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Top Issue- 02-05 Ford Thunderbird Ignition Coils COP

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by tbird, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Hi all, I wish I had made a video when I did this job, but I did capture some good pictures with a few hints along the way. It's in this same thread from last May, but here's a link. Hope it helps!

  2. I just recently bought my 2003 Thunderbird ... I specifically avoided the 2002 T-Birds due to issues with the Coils. Apparently 2003's, 04's, and 05's are also prone to this issue, as I found out this past weekend. Mine only has 24.7K miles on it, and all of a sudden, the engine started stumbling. Shortly afterwards the Check Engine light came on. I immediately knew what the issue was, and promptly ordered some new ignition coils and plugs on Amazon. Now just gotta do the work and install them. Good Winter project, as my TBird won't be leaving the garage anytime soon.
    Elaineinwa, Elsie and tbird like this.
  3. Just finished changing the coils and spark plugs. Started at around 10am and just finished 2pm. Pretty straight forward job. I think I used every socket extension combination possible. All looked good except that there saw about 1/4 teaspoon (maybe less) of oil in the #6 spark plug tube. I used the barrel swabs and connecting rod from my rifle cleaning kit to soak/clean up the oil. I did the drivers side first. Figured I'd get the interesting ones done right off. I am disappointed that the coils are about 1/8th inch longer. Didn't really like sealing the access cover with ultra black. Makes for a sloppy finish to an otherwise smooth job. Anyway thank for all the posts. Made me feel like the job was done before I started!!!!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    tommyc, Mach5 and Elsie like this.
  4. JW in Dixie

    JW in Dixie Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    The set I bought two years ago are the exact same length for about $37. Using one now and it is fine so far. Cheers
  5. Tommyc explains the the height issue nicely with pictures here on page 4. I was able to deal with this as he suggested and I am satisfied with the outcome. It sure beats paying $65 each for Motorcraft coils. Now on to painting the calipers!!!
    tommyc likes this.
  6. Well we bought our bird with 25k miles about a month ago. We have managed to put about 80 miles on it during the few nice days here in Cleveland. Last time out the stumbling began. Just a single miss at idle here and there and within a few more miles had progressed to a fairly pronounced stumble. I'm hoping the cops and plugs will fix it, planning on ordering the ones identified in this thread. I'll let you know how it works out. But I do find it curious the way they went. I had a 99 Lighting that would just drop a coil from time to time. That would be a consistent dead cylinder that was easy to find, and I would just replace the one bad coil. I think I had 3 go bad in about 70k miles. Those had no covers and were exposed to the elements. I also have a 03 Cobra with 105k miles, never had a coil go bad. I had thought they worked out the issue. It has a cover over the coils. Oh well, glad I enjoy working on these things.
  7. 2002 tbird coils jc16no18 eccpp got them on amazon 18 mos ago will they fit my 02 correctly
  8. Ok, at 25k miles the 05 bird began to exhibit the cop problem. I picked up the plugs and began replacement, figured I would order the coils later since it won't be going anywhere soon. So here are the tips. Use a tie wire on the open end wrench for easy retrieval if you drop it, second you can use a flat blade screwdriver in the end of the socket as a low profile universal joint. Here are some pics, questions to follow. IMG_20190112_165349522.jpg IMG_20190112_165406243.jpg
    stevedaphotoman likes this.
  9. Now the questions. Has anyone had the coil problem without the associated problems? These look like new. I can find no evidence of anyone having been in IMG_20190112_175408237.jpg here before. The plugs look good to me too, but any advice? Has anyone ohmed out the coils to determine if they are still good? If so what should they read? I haven't gotten to the passenger side so that could be a different story. Thanks IMG_20190112_175445061.jpg
    tbird likes this.
  10. JW in Dixie

    JW in Dixie Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Ohmmeter or battery - lamp the coil circuit - either some degree of resistance in the Ks, shorted or open.
    Get an OBD II code reader and know which one is faulty. My 04 recently began missing: OBD showed #6 COP.
    Big help. Advise against driving with a cop not firing - raw gas not good for cylinder walls and rings. Cheers
    biddle and ChuckH262 like this.
  11. I didn't drive it long enough to set a code, so nothing shown on the scanner. The passenger side has one plug and coil that does not match the others. I have the Parts Galaxy coils ordered and expect them today. I measured 5500 Ohms on the secondary side and .8 Ohm on the primary side of all coils. I'll check the new coils when they arrive, but these numbers look reasonable for good working coils. Now that isn't to say they may change once warmed up. IMG_20190113_152909386.jpg IMG_20190113_153022789.jpg
    JW in Dixie likes this.
  12. That string idea is great. I also stuffed a bath towel between the engine and the inside of the wheel well to catch those screws. Simple but effective!!
    JW in Dixie likes this.
  13. New member and I hope this doesn't seem redundant. I read a ton of posts about the spark plug coils and have to say its a bit confusing.

    So does anybody have EXACT coil part numbers (that fit and allow the covers to be installed!) along with part numbers for the plugs ? Several Amazon links I followed from threads on here led to coils that are said not to fit well..

    Thanks in advance!
    John Hayman likes this.
  14. biddle

    biddle Forum Moderator Staff Member

    See post #1 https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...-05-ford-thunderbird-ignition-coils-cop.5040/
  15. Wow, I just bought two at $49.99 each at Pep Boys. I ordered the set of 8 since I seem to replace these often. They only had 7 left, so I would suggest jumping on that deal. Thanks for tip.
    tbird likes this.
  16. Hi folks. I'm looking to purchase a 2002 -2005 'bird. Are there any reasons that I should stay away from any particular year? I've read that the 2002 has a hydraulic fan assembly that may be problematic and parts are no longer available for repair?
  17. There is plenty of hydraulic fan parts available. I have two 2002 T Birds, and
    no hydraulic issues yet.
  18. The '02 model did have a hydraulic fan. It was eliminated on the '03 - '05 models, and there was also a HP increase on these later models. These two facts helped drive my decision to get something other than an '02.

    Not knocking the '02s mind you, or their owners. In fact the '02 had the nicest color combinations (IMHO), and they are plentiful. I owned two different '02 Lincoln LS, which shared the same platform as the Thunderbird. I had to replace the hydraulic setup on one of them, and it wasn't pleasant. I had it done at a shop, and it was costly and time-consuming. It just seemed like something I could avoid by buying a later model Thunderbird.

    Since you're here in the COP thread, it's worth mentioning again that the COP problem exists in all years. But it's very manageable with the low-cost aftermarket COPs. Lots of info here about the issue and resolution.
    stevedaphotoman and JW in Dixie like this.
  19. The hydraulic fan assembly including shroud, fan blade, and hydraulic motor is
    only $151, and hydraulic pump varies from $95 to $195. Not bad if it does fail.
    The 2002 had the most sales, so there is plenty out there.
    stevedaphotoman likes this.
  20. Are there higher performance coils available as I am in the process of upping the performance of my t bird

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