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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2011, 09:04 PM
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Pinging and carbon splatter

My engine is pinging when cold, and recently i noticed a ton of what looks like soot/carbon splatter on the side wall of my garage around the exhaust area.

context: truck has 140k miles on it, and had a 4.6 engine swap at 111k. new plugs at 120k and new valve cover gasket at 137k. i only run premium shell/chevron gas.

i'm a complete newb on the mechanical front... any suggestions?

new plugs and sea-foam it?

oh - and bonus points for anyone that can tell me the plug-gap for the 4.6 engine... (tried searching but couldn't find here...)
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  #2  
Old July 12th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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What grade gas are you using? The 4.6 recommends the good stuff. My 4.6 runs better with the better gas. Did you notice it with the change over to the summer fuels? I would try a fuel treatment before anything else.
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  #3  
Old July 12th, 2011, 09:51 PM
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only ever used premium-grade shell/chevron gas. ditto for the previous owner since the 4.6 upgrade. not sure what you mean by 'summer fuels'... are they really different seasonally?
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Old July 12th, 2011, 11:43 PM
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What do you mean pinging? Any CEL? How new are O2 sensors?
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:07 AM
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very slight high-pitched pinging sound, like timing is off.

assume CEL == check-engine-light? if so, no - nothing illuminated.

oxygen sensors: no idea, i can't find anything explicit in the service records stating they were replaced.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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I do not know about the fuel in your state but in the East they do modify the fuel seasonally. You can notice a difference in gas mileage between the winter and summer fuel. You can also check the pump and see how much Ethanol they are using. However if you use the same thing all the time that might not be it. I think I would still add some fuel cleaner to take out any water that might be in the tank. If the engine still is acting up then you can move on to other stuff.
The O2 sensors are on the exhaust system.
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  #7  
Old July 13th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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[QUOTE=brettm;290672]My engine is pinging when cold, and recently i noticed a ton of what looks like soot/carbon splatter on the side wall of my garage around the exhaust area.

[QUOTE]

Are you saying that the ping occurs while driving and the engine is cold or when you start the truck?
What about your fuel consumption and performance? Notice any decrease in performance when the motor is up to operating temp?
If it's only something that happens upon a cold start, it could just be an enrichment issue.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC22958 View Post
I do not know about the fuel in your state but in the East they do modify the fuel seasonally. You can notice a difference in gas mileage between the winter and summer fuel. You can also check the pump and see how much Ethanol they are using.
Brett: 10% Ethanol here in Seattle.
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  #9  
Old July 13th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevkon View Post
Are you saying that the ping occurs while driving and the engine is cold or when you start the truck?
What about your fuel consumption and performance? Notice any decrease in performance when the motor is up to operating temp?
If it's only something that happens upon a cold start, it could just be an enrichment issue.
it seems to be audible when starting the truck cold and driving a mile or two, and then it goes away. i haven't noticed a drop in performance at all, it's got plenty of punch still

i'll try some fuel additive first and go from there...
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Old July 13th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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  #11  
Old July 26th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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after dumping in some seafoam, hearing the pinging more climbing up hills, and a big plume of black smoke coming out the exhaust accelerating on the freeway...

i decided it was time to explore how to replace the plugs... lo and behold upon looking under the hood, i found that one of the plug leads had come off and was flopping around.

replaced it and it seems to be better on my drive to work this morning... hopefully no long-term damage done...
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  #12  
Old July 26th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Black Smoke? Couldn't that mean you have a Head Gasket issue? Did it only happen that once? And, was it under load at the time?
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  #13  
Old July 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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These trucks like to be driven hard, don't baby it!
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  #14  
Old July 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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E@very Rover i have driven ive gotten a little smoke at WOT.
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  #15  
Old July 26th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by specops1526 View Post
Black Smoke? Couldn't that mean you have a Head Gasket issue? Did it only happen that once? And, was it under load at the time?
yes.. kicked-down to accelerate (it's a 97/auto) so wide-open-throttle...
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  #16  
Old July 27th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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I am really surprised that with a missing spark plug lead, you didnt have a check engine light for a misfire. Are you sure the bulb is good?

Black smoke is usually a rich condition, white smoke is a head gasket condition.
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