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  #1  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:37 PM
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Blower/Nitrous plugs for the 3-valve 5.4L.

I can be quoted to saying that the aftermarket has yet to catch up and offer a blower plug for the 3-valve engines. We have been forced to use a production plug and take the gap down, by at least .010" using a gapping tool. And I think I have found the answer to our problems based on my research. Until now, we have been forced to improvise, based on my experience and Ford factory training.

I want to quickly address the requirements of a good blower plug. There are a 4 factors that are important. And remember, spark blowout is as real as pre-ignition, and I experienced it long ago, at only 6 PSI. I used to think it was a myth until I installed my first supercharger. Busted.

1) Electrode composition. No Platinum or Iridium. Copper electrodes is all I support.
2) Heat range. We need plugs 2 heat ranges cooler than stock on these trucks, especially at boost levels over 9 PSI.
3) Plug gap. We need to gap blower plugs to .030"-.035".
4) Electrode geometry. We need the side electrode to be perpendicular to the center. This is actually more important than the gap, within reason. Let me make it clear that we are better off changing the geometry than running a .045"-.056" gap, but it is NOT optimal. It is best to find the plug already gapped to .035" from the factory.

So now I am going to make a recommendation that eliminates the debate over 3 of these 4 factors. And guess what? It is made by Ford Racing Performance Parts!

Ford Racing Modular 3-Valve Zero Degree Spark Plugs # M-12405-3V0

Here is a direct link to the product, followed by a quote from the site...

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fm...-3v0/overview/

Shorty Spark Plug: No
Resistor: Yes
Electrode Core Material: Copper
Electrode Tip Material: Copper
Insulator Type: Projected
Spark Plug Thread Size: 16mm
Spark Plug Reach: 22mm
Spark Plug Seat Style: Tapered
Wrench Diameter: 9/16 in.
Ground Strap Quantity: One
Quantity: Sold as a set of 8.

Notes: High thread, special long reach design.

Quote:
Designed for use in engines with higher-than-stock cylinder combustion pressures, these Ford Racing modular 3-valve zero degree spark plugs are prefect for your Ford. Their unique design is proprietary to Ford 3-valve engines and they are only available from Ford Racing. The Ford Racing modular 3-valve zero degree spark plugs are one heat range colder than the OEM Ford Mustang GT, and two heat ranges colder that the stock 5.4L truck engines. Keep your engine firing on all eight cylinders with a set of these Ford Racing modular 3-valve zero degree spark plugs.
Now, notice I said this part number addresses 3 of the 4 features I mentioned. One thing missing from the specs I posted above is the actual gap from the factory. So, I called Leland at the Ford Racing Performance Parts Hotline. He had NO information on the actual gap from the factory either. We discussed our needs for these trucks, and discussed the fact that these plugs are designed exactly for our applications, and with that, we could only SPECULATE that the gap was reduced as well. I cannot verify the gap these plugs are shipped at. We concurred that plug gap needs to be verified before install anyway but also that the gap must be adjusted to suit our needs. This is imperative. We can only speculate that these plugs have a reduced gap.

So what that leaves is the gapping tool. Can I say you will need it? No. Can Ford Racing tell you the gap? No. Can we speculate that Ford thought of all of these factors and along with that, reduced the gap too? Yes, it is likely that the gap is reduced. Can I tell you that you can screw these plugs in out of the box and they will be fine? NO.

It is VERY likely that the gapping tool will be needed to reduce the gap to .035" to suit our needs. This applies to blower applications as well as Nitrous Oxide.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2013, 07:03 PM
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Hi.

What about Brisk Racing plugs?

Those Ford units are still a 2-piece design, I reckon. But then. I also reckon you FI folks R&R yer plugs frequently anyway so it's not as big a deal.

Gapper - member Huitt24 used a good ol' bench vise to gap his Autolite HT0 plugs for his blower back in the day. Sady, that pic is no longer there. It was great.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2013, 08:50 PM
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A few of us have used brisk plugs with poor results. HT0 plugs last a lot longer.

