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Those aftermarket coils thru Amazon...

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by pc614, Sep 2, 2017.

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  1. Moderator update- See last post, the coils fit perfect when installed by a mechanic. Ordering information here.

    I preemptively bought the set of 8 for under $40 a few weeks ago. As luck would have it, I started experiencing the telltale symptoms of ignition misfire to such a degree that it threw a code which read something to the effect of ignition coil misfire. Thanks for supporting what my intuition feared. I proceeded to install all 8 - figure I'll just buy another set for next time. Anyway, I noticed that side by side they appeared to be a little longer than OEM coil but I figured the extra length would settle over the plug as I installed them. Unfortunately, the extra length seems to be from the bottom of the mounting surface (screw hole) and the top of the coil.

    Long story -short, I cannot get the cover to remount correctly. The extra length is making it impossible to pull down both sides of the cover snugly. I can only think of two remedies: 1) make a full gasket out of neoprene or similar material and tighten down on that - should seal OK, right? 2) use a dremel to take off between 1/8 and 1/4 inch of material from the bottom mounting surface to in effect, lower the high top of these coils.

    Anyone else experienced this problem with these coils and if so what was your fix?
    I guess I can chalk it up to experience and buy some more expensive replacements, too.
  2. Quite a few people left the covers off and didn't bother to put them back on. Something to think about....
    tbird likes this.
  3. I am sorry to learn that what was advertised as a match - doesn't. I also bought a set this Spring for 'just in case'.
  4. Me too....not excited to hear that they are not an exact match.
  5. I bought them too, but have not picked them up yet (they don't deliver to Canada). We'll definitely watch for this. Thanks for the heads up.
  6. Crap - I bought a set as well
  7. I would like to order a set online also. The ones that were suggested on this site doesn't deliver to Canada as Victory mentioned. There are lots on eBay - I'm just a little leery . Has anyone bought a similar set online on eBay or other site that does fit, are reasonable, and deliver to Canada. Thanks in advance.
  8. Hi Guys, We just bought a set too, ours were ordered from Parts Galaxy thru Amazon. There are several listings for Coils for sale on Amazon from different sellers, I'm wondering if all of the coils listed have this problem. Which coils did you buy? Were they from Parts Galaxy? Please let me know what brand you guys have? Of course my Tbird is now skipping going up hill, so I need to get them installed and had planned on having it done next week. I will be contacting Parts Galaxy and asking them about the fit and may return them if I can find a set that I'm sure will fit. I did notice that an Amazon Reviewer on the Parts Galaxy listin had the same problem but was able to fit the cover back on but it was tight.
    tbird likes this.
  9. tbird

    tbird Super Moderator Staff Member

    Interesting! What year is your car @pc614 ? Is it a 2002 by chance? If you read the reviews, some people reported snug fit on both the Lincoln LS and Thunderbird, but most of the reviews the people are very positive.

    How does the car run after installing them?

    Review 1-
    "A whole set for less than what the dealer would charge for one. Put them in (w/ new spark plugs) and my T-Bird runs great! Dealer would've charged an arm and a leg."

    Review 2-
    Did find someone else that reported they could not get the cover back on the 2002 LS
    "2002 Lincoln LS V8. Work amazingly. Brought back a lot of horsepower. The only problem is that these are slightly taller than oem and i wasn't able to reinstall the stock covers."

    Review 3-
    These coils are slightly taller than stock, cover over the coils goes on but fits tight. I cannot write any review on longevity. Changed coils and plugs at the same time and T-Bird runs well again. I gave three stars due to tight fitment.

    Regardless, I'd rather try something else besides the factory ones which are crap! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Definitely wouldn't spend a lot of money on any of them because they don't last!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  10. Hi Everyone,
    I did a little research on the coils and I've found that most of the different brands of coils for sale on Amazon have one or two reviews that state that the coils are slightly longer, but the cover is able to be put back on with a tighter fit. So, I may keep the coils I bought, but will still call Parts Galaxy when they open on Tuesday, I'll report back once I've spoken to them. I also found this really helpful review on Amazon. Being a new Tbird owner, I feel the more I know about the coil issue the better and the review below really sheds some light on why the coils fail and what measures can be taken to prevent them from failing again. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. When I take my Tbird to get the coils installed, I plan on printing the below review and taking it with me to the mechanic so he can read the tips outlined below, so that I can maximize the time and mileage before I have to deal with this issue again.
    Hope the below info is helpful!

    3.0 out of 5 starsWork great, but caution, the connector sits higher than OEM coils
    ByIbuyalothere on January 16, 2017
    Verified Purchase
    I bought these along with a set of Bosch Platinum +4 spark plugs to replace a different brand of replacement coils that were starting to fail and causes misfires after a litle over three years and only about 10,000 miles on my 2003 Thunderbird. It currently has a little over 107,000 miles on it. The old coils (bought on Amazon) started to have misfires about a year ago. The Jaguar designed AJ-V8 engines used on the 2002-2005 Thunderbird and 2000-2006 Lincoln LS are notorius for misfire issues and rough running due to failing/failed coils. The coil misfires are often only a symptom of the problem. The root causes of the misfire issue are many, as are the solutions. I got about three years, although only about 10,000 miles, out of these coils before they started to fail. Having said that, I have learned a lot about the causes of the coil failures in these engines and how to keep them running as they should and I will share much of what I learned here.

