Top Issue- 02-05 Ford Thunderbird Ignition Coils COP

Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2004
New guy here—I pick up my 2004 with 85,000 miles tomorrow. The Carfax for my car says the ignition coils were replaced at 53,000 and then an extended warranty repair on the ignition coil covers and wiper motor bracket seal was performed at 62,000. Does that fully address the COP problem? Should I be concerned about the spark plugs? No indication they have ever been replaced.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2002
Thank you for the heads up. I have a 2002 and will save a big bill when I need them. Just bought then. Thanks
Hi what do the coils do that you would know that’s the problem?
My car, 2002 Tbird, it doesn’t smoothly transition into next gear, by that I mean when starting from a stop sign it jerks as it goes faster. Did, does anyone else experience this? Car is at 76,000 miles
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hi guys ! What is the difference between coil and COPS ?

Also, the link for the coils that fits ''better'' (the AD Autoparts I think), showed that they are not in stock anymore ? Anyone as another link to order those coils ? Thank you !!!
 
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Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
My 2002 with 21K miles has developed a very noticeable hesitation under load (going up a hill) at about 1500 - 2000 rpm’s @ 35 - 50 mph. I took it to a non dealer mechanic who scanned for codes (none found). He replaced the plugs (original plugs) one was found with oil coating in the plug well from the valve cover gasket.. He suggested replacement of the valve cover gasket in the next year. He said it would take a long time for the oil to seep down into the new plug. The valve cover leak is very small. The COPS / Coils are all the original Motorcraft.. Again no check engine light or any codes stored. First question, if it was a bad coil on plug (COP) would it always trigger the check engine light or set a drive-ability code?

The mechanic seems to think it could be a clogged exhaust system on the passenger side after checking the temperature of the two catalytic converters. So down the rabbit hole we go with Cataclean trying to eliminate carbon buildup and a possible clogged catalytic converter. I just put the first bottle as directed into the tank with about < 1/4 tank of gas in the tank. I drove the bird for about 20 miles then refilled the tank. It seemed to help the hesitation some but it is still there. He also suggested it my take two application.. So I am in between the first and second application trying to burn off a tank of gas. If the Cataclean doesn’t work, then it my be a pair of catalytic converters at a very expensive price tag. They are nearly 20 years old catalytic converters. I do not smell any rotten egg smell from the engine exhaust which I think would be a sign if a failed converter.

I decided to do the second application of the Cataclean and if that doesn’t work head to the dealer who may have more experience with the T-Bird design COP’s, plugs, valve cover gaskets and possibility of no codes if no codes could be a possibility with a single coil / COP failure.

I guess driving it like you didn’t steal it could be bad for it too..

Any thoughts and thanks in advance..
 
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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
He suggested replacement of the valve cover gasket in the next year.
I think you answered your own question here. Best case scenario, when it was discovered oil was getting into your plugs, everything in post #1 should have been addressed- https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...-05-ford-thunderbird-ignition-coils-cop.5040/

Rather than going down rabbit holes and waiting for computer codes, why not fix what was already discovered? As my post says " Just by replacing these components, you may be able to bring new life to your engine!" If it was my car I would have already replaced all the plugs, coils and valve cover gasket which can all be done at once.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2005
I took my 2005 T-Bird to my Ford dealership to have it checked out, the results were 3 bad coils. I had them replace all coils and spark plugs. It was expensive but I got a 24 month guarantee good at any Ford or Lincoln dealer. They gave me the 5 good coils and spark plugs for spares. MY BIRD RUNS LIKE NEW!
 
Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
I think you answered your own question here. Best case scenario, when it was discovered oil was getting into your plugs, everything in post #1 should have been addressed- https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...-05-ford-thunderbird-ignition-coils-cop.5040/

Rather than going down rabbit holes and waiting for computer codes, why not fix what was already discovered? As my post says " Just by replacing these components, you may be able to bring new life to your engine!" If it was my car I would have already replaced all the plugs, coils and valve cover gasket which can all be done at once.<

I wish I was mechanically inclined for such work like this... I know enough to be very dangerous! There is one thing I learned here, if you buy one of these cars or any older vintage car be prepared to work on them yourself to save money / or satisfy a need for a hobby that involves hard work and keen knowledge, or be prepared to support your cool ride and have someone else work on it.. The biggest issue is who and how do you find someone to work on it.. In some cases you can work on it yourself but are you the most qualified to do so.. I have seen another 2004 Tbird at this independent shop that I been using just recently.. They are honest and reasonable. They took care of my power steering pump when that died, and also my A/C when that just needed a charge. They are right around the corner from my house which is also a plus. But after telling the mechanic about the coil issue / valve cover issue etc. from the forum, , he said if they were bad they should trigger a code. That is the main reason he went down stream to the exhausts side. He said he would put his faith in the older Motorcraft coil-pack than a cheaper aftermarket set.

As Hawkeye said, Ford gives a 24 month warranty. I will give my Ford dealer a call and see what they say.. I had a few Mercury's over my life time and had a great Lincoln Mercury dealership whos service department was excellent. When Ford dropped Mercury, I couldn't see me driving a Lincoln at that point of my life. I may give them a call also.. I guess I am shopping around for a honest service center who can fix the issues. I will let you know how it all goes..
 
