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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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plug change thoughts?

hey guys I have 62k on my 3.8 but I want to change the plugs/wires since this car is new to me and I want to have piece of mind that thats one less thing to worry about. My question is what plugs would everyone suggest? from what I have read people arent to fond of bosch plats? should I just go with motorcraft plats? also what should the gap be on these plugs with this engine?. As far as wires go just anything or is there something that will give better contact over something else?

Also I haven't really looks but how hard are these going to be to change? On my truck I had to remove one of the wheels and go at it from underneith is it anything like that or is this a simple swap? and are there any tips anyone would suggest to make it easier? Thanks, Jon
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 07:02 PM
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the plugs have been researched many times. Stick with the Autolite copper tops, or motorcraft copper tops, they tend to work the best for our cars. And yes, stay away from the POS bosch. As for wires, if you dont need to replace them then I wouldnt. I havent replaced mine yet on my 3.8 and it's got 109K miles on it.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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just out of curiosity why coper over platinums?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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For some reason (probably because our cars are getting so old) these cars dont like the platinums, especially the multi prong platinums. Believe me it will run better with OEM copper plugs, and yes please stay away from Bosch. Go with autolite or motorcraft.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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And as for the gap Im not to sure on the 3.8's but I know mine is .054-.056. yours is probably like .044 or so. Check under the hood on the catalyst sticker and it will tell you the gap in very small print at the bottom. You can also check on most part websites. They are pretty straightforward to replace right on top, although I have heard some horror stories from the turbo guys about having to pull the whole turbo system apart, but could just be they dont know what they are doing. Also when you pull the old plugs check the prongs on each for color. If they are white then you are running too lean if they are really black and burnt then your running too rich. Either of these conditions indicates you prob need oxygen sensors. At 62k I wouldnt worry too much about the wires, just be careful removing them grasp by the boot. Also check wire terminal towers and wires for corrosion.

Last edited by JuniorBirdman; 09-19-2006 at 10:11 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2006, 10:21 PM
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the gap should be the same for the 3.8 if i recall correctly .052-.056 but check the sticker. It is slightly harder than 4.6 plugs. You may need some extensions/swivel adapter to make it easier, but nothing has to be dismantled to get to them. I did mine probably 5 or so years ago so my memory is vague. Good luck.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 02:42 AM
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I believe the plugs come pre-gapped, atleast my autolites did. But of course, I double checked and made sure. I'm pretty darn sure i went with .054 and have never had a problem

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 06:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniorBirdman
please stay away from Bosch.
Bosch + Fords = Problems.

BTW, when I bought my plugs, I bought Autolites and they didn't come pre-gapped. At least not to .054 like I chose to gap mine to.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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I see people saying with the age on our cars that the copper is better but since my car only has 62k I wouldnt count that as being high mileage? is this what you guys mean when you say age? I have used platinums in my 94 explorer 4.0 with pretty good results. I am not discounting anything you guys say so please dont take it that way I just want to get as much knowledge as I can and see why ones better then the other.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 09:18 AM
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Coppers if you don't mind changing them more frequently (after changing them once in my 89 with the 3.8, it is not much fun), copper plugs have a little better spark but wear faster than Platinums.

I went 65k miles on my last set of Bosch Platinums in the 89. I put another set in it. They work well for me in this car, but they were horrible in a 4.6. Stick to Motorcraft or Autolite, and go with platinum if you want near 100k service life, or copper with 20-35k service life.

I run coppers in my 4.6 powered car since it takes about 15 minutes to replace them all and no real work like the 3.8 and the passenger side front two plugs.

Check the gap of the plugs. Not only can the gap be changed in transit, but the plugs are not made ONLY for the 3.8, the same plug works on many applications more than likely, like the one for the 4.6 also is used in Cadillacs of some sort.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 01:37 PM
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It doesnt really matter milage wise. If you do a search on this website, there have been many topics discussed on weather or not it is better to go with the copper tops or the platinums.

I would only suggest the platinums if you have a Super Coupe, because the plugs are much harder to get to. I know I dont have any problem getting to my plugs on my 96 because they are actually quite easy to do. Bout 5 min and done.

Our Thunderbirds/cougars just do not like platinums very much at all. I dont know what it is. I know the bosch just plain suck, and the +4 and +2 actually make your ignition system work much harder (in tech articles).

If you still have any doubts on what you should use, always use the search button. That's what helped me make my decision on the plugs for my vehicle.

~X=Remember, every problem is a blessing in disguise=X~

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RIP Orion 800.4 amp, and Ascendant Audio 12" sub. Caught on fire in trunk...
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:04 PM
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I am no longer afraid of head gasket changing or replacing spark plugs.....you must learn how to conquer you car, before it conquers you!