    First, before I get into solving misfire issues with these engines, let me talk about these coils. Be advised, that the electrical connector on these coils stand up a little above the top of the coil. This causes some issues with putting the coil covers back on as the connectors hit the top of the coil cover. You can bolt the cover down over the top fo the coils since it is plastic and will flex, but iIam not sure how water tight the coild covers will be after yo do that (see more about moisture below). I decided not to return the coils and flexed the coild covers over them. One week later, the misfires are gone. Only time will tell how long these last. I bought them proimarily because they are supposed to have alifetie warranty. We'll see. Now on to what I hav learned about keeping engine issues at bay with the AJ-V8 engine...

    If you start to have misfires/rough idling/rough running, it is "most likely" although not exclusively, the coils (as long as you have kept up with other routine engine maintenance and repairs). Once one coil starts to go bad, they will all start going so it is best to replace all eight at the same time. While you are at it, you should also replace the spark plugs, since misfires can cause the plugs to foul and new coils will not fix that problem once the plugs are fouled. I also recommend using Bosch Platinum +4 plugs (Bosch #4419) or equivalent as these plugs resist fouling and misfires due to their design. They cost more than the OEM plug, but it is is cheap insurance to help alleviate/minimize the misfire issue. These plugs are a nice upgrade over the stock plug style. Do not overtighten the plugs, you can strip out the threads as these engines are all aluminum. The torque spec on the plugs is 18-20 foot-pounds of torque. Bosch also does not recommend the use of anti-seize compund as the plug threads have a special plating that resists the threads seizing in the bore over time.

    When you change the coils and plugs, look carefully into the plug bores for evidence of oil and/or moisture. If you have oil in the bores, you need to replace the valve cover gaskets. Leaking valve cover gaskets are a known issue in these engines, especially the early years of these engines. Use the Fel-Pro gasket set (available on Amazon) as their design won't leak when properly installed. Follow the installation instructions exactly. Do not over tighten the valve covers when installing them. Use a torque wrench. I replaced my old gaskets with the Fel-Pro gaskets and they have not leaked a drop of oil in over four years.

    If you find moisture/water in the plug bores, you need to replace your coil covers. Leaking coil covers are also a know issue with these engines, especially in the early years (~2000-2003). The newer versions have an improved, thicker gasket and don't leak. These must be ordered from Ford. Do not over tighten the coil covers! The torque spec is 44 inch-pounds.

    The design of these coils do not seem to lend themselves to long-term reliability, so sooner or later (usually sooner) they are going to start to fail. In general, these so-called "dry coils" are less reliable than the good old oil filled coils that were used before electronic ignition systems. This coil desing in particular seems to be very susceptible to failure due to moisture and the symptoms of them beginning to fail starts with misfiring from a "weak" spark. Moisture is the enemy in these engines, and the coil covers seem to be a double-edged sword. The purpose of the covers is to keep moisture out, but they can also lock moisture in - which is a bad thing. These engines operate normally between 220-230 degrees Farenheit, above the boiling temperature of water. High moisture on metal combined with high heat causes corrosion/oxidation. Oxidation causes an increase in resistance in conductors. Increased resistance reduces the coil voltage getting to the plugs, and the reduced voltage causes weak spark or no spark, which in turn causes misfires. So, the solution is to keep moisture out of the plug bores in the first place, and second, to minimize the chances of corrosion/oxidation if mooisture gets under the coil covers and into the plug bores.

    When installing your new plugs and coils, first clean all electrical contacts with electrical contact cleaner, make sure they are completely dry, and then apply a thin coating of dielectric silicone tuneup grease to all electrical surfaces. Use a Q-tip to apply the grease, but make sure to not leave any cotton from the swab behind. Also apply dielectric grease to the sealing area between the coil and the rubber boot, and also on the spark plug insulator where the rubber coil boot goes over the plug. Dielectric grease will not interfere with the transmission of electricity between the metal surfaces, but it will protect them from corrosion. This will increase the life of your coils. Anectdotally, from reading many, many user stories over the past four years, and trying to solve all of my own issues with this engine, it seems as though the increased resistance from corrosion/oxidation in the mating surfaces between the coil and the plug seems to cause premature failure of the coils.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2017
  11. My (P)acific (C)oast Roadster is a 2004 -#614 of 1000. I was surprised when I removed the coil cover that there was NO gasket for this cover. The Ford dealer had done a warranty replacement of two coils while in his used inventory. I trusted the work because this car had apparently been purchased, serviced, and traded at the same dealer by the first owner who only drove it in the summer w/ top down. Barely over 30K miles on the odometer now after +6 months. Again, back to the cover - - so there should be a gasket present between the valve cover and coil cover ? I guess my idea of thicker neoprene DIY gasket looks even better. I figure tightening the cover down, flexing it to fit would set up too many other stresses inside the coils that might cause future premature failure.

