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

Old 10-10-2010, 01:04 PM
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Sparkplug Change for 2004-2008 5.4 3V-Step by Step

THIS WAS POSTED BY LWoodard in a thread. I copied it here for the benefit of all.

Jim (Bluejay)

I just changed the spark plugs on my '04 F150 with 5.4L last week. I only had 53,000 miles on it. The whole process went a lot easier than what I had read. This was the first time I have attempted to change plugs on a 5.4L. I copied a document that I wrote up to help others. Make sure and have the “Lisle 65600” kit (Broken Spark Plug Remover for Ford 3 Valve) ready, you will need it. I only had two plugs come apart, but as Murphy's law goes, the harder the plugs are to get to, the greater the chance they will come apart. My back plug on each bank came apart. Follow the instructions and I think it will go easier then you expect, it did for me. Make sure and coat the new plugs with “High Temperature Nickel Anti-Seize” (2552 degrees).
I bought mine through the Ford dealer, $20.00 for 8 ounce container. I bought Motorcraft SP507 spark plugs through Advance Auto Parts for $7.99 each, the dealer wanted $20.03 each!

NOTE: Plugs must soak for 2-3 days to loosen the carbon around the plug tip.
Soaking may not keep the plug from coming apart, but it will make removing the tip a lot easier if the carbon is softened up first.

1. On passenger side: Pull bales down and remove (3) large wire connectors from the computer
box (7 x 8” box mounted on firewall).

2. Unbolt computer box, (4) bolts with 10MM socket and set aside.

3. Remove the computer box mounting bracket from fire wall, (3) bolts with 10MM socket.

4. Blow out spark plug wells with compressed air. Use a piece of ” rubber fuel line 30” long as a
funnel to blow thru.

5. Press release tab in to remove the wire connector from the COP (coil on plug).

6. Remove (1) screw with 7MM socket that holds each COP (coil on plug) in place.

7. Twist the COP and spark plug boot to free from spark plug well and remove.
Lay out in order so they can be reinstalled on the same cylinder.

8. Spray carburetor cleaner in the spark plug well to cover the hex on the spark plug.
Spray cleaner thru a piece of ” rubber fuel line 30” long using it as a funnel.

9. Using torque wrench loosen the spark plug 1/8-1/4 of a turn.
(should break loose around 33 foot pounds of torque.

10. Retorque plug to 25 foot pounds and loosen again 1/8-1/4 turn (to work cleaner in).

11. Repeat tightening and loosening plug every couple hours for the next 2-3 days. Make sure
spark plug well maintains carburetor cleaner above the plug hex. Use an inspection mirror
and light to verify.

12. After 2-3 days of soaking place a rag over the spark plug well and blow out excess carburetor
Cleaner so it won’t go into the cylinder (use ” fuel line as funnel to blow thru).

13. Remove plugs (9/16 socket) using various extensions and universal joint.
(use long fingers to lift spark plug out of well)

14. Coat new plugs with “High Temperature Nickel Anti-Seize” (2552 degrees). Coat the 3/8”
diameter tipl keeping the anti-seize away from the electrode.

15. Use long fingers to lower the plug into the well and torque to 25 foot pounds.

16. Apply “Dielectric Compound” to the spark plug boot and install on the plug.

17. Apply anti-seize to the COP’s screws and install.

18. Apply “Dielectric Compound” to the COP connector and snap in place.

19. Mount the computer box bracket to the firewall with (3) screws using 10MM socket.

20. Mount the computer box in the bracket with (4) screws using 10MM socket.

21. Install (3) wire connectors locking in place with the bails.

22. The computer will take about five minutes to readjust. During that time the engine may only
be running on 6 or 7 cylinders. You will have to baby it at idle until it smooth out.


1. Buy “Lisle 65600” kit (Broken Spark Plug Remover for Ford 3 Valve). $59.00 on e-bay.

2. Follow instructions making sure to break the porcelain off flush inside spark plug tip first.

3. Use “Assembly Lube” on all threads and tap when using remover.

Last edited by Bluejay; 10-10-2010 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:17 PM
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great...can't wait to do this...

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Old 10-18-2010, 11:56 PM
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Im at 86K now and starting to get a little misfire. I think this is something in my near future.. Does anyone know if AutoZone rents the plug remover ?

