I am new to this forum. My first ford. 2008 f-150 5.4 45,000 miles.
I like changing the plugs around 50,000 miles. I started taking off what I thought was the coil maybe? But it feels like it is attached to a rubber boot? Not sure. I have changed plugs in all my vehicles but this is different and need some direction. Will I have trouble getting them out? What type of plug is it? Appreciate any help.
The output from the coil pack is in that rubber boot. It fits on the end of the spark plug down in the cylinder well. It should easily pull off when you remove the coil pack. Make sure you have a 9/16" spark plug socket on hand and I like to use a locking extension on it.
When I loosened the coil pack screw it almost seemed like it was stuck. You just pull on the coil pack? How does the boot go back in? Any special secrets on getting to the plugs back near the fire wall? Also What type of plug is it?
If you've got an early build date 2008 (say prior to November 2007) you may have the type of cylinder head/plug that can stick in the cylinder head upon removal. There was a redesign at about that time which eliminated the problem.
If you have the old style head/plug, search the forum for spark plug change on the 5.4 3V engines. There are a couple of TSB's for plug removal, follow the procedure implicitly. And it might not be a bad idea to pick up the Lisle 65600 plug removal tool.
If you have the newer engine, you should have no problem with plug removal.
I'll also add that now would be a good time to replace the boots with new and use some dielectric grease on the boots. I would recommend using Champion spark plugs because they are welded together and less prone to breaking upon removal.
I would like to wish you the best of luck in changing out your plugs on your F150. I hope that you actually have less than 50K miles on it... Take my advise and do not waste your money on the plug removal tool that everyone talks about, if you would like to see it or purchase it Napa does have them. Search the forums for my user name and read what I have posted about changing them. It may save you some headaches when you do attempt it. Make sure that you get in contact with or visit Fastnal or Granger and purchase Nickle Anti-seize, it will turn out to be the best purchase you ever made and when looking at new plugs, look at spending the extra money and getting the new Champion plugs. They are one piece construction and guaranteed not to break. Also, after you get the original plugs out make sure that when you replace them with the new plugs to place the Nickle-Anti-seize on the ground probe (but not the very bottom) and a tad-bit on the threads. Go ahead and place some Dielectric grease in the Coil over boot and on the outside of it to aid in sealing it and keeping out debris and water. After it is all said and done make sure that you log the mileage and then in another 20K - 25K pull all of your plugs, clean them off (just use brake cleaner or carb cleaner) re-coat them with Nickle anti-seize and put them back in, clean the coil boots and re-coat them with dielectric grease and reassemble.
As for getting the back plugs out... Make sure that you have various lengths of socket extensions and possibly a universal adapter to get to them. Make sure that when you put the new plugs in to finger screw them into the head first before placing a socket wrench on them (this will ensure that you do not cross thread them when putting them in) and torque them down to the specified setting. Get a decent Torque Wrench that is small enough to get into the engine compartment (if you have a Harbor Freight near you or order one online...they are very inexpensive and small) I have a 3/8" one that goes to 80 ft/lbs a 3/8" that goes to 200 in./lbs and a 1/4" 200 in./lbs that I use.
If you are unsure if you want to attempt it DO NOT TAKE IT TO A FORD Dealership, it will cost you about $400 just for them to change them with Motorcraft plugs, that is only if they all come out without having to use the removal tool or pull the heads. It could cost as much as $1500 if they have to pull the heads and $800-$1000 if they have to use the tool. The only problem is when they use the tool, the ceramic from the plug ends up in the cylinder and there is no guarantee that it all will come out without damaging the cylinder walls.
I have a 2004 F150 XLT Scab with the 5.4 3v engine that is approaching 200K miles and is still going strong. If you have any problems or questions please feel free to email me and ask.
By the way... As for Ford changing the Head design on the newer F150 5.4L engines, there is no proven data and when looking at the heads side-by-side you can not see any differences between them. They were supposed to make the port for the Plug ground Probe larger to hinder the carbon-binding that siezes the probes in the heads. Even if you read the Ford TSB and follow it to the "T", step by step they do not come out easily. Even after soaking the plugs, in head, for 2 days with Aerokroil as per the TSB. Ford did not even release a new part number for the heads between 2004 and 2009 for the 5.4L.
Anything to help out... I have been telling everyone that I see with a 5.4L 3v engine about the problem with the plugs and how to prevent from spending alot of time and money when changing them. I was with out my truck for almost 3 weeks when I first changed them due to breaking all but 2 off and having to pull the heads to get them out. It was well worth pulling the heads and not having to risk damaging the cylinder walls later. It was a learning expireance though...
Being that you have around 15K miles on yours, take advantage of a good day during the weekend and pull them out while you can and prep them with the Nickel Anti-sieze. You don't have to replace them yet unless you want to. the Motorcraft plugs are made by Autolite but the Champion plugs are your best bet if you want to stick with the OEM heat range plugs. Autolite offers different heat ranges if that suits your liking.
Thanks for the help. Can someone give me the the plug # on the champion plugs? I have 45,000 miles on the truck so I guess this is a good time. Also I had started taking off one coil pack but the boot seemed like it was stuck. I can just pull on it without taring anything?
Motorcraft .... SP-421
Autolite .... HT1 and HT15 (recomended if not going with Champion)
Champion.... CHA 7989
As for removing the Coil Boot, use a gental pulling motion while twisting the coil from left to right. You can also try removing it when the engine is warm. This usually works. Some of the coil over boots have a clip that "snaps" onto the sparkplug, others just have a spring loaded tab that presses against the top of the plug. If by chance you damage the boot while removing it, they are available at most parts stores and at Napa (BEL 702460). Let me know if this works. If it doesn't you can also try to sqirt some PB Blaster down along the boot to see if it will help release it or use AeroKroil.
I decided to let the dealer replace them. Makes me nervous thinking about breaking any. My truck is my livelihood. I work 2 jobs. I had called the garage that I take my older cars to when its something I wouldn't do. I asked him about the plugs breaking in the 08's and he said "no those were earlier models". That was it. Not taking it to him because his guy's probably wouldn't follow the TSB that Ford put out. So I called the dealer that I was comfortable with and they said that most 08's that they get breaks 1 or 2 of them. Can't avoid it. But they said there guys are well trained with this issue and they follow a good proceedure and they are only putting in the one piece plugs. So I will feel better about pulling them out myself 25,000 miles down the road to maintain them. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet. The cost will be $300. And each one that breaks will be an additional $50.00.The truck is a great truck. My first Ford. So it goes in the end of next week and I will let you know what happens. Thanks for all your input. This is a great forum.
Ryan50hrl, you need to do more research. the plugs for the 07-08's are the same design as 04-05 and 06's. Check your favorite autoparts store. for 08 f150 5.4, Motorcraft sp-507, autolite HT1's and HT15's (champions were not listed where i looked.)