    This car was an internet find/buy to replace another PCR w/ 106K miles. Wife just loves her car and wanted a duplicate to replace it. The move from Chicago area to Texas will probably be its last.
    John Hayman and tbird like this.
  12. BTW - I also sent an email to Parts Galaxy asking about fitment issues and the supposed Tbird application. Waiting on a response.
  13. Hi pc614, Nice name, I get it now after reading your previous post. So you bought your coils from Parts Galaxy? I plan on calling them Tuesday and will post their answer, please do the same if you hear back and we can compare their answers for accuracy.
    tbird likes this.
  14. Hi All,
    I'm planning to have all 8 coils & plugs done this week, I bought the set sold by Parts Galaxy on Amazon and the mechanic is trying to scare me into using the OEM Motorcraft DG529, for $88 each. So my question is: Has anyone installed either the Motorcraft or the Parts Galaxy Brand and how long and how many miles have you got out which ever one you used?
    John Hayman likes this.
  15. tbird

    tbird Super Moderator Staff Member

    That OEM part is 49.00 on Amazon. Across the board, I've seen this stupidity with mechanics blindly pushing OEM parts because they are allegedly so much better. The irony is, most of the time, the failed part is OEM. What happened to fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me? The general consensus on this, is that regardless of what part you use in this case, it will likely fail because of the poor design. I think spending a lot of money on a part that is going to be damaged because of poor design around it, is foolish

    Read the reviews on the parts galaxy part, they are good other than concerns about the fit.
  16. Hi tbird, Thank you for your insights, makes a lot of sense, I did see that the Motorcraft DG529 were $49 online and wasn't thrilled with the mechanic's price. Last night I spent a great deal of time researching the aftermarket coils and have found hundreds of good reviews on them and just about all of the users are happy, interestly there is no where near the number of reviews on the OEM, however the few that I found were good. When the car goes in I will ask them to check the plugs to see if it's oil or water that's on them and also have the gasket and seals changed depending on which it is, or may just do both. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to me. Only other concern I would have is the overall fit of the aftermarket coil, hoping that the mechanic will be able to get the top back on properly. I still plan on calling Parts Galaxy today and speaking with them about their fit and durability, I'll post their answers later. Thanks again tbird, what you said is basically what I wanted to hear!
  17. I bought and installed these from eBay (with new plugs) and they are fantastic. Fit like a glove and look cool too.

    I also noticed that someone mentioned leaving the covers off. DO NOT DO THIS!!! This is one of the reasons the coils fail prematurely in the first place. I found that whomever was in there on my car before me had left a number of the bolts out so the covers were not sealing correctly. I cleaned up the gaskets (lubed them with silicone grease) and replaced the missing bolts. She purrs like a dream now and has that rage in power I was hoping to get back.

    biddle likes this.
  18. Hi All, I've been in touch with Parts Galaxy and this is their reply:

    Compatible Vehicles:
    FORD THUNDERBIRD (2002 - 2005) V8 3.9L

    JAGUAR S-TYPE (2000 - 2002) V8 4.0L

    JAGUAR S-TYPE (2003) V8 4.2L (FROM VIN M21730 - M45255) - Please be advised of the VIN requirement

    JAGUAR S-TYPE R (2003) V8 4.2L (FROM VIN M21730 - M45255) - Please be advised of the VIN requirement

    LINCOLN LS (00 - 01 / 03 - 06) V8 3.9L - This will not cover the year 2002 model

    As you have properly stated with us with the reviews that you have read on our item, customers are stating that it does not fit or the item is too long for their vehicle. But as soon as we have checked their VIN, the problem was not the part but the actual vehicle was not compatible with our item. Most of our customers have misread or did not follow the compatibility drop down located above our listing, it will also provide the fitment note we have also stated on our product description.

    Attached Files:

  19. Update on Aftermarket Coils bought from Amazon-Parts Galaxy
    Just got back from the repair shop, had my Parts Galaxy Coils from Amazon installed, mechanic said they fit perfectly, no problem at all, no tight fit for the cover going back on either. The coils he removed were the original Motorcraft OEM, car has 29800 miles, there wasn't a drop of water on any of the coils and only a tiny bit of oil on one of them. We had him change the plugs to Bocsh Platinum +4. Never had the check engine light come on only heavy skipping going up hills, soon as you took your foot off the gas all was smooth. Ran perfectly on the way home, Seems to be so many variables in making these coils last, such as sealing everything up with the dielectric grease, I asked the mechanic to read thru a couple of print outs that I screen shot from online and he said he did what they suggested. Below is one of them. Only time will tell, hoping this will be the end of it for a while.


    Attached Files:

    4PacificBird and biddle like this.
  20. tbird

    tbird Super Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    4PacificBird likes this.
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