Changing Spark Plugs on 4.6L - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
V22
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Changing Spark Plugs on 4.6L

Hey guys,
Getting ready to change the plugs on my cougar. I know about keeping the area around the plug hole spotless, don't cross-thread, make sure they are gapped properly etc. , but is there anything particularly important I should keep in mind? I've got both the Haynes manual and the ford service manual. What about tightening them down? Should I use a torque wrench for that, and if so, are the numbers specified in the ford service manual correct?

Keep in mind I have not done spark plugs on any of my cars before, but I've done some other maintenance items, and I'm fairly handy.

Thanks.

1996 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6L , Vermillion
If you see a shiny red car swerving around potholes and parking 10000 miles from all the other plebeians in parking lots, then it's probably me.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by V22 View Post
Hey guys,
Getting ready to change the plugs on my cougar. I know about keeping the area around the plug hole spotless, don't cross-thread, make sure they are gapped properly etc. , but is there anything particularly important I should keep in mind? I've got both the Haynes manual and the ford service manual. What about tightening them down? Should I use a torque wrench for that, and if so, are the numbers specified in the ford service manual correct?

Keep in mind I have not done spark plugs on any of my cars before, but I've done some other maintenance items, and I'm fairly handy.

Thanks.
Yes, use a torque wrench.

PI heads in particular had an issue where if you did it the "old school" method of turning it till they're tight, then another half turn, they'll be hanging on by the last thread and blow out under compression eventually. There's a torque spec in the manual, I always aim for the middle of the range.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 08:40 AM
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You will need a universal joint for at least the passenger side rear most plug, and a long extension for all of them. Use a spark plug socket, and put a little dielectric grease on the rubber socket sleeve, or the socket may stay on the plug when you install it.

Either put a piece of duct tape all along the edge of the fuel rail, or wear gloves when removing the boots, or you will slice your fingers on the edge of the fuel rail, which is sharp!

I have never torqued a spark plug before. Just make them snug. These don't have the crush washer anyway, so there is no "extra 1/2 turn" to worry about. The "flange" on the plug hits the lip on the spark plug well and doesn't turn any more.

Make sure to use Motorcraft double platinum, AGSF32PP IIRC.

Check the PCV valve while it is off, and clean the inside of the throttle body with throttle body cleaner, since all of that will be taken off to do the passenger side plugs.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 80k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 76k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 08:47 AM
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Also, get some anti-seize lubricant to put a little on the spark plug threads.

Al
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97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 80k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 76k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:37 AM
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I never torque the plugs, just snug them. never used antisieze either, maybe I would if I used double platinums and leave them alone for 100k, but with coppers I dress or change them frequently enough that they never have time to sieze.

+1 with the fuel rails, I've still got scars on my hands. Additionally make sure you place your fingers ONLY on the ear portions of the plugwire boot, if you pull from under the wire it will break. Should be a given but the fuel rail proximity can make proper grip difficult.

-Matt
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
V22
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Went and did them. No problems, everything went without a hitch, although the passenger side spark plug boots fought me until the end.
Old plugs looked bad, really worn out. I think the engine is running a little rich. I also cleaned the throttle body while I was at it, it was really grubby.

Thanks for the advice guys. I recently did a headlight restoration with some clear coat spray, thinking I should post my procedure and results. They look out-of-box new.

1996 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6L , Vermillion
If you see a shiny red car swerving around potholes and parking 10000 miles from all the other plebeians in parking lots, then it's probably me.
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