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Old 03-09-2012, 05:03 PM
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Talking 5.4V8 DREADFUL SPARK PLUG ISSUE SOLVED !!

Hello, Ford folks, I have posted about this issue before, but I decided to share my recent experience on this issue with you guys.
I have been contemplating the replacement of my plugs ( 06 Expy EB ) since before It had reached 100K miles.
I bought the new redesigned Champion Double platinum 7989 Plugs.
My idea was to remove the plugs with the engine hot. Ford states it should be room temperature. But if they new better they would not caused this issue on the first place.
I followed the instructions from this guy on You tube ( watch video below )
Ford 5.4 Liter 3 Valve Spark Plug Removal - YouTube


Within 40 minutes I had all 8 of my plugs on my hands. None broke.
Plug number 8 ( Drivers side way on the back ) was already totally lose , I did not even had to use any wrench to remove it. It came out by hand.
Thus the cause of my ticking noise ( that I thought it could be lifters )
One hour Job, My truck was up and running like a champ.
Check it out.Below are my old plugs . 110.000 Miles.

Click the image to open in full size.


Passenger's side. I had to remove the ECM and the battery. No biggie.

Click the image to open in full size.



Below are the new plugs I bought. These will not brake in the future. Watch the video below as well

Here is the video explaining this new plug design.

Champion 7989 - YouTube

Click the image to open in full size.




Below are some of the tools I used to get this job done...


Click the image to open in full size.



I Used the angle of my driveway to make the Expy a little lower, easier to get to the back plugs.


Click the image to open in full size.


Torquing the number 8 plug ( driver's side back plug )


Click the image to open in full size.


The beast now runs smooth , the ticking noise is gone.

Last edited by mig25; 03-09-2012 at 06:18 PM. Reason: added video
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:04 PM
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glad you were successful. subscribing so i can watch that about 30 more times to get the nerve to place my impact wrench at the business end of an aluminum head casting. yikes.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:07 PM
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You are right , before I pulled the trigger for the first time on the plug number 8 ( Yes I started on the hardest one ) I had goose bumps, the shakes, and all.
But it was well worthy.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:13 PM
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Agreed. My buddy John just had his done at a local Ford dealership that doesn't even have a heated trans flush machine for the newer trucks. Waited til 160k against my ranting about the importance of doing them earlier. Damages?? they claimed 5 broke and nailed him for 600 even. for changing plugs. Ford should have never orphaned this issue (or the spitting plugs issues on the 2v). Thanks again for the write up, at almost 80k, I'm going to hit it soon. Reps sent.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:08 PM
Dre82s Dre82s is offline
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I have a 1998 5.4 and when I did my plugs some 20k miles ago I use the platinum bosh plugs they did not resemble at all the plugs y'all showed on this thread did I get the wrong plugs?
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:19 PM
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I use the platinum bosh plugs they did not resemble at all the plugs y'all showed on this thread did I get the wrong plugs?
Nope. Your motor is not a 3-valver.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:48 PM
Schlominator Schlominator is offline
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Glad this worked well for you. Do you think the warmed up engine is the key to easy removal or the speed and power provided by the wrench? Also I've seen many recommend the motorcraft over the champion plugs. Why did you go with the champion? I need to do this this week and would be glad to learn from your experience. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:03 PM
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Plugs

I decided to go with the Champion because , number one it will not break like the motorcraft does , ever. Champion is also double platinum.
The hot engine is the key, also the vibration of the air wrench does most of the job. I did plan this job for two months before I tried this method.
I did have the broken spark plug removal tool handy just in case.
I started on the hardest one , plug number 8.
Take your time.
Do it alone, without anybody to be blah blah blah while you are trying to do this job. Once you remove all 8 plugs, take a break. Go easy on yourself , it can be stressful.
Good luck.
*
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:24 PM
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Steel plugs in aluminum heads & their inherient issues have been around since the 70's- unless you are talking racing products from the 60's (which I'm not)

