Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts!

Go Back   Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts! > > >
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Welcome to Ford Ranger Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread

  #1  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:20 AM
wasabi650r wasabi650r is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Default To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

I am a recent owner of a 3.0L flex fuel truck. About 3 weeks after buying, the darn thing started spark knocking under load once warmed up. I happen to be an automotive technician, and all the basic fixes (vacuum leaks; MAF sensor cleaning - and eventual replacement; combustion chamber cleaning - seafoam, various other fuel treatments and intake cleaners; adjusting the cam synchro to advance and retard ignition/fuel timing, and even adding octane booster to 93 octane) did nothing to FIX the ping. The first thing I did was start using 93 octane gas. It's quite a bit more expensive though, and the motor still spark knocks. Retarding the ignition/fuel timing by rotating the cam synchro clockwise about 10-15 degrees helped, but there was a massive loss of power and it still spark knocked at low rpms or over 50% throttle.

After trying all the above methods to no avail, I decided to check the forums... again to no avail. It seems nobody has a solid fix for this problem. I am determined to come up with a solution to the all too common, and annoying (not to mention damaging) problem these ford motors have.

I found a TSB (technical service bulletin) from ford saying that replacement of the ignition coil and pcm is necessary, but it still doesn't completely fix the problem. I just can't justify spending $400 (and that's with me doing the labor and programming the pcm) on parts that won't fix the spark knock. Ix-nay that idea.

I filled up with E85 (85% ethanol) gas the other day, thinking the fuel map for E85 is programmed differently in the pcm, and SURE ENOUGH, the truck's spark knock problem is completely gone!!! It seems that the R&D department at ford when developing this motor focused solely on the flex fuel side of programming and didn't care too much about driveability on E10 unleaded gasoline.

Now, I know not everybody on this forum has access to E85 pumps, and I hear the gas mileage really sucks. So I am determined to find a fix - hopefully cheap - that everyone can use. After I burn through this tank of E85 I'll be back to post my E85 fuel mileage and I'll post my next direction of trying to fix the spark knock using 87 octane gas (93 is too expensive).
__________________
Porsche/Ferrari Technician and owner of a '99 3.0 FlexFuel 5spd 2 wheel drive - bone stock
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-11-2011, 12:16 PM
Fordzilla80 Fordzilla80 is offline
Welcome to FRF!
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,952
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

There's a good reason the Flex 3.0 was only made for a few years. You sir, have discovered that reason.

Best of luck on finding the fix, and if you can post back up for the rest of those who may have this same problem.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-12-2011, 10:32 AM
Dang Dang is offline
Ford Truck Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 76
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

I'm really not botherd by the knock.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:41 PM
wasabi650r wasabi650r is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

Yeah, it's just annoying until the pre-detonation cracks a piston ring or blows the head gasket. I'm developing a cheap, easy fix that SHOULD work. I just need to get through this tank of E85, and I'll post my findings.
__________________
Porsche/Ferrari Technician and owner of a '99 3.0 FlexFuel 5spd 2 wheel drive - bone stock
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:48 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
Road Trippin' King!
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,010
Send a message via MSN to richarddhoward
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

I've got a buddy that is a former Ferrari tech from Seattle. Hell of a mechanic, so props on that. I don't have the 3.SSSLLLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW but I'd still be interested in the fix. The damage costs you a lot more then E85 ever will
__________________
97 Ranger - 4.0 V6 auto, 4wd, 31x10.5x15s Wild Country XTX Sport All Terrains, Warn locking hubs, Pioneer deck with iPod attachment, Snugtop Topper, K&N filter, scan gauge II, Hella 500 Lights, More parts coming, waiting for the paycheck to get bigger!

Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
Outcast Racing
PNW Crew!!!
Afterhours Clan!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:36 AM
CUTiger CUTiger is offline
Loud and Proud!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 595
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

Mine started doing this real bad after I hit 90,000 miles. Did most of what you did, except I also changed the ignition coil which is what got it 90% gone. Now I've just gone back to running E85 all the time. The extra few dollars a tank it cost me in the end is worth it. Hopefully you'll figure out a fix for this though.
__________________
2003 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0L Flexfuel V6

Underdrive crank pulley
15x8 Procomp Xtreme Alloy 7069
31x10.5x15 Dick Cepek Radial FC II
Cherry Bomb Extreme
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-14-2011, 05:47 AM
cotcu cotcu is offline
Liking the Ford Ranger Forum
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

Do you need to do anything special to run E85? I have the flex fule 3.0 but have never ran anything except regular unleaded.
__________________
3.0L Extended Cab 4 door
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-14-2011, 01:06 PM
CUTiger CUTiger is offline
Loud and Proud!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 595
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotcu View Post
Do you need to do anything special to run E85? I have the flex fule 3.0 but have never ran anything except regular unleaded.
As long as its a flex fuel you don't have to do anything, just pour it in. Some say to ween it onto E85 if you have never ran it though.
__________________
2003 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0L Flexfuel V6

Underdrive crank pulley
15x8 Procomp Xtreme Alloy 7069
31x10.5x15 Dick Cepek Radial FC II
Cherry Bomb Extreme
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-22-2011, 09:54 AM
wasabi650r wasabi650r is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

UPDATE: I finally went through this tank of E85. On 87 octane I was getting 20.6 mpg pretty steadily. E85 gave me 15.6 mpg. 25% fuel economy drop for only a 10% price difference. Doesn't seem too economical to me.
I've been running 87 octane for a couple of days now while I try different tricks to stop the knock. I've tried putting various resistors in place of my coolant temp sensor for the pcm, to try to trick it into adding more fuel for a cold motor. All that did was set a code for engine coolant temp too low for closed loop. We had a cold morning in Dallas yesterday, and the truck ran great - minimal spark knock and plenty of power. So I tried putting various different resistors in place of the intake air temp sensor. That too didn't work. The O2 sensors are reading the rich fuel mixtures and keep leaning the fuel trims which brings the spark knock back. Today I'm gonna try to space the upstream O2 sensors to get them directly out of the exhaust stream so they read more oxygen and add more fuel. If this doesn't work I don't know that there is going to be any cheap fix for the spark knock. We all may just have to start running E85 all the time, or buy an aftermarket tuner and tune more fuel and less ignition into the motor. I'll post my findings on the O2 sensor trick after my drive home from work.
__________________
Porsche/Ferrari Technician and owner of a '99 3.0 FlexFuel 5spd 2 wheel drive - bone stock
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-23-2011, 07:54 AM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
Road Trippin' King!
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,010
Send a message via MSN to richarddhoward
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi650r View Post
UPDATE: I finally went through this tank of E85. On 87 octane I was getting 20.6 mpg pretty steadily. E85 gave me 15.6 mpg. 25% fuel economy drop for only a 10% price difference. Doesn't seem too economical to me.
I've been running 87 octane for a couple of days now while I try different tricks to stop the knock. I've tried putting various resistors in place of my coolant temp sensor for the pcm, to try to trick it into adding more fuel for a cold motor. All that did was set a code for engine coolant temp too low for closed loop. We had a cold morning in Dallas yesterday, and the truck ran great - minimal spark knock and plenty of power. So I tried putting various different resistors in place of the intake air temp sensor. That too didn't work. The O2 sensors are reading the rich fuel mixtures and keep leaning the fuel trims which brings the spark knock back. Today I'm gonna try to space the upstream O2 sensors to get them directly out of the exhaust stream so they read more oxygen and add more fuel. If this doesn't work I don't know that there is going to be any cheap fix for the spark knock. We all may just have to start running E85 all the time, or buy an aftermarket tuner and tune more fuel and less ignition into the motor. I'll post my findings on the O2 sensor trick after my drive home from work.
Have you thought about a variable potentiometer or something like that? So you can dial it in as you drive and change the resistance? The sensor reads in volts from 0-5, but I'm assuming you know that...this might allow you to get the right mixture to cure the issue.
__________________
97 Ranger - 4.0 V6 auto, 4wd, 31x10.5x15s Wild Country XTX Sport All Terrains, Warn locking hubs, Pioneer deck with iPod attachment, Snugtop Topper, K&N filter, scan gauge II, Hella 500 Lights, More parts coming, waiting for the paycheck to get bigger!

Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
Outcast Racing
PNW Crew!!!
Afterhours Clan!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:25 PM
joro16 joro16 is offline
Ford Ranger Owner
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 61
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

what is a Spark Knock? is that the usaul Jerk from first gear to second?
__________________
Flowmaster 40 CatBack Exhaust System. Bilstein HD Shocks. Cold Air Intake Mod.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:33 PM
gcextreme gcextreme is offline
Sept. TOTM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 12,248
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

This thread is so old....

The 3.0ffvs and the non-ffv 3.0s are practically the same, just different fuel injectors and seals, different programming.

Its all about taking care of your engine and know how to maintain it.
Ive had my truck for almost 9 yrs and have never run that e85 crap in it and my truck runs great..
__________________
1999 Ranger 3.0FFV-ExtCab-4x4-My 99 Build
1998 Ranger 3.0-ExtCab-4x4-PROJECT TRUCK-My 98 Build

GC-EXTREME GRAPHICS
NEED CUSTOM DECALS, APPAREL, or GLASS MUGS?
Visit My Thread!
Custom Stuff, Great Quality, & Great Prices!
These Graphics ROCK!

Buggman LEDS & GC-Extreme Graphics Joint Venture Mod Products Coming Soon!
Are you READY?!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:48 PM
joro16 joro16 is offline
Ford Ranger Owner
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 61
Default

Yeah I understand that I was just wonder what a spark knock was
__________________
Flowmaster 40 CatBack Exhaust System. Bilstein HD Shocks. Cold Air Intake Mod.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-07-2013, 12:26 AM
JSobo JSobo is offline
Ford Tough
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 250
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

It's kind of hard for me to describe but here is my shot at it (my truck does it and it drives me batty)
when your given it gas to get up to speed you here a knock, almost sounds like a rattle - it does not sound right at all. The more of a load on the engine the worse it gets. I had a Ford tech tell me it doesn't hurt anything but I don't believe it. Would love to find a fix that doesn't involve complete overhaul or new / rebuilt motor. Hope that makes sense....
__________________
_______________________________________________
2003 XL 3.0, Automatic, 2WD, A/C, 7' Bed w/Spray Liner, 181,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-07-2013, 04:30 AM
gcextreme gcextreme is offline
Sept. TOTM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 12,248
Default Re: To all owners of 3.0L flex fuel trucks with spark knock! Must read!

A knock is way way different than a rattle...a knock comes from the engine...a rattle can just be from anything external..
__________________
1999 Ranger 3.0FFV-ExtCab-4x4-My 99 Build
1998 Ranger 3.0-ExtCab-4x4-PROJECT TRUCK-My 98 Build

GC-EXTREME GRAPHICS
NEED CUSTOM DECALS, APPAREL, or GLASS MUGS?
Visit My Thread!
Custom Stuff, Great Quality, & Great Prices!
These Graphics ROCK!

Buggman LEDS & GC-Extreme Graphics Joint Venture Mod Products Coming Soon!
Are you READY?!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
99 Ranger V6 Flex Fuel overheating - Long read! XhailGC General Tech 3 04-11-2012 10:08 PM
99 3.0 Flex : Cold start engine knock/shake FoxhillRanger 3.0 Vulcan Tech 6 12-06-2011 05:43 PM
Spark Knock problem??? snatiep 4-Cylinder Tech 2 07-27-2010 02:38 PM
Spark knock 182Ranger 3.0 Vulcan Tech 0 06-22-2010 06:33 PM
Spark knock/ping???!!! rbpguru 4-Cylinder Tech 3 05-29-2010 08:32 AM