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Old 10-13-2012, 06:27 AM   #1
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New to Forum & Mustangs - spark plug question

Hello everyone, i am new to the forum. This past week i got my first Mustang, a 2001 Gt with 54,000 with the 4.6. So here is my question, i have read about the plugs blowing out. I wanted to do a tune up but now after reading am slightly nervous. I know what am doing just want to be sure i have the right directions to do the job ( defiantly don't want it to blow a plug out)

Thanks everyone! Paul
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:33 AM   #2
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welcome !
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #4
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Change the plugs when the engine is cool. When you pick out your replacements, go with Motorcraft, NGK, or Autolite standard plugs. Make sure you use anti-seize on the threads of the new plugs and dielectric grease for the coil on plug boot connection to the plug. Keep your plugs fresh. Change them out no more than ~30,000 miles, this is my opinion. I will be changing mine once a year, regardless of mileage. They're pretty easy to change and the plugs I mentioned are cheap. Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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Make Sure they are pre gapped if not gap them , Also. Just tighten them.. Not too much..

So easy a caveman can do it ! (:

welcome
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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It is VERY important to torque them to 11 to 13 lb-ft (132 to 156 lb-in), no more then 16 lb-ft (192 lb-in). If you do not have a torque wrench of appropriate range buy one.

Harbor Freight has a 1/4" drive torque wrench with a 20 to 200 lb-in range that is perfect for the job. Get an adapter top fit it to your plug socket too.

If you cannot get a torque wrench the tighten the plugs hand tight and then another 1/16th turn. This is the recommendation of all plug manufacturers for 14 mm tapered seat plugs--much safer to use the torque wrench.

Another option, which I used almost daily when working with an after market COP and spark plug vendor, is to use a torque limiting socket--more about that here.




In the last, and as to anti-seize compound. In the Shop Manuals Ford makes no mention of using anti-seize, nor do they prohibit it either. But keep in mind that "normally" the spark plugs in our cars would only be changed twice, or maybe only once, over the life of the vehicle--every 100,000 miles (there are not many New-Edge GTs with over 300k miles out there).

I do use it as I change plugs far more often than that.

An argument against it is that lubricated threads require less torque to tighten to the recommended clamping force, and this is true. It would also be relevant if the spark plugs were holding two or more pieces of something together--they do not. As such the torque requirement is much less related to clamping force, and more related to insuring the plug does not come loose...
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow2V View Post
Make Sure they are pre gapped if not gap them , Also. Just tighten them.. Not too much..

So easy a caveman can do it ! (:

welcome
Your gap should be 0.054"
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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cliffyk, thanks for the greater depth of information!

The reason I recommend changing (or at least checking) the plugs every 30,000 miles is because many of us use the hand-held tuners to tune our cars. By checking and/or changing our plugs often, we can catch a problem before it gets out of control and possibly damages the engine.

Follow this link for information on reading your spark plugs.

Spark Plug Reading & Modification For Power & Economy
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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When I mentioned the "normal" spark plug replacement interval I was excluding present company--enthusiasts don't count as "normal"


When changing plugs that often, in our cars, the need to make sure they are properly torqued becomes perhaps the most important part of the job.

As I said above, when I was doing fields tests of COPs and plugs I went through a spell where I was pulling and changing/reinstalling all eight plugs as often as 4 to 5 times a day--the torque limiting socket made doing that a piece of cake, I highly recommend it...
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Steeda UDPs, Ralco flywheel, RAM HDX clutch, 3.73s, 262 rwHP/305 lb-ft.

New ride (7/1/2013) 1998 Mercedes SL500-5.0L 32V VVT 326/347 HP/tq
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
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Hi and welcome!
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:50 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the welcomes! And thank you to everyone for the information on the plug changing. Like i said my first mustang and heard some horror stories about the plugs blowing out so on and so forth. Working on cars isnt new to me, but i have never honestly worked on a mustang this new, or work on anything with the 4.6L engine. I will follow all you expertise and hope it goes well. Oh and how often is it that you hear that a plug has blown out?
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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"Oh and how often is it that you hear that a plug has blown out?"

It is not that common a problem, and doesn't happen at all when they are torqued properly.

The big problem is that there are so many, dealer mechanics included, that are of the "We don't need no stinkin' torque wrenches!" mindset...
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Steeda UDPs, Ralco flywheel, RAM HDX clutch, 3.73s, 262 rwHP/305 lb-ft.

New ride (7/1/2013) 1998 Mercedes SL500-5.0L 32V VVT 326/347 HP/tq
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:02 AM   #13
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Haha isnt that the worst part, hmm car company paid engineers tons of money to design this engine and they said to torque this to what? Oh never mind i will do it to what ever i want. Any ways lol thank you everyone for the info i feel alot more comfortable doing it now cant wait to get her tuned up. Once i figure out how to post photos i shall

BTW!! You are really great people, better then other forums i am apart of!

---------- Post added at 07:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:00 AM ----------

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