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  1. #1
    Veteran Member deerefan's Avatar
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    1952 8N, 2005 JD 5103

    Default Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    I have a 1997 F150 4x4 with the 4.6 V8 and it has come time to put in a new set of plugs and plug wires. I had this done a few years ago by a mechanic and it appeared to be a pita. Any suggestions? Tips? This is the first time on this truck I am doing this myself and want to be sure I do not screw it up.

  2. #2
    Elite Member jonyyuma's Avatar
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    35 miles North of Memphis,TN
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    kubota L3000dt, ford 8n1952

    Default Re: Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    Quote Originally Posted by deerefan View Post
    I have a 1997 F150 4x4 with the 4.6 V8 and it has come time to put in a new set of plugs and plug wires. I had this done a few years ago by a mechanic and it appeared to be a pita. Any suggestions? Tips? This is the first time on this truck I am doing this myself and want to be sure I do not screw it up.
    Do your self a favor and do some serious reading on this project..That engine can strip the plugs in second...I know several folks whom had bad luck after installing plugs. My son has the 97 Ford 4x4, it cost about $150.00 each to have some threads replaced..AFTER it spit a couple out...Depends on the heads and the tools used..Ford Dealer charges by the plug...Good luck, let us know the results...
    Okay, Legal disclaimer: Old but not senile, definitely do not have the answer to everything!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

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    If they put one piece plugs in there should be no issues. No matter what when you change them put the Champion One Piece Plugs in it.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    Quote Originally Posted by deerefan View Post
    I have a 1997 F150 4x4 with the 4.6 V8 and it has come time to put in a new set of plugs and plug wires. I had this done a few years ago by a mechanic and it appeared to be a pita. Any suggestions? Tips? This is the first time on this truck I am doing this myself and want to be sure I do not screw it up.
    When it came time to change plugs on my 2001 F150 with the 4.6L Triton, I had the dealer do it (about 105,000 miles showing). In CA the service provider has to give an estimate before starting the job and the customer has to sign off on that estimate. For the 8 plugs, the estimate was $400. The cost actually was much less (~$150) but the service writer said that they have to protect themselves because it's pretty easy to bogger up the threads in those aluminum heads, especially in the two plug holes closest to the firewall, and it's pretty expensive to repair with an insert if the worst happens while changing plugs.

    There used to be a guy here in CA who had a mobile repair business just to handle Ford Triton spark plug thread jobs in customer's driveways. Apparently he could make a decent living fixing screwups that his customers caused trying to DIY those plugs.

    Be advised and good luck

  5. #5
    Veteran Member deerefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flusher

    When it came time to change plugs on my 2001 F150 with the 4.6L Triton, I had the dealer do it (about 105,000 miles showing). In CA the service provider has to give an estimate before starting the job and the customer has to sign off on that estimate. For the 8 plugs, the estimate was $400. The cost actually was much less (~$150) but the service writer said that they have to protect themselves because it's pretty easy to bogger up the threads in those aluminum heads, especially in the two plug holes closest to the firewall, and it's pretty expensive to repair with an insert if the worst happens while changing plugs.

    There used to be a guy here in CA who had a mobile repair business just to handle Ford Triton spark plug thread jobs in customer's driveways. Apparently he could make a decent living fixing screwups that his customers caused trying to DIY those plugs.

    Be advised and good luck
    I am leaning towards letting the dealer do it. I am not a big fan of the mod motors, mainly because they are not real easy to maintain for the diy type.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Cpjlube's Avatar
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    Case ih 254

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    Yeah. The 97 thru about 04 had the spark plug blow out issue. There were only about four thread turns in the head. I had one blow out of my 2001 5.4 liter in Bristol Tennessee. Called the Dealer they were talking about pulling the cab in order to access the threads. Long story short, a friend of mine in southern Ohio makes a "self tapping" plug that was slightly oversized. Was pretty skeptical but had nothing to lose. Thousands of miles later it's still working great.
    If you do a Google search you will see how awful this issue has been. In my opinion it should have been a recall. There can't be that many problems because of installer error without a design fault. Mine blew out the factory plug. I'm a big fan of the F series but when I call a dealer and they can finish my sentences and have a solution over the phone. It's a BIG problem.

    Chuck.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    I just did a 4.6 it had cast heads and the plugs are in a deep hole and only use 1/2 the threads on the plug. You do need an air nozzle with a long end, to blow out the crud before you put the wrench on and then after you turn it one turn blow it out again. Be sure you use never size, and Personally I use the Bosch quad four plugs, and torque them in. You have lay on the rad shroud, it is the 5.4 three valve that has the most problem. Put the air line up threw the fan opening and you will have no problems with it rubbing the paint. Be sure the engine has sat for at least 12 hours you want it cold not just a little warm. COLD works warm does not.

  8. #8
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    I replaced the plugs in my 98 F150 with 4.6L and it was a huge pain in the butt. Had some issues with the wires shorting out and I couldn't get it straightened out so I took it to the dealer to have them fix the wires. I don't know if it was the wires I bought from Autozone but I thought I was buying the better ones so I don't know. The dealer said the wires were shorting between each other. It really made me miss the straight 6 my 92 F150 had. That was such a nice engine to service.

    So I sold the truck before I ever had to deal with the plugs again but I had decided after messing with them that first time that I would never touch them again (and I enjoy servicing my own equipment). Good luck if you go forward with this, I hope you have better results then I did.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    2000 TC40D, TnT, 758B BH

    Default Re: Changing spark plugs on my 97 F150 4.6l

    I'm coming up on needing a plug change in my 5.4L. Awhile back I was reading up on some recommendations on the plug change. First blowing out any debris with air was suggested. After that it was recommended to spray some PB Blaster or equivalent into the hole before attempting to loosen the plug. They then carefully loosened and re-tightened each plug incrementally back and forth until they were confident it was turning freely. Haven't done it yet so I don't know how great it works, just an FYI. You also might want to change your oil after the process.

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