Notices
1997 - 2003 F150 1997-2003 F150, 1997-1999 F250LD, 7700 & 2004 F150 Heritage
Old 11-12-2014, 05:54 PM
How-Tos on this Topic
Last edit by: IB Advertising
See related guides and technical advice from our community experts:

Browse all: Electrical Guides
Print Wikipost

How to replace your 4.6L & 5.4L spark plugs

 
  #46  
Old 06-05-2004, 09:28 PM
DesertRat1
DesertRat1 is offline
New User
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 9
DesertRat1 is starting off with a positive reputation.
Did It

Well thanks to this thread, I was inspired to change the plugs on my '01 Expy. I started at #1 and did them in order to #8. Plugs #1 through 6 took 50 minutes. The real cussing started on plugs #7 & #8. They took 1.5 hours. Most of that time was spend vacuuming out the hole before I pulled the plug and trying to get that 7mm bolt off the darn COP. It's really tight in this aread. On the passenger side (1-4) I left the fuel rail on and it was fairly painless. On the drivers side (5-8) I had to take the two bolts out that hold the fule rail on. This gave me enough wiggle room to get the job done. I didn't have to take the rail completely off. Also, it helped not to put COPs 3 and 7 on until I was finished with plugs 4 and 8 respectfully.

I want to thank all of you that posted tips on how to concor this job in this thread. I am glad I saved $200!

The equipment I used.

3/8" ratchet
3" and 6" extensions
1 universal joint
Plug socket
10 mm socket
7mm socket (1/4" drive) w/ nut driver
ShopVac with 12" vacuum line duct taped to the end to suck out plug wells.
 
  #47  
Old 06-05-2004, 09:34 PM
Racerguy's Avatar
Racerguy
Racerguy is offline
Post Fiend
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 12,674
Racerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to behold
Good to hear that you got it done
The vacuum hose taped to the shop vac is a good idea if you dont have compressed air.
 
  #48  
Old 09-28-2004, 10:33 PM
rmeidlinger
rmeidlinger is offline
New User
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 23
rmeidlinger is starting off with a positive reputation.
4.6 Spark plug replacement

1. Remove plastic fuse cover on right side
2. Tie heater hoses out of the way
3. Remove injector connectors
4. Take a large wire tie and remove the locking tang. Make a loop and use the wire tie as a noose to remove the plug wires.
5. Remove the valve stem cores from the front tires. This lowers the truck about 6 inches and makes #4 plug easy to remove with a plug socket and 3-6" extension. I cut the time down to get number from about an hour to 10 minutes
 
  #49  
Old 11-18-2004, 02:38 PM
RB_Nielsen
RB_Nielsen is offline
New User
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2
RB_Nielsen is starting off with a positive reputation.
Spark Plug Tap

I owe the readership of this great website two things: - first a big thanks for all the information about changing spark plugs that proved so very helpful in changing the plugs on my son's F150, and second - we ran into a bad problem that I have not seen addressed so far in this thread.

The #3 passenger side spark plug under the firewall came out "hard." Part of the reason was some dirt build up around the plug that had to be cleared by tamping a thin wire around it in order to knock it loose. We kept this up for about 5 iterations with each one resulting in additional dust being blown out of the spark plug hole. Finally we were able to get the plug out.

When we went to put the new plug back in, it would screw in only about 1 1/2 turns before hanging up. We were using the "fuel-line-hose" means to screw the plug in (by the way, whoever thought of that idea is a genius), but to our growing alarm all additional cleaning and careful placement of the plug while screwing it in gave the same negative result.

Careful examination of the old spark plug was interesting because it was clean as a whistle - no tell tale aluminum specs. So after trying a few more things, we decided to put down the tools and sleep on it because the time was getting after midnight. This came as a difficult decison becuase my son really needed his truck for work the next day. I am fully convinced that sleeping on it was an important part of our success, and I recommend taking a hiatus from problems like this when all options seem to be failing.

Early this morning, my son picked up a spark plug tap and an extra socket that we gently pressed onto the tap using my bench vise. This tap/socket set up made it possible to use the same raft of extensions and universal joints we had been using to take out the old spark plugs. I have to tell you that the prospect of shoving a tap down the #3 hole of an F150 aluminum head using such a conglomeration of extensions/universal joints seemed not only desperate but extremely foolish. This extreme action took a lot of soul searching, but the hard stop when hand twisting/ratcheting the new spark plug into place was even more foreboding. The temptation to hard ratchet the plug into place was very tempting, and for a while seemed like the best of two evils.

