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Explorer spark plugs replacement

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by bunty27, December 10, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. wisconsinF

    wisconsinF New Member

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    Don't know if this will help but....a few years back my 3.9 liter 2005 FreeStar was due for a tune up. A very good friend of mine is an ex-ford tech and just happens to have a lift in his horse barn. The rear plugs are very hard to reach and I was expecting a ton of work to be done just to reach them....turns out not so much.

    Once the van was up on the lift my friend just took out the 2 huge bolts that hold the rear of the engine cradle to the sub frame (hope that's correct terms) and we slowly lowered the rear of the engine with a trans jack just enough to reach up and easily change the plugs. Easy Peasy.

    However...If your a noob at turning wrenches and lack the correct tools and lifts I would really really suggest having a shop preform the work. Maybe start (as suggested above) with filter changes, detailing, etc.
     
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  3. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Thanks for the input y'all. I'm a computer engineer and certainly not afraid to take on new projects and challenges... especially with youtube and info so easily obtained nowadays. I was shown a couple videos, and started to buy the tools to do this. Some I had already, but the big kicker was a torque wrench- they run around $50. So even though I feel I wouldn't have a problem doing this... ultimately its not cost efficient. So now I need to find a good trustworthy mechanic... which might be harder than any of this!
     
    Last edited: January 13, 2015
  4. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Decided to give this a shot after all. The hardest part was getting to the plugs. The front three [see pic1] aren't too bad, the back three are much more difficult. You sort of have to do them blind / by feel. There's one that's a real bitch. There's wires / cables running over the top of a couple (that you just have to fudge out of the way), but there's a solid pipe running over the top of the back right one [see pic2]. You have to take it out, which requires disconnecting a handful of things. What a PITA- took like 2 hours. Recommend just paying someone to do... but at least now I have some hair on my chest.

    If you really want to DIY tho- here's some tips:
    • The plugs broke torque between 10 and 15 ft lb (and so I tightened them back to the same spec). Here's a few good torque wrenches at good prices: http://top3rated.com/three-best-ratcheting-torque-wrenches
    • I found the best way to close the gap was to gently tap the ground electrode with the plastic handle of a screwdriver. This seemed to close the gap about .01" with each tap. The stock gap (for the Sport) was actually pretty consistently 0.032" (one was at 0.034"). I went down to 0.028".

    IMG_5861.jpg

    IMG_5864.jpg

    IMG_5866.jpg

    IMG_5869.jpg
     
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  5. Sgt1411

    Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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    Educate me as to the benefits of replacing the plugs in your 14 Sport since we have the same vehicle
     
  6. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Didnt replace... regapped (though it would be the same process). I had heard that the factory gap was all over the place, but it was pretty uniform... maybe due to being the Sport model.
     
  7. Uaglio

    Uaglio Active Member

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    I'm puzzled by this thread. Some questions:

    Where did you get the spark plug gap spec from? Was the "consistently gapped" .032 correct or not? Why did you reduce the gap to .028"? Did the factory service manual say the correct gap was .028?

    Unlikely that you caused any harm but I dont think its a good idea to determine tightening torque specs based on an attempt to measure force by removing something and using the same torque to tighten. Finally I'm puzzled why you wanted to do this on so new a vehicle. You were worried that factory builders put in incorrectly gapped plugs? If that were true, you would have had symptoms like rough running or smoky exhaust. To each his own, but my motto is dont fix what aint broke.
     
  8. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Be not puzzled my friend. I had my reasons, and they art good. Your car is fine the way it is with factory gap. I just figured I'd show the process. This thread will be useful to people a couple years from now :)
     
  9. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    new to explorer forums (2013 limited for the wife)...spend all my time on audizine.

    most of the responses here are kind of crazy.....why are you changing, why don't you mention your mileage, why.... what the heck....ask a question and see if someone can help with some info.

    Per owners manual...

    3.5L NA - gap is 0.049-0.053
    3.5L Eco - gap is 0.033-0.037
    2.0L Eco - gap is 0.027-0.031
     
  10. Ecobeast88

    Ecobeast88 Member

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    Surprised there isn't more threads on re gapping the plugs on the 3.5 EcoBoost in the Sport. If you go on the F150 forums there's a lot of people saying the plug gaps are all different gaps from the factory. I wouldn't hesitate to pull the plugs out and check the gaps on a new vehicle. Especially a turbocharged one.
     
  11. sheltonfilms

    sheltonfilms Active Member

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    Here are the videos you will need:



     
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  12. Daheim111

    Daheim111 Active Member

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    Check/change the spark plugs without removing other parts ?

