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4.6L Plug Change


New Member
October 5, 2013
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2008 Ford Sport Trac
Since there isn't a ton of information on the site about this, I thought I would add more info on the spark plug change thing for the 3 valve.

Truck: 2008 (?/2007 - before the change at factory for whatever revision was made - had black coil boots). 92k miles.

Prep: This wasn't covered, and thought it would be obvious, but incase you just aren't sure: I removed all the connectors to all injectors and coils. Removed the 4 harness holder clips (black plastic circles) that snap onto the studs coming out of valve covers. Used compressed air to blow out dirt near coils. Removed a few evap/pcv? hoses that were in the way. 7mm bolt holds the coil.

My Method: Ford plug removal TSB used, but some tweaks: much longer soaking times (12 hours). I soaked all the plugs BEFORE any turning for 4 hours. I then cracked each plug open 1/16-1/8 turn and let it soak for 12 hrs. I put enought lube to the top of the hex on the plug. I didn't turn back and forth. I just turned them in the CCW direction only. I set my maxed removal torque for 30ft-lbs. When they exceeded the wrench torque (2 or 3 successive clicks) I let them soak longer.

(*)You can't crack them loose with 30ft-lbs. I had to get a 2ft breaker bar. After they were cracked open, I used the torque wrench to make sure I wasn't applying too much torque.
(*)Lost some porcelain and 1/3 metal grounding strap on the *1* plug that broke. I think it was #3 (second from front, on driver side). I don't know if I recovered it, I tried to suck it out with a shop vac, then cranked the motor with the plug out. I dunno. Some youtube vids says it'll blow out during normal operation. I have to see if it starts using oil... The lisle tool said it was not possible for this to happen, but it did :mad: I followed the directions. Ugh. It did save me from pulling the head.

Tools: breaker bar, OTC 6900, Lisle 65600, seafoam deep creep, torque wrench, compressed air or can of compressed air, socket set (metric)

Replacement Plugs: Motorcraft SP514.

Result: I broke 1. The other 7 had obvious evidence that the carbon was dissolved from soaking. The broken plug was a lost cause. It was dry after 14 hours of soaking. Just the "ring" came out. I had to shove a screwdriver in the well and break off the porcelain to use the lisle tool. Watch the videos on how to use it, and use anti-seize on the threaded puller. I can't tell it's idling sometimes now. Off idle miss is gone.

Why didn't I use an impact? Because that seems crazy. And very crazy like on a warm motor. I saw the videos, and think it's too risky. The method above seemed to work for me. The truck used alot of low grade ethanol containing gas for about 50k miles. The last few thousand were top tier (Costco!). I didn't do any fuel treatments.

Cliff notes: soak them for a long time, and definitely buy the lisle tool. I spent about an extra $100 on the lisle tool and the OTC tool, and they were WELL worth the money.