Crash - 3v blower guys already run a .032-.035 gap. Brisk and HT0s I have bought already came pregapped at .035 too no need for a gap tool.

Last edited by IR0NS1N; 11-08-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2013, 09:54 PM
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Used the HT0 and Brisk. Both great plugs. The Brisk are easier to gap as they are built like a traditional plug. However I only got about 8,000 miles out of them before I had a miss at idle. The HT0's are good for 15,000-20,000. I gap my plugs at .035-.037 without incurring any blowout. That gapping down to .030 is ridiculous. Maybe at 20psi of boost. But certainly not for 13psi or less. Losing hp for no reason.

Oh and those Ford plugs are nothing more then the Autolite plug with a Ford label.

I use to gap mine in a vise too lol. Even did a write up on it. Got the proper tool now. And yes the one piece verses two piece plug design is irrelevant once you switch to copper plugs.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by twinskrewd; 11-08-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2013, 10:04 PM
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Lol!

Thanks guys -

I knew them plugs looked familiar,

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  #6  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:14 PM
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I'm running brisk racing plugs in mine,probably close to 25,000 miles now,runs like a dream.I'm running stock pulleys and setup except for a vmp tune and upgraded heat exchanger.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2013, 12:34 AM
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I was actually just looking for this info. I've got about 88k miles on my truck and its time to get plugs changed out. I don't hot rod in my truck, I'm not even sure I have WOT in a long while. Only running about 5500 miles a year on the truck.

I think I'm going to try out the Ford Racing ones here soon.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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sweet repost
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2013, 10:19 AM
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These are a one piece shell design and will not break apart. No issues there. This set is not perfect in that I would like to see two things... A gap to .035" from the factory, and a sacrificial side electrode. But I don't think we will ever see a plug *designed* with a sacrificial side electrode.

These plugs are Copper, and the service interval is going to be no more than 30,000 miles, and less under severe duty which is exactly what this thread is about. I believe Twinscrewd when he says he gets no more than 20,000 miles out of a plug. So somewhere between 20-30,000 miles, depending on how your plugs read. If all is well, even between 11.6-12:1 with a blower, the insulator should be an *even* light brown or tan. No need to pull them to read them unless you have an indicator of a lean A/F ratio or other drivability problems but check it out next time you replace them. If you see any conditions like the chart I linked to below, think about tuning or other problems.

Here is a chart of the most common problems found by reading plugs. There are more but this one hits the high points.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ed=0CDIQ9QEwAg

Again, I tried to get the gap, but I can only speculate on the gap these plugs are set at, but the Ford Racing Tech agreed that Ford *most likely* came down on the gap since they put so much effort into designing a blower plug for these engines. I had him search for the gap because I honestly thought it was ridiculous that is was not advertised. Do they expect you to install them as they are? No. And it makes no sense to build a blower plug and gap it to .045" or more, but the tech stated they are to be gapped to suit our needs, and we know that even if you buy a .035" plug it should be verified before you install anyway. Parts vary and even get dropped. Not good enough for me, but it has to do because there was no more information to be had from the Hotline. At least we get the proper heat range and Copper electrodes. Regarding the gap, we already have to deal with that on the other brands, so not really a big deal there.

These plugs are designed by Ford for our application. To be honest, I prefer NGK, and to know that the NGK side electrodes burn off before serious problems occur. They just burn off and misfire before you blow them up because pre-ignition and detonation can wreak havoc before you can identify it and lift. But these FRPP plugs are 2 heat ranges cooler than stock which is just what we need. Pre-ignition should be a non-issue.

