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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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changing spark plugs.

I plan on changing the spark plugs today, I am wondering if anyone has any tips to ease the change. I replaced the rotor in the distributor while the car wouldnt start thinking that may be part of the starting system. So I figured that I would change the plugs while im at it. Any suggestions would be great, thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 11:33 AM
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Any suggestions would be great, thanks in advance.
Small hands help!

Drivers side is a piece of cake, passenger side is a bit more difficult. I just removed the intake tube to give me more room.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 11:52 AM
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Patience, small hands and extensions.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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great lol I only have 1 of the three (extensions), and its cold out so of course here comes some bloody knuckles lol.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 12:07 PM
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Sorry to hear that, but just take your time and remove what's in your way right away. You'll be glad when you're done.

Mods? Do the ones in the garage waiting to go on the car count?

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so heres how it went, the first two I broke, so I had no choice but to continue lol , got the 3 on the drivers side done in about 25 minutes and went on to the passenger side. I removed the intake tube and tried to reach in to pull the boot off of the first one when I found my hands are way to large to get through all the a/c plumbing, so after about 10 minutes of trying to get at any of the three I gave up. I will bring it to someone who has smaller hands or a better concept of angles then me because I couldn't maneuver my hands in there from anywhere. However with just the 3 I did get the car is feeling a lot better at idle and when I get on the gas.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 11:15 PM
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start with the passenger rear plug first.... it gets progressivly easier after that

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 01:24 AM
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Using a socket on the end of the spark plug socket helps too. You can reach in from the front on the first two.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Extension and joints !

thewishkah,

Othees have mentioned the difficult passenger side rear plug- it's a nasty one. I 've had my 3.8 for 9 years and for the first year was very frustrated since I didn't have the required two elbows to do this job. Not only the skinned knuckles and cuts, I ruined a spark plug wire by ripping the wire off the plug boot. Eventually, I bought a set of cheap socket extensions and universal joint. If you remove the intake tube and set up a jointed socket arrangement, the rest of your ownership will much less painful ! I wish I'd done it the first month I had the car,...

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:14 PM
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i can do the pass. side without all that crap. ratchet/socket/maybe 3in ext. done.

i have skinny hands

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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shut up! lol I have big hands, im a big guy. I tried all different extensions with the universal joint extension but I cant get in close enough to get it right, How much can they charge to do one side anyway? I have the plugs so it should be cheap.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 11:28 AM
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the wishkah,

Oh, probably $25-$30 for 1/2 hour work at their standard rate per hour.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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i had a buddy do mine, no joke he did all the plugs in about 45 minutes. i was amazed to say the least.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 11:20 PM
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I kinda had to chuckle at this video, though it was helpful if you have not done this before.

http://www.ehow.com/how_110_replace-spark-plugs.html

I do want to point out the socket wrench the tech is using. I find these kind make it a lot easier to get into tight spaces like the passenger side. The one he has is a Snap On 3/8's long flex head ratchet.

I have also used this kind of ratchet with success:

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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lol any average joe could do the plugs on that car lol. I have never seen a car with easier to change plugs. If they did the video on a first generation explorer it would have been more complicated lol. Removing the front wheel to get at one was a pain is the butt, but was doable with large hands unlike the cougar lol.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 10:27 AM
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lol any average joe could do the plugs on that car lol. I have never seen a car with easier to change plugs. If they did the video on a first generation explorer it would have been more complicated lol. Removing the front wheel to get at one was a pain is the butt, but was doable with large hands unlike the cougar lol.
Same goes for a 2nd Gen Explorer/Mountaineer. I have a '97 Mountaineer. Taking off the tires is not that hard.

Replacing head gaskets to make changing plugs easier on an MN12, now that is a biatch
That is my spring project.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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lol I know taking the tire off is not hard but its just annoying to have to jack it up and then put it back on. That shouldnt be necessary lol. Good luck with those head gaskets Luckily my explorer motor head out well, wish I could say the same for the a4ld lol. I miss my explorer even though it was a money pit.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 08:24 AM
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or if you happen to have the engine swinging on a chain, that makes it easier too. i changed mine before i sat it in. but it's easy for me

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 08:54 AM
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lol I know taking the tire off is not hard but its just annoying to have to jack it up and then put it back on. That shouldnt be necessary lol. Good luck with those head gaskets Luckily my explorer motor head out well, wish I could say the same for the a4ld lol. I miss my explorer even though it was a money pit.

I was referring to the head gaskets on my Cougar. My Mountaineer is a 5.0
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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ahh ok lol. If I get another truck it will be an 01 mounty 5.0 with 2 wheel, even if I have to remove parts to make it 2wd, or I will do the brown wire mod if im lazy lol.
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 11:54 AM
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The brown wire mod is only for selectable transfer cases which were only used in the V6 models. They did make 2wd Mountaineers. Mostly for warmer states that don't see snow.

Oh and you can't remove the front drive shaft on an AWD as it uses the front diff for park. Take the front shaft out and it will roll. The parking brakes on Explorers/Mountaineers are worthless. It's also possible to burn the clutch pack out in the AWD case with the front drive shaft removed.

Last edited by LOLA; 12-18-2007 at 11:59 AM.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I know on the 4.6L I had trouble with 2 on the passenger side. The fuel rail is right in the damn way. Of course I also did the stupidest thing ever. I put the spark plug in backwards. Dont ask me how but I did. I asked my friend have you ever done that before he was like no. I was like O yea thanks for making me feel better. The thing was I did not have a telescoping magnet on me to get it out so I ended up getting it out about an hour later with needle nose pliers and a smaller socket.
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 12:45 PM
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I remember the passenger side plugs being a little difficult on my old 89 base model Thunderbird. I did manage to get them all, though. I think I used a Craftsman flex-head ratchet. I find that the hardest part is usually getting the plug boots off the plugs.

On the SC that I have now, the best way to change the plugs is from under the car. I know that it's cold out, but it is probably the best way for you too. You can reach in from under and behind the k-member and get to all the plugs with enough patience.

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 01:00 PM
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Easiest way to change the pax side plugs on a V6 MN12 is to remove the 4 bolts holding the AC compressor down and move it out of the way. You won't lose any charge unless the fitting was bad anyway, then its a job even my large hands can handle pretty quickly.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 01:35 PM
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Easiest way, but not the cheapest, is to just swap the engine.

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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 10:04 AM
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Easiest way, but not the cheapest, is to just swap the engine.
Yeah right. I will trade you a spark plug service for an engine swap any day you are ready!

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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 12:33 PM
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Steve, Who brings the beer? LOL!

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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 04:46 PM
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I guess it would be me, as I think I would get the better of the deal otherwise. LOL

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