I feel your pain!
I have a van with only a 5.8L and that #1 plug is still a bitch to change. On a 460 I can guess that it's even more so. I was able to squeeze my hand/arm down from the front after removing some of the easily removable stuff that was in the way. You may have to even go through the trouble of removing an accessory or two that is on that side of the engine to gain access.
I would suggest that you install the best spark plug you can afford so you don't have to do it that often.
#'s 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 piece of cake (30 minutes)
#'s 1, 2, 5 pain in the neck
Temporarily removing the spark plug heat shielding is the only way to go.
Removing the battery and airbox gained front access via under the hood to the #1 plug.
Replace 8 plug wires - 4 hours
#'s 5 took 3 hours
1/4" drive wratchet and a short 1/4" TO 3/8" adapter to my spark plug socket, along with sheet metal body marks on the tops of my hands.
Hey Ford designers from the 1970s.....I would have gladly given up 1/2" of floor space on each side, or been ok with removeable floor/firewall panels to access the front plugs. Perhaps the 460 wasn't originally designed for the E-Series during the gas crisis back then? Oh how I thought about drilling an access hole by the accelorator pedal assy.
Last edited by BII Plow Truck; 06-17-2013 at 10:33 AM.
I just did mine a week ago and it took over an hour with a friend helping to change #1 out. I got it out easy through the fender well, but could not line it up to put the new one in. My friend has much smaller hands and still could not find a way to get to that one. I finally figured a way to snake my hand through all the smog crap and around the side of the engine to just bearly get a couple of threads started. And believe me I shed more than a couple drops of blood doing it. I have a very long set of needle nose pliers that I used to put the wires on #1 & #2 through the fender well... I wish I coulda given you some pointers, but it sounds like we all just have to do it the hard way... It took me about 5 or 6 hours to finish the job with someone helping, and between us we have over 70 years mechanics experience...
Glad to hear you finished it though...