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2005-2010 Mustang GT Tech Forum

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Unread 01-26-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spark Plug Replacement

Hello, I would like to change my spark plugs on my 2005 GT but am leary after reading the procedure.
Is it common for these to seize and break off or damage the threads even with penetrating oil and careful removal?

How many have experienced damaged threads or broken plugs? Is it repairable in my home garage if the worst happens?

I have well over 100k miles on this car and it purrs like the day I bought (original owner).
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Unread 01-26-2012   #2 (permalink)
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You're putting off the inevitable. I've gathered everything necessary to do the job and gonna give it a shot Saturday. Hoping for a good outcome.
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Unread 01-26-2012   #3 (permalink)
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I just replaced mine last week with Champion's 1 piece spark plugs..... I purchased a broken plug removal tool kit from Amazon before I did the swap just incase...I didn't need it, thank god ! lol..I think the real trick was that I soaked them down real good and let them soak overnight... Like most have said you really must take your time with these..I did have a couple make some creaky noises so I worked them slowly back and forth... My 07 had just 55,000 mile and there are a bunch of horror stories on here so I figured It's better to be safe than sorry...Good luck
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Unread 02-01-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Mission accomplished! Changed the plugs in my son's car. Broke 4 out of 8. Lucky for me a friend loaned me the Lisle 65600 tool.
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Unread 02-02-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Did mine on 2005 with 30K and broke one. I did everything in as far as letting them soak etc. Got the removal tool from Amazon and it worked perfect on getting the proken tip out. Good luck!!
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Unread 02-02-2012   #6 (permalink)
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I've changed mine twice.. Once at 30K and again at 55K.

Here is my procedure for removal (follows the TSB pretty closely for the most part).

Start with a cold engine - after it's sat all night preferably.

1) I get an air chuck on my compressor and blow out any dirt/debris as best I can before removing the plugs

2) I use a bar style torque wrench when removing to make sure I'm ever exceeding around 40ft/lbs to turn the plugs (I don't trust the turn the handle and click style torque wrench for accuracy). I try backing them off about 1/8th of a turn if they'll go but no more than that. If they take more than 40ish ft/lbs (TSB says don't exceed 33) to turn then I skip to step 3 for that particular plug.

3) I get a can of carb and choke cleaner and dump about a 1/2 cap-full down each spark plug hole and let that soak around the threads for about 45 min.

4) If I had a sticky plug that didn't turn the 1/8th turn then I'll try again and then I'll repeat step 2 on that plug and add about another 1/4 cap-full of carb cleaner down the hole and let that soak in while I remove the rest of the plugs that didn't give me problems

5) Come back and get any sticky plugs that didn't go the first time.

6) Once all the plugs are out I crank the engine for a few seconds to blow out any excess carb cleaner that weeped into the chamber so I won't risk hydro-locking the engine

7) Verify the plug gap and apply a thin film of anti-sieze around the threads and all the way down the ground jacket. (basically brush it on with my finger to get a thin even coating)

8) Drop in the new plugs and torque to about 30 ft/lbs. reconnect the coil packs and I'm done..

So far I've gone 16 for 16 this way and never broken a plug (always been 2 piece plugs). I find it's just good practice with these cars to at the very least remove the plugs every 25-30K miles and reapply anti-sieze if nothing else Follow this removal procedure as well as do this as a regular maintenance interval (every 25-30K miles or so) and you'll likely never have an issue with a broken plug. The whole procedure takes about 30 min or less.

-HD
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Unread 02-03-2012   #7 (permalink)
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Is there any way to upgrade the 05-07 spark plugs to the one piece ones used in the 08+? I'm coming up on 50k miles, bought the car at 30 and I doubt they've ever been changed so I figure they're about due. Would it just be a matter of buying a set of plugs and coils for an 08 or is there more to it?
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Unread 02-03-2012   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOMDStang View Post
Is there any way to upgrade the 05-07 spark plugs to the one piece ones used in the 08+? I'm coming up on 50k miles, bought the car at 30 and I doubt they've ever been changed so I figure they're about due. Would it just be a matter of buying a set of plugs and coils for an 08 or is there more to it?

Brink and Champion both offer one piece replacements. I used Brisk this last time around and they've not had any issues so far.

