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How to replace your 4.6L & 5.4L spark plugs

 
  #91  
Old 03-14-2005, 07:34 PM
ericsmith32
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Just use black tape and you won't have to take the rubber piece out. What I had to use on number three on the drivers side was the screwdriver with the nut driver bit and a pair of pliers, I had the smaller socket though. Didn't have any problems with the others just alot juggling with wires and hoses. Eric
 
  #92  
Old 03-20-2005, 01:56 PM
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This may have been mentioned somwhere in this long post. I found that my Craftsman locking 4 inch extention must have been made for this job. It cannot separate from the socket so there is no chance of losing it in the head.
 
  #93  
Old 03-20-2005, 04:27 PM
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That sounds like a good tool to have.
 
  #94  
Old 03-20-2005, 06:17 PM
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Get The 7mm Swivel (ultra Low Profile) Piece For Removing Those Pesky Cops While You're At Sears Too!
 
  #95  
Old 03-20-2005, 06:29 PM
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A 7mm swizzle socket is probably the most helpful tool you'll find when replacing the plugs or COPs.
 
  #96  
Old 03-31-2005, 11:06 PM
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Finally finished the job. Have to say it was pretty difficult but ultimately well worth it. COP's 7 and 8 are a real pain to deal with. My knuckles are raw. The dealer wanted close to $400.00 to do it for me.

I did come across fluid on 3 but I did not find a leak or condensation anywhere near there. My battery was also drained by the time I finished. I had to boost my truck. The SEC light is still on, do I have to disconnect the battery in order to reset the system? I took it for a spin and seems to be driving pretty smoothly. I also noticed it idles a little quieter.

Overall it was a pretty good experience and I'm glad to say I don't have to deal with it again for a while.
 
  #97  
Old 03-31-2005, 11:22 PM
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Good to hear that you saved yourself a whole bunch of money
If you remove a battery terminal for 5 minutes or so it will clear the Check Engine light.
 
  #98  
Old 04-03-2005, 04:53 PM
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plug change

I decided yesterday was the perfect day to change my plugs at work, being it was 40 degrees and pouring rain outside. I thought that #7 and#8 were going to be the hardest but with the 7mm low profile swivel i had, it was pretty easy to get the cop bolts out. The plugs on the driver side seemed easy to remove. I think mostly because the plugs are angled towards the front of the engine. On the passenger side, #4 was by far the hardest to get out. One trick i used was to cable tie the heater hoses away from the cops, gave a lot more room to work. The #4 plug was tricky to get out because of a heater hose pipe. It was worth the time it took, was a lot cheaper than paying a dealer. To get the #8 cop bolt out, i put the socket and extension in between the metal fuel rail lines and turned it right out. "Git R Done"
 
  #99  
Old 04-05-2005, 09:42 PM
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Just finished putting in new plugs and plug wires. Not nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be, although #4 was a real pain to get to. Overall i had lots of fun installing them. Without a doubt would not have tryed without Racerguy's and everyone elses suggestions.
Thanks
John
99 f-150 ext. cab(83k)
rear steel buper..grilleguard w/4 KC lights
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  #100  
Old 04-06-2005, 08:20 PM
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thought i would add my experience to this thread. i have a 98 5.4X4 eddie. first of all, it's worth doing yourself. save the money. mine had 128,000 miles and no apparent missing, no codes; seemed to be running fine. well, the #3 COP boot was fried due to misfiring. the plug was only finger tight and the body was brown from the misfiring. the boot just crumbled once removed. #4 boot was fine, but the plug was also finger tight. #6 boot crumbled, but the plug was tight. good thing is, advance auto has the boots for $17 a pair with new springs. all in all, i'm glad i probably won't change them again! hehe! i will help dad with his though, when his is due. i'm still on the same tank of fuel as when i started, and according to the computer, MPG has increased by 1.2 MPG already with no highway driving yet. i cannot believe that it had not coded with the plugs that loose and misfiring. BTW, they all gapped >0.060, but <0.080. hope this helps somebody, and good luck!
 
  #101  
Old 06-01-2005, 01:05 PM
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Plugs and Coil Boots

I tackled changing my plugs last weekend due to the excellent information here about the process. I have to say that my ribs are sore from laying on the truck and I only lost skin on one finger when the #8 plug came loose. Otherwise, I found lots of small rocks and junk in the plug holes, even a sheet metal screw in #6 after investigating why the plug socket wouldn't go on the plug - had to look really close with my mirror on a stick tool and a flashlight. I was surprised to find the screw but even more surprised to find the #1 coil boot soaking in coolant. Sure hope it's the rad hose to the thermostat leaking into it and not head gasket or a cracked head - I haven't studied my shop manual yet to see if that's possible.

Wanted to mention that all my coil boots are in good shape but when I checked the springs inside I found 1 corroded and 2 broken. I was able to stretch out the broken ones a bit so they'd reach the plugs in one piece to last until I replaced them. Here in Canada, Ford wants $22 apiece for the boots so I went looking elsewhere. On the 'net, Whitney wants $49.95 for a set of 8. I found www.Sherco-auto.com in FL has them as well for $29.95 a set of 8 so ordered them - should have checked NAPA but didn't 'cause I don't really like my local store.

