SPARK PLUG REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS -Ford 5.4Liter 3Valve Engine TSB 06-15-2

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Below you will find the service procedure for removal and extraction of the broken spark plugs.

This process will take approximately 1 hr and 10 minutes to change all 8 plugs.

I have added a link for the tool to remove broken plugs. This is the cheapest you will find this tool. Snap& Mac Tools charge around $300. Matco Tools was around $186. I purchased one from Cornwell Tools For $80. Then I found it on Amazon as low as $63.

Oh one more note if you can't do them yourself be careful as a lot of shops will take you for a ride on this repair. Good Luck and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

FORD: 2004-2008 F-150
2005-2008 Expedition, F-Super Duty
LINCOLN: 2005-2008 Navigator
2006-2008 Mark LT
2005-2007 4.6 Mustang GT


This article supersedes TSB 06-15-2 to update Vehicle Applications, Service Procedure and Part List.

ISSUE:
Some 2004-2008 F-150, 2006-2008 Mark LT, 2005-2008 F-Super Duty, Expedition, and Navigator vehicles built with a 5.4L 3-V engine and has an engine built date before 10/9/2007, may experience difficulty with spark plug removal. This may cause damage to the spark plug and leave part of the spark plug in the cylinder head.

ACTION:
Refer to the following Service Procedure for techniques to remove the spark plugs and extract broken spark plugs.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

The engine build date can be read on the left hand cam cover information sticker.

To remove spark plugs without damage, it is necessary to adhere exactly to this procedure before removal is attempted.

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PLUGS WHEN THE ENGINE IS WARM OR HOT. THE ENGINE MUST BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE WHEN PERFORMING SPARK PLUG SERVICE. REMOVING THE SPARK PLUGS FROM A WARM/HOT ENGINE INCREASES THE CHANCE THE THREADS COULD BE DAMAGED.



Spark Plug Removal Procedure

Remove the coil-on-plug assemblies and thoroughly blow out the spark plug wells and surrounding valve cover area with compressed air.
Back out the spark plugs no more than 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn. Using Motorcraft® Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner, fill the spark plug well just above where the jamb nut hex sits (1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon). A minimum period of 15 minutes of soak time is required. The cleaner will wick down to the ground electrode shield and soften the carbon deposits in this time. DO NOT WORK the spark plug back and forth at this point.
NOTE: COMPLETELY REVIEW THE PRODUCT LABEL FOR THE MOTORCRAFT CARBURETOR TUNE-UP CLEANER PRODUCT - USE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE AND SHAKE WELL.



CAUTION: EXCESSIVE MOTORCRAFT® CARBURETOR TUNE-UP CLEANER, OR REPEATING THE PROCESS SEVERAL TIMES WITH TOO MUCH CLEANER FLUID, COULD INTRODUCE ENOUGH LIQUID VOLUME TO HYDRO-LOCK THE ENGINE.



CAUTION: DO NOT USE AIR OR POWER TOOLS FOR SPARK PLUG REMOVAL. SPARK PLUGS MUST ONLY BE REMOVED WITH HAND TOOLS.



Slowly turn the spark plug out. Some screeching and high effort may be noticed, but not in every case. The expected removal torque is about 33 lb-ft (45 N-m), but should decrease on the way out. If it is higher, try turning the spark plug back in a half turn, then back out again. If the turning torque still seems high, repeat the back and forth rotation along with introducing additional Motorcraft® Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner to reduce turning effort.
Separated/Broken Spark Plug Removal

If the spark plug does come apart even after following the Spark Plug Removal Procedure, it will break in one of two modes:

Mode 1: The ground electrode shield is left behind as an empty shell. (Figure 1)


Figure 1 - Article 08-1-9


Mode 2: The porcelain center and ground electrode shield is left behind and only the upper jamb nut comes out, or the porcelain breaks with a section remaining in the ground electrode shield and only the upper jamb nut and a section of porcelain comes out. In this case additional soaking with Motorcraft® Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner is required to dissolve carbon deposits. Long-reach nose pliers should be used to grasp and remove the porcelain center from the ground electrode shield. (Figure 2)


Figure 2 - Article 08-1-9


Once there is only an empty ground electrode shield left in the cylinder head, perform the following steps to remove the shield using Rotunda Special Service Tool 303-1203. (Figure 3)


Figure 3 - Article 08-1-9



NOTE: THIS TOOL IS ONLY DESIGNED TO WORK WITH AN EMPTY GROUND ELECTRODE SHIELD. IF THE SPARK PLUG CAME APART AS DESCRIBED IN MODE 2, THE PORCELAIN CENTER MUST BE REMOVED PRIOR TO FOLLOWING THESE STEPS. IF ATTEMPTS TO REMOVE THE PORCELAIN CENTER ARE UNSUCCESSFUL, CONTACT THE TECHNICAL SERVICE HOTLINE FOR ADDITIONAL REPAIR DIRECTION.