Spark Plugs

They are the same physical dimensions of the Autolite two piece variety with makes them different from the 08+ plugs, but they are a single piece design.

If you want to use the same plugs as the 08+ you'll have to change your heads (they're a different design)

-HD
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Unread 02-03-2012   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdown View Post
If you want to use the same plugs as the 08+ you'll have to change your heads (they're a different design)

-HD
yep, did a little more research and finally came upon that. But now that I've done all that reading I'm super-paranoid about breaking them off when I take out the stock ones. I called the dealership to see what they would charge to swap them and they said it would be $300 base, plus $100 for each one they broke and had to remove. Then he had the balls to ask if I wanted to setup an appointment. Oh sure, let's do that, because I'm sure you will all be extra careful not to break one off because you would have absolutely nothing to gain, right?
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Unread 02-03-2012   #10 (permalink)
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well do what I did..

I took my tools and torque wrench and set right there in the parking lot and changed every one as the service manager stood there and watched me out his office window.

Of course I asked if it was cool first and explained that I wanted to avoid paying for a tow to bring my car in if I did happen to break a plug and then I'd give it over to them to fix any that didn't come out willingly.

But, luckily enough I went 8/8 that day and had no problems. Of course there's a big difference in getting those plugs out after 25-30K miles or getting them out after 100K.

-HD
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Unread 02-03-2012   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdown View Post
But, luckily enough I went 8/8 that day and had no problems. Of course there's a big difference in getting those plugs out after 25-30K miles or getting them out after 100K.

-HD
Yeah, that's why I want to get them swapped out for 1 piece plugs sooner rather than later. Closing in on 50k feels like I'm pushing it. I just have to wonder what was Ford thinking when they originally made the plugs, and why do they continue to manufacture them?
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Unread 02-03-2012   #12 (permalink)
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According to the service manager I talked to at Ford about two months ago, the new Motorcraft SP514 spark plug is a one piece spark plug. It's supposed to replace the SP462. Supposedly it is for the 2005 -2007 mustangs with black boots. It still externally looks like the two piece design but the internals are supposed to be different.
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Unread 02-04-2012   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTDanny View Post
I just replaced mine last week with Champion's 1 piece spark plugs..... I purchased a broken plug removal tool kit from Amazon before I did the swap just incase...I didn't need it, thank god ! lol..I think the real trick was that I soaked them down real good and let them soak overnight... Like most have said you really must take your time with these..I did have a couple make some creaky noises so I worked them slowly back and forth... My 07 had just 55,000 mile and there are a bunch of horror stories on here so I figured It's better to be safe than sorry...Good luck
^^^^what he said. follow the removal instructions to the letter. back them out 1/8th of a turn and then soak the ever loving crap out of them with Berryman B12 or other carb cleaner. soak them overnight. then take it real slow. plan a whole day. if one is stubborn, soak it again. i would buy the lisle tool off of amazon.com just to be safe.

at least the mustangs plugs are easy to get to. ive got to do it on my 06 f150 5.4 with 50k on it. its going to be a complete b---ch, especially the back two as the engine is so crammed in there.

best of luck!!
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Unread 02-06-2012   #14 (permalink)
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Here is what we do at the shop with good sucess...

Get the engine up to operating temp. Turn the engine off. Pull the coil packs and spray the spark plugs down with PB Blaster. Wait an hour and let them soak. Turn the car back on and get it up to operating temp again. Back the spark plugs out a 1/4-1/2 turn and recoat with PB blaster. Wait another hour for them to soak. After this is done go ahead and back them all out. 7 years and only a handful of plugs broken following this procedure...
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Unread 02-06-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenspeed View Post
Here is what we do at the shop with good sucess...

Get the engine up to operating temp. Turn the engine off. Pull the coil packs and spray the spark plugs down with PB Blaster. Wait an hour and let them soak. Turn the car back on and get it up to operating temp again. Back the spark plugs out a 1/4-1/2 turn and recoat with PB blaster. Wait another hour for them to soak. After this is done go ahead and back them all out. 7 years and only a handful of plugs broken following this procedure...
Thanks for this info. I am at 70k and dreading the inevitable. I was probably going to do them at 80k.
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