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Spark plug and wire change nightmare

jremington59

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City, State
Watertown, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997, 99 and 2000 5.0's
My 97 5.0 runs pretty damn good. But after talking to the sole owner of the vehicle for it's entire life last night, and finding out the plugs hadn't been changed since 2001, and the wires were original factory, I just couldn't handle it.

So this morning I jaunt off the the local parts store and grab me a new set of beldens and some platinum plugs, for what should be a couple hours of fun.

The passenger side was a nightmare. Two of the wires were practically soldered to the top of the plugs and three plugs refused to come out. After two hours of sweating and a half dozen bloody knuckles later I finally got her done.

I then looked at the other side and talked myself into waiting and doing them another day. But about the time I got things put away, I felt a little better and said lets do it. This is where the hell began. The boots on the plugs were so old and dry that they were frozen right to the plugs. Boots and all. One of them, after pulling with all my might finnaly came off, but of coarse I smashed my hand in the process. The other three after similiar pulling and grunting, had to be cut off the plugs. Then I had to take pliars to pull off the metal connector to the plug because they were frozen on there.

Number 8 plug came out quite easy and I figured I was on the downhill slide. Nope. None of the other three plugs would budge.. I break out the PB blaster and give it an hour. I finally got one out. Two left. Not a prayer. I got out the torch and heated them, Blastered them again and finally got one more out, along with a couple burns and the blaster burning the half dozen cuts on the hands. I kept trying to get the last plug and it wouldn't move. I sprayed it again, put the heat to it and twisted on it for another half hr, the whole time picturing pulling the head to get the broken plug out. After putting a small pipe on the wratchet handle it finnaly broke loose. I didn't dare look because I thought it broke, but it was coming out.

It took me 5 1/2 hours to change these plugs and wires. The funny part is how well the vehicle ran. I'll never laugh again when someone tells me they aren't looking forward to changing their plugs.

Anyone else ever have one that was a nightmare like this?
 



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96eb96

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Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
I start soaking exposed plugs in PB blaster or Kroil a week before the job. A shot at before every trip so it heats up and cools down with the oil. So much for 100K plug intervals!
 






Kriegen

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City, State
Montgomery, AL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Mounty 5.0L AWD
Not on my mountie, but on my wife's V6 Santa Fe which is a front wheel drive, changing the back plugs is a royal b!tch. They are underneath the intake plenum so you have to take the plenum off to get to them.
 






sport'96

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defiance, oh
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2000 XLT
had just about as much fun as you did between my '96 V6, and dad's '01 V8
 






Car-Dog

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Fresno, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Ranger 4X4
summer 2008 I bought a 1998 ford ranger that had the original plugs and wires.
THAT WAS FUN. About 5 hours of hell. Truck did run a hell of a lot better though. Also when I bought the truck it was so low on oil the dipstick barley reached the oil level, and what oil it did have resembled tar. The oil changer I took it too said that they had never seen anything like it. the truck also had 4 different brands of tires. all of which were bald.
 






2000StreetRod

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00 Sport FI, 03 Ltd V8
Anti-seize compound

I've been applying anti-seize compound to my new spark plugs before installation for more than 20 years. It makes replacement much easier the next time. Now there is also something to keep the boots from sticking to the plugs.
 






Spdrcer34

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1992 Explorer XL
Anti-Seize on the threads, and dielectric grease on the boots...NEVER have an issue again.

Ryan
 






celly

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calgary
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99 eb 5.0 awd
Anti-Seize on the threads, and dielectric grease on the boots...NEVER have an issue again.

Ryan

Exactly. The 5.0 is a dream to change plugs vis a vis other 2nd gens. Following these two simple steps will make future changes MUCH easier. If original poster didn't bother, now's the time to get it done while the plugs/wires are still new.
 






jremington59

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I used the anti sieze on the plugs but didn't know about the dialectric grease for the boots. Do you just put a little inside the boot?

One other question about the 5.0's. Are the exhaust manifold bolts 9/16th?
 






celly

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I used the anti sieze on the plugs but didn't know about the dialectric grease for the boots. Do you just put a little inside the boot?

Yup, a little dab will do ya. I put the dab on the end of the plug and rub it around a bit. Then put the wire on the plug. Done.
 






96eb96

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I used the anti sieze on the plugs but didn't know about the dialectric grease for the boots. Do you just put a little inside the boot?

This stuff is not optional, but specified in the manual. It is there to prevent moisture from getting in and spark getting out. It also helps when you remove the boot in the future. Some wires already have the grease from the factory.
 






celly

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This stuff is not optional, but specified in the manual. It is there to prevent moisture from getting in and spark getting out. It also helps when you remove the boot in the future. Some wires already have the grease from the factory.

AND make sure it's on the coil pack end too. :thumbsup:
 






Lanky

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2000 xlt awd
A few years back when I was replacing the plugs on my v8, I broke the second plug back on the right side. I thought it broke loose but the only part that came out was the part that the socket fits on and the ceramic part of the plug. The threads were still stuck in the head. I thought the head was going to have to come off and go to a machine shop. Was able to get it out with an "easy-out". Stuck an air gun down in the cylinder and blew it out and prayed everything came out. That was several thousand miles ago.
 






moogvo

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2001 Explorer Sport
It was a real treat to change the plugs and wires on my Chevy Express Conversion Van. I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much fun that was... For the neighbors who got to watch me cursing and tool throwing for a whole afternoon!
 






firepop5

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floral park ny
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96 EB
A pair of work gloves are good prevention against knuckle damage
 






Stick_man

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1998 Explorer V6 SOHC
yup that sounds like changing plugs on the old explorer. On a dodge k I once had, I did at it 11:00 at night, on the street outside my apt., with a flashlight, during a commercial break, and still got back in time to watch the rest of the show.

On exp. though, a lot of cursing and yeah the rear passenger side plug was nearly demolished when I got done with it. . And yeah buy some gloves they cost $1 at pep boys.
 






RomeovilleIL

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98 LTD, 00 XLT
Sad to say that dodge figured this out on their 2.7 and 3.5 V6's -- all the plugs can be changed in under 5 minutes from the top of the engine, no reaching or bending, not a tight spot to be found.

Ford 4.0 SOHC -- ugh!!! Going through the wheel wells seems to be the only safe route to guarantee straight shots on plugs. Any small canting invites broken plugs, especially on the back ones.
 






Jason c

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2000 Limited 5.0L
Not on my mountie, but on my wife's V6 Santa Fe which is a front wheel drive, changing the back plugs is a royal b!tch. They are underneath the intake plenum so you have to take the plenum off to get to them.

Same problem with my wife's mazda 6. I was actually surprise how easy it was to change them on my 5.0 ex, but I am sure the body lift helps with that. ;)
 






SoNic67

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ALL the V6 transversal mounted CAR engines have the same issue. You have to lift the plenum to get to the rear plugs.
 



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nkfroth

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1999 Ford Ranger XLT
Now that service interval for spark plugs is commonly recommended by manufacturers for spark plugs is commonly run 100,000, it would be wise to break free the spark plugs at 40,000 - 50,000 miles. No need to remove completely.
 






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