1. for access to Ford Explorer and Ranger owner generated reviews and discussion, tech tips, how to articles, off-road modifications, events, and more! Since 1996 we have been the #1 Ford Explorer resource on the Internet. We also cover the Explorer Sport Trac, Mercury Mountaineer, Lincoln Navigator, Mazda Navajo, Mazda Pickups, and the Aerostar.

    Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

Best replacement spark plugs?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by johng_22, January 10, 2008.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. johng_22

      johng_22 New Member

      Joined:
      January 17, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Atlanta, GA
      Year and Model:
      2004 Explorer Eddie Bauer
      I'm at 60K miles on my 2004 EB AWD 4.6 SOHC and I'm going to be going through doing all of the standard maintenance I do at 60K on all of my vehicles. Belt change, Spark plug, spark plug wireset, fluid and filter change. I'm wondering which 'if any' is the most recommended spark plug for this engine? At worst I'll just put original equipment back in but wondering if there is a favored plug that runs well for this engine. I've looked around on the forum but didn't see a post for this though it likely exists somewhere in the wealth of information posted. Any help is sincerely appreciated!
       
    2. Support EF


      Join the Elite Explorers for $20 a year

      Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, add your own profile photo, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



      to hide adverts.
    3. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Seriously doubt that your plugs need to be changed at 60k miles.

      I recommend Motorcraft plugs.
       
    4. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

      Joined:
      September 8, 2005
      Messages:
      569
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Humboldt, CA
      Year and Model:
      '97 XLT 4X4
      Motorcraft is the Ford OEM part, and is always recomended. I believe Advanced Auto Parts carries Motorcraft?:navajo:
       
    5. manaen

      manaen Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      February 27, 2007
      Messages:
      2,709
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Clear Spring, MD
      Year and Model:
      2011 Xterra Pro-4X
      yeah stick with the Motorcraft, or Autolite (they make motorcraft plugs) don't get sucked into all the gimmik plugs out there that cost more, for the most part they are all junk.
       
    6. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      I tried the Autolite Iridium plugs in mine and they work fine. Better than the OEM double platinums? Doubtful. They weren't that much more, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

      Ditto on the "gimmick" plugs. Most are worse quality than the OEM Motorcraft/Autolite plugs that were factory installed. Save your money.
       
    7. manaen

      manaen Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      February 27, 2007
      Messages:
      2,709
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Clear Spring, MD
      Year and Model:
      2011 Xterra Pro-4X
      yeah I tried the super quad platnum v groove split spark extreme fire plugs :D

      They cost me a fortune, but I figure hey they will last a long time, yeah right in 13K I had to replace them all because the planum fell off 2 plugs and one lost it's conductor what a bunch of junk so back to the standard ford platnums :thumbsup:
       
    8. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      Mine were pretty well junk at ~70k. The gaps were over 0.090" on the worst ones. There was no platinum left on them!
       
    9. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Sounds more like an exception than the rule.

      I have seen many 100k plugs that looked almost new and still gapped properly.
       
    10. Blacksheep Josh

      Blacksheep Josh Slinky+Escalator=Fun

      Joined:
      July 31, 2006
      Messages:
      3,643
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      36
      City, State:
      Statesboro, GA
      Year and Model:
      '01 Ford Ranger, RIP 93 X
      i used bosch plugs when i started replacing my own each year... i figure it's pretty cheap, why not? it's tip money from one night...

      when i first changed them, it was sputtering/skipping horribly! sounded like it was misfiring and about to die... come to find out, with 250K on the truck, the plugs had only been changed twice... i switched them, and it felt like a whole nother engine had been put in.

      that's my two cents, but if many people suggest motorcraft, i'd go with them...
       
    11. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      I think my factory service schedule recommended plugs at either 60k or 75k, but not 100k. I'll have to look at it again to make sure, but I could have sworn it was a shorter interval than 100k.
      I too have seen many vehicles that have well exceeded their normal service life of platinum plugs. Best example being my neighbor's '98 Caravan...212,000 miles on the original Champion double platinums! She brought it in for a problem with misfires under load, and of course that's the first place you start. My techs and myself all couldn't believe the thing even ran. There was absolutely no electrode left! The plugs looked like one of those HEI spark testers...Just a hole in the porcelain where the electrode should have been, and about 2/3 of the ground electrode was completely gone!
       
    12. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Mike, could your use of E85 fuel shorten the life of the plugs?
       
    13. Thelt

      Thelt Active Member

      Joined:
      October 10, 2006
      Messages:
      789
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Lenoir, NC
      Year and Model:
      2002 Limited
      I bought my explorer with 82k on it. I am up to 116k now. I am not sure if the plugs have been changed, I have not done it since I have had it. It runs fine. I should probably change them though I guess.
       
    14. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      In theory, it should extend the service life of them. E85 burns about 200° cooler, and produces no carbon deposits. It's doubtful that the previous owner (lessee) used E85 in it, since they lived in an area that didn't have an E85 station nearby.

      For giggles, I pulled one of my replacement plugs that now has about 25,000 miles on it, and it looked like the day I installed them.
       
    15. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      I'd do them just so you know they've been done. It's an easy and inexpensive job.
       
