By Dave R. (FTE User: Racerguy)
Replacing the spark plugs on a V-6 Escape isn’t a really difficult job but it can be quite time consuming.
If you’re used to replacing spark plugs on a simpler engine you might be surprised to learn that you have to remove the upper intake manifold. It’s not really as bad as it sounds.
This is the order I do it in and not necessarily how you’ll want to do it.
You will need 6 spark plugs(I recommend Motorcraft) and 6 upper intake manifold gaskets.
Remove the plastic enigne appearance cover over the top of the engine. It has 3 8mm nuts that attach it to the valve cover studs. The Escape I worked on in these pictures had been worked on by another shop and apparently they forgot to reinstall the cover so I don’t have a picture of it.
Loosen the hose clamps that hold the intake tube to the throttle body and air filter housing. Pull the breather hose out of the intake tube and remove the tube.
Remove the throttle cable from the bracket by twisting the cable housing and then remove the cable from the throttle lever on the throttle body.
Remove the cruise control cable from the stud on the throttle lever by pulling it up. Don’t try prying it off or it will break. Squeeze the tabs that hold the cruise control cable housing into the bracket and remove the cable from the bracket.
Remove the cable bracket from the upper intake manifold and tie the cables out of the way, probably to the cruise control servo.
Disconnect the TP (Throttle Position) sensor and IAC (Idle Air Control) connectors. Unclip the vent hose from the bracket under the throttle body.
Remove the vacuum hose and vapor hose from the Vapor Management Valve. The vapor hose has 2 tabs that you carefully pry apart to remove it.
Remove the vacuum hose from the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve and the 2 hoses from the EGR solenoid as well as the connector on the solenoid. The connector has a tab you squeeze to release it.
Remove the EGR tube from the valve. It takes a 1 1/8" wrench.
Remove the vacuum hoses from the back of the intake manifold.
Unclip the electrical connectors from the manifold. You don’t have to disconnect the connectors.
Remove the nut that holds the wiring bracket to the EGR solenoid and position the wiring out of the way.
Tie the wiring and hoses out of the way.
Remove the 8 bolts that hold the upper intake manifold to the lower manifolds.
Stuff clean rags in the intake ports so nothing accidently falls into them.
Unplug the connectors off the COPs (Coil On Plug). Each cylinder has it’s own coil.
Remove the bolts and COPs.
It’s a good idea to clean the rubber boot part of each COP. I like to clean them with WD40.
Blow out the spark plug wells with compressed air and remove the spark plugs.
Gap the new spark plugs with a gapping tool to .052-.056".
Install the new spark plugs. Some people like to use a small amount of anti-seize on the threads. Others put them in dry.
A good way to thread the new spark plugs into their holes is with a piece of rubber fuel line hose over the spark plug insulator. That way you can feel the threads starting and you’ll be able to tell if they aren’t screwing in easily. If they won’t screw in using your fingers and a piece of hose, stop and see why not. Crossthreading spark plugs is no fun. Torque the spark plugs to 11 ft.lbs.
Replace the intake manifold gaskets. They pop out with a small screwdriver or pick. Push the new ones into place.
Reinstall the manifold carefully. You need to set it pretty much straight down onto the lower manifolds to make sure that you don’t damage the gaskets. Torque the manifold bolts to 89 in.lbs….not ft.lbs.
Reassemble the rest in the opposite order that you took it apart.
Try working the throttle a few times to make sure it returns properly etc.
Start the engine and listen for any unusual noises such as vacuum leaks.
Once you’re all done you can congratulate yourself on a job well done and think about all the money you just saved