Tech Tip Tuesday: Ford 5.4 Triton spark plugs

Ahh, the dreaded Ford “3 Valve” 5.4 V8 and it’s ludicrous spark plug design. Available from 2004 (except the Heritage model) through 2008ish in Ford’s full size SUVs and F-Series trucks, these engines are overall very durable and reliable. These spark plugs have stricken fear into the hearts of many DIYers (and some seasoned technicians!) for years because their two piece design lent itself to breaking off in the cylinder head. This is caused by carbon building up around the bottom (electrode) end of the spark plug, stressing the porcelain upon removal to the point where it shatters, usually leaving that part of the plug stuck in the cylinder head. Check back soon for a full tech article showing you how to remove the broken plugs! They can break off in other ways, too, but that is the most common. When you finally get the all the old plugs out using a special tool, you can keep the new plugs from seizing up by applying anti-seize to the areas shown in the picture. It’s common knowledge to most techs and some DIYers that you should use anti-seize on the threads, but this extra step for the Triton is critical for easy plug removal later.

Update: I’ve done a couple more sets of plugs on this style of engine and I’ve been using the one piece E3 spark plug with great success! Happy wrenching!

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