    16. Thelt

      Thelt Active Member

      Joined:
      October 10, 2006
      Messages:
      789
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Lenoir, NC
      Year and Model:
      2002 Limited
      I may do it. I have not even looked at it yet. I know a lot of newer cars can be a pain to change plugs on though.
       
    17. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      These are quite easy. The 4.0 V6 should take about 30-45 minutes to do all 6. Get a swivel spark plug socket and various length extensions, and it'll go pretty easy.
       
    18. fyrfyter612

      fyrfyter612 Active Member

      Joined:
      February 22, 2007
      Messages:
      330
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      16
      City, State:
      Akron, Ohio
      Year and Model:
      2013 Ford Explorer XLT
      Even though it's not recommened till 100k I would still replace them at 60k. I have worked as a Ford mechanic before getting on the fire dept. full time and still work part time as an auto mechanic. I've seen plugs on the 4.6 and 5.4 seize in the holes if left in too long.
       
    19. carney64

      carney64 New Member

      Joined:
      September 30, 2006
      Messages:
      10
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Indya
      Year and Model:
      03 XLT
      I don't mean to threadjack but what is there to do if they seize in the hole?
       
    20. E.B. Cornburner

      E.B. Cornburner Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      April 20, 2007
      Messages:
      1,137
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Oshkosh, WI
      Year and Model:
      2004 Eddie Bauer
      It's unlikely on the 4.0, somewhat possible on the 4.6. I've never had it happen on anything I've worked on (yet), but talking to a Ford dealer tech, he recommended squirting some good penetrating oil (such as PB Blaster) down each spark plug hole, putting the coils back on, and driving it for a week or so. Then on removal, turn each one out about 1/8 of a turn, then back in, then 1/4 turn, and back in, and so on till each one is out. Reef on them like a gorilla, and you will break one (usually #8) off in the head.
       
    21. JohnC76

      JohnC76 New Member

      Joined:
      September 14, 2007
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Hermitage and Murfreesboro, TN
      Year and Model:
      1997 Mustang GT
      Last edited: January 19, 2008
    22. amyrvik

      amyrvik New Member

      Joined:
      March 3, 2009
      Messages:
      17
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Collierville TN
      Year and Model:
      2002 Explorer Sport Trac
      Rough Running Sport Trac

      Hi ya'll. I'm glad I found this site it seems to be similar to the site I frequent for info on my '78 Triumph Bonneville.

      I have had this vehicle for about 3 years as a gift from my Dad. It has been a good truck overall except on cold start-up it runs rough and has a buzzy sound from the motor. I don't know why it does this and maybe the forum can help me. Lately I did put in some "Heet" to dry up any water in the fuel. It seemed to help but I am skeptical about its real effect.

      I have a set of Taylor spark plug wires I plan to install but I think I will put in new plugs at the same time. Are the Iridium plugs worth the extra cost?

      Appreciate your input to my questions.

      Alan
      Collierville TN
       
    23. rumpledoll

      rumpledoll Active Member

      Joined:
      July 21, 2008
      Messages:
      144
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      New Jesey
      Year and Model:
      2002 Eddie Bauer V6 4WD
      The SOHC 4.0L V6 uses a waste spark ignition system. In this system there are only three coils rather than the six coils in a conventional system, with two plugs attached to each coil and each plug firing simultaneously. Each plug fires once at the end of the compression stroke (for power) and once at the end of the exhaust stroke (wasted).

      All the plugs on one bank fire from center to ground and all of the plugs on the other bank fire from ground to center. The factory platinum plugs are different designs between the two banks. One bank has a platinum center electrode with a regular ground and one bank has a platinum disk on the ground with a regular center electrode. You will see one bank has plugs that end in the "P" for platinum suffix and the other bank ends in "PG" for, presumably, platinum ground.

      The reason for this is that the wear is concentrated on either the center or ground depending on the electron flow. Because one cannot buy the single platinum on ground plug in the aftermarket, Ford specs a double platinum plug (that is, a plug that has a platinum center electrode and a platinum disk on the ground electrode, motorcraft suffix "PP") as a replacement part.

      I would recommend doing just that, buying a good quality double platinum plug for the V6 explorer. At 60,000 miles I pulled my original plugs and they all were worn from the factory gap of 0.052-0.056 to ~0.063. They all could be used longer if gapped, but were showing some decent wear so I replaced them with double platinum plugs (Champion brand in my case).

      Remember to pull plugs on an aluminum head engine like the 4.0L V6 only when cold, use anti-seize compound and don't over torque them.

      Rumple
       
    24. Marinerman

      Marinerman New Member

      Joined:
      May 20, 2008
      Messages:
      35
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Gardena, Calif
      Year and Model:
      '95 Explorer XLT
      Sounds good and I'll try it, but what did you gap your double platinum's at? Thanks.
       
    25. jlrapp8

      jlrapp8 Active Member

      Joined:
      February 26, 2009
      Messages:
      137
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      2002 mercury mountaineer
      what are the best autolite or motorcraft plugs?? they have so many different ones. i have a 02 mountaineer with 4.0 AWD
       
    26. jlrapp8

      jlrapp8 Active Member

      Joined:
      February 26, 2009
      Messages:
      137
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      2002 mercury mountaineer
      which spark plugs should i use? there are so many different autolite and motorcraft ones? thanks 02 mountaineer 4.0L
       

    Share This Page








    We Support Our Troops!