Your 1960 Ford Falcon (if it was a US domestic model) had a six cylinder engine, not a four. Ford did not start putting 4 cylinder engines into its US built passenger cars until the Pinto. It had a choice of a Brit built 1600 cc or the US built 2 liter belt driven OHC four. I believe that the 1960 six cylinder was 170 cu.in. It was easy to service. There wasn't quite enough room to stand inside the engine compartment, but there was lots of room in there. I bought a 1960 2 door in 1966 for $200 (lots of rust).
Oh, the boots come off using a pair of extra-long 45° angle needlenose rounded jaw hose pliers then silicone the snot out of the boots before putting them back on so they don't seize to the plugs again. I know I've removed/installed the plugs without special tools, put the plug socket on then break it free with a combo wrench - lay on your side somewhat facing down reaching up with your arm as if sidestroke swimming. BTW, my alternator bracket is now a 2-piece to eliminate the additional 2+ hours of labor that would normally be required to remove everything that's in the way of getting the alternator out.
I was wondering -- Ford couldn't be that stupid. Do you think that there might be a special spark plug wrench to remove the plugs. Something similar to what comes with an old air cooled VW Beatle to reach in and access the plugs?
timbalionguy: your 1985 Horizon was transformed into the later Fuel Injection models that performed way much better than the old carbureted ones. Chrysler's Fuel Injection on those years (1990-95) was very reliable and simple enough to diagnose thanks to a very clever On-Board diagnosis accesible through the "Check-Engine" light displaying a kind of "Morse Code" DTC´s (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) ranging from "11" to "60" or so thanks to the light blinking on and off with pauses. Chrysler codes were easier to read than other brands and did NOT require an external Scanner to be retrieved, a bonus to DIY mechanics. Too bad the company lost its track when Daimler took over and we are still undecided if it returns to its previous good days. (I'm not convinced FIAT won´t damage it still more than Daimler did).
I've seen failed NEW plugs a couple of times (broken ceramic insulation, hardly visible hairline cracks). Those plugs behaved OK for a couple of minutes... but as soon as temperarture went up, they started misfiring. Puzzed a couple of old time mechanics for a while.
The thing is that sparkplugs should be accesible items, not to require more than a couple of minutes to replace or inspect! On ther other hand, some engines don't like exotic plugs (my Turbocharged 4's need standard (copper) plugs since platinum (or iridium) ones tend to overheat because electrodes are way too thin to resist and conduct heat away, causing preignition/detonation at high Turbo Boost levels on these engines. And sparkplug reading is one of the best engine health indicators available, that should be easy to performon all engines. Amclaussen.
Exactly JohnE, those Chryslers still are a benchmark of serviceability (and reliability too). Even hard to convince magazines like Consumer Reports (credibility aside), reported high reliability for the last versions of the K cars (like the Dodge Spirit/Plymouth Acclaim) when compared to other family sedans of those years (1990-95). I still drive and keep my 1991 Spirit R/T as it still delivers a lot of punch for its price and has proved to be a reliable and fun to drive car. Maybe because is was a "premium" or Sports oriented package with Turbo engine, 4-disc brakes and sport suspension. Anyhow, it compares very favorably to later models ('cloud cars') which are badly designed comparatively. Amclaussen.
Well, it seems the term "industry-self regulation" has resulted in these kind of abuses on the consumer. At least the spirit of the blog shows that 99% of "modern" designs are terribly done, and that the consumer ends up paying a lot more moneyy and having to live with defectively designed items that last little and end up as garbage all too soon, all under the "profit maximizing" mantra that private companies have universally adopted. After one analyzes many defectively designed products, it seems present day designers are akin to mad monkeys, but that would imply an insult on monkeys.
While government participation is not always welcome, someone has to step in. Recent issues show that even in commercial aviation some designs are simply not appropriate for the risk and safety standpoints. (and thinking again, this has been going on for a longer time than it appears -remember the failed design for the cargo doors on the DC-10 aircraft and the resulting accidents-. Amclaussen.
Bradley--I'm playing a little catch-up here due to schedule but felt the need to comment anyway. I definitely got spoiled with my first car. It was a third-hand, four cylinder, inline 1960 Ford Falcon. I was a junior in college and had no real disposable income so the Falcon was an ideal choice. I found out quickly I could fix anything and everything because components were accessible. I could walk around the engine compartment; there was so much space available under the hood. My present "ride" is nowhere close to allowing that convenience and dropping a screw brings on panic and hyperventilation. There are small screws, nuts, bolts, etc etc lodged in the compartment that will be lost forever. Excellent post.
I was able with great effort (arms too short, fat?) as I said to reach the 3 and 5 plugs from underneath, destroying plug boots and wires along the way, but the number 1 plug was just out of reach. I didn't have the ability to get anything on the plug boot to remove it, so getting a wrench on it was moot. I had to remove the alternator to get at that one from the top. Still a miserable experience. A half hour project took most of the day.
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