If you look at a spark plug tap, you'll see that on each side of the cutting threads is a nice gap in the metal so the thread material being cut out will have a place to go rather than binding up the tap. We filled each of these slots with grease in order to catch any filings. After some more deep breaths - a small prayer - we dropped the tap into the hole. The one thing we made sure was that the angle of the tap went into the hole as straight as possible. The tap seated in beautifuly, and for about 10 minutes we worked the tap gently along into the aluminum heads. Fortunately it did not take much for the tap to clear the problem, and I credit that to our ginger wrenching when first attempting to put in the new plug.

When we finally pulled the tap out, there were a few - very few - and very small pieces of aluminum caught in the tip of the tap grease. We're talking almost microscopic bits of aluminum here. Afterwards we retried the new spark plug, it screwed in all the way smooth as butter. Feeling better about our plight, we hand twisted the plug in and out about 12 times cleaning it each time until there was absolutely no trace of any grease whatsoever.

The rest of the assembly went by the book. I'm not sure we did everything with aplomb, but what we did seems to have worked rather well. We will be keeping a close eye on the plug, and checking it in a few thousand miles so that we do not fall prey to blowout. Because the plug felt good and very tight going in, I think we may have escaped disaster. I thought someone might find our experience not only interesting, but also helpful in the event they find themselves in our same sorry situation.

Any suggestions or comments by others regarding this procedure conceived by desparate men are, of course, most welcome.

RB Nielsen
 

Last edited by RB_Nielsen; 11-18-2004 at 02:51 PM.
  #50  
Old 11-19-2004, 12:30 AM
RB_Nielsen
RB_Nielsen is offline
New User
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2
RB_Nielsen is starting off with a positive reputation.
Thanks very much Racerguy for the kind reply. My son's F150 is a '97 5.4 ext cab 4x4 with appx 130,000 miles. He drives over 100 miles per day 6 days/week. He purchased the truck with about 80,000 miles on it. This was our first ever changing of the plugs. As we got into it, we were interested to discover that the two typical hardest-to-replace plugs turned out to be guaranteed original to the truck. The other six had obviously been replaced at least once (or how do you explain two very rusty Motorcraft and six Champion spark plugs in the same motor).

One other thought is that due to the "hard dust" that had settled around a couple of the plugs, we fashioned a concentrated air blaster out of a left over piece of thin steel brake tubing. A little bending of the tubing provided a means for closely concentrating the blast of air from the air compressor thus making it very effective.

Again, many many thanks for all the advice and personal experiences posted in these forums. We have learned legions.

RB
 
  #51  
Old 11-19-2004, 07:10 PM
jimhart
jimhart is offline
New User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1
jimhart is starting off with a positive reputation.
Thumbs up Hi.... New guy here missing 5.4

Recently my 150 superscrew started missing, the check engine light also came on. Had the code read 3 times. a misfire on #6. is there a way of checking the cops or should i try to change the plugs first. My superscrew has 59000 mi on it.Thanks, Dave for the informative article makes me wanna jump right in and change the offending module or plugs. Also what are the cylinder #s drivers side odd passengers even.or vice -versa Thanks again
 
  #52  
Old 11-19-2004, 07:18 PM
Racerguy's Avatar
Racerguy
Racerguy is offline
Post Fiend
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 12,674
Racerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to behold
Hi and welcome

The cylinders are numbered
(firewall)
4 8
3 7
2 6
1 5
(rad)

I would replace the plug first as it's the cheapest. If that doesn't cure it then usually the COP will.
 
  #53  
Old 11-26-2004, 06:55 PM
Racerguy's Avatar
Racerguy
Racerguy is offline
Post Fiend
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 12,674
Racerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to behold
Welcome to the forum Larry

Good to hear that you found us useful
Feel free to post with any questions or answers that you have.
 
  #54  
Old 11-26-2004, 09:50 PM
mcdev
mcdev is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 187
mcdev is starting off with a positive reputation.
I don't know if this has been mentioned in here yet or not, but when you have the COP off you should fill the boot with dielectric grease to keep water out - the cause of many COPs to short out and cylinders to miss. Just what I have picked up along the way...
 
  #55  
Old 11-27-2004, 04:52 PM
Kevdadi
Kevdadi is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 69
Kevdadi is starting off with a positive reputation.
I got into changing a few of the plugs yesterday before getting rained-on. Plugs 1,5,6 are the front three I could change... really I've gotta be honest, those are the ones I felt confident in changing.
On the passenger side, those big A$$ hoses near the electrical box were in the way--what did you guys do with them? I couldn't really see how to disconnect those.

On the Driver's side, I just didn't mess with the back two... I saw a 1/4" sized flexi-extension that may or may not work well in removing the cop. Did you guys use anything like that? I have looked for a "broken back" ratchet or flexi extension piece (like Matco sells) that swivels a few degrees and is much smaller than a universal joint. Any other unlisted tips would be appreciated; I'll try removing the egr and even the fuel rail to get the remaining 5 plugs, but what do I do with those hoses on passenger side? I can't see anything really past them. Thanks.
 
