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Old 08-10-2008, 00:09   #1 (permalink)
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frown Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

After searching the net re: spark plug location, I found information on really bad problems with plugs blowing off and breaking when trying to change for regular maintenance, causing huge repair bills. Now I am not sure whether I should change myself or take to dealer. Major horror stories out there, why is Ford not addressing this issue with 5.4 Liter V8's. Not sure about ever buying another Ford after all the issues I've had with this vehicle. After working on it and seeing the lack of quality in Ford's product, plus not standing up & honorably taking care of issues with their product (after I paid a pretty hefty price for it new in 2003, and have had problems since day one) I am sorely disappointed in Ford.
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Old 09-09-2008, 18:47   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

Providing you get the plugs changed before the required interval, let the dealer do it so if it breaks it's on them to fix it, not yours. If you get the dealer to replace the plugs after the required interval and problems arise, I'm sure you'd have quite a fight on your hands. I change my plugs every 25-30K in all my vehicles. No sense in running platinum plugs which can last upwards of 100K. 100K is a LONG time for those plugs to be sitting in the heads, so it's only a guess that something will go wrong upon removal
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Old 09-18-2008, 21:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

I recently changed the plugs in my 2003 Expy 4.6L V8. It is not an easy job for the average mechanic. Just getting to the plugs requires disassembly of the air intake covering the top of the engine plus some vacuum lines. You then have to remove the individual coil-on-plug assemblies on each plug to get at the plugs. It took me 4.5 hours, and required quite an assortment of socket extensions and universal joint attachments. You must also spend quite a bit of time perched on top of the engine. I had no problems actually getting the plugs unscrewed, although they are very difficult to reach. I applied anti-seize to the new plugs before torquing them in at 14 ft. lbs. Saved the $200 or so that the dealer would have charged for labor. There is a description of the process on line. Check spark plug change for Expedition.
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Old 09-21-2008, 20:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

I hate to be the lone voice of dissent, but...

1) I have unwaivering faith in ford and their trucks especially, though there is always a problem child in the batch.

2) the spark plugs blowing out was a problem that occurred early in the 5.4 production from only one plant that manufactured the heads with too few threads. This has since been remedied.

3) Plugs breaking can be an issue at high miles, especially if you live in the salt belt. However, I have replaced the plugs on several expeds and find it not to be that bad a job. Here are some pointers; 3hrs and your out, taking your time.

-- You don't have to remove the intake, just move the main fuse junction box on the passenger side. (remember to dissconnect the battery first).
-- swivels will be needed.
--Each coil is held on by a single 8mm screw, then they pop off. Buy replacement boots for the coils, its the equivalent of plug wires on the C.O.P.
--use some rust penetrant, it can't hurt.
--When removing the plug for the first time, just don't allow any side to side pressure, this is what causes the break. Its really easy to get frustrated and try anything to get it off and tweak it sideways, especially with swivels.
--Use anti sieze on threads when replacing!! I wish ford had heard of the stuff for many parts.

You can do it.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:40   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

I have had the pleasure of changing the plugs on my 2005 Navigator and I managed to break off one plug, but lucky for me it was the first one of the drivers side and easy to get to.

So I took it to a local mechanic who turned the remaining 7 a quater of a turn and filled the wells about half full of WD40 (anti sieze) and left for 24hours, and they all came out with a little effort.

The broken plug, had snapped off and the porcelian was still inside the broked part, but he managed to use some industrial strength glue to fix the electrode into the porcelain, started the engine and the compression popped the plug and the porcelain out just leave the broken end of the plug. And with some tappered threads he managed to screw into the end of the plug and get it all out, he did all this in less than a day.

I dont think its a big of a deal, if you know what to expect and if you let the anti sieze penetrate the plug thread first then these should come out without a problem.

My car had 75K on the clock when I imported it to the UK, and I am pretty sure those were the original plugs.

I am now using the champion double platinum kind, which seem to work fine.
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Old 11-13-2012, 17:43   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by 847alexc View Post
I hate to be the lone voice of dissent, but...

1) I have unwaivering faith in ford and their trucks especially, though there is always a problem child in the batch.

2) the spark plugs blowing out was a problem that occurred early in the 5.4 production from only one plant that manufactured the heads with too few threads. This has since been remedied.
Hi, 847alexc or anyone else who may know about this - I see the post I am replying to was quite some time ago but I came across it recently by way of a Google search because I am considering the purchase of an 03 or 04 Expedition at this time -

How do I know if the Expy I am considering is part of this problem range? One particular 2003 Eddie Bauer 4WD I am looking at was manufactured 9/8/2002 according to Autocheck.

I also tried searching these forums but the Google custom search gives an error message every time I do - so if there are any other good posts on this topic - or a way to search for them - I'd be interested in hearing that, as well. Thanks.

The other alternative would be avoid this era of Expys as well in favor of a substitute vehicle, or move up to a 05-06 Expy, but with the mileage and budget I have in mind, that isn't too likely.
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Old 11-13-2012, 18:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

Which engine?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:08   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTruth View Post
Hi, 847alexc or anyone else who may know about this - I see the post I am replying to was quite some time ago but I came across it recently by way of a Google search because I am considering the purchase of an 03 or 04 Expedition at this time -

How do I know if the Expy I am considering is part of this problem range? One particular 2003 Eddie Bauer 4WD I am looking at was manufactured 9/8/2002 according to Autocheck.

I also tried searching these forums but the Google custom search gives an error message every time I do - so if there are any other good posts on this topic - or a way to search for them - I'd be interested in hearing that, as well. Thanks.

The other alternative would be avoid this era of Expys as well in favor of a substitute vehicle, or move up to a 05-06 Expy, but with the mileage and budget I have in mind, that isn't too likely.

It was not a problem with the '03 model year 5.4L motors (2-valve heads...). The short thread problem occured in the earlier production year motors and was fixed by that time. The 3-valve motors (2004+) introduced a new problem with their spark plugs breaking apart and leaving pieces in the cylinder heads that continues to this day. The rear plugs are a bitch to get to on either motor though. I use anti-seize on my replacement plugs so they come out easy next time. Also use a torque wrench to tighten them to the corrrect torque. Don't use Autolite plugs.


-Mike
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:52   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Major problems with 2003 Expedition Spark Plugs

^ Good info for members thinking of buying one of those models / years .
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