The combustion chamber must be protected from contamination during the extraction process by using a modified protective cap as a stopper-type plug. This is because the remaining ground electrode shield will be thread-tapped, so the cap is needed to prevent thread chips from falling into the cylinder bore. Cut a vacuum cap to a 3/8 inch (10 mm) length for each ground electrode shield that needs to be removed.
Install the modified cap with a long drill bit or suitable wire, sized for the internal diameter of the cap. The rubber cap should bottom-out on the electrode strap of the ground electrode shield once installed. (Figure 4)


Figure 4 - Article 08-1-9


Thread-tap the ground electrode shield using a 9.0 x 1.0 mm plug tap (tap profile is about 3-4 reduced diameter threads on the tip end).
Coat the end of the tap with general purpose grease. (Figure 5)


Figure 5 - Article 08-1-9


Turn the tap about 3 to 4 turns into the ground electrode shield once the tap begins to cut. As the shield is tapped, for every 1/2 turn, the tap should be backed up 1/8 turn to break chips and prevent any cut material from coiling-up and laying in the spark plug well. All of the thread chips will embed in the grease pack or drop inside the vacuum cap when following this procedure. A suitably sized tap wrench of about 7-9 inches in handle length will aid in reaching down the well. If not available, use an 8 point socket with a ratchet and drive extension. Keep the shank aligned with the axis of the spark plug bore cavity to prevent possible thread bore damage. Use care not to damage any spark plug threads on the way in.
CAUTION: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE GROUND ELECTRODE SHIELD WITH THE TAP AND WRENCH. THE TAP MAY BREAK IF THIS IS ATTEMPTED.



Carefully back out the tap while maintaining the residual grease coat on the tap which contains some chips. Take care not to touch the sides of the spark plug well bore during removal.
Once the ground electrode shield is tapped, thread Rotunda Special Service Tool 303-1203 into the ground electrode shield to extract it from the spark plug well and encapsulate any remaining chips from falling into the combustion chamber.
NOTE: SEE FIGURE 6 FOR DETAILS OF THE TOOL AS INSTALLED IN THE HEAD.





Figure 6 - Article 08-1-9



Install the stepped end of the tool pilot bushing into the spark plug well ensuring it bottoms out.
Screw the center shank into the ground electrode shield. Do not over tighten the shank, to prevent thread stripping.
Install the nylon washer and jack nut until finger tight.
Turn the jack nut with a socket and 3/8 inch drive ratchet until the ground electrode is freed from the cavity and withdraw the tool assembly. Several turns of the nut are required. Upon removal, any remaining chips not caught earlier by the tap grease will be captured by the rubber plug sitting at the bottom of the ground electrode shield.
NOTE: ONCE THE SPARK PLUGS HAVE ALL BEEN REMOVED, NEW PLUGS SHOULD BE INSTALLED USING A FILM COATING OF MOTORCRAFT® HIGH TEMPERATURE NICKEL ANTI-SEIZE LUBRICANT ON THE GROUND ELECTRODE SHIELD OF THE NEW SPARK PLUGS. (FIGURE 7) DO NOT COAT THE ELECTRODE STRAP OR THE PLUG WILL MISFIRE. THE NEW SPARK PLUGS SHOULD BE INSTALLED WITH NO LUBRICANT ON THE THREADS AND TORQUED TO SPECIFICATION, 25 LB-FT (34 N-m).





Figure 7 - Article 08-1-9




PART NUMBER PART NAME
PM-3 Motorcraft® Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner
XL-2 Motorcraft® High Temperature Nickel Anti-Seize Lubricant
382444-S Protective Cap


WARRANTY STATUS:
Eligible Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage And Emissions Warranty Coverage
IMPORTANT: Warranty coverage limits/policies are not altered by a TSB. Warranty coverage limits are determined by the identified causal part.

OPERATION DESCRIPTION TIME
MT080109 Claim Labor As Actual Time Actual Time

DEALER CODING
BASIC PART NO. CONDITION CODE
12405 01


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Comments 17 comments

wrencged 6 years ago

Ray, I followed the TSB for my Ford Expedtion 2005 5.4l w/101.00k miles. Changed ALL plugs without one break. Take your time and FOLLOW the TSB to the letter.


William Rivera 6 years ago

where can i buy the tool to lock the cam to keep it from moving and timing chain tensor tool so i can remove the head because of one broken plug in witch i broke the spark plug removing tool now i have to remove head safely


RayTheWrench profile image

RayTheWrench 6 years ago Author

The tool you need is on this page you don't need to remove the heads even if they broke!


