This is a thread I am starting to have a collection of ideas on what to do if you have a spark plug blow out and preventive methods. If you have had a blow out please list the particulars in one of the many threads below:
Please only post in this thread if you have something to add about what to do about this problem. (we already know FoMoCo sucks)
If you have blown a plug I'm sure your very angry and if you read the threads above, there are many others that feel the same way you do. But it's time to deal with reality, Ford screwed up on the spark plug head design for the trition engine 1997 to 2003 , Whether you have the old style plug with 3/8" of thread or the new style 3/4" of thread you still only have 5 or 6 threads in the cylinder head holding the plug in. There is a good chance a plug will work it's way loose sometime during the motors lifetime from engine vibration.
If you want to argue about percentages please do it on one of the threads above there are many arguments there already. It doesn't matter how many engines this happens to ..... It has happened to you and your looking for help. This thread is to inform people about their options if or when it happens to them.
I made the mistake of paying a ford dealer $1700.00 to remove one head and install one insert... because I wasn't informed.
One of the easiest: things you can do is listen to your motor when it's idling , prior to blowing my plug I heard a ticking sound like a valve lifter. If you read the threads above you will read that alot. You will also read how the person heard a slight exhaust leak. This sound, is one of the spark plugs worked loose and is vibrating up and down in the threads as the piston sucks and exhausts. There is a good chance that the threads are already slightly damaged. I wouldn't torque this plug to the max spec... maybe something a little less than max.
you need the correct tools to check your plugs , a deep socket like this:
Snap-on deep spark plug socket # S9720KA
Don't use a regular spark plug socket.
when you are tightening the plugs, if you don't have a extra long socket, the socket with a extension might bind against the spark plug casing wall and you think the plug is tight when it's not.
and a short handle (clicking type) lb/in torque wrench.
( the torque for this plug is 7-14 lb/ft or 84-168 lb/in )
Always work on a cold engine.
If you have a blown plug you have the following choices:
If somebody tells you they can re-thread it, save your money... your setting yourself up to be stranded again in the future. That is totally unreliable.
a NEW MOTOR, here is a link:
Just remember you will be installing a new motor with the same poorly designed heads that got you into this mess.
a STEEL INSERT here is a link to a insert kit:
the kits cutting tool/counter bore makes the insert flush with the cylinder head and the insert is the bevel seat for the spark plug.
Heli coils are available but they are not as reliable as a insert.
Then there is replacing the head. I don't have any links for this but I am sure any ford dealer would be glad to do that for you as the drool drips from his mouth. your talking 3500 to 5000 dollars. And when it's done.. the heads have the same 5 threads holding the plugs in so you have the same potential for a blow out.
I have never installed the bigserts but they look like the best option to me. I like the way they permanently self lock into the head the first time you install the spark plug. I would like to hear from anyone that has used this product.
right now we have cylinder heads with the spark plug hole as follows:
bevel seat, 3/8" of no thread then 3/8" of thread which the old plug with 6 threads screws into.
so, if and when we blow a plug , when you remove the head we do all 4 holes with a 3/4" long insert like to the ones shown in the link above.
the insert will be threaded into the 3/8" of no thread area and the 3/8" of the damaged thread area . That would make for a strong reliable mod.
The installation kit# 5141 costs-> $127.00
each insert# 51459 costs-> $7.57
these #'s are for a 1998 ford 5.4L engine.
*update* here is a link to me installing the big sert in all 8 spark plug holes. (lots of pictures)
If anyone wants to email me direct --> [email protected]
GOOD LUCK !