Changed the spark plugs on Sunday, and [censored]??

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3,235
Location
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
This past weekend was a good one for my Fusion, maintenance-wise. In addition to doing an oil and filter change on Saturday, which included PUP and a Fram Ultra, I also did a spark plug replacement on Sunday. .. A little back-story. I bought the car at over 177,000 and it just rolled 215,000 miles this past weekend. Over the past few months, I've been noticing a slow drop in fuel economy, and also that the engine idles a bit rough sometimes, when I'm stopped at lights. I figured it was probably due for new plugs. Ordered new Autolite Double Platinum plugs from Rock Auto about 2 weeks ago, got them in hand about a week ago, and set time aside to do them on Sunday. .. No problems in getting to them - the 2.5 liter engine is easy to work on - but once I got in there, I could not believe what I found. 1 - The plugs looked old, like they'd been in there a LONG time. 2 - The plugs are branded FoMoCo - not Motorcraft - making me wonder if they are the factory plugs. Can you get FoMoCo plugs anywhere? 3 - I looked on the CarFax for this car, and while I found detailed service records going back to when the car had 4 miles on it, I could not find anywhere, any single mention of Spark Plugs Some pics: ... Could these plugs actually have 215,000 miles on them?? - I checked the FoMoCo part number (ILTR5A-13G) and found that they are Laser Iridium plugs, so I suppose they COULD technically last that long, but 215,000 miles? That's unheard of. .. One other observation: Plugs 2 and 4 both had quite a bit of oil in the socket wells, and plug 4 was almost covered in oil up to the tip. The strange thing is, this car uses virtually no oil over a 7,500 mile OCI - I fill it to the full like when I change the oil, and I check just before I change it again, and it's still at the full line. The only thing I can figure is that before I bought it, someone did an oil change at some point and spilled oil all over the valve cover.. and left it there, where it ultimately drained down into the plug wells. I was able to wick the oil out with some paper towel, and while it was dark, it did not smell burnt or 'used' - It still smelled almost exactly like new oil. Anyways, discuss..
 

SirTanon

Thread starter
Messages
3,235
Location
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
Originally Posted By: JC1
maybe someone put oil in the plugs to free them up and never changed the plugs and forgot all about them?
Not this much oil. I could understand maybe a couple drops, but this was at least 4 ounces pooled around plug 4. I wish I'd gotten a picture.
 
Messages
2,537
Location
Rochester, MI, US, World
If those are original, that's incredible. I'm about to replace the plugs in our Fusion as PM. Only 60k miles, I know, but when you can get iridium XP Autolites at $2 each with rebate, why not?
 
Messages
609
Location
New Jersey
The plugs were totally in there from Day 1. While they were due to be changed (Overdue) in many modern cars, the plugs come out at 100k and still look like new, so nothing to worry about.
 
Messages
2,592
Location
CenTX
I would think with FOMOCO on them, they are factory. Weird where they put stuff in at factory that is OEM, yet isn't the on the shelf OEM part. (My Previous Dart had a MOPAR filter that was white. I couldn't even find normal MANN? MOPAR filters on the shelf that fit it. I could find Magneti Mopar Filters though.) I believe my Ranger had FOMOCO Plugs and Airfilter when I first got it, probably factory (Truck was a dealer parts hauler)
 
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14,213
Location
Central NY
Factory plugs on my 11 Focus didn't say FoMoCo on them. Strange stuff! I wouldn't be surprised if they are original. I know a few people with >125K on factory original iridium plugs.
 
Messages
13,196
Location
Maricopa Arizona
If I was an wagering man, I would put my money down your car had factory plugs. Nice to know Ford OEM plugs can go that long, good call on changing them out.
 
Messages
1,994
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
I would not ber surprised if they are original. Quality iridium plugs can go a LONG time. The oil is because your spark plug grommets or lower press fit on your spark plug tubes are leaking. This is normal with that kind of mileage. On some vehicles the plugs can short, depends upon the boot design.
 
Messages
10,283
Location
USA
Yes, those are the original factory plugs, NGK iridium. And yes, NGK iridium plugs are fantastic and one of THE best you can buy. Yours are hardly the only set to make it near 200k and still look usable. ILTR5A-13G is an NGK type number. Actually, it seems you can indeed get Motorcraft plugs that say FoMoCo on them. Part number SP530. They are reboxed NGK Iridium. The NGK part number is 3811. It is unusual to see an OE Ford spark plug that isn't made by Autolite! Return the Autolites and get the Motorcraft SP530 instead A set of four for only $20 That is a bargain for NGK iridium! They can often exceed $10 EACH!
 
Messages
4,815
Location
Kansas
I'm going to give another vote saying that those were original, factory plugs. I once had a Ford Winstar come in with a check engine light that had recently come on. The van was driven by the original owners and it had 255,000 miles on it...without ever having the plugs changed. The plugs got changed, but the check engine light had come on because a vacuum hose had come off.
 
Messages
725
Location
Canada
Looking at the Pics, I see some scorching on the insulator. Years back I drove a Chysler with a slant 6, pulled the plugs and had scorch marks half way up the insulator!! Champion sent me a complentary new set of plugs but said it was "hi voltage corona burns". I know that's not the big issue in the starting post here, but I thought the plugs were leaking at the insulator! Love the free plugs!
 

SirTanon

Thread starter
Messages
3,235
Location
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
Yes, those are the original factory plugs, NGK iridium. And yes, NGK iridium plugs are fantastic and one of THE best you can buy. Yours are hardly the only set to make it near 200k and still look usable. ILTR5A-13G is an NGK type number. Actually, it seems you can indeed get Motorcraft plugs that say FoMoCo on them. Part number SP530. They are reboxed NGK Iridium. The NGK part number is 3811. It is unusual to see an OE Ford spark plug that isn't made by Autolite! Return the Autolites and get the Motorcraft SP530 instead A set of four for only $20 That is a bargain for NGK iridium! They can often exceed $10 EACH!
Had I known what was in the car already when I bought the Autolites (or really, had I given it a little more thought), I would have bought either the Autolite Iridium, or some NGK Iridium instead of the Autolite Double Platinums.. .. having said that, the Autolite Double Plats are already in the car, and I'm not going to mess with them. They should be good until 280,000 - 300,000 miles. I'll put Iridium plugs in then.
 
Messages
15,004
Location
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: SirTanon
Originally Posted By: JC1
maybe someone put oil in the plugs to free them up and never changed the plugs and forgot all about them?
Not this much oil. I could understand maybe a couple drops, but this was at least 4 ounces pooled around plug 4. I wish I'd gotten a picture.
Spark plug tube seals in the valve cover? Its common on older subarus no idea about your engine.
 
Messages
2,537
Location
Rochester, MI, US, World
Originally Posted By: Roadkingnc
You need to replace your valve cover gasket.
Yep, this. On this motor, the spark plugs for cylinders 2 and 3 are in the same rectangular valley. Cylinders 1 and 4 have their own valley.
 
Messages
5,408
Location
KC
The oil in the plug areas means your valve cover gasket needs replaced. It doesn't leak enough to alter the dipstick reading. I just did this on my ford 2.3L. It is an easy job.
 
Messages
16,717
Location
NH
Does the gasket really need changing? I mean, it's had six years to seep oil. Depending upon usage, maybe that slow seep can be ignored for a long time to come (or until it's traded off)? Not sure how hard the job is on this vehicle. Makes me wonder if next time I do plugs I should pull out my Mityvac and check for oil first. When I did plugs on my Tundra I had oil also (not quite as bad) and it blew blue for a few minutes afterwards.
 
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