    Is it possible to check/change the spark plugs on the rear bank without removing any other parts ?
     
  13. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    Fairly certain that's impossible. but even if you could do it - it's impractical. The extra time would be significantly more that removing the intake.
     
  14. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Your thread was merged with this one found using the 'Search' feature.
     
  15. Zippyworld

    Zippyworld New Member

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    Funny to see this thread pop up at the top, I'm planning to do my plugs this month some time after losing a coil recently. Was told that a plug with a widening gap can over work a coil and cause it to fail so i'm changing them before I lose another. Checked with the dealer and they wanted $410 which I consider outrageous, so I'm going to dive in myself.
     
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  16. Daheim111

    Daheim111 Active Member

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    Thanks to all / so many input for me ! Have all the tools to do this, and I will only change all spark plugs after I have checked 1 or 2 (on the front cyl.bench)...
    Last time I did so was with my Toyota FJ Cruiser 4.0, the same with about 30kmls...result was that all gaps were different, max. soot on all, metal pieces from the electrodes (OEM not Iridium)...decided to change all to Denso Iridium and the effect was measurable (mph)...

    BTW: Denso ITV20TT ?

    Her is my Sport engine compartment...5 of 6 are not so complicated (seems to me)...

    IMG_20170504_185201.jpg

    IMG_20170504_185354.jpg

    I guess, the front right one have got a new coil (first owner)...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  17. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Let us know how your project turns out. Simply put, looking at what it takes to change the spark plugs and water pump, this is not an easy engine to work on. Ford will do well with service revenue for this generation of Explorer.
     
  18. Daheim111

    Daheim111 Active Member

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    @Sixonemale, but I have not US Ford dealer...and my german Ford dealer is very cautious, for not to say reserved to do to much with my car...
    First I check some spark plugs in the front row...

    BTW: what do you mean with "waterpump" ?
     
  19. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    another thread merge.


    Oh to the guy wanting to replace them - few things I see glossed over.
    1) it's OK to remove some stuff just to get to them - on a modern car this is normal. YOu will save mounds of headache doing such.
    2) get you a good quality spark plug socket - I prefer the ones that have rubber piece inside AND a magnet. Especially the magnet for putting them in down in a hole that is the top of the head. Which is the case on a explorer engine.
    3) if your plugs are factory original - buy some anti-sieze with your new plugs and maybe some di-electric grease to put on the ends so the plug wire/post will snap on easily and connect good.
    4)While people talk about gapping and the like - most quality plugs you buy today are pre-gapped from the factory and only need to be checked out. I would suggest not even bothering with trying to correct them - buy 7 or 8 plugs for your v6. then you have a hot spare if you find one out of sorts. I like metal stick feeler gages instead of the wire gap tools - you have more options and can use them for more things. everyone should have a set.
    5) thread the plug in by hand if you can. Now yes I do indeed mean with plug in/on socket - turn the socket and or extension with your hand to gently thread them into place. Then place ratchet head and snug in.
    6) torque wrenches vs rule of thumbs/hands/feet. OK so yes you should torque them correctly with a proper torque wrench and a 3/8's drive model will suffice, and you might have to convert lb-ft to lb -in or use N-m. meh. Thing is often you won't have the space or reach to get your torque wrench to there. I do indeed recommend "click" type torque wrenches but they also need to be checked for calibration. However - there is snug and turn a touch. Which is actually recommended by the plug makers. Often it's something like snug and turn 1/6th a turn, or so. you'll see it mentioned as __ with a gasket or ___ with a tapered seat. but often snug and a 1/4 turn or less is the accepted norn - for an AL head. So don't feel bad if this is what you do. It'll be fine.

    try to avoid using a flex socket or universal on them as they will give false readings on your torque wrench - and some times with the tight angles cause it to feel tighter than it really is. but if you have to- you have to. ALso I like a spark plug socket that has a six point nut pattern on the back - so in a pinch you can turn it with another socket or a wrench if access is a real bear.


    Gapping - unless you are running some insane tune, more boost, or the like there is no reason to modify the stock plug gap. Now with some mods and or testing yes there are good reasons to run tighter or wider. This is not to be confused with running colder or hotter with more boost or the like. 2 different things. More later.
     
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  20. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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  21. 207

    207 New Member

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    Quite frankly, the plug changes on these don't look that difficult. Having done a plugs and COPS change on an '05 3.0, I found that engine a bit more involved as far as getting stuff out of the way.
    In fact I think "d rather tackle the EcoBoost instead of my "knuckle bustin" '03 supercharged 5.4 F-150. LOL
     

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