3V Spark plug change hell

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by GOLDENPONY, Feb 17, 2008.


  1. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    After reading all ov the horror stories about removing plugs from 3V motors, I decided to change mine. I have 38K miles on the clock. I read and re-read the TSB from Ford. Got a new set of Autolite HT plugs, a can of Aerokroil and a bottle of Permatex nickel anti sieze. I went by the TSB instructions, to the letter.

    Well, I'm screwed. Absolutely went by the letter of the TSB, did everything just as directed and the second plug broke off-in the worst way, the porcelain stayed in the lower part of the plug. I just threw in the towel, called AAA and had the POS trucked to the dealership where I bought it.

    I am so depressed right now I could just croak. This car only has 38K miles (of course, 2 K past warranty) on the clock and God knows how much it will cost to fix it, and if it will ever be the same. This is the first car I ever ordered from the factory and was my retirement gift to myself. At this point, I doubt I'll ever buy another Ford product. I wish to heaven I had taken it in to the dealer before the warranty expired-but I didn't. If you have a Ford vehicle with the 3V heads, I would trade it before you need new plugs. Good luck to you, brothers. :mad:
  2. anthony05gt

    anthony05gt Active Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about that. It sucks! I can say that anybody with 3 valve heads should not sell their car, but immediately remove their plugs and use copper or nickel never seize on the barrel section of the plug. (the part that goes into the head, below the threads, but not on the end electrode) This should be done every 15k miles to be safe.

    Again, sorry to hear about this GOLDENPONY.
  3. wbstanggt

    wbstanggt New Member

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    that does suck, but I wouldn't blame Ford entirely, it's more of an autolite issue then Ford's problem. don't hate the mustang because one bad thing happened. Trust me there are plenty of other cars out there that have their own independent issues. I've never owned a vehicle that didn't last more then 20000 miles without needing a trip to the dealership. Maybe buying used really is better... I dunno... but 38000 miles and a plug that failed... I wouldn't go so far to saying I'd never buy another blue oval product.
  4. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    I Understand you brother. I'll let you know when I get the final bill. I'm worried about the other 6 plugs.
  5. PoopDawg

    PoopDawg Autozone Junkie Founding Member

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    I would seriously look into contacting Ford about this if they charge you. ****, complain, and cry like a little baby. This is a KNOWN problem... My money is they will take care of you... or flip the bill for most of it.
  6. ranger04

    ranger04 New Member

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    They are designing cars more and more to only be worked on by the dealer. Now days you have all aluminum heads resessed plugs and what have you. It's a wonder the hood isn't locked with only the dealer having the key. Thats the one thing that did impress me about the mustang, there's plent of room in the engine compartment to work and see what your doing. A lot of modern engine bays are just a gaggle of wires and hoses, you can barely see the motor. On my 04 ranger with the 4.0, you couldn't even get the right bank to change plugs. To find out, you had to pull the wheel and the inner fender liner to gain access to the plugs. They make nothing simple anymore. I understand you being depressed, but tomarrows another day, things will look better. Have another look at it through the bottom of a couple of bud bottles. Beer glasses make everything look brighter ha ha. Good luck to you and I hope it all works out and continue to enjoy your retirement present, just pay someone to mess with the plugs next time, seeings how you are anyway ha ha. I know your not in a laughing mood, but I'm trying!!
  7. Emay

    Emay Member

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    Pulling my plugs and checking them is part of my routine maintenance and I highly suggest it as mentioned previously at a minimum of every 15k. Done it ever since my first set of aluminum heads way back in my drag days. Only it was far more frequent back then.

