Top Issue- 02-05 Ford Thunderbird Ignition Coils COP

Let me start with saying I was having an issue that blasted things off and opened more issues. The first was I have been getting several Engine Codes (P0112, P0120, and P0122) of and on for a while. These seem to be related to the IAT and the Mass Airflow Sensor. I starting looking at things like the sensors, wiring, and plugs. Being that I have a K&N CAI Systeem on my Bird I looked at the MAS mounting. BINGO! I saw the spacer and gasket had warped and was leaking air past the Mass Airflow Sensor and thus setting off the computer to throw these Codes. I was able the straighten the spacer with the use on a Heat Gun. Well that fixed that and I am not getting the Codes any longer. But on the test drive, with only 21,000 miles on this 16 year old car, the engine started sputtering and missing. Being a somewhat proactive guy I was prepared so I decided to change out the COPS and Plugs to see if that would correct the issue. I have heard from other Bird owners changing them might make a difference. Not a real hard job. Just one screw from the left COP Cover under the Brake Booster can be a bear. Everything looked good until I checked Sparkplugs Gap, The Gap is suppose to be 0.44, but these plugs were from 0.28 to 0.48. No wonder it ran like a junker. After completion I went for a ride an WOW what a change! A totally different, new feeling, car! No more stutter-n-sputter. What a wonderful responsive motor. I'm in love again!!!! So if your Birds is of that certain age and maybe not that responsive try giving the old girl a new set of COPS and Plugs. The total cost was less than a hundred bucks. A cheap fix.
Last edited by a moderator:
I have been following the forums for a couple months since getting my 2002 end of September. Very informative. Since then I read about top care and bought the recommended care kit. I read with horror about the exploding spare tire and immediately pulled my original out of the trunk and replaced with a new tire for about $60... quick easy fix. I had the car put on a lift and had the brace bolts torqued to 46. One bolt turned 1/2 turn, anotherturned 3/4 turn. Car with top down went from Feeling like it would fold in half when it hit a bump, to feeling tighter than with hard top on. All tips from different posts. Many thanks to you all.

I also read with great interest the posts about The coils and plugs and bought all the recommended parts and tools to try to tackle that job one day soon. Mine did have an issue while under top gear slight acceleration, a skipping that was probably a sign of a coil or plug that was needing replacement. Then about a week ago, I finally got the check engine light that I had been anticipating. And it was running especially rough. So here’s what I might be able to share that might help someone else....Autozone let me use their code reader to plug in and then bring inside to them to print out cause. It said small leak, evap system. They kinda scratched their head and said that could be about anything, and they couldn’t turn off the light for me. But this really nice lady at the desk pulled me aside and said buy a $16 gas cap, take the gasket, really an O ring, off the new one, put it on the one tethered to the car, and wait 100 miles and like magic all would be well. I figured $16 was not a bad investment to see if she knew her stuff. So far so good. No light, the car runs better than it has since I got it. No missing in top gear. I’ll still replace the plugs and coils at some point just to know they are fresh, but maybe an 18 year old O ring is causing someone to have an issue. Hope it helps someone and I can pay it forward like that nice lady at Autozone did for me.