  #56  
Old 11-27-2004, 10:23 PM
Racerguy's Avatar
Racerguy
Racerguy is offline
Post Fiend
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 12,674
Racerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to behold
The heater hoses can just be moved to the side. You might want to take a bungee strap and hold them out of the way.
You can remove the PCV hose if that will give you more room to work.
I have a 7mm u-joint socket that I use on the COP screws but a 1/4" drive u-joint and a 7mm or 9/32 socket will work.
Unless you're really stuck I wouldn't remove the fuel rails.
 
  #57  
Old 11-27-2004, 11:46 PM
larryv51
larryv51 is offline
New User
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1
larryv51 is starting off with a positive reputation.
Mine is a 4.6, so I do not know if it is the same as yours (Kevdadi). I was able to get the two on the drivers side closest to the firewall with a 4" extension on a 1/4" ratchet. I was able to reach around and come in straight from the top. I did not find this approach for quite a while, but it was pretty easy once I found it. On 7 & 8, it took pushing the hoses arounds and getting both hands in there working. By no means easy, but I was able to do it without removing the fuel rails.
 
  #58  
Old 12-09-2004, 09:18 AM
Kevdadi
Kevdadi is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 69
Kevdadi is starting off with a positive reputation.
Hello. I've managed to wrestle-off the front four spark plugs, but have had a couple other problems... with the passenger side, third one back (2nd closest to the firewall) I removed the COP, and could not get the spark plug removed--it's like the plug never existed!
I even went as far as purchasing a high powered blow gun for my compressor, extension magnet (to stick down there), and also that lame tool called the Gator socket that was SUPPOSED to grab anything; I found out that this deep socket poser really only goes 1" down. Menard's is definitely gonna return that one for me or else.

The third spark plug back on the drivers side was a mystery to me... how can I get beneath the fuel pressure regulator to remove the COP, much less the spark plug? I did loosen the fuel rail to get some slack, but it was too late (working under daylight) to attempt disconnecting the lines after I bought the spring removal tool. Is there any other way to get at this one that I haven't thought of?

I sure couldn't tell you how much I applaud you fellas that can do this [email protected]#*$ of a job in a short couple hours! If there's anyone around the Michigan area that'd be willing to do my last four plugs, I would pay them some Christmas loot for their kid's presents. Thanks!
 
  #59  
Old 12-09-2004, 08:54 PM
Racerguy's Avatar
Racerguy
Racerguy is offline
Post Fiend
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 12,674
Racerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to beholdRacerguy is a splendid one to behold
Have you tried anymore yet?
You might have a hard time getting a socket on the #3 plug if there is a rock or other junk in the hole. Take a small mirror and light and look in there to see. I've seen small rocks in the plug holes before which prevented getting a socket on the plug.
On the #7 plug (3rd one back on driver's side) getting at the COP is a bit of a pain but can be done. I use a u-joint socket but you might be able to use a normal socket or a wrench. I use a short extension with a u-joint and then a longer extension to remove the plug. Have fun
 
  #60  
Old 12-10-2004, 08:17 AM
Kevdadi
Kevdadi is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 69
Kevdadi is starting off with a positive reputation.
Okay, I'll try getting a small mirror so that I can see down in there this weekend. As for the Ujoint socket, is that something more "low profile" than a regular socket+universal joint? I don't doubt your advise for a second; just need to understand what I'm looking for at Sears, because you may as well ask the tools themselves--they don't know their [email protected]# from a hole in the ground. Maybe it's just our store here in Jackson,MI.

Question:
In order for me to remove the fuel rail, the (larger than fuel filter's) spring removal tool just fits right into the joint and that's it, right? Of course the four bolts that secure the rail'd be removed too. What tips do you guys have in lifting the fuel rail up, as far as the o-rings go? Should I buy new orings, or would greasing the current ones suffice? I'd hate to have a fuel leak as I have in the past because I pinched one while replacing it. Should I attempt to leave the injectors in the engine or the rail? whichever works best is what I'll do.

How do the heater core hoses get replaced? I have managed to deal with holding these off to the side, but I am convinced for the closest plug to the firewall (pass.) will be easier to navigate. Is there a special tool to get into the slot/joint where they connect (towards the radiator)? Again, I can't understand why they just don't use the "regular" metal clips to retain those bas#$#ds.

MY LAST QUESTION is about removing the fuel rail, because there seems to be a 1" or so diameter (hard) metal pipe that would prevent me from just lifting the rail up, and out away to my workbench. Do I have to twist/rotate the rail 90degrees to yank this? I think this "pipe" is for the a/c, but I'm not sure.

Man, I really appreciate your guys' help. I just need to gitrdun before investing in the Superchips or anything else.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: How to replace your 4.6L & 5.4L spark plugs


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.