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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well very interesting experience. Got some things to pass on about our plugs.
After reading all the broken plug and removal issues as well as the TSB's from hell about it I decided to do a little Preventative Maintenance.
First of all it is a bitch to say the least.
Not difficult but one wrong move and you could be screwed.
First off the issue:
The plug has an extension the extends past the base of the plug into the cylinder chamber. The plug is also a multi piece design. The extension is one part, the actual plug base the the second part, and the remainder is the core and ceramic.
Carbon builds up between the plug extension and the hole it fits thru.
It is like a pencil in a straw.
This carbon freezes the extension to the head and makes it very difficult to unscrew the plug from the head.
If the carbon is bad it can break the extension off and leave it in the head.
Not Good.
Now the fix:
First you must remove the plug. This is where you can go wrong in a hurry.
They are tight and want to Squeal when removing (meaning they are seizing).
What you need to do is loosen that carbon gripping the plug.
Here is how.
1. Remove the coil.
2. Loosen the plug 1/4 to 1/2 turn only. It squeals like hell too.
3. Get yourself some Stoddard Solvent (P-D-680 to you Military types). It dissolves carbon like crazy. And it is cheap. I paid 7.50 a gallon from the local Oil Distributor (Kellerstraus for you locals); just bring something to take it in like a gas can.
4. Pour a little into the plug hole (about 3 Tablespoons), just enough to let it weep around the plug you loosened and down to the carbon.
5. Let it sit about 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Remove your plug. Comes out mucho easier.
7. Use a scotch bright pad to remove any carbon still on the plug.
8. Inspect your plugs for damage and looseness. Grab the ceramic and the extension and twist it slightly. If it is loose at all replace it. It be broken.
9. DO NOT Put anti-seize on the extension as Ford recommends. It only melts and runs down the electrode and causes missing. Clean the plug in your solvent.
10. Clean the plug wells of the solvent left over (Stick a rag in it and soak it up).
11. Install your plugs and torque to 25 ft/lbs.
12. Reinstall you coils and fire it up. You will get a bit of white smoke for a little as the solvent burns out of the cylinder.
13. Drive around the block.
If you feel a miss and throw a code then recheck the plug ya got the code for.

You be done.
BTW I broke one plug (Ceramic was loose in the plug). Didn't even know it was broke till I started up again. Threw code P0308 #8 Misfire.
They are $12 Bucks each at the local Checker if they have them.
HT-1 Autolights FYI.
Not Cheap!!

Oh and Champion has done a redesign to a one piece base and extension.
$20.00 ea. Ouch.

I gonna be chasing the Anti-Seize for a week.


Richard Sr.
 

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This is very informative. Thank you for sharing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As an addition to this Experience.
If you do use a AS use a dry film type.
Avoid the Missing issue totally.

Richard Sr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Even after cleaning them and Cleaning the AS from the plugs and holes I still had missing.
However a new set of HT-1s seemed to have cured the problems.
I am suspecting I had more plugs broke then I thought.
Maybe the initial removal broke or cracked them internally.
It sucked those first turns initially.
Could be the AS was not a problem?
Whatever the cause it seems to be fixed.
Cross your fingers...
 

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I'm trying to figure why so many people have had problems removing spark plugs from modular engines. I've changed out several sets without any problems.
 

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I got the one piece champions from Summit for 12.95 each- gotta say though, in my opinion its a piss-poor looking quality plug- no damage to the boxes or anything, but 3 of the 8 have crooked tips- will need twisted (just a little) to get them lined up over the electrode...at 100 bucks for a set of plugs, I didnt expect that, but being Champions newest plug, kinda did expect to see 'made in USA', not the 'made in mexico' on the label.
next year will probably be china, by 2010 maybe veitnam...but maybe thats not saying much anymore- Ive gotten Allen Bradley pressure switches misassembled, Hoffman electrical cabinets with razor edges and poor welds (both made here) in the past year or two also...somewhere along the way this chasing of ever cheaper labor has got to end...the folks making the stuff cant afford to buy it, the laid off folks that USED to make it cant buy it anymore, apparently the few folks still working here are being pushed 'beyond quality limits', and the folks that can still barely afford products are getting crap for the old price or more...yet those at the top deciding to chase the cheapness are reaping huge rewards at the price of eliminating their own market and slurring their companies reputation for quality. it just sucks- got me thinkin again, maybe time to write Champion and send some pics- I'm sure they'd exchange the plugs although they basically just need a little gap tweak, but still, any time we can 'rub it in' about what we think about foriegn investment, maybe it may add to the 'maybe we should bring it home' sentiment thats starting to pop up in papers and comments occasionally...

