Broken Spark Plugs!!! - Ford Shelby GT500 Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Broken Spark Plugs!!!

Have you guys heard about this? "Some Ford with 5.4 engines may experience difficulty with spark plug removal which may cause damage to the spark plug and leave part of the spark plug in the cylinder head."

This just happened to my buddy on his GT with a 4.6 engine when he tried to change plugs. The ground electrode shield portion is stuck in the cylinder head. The only way to remove it is to use a thread tap being careful to not let any chips fall into the combustion chamber. You need to use a a modified vacuum cap (382444-S) as a stopper-type plug.

I have a 2008 Gt500 with almost 10K miles. Makes me want to pull my plugs and coat the shielded portion with anti-seize compound. But I think I'll just leave it alone. Don't fix it if it ain't broken!

For those interested, here is a link to the removal procedure. (entry #12) http://allfordmustangs.com/forums/20...park-plug.html
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 12:43 PM
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm-1 View Post
Have you guys heard about this? "Some Ford with 5.4 engines may experience difficulty with spark plug removal which may cause damage to the spark plug and leave part of the spark plug in the cylinder head."

This just happened to my buddy on his GT with a 4.6 engine when he tried to change plugs. The ground electrode shield portion is stuck in the cylinder head. The only way to remove it is to use a thread tap being careful to not let any chips fall into the combustion chamber. You need to use a a modified vacuum cap (382444-S) as a stopper-type plug.

I have a 2008 Gt500 with almost 10K miles. Makes me want to pull my plugs and coat the shielded portion with anti-seize compound. But I think I'll just leave it alone. Don't fix it if it ain't broken!

For those interested, here is a link to the removal procedure. (entry #12) http://allfordmustangs.com/forums/20...park-plug.html
1. Use anti-sieze
2. Don't tighten the crap out of them. Snug, then a little more.
3. Change them a ton more often than the book calls for. I change mine at every oil change- 3,000 miles max- because they're seeing tough duty, but they're not going to sieze that way either! They're 2 bucks a piece and about 30 min labor in your garage. Let's see....$16.00 for plugs, $6.00 for a six pack, piece of mind: Priceless.

bj

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:06 PM
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

The plugs in the 3 valve motors are some goofy design-And yes there are many tools to remove the broken pieces-Happened to me on my 05 5.4 truck.The 4 valve heads use a normal spark plug that dont have the issues of the 3 valve heads.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 11:32 PM
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

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Originally Posted by Alloy Snake View Post
The plugs in the 3 valve motors are some goofy design-And yes there are many tools to remove the broken pieces-Happened to me on my 05 5.4 truck.The 4 valve heads use a normal spark plug that dont have the issues of the 3 valve heads.
Yep... it's the old 5.4 2-valve engines, not our 5.4 4-valve engines.


But what BJ said is true - don't let them sit in there forever. Change them at least every other year - I'm on the once a year plan b/c as BJ said they're cheap. Use anti-seize and you'll be good to go.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 03:03 PM
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

Great advice gentlemen. I had a Porsche 928 where the mechanic should have, but didn't use anti-seize upon replacing the water pump. Because of the combination of aluminum block and the antifreeze it locked in the waterpump bolts like cement. The heads of each bolt snapped off upon trying to remove them. The engine had to be pulled and then carefully drill and tap the frozen bolts. If I were a new 2011 owner with an aluminum block, I would get to know the service reps and be very selective about where I take my Shelby for service.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VNMOUS1 View Post
1. Use anti-sieze
2. Don't tighten the crap out of them. Snug, then a little more.
3. Change them a ton more often than the book calls for. I change mine at every oil change- 3,000 miles max- because they're seeing tough duty, but they're not going to sieze that way either! They're 2 bucks a piece and about 30 min labor in your garage. Let's see....$16.00 for plugs, $6.00 for a six pack, piece of mind: Priceless.

bj
Do you coat the spark plug threads with anti-seize compound? And how does this affect torque? I've heard pros and cons about use on spark plug threads.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 08:15 PM
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Re: Broken Spark Plugs!!!

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Originally Posted by rjm-1 View Post
Do you coat the spark plug threads with anti-seize compound? And how does this affect torque? I've heard pros and cons about use on spark plug threads.
When I changed the plugs on my Honda van and car, I applied anti-seize to the spark plug threads and tightened the plugs to 85% of specified torque.
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