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2007 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

I have a 2007 Explorer Eddie Bauer V8 4x4 with close to 80,000 miles on it. I have owned it since it was new in August of 2007. It still runs like a top. In fact, on the highway I still get close to 21 or 22 MPG on it. It uses no oil between oil changes. I go about 6 months and maybe 4000 miles between the oil changes.

I do have a question regarding spark plug replacement.

I understand replacing the plugs on this V8 is a very difficult and potentially dangerous job. Is there any reason for me to replace the plugs any time soon? I was planning on doing it at about 100K unless I start noticing a reduction in performance.

What have other Explorer owners of this vintage with the V8 done? I know I have low miles considering the age. If I do need to change the plugs, should I have the dealer do it? Since the plugs are prone to breaking I want someone who has plenty of experience with this. Is there a disadvantage to leaving them in as long as possible? Will they be more difficult to change?

Anyone with a similar vehicle might be able to share what they feel is the best course of action for me. Also, any other maintenance advice would be helpful since I plan on keeping this thing until it dies. It’s not worth much in value now although it has no body rust, nor does it have much of any rust underneath the car.

Thanks.
Tom

It’s totally unpredictable what will happen when removing these plugs.

That’s why you want this tool at hand when doing so.

Tester

looks easy on the bench.

Yeesh. I’d want to find a good mechanic experienced with this problem. That engine has alloy heads, right?

After seeing this, I certainly won’t be doing this myself. Gone are the days of the old spark plug socket and ratchet. I could change a set of plugs in a few minutes on most cars back in the late sixties and early seventies on almost any vehicle. I am curious though. How much does this contraption cost?

I’m not sure. I haven’t done any real mechanical work in about 40 years.I spent my career working on Supercomputers. Some of the work on those Cray computers was about this difficult if not harder.

Here’s the one I use.

Prices vary depending on where you purchase it from.

Tester

I have experience with one of these engines - a 2007 Mustang 4.6 liter. The plugs tend to get carboned up inside the head and since they are really long, there is lots of area to hold the plug in place. I replaced mine at 50,000 miles and had no issues… BUT

I used Seafoam to clean out the combustion chambers before I attempted a plug removal. I researched a bit and found a few that swore by removing the plugs cold with an impact wrench. I did that and the plugs came out in one piece, no problems. So I didn’t need to buy the tool or have it towed to the dealer. My car, my risk.

Ford has a special procedure they developed for this. Their dealers know this. They also have the tool ready if one breaks. I’d suggest taking it to the dealer and having the plugs changed now.

That’s what I’d do, too. No reason to wait on what could be an expensive issue. Doing it earlier will reduce the chance of problems.

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What do the dealers do if they break one? Are they responsible? I am inclined to do it sooner rather than later, but the truck runs perfectly now. I am always hesitant to not leave well enough alone.

@Mustangman has good advice.
The plug tip is just a little longer than the hole that it goes in and because a few threads protrude on the cylinder side of the head…they tend to get carboned up.
Then when you remove the plug the carbon tears the threads right out of the head as you remove it.
If you are lucky, the carbon will get sheared off the threads asx you remove the plug. Then you might have enough thread in the head to snug the new plugs.

My nephew has the 4.6 and someone stripped the threads on 4 of the eight plug holes.
I had to install inserts in each one. When the previous owner changed the plugs, there was just enough threads to barely snug the plugs again. Then a few months passed and my nephew started blowing plugs out.

When the plug does blow out…the force tries to push the coil out of the way ,and it tears off the ear that holds the coil down.

So you need to buy new coils for each plug that blows too.

Yosemite

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I see this is an old thread, but I did my own plug change out on my 07 Explorer 4.6l. Ford mechanic friend of mine said to warm the engine, then remove the coils and spray PB Blaster down the plug holes and let it sit overnight. Then in the morning, when cool, using the socket set, very slowly and gently begin to turn the plugs loose, permitting them to sit after just 1/8 turn or less, and spray PB Blaster again. Let this sit an hour, and then turn the plugs back and forth in this 1/8 turn or so until the plugs begin to loosen. Using this technique I did not break any of the 8 plugs and everything came up clean. I replaced all 8 and coils as well. I’ve had no problems with this since.

The one that Lisle makes is 88 bucks at Tooltopia.