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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys I have 62k on my 3.8 but I want to change the plugs/wires since this car is new to me and I want to have piece of mind that thats one less thing to worry about. My question is what plugs would everyone suggest? from what I have read people arent to fond of bosch plats? should I just go with motorcraft plats? also what should the gap be on these plugs with this engine?. As far as wires go just anything or is there something that will give better contact over something else?

Also I haven't really looks but how hard are these going to be to change? On my truck I had to remove one of the wheels and go at it from underneith is it anything like that or is this a simple swap? and are there any tips anyone would suggest to make it easier? Thanks, Jon
 

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the plugs have been researched many times. Stick with the Autolite copper tops, or motorcraft copper tops, they tend to work the best for our cars. And yes, stay away from the POS bosch. As for wires, if you dont need to replace them then I wouldnt. I havent replaced mine yet on my 3.8 and it's got 109K miles on it.

Josh
 

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For some reason (probably because our cars are getting so old) these cars dont like the platinums, especially the multi prong platinums. Believe me it will run better with OEM copper plugs, and yes please stay away from Bosch. Go with autolite or motorcraft.
 

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And as for the gap Im not to sure on the 3.8's but I know mine is .054-.056. yours is probably like .044 or so. Check under the hood on the catalyst sticker and it will tell you the gap in very small print at the bottom. You can also check on most part websites. They are pretty straightforward to replace right on top, although I have heard some horror stories from the turbo guys about having to pull the whole turbo system apart, but could just be they dont know what they are doing. Also when you pull the old plugs check the prongs on each for color. If they are white then you are running too lean if they are really black and burnt then your running too rich. Either of these conditions indicates you prob need oxygen sensors. At 62k I wouldnt worry too much about the wires, just be careful removing them grasp by the boot. Also check wire terminal towers and wires for corrosion.
 

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the gap should be the same for the 3.8 if i recall correctly .052-.056 but check the sticker. It is slightly harder than 4.6 plugs. You may need some extensions/swivel adapter to make it easier, but nothing has to be dismantled to get to them. I did mine probably 5 or so years ago so my memory is vague. Good luck.
 

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I believe the plugs come pre-gapped, atleast my autolites did. But of course, I double checked and made sure. I'm pretty darn sure i went with .054 and have never had a problem
 

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JuniorBirdman said:
please stay away from Bosch.
Bosch + Fords = Problems.

BTW, when I bought my plugs, I bought Autolites and they didn't come pre-gapped. At least not to .054 like I chose to gap mine to.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I see people saying with the age on our cars that the copper is better but since my car only has 62k I wouldnt count that as being high mileage? is this what you guys mean when you say age? I have used platinums in my 94 explorer 4.0 with pretty good results. I am not discounting anything you guys say so please dont take it that way I just want to get as much knowledge as I can and see why ones better then the other.
 

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Coppers if you don't mind changing them more frequently (after changing them once in my 89 with the 3.8, it is not much fun), copper plugs have a little better spark but wear faster than Platinums.

I went 65k miles on my last set of Bosch Platinums in the 89. I put another set in it. They work well for me in this car, but they were horrible in a 4.6. Stick to Motorcraft or Autolite, and go with platinum if you want near 100k service life, or copper with 20-35k service life.

I run coppers in my 4.6 powered car since it takes about 15 minutes to replace them all and no real work like the 3.8 and the passenger side front two plugs.

Check the gap of the plugs. Not only can the gap be changed in transit, but the plugs are not made ONLY for the 3.8, the same plug works on many applications more than likely, like the one for the 4.6 also is used in Cadillacs of some sort.
 

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It doesnt really matter milage wise. If you do a search on this website, there have been many topics discussed on weather or not it is better to go with the copper tops or the platinums.

I would only suggest the platinums if you have a Super Coupe, because the plugs are much harder to get to. I know I dont have any problem getting to my plugs on my 96 because they are actually quite easy to do. Bout 5 min and done.

Our Thunderbirds/cougars just do not like platinums very much at all. I dont know what it is. I know the bosch just plain suck, and the +4 and +2 actually make your ignition system work much harder (in tech articles).

If you still have any doubts on what you should use, always use the search button. That's what helped me make my decision on the plugs for my vehicle.
 

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I am no longer afraid of head gasket changing or replacing spark plugs.....you must learn how to conquer you car, before it conquers you!
 

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mybird_91 said:
I am no longer afraid of head gasket changing or replacing spark plugs.....you must learn how to conquer you car, before it conquers you!
agreed. I had no clue how to do a HG job. Heck now that I've done it, i could go out and do a removal of everything in a single days worth of time, and get it done in probably a weekend instead of 3 months. Possibly the best thing to happen to my vehicle (because I learned so much, how to do a HG job. Port things, and a lil bout performance)
 

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I have always used Bosch Platinum in every car that I have owned. I use them in my Land Rover with no problem. But they didn't have them for my Bird when I changed them, so I used the Bosch Coppers. Not to discreit anyone, but I have never had a problem with Bosch. Plus, if you don't like them, they will pay for them.

As far as Motorcraft and Autolite, I think it is just a preference. Motorcraft is OEM plugs so you really can't go wrong. Autolites however are a whole other story. Anything that's mechanical that I can buy in Wally World, I am not to fond of putting in my car. I know Autolites were junk in an explorer. But that's just my .02.
 

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Actually just to let you know, i believe the autolites and motorcraft plugs are made in the exact same place. Plus I dunno bout your wally world, but mine carries Motorcraft parts ;)
 

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I used Motorcraft plugs & wires when I changed mine a few months ago....
 

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yeah, i wouldnt use bosch.. platinums were in my car when i bought it. i made the mistake of buying new ones. but wen i went to change them, i found out the source of my intermittent misfire.. the ceramic tip on the back passenger side plug was GONE! not chipped, or carboned.. gone. obliterated. so as soon as i get the money, i'm switcing to motorcraft. f*ck bosch.
 

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anyone wanna see pics of it, pm me. its pretty wild
 

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From my experience with T-Birds its hit and miss sometimes. Like my mothers 92 Sport runs like crap on everything but Bosch Coppers, thats why I used them on my 93 and it ran fine. But my wife's SC ran like *** with Bosch. I am currently running Autolite Double Platinums after playing with the idea of XP Iridiums. I can't vouch for Bosch Platinums as far as T-Birds. But I used them on my 88 Isuzu Trooper and had no trouble. I used Bosch Coppers on my 84 El Camino and it was just fine. I do know, and even Bosch said this, that Bosch Platinum 2 and 4 are not compatible with DIS. Not sure if this is the case with Coppers, but like I said my wifes 93 SC hated them. As far as wires I just upgraded mine to MSD and while there is no significant gain in power, it runs much smoother. Plus it looks pretty under the hood! :D
 
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