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98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs #5130226 06/10/19 11:27 AM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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I am changing the plugs on my 98 Expedition 5.4 4x4.
Torkspec website says 10 lbs torque on plugs to head, but I have also read to increase torque to prevent spitting plugs.
Anyone know the magic number to torque these into the triton aluminum heads?
I have spit a plug before and would like to prevent it again if I can.
Was there ever a TSB?

Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130264 06/10/19 12:05 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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From the FSM 16-20Nm or 12-14ft-lb


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130301 06/10/19 12:35 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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I would use my arm and go strictly by feel.


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: bdcardinal] #5130362 06/10/19 01:30 PM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
From the FSM 16-20Nm or 12-14ft-lb

So there was no TSB to prevent spitting plugs out of head?

Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130364 06/10/19 01:31 PM
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Linctex Offline
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There's only 3 THREADS of aluminum holding each plug in. It's not hard to strip them out.

12-14ft-lb and no more than that.


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130385 06/10/19 01:50 PM
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Miller88 Offline
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For some reason I recall mine being tightened to 20. 1997 F150 5.4


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130400 06/10/19 01:56 PM
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Trav Offline
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In that range you are getting into lb-in if you need any sort of real accuracy and you do which eliminates most 3/8 tools.
If you use never seize the number will be even lower, hand slightly firmer than snug and call it good. In my experience (not that I am a big Ford guy, far from it) they seem to let go more when tightened to the spec after changing them.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130450 06/10/19 02:43 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Originally Posted by Fitz98

Originally Posted by bdcardinal
From the FSM 16-20Nm or 12-14ft-lb

So there was no TSB to prevent spitting plugs out of head?


Just about repairing the head after they blow out. Which according to Ford, they wanted you to put a new head on.

Here is a video from Ford Tech Makuloco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc4-z-sT1ms


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130466 06/10/19 02:53 PM
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There is a site out there that advises using some rediculous high torque on the plugs but I think thats a bad ida. Ive done a little research and Ive found 20-25ft lbs is doable on 4 thread heads. On the newer 8 thread heads I just go straight to 25ft lbs and dont even think about it. They dont loosen after that.
I popped 2 plugs on my 2002 and both times it was because the plugs had loosened until they blew out. Ive done some other mod motor vehicles and often find at least one spark plug loose and coated in the brown-orange soot from the gasses escaping up the threads.
imo 10ft lbs is too little torque to prevent loosening and backing out over time. If you want to be really safe torque to factory 10ftlbs and then go back and retorque every 10-20k

Last edited by Colt45ws; 06/10/19 02:57 PM.

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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5130480 06/10/19 03:12 PM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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I was also thinking about the anti-seize. It does just what it says, prevents the different metals from seizing, but can't help but wonder if that contributes to plugs loosening and blowing out.
Perhaps it is more due to dissimilar metals without anti-seize causing galvanic corrosion on the aluminum heads, weakening the aluminum threads.

Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5131071 06/11/19 05:54 AM
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Trav Offline
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The problem with these is not anti seize or anything else its the 3 threads that is the root issue that even when new were weak, it is just bad engineering. Now you get to repair their mistakes, course engineers know best right. LOL


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5131174 06/11/19 08:06 AM
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You would think some one would have filled a class action against Ford ?


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Trav] #5131234 06/11/19 09:18 AM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Originally Posted by Trav
The problem with these is not anti seize or anything else its the 3 threads that is the root issue that even when new were weak, it is just bad engineering. Now you get to repair their mistakes, course engineers know best right. LOL


I would say that now is the perfect time to repair every cylinder if the OP plans on keeping the vehicle long term.


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Fitz98] #5131259 06/11/19 09:47 AM
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Schmoe Offline
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Ford days it's a spark plug problem, not a head problem.


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Re: 98 Expedition - Spark Plug Torque to prevent spitting plugs [Re: Schmoe] #5131343 06/11/19 11:02 AM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Originally Posted by Schmoe
Ford days it's a spark plug problem, not a head problem.


Well I believe that when my poo turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet.


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