When I decided it was time to change the plugs (2006 Mark LT 4x2, 5.4, 35,000 miles) I used the Motorcraft SP 515’s. Although I knew about the carbon build-up/plug removal issue, I decided not to change the plugs until there was a replacement plug that I was comfortable with…meaning I knew it was a good quality plug in terms of component design and construction. Although I did following the most recent TSB, I also relied on my experience back in the 1970’s when aluminum heads & intake manifolds were just entering the street scene and never-seize did not exist. Here are the exceptions to the TSB that I did…
1. I ran Lucas fuel injection cleaner, mixed at 3 times their recommendation in 1 full tank of gasoline. Purpose…if I was lucky, it would dissolve or loosen any carbon buildup (although many do a real fuel injection cleaning also- and it is probably a best practice to do if you have more than 45-50,000 miles on the plugs)
2. Although I am a fan of PB Blaster, I used a product called ChemSearch “Yield”. The issue I have with using carb cleaner is the lack of lubrication…..in the old days of removing steel plugs from aluminum heads, we use to mix up acetone & ATF…or of we needed more lubrication, kerosene & ATF, “Yield” provides this lubrication- much better IMHO than even PB Blaster.
3. Yes, I put anti-seize on the plug threads (I know the TSB says not to)
4. Of course…a lot of patience, I really doubt if I ever put more than 20-25 lbs of force during removal (purposefully)
The end result, only one plug even “squeaked” coming out (but it basically unscrewed like a regular plug- literally). Plug #4 was initially a little stubborn, but after the second try, then waiting about 30 minutes, it came out with very little effort…just kept wiggling the plugs (tightening/loosening) by 1/8th or even less of a turn- and they all came out without a single one breaking or any issue really.
Actual working time: 2 hours…..including washing my hands, total time was 5 hours.
FYI- Why I choose Motorcraft.
In the 1970’s I ran (like many) Champion’s in just about everything (even had the gold palladiums), but stopped in the early 1980’s when they changed their copper-core design and the resulting quality problems that IMHO still exist today. Since then I have run Splitfire (non-platinum) in my old world (1960’s) cars, Bosch in my late 1990’s vehicles (both because the cylinder head design really prefers these types of plugs), but I really had hesitation because of the construction/component quality of the non-Motorcraft plugs and really questioned the durability in this application about the Motorcraft SP508 or SP 509’s which are single platinum. Given the types of loads and burn/flame promulgation rates in the chambers, I really had doubts about the style of the plug with single platinum having the ability to “survive” as long as they engineers said. What do ya know…the SP 515’s are double platinum.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:54 PM
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Plugs

You are now talking 30 years ago. The new redesigned Champion plug above is platinum, actually double platinum.
If Motor-craft was any good this problem would not exist to begin with.
My advise to folks out there DO NOT USE a plug you know will brake next time you do a tune up.
Don't take my word for it. Do as search on the web as well as here on these forum about spark plugs. You will be horrified of the stories of broken plugs head removal thousands of dollar job just because Motorcraft did not design a good plug.
I did all my plugs within 1 hour . None broke, my truck is now doing about 17 MPG on the new double platinum Champions.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mig25 View Post
You are now talking 30 years ago. The new redesigned Champion plug above is platinum, actually double platinum.
If Motor-craft was any good this problem would not exist to begin with.
My advise to folks out there DO NOT USE a plug you know will brake next time you do a tune up.
Don't take my word for it. Do as search on the web as well as here on these forum about spark plugs. You will be horrified of the stories of broken plugs head removal thousands of dollar job just because Motorcraft did not design a good plug.
I did all my plugs within 1 hour . None broke, my truck is now doing about 17 MPG on the new double platinum Champions.
You are simply a blogger who is completely unfamiliar or choosing to ignore the MC SP 515's (the spec'd replacement) which are a 1 piece (welded), double platinum design....and have been out for about 1+ years now.

I wish you the best with the champions and I am glad you were in good shape regarding the removal.

BTW...the "Hot Engine' is not the "key"...a little thing called physics here....as an engine heats things expand not contract....so the tolerances actually reduce. The heat can soften the carbon but I doubt if you had much build-up in the 1st place (a good thing which is actually what causes the OEM 2-piece plugs to break).

