Made by Monkeys

Monkeys Got to the Spark Plugs on My Mustang GT

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Rob Spiegel
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Spark plug ironies
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2011 10:25:02 AM
One huge automotive advance over the past few decades is that spark plugs last nearly forever. Remember changing them every few months? Now that we almost never have to change them, we pretty much can't change them. And of course, the shops are charging nearly a paycheck to change a stupid set of spark plugs.

William K.
User Rank
Changing spark plugs.
William K.   10/4/2011 1:21:14 PM
Yes, spark plugs do last a long time under normal conditions. Unfortunately, though, if you suffer a deffective ignition coil assembly or a failed high voltage plug wire, one or more plugs can become quite fouled, and need to be replaced, or at least cleaned. Those two failure do still happen, and so the poor design choice will cause some to suffer. A reliable pre-emptive fix would be to remove the plugs while the car is new and they don't yet have any buildup on the threads, and grind off those threads that would be inside the cylinder head. This would remove the potential problem, but, of course, a very wise choice will be to consider the possible unintended consequences. I am not aware of any problems that would be caused by the thread removal, but it is possible that the plugs would be more difficult to start innthe head, and that the effective heat range of the plug may change. There kmay be additional cautions that I ammnot aware of.

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Spark plugs
Tim   10/4/2011 6:32:26 PM
I have an 02 Ford F150 that typically has plenty of room under the hood to do repairs.  The sparkplugs are an exception.  It is necessary to remove the power steering fluid resevoir to get to one and the two in the rear of the engine require a little magic to get the plug out without killing your knuckles.

User Rank
Quit whining and just buy the tool.
Contrarian   10/5/2011 9:20:45 AM
> The monkeys have provided a fix in the form of a special tool

> to remove the broken threads.


So buy the tool and get on with your life.  The first use will pay for itself and likely you won't own the car before it needs to be done again.  I just put a second set of plugs in my pickup at 150K, and I doubt it will run another 150K to worry about doing it again.  Often in cases like this there are OEM or aftermarket replacments that circumvent issues like these, so that may be another option.



User Rank
So before you try to remove the plugs,
rcwithlime   10/5/2011 9:26:06 AM
the last few tankfuls of gas, use a lot of fuel injector cleaner. You may even be able to remove the air filter, place the fuel injector cleaner into a spray bottle, and spray into air duct as you bump the car over. I would suggest not spraying into duct when car is running as there might be a possibility that it coud catch fire. Might be remote chance, but better safe than sorry. Besides, you want to coat the plug, not burn off the cleaner.  Let the care sit for a couple of hours. That may loosen the carbon. Can also consider using a high grade of  penetrating oil like Aero Kroil, sprayed into air duct  as you just bump the car over. Let sit for a couple of hours. Just a thought...Might be worth a try as opposed to handing  your $ out to a mechanic. Also, do you know that when you remove stuck bolts, you cycle your turning out then in then out, etc. Screw out till you cannot turn anymore. Then back in. Then back out and you will gain a little more. Repeat until bolt or plug is out. This method allows the loosened rust or in this case the carbon a chance fall off the threads instead of just jamming between bolt (plug) and female threads.

John B
User Rank
Mustang Spark Plugs
John B   10/5/2011 9:40:24 AM
I'm surprised that Ford didn't learn from past mistakes.  Years ago, I had a 1970 Mustang with a 350 'Cleveland' engine.  The spark plugs were smaller than normal plugs and instead of using a flat seat with a crush ring they used a tapered seat.  This design virtually guaranteed that at least one of the plugs would break in half during removal.  This left a threaded metal barrel and half an insulator stuck in the cylinder head.  There was no easy fix short of removing the head.

Message to the auto industry:  If there's a proven workable design for an automotive component, don't change it only for the sake of change.

User Rank
spark plugs
ndjalva   10/5/2011 9:58:55 AM
With the Mustang there was a tool to try a "fix" the problem......

Years ago the late 60's early 70's had a better one for the plugs, Pontiac wagon wiht the big V-8 ...to change the RH rear plug the chimps required the engine to be jacked up (engine mounts disconnected) and lots of skin removed from the nuckles. 

My fix was a 1" hole in the wheel well and rubber plug to close the hole after the job was 'completed. Using a long extention and flex the replacement was completed in a few minutes.

The monkyes got no bananas that day.

User Rank
Re: Spark plugs
philipp10   10/5/2011 10:05:16 AM
What is it with Ford and sparkplugs.  They also have a problem with one of the SUV's where the amount of thread engagement is so small that the plugs tear out at a relatively young age.  The fix is an expensive helicoil job.  This shouldn't be happening in this day of age.

User Rank
Actually, all the plugs are that way now
rcwithlime   10/5/2011 10:22:32 AM
Have been for a lot of years. 5/8" deepwell required instead of original 3/4"And yes, can be a pain.

User Rank
Spark Plugs might not last as long as you think!!!
TEST_ENGINEER_II   10/5/2011 10:23:07 AM
I see people talking about never needing to change their spark plugs or waiting until 150K miles.  Well, I have a 2004 Mustang GT and recently put a supercharger on it.  To do so, I had to replace my platinum plugs with standard plugs.  My car has 50K miles on it and I figure the platinum plugs were good for at least 100K.....WRONG.  When I removed the plugs from engine, not only were 2 of them extremely loose but each one had a very different gap set on it.  I don't know if it simply changed over time or what.  But the 2 that were loose I could take out with my hand easily.  And all of them had such different variation in gap Im surprised the car ran as well as it did.  Some gaps were double others, it was terrible and I'm glad I switched over to standards and will be checking/replacing them frequently now.  At least I'll know they are correct.  I've had many other quality issues with Ford, too many to go into now, but in summary....this is my very last Ford car EVER.

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