sorry for wandering off topic- on the anti seize, theres a recommended 'nickel' type(I still havent gotten any yet), havent had time to do anything lately...still got a shaker hood/newfender/bumper to get painted and on my car I dinged up 2 months ago...plus a set of 'low-mileage-yet-piss-poor- design-plugs' to swap out just because otherwise they will cost 1000 bucks to change in a couple years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree 100% on the Off topic sentiment. You just cannot get quality in anything anymore.
It is junk at any price.
Pay more get less and fill the pocket of the CEO that really doesn't care about you or me in the least.
As impressed as I am with the S197. I see everywhere how the bean counters have had their stinkin little paws in it calling the shots.
I think they have the most powerful call too.
Back to the plugs the HT-1's claim to be more "Durable" but I cant tell any difference from the outward appearance other than the head socket size is a nats hair bigger.
It is still two piece and the problem I would bet still exists.
I plan on doing a once a year pull just for preventative. I don't put many miles on so that should work out to about 10k they get pulled.
Let us know how the Champs fair over time.

Rich Sr.
 

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Upon closer(like real close- my eyes aint that great anymore) inspection, I dont think these plugs are going in my car...some pics of the plugs up close:

picture 1:
1 of 8 plugs is just shy of 2 threads shorter than other 7- would it bottom in the head? do I want to find out?

picture 2:
actually 4 of them are welded a little crooked so electrode is off center

picture 3:
one of the 4 off center has the little platinum pad offset on the ground so far you'd have to gap it diagonally

picture 4:
I didnt notice this until trying to get pics with my camera- hard to get a picture of, but 2 of the plugs got what I'd say is 'just bigger than thread of steel wool' sized metal chips crimped under the top seal- I cant help but wonder if any of these little chips are on the underside??? be sure to blow out your plugs before installing them...

am I nit-picking? yes indeed, but at $103.60 a set, in my opinion I think these are crap(other than being one piece bodies that wont twist off in the head- nice idea, poor execution).
 

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Those are junk. The threads will not give even torque value between the cylinders and they are platinum tips with definite poor quality.

Have you looked at NGK? Although JAP, they are quality plugs.

As for the junk being sold today, it is no longer important to buy American as what is manufactured here now is of poor quailty and most likely uses illegal alien labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is amazing.
I have seen some poor quality control, but a total lack of seems to be the case here.
I would contact Champion right away and be askin some questions.
I really doubt (or hope) they would not want to put out a product like that.
Thanks for the warning.
Let us know what type of response you get if you do.
:eek:
 

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I only wish I had read this sooner. I decided to change the plugs on my '06 Mustang GT at 46,000 miles to avoid future problems. The first plug broke, leaving half stuck in the head. I had the car towed to the dealership, where they broke 5 of the remaining 7 while attempting to extract them. After 6 days I was expected to be pleased when they told me they were able to extract all of the plugs without removing the heads. I was then presented with a bill of $1,119. To add insult to injury, they reinstalled the same two piece plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It seems like the 2 piece plug isn't the main problem. It's the fact that Ford was too cheap to put anti-sieze on the threads.
Actually the problem is carbon buildup between the plug extension and the hole wall it goes through.
I have my doubts about anti seize actually helping the problem.
Best bet is to remove the plugs every 10 to 15k.
Time will tell.
Ford redesigned in 2007.
No more extension.
 

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Upon closer(like real close- my eyes aint that great anymore) inspection, I dont think these plugs are going in my car...some pics of the plugs up close:

picture 1:
1 of 8 plugs is just shy of 2 threads shorter than other 7- would it bottom in the head? do I want to find out?

picture 2:
actually 4 of them are welded a little crooked so electrode is off center

picture 3:
one of the 4 off center has the little platinum pad offset on the ground so far you'd have to gap it diagonally

picture 4:
I didnt notice this until trying to get pics with my camera- hard to get a picture of, but 2 of the plugs got what I'd say is 'just bigger than thread of steel wool' sized metal chips crimped under the top seal- I cant help but wonder if any of these little chips are on the underside??? be sure to blow out your plugs before installing them...

am I nit-picking? yes indeed, but at $103.60 a set, in my opinion I think these are crap(other than being one piece bodies that wont twist off in the head- nice idea, poor execution).
It sucks that the new Champs were bad back then, but the factory motorola made 2 piece plugs caused many folks issues and most did not find out they had a problem until the 100,000 mile spark plug change interval. (I went to dealer at 95000 on my Exped, and wanted a plug change as I was moving to an unknown dealer quality area-they refused after putting the laptop on the Exped saying all was factory spec and sensors were also working great) (They put 8 coil packs in back of my Exped they had just taken from a wreck-I was a repeat customer) It is 2021 NOW, and I am looking at a 3V 4.6 Mustang Gt.2007. 61K on it, so it may have factory plugs. Are the new Champs any better? ( had a 5.4 in a 98 Expedition, and also a F 150 (2003) so missed the 3V altogether as I traded my 2003 for a 2013 Ecoboost F 150. How is plug situation now?
 
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