Thanks for the write up.. 2-3 days
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:09 PM
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Nice write up. I'll be doing mine soon. 65k miles on a 2005, does anyone want to take bets on how many I'll break?
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:43 AM
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What causes the plugs to break in the 5.4s? I have just bought my first f150 brand new, with the 5.4, however its a 2010, do we still have this issue?
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dykzeulb View Post
What causes the plugs to break in the 5.4s? I have just bought my first f150 brand new, with the 5.4, however its a 2010, do we still have this issue?
It's the head and plug design for 2004-early 2008. Yours is ok
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:38 AM
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2-3 days i dont have that time i got a weekend thats it
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:06 PM
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Good write up. Stating the obvious, but make sure to disconnect the battery before fooling around with the computer connectors.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:09 PM
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I run a garage and have done a few of these without breaking a plug yet. I know this goes against eveything you've ever been told about spark plug removal, but I have had good success by starting the engine, let it get up to temperature, and while it is still hot, working on one side remove the coils and spray some deep creep in the plug holes. After sitting a couple of minutes, try breaking the plugs loose, turning them a little at first, spray some more deep creep in and aftera couple more minutes, keep turning and soaking them. Apply anti sieze on the new plugs and install them, along with the coils. Start the engine again and repeat for the other side. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:19 PM
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Should you replace the coils when you replace the plugs?

I've got an '05 XLT 5.4L - looking at the ACCEL 140033 - any advice?
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:50 PM
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use a 3/8 impact gun every time usually one or two break use the matco removal tool takes less than 2 hours every time from start to finish
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:38 PM
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I broke 5 even after cracking and soaking.
I bought the NAPA removal tool and it worked like a charm.
59,000 miles
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Spark Plugs Successfully Changed

Well, I finally grew a set and changed the spark plugs on my 2006 5.4 3 valve. It certainly wasn't the most pleasant job that I have done on this truck, but it wasn't as bad as changing the exhaust manifold gaskets.

The truck has 101,000 kms (63,000 miles) on it, most of which is highway miles, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I picked up the SP-515 plugs and the Lisle plug extractor about a month ago and already had the nickel anti-seize compound. Time and courage finally showed up at the same time, so it was a chance to get the job done. By removing the air intake ducts, it gave me a place to sit and stand inside the engine compartment. Of course I removed the computer and mounting bracket, and by removing the battery, it gave me a nice tray to lay my tools in.

I followed the latest TSB, (08-7-7) and still managed to break 4 out of the 8. Fortunately, the rear passenger side plug came out in 1 piece. After the initial breaking loose and soaking of the plugs, if you hear some grinding and crunching sounds, the plugs have broken. If you hear creaking and squeaking, they are coming out in 1 piece. The coil boots were still soft and in good condition with no cracks, so I didn't replace them.

The Lisle tool managed to extract the tips quite easily, but did produce some other issues. I found that when the pusher tool was threaded down until it bottomed out as per the instructions, it pushed the porcelain to a point where it broke off half of the ground electrode strap into the cylinders. There were also some porcelain chips which fell into the cylinder. My recommendation is to NOT screw the pusher bolt down all of the way, but to leave 1/16" under the head of it. This seems to be sufficient to get the extractor tool securely into the electrode shield, and lessen the chance of snapping the ground strap into the cylinder. I tried to vacuum out the cylinders with a small hose attached to a vacuum cleaner that fit through the spark plug hole, as well as blow them out with compressed air. Not sure if I actually sucked up or blew out any of the metal straps of porcelain. Hopefully, any remaining pieces didn't do any damage as they blew out the exhaust valves during initial start-up.

The entire job took 10 hours, from start to finish. The old plugs were showing significant wear, and the gaps were an average of .075".

The truck idles smoother now, and changing plugs seems to have fixed a minor stumble under load that I didn't realize that I had. It was kind of a scary job with some tense moments, but I'm glad that I saved the money and did it myself.

Last edited by The Pig; 12-23-2010 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:17 PM
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Just did it yesterday...

a tad over 37,000 miles

I am glad I bought the correct 9/16 long plug socket and lisle broken plug tool
FYI..I bought everything on AMAZON.COM including the nickel anti seize which was way cheaper then the store...
bought carb cleaner and dielectric grease from parts store
also used sili kroil I got from work to soak the plugs overnight
while the garage heated up to 60...I didn't have time to give the plugs days to soak...

also taped a 2 foot garden hose to my shop vac to get rid of excess sili kroil and debris then sprayed with carb cleaner and let it sit for about an hour

it took between 40-50 ft/lbs to break each one loose

only 1 plug seperated (DS-2nd from back)
I used the lisle tool to remove it easily
I also think my good maint. practice helped with this because I use chevron/techron synthetic fuel system cleaner twice a year and sea foam once a year since new(there still was build up on the plugs...just not much where it seats in the head...except the one that seperated...)

I installed e3 (E3.70) diamond fire plugs...and GMS hotstreet cop's
3 inch lift with 35's I am trying to get every MPG I can...

runs like a top...saved a ton of money doin it myself and now drive worry free

if anyone is interested in doin this I am going to sell the lisel tool and spark plug plugs wont break and use a 5/8 plug socket...

Thanks again for the great write up and detailed steps to take...

Last edited by Intimidator317; 12-29-2010 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:27 PM
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I also learned that the battery and washer fliud container can hold 185 lbs when kneeled on!!!...and having a volant CAI box made the driver side easier because I could lay/lean on it!!!...
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