    As mentioned above, antiseize works wonders as well. Definately take that step..
  8. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    I've heard of this problem before. I definitely want to pull mine out and put some anti seize on them. What precautions should I take when removing them?
  9. ski

    ski Member

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    Watch episode 26(heads are the same for the 4.6L):
    http://www.flatratetech.com/index.php?categoryid=4
  10. cave diver

    cave diver Member

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    Let us know how it works out for you.
  11. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    Thanks ranger04, I do appreciate the moral support. I just talked to the dealer, they want $189 to remove the broken plug & replace it. The were not anxious to do the other 7, but I told them I wanted to go ahead and do them all. He told me Ford's position is that if any plugs break, I have to pay to have them removed. I just figure I want new ones with anti-seize on them in there, even though it's going to cost me. I told him I'd never buy another Ford over this (like he gives a crap). When I get the final "damage", I plan on composing a letter to Ford to tell them just how pleased I am with their product. This is the fourth new Mustang GT I have purchased and will no doubt be the last.
  12. kooldawg6

    kooldawg6 mine works really well and can take a fair amount

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    I'm about ready to turn 41K miles in the next day or so. At least my warranty is good to 50K. Guess I will check out the prior link and see about getting them out in the next few weeks.
  13. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    Warranty

    Good luck guys. I have heard, and my service advisor kind of indicated that even if the car's still under warranty, this repair is the customers responsibility. He said that is Ford's position. That isn't right. I think this is going to be a huge black eye for Ford, at a time when they can't afford one. I hope you guys come out better than I did.

    My first thought was to trade for a new Camaro, but I probably won't. :mad:
  14. PoopDawg

    PoopDawg Autozone Junkie Founding Member

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    It's your deal because the spark plugs are good up to 100K in normal driving conditions. Way past your warranty period. This is why Ford would not pay for it. Because the plugs are not part of a regular maintance within the warranty period. If you want the dealer to replace them before then.. it is your deal.
  15. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    Plugs



    I have no problem with that. If you want the plugs replaced, I would have no problem with the cost of new plugs, and the labor to change them. HOWEVER, if the dealer mechanic breaks one and the car is still under warranty, the customer shouldn't be charged extra. This is a "known problem" and Ford needs to step up to the plate and address it.

    Many years ago I bought a new Olds Cutlass with the now infamous diesel engine. It was a pretty neat car . AFTER the warranty had expired, I had a problem with the fuel injectors. I pulled them out and took them to a diesel injection shop where they were tested. 7 of 8 of the injectors failed to meet spec. Grudgingly, I bought a new set and installed them myself. I sent General Motors a letter describing what had happened along with the receipt for the new injectors (not even bought from GM) and that I was not pleased. A couple of months later, after I had forgotten all about it, I got a check from GM for the full amount of the injectors. This is a stand up company. Ford, on the other hand---
  16. PoopDawg

    PoopDawg Autozone Junkie Founding Member

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    I completely agree with you... 100% actually. I'm just stating what their stand is. Especially when you have them changed at the dealer... I think if they do break... you shouldn't be charged extra because it's a known problem with no real way of keeping it from happening. But life's not fair... never will be.
  17. JOEGTS

    JOEGTS New Member

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    I don't understand how they can have such problems with spark plugs! Being a Toyota tech I have replaced Hundreds of plugs without any problems. Is it they are using crap plugs or inferior aluminum? I had read horror stories about this when I had my 2003 Mach and had no trouble when I replaced the plugs in it. I guess I'll pull the plugs out on my 08 and lube the threads for safetys sake.
  18. anthony05gt

    anthony05gt Active Member

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    Below the threads of the plug there's a barrel section that's just round and maybe 1'' long that fits down in the head beyond the threaded area. This round section of the plug is only slightly smaller than the machined cavity in the head which is above the spark plug's electrode. This round section of the plug gets a build up of carbon between it and the head and over time the plug becomes bound and seized to the head with carbon. That round section of the plug should be smaller in diameter if possible to cure this problem.

    JOEGTS, lube the barrel section with anti seize.
  19. GOLDENPONY

    GOLDENPONY Founding Member

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    Plugs

    It's not the threads that are the problem. It's the ground electrode shield, between the threads and the firing tip. The shield isn't welded to the plug body, it's only crimped. The shield seizes in a long smooth bore below the threads and just tears the crimp loose. It's a very bad design. :notnice:

    The anti-seize goes on the body of the shield NOT the threads.
  20. JOEGTS

    JOEGTS New Member

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    Leave it to Ford! My car has less than 700 miles but, you guys have made me nervous. I think I will be removing and lubing in the next week or so. Is there any other plugs that have a better design for the S197's?

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