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5.4 Triton tuneup

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by 03sd, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    Have any of you guys changed plugs on a 5.4? I have heard so many horror stories about pulling the threads out of the heads, I would rather try to do it myself than to take it in is there any tricks or tips that you know of thanks in advance.
  2. Morrissey snow removal

    Morrissey snow removal PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,798

    we just did one about 2 months ago only took 2 hrs no issues at all
  3. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Soak the plugs with some kind of penetrating product for a couple days before changing them and go slow. Lady luck will also play a factor.
  4. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    +1.... fluid film...
  5. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Make sure that none of the crud that has collected in the holes for the plugs falls into the cylinders. I used a piece of 1/2 clear tubing duct taped to the end of my shop vac hose to suck out any debris prior to removing the plugs.
  6. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Clean and vacuum before you spray Panther Pee. There is a older post about it here somewhere. Most said use the OEM MotorCraft spark plugs.Use good antiseize on the new threads. Use a torque wrench so you don't over tighten them.
  7. farmer101

    farmer101 Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 112

  8. StrongestDad

    StrongestDad Member
    Messages: 37

    Did mine at 100k mi. 3 hrs. No prob
  9. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    Thanks for the info guys, this is my first aluminium headed motor and would rather not screw it up. I have always had dodges with cast heads, this F250 Superduty has been a great truck so far like a said I have heard so many bad things about the 5.4 I figured I would ask the pros.
  10. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    AS real trucks dont have sparkplugs anyhow I am holding out for a truck just like the one in your sig:salute:
  11. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    It's important to note that the real problems with 5.4 liter spark plugs didn't start until the 2004 model year and were finally solved in early 2008. In your sig, it looks like you have a 2003 truck. That would mean you don't have the early 3 valve heads with the long spark plugs that get carboned in. So if I read you sig correctly, you won't have any problem at all.

    If you do have a 2004-2008 truck, there are well developed methods and tools to get the plugs out pretty easily. In fact most Ford techs I know don[t really swaet this one any more.

    BTW: Soaking them with penetrating oil is not the recommended way to loosen them.
  12. farmer101

    farmer101 Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 112

    That is a good point. However, the 03 and prior two valves have this nasty habit of spitting spark plugs out if they have improper torque. Its not so much getting them out thats the problem... its making sure they stay in. At least in the f150's, which finally got 'fixed' around 03, I'm not sure when this issue was fixed for SD's.
  13. pooleo8

    pooleo8 Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    did mine in the expedition. Had no problems. the back 2 were a pita. I changed the plugs when I did coil packs. At 180k factory plugs looked damn near new.
  14. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    Yes sir it's a 2003
  15. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    Theres about 120k on her now and it still runs like the day I picked it up with 65k on it. The plugs probably are in good shape I was thinking the longer I go without changing will give me problems later.
  16. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    You are correct in that there was a "plug blowout" issue on early modular motors - which the 5.4 is one of. The problem was actually a combination of improper torque when folks replaced the plugs as well as a rather stupid head design that held the plug in place with 3 or 4 threads. As I recall, the problem was fixed - on all modular motors - by 2001.

    Oddly enough the next generation of modular motors (with 3 valve heads) totally reversed the problem in 2004. You no longer blew plugs out. In fact you had one hell of a time even unscrewing them. This was caused by another stupid design where the spark plugs had an extended shaft below the threads and before the electrode. This section resided in a bore in the cylinder head that was somewhat exposed to the combustion process. This led to carbon building up in that bore - not on the threads - and "freezing" the plug in place. Adding insult to injury, the multiple piece plug construction caused the plugs to break into separate pieces when you removed them with conventional means. This was actually a far bigger problem than the blown out plugs.

    So it's safe to say that the 2003 motor in the OP's truck is not going to have either of these well known issues. Alas, I had trucks affected by both of the issues.
  17. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    Great info thanks much appreciated