Twinscrewd and IR0NS1N- Autolite has been used and branded Motorcraft by Ford for as long as I remember. I understand and I know what you are running. There is no need for a .030" gap at our boost level but JDM plays it safe. They expect the worst, meaning big boost. The larger .035" gap will induce the coils to fire at a higher voltage (The larger the gap and the higher the cylinder pressure, the higher the firing voltage). I told Jim Jr. @ JDM I STILL recommend a .035" gap for this higher firing voltage under boost. But as I remember, Twinscrewd sources his plugs from JDM, and after calling Jim Jr., he stated they pre-gap the plugs down to .030" before they ship them. Straight from the man himself. Not a big deal, but again, the geometry is something to consider, although this is MORE important on the traditional plugs rather than this loop type "Side" electrode. You will have more spark contact area with these plugs than a traditional 2 valve right angle side electrode design gapped down.

The key here is the image Twinscrewd posted. You must use a wire type gauge on spark plugs, and there is no alternative with this type of electrode. Feeler gauges hit high spots and can alter readings on standard plugs and you can't get a feeler gauge in between these electrodes.

Rambo- I understand and you probably won't have any problems. Many don't and may never have any problems. Generally, the problem lies in the installation, either by using a socket without an insert or by over torqueing the plugs themselves. A Snap-On swivel spark plug socket and a 6-8" extension and a standard sized 3/8" ratchet will get the job done. SNUG by hand with a mechanics feel (Contact plus about an 1/8-1/4 turn) if you do not use a torque wrench. Just remember that IF you use a torque wrench, the readings will be off unless you have a solid and straight line of force between the head of the wrench and the plug or bolt you are torqueing (A straight centerline). A swivel or offset will alter the torque readings. This is most important when trying to reach #4. As I remember, 14 FT/LBS will do it.

It is also recommended to swap plugs with the engine at room temp. Aluminum expands more and at a higher rate than steel, and you can rip the threads out by removing them hot. Can it be done? Yes, but you are taking a chance.
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2013, 10:34 AM
glc glc is offline
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Quote:
As I remember, 14 FT/LBS will do it.
I believe the factory torque spec on a 3v plug is 25 ft/lb.
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2013, 10:36 AM
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Hi Crash;

If these are, in point of fact, rebranded Autolite HT0's, they are still the same 2-piece design as all the other OEM plugs. More robust, perhaps, as is the SP-515, but separate press-fit assemblies nontheless.

If you have seen anything that confirms otherwise, please post it up as I'd be very interested in knowing why, if such a plug is being manufactured, Motorcraft ( and Autolite) continue to make and sell 2-piece plugs to this day, when a process to produce the same plug barrel in a monolithic form exists.

I myself can find nothing that indicates a 1-piece design is in play here ( and I do understand it is a minor point from a boosted perspective due to frequent R&R ). But then I suck at searchin'

Thanks
MGD
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:56 AM
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No, you are right, if the technology is out there, it should be available by Ford Racing. I don't think they are simply rebranded, I believe they are redesigned, but I will look into it and try to nail down the truth. In looking at them, they do appear to be two piece pressed together. I see a seam between the threads and the lower shell.

Last edited by Crash!; 11-09-2013 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Added details...
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glc View Post
I believe the factory torque spec on a 3v plug is 25 ft/lb.
Hi.

That's what I recall as well, IIRC (no guarn'tees though :lol)

I've always adhered to this guide - it's never failed me yet.

Refer to the tapered seat data and procedure.:

http://www.densoiridium.com/installationguide.php

If you infer between the 14-18mm sizes to derive a suitable dry torque value that a 1/16 turn from hand-seating produces on a 16mm tapered seat plug, you can get purty close to the correct number without a wrench, if one isn't available, or you have Sasquatch-sized meathooks

Allow me to stress that this is what works for me - I'm not advocating anything here - folks need to do what they are comfortable with. Thanks.