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2006, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mybird_91
I am no longer afraid of head gasket changing or replacing spark plugs.....you must learn how to conquer you car, before it conquers you!
agreed. I had no clue how to do a HG job. Heck now that I've done it, i could go out and do a removal of everything in a single days worth of time, and get it done in probably a weekend instead of 3 months. Possibly the best thing to happen to my vehicle (because I learned so much, how to do a HG job. Port things, and a lil bout performance)

~X=Remember, every problem is a blessing in disguise=X~

96 3.8 NA, 180* T-Stat, PnP Upper and Lower intake, Air Silencer Removed 9" K&N added to fender well, Mild J-modded transmission, 24K B&M Supercooler, 2.25" dual Magnaflow high-flow cats w/2.25" di/do Magnaflow, JVC El-Kameleon LX-30.

RIP Orion 800.4 amp, and Ascendant Audio 12" sub. Caught on fire in trunk...
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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I have always used Bosch Platinum in every car that I have owned. I use them in my Land Rover with no problem. But they didn't have them for my Bird when I changed them, so I used the Bosch Coppers. Not to discreit anyone, but I have never had a problem with Bosch. Plus, if you don't like them, they will pay for them.

As far as Motorcraft and Autolite, I think it is just a preference. Motorcraft is OEM plugs so you really can't go wrong. Autolites however are a whole other story. Anything that's mechanical that I can buy in Wally World, I am not to fond of putting in my car. I know Autolites were junk in an explorer. But that's just my .02.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 11:55 PM
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Actually just to let you know, i believe the autolites and motorcraft plugs are made in the exact same place. Plus I dunno bout your wally world, but mine carries Motorcraft parts

~X=Remember, every problem is a blessing in disguise=X~

96 3.8 NA, 180* T-Stat, PnP Upper and Lower intake, Air Silencer Removed 9" K&N added to fender well, Mild J-modded transmission, 24K B&M Supercooler, 2.25" dual Magnaflow high-flow cats w/2.25" di/do Magnaflow, JVC El-Kameleon LX-30.

RIP Orion 800.4 amp, and Ascendant Audio 12" sub. Caught on fire in trunk...
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2006, 12:45 AM
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I used Motorcraft plugs & wires when I changed mine a few months ago....

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 10:45 AM
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From my experience with T-Birds its hit and miss sometimes. Like my mothers 92 Sport runs like crap on everything but Bosch Coppers, thats why I used them on my 93 and it ran fine. But my wife's SC ran like *** with Bosch. I am currently running Autolite Double Platinums after playing with the idea of XP Iridiums. I can't vouch for Bosch Platinums as far as T-Birds. But I used them on my 88 Isuzu Trooper and had no trouble. I used Bosch Coppers on my 84 El Camino and it was just fine. I do know, and even Bosch said this, that Bosch Platinum 2 and 4 are not compatible with DIS. Not sure if this is the case with Coppers, but like I said my wifes 93 SC hated them. As far as wires I just upgraded mine to MSD and while there is no significant gain in power, it runs much smoother. Plus it looks pretty under the hood!

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 11:58 AM
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I just put in Motocraft spark plugs last weekend (0.06 gap) and im finally able to spin tires from the stop. My car runs 100rmp lower on high speeds. I used NGK plugs before but they werent gapped correctly but still no misfires or problems.
id recomment motocrafts personally, but then again keep in mind that i got a v8.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 09:41 AM
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Motorcraft or Autolite. Lincoln site says the same thing. Bosch may cause problems (why take a chance?). Plus they are a lot cheaper!


BTW: when was the last time the tranny fluid and filter was changed? ???
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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its probably been a while, the car only has 64k on it now so i know its pretty good, I did check it as well. now I am kind of embarrased to admit it but I cant find the damn engine oil dipstick. I plan to do the fluids (trans fluid/filter and oil fluid/filter) I want to do the plugs anyway even if they don't need it because I dont know if it was ever done.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 11:01 AM
 
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The front 2 passenger ones arent too bad, just go under the hoses and it takes no time at all to do. But I do appreciate the extra room under the hood of the F150, thats for sure.

After 12 years Id suggest changing the plugs and trans fluid/filter no matter the mileage. When I bought the Cougar the plug from the factory was still in the pan.

EDIT: Long day yesterday lol, I always used Champion coppers for plugs and the Bosh cap/rotor

Last edited by Blue LS; 10-25-2006 at 11:34 AM.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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I am by no means an expert or anything, but I am running Bosch rotor, distributor cap, wires and Platinum 2+ plugs on my car and it has never run better, I could really feel the difference after I bought in the MSD Blaster 2 Coil..... Anyway, the car runs alot smoother now and I get about 3mpg better on average. The only problem I had was putting the #4 in, i think it was, IDK the front pas. side cylinder. damn AC in the way. my car had right at 30k when I did it and the old plugs were worn pretty well. I was pleased with my purchase, and I would recommend them, and they came gapped.

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