Just some information for those looking for these parts, I didn't see many places other than Ford that supply aftermarket.

Thanks for all the assistance via the info provided.

TheBigF
Alberta, Canada
 
  #102  
Old 06-17-2005, 11:22 AM
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plug nightmare 99 Navigator 32v

I have been using the local Lincoln dealer (Plano TX) to do my oil changes and brake pads, as they always give my truck a through going over (trying to sell more service and parts) so I could keep up with what it needed, and the prices for these services were in line with anyone else. They botched the oil change once (no oil at delivery) and I have taken it back there ever since as insurance (proof of service) in case I had engine problems.
Now I am at 100k+ and no engine problems, and the dealer just keeps getting worse about trying to jack me up on their service problems (didn't tighten rear brake caliper during routine brake pad swap and tried to sell me new shocks to stop the rattle) so... I decided to try a new dealer.
Again, we are at 100k+ and I go in for an oil change. I ask about plugs while I am there, and am told the cost will be around $230.00 to change all 8, under a "100k service" which includes tire rotation, and oil change. This seems high, but upon checking around, I decide that I will let the dealer do it, as I know its a COP system, with lots of hoses, wires, etc... as well as being 8 feet off the ground (so it seems) and me having a bad back, it just seemed worth it. I go to pick it up and the $230 turns into $380! I look over the invoice and they have an additional $150 for being a COP system. Hahaha! Like they didn't know this when they quoted the 100K service as printed on the scheduled maintenance brochure. Needless to say, I didn't pay the extra $150.
Now comes the interesting part. Here we are one month later, and my engine starts to misfire. I thought it was a fuel filter, as I had run it low on gas- very low. I took it to a local independent as I know he does good work, and he says no to the fuel filter and yes to a misfire. I tell him I just had new plugs put in, and he ask if the boots were replaced. I don't know. I go back the the dealer, and he says "no"- not included. Well guess what? The independent wants $300 to replace the boots, and the dealer wants $400. This with boots being about $13 to $15 depending on which shop. So a big chunk of this is labor, for which I just paid for a month ago when the plugs were changed. The dealer would only match the price of the local shop as some sort of appeasement, but said he was sure they would find another problem (bad COP's) while they were in there (at $150 each).
As much as I would like to do this myself, and I do have the skills, my back just wont take doing that sort of work any more.
So, the lesson in this for me, and hopefully for the rest of you is this- If you are changing the plugs, change the boots too. You can buy a boot kit from a third party much cheaper, and it will just save you from a headache later on, since if you have 100k, the boots are probably brittle anyway. And Ford should be recommending this at 100K!
 
  #103  
Old 06-20-2005, 09:17 PM
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Thanks Racerguy for this post. It really helped out in preping up for the plug change. After reading the post and then getting into the job, it went much easier than expected. I did have to remove my fuel rail to get at #8 but that was all except the parts that you had mentioned. One thing I did do instead of using a piece of hose to install the plugs, I just put a little lube on the plug socket rubber so it would not stick to the plug and it worked out great.
 
  #104  
Old 06-21-2005, 12:18 AM
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You're welcome

Feels good to do this job yourself eh?
 
  #105  
Old 06-25-2005, 12:45 PM
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Just got mine done - Ugh!

I, too, put a soft, large "U-Haul" blanket down to lay across the radiator support area to work from - and I also took the front wheels off and lowered the 4x4 to a better level. Still... it sucked.

I painted parts of the engine with blood, which is always nice.

I do believe that using Permatex anti-seize (the silver-color kind) really helped me install the new plugs smoothly and safely. Also, PB (Parts Blaster) was used on a few of the old plugs that were hard to turn out. Those that were tough to turn out got a good squirt of PB, then were carefully worked in and out a little. They then came out nicely.

A 22-year active Ford dealership mechanic told me to change the wires out while I was in there, so it got good NAPA wires. (he stated that, typically, the Ford V-8 wires he has seen last from 60k to 100k miles - and that he has seen a good number of +200k mile modular V-8 trucks, and has two +400k-mile limos with the original engines that come in for service regularly)

I did have to unbolt and lift the passenger side fuel rail.

Since most of us will have the air intake off, and thus the throttle body exposed, I suggest you have ready a can of Air Intake cleaner (not really carb cleaner), and spray that in to the intake for a little while (open the butterfly), then have someone start it and keep it running while you spray more. Of course you don't want to do this right before changing the plugs as a running engine will make the heads heat up. I did mine the night before I changed it, then let it cool overnight - but after all the new plugs are in would be just as good of a time.

One last tip for those new to plug changing - I have found that it is best for the heads' threads to get that wratchet off and turn the old plugs out by hand as soon as you possibly can. Wratchets add leverage in both twisting motions (which is why we use them), and in angular motions (which can hurt the threads). Leave the extension on the plug socket and gently turn the old plugs out by hand, vibrating the extension back and forth gently but vigorously (a small distance - like a few millimeters each way), to loosen up the plug's grip of the head's threads as it comes out.

Best,
 

Last edited by GammaDriver; 06-25-2005 at 12:57 PM.

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