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What a job!

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  • What a job!

    My 99 5.4 F150 has been running rough. Scan tool said misfire on 7 & 8, sometimes on 2, so I figured a new set of plugs were in order since I had no idea how long these had been in there. I ordered a set of Bosch platinum + and three coils from RockAuto. Today I decided it was cool enough to put them in. First, let me say, as much as I like the 4.6/ 5.4 engines for power, smoothness, and gas mileage, they are a PIA to work on, especially in a F150 since half of it is under the cowl. Secondly, Ford put the spark plugs in about the worst place they could, deep in a well, with the fuel rail right above them. It's said you can change the coils and plugs without pulling the fuel rail, and you might can, but on the drivers side it's just easier to go ahead and pull it out of the way, and then it's still tight on the back two plugs. I managed to get all 8 out without any problems, they had been changed before to NGK's, but my hands and arms look like I've been in a street fight. I worked slowly to make sure I didn't screw anything up, but damn, there had to be a better place to put the plugs. What should be a 30-45 minute job to change plugs took me about 4 1/2 hours. Yep, 4 1/2 hours. R & R 8 plugs, replace 2 coils. Craig will probably say he can do it in an hour, but he's a better man that I am!

    Also found a water leak. Knew I was losing coolant, just didn't know where. On top of the intake is a small hose, some kind of bypass I guess. It is a steel fitting screwed into the intake, with a tiny smooth barb out the top. My barb had rusted through right at the larger part of the fitting, but only leaked under pressure. Sorted through my collection of used and new fittings, found a adapter bushing with same size pipe thread as the intake, and a small hose barb that would screw into that. Put it all together, new worm gear clamp, seems to have stopped the leak. Good thing I save old fittings and stuff as the parts house had closed at 12:00, and it was after 2:00 then.

    Cranked her up, and she hasn't ran this smooth since I got her! Power is much better, too. I didn't measure the gap on the old plugs, but it was easily twice as big as the new ones. I don't see how it was running at all, those coil on plugs must have some good volts!
    Wife's 4.6 Expy has been getting weaker on hills lately, it probably needs a set of plugs, too. I'm gonna have to recover from putting this set in before I do another. Good thing is it's 2000, so it's got the same plugs as my truck, not the ones that break off.
    ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
    -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
    -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
    " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

    "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

  • #2
    atta boy Bobby, do what you need to & get the job done. these newer vehicles are really the worst to work on in my opinion, especially when you dont
    do it every day. plus there are many that require specialized tools

    when I replaced the alternator on my Ranger, it took 2 hours. at the parts house when returning the old one to get the core charge back i told the
    young guy there I was feeling my age due to the time it took to do the job. he said his import car was more like 6 hours to do it as it was buried
    under & behind everything else. ( i think he said it was an Audi)
    34 FORD coupe...Cleveland POWERED

    it`s nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.

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    • #3
      blue34, what year is your Ranger? Mine is a 2000 with the 4.0 & the alt is right up top. When I had to replace mine earlier in the year it took me maybe 1hr at most. The hardest part was reinstalling the serpentine belt.
      Mike & Robin Grentus
      69 Mustang Coupe (project & future toy)
      08 Escape 4X4 (spare)
      00 Ranger Extd Cab 4X4 (my DD)
      99 Explorer Sport (wife's DD)
      14 Kawasaki Vulcan (wife's toy)
      M&M Member #- 890
      MCA #- 4549
      My 69 Coupe build album
      http://www.newyorkmustangs.com/forum...cs-t15096.html

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike65 View Post
        blue34, what year is your Ranger? Mine is a 2000 with the 4.0 & the alt is right up top. When I had to replace mine earlier in the year it took me maybe 1hr at most. The hardest part was reinstalling the serpentine belt.
        mine is an 04. the belt is what gave me a hard time also as I could not keep the tensioner in position to get the belt in place. the pressure was a bit to
        much for me due to the numbness in my arms/hands that day. after struggling for about 20 minutes I got my 24" breaker bar out to move/hold the tensioner in place
        instead of a 10" long ratchet.....................gettin old sux
        34 FORD coupe...Cleveland POWERED

        it`s nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got a 2.5 foot long piece of 1" tubing I slip over my ratchet handle, makes all the difference in the world putting on a serp belt.
          Things are just so compacted today. The plugs on the mod motors might not be so bad in a car where half the engine wasn't under the cowl.
          I've seen F250 and 350's where they have to take the cab off to work on the Powerstrokes. Poor designing if you ask me. They make'em to sell, not be worked on. If they had to work on them, they would put stuff where you could get to it.
          ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
          -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
          -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
          " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

          "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't imagine being a tech these days. In the seventies we bitched about all the vacuum lines and useless components they seemed to be sticking everywhere they could think of. At least we could get at stuff. When the '80 X came out and the Nova/Apollo/Ventura turned into that FWD Skylark/Citation POS we saw the world for mechanics changed, and not for the better.
            '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
            My Mach's restoration progress
            My Sprint's restoration progress
            I wish Americans wouldn't take advice on complex social issues from people that make their living from the talents they learned in kindergarten; singing, dancing, coloring, playing pretend, tossing balls, telling jokes...
            Pay attention to the people who think and highlight honesty.

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