CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2002 Ford Crown Victoria - Jumping plugs

Plug jumped out once out insert in and another one jumped out had to JB weld it in because it was stripped to badly and then another one

Yeah? So what is your question?

And what is this mystery plug of which you speak?

No matter what “plug” it is JB Weld is NOT the solution.

3 Likes

After re-reading the post a number of times I’ve come to the conclusion the OP is trying to tell us his spark plugs are blowing out of the head. I believe @db4690 has a bit of experience with that flawed Ford engine.

Certain model years of the 2 valve Triton V-8 were know for blowing out plugs

In the past, we’ve gotten into animated discussions on this very website, as to the cause of the plugs blowing out

I believe certain regulars . . . I can’t recall who at this time, nor does it matter, in my opinion . . . said it was because the plugs had backed off, and the drivers had ignored the warning sign(s) for too long, to the point that the plug just blew out

That wasn’t my opinion, by the way

But one thing is clear, the spark plug design did change over the years. The original factory plugs only had a few threads, whereas the newer ones had far more threads

And the time-sert . . . the best wasy to go, in my opinion . . . also had considerably more threads, versus the original design

Based on the model year of the op’s Crown Vic, I would say it probably has the affected cylinder heads, the ones known to blow out plugs

The time-serts do seem to hold up fairly well, better than some of the other repair kits. They even offer a “last chance” time-sert, which is needed when other brand inserts don’t hold up

So here’s my advice for op . . .

Install time-serts in those cylinders where the plugs have blown out. Time-sert and nothing else

Replace all of the remaining spark plugs; they’re probably due, anyways

Either buy motorcraft plugs or autolite . . . I have a feeling autolite may have manufactured the plugs for Ford, but I’m not 100% certain of this

This is a case where using a torque wrench might be prudent

Use it to torque all of the new plugs to specifications. Pay careful attention. If one of the new plugs won’t torque, this may be a warning sign that the female threads are weak on that cylinder, as well

IIRC, it wasn’t the plugs that were the problem in the 2 valve modular engines, it was that cylinder heads themselves did not have adequate threads. The P.I. heads (which I think the OP’s car has) had more threads vs. the earlier non-P.I. heads, but the problem still persisted, albeit not as frequently.

The later 3 valve modular engines had problematic two-piece spark plugs. Which I want to say didn’t get fixed until around 2008/2009. Once that and the timing chain guide/cam phaser problems were corrected, the 3 valve 4.6L/5.4L were at their pinnacle for reliability. So Ford promptly discontinued them.

Correct, the female threads in the head itself were the problem, in my opinion

But as I said, other regulars have disagreed about that in the past

The time-serts have considerably more threads, which says something, in my opinion

2008 is the last model year with the problem, based on what I’ve seen. 2008 is actually a strange model year, as the engine could have either the problematic plugs which break off, or the new and improved design. If the coil has black boots, the engine uses the problematic plugs. If the coil has brown boots, it uses the newer design plugs

I could make similar statements about several other manufacturers. When they finally perfected an engine after a few years, it was dropped.

The OP has already installed 2 plugs with JB Weld on a 2002 car, those plugs will probably outlast the car and might be very difficult to remove anyway.

I would be very interested to hear how the JB Weld holds up in this application. Certainly cheaper and easier than any other fix. I think if I ever throw out another lawnmower I will JB Weld a plug into it for a week and see if I can get it out.

It’s certainly cheap

But I don’t know if I’d agree that it was a “fix”