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Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack #5428078 05/13/20 09:49 AM
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RAK Offline OP
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Ok, guys, to most of you this is a no-brainer--but for me, I'm not too tech savvy when it comes to mechanics. I want to replace my old spark plugs and wires, and the old coil pack.
Which is the best and safest way to do this (what are the steps involved)? My Mustang is 17 years old and I thought it's time to switch out. I've purchased NGK plugs, wires, and pack to replace the OEM items.
Thanks in advance for your input, recommendations, and advice!


2003 Ford Mustang 3.8L
Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428125 05/13/20 10:25 AM
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Kira Offline
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Keeping yourself organized is of paramount importance whether you're new to this stuff or familiar with it.

Don't buy the wrong plugs. Your Mustang may have a "waste spark" system which requires double platinum plugs. Lots of vehicles are particular about the plugs.
This is not the time to "modify" anything.

I don't know your engine so tooling (ratchet wrench handle, socket, extensions) may need to include universal joints or even a shallow socket to reach.
>>Do one plug at a time. Keep your twisting motion square to the plug. Run the new plug in by hand as far as you can.

Sometimes a short length of stiff hose / tubing can be used to increase reach if needed. Land the new plugs using the correct amount of torque.

Some people use anti-seize on their plugs others don't. Some plug manufacturers state NOT to use anti-seize on their plugs.

Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428130 05/13/20 10:30 AM
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Barkleymut Offline
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watch at least 3 youtube videos specific to your engine. Take your time, replace your plug wires 1 at a time so you know they are going to the correct place.


09 Vue 2.4L 4spd AT/ 09 Flex 3.5L / 96 F150 5.0 5speed / 07 Mustang GT auto
Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428142 05/13/20 10:47 AM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Do one wire at a time so you don't get them mixed up. As for the new coil, make a note on the towers which one goes to each cylinder for when you swap the coil over. I forget the access on those V6 Mustangs, but you might have to take the upper intake off to give you a bit more access depending on how skinny your arms are. Also don't forget the dielectric grease on the boots of the wires.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
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Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428159 05/13/20 11:07 AM
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amblerman Offline
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I would also suggest taking pictures before starting and labeling the current wires and locations on the pack so you which wire goes to which plug.

label new cap as well and confirm it matches old one .

Things like that.

The labeling could be as simple as masking tape and sharpie marker.

Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428160 05/13/20 11:08 AM
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Check Youtube?


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428180 05/13/20 11:41 AM
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Dave9 Offline
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It's pretty straightforward. Sometimes it is easier to make labels for the plug wires noting which cylinder each goes to, when replacing the coil pack.

Sometimes it is easier to get at spark plugs with the wheel and wheel well liner off.

It is usually easier to have a variety of socket extension lengths and/or swivel ratchet... varies per vehicle.

You don't need anti-seize on standard nickel plated (chrome looking instead of oxide black) plugs. That's why they are nickel plated.

Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428205 05/13/20 12:17 PM
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mk378 Online Content
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Find and/or draw a diagram of which coil tower is wired to which plug. Double check by tracing the wires on the car. Be sure you know that fully before removing any wires.

Arrange the new wires by length then match up the best fit with each old one as you take it off. Don't be surprised if they're all too long. Somehow aftermarket wire makers are unable to figure that out.

Last edited by mk378; 05/13/20 12:19 PM.
Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428228 05/13/20 12:51 PM
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If you have compressed air available, blow around each plug prior to removal to prevent any dirt from falling into the cylinder.


"Think of all the Ford owners who will someday want an automobile." John Dodge

Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428232 05/13/20 12:59 PM
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I just worked on a 99 Stang 3.8. if it's the same, it's easy to access.
I would like to open this up to the group though: we replaced the existing Motorcraft coil (which was working) with one from a junk yard. (it was a non-OEM) it turns out that the junk yard coil pack was defective - the first coil was open. now, suddenly, the driver circuit in the ECM stops working. Logic would seem that the defective coil "took out" the driver in the ECM.

Is this plausible? Does one really want to randomly replace a coil pack.


2019 Cherokee, 2018 Jetta, 2014 Sentra, 2001 Camry, 1995 Escort, 1970 Cougar, 2013 XT250, 2010 Vstar, 2014 CTX1300
Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: RAK] #5428243 05/13/20 01:21 PM
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mk378 Online Content
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Coil packs generally aren't maintenance items. I would not replace one that is working unless it had physical problems like cracks or burned terminals from a bad wire losing contact.

Re: Install Plugs, Wires, and Pack [Re: tomcat27] #5428245 05/13/20 01:22 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Originally Posted by tomcat27
I just worked on a 99 Stang 3.8. if it's the same, it's easy to access.
I would like to open this up to the group though: we replaced the existing Motorcraft coil (which was working) with one from a junk yard. (it was a non-OEM) it turns out that the junk yard coil pack was defective - the first coil was open. now, suddenly, the driver circuit in the ECM stops working. Logic would seem that the defective coil "took out" the driver in the ECM.

Is this plausible? Does one really want to randomly replace a coil pack.


Yes, I have seen coils take out the coil driver in a PCM.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
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