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I just got 5.4's in a 1998 e-350 and i read all over about the plug problems and now the van started missing i was wondering what are some of the differences in changing the plugs, coil packs, adding a insert or changing the head in vans vs trucks? I have read about most of the repairs in trucks but haven't seen anything about vans, whats it going to be like changing making these fixes in the van and what do I expect to remove, move or change to the make repair. I hope I can find out what i might have ahead of me.
also the van seems to shift hard almost slamming into gears if anyone incountered that issue please tell me what it could be.
The biggest problem is obviously clearance. With my 2000, plug 7 was the worst one of the bunch. There is some fuel device located just above the COP. It didn't look easily removable so I worked around it. I was able to get it but it would have been easier if I had a 1/4" drive U-joint. The easiest to get to was 1, 4-6, and 8.
Here's what I used to make it easier:
7mm socket for the COP bolt. 1/4" drive (even if you can find a 3/8 drive, it's too big)
3 sizes of 1/4" extensions
1/4" u-joint (I needed but didn't have)
3/8" to 1/4" adapter
2 short 3/8" extensions
1 long 3/8" extension
3/8" drive spark plug socket
3/8" drive air-drive ratchet
The air ratchet really came in handy because of the lack of space to move the ratchet handle. It would have taken me a couple of hours more without it.
When I put the plugs back in, I had the long extension on the plug socket with the plug in it to screw it back in, then tighten it in with the socket wrench.
I got the van with 80k. I'm guessing the plugs were OEM. I replaced them at 130K. They were very well worn. I had a bad COP on 6 and I had first checked the plug to make sure it was OK. When I saw it I bought 8 new ones. At first I just replace 5 and 6 to get the van running right. Then a few days later 8 misfired and I replace that plug. However I knew I was going to be driving in 3000 miles in August so I did the rest of them today.
I had no problems with plugs blowing out or any problems removing the plugs.
If it misses bad like mine, eventually it'll throw a code. P0301-8 and the last digit is the cylinder misfiring.
I can't imagine replacing heads without removing the engine. I know it's something I'll never tackle.
I checked mine according to the Haynes manual, with an ohm meter. According to their numbers, mine was bad, but I pulled a good one off, and got the same numbers, so I think they only way to check one is to simulate it out of the engine.
I checked it for sure by swapping 2 of them. Then when I got a P code again, the misfire had switched cylinders, so I knew it was the COP.
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