Spark Plug Removal Aluminum Heads

PC

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#1
Make
Ford
Model
Fusion
Year
2007
Miles
113000
Engine
3.0L Duratec V-6
Needed to change what I believe were the original plugs in this 113,000 mi. Fusion V-6. After reading some horror stories removing plugs in the Triton motor, I was somewhat apprehensive to tackle these for fear of tearing up the threads in the head. Found a Ford document online for the Triton, so figured, what the heck. Took quite a bit of torque to crack them loose and they would not turn easily then sprayed carburetor cleaner in the plug tube as I understand it is carbon that prevents the plug from loosening. After 15 min. kept working the plug back and forth until it backed out. A few needed a second squirt of carb cleaner and a bit more time. Installed the new plugs with a light coating of anti-sieze with a drop of oil and squeezed some Motorcraft XG3-A in the coil boots. How does this procedure sound? Should I have done different?
 

grcauto

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#2
The Triton engines in the trucks were known for breaking off in the heads. I had the tool for extracting them and it paid for itself the first time I used it. Your engine dd not have that same kind of problem. You would not have problems from carbon like the Triton. Your removal process was good except you would have better used WD-40 or penetrating oil instead of carb cleaner. Also just a little anti-seize without oil and new wires.
 

billr

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#4
I use WD-40 sometimes because it is handy, but it is near-useless as a lubricant (even paint thinner is better!) If you don't have some "official" penetrating oil, use GM-type ATF, it migrates everywhere.

WD-40 was developed for protecting metal surfaces from rusting, and it works good for that. Whenever I do something that promotes rust on my milling machine, like machining PVC or using 70% alcohol for a cutting fluid, I wipe things down with the WD-40 and it does as intended, it acts as a "Water Displacement" agent and gets the moisture out of the metal surface to prevent rusting.
 

©hester

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#6
The Triton engines in the trucks were known for breaking off in the heads. I had the tool for extracting them and it paid for itself the first time I used it. Your engine dd not have that same kind of problem. You would not have problems from carbon like the Triton. Your removal process was good except you would have better used WD-40 or penetrating oil instead of carb cleaner. Also just a little anti-seize without oil and new wires.
There's an extraction tool that makes taking off the heads unnecessary? I have never had the privilege of working on one of these. but have given it a lot of thought. My first thought was to use Zmax penetrating oil. If it seeps into the threads like it seeps into that block of steel on the commercials, it should help loosen things up. My other thought was using an impact rather than a ratchet. I think the harmonics of the impact will tend to vibrate it loose vs twisting the plug beyond it's yield point..

Your thoughts?
 

©hester

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#8
Second this above statement in a big way;), I use a 3/8 impact gun. Works well 99% of the time.
Hey Nick

I see you're in Canada. We drove to Niagara Falls, Ont. a couple of years ago. Great trip. However, my on star did not work in Canada. I have a 2013 Cad XTS. The on star has a 3G system. When Canada went to 4G, they no longer supported 3G. What did GM do for all the Canadians that have vehicles with the 3G system that no longer works? Good thing we brought the Garmin as back up.

I was not happy about this. This car was made in Canada. GM had to have known about the change that was coming.
 

nickb2

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#9
What did GM do for all the Canadians that have vehicles with the 3G system that no longer works?
Good question I don't really have a technical answer to. But I can tell you on star was never a big option seller in the french market. I worked there when all this was going on for a short stint. Most client did not renew the onstar option after the free trial period. When 4g came, ppl just did like you did and went to private GPS system such as your garmin. The 3g options stayed dormant and useless.

I think same happened with the ford sync 3g. Dormant systems left unused. Third party accessories became common. So like I said before, not a very technical response to your question as there was no other option until 2015 when gm went 4g LTE. So my answer in some very limited way is that GM did nothing. They simply waited, didn't give a flying f, and that will probably happen again with the advent of 5g on board systems.

This reminds me of the refrigerant shortage leaving clients with brand new cars and trucks with no freon because of board room politics. Imagine buying a 60k$ truck with no AC. Cuz some idiot didn't estimate demand vs availability.

Dupont just couldn't keep up, other companies pulling out of the new protocols etc. GM wanting GWP credits etc. Just not well thought out end game leaving clients with what essentially is an unfinished product for the end user. Being you and me, who actually drive and fix them.

