector plugs off, and after connecting that, bingo! smooth idle.

Of course having lived with this problem for months and 2 shops trying to fix, I was skeptical it was actually fixed. Well 4 days later, with a bunch of city driving with fairly aggressive throttle (which almost always triggered limp mode before) , no more failsafe mode. The new PCM ( ouch, I know), is still dialing in shifts and it gets smoother the more I drive

Now this all begs the question, what was going on with the cylinders/coils plugs, that would not throw a specific code, but affect power/torque enough to cause the P061b code and failsafe mode? Never a hint of issue when testing these with scanner, and never a misfire reported. All the hours scanning the net for info on this code, almost always pointed to the drive by wire system (throttle body, TPS, ETC, Pedal sensor) errors or the air intake path (MAF/unmetered air) then after that, it was faulty janky PCM. Even the dealer, who had the van for 4 days, reprogrammed PCM, said they thought it was fixed, (failed before I got out of the driveway) had on the work order "If this issue is not fixed (by reprogram) pin point troubleshoot procedure then recommends replacing PCM"

I will say the first shop I took it to, an independant, did ask me about the condition of the coils/plugs, which was unknown to me . But, is it because these older ford engines have such a bad rep regarding plugs that mechanics shy away from actually pulling a few to check?

Isn't there a way to test coils under load condition in the shop? if not there should be.
Also its kind of embarrassing to admit, but early on in this saga, my girlfriend, who doesn't know much about mechanics, said, "you should check the spark plugs". She's gloating now, and I will listen more carefully to her from now on.
The ultimate takeaway from this, When you buy an older used vehicle with unknown history, bite the bullet and change the dang coils and plugs, oh and fuel filter, air filter, bla bla bla.
Last edit: 16 May 2019 09:21 by wfseward.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Tyler

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16 May 2019 11:58 #29713 by Tyler

wfseward wrote: Holy crap that was it!.

...

Well 4 days later, with a bunch of city driving with fairly aggressive throttle (which almost always triggered limp mode before) , no more failsafe mode. The new PCM ( ouch, I know), is still dialing in shifts and it gets smoother the more I drive


Holy fix out of nowhere! :woohoo: VERY well done. The update is hugely appreciated.

Now this all begs the question, what was going on with the cylinders/coils plugs, that would not throw a specific code, but affect power/torque enough to cause the P061b code and failsafe mode?


Exactly what I was wondering. :silly: Not trying to doubt your fix, but did you remove/replace anything else while you were doing the coils/plugs? Any loose air intake clamps found? Last year, I was thinking about this code being caused by air measurement faults, but now I'm not so sure.

I will say the first shop I took it to, an independant, did ask me about the condition of the coils/plugs, which was unknown to me . But, is it because these older ford engines have such a bad rep regarding plugs that mechanics shy away from actually pulling a few to check?


Maybe? It's even worse when you go to check a plug on one of these, and find that the thread repair insert came out with the plug. :angry: Now you get to reinstall a thread insert for free.

But honestly, unless I suspect a misfire, I wouldn't go digging into this ignition system either.

Isn't there a way to test coils under load condition in the shop? if not there should be.


There is! A secondary ignition probe with a scope is ideal for these engines. With the doghouse off, it's easy to brake torque the engine in the shop with the probe on a coil, and see exactly what the ignition system is doing. Makes spotting bad coils a breeze. :cheer:

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19 May 2019 16:16 #29822 by wfseward

Tyler wrote:

wfseward wrote: Holy crap that was it!.

...

Well 4 days later, with a bunch of city driving with fairly aggressive throttle (which almost always triggered limp mode before) , no more failsafe mode. The new PCM ( ouch, I know), is still dialing in shifts and it gets smoother the more I drive


Holy fix out of nowhere! :woohoo: VERY well done. The update is hugely appreciated.

Now this all begs the question, what was going on with the cylinders/coils plugs, that would not throw a specific code, but affect power/torque enough to cause the P061b code and failsafe mode?


Exactly what I was wondering. :silly: Not trying to doubt your fix, but did you remove/replace anything else while you were doing the coils/plugs? Any loose air intake clamps found? Last year, I was thinking about this code being caused by air measurement faults, but now I'm not so sure.

I will say the first shop I took it to, an independant, did ask me about the condition of the coils/plugs, which was unknown to me . But, is it because these older ford engines have such a bad rep regarding plugs that mechanics shy away from actually pulling a few to check?


Maybe? It's even worse when you go to check a plug on one of these, and find that the thread repair insert came out with the plug. :angry: Now you get to reinstall a thread insert for free.

But honestly, unless I suspect a misfire, I wouldn't go digging into this ignition system either.

Isn't there a way to test coils under load condition in the shop? if not there should be.


There is! A secondary ignition probe with a scope is ideal for these engines. With the doghouse off, it's easy to brake torque the engine in the shop with the probe on a coil, and see exactly what the ignition system is doing. Makes spotting bad coils a breeze. :cheer:


Thanks for weighing in on this! Was quite a headbanger for what seemed like forever. Very satisfying to finally zero in on the fix (ok more like a scattergun fix). The phrase "Don't be a parts changer" kept running thru my head, as I was changing all those parts. I did rationalize it as, "its a van with 190K that I don't know the maintenance history, might as well update these parts". This is my first Ford, and besides some of the quirks and weaknesses of the engine, this thing is built like a tank.

Regarding your comment on the fix:
"Exactly what I was wondering. :silly: Not trying to doubt your fix, but did you remove/replace anything else while you were doing the coils/plugs? Any loose air intake clamps found? Last year, I was thinking about this code being caused by air measurement faults, but now I'm not so sure."

Yes, I kept coming back to the air intake path, obsessing over the clamps and vacuum hoses (hose), and even quadruple checking the Throttle body mounting bolts. I can say I had the intake tubes/parts on and of easily 30 times. I even ordered a new factory air filter/MAF housing that came with new filter, clamp and MAF installed.

I did remember that when I was pulling the old coils, one of the connectors was not snapped in and wasn't sure it I had released it, or it was loose already. Wiring issue/ shorts/high resistance was the other thing that was mentioned as possible cause and I spent a lot of time checking/cleaning connectors and pins.

Good to know about the coil diagnostic with scope. As an electronics tech in previous life, I am very interested in learning more about deeper diagnostics with next level (for me) scanner and scope.

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20 May 2019 12:26 #29837 by PDM

Loachuck wrote: Hello wfseward - have the coil packs and/or spark plugs been replaced?


Was this the fix for yours?

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21 May 2019 07:58 #29877 by wfseward

PDM wrote:

Loachuck wrote: Hello wfseward - have the coil packs and/or spark plugs been replaced?


Was this the fix for yours?


Yes it was the fix! Not sure if it was the coils, or the fact that 4 out if 8 plugs were loose/barely tight. The plugs looked ok other than that.

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21 May 2019 08:07 #29878 by PDM
Thanks. That was actually for Loachuck. :lol:

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21 May 2019 15:28 #29893 by chief eaglebear
Replied by chief eaglebear on topic 2007 Ford e150 4.6L - Hard Starts, Random Shutdowns
I got a 2.4 litre gm forklift engine doing similar stuff my company keeps dealing with parts changers I told them ask forklift co if they have proprietary code reader that is NOT available to anyone that is not certified so unless forklift co oks it you do not have acces to diagnostic code reader for the ecms that is uded by forklift I imagine the s means small these are dual fuel ecms both fuel and propane can be used with the flick of a switch well my company justb spent over three grand on new engine and weiring harness and its still doing same thing cutting out when it gets hot ??????

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