There is also a technique presently taught in the MSE brieifings, crack the plug open 9unscrew) about 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn, fire the engine, let run for 1 minutes....this creates venting (leakage) ever so slight as to allow the flame in the cylinder to promogate up and burn off the carbon, agin reducing/eliminating the binding action that occurs breaking the oem 2-piece plug.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:01 AM
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Plugs

I do respect your opinion. If that is the way you think I will not argue or bash you *by no means. I thank you for posting responses to our posts, that is what makes these forums so helpful.
This is my 4th Expedition/F150 , I love these trucks and indeed *think they are one of the best out there, even though there are few design flaws that the engineers could not foresee nor fix it.
In an attempt to fix the blow out plug issue on the 5.4s they came up with this design, a plug that will break in pieces if carbon builds up on its tip. Basically they fixed something but broke something else.
I rather go with the opinion of a mechanic that has done more than 100 tune ups on the 5.4 3 valve engine and never broke a single plug, also I want to have a piece of mind if I decide to pull my Champions out for whatever reason they will never brake, and It can be done in an hourís job .
I do not want to go to the stress of fighting to remove a plug for hours , nor take 5 to 6 hours just to replace plugs or pump $600 at the dealer.
*
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mig25 View Post
I decided to go with the Champion* because , number one it will not break like the motorcraft does , ever.* Champion is also double platinum.
The hot engine is the key, also the vibration of the air wrench does most of the job. I did plan this job for two months before I tried this method.
I did have the broken spark plug removal tool handy just in case.
I started on the hardest one , plug number 8.
Take your time.
Do it alone, without anybody to be blah blah blah while you are trying to do this job. Once you remove all 8 plugs, take a break. Go easy on yourself , it can be stressful.
Good luck.
*
From your first post, you seem to have the numbering wrong. #8 is on the drivers side rear while #4 is the furthest back on pass. side.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hodges710 View Post
From your first post, you seem to have the numbering wrong. #8 is on the drivers side rear while #4 is the furthest back on pass. side.
Thank you for the info. I have edited the Post with the correct plug numbers.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:40 AM
Beechkid Beechkid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mig25 View Post
I do respect your opinion. If that is the way you think I will not argue or bash you *by no means. I thank you for posting responses to our posts, that is what makes these forums so helpful.
This is my 4th Expedition/F150 , I love these trucks and indeed *think they are one of the best out there, even though there are few design flaws that the engineers could not foresee nor fix it.
In an attempt to fix the blow out plug issue on the 5.4s they came up with this design, a plug that will break in pieces if carbon builds up on its tip. Basically they fixed something but broke something else.
I rather go with the opinion of a mechanic that has done more than 100 tune ups on the 5.4 3 valve engine and never broke a single plug, also I want to have a piece of mind if I decide to pull my Champions out for whatever reason they will never brake, and It can be done in an hourís job .
I do not want to go to the stress of fighting to remove a plug for hours , nor take 5 to 6 hours just to replace plugs or pump $600 at the dealer.
*
What you and your mechanic are missing is, approx 3 years ago the plugs that were spec'd for our engines changed, Motorcraft SP508 or SP 509ís, they were not of a 2-piece design which as a result of the carbon build-up creates stressors that exceed the construction of the 2-piece plugis- this is what was originally installed (and blame Federal-Mogul for the construction defect who actually built the OEM plugs for Ford).....these (the 508 & 509) are a 1-piece design (just like the champion), but single platinum.....the revised plug that came out about 1 year ago was the MC 515, a 1 piece double platinum plug (they will not break in the same conditions).

There is also a very old saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it", I may be old, and I may not have changed 100 sets of plugs specific to the 2004-2006 5.4's (as I doubt your mechanic has as well), but none of this is new, looking back at history, remember the 1978 Chevy Monza (of course you don't- you likely were not even born yet) , it came with an optional V8....yeah, a 2000 lb car with a V8!!!!! The bad news, to remove the rear plugs, you had to pull the engine......absolutely.......true, and not considered a design defect by Chevy.........I remember a neghbor who had bought one, really wasn't a shadetree mechanic, and bought it without looking under the hood............IIRR, in 1978 he paid $600+ for a "Tune-up" and only the dealer would touch it because of the engine installation issue.....and mind you, this was back when spark plugs in high performance engines typically were changed out every 2000-4000 miles. (and yes, I have changed steel plugs in aluminum heads more than a few times)

So much for history class (grin)
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:40 AM
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