We have had our new AC machine for over maybe six months, still have yet to use it.
 
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#10
Four or five threads on Ford and other stick wide open in the combustion chamber that really carbon up, talk about being stupid. Dumping Seafoam helps to loosen that carbon up.

PB Blaster sprayed into the wells also helps if you can loosen the plugs about a turn, take a break and let it soak, was never a problem with cast iron heads, sure is now.

Believe in anti-seize and use dielectric grease inside the spark plug insulators in particular with coil on plug. For wired plugs, made a right angle U-shaped to I could get under the insulator that compresses the rubber so you can pull it out, professional plier like that crimp the top of the insulator are stupid, like a Chinese finger puzzle the harder you pull. My U-shape tool does not work on coil on plug, no way to get underneath them.

And with some GM crap, can't buy new insulators, have to purchase the entire coil module.

With plugs that have worthless threads inside of the combustion chamber, put those in my machine lathe and cut those worthless troublesome threads off, absolutely worthless.

KD also makes tool to replace shot head threads with with a steel insert, could mount these on the head before casting it but have to deal with bean counters.

Wonder what new problems they will come up with that were never problems before. Use to use square head bolts for a sure fire grip, hex is worse, Torx is totally miserable especially with unplated cold roll steel Torx head bolts in aluminum, electrolysis binds them together, they don't care, just buy a new vehicle.
 

grcauto

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#11
Looks like I'm going to be the descenter on using the impact for plug removal on the Triton engines. I've done many but used the impact on a few and most of the time I ended up having to use the extraction tool more often than not. They were just bad engineering.
 

billr

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#12
Yeah, I wouldn't try forcing a stuck thread like that with an impact wrench. You can't feel if they start to gall, and can make a bad situation far worse.

PS: Only once in my life have I had a plug that was hard to get out. I had lost the head off a valve and it embedded itself edgewise in the piston, then beat the hell out of the combustion chamber and end of the plug. The electrodes and insulator were gone, threads of plug and head thoroughly peened together.
 
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grcauto

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#13
Yeah, I wouldn't try forcing a stuck thread like that with an impact wrench. You can't feel if they start to gall, and can make a bad situation far worse.

PS: Only once in my life have I had a plug that was hard to get out. I had lost the head off a valve and it embedded itself edgewise in the piston, then beat the hell out of the combustion chamber and end of the plug. The electrodes and insulator were gone, threads of plug and head thoroughly peened together.
That's a good one. I had a lot of pictures of some of the things I've ran across over the years and started having them digitized. Lost a bunch from a flood. A friend of mine....you know of Jimmy Spenser the NASCAR racer?....the whole family are in the 'junk yard' business out by where I had my shop in NE PA ....I digress...during the flood of the 2011 the one brother Ed had his business in the valley area of Shickshinny and moved all his good engines and trannys to the top floor of their highest buildings they had. Took them two full days to move them, According to the 'scientists' of the time 1972 Agnus devastated the NE PA area and it was....."this will never happen again for more than a century". I guess God didn't get their memo....In the fall of 2011 the flood in that area was nearly four feet above that of Agnus in 1972. After all that work when it finally crested the only thing you could see was the roof line of those buildings. I have some pictures of that flood I may be able to find. The insurance company paid 3.2 million on those two buildings. Ed said they had a $5 million plus sale value, Just the engines and trannys not including the buildings.
 

PC

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#14
Used same procedure to change the plugs in a 2012 Ford Duratec 4 cyl. with only 60K miles, manual calls for 100K interval. Stone cold engine, cracked them loose, sprayed PB Blaster and carb cleaner down the hole, waited some time and worked them back and forth. Even so, a few plugs sang a nice tune while threading out. Should have recorded it. Painted a bit of anti-sieze on the threads keeping it off the last few threads and a nice glob of Motorcraft dielectric grease on the boots. That is nice thick dielectric grease. Manual calls for 100k plug interval, sure just long enough to make it past the warranty and the 100k trans. fluid interval. Already dumped the trans. fluid as well, 100k is too late. Think about it, the manufacturer strings out the maintenance interval to show a lower TCO by eliminating maintenance costs. Ingenious.