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  #1  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:14 PM
DRM2004 DRM2004 is offline
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5.4L 3V Spark Plugs replaced...no issues!

Just thought I'd report on a successful spark plug replacement on my 2004 5.4L 3V.
As I'm sure most of you know, the spark plugs on the 3V motor are designed with a long electrode which in some cases has been known to ceased up in the cylinder head, and breaking off in the cylinder head....therefore, turning a simple spark plug change into a nightmare.
I did have the Rotunda Sparkplug Puller Tool on hand just in case I broke a spark plug off in the cylinder head.
My truck had 41k miles on it. There was NO corrosion on the sparkplug electrode shaft....just carbon build up. Just follow the TSB on this website, loosen the plugs about 1/8 turn, and allow plenty of time for the penetrating oil to do its work (I waited for ~1 hour)....I used PB Blaster penetrating oil (worked great). The plugs did screech and moan on the way out, but nothing too dramatic. I was very careful, as I didn't want to have to try out the rotunda spark plug puller tool. I reinstalled Motorcraft plugs. Truck is running great!
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Old 04-18-2007, 05:42 AM
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gui88ford gui88ford is offline
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just curious....why did you change your plugs at 41,000 miles....isn't that quite early....i had 90,000 on my last truck and only changed the plugs then...
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:06 AM
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Plug issue...

I think that DRM2004 has been reading the horror stories of people having to replace cylinder heads because of plugs getting stuck in the heads or breaking off. The issue is that carbon build up is causing the plugs to get stuck if you leave them in too long. Some have blamed the unusual plug design some have blamed it on using cheap fuel that leaves lots of deposits. Many Ford truck owners are just being cautious by not leaving the plugs in too long because we don't want to fork out 5000.00 dollars to have the heads replaced... Ford has been unwilling to back the people who do have problems so 80.00 dollars early to prevent this is just wise....



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Old 04-18-2007, 06:30 AM
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This probably wouldn't work, but I was just thinking...

They say carbon build up is what causes these plugs to break off in the heads. What about using something like Seafoam engine treatment before changing the plugs? It's supposed to knock off any carbon building up in the engine, would it work for the plugs?

For those who've never used it, you pour the Seafoam into a vacuum line feeding your engine, enough to make the engine start to die, then shut it off. You wait five minutes and start the engine. This is supposed to clean the heads of any carbon build up, so would it have any effect on the spark plug problem?
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:17 AM
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There is a very tight tolerance between the head and the plug shield so I doubt the sea foam would get the carbon out of that space. I also read something one time warning against using those types of cleaners in these engines, but I can't remember why. If you follow the TSB to the letter and change your plugs early you shouldn't have a problem anyway.
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:05 AM
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Yeah, I kind of figured that there wasn't enough clearance for the stuff to clean them off, but I figured I'd ask someone who knows these engines better than I do.

Why not use it in these engines? Obviously, I've never done it, with only 2,000 miles on the truck so far, but what about it could cause damage? Not arguing anything here, as I simply am not that experienced in the 3V motors, but I'm curious as to what damage it would cause.

I used it in my old Blazer a week ago with very good results, but that old 4.3 is a dinosaur compared to a modular V8.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:06 AM
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I can't remember the specifics of why not to use it, but I think it had something to with the emissions controls getting messed up and confusing the PCM. Maybe somebody else that knows will chime in here. It could just be another Ford memo to cover their @$$ or something.
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Old 04-18-2007, 12:09 PM
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Use Techron fuel system cleaner after each oil change.......it helps.
I have 26k on my 05 KR Screw;I will be removing the plugs for examination shortly. My build date is 7/05 so I'm curious to examine the plugs for any "fix" for the plug problem. Have not decided on Autolite HT0/HT1 or Motorcraft PZT1FF4.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:01 AM
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I wouldn't worry about changing your plugs before 40 to 50k. Like I said, I changed mine at 41k and will put at LEAST 50k+ on this new set before replacing them. The plugs themselves were still in great condition. By the looks of them, they would have probably lasted the 100k mile change interval....I was just worried about the plugs getting ceased up if I left them in longer then ~ 50k miles. I let all the horror stories get me a bit worried. But after replacing the plugs, there was no corrosion, just some carbon build up between the electrode shaft and the cylinder head. When you change the plugs, follow the TSB.....loosen the plugs about 1/8 turn and let the penetrating lube loosen up the carbon build up. You shouldn't have any issues.....who knows maybe a truck with 100k mile plugs would be okay if the penetrating oil was given enough time to break up the carbon?
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:02 AM
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I would recommend staying with the stock Motorcraft plugs. RockAuto.com has them for a decent price ~ $8/plug. My local dealer wanted $17/plug!
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysman_rick
Use Techron fuel system cleaner after each oil change.......it helps.
Actually, you'd want to use it a few tanks of gas BEFORE each oil change. The stronger techron stuff purportedly can thin out your oil. The fine print warns not to use it more than x-times per oil change.

The regular Techron injector cleaner is just a watered-down version of the Techron system cleaner. Supposedly, it's so dilute you can use it every fillup.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRM2004
I would recommend staying with the stock Motorcraft plugs. RockAuto.com has them for a decent price ~ $8/plug. My local dealer wanted $17/plug!
rockauto.com does have some great prices but when I changed out mine I got them from 1stfordparts.com for $7.84 a plug, its part# SP-462. My local dealer's parts counter was gonna give me deal: $13+ a plug!

I did the plug change about 2 months ago and broke one in the well, got it out myself and posted pics of the process in my gallery.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:25 PM
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Replaced spark plugs @50K

After reading all the horror stories about not leaving the spark plugs more than 50K I went ahead and pulled them out, but No.7 the thread came out but not the electrode. Since I did not have the tools had to take her to the Ford dealership, which will cost me an extra 94 bucks, if they can not get it all out the next step will be to take the head off which will put me behind $500 +/-.
Talking to the tech at dealership he mentioned that you have to "de-carbonized" the head before changing plugs, wish I had read it before. Never fails a day late and dollar short.

Last edited by wesFX4; 03-04-2008 at 12:27 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesFX4
After reading all the horror stories about not leaving the spark plugs more than 50K I went ahead and pulled them out, but No.7 the thread came out but not the electrode. Since I did not have the tools had to take her to the Ford dealership, which will cost me an extra 94 bucks, if they can not get it all out the next step will be to take the head off which will put me behind $500 +/-.
Talking to the tech at dealership he mentioned that you have to "de-carbonized" the head before changing plugs, wish I had read it before. Never fails a day late and dollar short.
What proceedure did he mean by "decarbonizing the head". Just curios.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gui88ford
just curious....why did you change your plugs at 41,000 miles....isn't that quite early....i had 90,000 on my last truck and only changed the plugs then...
I changed mine at 40,500 miles and im glad i did. they were a bear! and even then I broke one off in the back driver side. that was last june. and since then these pages have been off the hook with postings on this issue. just wait guys its gonna get alot worse before it gets better. as far as waiting I cant imagine how bad they would have been had i waited till 8o or 90k. One school of thought out there is that Ford is gonna have to buck up and take care of this.. I wouldnt hold my breath on that because they figure they have addressed this issue with all the tsbs.

Remember a stitch in time saves 9!
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Just my 2 cents. Mine are changed now Good luck fellas!
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:16 PM
 
 
 
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