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A Painful Separation

How to Remove Ford Two-Piece Spark Plugs

If you’ve ever tried to remove the original equipment spark plugs from a Ford 4.6L, 5.4L or 6.8L three-valve engine, you might have been reminded of the battery-operated game “Operation” by Milton Bradley. As you might recall, the game’s objective is to extract a body part with absolute precision – otherwise an alarm will sound and the patient’s health will, um, take a turn for the worse.

In the case of certain Ford engines, many technicians and consumers have found that even modest amounts of torque used in removing the two-piece OE-style plugs can cause the plug tips to separate and become trapped in the cylinder head. If this has ever happened to you, you know that the next step is to cancel any plans you might have had for the next several hours, since you might be removing one or more cylinder heads.

Ford acknowledges this issue in its 11-page TSB #08-7-6, which urges customers to treat the plugs with cleaner before removal in an attempt to soften carbon buildup. In truth, the problem isn’t so much the carbon – which is normal – as it is the two-piece design of the OE plug itself. A recent test showed that these plugs can separate under as little as 35 foot-pounds of torque.

So, whether or not you’ve fallen victim to this issue, you would be smart to eliminate the chances of a future plug-related headache by avoiding OE-style two-piece plugs on these engines. And, luckily, engineers for Champion Spark Plug have introduced a solution: Champion Double Platinum Power #7989. The Champion plug’s patent-pending one-piece “high-thread” design replaces two-piece OE plugs and is a far better choice than OE-style plugs sold in the aftermarket as well.

In addition to its problem-solving design, the Champion Double Platinum Power plug features an extended ceramic post that virtually eliminates flashover, and an advanced J-gap configuration that is easier to set and helps ensure more efficient ignition performance.Like all premium Champion plugs, the new Double Platinum Power spark plug also features the brand’s exclusive Heat-Active alloy, which enables the plug to more quickly reach and maintain the optimum temperature range.

You can find the Double Platinum Power #7989 through virtually any parts or service provider that carries Champion spark plugs.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. 

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