The fuel rails do not have to come off. You will need to remove the intake tube to get to the cylinder 2 and 3 COPs and plugs.
Also, "just give it a decent snug" with regard to torquing the plugs is terrible advice to give a novice or even an experienced mechanic; almost guaranteed to create one or more plug blowouts "down the road".
The recommended spark plug change interval is each 100k miles, every 5 to 8 years for most drivers, and probably only twop times over the expected life of the vehicle (300k miles). To minimise the possibility of the plugs seizing into the head Ford designed the plug bores with only 5 or 6 "threads", and then published a very specific torque specification of 11 to 13 lb-ft--this is not very tight, and is a bit less than the 15 lb-ft recommended by plug makers, making it VERY important to properly torque the plugs.
Use a 1/4" drive torque wrench if possible, 3/8" if you have to, but do not attempt to use a 1/2" drive wrench. Most 1/2" wrenches are no even calibrated for being set to 11 to 13 lb-ft, and even those that are will be grossly inaccurate at that setting. Most 3/8" drive torque wrenches can be set as low as 5 lb-ft, however they will still not be all that accurate when set to 11 to 13 lb-ft.
An extra deep plug socket like this one from O'Reilly's is a plus
, as it will align itself in the plug well and not be as likely to cant and break the plug.
One other possibility is to use a torque-limiting plug socket-like this one
I was doing some field testing of COPs and plugs a couple years ago and literally changed the plugs 10+ times in 4 weeks; I picked up the torque-limiting socket to make that task easier. It releases at 14.5 to 14.9 lb-ft, a bit higher than Ford's spec however it is also the torque I had been using for years on 4.6L GTs when using never-seize on the threads (the shop manual makes no mention of using anti-seize compound )...
- 2003 GT, UPR X, FRPP 24lb/h, Magnaflow, PP 70mm TB & plenum, Delta Force tuned,
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