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Stroked and Blown
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I can't find a "How to" for replacing spark plugs. The tech article only stated which ones to use and where to gap them at. Can someone explain how to do this in basic, simple english. What tools will I need, how do I do it?

I originally wanted to replace them on the Contour, but because I don't drive the Thunderbird much, and because there's more room under the Tbirds hood, I have decided to use it as my gerbil. Once I become more inclined, I will try to replace them on the Contour. I think the Contour will be more complicated to do.

Thanks.
 

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Super Moderator
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7,689 Posts
For a 3.8 tbird, you will need a 5/8" spark plug socket, a ratchet, swivel, and some extensions, and a flat head screwdriver. First loosen the hose clamps on the ends of the intake tube and remove the tube. Now follow the spark plug wires to the plugs. Only do one plug at a time so you won't accidently cross wires. To get the boot off the plug, reach down and grab it, then twist and pull until it comes off. Once the boot is off, use the socket and ratchet (and swivel/extension if needed) and remove the plug. Take the new plug and put a little anti-sieze on the threads then reach down and start threading it in, and tighten with the ratchet and socket. Repeat this procedure for all the plugs doing one at a time and you will be fine. The hardest part is figuring out how your arm has to contort to get down to the plug.
 

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Street Freekz
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754 Posts
^^ What he said. ^^


Have fun :D. It can be a pain in the a$$ at times...
 

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Stroked and Blown
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Is it that bad? To change them on my Contour, I need to remove all 6 of the wires and the entire coil pack just to get to the back 3!:eek: Is the Thunderbird the same way? Now, I'm wandering if I should just pay a service shop to do it instead.
 

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Newbie
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5,650 Posts
You don't have to remove anything except for the intake tube. After that it's just maninpulating your tools and hands to get them in/out right. Like I said, the passenger side is a *****, but the driver side can be done in two minutes. I've got it down to about 7 minutes for all 6 spark plugs.

Don't pay the shop, you can do it.
 

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Stroked and Blown
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
What are the best plugs to use? What about those double platinum things?

Also, what is the flat head screwdriver for, I didn't see it mentioned in the steps.
 

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Super Moderator
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7,689 Posts
Flat head screwdriver is to loosen the hose clamps on the intake tube and to pry the tube off the throttle body and MAF.
 

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Pedal Faster
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2,658 Posts
A lot of people (and this has nothing to do with master486's post) are quick to say, "Wow, I changed to platinum plugs and got a huge performance and driveability increase!" Well, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the increase wasn't due to the platinum/very expensive new spark plugs, it was probably simply because the old plugs were crap, and you'd have seen the same results with cheapo copper plugs, simply because they are better than what was in there.

I would not waste the extra money on platinum plugs for a 3.8 Bird. My 2 cents.
 

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Motorboatin' SOB, Headlight Cleaning Guru
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6,910 Posts
autolite 2545 coppers, found at walmart, are the best deal. let the engine cool down for a few hours first.
 

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Premium Member
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9,165 Posts
big mike said:
.......let the engine cool down for a few hours first.
lol Most practical advice I've seen yet! Can't tel you how many times I've burnt my hands cause I just had to get it done NOW!

Also it is a good idea to get the passenger side done first. Don't ask why, just is.

The Bird will actually be easier than the Contour because it doesn't have a "back bank" just a Left and right. I've tried to do plug changes on east/west V-engines before. It sucks trying to reach those back plugs.
 

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It is nice
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885 Posts
not that great advice but... use a piece of rubber hose to pull the spark plug out of the hole (once loosened). It is easier then messin with a spark plug socket that has the rubber piece already in it because they always move around, fall out, etc. You can start threading the plug with the rubber hose too... yippiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee.
 

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Premium Member
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9,165 Posts
You're wrong, I think thats great advice. I'll have to try that next time. Might save my poor old hands from damage to.
 

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It is nice
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885 Posts
lmao... thx
 

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Registered
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2,656 Posts
just dont put bosch in it. i changed my plugs recently, pulled the old platinums out, and the ceramic tip on plug 1 was GONE. like, no more. it had broken off. just switch to copper. motorcraft preferably. u can get them at autozone for about 1.50 each. and you can go to autozone and get a MAGNETIC 5/8 plug wrench. costs about five or six bucks. saves a lot of pain in the ***. it's a solid piece, not rubber inside. just my .02 :D
 

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Registered
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180 Posts
I recommend sticking with motorcraft. Same with the wires. Aftermarket stuff is junk.
 
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