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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
I will give my Ford dealer a call and see what they say. Ford gives a 24 month warranty
If it's like the dealer here, they will say bring it in and they will charge you 125.00 for a basic diagnosis. You also have to use Motorcraft parts for the 24 month warranty. One Motorcraft ignition coil costs more than all 8 aftermarket coils. I would venture to guess you could pay a regular mechanic to do the job 3 times for what it costs once at the dealership.

They should trigger a code
*Should* is the keyword there! You said your 2002 only has 21k, miles which means you likely don't drive it a lot.

A/C when that just needed a charge.
A/C systems are closed systems. They shouldn't need to be "charged", so you probably have a leak somewhere, even if very small. They should put dye in the refrigerant and then use a UV light to find the leak.
 
Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
A/C systems are closed systems. They shouldn't need to be "charged", so you probably have a leak somewhere, even if very small. They should put dye in the refrigerant and then use a UV light to find the leak.
They did do a due test and found no leaks.. They just topped off the system.. I think any A/C system will leak some over 19 years.. I think it took 1/2 lbs last year..

Just stopped down to the Ford Dealer.. It was $900 for all the parts i.e. 8 motorcraft COP's, valve cover gaskets, and plugs.. Labor was about 5 hours at $113.00 per hour. Of course it may not take all 8 COP's and plugs. I will see how it plays out or should I say pays out.. Yes it's a lot of money.. If it was a 2002 Ford focus it would be headed to the metal compactor.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
They did do a due test and found no leaks.. They just topped off the system.. I think any A/C system will leak some over 19 years.

If you do research, unless there is a leak somewhere, it should not need any refrigerant. It is not consumed like gasoline. A/C units don't need topped off and there are people with well built refrigerators that work for decades.

Of course it may not take all 8 COP's and plugs.

Unless you are on a tight budget, they should all be changed while everything is opened up as many others will tell you. As @Hawkeye mentioned, they gave him back the good ones to use as spares. Back when these were covered by warranty, Ford would only pay to fix the one fouled out and people were constantly in/out of the dealership getting COPS changed out.
 

JoeMacFQV

New Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hi. Perhaps this should be its own thread, but it seems so related I'm asking here. I'm replacing my 2002 TBird's coils and decided to do plugs based on this thread. They are 17mm and require a deep socket (which I didn't have) so bought a 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch socket. Both sockets are too thick to fit the hole. I've not seen 1/4" deep 17mm sockets, nor anywhere a mention of a special socket for this task. What am I missing ? (I have the cover off and COP off, plug clearly visible... just can't a socket small enough into the shaft/hole to get to the plug).
 
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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Hi. Perhaps this should be its own thread, but it seems so related I'm asking here. I'm replacing my 2002 TBird's coils and decided to do plugs based on this
Did you read the previous posts in this thread? Here is page 1 with some install tips, and no you don't need a new thread. This was the right place.

 

JoeMacFQV

New Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Did you read the previous posts in this thread? Here is page 1 with some install tips, and no you don't need a new thread. This was the right place.

Thanks for the quick reply. I took a new plug and it didn't fit any of my existing spark plug sockets, so being a Jaguar based engine I tried metric and found the 17mm fit and said OK. Trying again this morning though and the standard 5/8" socket fits the plug and the hole.
 
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Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
I just got my bird back from the Ford dealer. I took it on a quick run this morning and it is running smooth as silk.. No hesitation or bucking.. That's after replacing the (8) coil pack all 8 plugs and the 2 valve cover gaskets. I did get 7 of the COP's back. They found PO 303 cylinder 3 misfire.. Both Injector flow test and compression test passed.. They found oil leak in pug wells 5 and 6.. I had them rep[lace all the COPs plugs and both valve cover gaskets.. Hopefully this will cover me for a "bunch" of more years..
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Has anyone had experience with any of the following COP components:
Spectra Premium C619 Ignition Coils ( fit and reliability)
Denso 671-8166 Coil-on Plug Boot (fit and capability with other listed components)
NGK 5464 Iridium IX Spark Plugs ( are they good for COP ignitions)

Also, Is this a good combination of components for normal driving in moderate climates ( Oregon) for my garage queen?

I am about to do a complete swap out at 48K miles on my 2002 Thunderbird and your input would be very helpful and thank you
D'Miles
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Has anyone had experience with any of the following COP components:
Spectra Premium C619 Ignition Coils ( fit and reliability)
Denso 671-8166 Coil-on Plug Boot (fit and capability with other listed components)
NGK 5464 Iridium IX Spark Plugs ( are they good for COP ignitions)

Also, Is this a good combination of components for normal driving in moderate climates ( Oregon) for my garage queen?

I am about to do a complete swap out at 48K miles on my 2002 Thunderbird and your input would be very helpful and thank you
D'Miles
What is used by most members is in post #1 https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...-05-ford-thunderbird-ignition-coils-cop.5040/
There's no point in pursuing other options, either by the motorcraft COPS or the ones listed in post one which have numerous 5 star reviews.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
Hello tbird owners,
Yesterday my wife and I were on a joy ride and after our tur through the countryside e were going to get back on the highway on the on ramp and lost all power to the gas pedal. Car was still running but very eratic any clues to what the cause could be. We had to be towed home.
 
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