Cheers
MGD
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash! View Post
These are a one piece shell design and will not break apart. No issues there.
These plugs are designed by Ford for our application. To be honest, I prefer NGK, and to know that the NGK side electrodes burn off before serious problems occur. They just burn off and misfire before you blow them up because pre-ignition and detonation can wreak havoc before you can identify it and lift. But these FRPP plugs are 2 heat ranges cooler than stock which is just what we need. Pre-ignition should be a non-issue.

Twinscrewd and IR0NS1N- Autolite has been used and branded Motorcraft by Ford for as long as I remember. I understand and I know what you are running. There is no need for a .030" gap at our boost level but JDM plays it safe. They expect the worst, meaning big boost. The larger .035" gap will induce the coils to fire at a higher voltage (The larger the gap and the higher the cylinder pressure, the higher the firing voltage). I told Jim Jr. @ JDM I STILL recommend a .035" gap for this higher firing voltage under boost. But as I remember, Twinscrewd sources his plugs from JDM, and after calling Jim Jr., he stated they pre-gap the plugs down to .030" before they ship them. Straight from the man himself. Not a big deal, but again, the geometry is something to consider, although this is MORE important on the traditional plugs rather than this loop type "Side" electrode. You will have more spark contact area with these plugs than a traditional 2 valve right angle side electrode design gapped down.
Crash, I have never purchased plugs from JDM. Nor did I have any question or doubt about my gap. I clearly stated above what gap I run. Now, I did buy a set from a Sugar-rush who got them from JDM sometime ago. They were gapped at .030 and i opened them up. And btw you can buy the plugs from JDM pre-gapped or not gapped. http://www.teamjdm.com/ht0-spark-plugs/
As I have posted 100 times I buy my HT0's from Advanceauto.com using code P20 for a 20% off. I gap them to .035 and even as high as .037 without any trouble. Also I don't need any tutorials on these plugs. You see I've been running them for four years in a vehicle that actually uses them. The Autolite and Ford plug both have part numbers ending in 0 (zero) which tells us the heat range. My understanding is that both are considered 2 heat ranges colder then the plugs that come in the 3v trucks from the factory and are 1 heat range colder then the stock plugs in the 3V Mustangs. However I have not been able to confirm this 100%. I bring this up because it can be confusing to folks looking at these plugs on different sites and seeing different claims about heat ranges. Also folks the ground strap on these plugs has a purpose. Unlike the traditional electrode the ground strap is there to facilitate better heat transfer. The only difference I can find in the two plugs is that the HT0 is said to be a platinum firing tip and the Ford is said to be a copper tip.
Both are a two piece plug as can be clearly seen in these pictures.

Click the image to open in full size.
Manufacturer's Part Number: HT0
Product Line: Autolite Revolution HT Spark Plugs
Resistor: Yes/Suppressor
Electrode Core Material: Copper
Electrode Tip Material: Platinum
Insulator Type: Projected
Heat Range 0
Spark Plug Thread Size: 16mm
Spark Plug Reach: 22mm
Spark Plug Seat Style: Tapered
Wrench Diameter: 9/16 in.
Ground Strap Quantity: One

Click the image to open in full size.
Brand: Ford Racing
Manufacturer's Part Number: M-12405-3V0
Product Line: Ford Racing Modular 3-Valve Zero Degree Spark Plugs
UPC: 756122089781
Resistor: Yes
Electrode Core Material: Copper
Electrode Tip Material: Copper
Insulator Type: Projected
Heat Range 0
Spark Plug Thread Size: 16mm
Spark Plug Reach: 22mm
Spark Plug Seat Style: Tapered
Wrench Diameter: 9/16 in.
Ground Strap Quantity: One

Last edited by twinskrewd; 11-09-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash! View Post
The key here is the image Twinscrewd posted. You must use a wire type gauge on spark plugs, and there is no alternative with this type of electrode. Feeler gauges hit high spots and can alter readings on standard plugs and you can't get a feeler gauge in between these electrodes.
Those are actually feeler gauges in the pic. I modified them.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:20 PM


 
 
 
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