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Changing Spark Plugs


Ray Lobato

Ok Guys,

I haven't changed the spark plugs on my cars for the last ten years, but since I got my Explorer, and I want to keep this one and keep it maintained myself.I would like some tips on changing the plugs. I looked at it and it doesn't look like I would have to by any speacial tool, but I can't get my plug wrench in there solid. There is a tube that goes from the exhust manifold back up to the intake, that seems to be getting in the way. This is on the drivers side. Any tricks would be appreciated. I just don't want to disconnect anything if I don't have to.
I have a 95 4.0 OHV. Dead Link Removed

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Paul Gagnon

Try and find a spark plug socket that has a hex head on the end. Then slip the socket over the plug and use a wrench to turn the socket.


Mike 91 Sport

I have changed mine twice so far (most recently when I upgraded to Jacobs wires) and all I can suggest is that you have lots of peroxide and band-aids for the multiple lacerations you're going to get on your hands from the passenger side. Dead Link Removed

I used standard socket, extensions and a wobble adaptor. Good luck.



F'in Bob

Oh Ray,
Changin them plugs is a bitc*. First, how many miles? They're platinum from the factory and made to last 100,000 miles. I changed mine and messed up the plug connections. Sucked big time! Wear gloves, and peel away the wheel well covers, take off the tires and you'll have better access. Passenger side is easier, then the drivers. You'll spend half your time hunched over the front and reaching in from the side. Make sure you choose a high quality plug that you'll never have to change again.


Ray Lobato

I got 80,000 on them and got number 6 out to look at it. It looked ok on color, but it is getting chewed away. I haven't seen the rest yet. I also want to let you guys know I read a review on off road .com(Dec issue) about a product called Direct Hits. It's a spark inhancer. I don't want to bore everyone with details, if you want that, read the review. I went ahead and baught a set and am going to try them out myself. They attache to the spark plugs themselves, but the plugs need to be non-resistor type plugs. They also sold me a set of Bosch non-Resistor plugs. I have checked out my mpg which is 15 to 18 going over Pacheco Pass, back and forth between San Jose and Fresno CA. I picked this route because is has straights, turns hills and a mulitple of speeds from 20mph to 75mph. The 15mpg comes from going over the pass at 75mph. I got 17 to 18 at around 65 to 68mph. I used three tanks as a referance.
I will let you all know how the experiment goes. Dead Link Removed

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L. :)


Ray Lobato


I got the Direct Hits, replaced the plugs and added the the DH's to the plugs. I had a big problem fitting the DH's to cylinders 5&6 because of the tube that goes from the exhust to the intake. I just couldn't fit the plug wire over the spark plug with the DH connected to it. I called Direct Hit and the tech suggested some other ways of trying to put them on but to no avail. He then sent me 2 smaller ones for those two cylinders. he said that the smaller ones were 20% less than the bigger ones but should not be noticable to me. He said I would not get as big a spark as the bigger one, but would get a much better spark than stock. So far this is what I have noticed.
I don't have to press on the accelerator quite as much when excelerating.
The exceleration is not major G forces, but better than before.
Exceleration from just under 2k RPM the tranny doesn't have to shift like it used to.
The tranny doesn't have to hunt as much as it did before. I would say it is back to normal. Normal being before I put on bigger tires. After I put on bigger tires I noticed that my tranny would hunt (shift) more around the 2K RPM range when I would excelerate even slightly. It would go from OD to 3rd, then back into OD, or going over a over pass it would down shift. It doesn't do that now. Dead Link Removed I can press on the excelerator to keep up speed and the tranny won't down shift. So I am assuming that I have more torque, because of better combustion. Dead Link Removed Now is it the DH's alone , or does having new plugs help this also? At this point. I don't know. This week end I am going to make the San Jose to Fresno run and check the MPG. then I'm going to take them off and just use the new plugs, and see if there is a difference. At this time I am using OEM plug wires. I have some Jacobs, that I am going to use, but don't want to confuse and complicate the test right now. So all this will be done with stock Wires.
Sorry for the long letter, but I thought some of you out there might like to know how this is turning out. If they work, you might want to try them out your self. If they don't work, well then I saved you some money. Dead Link Removed
I will give another report after the weekend.

P.S. My thanks to Paul Gagnon ( your idea worked out really well) and Bob (Your are right The gloves are a hand saver) KUDO's to you both Dead Link Removed

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L. Dead Link Removed

[This message has been edited by Ray Lobato (edited 02-25-99).]


Ray Lobato

Well, Here's the update I promised.
I initally got really rotten gas milage Dead Link Removed after disconnecting the battery and blanking out the computer. I got around 14 MPG Dead Link Removed , but on the second tank full, I got 19MPG @70MPH, so I actually got a 2MPG increase from before. Dead Link Removed I figured the bad gas milage at first was due to me blanking out the computer and it having to learn all over again. So did this product deliver what it said it would? YES, as far as I am concerned, but I still need to factor out one more thing. Now this really isn't a sound scientific test, but I did try to be objectionable about it, and in my opinion, seems to be working. I will however take the Direct Hit's off, and run the same coarse with just the new plugs, just to see if having new plugs doesn't figure into the formula. If I loose power or MPG then I can really say that they work. I still have a new set of Jacobs wires that I haven't tried out yet, and I'll let you all know how that goes also. I don't mean to bore you all with this, but I figure that we all can benifit from the experience regardless of the out come. I would suggest to anyone that is trying out something new to post the news, regardless of the outcome, so we all can learn from the experience good or bad. Dead Link Removed

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L. Dead Link Removed
95 XLT 4X4

[This message has been edited by Ray Lobato (edited 03-02-99).]



hey ray i am very interseted in your experiment. please keep posting the updates, they are very informative. also i am going to do a major tune up to my 92 sport and will probably be replacing plugs and wires, does anyone have any suggestions on what brand/type of plugs and wires are best? thanks for any info!



MSD makes a 8.5" spark plug wire that claims a 50 ohm per foot resistance.

As for plugs use a platinum electrode like ones from Autolite or Bosch. The platinum electrodes will not wear down as copper electrodes will.

Also use a good brass distributor cap.



You might look into the Jacobs wires as they carry a satisfaction guarantee. I have found them to be great and with the blue shielding they look pretty cool too. These are custom cut for your particular vehicle and the boots are fused to the wires, meaning that they are one piece not two. Good luck!