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  #1  
Old 06-12-2012, 01:08 PM
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what are the best spark plugs for the 5.4 3v?

Im getting ready to change my plugs soon,im at 85,000 miles,so i figured i would just do it now,and i was wondering what were good plugs to replace the stock ones with,i know about all the issues with them so i wanna get the best ones in now,and try to make it easier for the future,and i might need to get that tool so if one breaks,anybody have a cheap one they arent using anymore let me kno.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2012, 01:18 PM
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Motorcraft SP515.....start to research all the plug changing threads and make sure you have the lilse tool available also...

Spark Plug Change on 2004-Early 2008 5.4 3V

Sparkplug Change for 2004-2008 5.4 3V-Step by Step

Changed My Spark Plugs Today/ Writeup

NewTSB on spark plug removal

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Last edited by 88racing; 06-12-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2012, 01:55 PM
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Motorcraft SP515................
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2012, 02:23 PM
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"Best" is a very subjective term. To me its the Champion 7989. To others, it's a Motorcraft SP515 (or whatever). I believe now you can substantially reduce the chances of breaking off the second set of Motorcrafts by using the newer plugs, which have been somewhat improved, with antisieze. Still, I know that the Champions WILL NOT break and think, as a spark plug, they are the equal of anything else. I also consider the Champion choice as a protest vote against the company that gave us these thrice-cursed, illegitimate-offspring-of-female-dogs spark plugs in the first place. I couldn't ague against anyone who thought that might be my primary motivation ( : < )
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2012, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridafordman View Post
Im getting ready to change my plugs soon,im at 85,000 miles,so i figured i would just do it now,and i was wondering what were good plugs to replace the stock ones with,i know about all the issues with them so i wanna get the best ones in now,and try to make it easier for the future,and i might need to get that tool so if one breaks,anybody have a cheap one they arent using anymore let me kno.
When I decided it was time to change the plugs (2006 Mark LT 4x2, 5.4, 35,000 miles) with the Motorcraft SP 515’s. Although I knew about the carbon build-up/plug removal issue, I decided not to change the plugs until there was a replacement plug that I was comfortable with…meaning I knew it was a good quality plug in terms of component design and construction. Although I did follow the most recent TSB, I also relied on my experience back in the 1970’s when aluminum heads & intake manifolds were just entering the street scene and never-seize did not exist. Here are the exceptions to the TSB that I did…
1. I ran Lucas fuel injection cleaner, mixed at 3 times their recommendation in 1 full tank of gasoline. Purpose…if I was lucky, it would dissolve or loosen any carbon buildup (although many do a real fuel injection cleaning also- and it is probably a best practice to do if you have more than 45-50,000 miles on the plugs)
2. Although I am a fan of PB Blaster, I used a product called ChemSearch “Yield”. The issue I have with using carb cleaner is the lack of lubrication…..in the old days of removing steel plugs from aluminum heads, we use to mix up acetone & ATF…or of we needed more lubrication, kerosene & ATF, “Yield” provides this lubrication- much better IMHO than even PB Blaster.
3. Yes, I put anti-seize on the plug threads (I know the TSB says not to)
4. Of course…a lot of patience, I really doubt if I ever put more than 20-25 lbs of force during removal (purposefully)
The end result, only one plug even “squeaked” coming out (but it basically unscrewed like a regular plug- literally). Plug #4 was initially a little stubborn, but after the second try, then waiting about 30 minutes, it came out with very little effort…just kept wiggling the plugs (tightening/loosening) by 1/8th or even less of a turn- and they all came out without a single one breaking or any issue really. Another technique that can definitely be used is to loosen the plugs about 1/8 to ¼ of a turn, start the engine for about 1 minute- this allows the flame to travel up around the plug to burn off the carbon, let cool, then remove with the process I previously described.
As far as using an air ratchet, I can understand the theory of “shocking” the carbon loose, but I have also seen and experienced in my younger days some real disasters.
Actual working time: 2 hours…..including washing my hands, total time was 5 hours.
FYI- Why I choose Motorcraft.
In the 1970’s I ran (like many) Champion’s in just about everything (even had the gold palladiums), but stopped in the early 1980’s when they changed their copper-core design and the resulting quality problems that IMHO still exist today. Since then I have run Splitfire (non-platinum) in my old world (1960’s) cars, Bosch in my late 1990’s vehicles (both because the cylinder head design really prefers these types of plugs), but I really had hesitation because of the construction/component quality of the non-Motorcraft plugs and really questioned the durability in this application about the Motorcraft SP508 or SP 509’s which are single platinum. Given the types of loads and burn/flame promulgation rates in the chambers, I really had doubts about the style of the plug with single platinum having the ability to “survive” as long as they engineers said. What do ya know…the SP 515’s are double platinum.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2012, 05:15 PM
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MossyOak3006
I went with champions because they can't break on the next plug change. I broke 6 of the original plugs when I changed them at about 70,000 miles, so I now have a phobia of spark plugs. It was an absolute nightmare. It would have taken half as long if you could reach the dang things. 4 of them are so hard to get to you can't actually see them, you can just see the top of the hole. Don't start the job without the lisle tool. I figured I would just go pick it up if I needed it. WRONG. I checked 5 or 6 different stores and the best I could do was get carquest to order it which took 3 days to get
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beechkid View Post
When I decided it was time to change the plugs (2006 Mark LT 4x2, 5.4, 35,000 miles) with the Motorcraft SP 515’s. Although I knew about the carbon build-up/plug removal issue, I decided not to change the plugs until there was a replacement plug that I was comfortable with…meaning I knew it was a good quality plug in terms of component design and construction. Although I did follow the most recent TSB, I also relied on my experience back in the 1970’s when aluminum heads & intake manifolds were just entering the street scene and never-seize did not exist. Here are the exceptions to the TSB that I did…
1. I ran Lucas fuel injection cleaner, mixed at 3 times their recommendation in 1 full tank of gasoline. Purpose…if I was lucky, it would dissolve or loosen any carbon buildup (although many do a real fuel injection cleaning also- and it is probably a best practice to do if you have more than 45-50,000 miles on the plugs)
2. Although I am a fan of PB Blaster, I used a product called ChemSearch “Yield”. The issue I have with using carb cleaner is the lack of lubrication…..in the old days of removing steel plugs from aluminum heads, we use to mix up acetone & ATF…or of we needed more lubrication, kerosene & ATF, “Yield” provides this lubrication- much better IMHO than even PB Blaster.
3. Yes, I put anti-seize on the plug threads (I know the TSB says not to)
4. Of course…a lot of patience, I really doubt if I ever put more than 20-25 lbs of force during removal (purposefully)
The end result, only one plug even “squeaked” coming out (but it basically unscrewed like a regular plug- literally). Plug #4 was initially a little stubborn, but after the second try, then waiting about 30 minutes, it came out with very little effort…just kept wiggling the plugs (tightening/loosening) by 1/8th or even less of a turn- and they all came out without a single one breaking or any issue really. Another technique that can definitely be used is to loosen the plugs about 1/8 to ¼ of a turn, start the engine for about 1 minute- this allows the flame to travel up around the plug to burn off the carbon, let cool, then remove with the process I previously described.
As far as using an air ratchet, I can understand the theory of “shocking” the carbon loose, but I have also seen and experienced in my younger days some real disasters.
Actual working time: 2 hours…..including washing my hands, total time was 5 hours.
FYI- Why I choose Motorcraft.
In the 1970’s I ran (like many) Champion’s in just about everything (even had the gold palladiums), but stopped in the early 1980’s when they changed their copper-core design and the resulting quality problems that IMHO still exist today. Since then I have run Splitfire (non-platinum) in my old world (1960’s) cars, Bosch in my late 1990’s vehicles (both because the cylinder head design really prefers these types of plugs), but I really had hesitation because of the construction/component quality of the non-Motorcraft plugs and really questioned the durability in this application about the Motorcraft SP508 or SP 509’s which are single platinum. Given the types of loads and burn/flame promulgation rates in the chambers, I really had doubts about the style of the plug with single platinum having the ability to “survive” as long as they engineers said. What do ya know…the SP 515’s are double platinum.
This has been posted several times before:

And the SP515 is a replacement for SP507.

The SP507 and SP515 are both single platinum, only the center electrode has
platinum:

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Takeda; 06-18-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2012, 09:38 PM
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unfortunately there aint much of a selection..
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:11 AM
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Takeda: God, I love macros! My next camera business purchase will be the lens we discussed.

FYI, the Champion IS double platinum.
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:26 AM
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Nice pics Takeda!!!
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2012, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 88racing View Post
Nice pics Takeda!!!
Thank you!
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2012, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimAllen View Post
Takeda: God, I love macros! My next camera business purchase will be the lens we discussed.

FYI, the Champion IS double platinum.
Thanks Jim! Yes, you need that Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR lens!


Here are some photos of Champions that the previous owner of my truck had installed. I replaced them with SP-515s, and have no idea how many miles the plugs have on them, the truck had about 75K miles on it when I changed them. Yes, you can see the platinum bead on the ground electrode, but since all cylinders see the same polarity spark with COPs, only the center electrode erodes, and the platinum bead on the ground electrode does nothing to improve the longevity of the plug.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.




These photos were taken of Motorcraft fine wire platinums (single platinum) run in a Ranger 3.0L for 103K miles. The Ranger has waste-spark ignition, where 2 plugs (one in each bank) fire together in series, and each receives opposite polarity spark. They also fire on each revolution of the crank, instead of every other rotation of the crank. Notice that the ground electrode has eroded for plug #2 (one bank) and the center electrode has eroded for plug #5 (the other bank).



Click the image to open in full size.



Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Takeda; 06-18-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2012, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda View Post
This has been posted several times before:

And the SP515 is a replacement for SP507.

The SP507 and SP515 are both single platinum, only the center electrode has
platinum:

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.
Hey- That's just exactly what I was saying- Great Pics!
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beechkid View Post
Hey- That's just exactly what I was saying- Great Pics!
Thanks! Except the SP515's are single, not double platinums.
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  #15  
Old 06-14-2012, 02:38 AM
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I went with champions because they can't break on the next plug change.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:38 AM


 
 
 
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