Steve, Hamilton, NJ 5 years ago

This is all good info and I just wanted to add that I also begun introducing the combustion chamber cleaner through the intake while the engine is running to wet the bottom of the plug prior to backing them out to allow the cleaner to penetrate from the top as well. I have broke a few even with these precations but with these steps in place the removal of the shell is eased a bit due to the cleaner being present and aiding to the softening of the deposits causing the interference that causes the plug to fail during removal. One added note; do not forget to coat the new plugs with the anti seize compound listed in the event it comes back around to your bay for a later plug change.


hardlymoving profile image

hardlymoving 5 years ago from Memphis, TN

Good write up. Did a spark plug replacement on a 4.8L V8 and took me over 4 hours! Owner thought his engine had the SP problem so he thought my job quote was dirt cheap. Found out about the SP problem later on the internet and that dealers didn't want to do the job. Problem with these Ford engines is the coil pack electrodes corrode causing misfire and the check engine light to go on! Also, I have to remove the fuel rail to get to the coil packs to get to the plugs? I'll keep my jobs on Toyota's and Honda's.


BigSeanR profile image

BigSeanR 5 years ago from Albany, GA

I haven't had the pleasure of servicing a 3 valve Ford yet but now I know where to look if I do. Very good info and I linked it from my article.


Brian winter 5 years ago

You don't have to remove fuel rail on these motor.They come out at angle.Just take bolt lose and they pull right out.I just wish the plugs were that easy!!lol


RayTheWrench profile image

RayTheWrench 5 years ago Author

Brian is correct there are many shortcuts but I wanted everyone to have the exact procedure from Ford.


F150 5 years ago

I have 2005 with a whopping 48k. Should I do the plugs early and avoid these issues.


RayTheWrench profile image

RayTheWrench 5 years ago Author

Yes I would but they still might break at that mileage so make sure you soak them. Good Luck


Mario17 5 years ago

I spent about 14 hours on my plugs. Each one broke, even following the TSB to the letter. In the end i got them all out, but I do have some ideas for consideration for the next person. First, The ceramic pusher said there is no guessing as to how far to push the ceramic down because of the electrode strap, when I went too far, it actually pushed the ceramic through the electrode strap. If you hear a snap when doing this, stop and proceed to the removal tool. It probably was the electrode strap breaking and you don't want to go further. Second, make sure the removal tools threads are not stripped and are in really good shape. I rented one from a local shop and two of the threads were stripped (the first two that would start to bite). I was able to get 7 of the plugs out with it and then the last one wouldn't go. I went back to the shop and got their other tool, which worked great because it was brand new. If you rent - a great option (OReilly Auto - 100 dollar deposit for 2 days and you get a full refund upon return) make sure the tool is in great shape. Third, make sure you have extensions, 1", 2" and 3" if possible because the back plugs are tough to get to. Take of the air cleaner box (the part that holds the air filter and the attached air tubes) because it gives you a lot more access. Finally, plan on a good amount of time, at least a full day, just in case. I tried to work 2 plugs at a time and it seemed to go well for me that way. Another finally, have a hose attachment (1/2 inch hose duct taped to a funnel that's duct taped to the shop vac - my redneck attachment) ready to suck out any debris in the spark plug holes.

The last lesson I learned was that if there is concern about something very small falling into the cylinder, you can start the engine without the plug in it and it should kick out any contaminants in the cylinder. I found this on a forum. It worked for one of the cylinders that I was concerned about some dirt getting into and I think it worked. I'm not a pro, just a very amateur DIY'er, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt and good luck. I've put about 200 miles on my truck since and it hasn't blown up! It's not worth 1500 dollars to bring it in. The removal tool is great and VERY easy to use and not intimidating at all for a new amateur mechanic. GOOD LUCK and save some serious cash by doing this yourself.


rob07 4 years ago

Do you know what the part number for the tool from O'Reilys?


RayTheWrench profile image

RayTheWrench 4 years ago Author

no i don't sorry


Mike 4 years ago

Im doing plugs on a 5.4 and 3 broke. I was able to get 2 of them out. The 3rd one is in the #2 cylinder. The porcelain and electrode are on the electrode shield. I used tge "pusher tool" and it bottoms out. When I look in the spark plug hole it doesn't look like the porcelain is pushed down in the shield. It looks like the whole shield is pushed down into the head and the other tool won't thread into the shield. Is it possible that the shield got pushed down too far? Any suggestions?


Barry Campbell 2 years ago

I changed the plugs on a 2006 F150 4.5 engine at 33,000 kilometers at the Ford garage ..... they broke 3 during removal and the total was 0ver $400.00, what a bunch of shysters this dealership is. Then at 80,ooo I had a misfire on #3 and changed the coil & plug on this one cylinder at a cost of $220.00. Wonder why they do this after a 3 vehicle purchase in our household. Never will I buy or get service work ever again from this shop.

Jacobson Ford in Salmaon Arm, BC ....... stay away from this outfit !


Matthew 19 months ago

what do i do if i can't get the ceramic out with the oem 27273 tool


gepeTooRs 2 months ago

It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece.

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