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Old 03-31-2010, 02:46 AM
cudamank cudamank is offline
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finally happened spark plug failure

Well my mom's truck had a spark plug failure, or rather ejected. This is on a 2003 ford 150 supercrew 5.4 with 141k miles. Called me from the side of the road, said it was making a noise so she shut it right off. #4? passenger rear, found plug on valve cover, coil on plug mounting ear broken.

So now what? Truck was towed home and now doing research to figure witch way to go. I know ford says replace the head, but do to cost reasons would prefer to avoid that.

Of course now thinking we need to take a look at my dad's 2006 f150 crewcab 5.4 4x4, close to 100K and my wife's 05 Excursion v10 4x4.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudamank View Post
Well my mom's truck had a spark plug failure, or rather ejected. This is on a 2003 ford 150 supercrew 5.4 with 141k miles. Called me from the side of the road, said it was making a noise so she shut it right off. #4? passenger rear, found plug on valve cover, coil on plug mounting ear broken.

So now what? Truck was towed home and now doing research to figure witch way to go. I know ford says replace the head, but do to cost reasons would prefer to avoid that.

Of course now thinking we need to take a look at my dad's 2006 f150 crewcab 5.4 4x4, close to 100K and my wife's 05 Excursion v10 4x4.
141K miles-those plug should have been out of there LONG before that time. If they were changed-you need to speak with the guy that changed them. if they haven't been changed,then your mom needs to look in the mirror for someone to be upset with. You dad's '06 5.4L is probably gonna have problems getting the plugs out-it's a 3V,and has different style plugs that have some issues with the plug ground shield breaking off in the head if you leave them in too long.
JL
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:38 PM
galaxie641 galaxie641 is offline
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I know when mine popped, it was either #2 or #3, the shop said they pull the head if it is #4 just so they can get in there and do the inserts correctly. My insert has lasted a few years now and probably 20K-30K miles cost under $300 IIRC, but it was easier to get to.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:17 PM
cudamank cudamank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Langton View Post
141K miles-those plug should have been out of there LONG before that time. If they were changed-you need to speak with the guy that changed them. if they haven't been changed,then your mom needs to look in the mirror for someone to be upset with. You dad's '06 5.4L is probably gonna have problems getting the plugs out-it's a 3V,and has different style plugs that have some issues with the plug ground shield breaking off in the head if you leave them in too long.
JL
Actually they were changed at 70K by......Ford.

Need to quit throwing blame around. And yes I read your posts about how many trucks you have and never had a problem. Happy for you, dosnt change the fact that there are problems that can occur with these heads.

I know many toyota owners that think there is nothing wrong with their cars, and alot of explorer owners never had tire blowouts either.

My post was about what happened, and after spending 2hrs on here last night researching all the blown plugs post will be making some calls today to find about getting on the inserts done.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cudamank View Post
Actually they were changed at 70K by......Ford.

Changed by Ford..means absolutely nothing. It's pretty apparent by the situation that your mom is stuck in that the technician that did the change screwed it up in some way. Just because somebody is a Ford "technician" doesn't mean that they're capable of doing their job right.
I've got proof that I know how to prevent this spark plug "blowout problem" in every vehicle that I own and maintain-something that the people that have this "problem" lack.
JL
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:44 PM
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the threads in the early heads were marginal, but i think if the plugs are installed with a little anti sieze and torque properly for an aluminum head, your chances of blowout are very minimal.. Biggest problem is guys overtorque, which is common on a iron head, but record proves you cant doit with the old alluminum heads.. Of course installing #4 and #8 are hardest, being in the back.. is possible that a mechanic gets the thing cross threaded and screw up a thread or two, then gets it straight, but too late.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:23 AM
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While you may believe that people over-torquing them is the whole problem, I just had a friend have his pop out at about 60k. They had never been changed. So if they were over-torqued, they were over-torqued at the factory. I don't think its very professional to throw blame around. These engines are very tempermental about this sort of thing. The helpful thing is where to go from here. The timesert threaded inserts are the way to go, and the repair can be done with the head on the vehicle. The main key is to make sure no metal shavings are left in the cylinder. To address that, you use lots of heavy cutting grease, then you blow out each cylinder with a blast of compressed air.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:45 PM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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The blame is on the shoulders of the Ford engineers and upper management that approved a head with only 3 threads to hold a spark plug in. There is nothing wrong with having a bad idea, but getting someone to buy into that bad idea leads to problems like spark plugs blowing out.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Langton View Post
Changed by Ford..means absolutely nothing. It's pretty apparent by the situation that your mom is stuck in that the technician that did the change screwed it up in some way. Just because somebody is a Ford "technician" doesn't mean that they're capable of doing their job right.
I've got proof that I know how to prevent this spark plug "blowout problem" in every vehicle that I own and maintain-something that the people that have this "problem" lack.
JL
I agree 100%.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:44 AM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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If there is some secret to keeping the plugs from blowing out that info is worth big bucks to the people who own this engine. I'm wondering why anyone would buy multiple vehicles with this problem.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:23 AM
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If there is some secret to keeping the plugs from blowing out that info is worth big bucks to the people who own this engine. I'm wondering why anyone would buy multiple vehicles with this problem.
The secret to keeping spark plugs in place on the 4-thread heads has been shared many times all over this board, it just usually gets drowned out. Here's a novel idea, maybe listen to the guys than don't have spark plug problems.

1. Change the plugs at no later than 70,000 miles (preferably in the 50-60K range)
2. Change the plugs on a stone cold engine
3. Torque the plugs to ~12 lb-ft with dry threads, between 10-11 lb-ft with anti-seize on the threads
4. If you use an anti-seize, use a good NICKEL based anti-seize as aluminum anti-seize does not hold up to these temps. Motorcraft sells a proper nickel anti-seize for a reasonable price.
5. Keep detonation at bay, and it's not a bad idea to go back and re-torque the plugs after 10-20K either.

It's not that difficult, the 4-thread engine's have a minor weakness, recognize it, act accordingly and 9.9999 times out of 10 you will never have a spark plug eject itself. To this day I believe the biggest issue with spark plug ejection on the 4-thread head is Ford's 100,000 mile spark plug service interval.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:25 AM
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Ohh no... My 2001 has almost 120k on the factory plugs.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:17 AM
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I'm staring at 105k on mine..Don't know if they're original, as I bought the truck with 85k on it
Rich....Plugs are def due soon!!
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:37 PM
eallanboggs eallanboggs is offline
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I believe the service intervals are set so high to avoid having to do warranty service work. If a plug were to blow out especially on the rear cylinder(3,4,7 and 8) I'm sure Ford would pull the engine rather than the heads. You might get away with installing Time-sert or Heli-Coil on the front cylinders, but those rear one have very limited access.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:37 PM
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