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Old 09-04-2005, 19:01   #1 (permalink)
Tech5656
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Spark plugs and wires

My 98 explorer has almost 100k miles and is going in to the dealership for a
recall part install. Since it is going in anyways I asked how much it would
cost to replace the plugs and wires, the service advisor said $470.00. He
must have heard it in my voice that I would do it myself, because he added
"If you put in aftermarket plugs it will probably cause engine trouble".

Is there something special "Resistance" wise with ignition system or is this
just crap?

Any comments appreciated!


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Old 09-04-2005, 19:01   #2 (permalink)
Mikepier
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Re: Spark plugs and wires

That's bull. The aftermarket plugs and wires work just as good. But
even if you put in the Motorcraft plugs and wires, it still should not
cost you $470.

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Old 09-04-2005, 20:01   #3 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
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Re: Spark plugs and wires

You didn't say if it's the V6 or V8 engine. Ford's plug wires are pricey,
and for some reason more than twice as costly for the V8 than for the V6. A
Ford dealer will charge you over $200 for the 8-wire set. I would imagine
that they charge around $10 a piece for their super-ultra-sure-fire plugs.
Add the hour or so of labor, the coffee and donuts in the waiting room
(which will appear as 'shop supplies' or 'disposal fee' on the bill), your
local sales tax, and $475 becomes 'reasonable'.

The solution: buy your parts from an independent auto store. The same 8-wire
Motorcraft set costs $140 there and they have aftermarket for half that
price (no clue about aftermarket quality, but my Motorcraft wires, purchased
from a Ford dealer failed in less than 30,000 miles, twice, so there is not
much to lose with aftermarket). They will sell you decent platinum plugs for
$3-$4 a piece if you don't fall for the quadruple flame tip nonsense. Your
trusted neighborhood mechanic should be able to buy parts and complete the
job for $250-$275, even if it's the V8 (you may need to get your coffee at
the Starbucks across the street, though).

Better yet, do the job yourself. Replacing plugs is not rocket science.
Access the ones on the passenger side through the wheel well. Make sure to
start them by hand, to avoid cross-threading. Apply a bit of anti-seize to
the threads and torque to the manufacturer's specs. No torque wrench? Buy
it - a decent one will cost less than an hour of labor at the dealership and
serve you for many years. Replace the wires one at a time, keeping the
original routing and avoiding mix-ups. Apply a bit of dielectric grease to
the contacts on both sides, to prevent moisture trouble.

Good Luck


"Mikepier" <mikepier@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:1125881903.892107.152030@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> That's bull. The aftermarket plugs and wires work just as good. But
> even if you put in the Motorcraft plugs and wires, it still should not
> cost you $470.
>



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Old 09-05-2005, 07:01   #4 (permalink)
stevie
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Re: Spark plugs and wires

good advice.

when should I consider changing my plugs and/or wires?

my 2000 LTD has 67K. it is a V8 and runs good.
"Happy Traveler" <happy_traveler@abc.net> wrote in message
news:u-udnVI5K529NYbeRVn-qQ@comcast.com...
You didn't say if it's the V6 or V8 engine. Ford's plug wires are pricey,
and for some reason more than twice as costly for the V8 than for the V6. A
Ford dealer will charge you over $200 for the 8-wire set. I would imagine
that they charge around $10 a piece for their super-ultra-sure-fire plugs.
Add the hour or so of labor, the coffee and donuts in the waiting room
(which will appear as 'shop supplies' or 'disposal fee' on the bill), your
local sales tax, and $475 becomes 'reasonable'.

The solution: buy your parts from an independent auto store. The same 8-wire
Motorcraft set costs $140 there and they have aftermarket for half that
price (no clue about aftermarket quality, but my Motorcraft wires, purchased
from a Ford dealer failed in less than 30,000 miles, twice, so there is not
much to lose with aftermarket). They will sell you decent platinum plugs for
$3-$4 a piece if you don't fall for the quadruple flame tip nonsense. Your
trusted neighborhood mechanic should be able to buy parts and complete the
job for $250-$275, even if it's the V8 (you may need to get your coffee at
the Starbucks across the street, though).

Better yet, do the job yourself. Replacing plugs is not rocket science.
Access the ones on the passenger side through the wheel well. Make sure to
start them by hand, to avoid cross-threading. Apply a bit of anti-seize to
the threads and torque to the manufacturer's specs. No torque wrench? Buy
it - a decent one will cost less than an hour of labor at the dealership and
serve you for many years. Replace the wires one at a time, keeping the
original routing and avoiding mix-ups. Apply a bit of dielectric grease to
the contacts on both sides, to prevent moisture trouble.

Good Luck


"Mikepier" <mikepier@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:1125881903.892107.152030@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> That's bull. The aftermarket plugs and wires work just as good. But
> even if you put in the Motorcraft plugs and wires, it still should not
> cost you $470.
>




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Old 09-05-2005, 08:01   #5 (permalink)
Searcher1
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Posts: n/a
Re: Spark plugs and wires

YEs if you install aftermarket plugs it WILL cause a problem. I did it! and
then I had to call around to find out what happened! BUT, you can install
platinum plugs just not regular ones. The plugs and wires that I bought cost
me 47.00 a far cry from 470.00. I did it all myself, but the last plug on
the passenger side toward the rear is a BI*CH! You WILL cuss, YOU will
bleed, but you will get it done! Because you are cheap! LIKE ME I like to
call myself thrifty!

Good Luck
Searcher1


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Old 09-05-2005, 12:01   #6 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
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Re: Spark plugs and wires

The OEM platinums are specified for 100,000, and will last that long, so
that's what your user manual probably recommends. I would take them out
around 50,000, just to make sure I can, because I heard horror stories about
removing plugs that were kept for 100,000. 'Reading' the plugs also gives an
idea about the health of the engine, and I am a curious guy... Once they are
out, it's probably worth spending the $25 on a new set.

The wires, unfortunately, told me themselves when they needed to be
replaced. The first time was around 40,000. The second time was around
75,000. If the originals got you to 67,000, you may be on borrowed time. Or
perhaps Ford did something to improve their design in later years (as
indicated by the $200+ price).
BUT: do you even have plug wires? Not sure about Explorers, but sometime
around 2000 Ford was switching over to coil-on-plug ignition.


"stevie" <sf@dum.org> wrote in message
news:11YSe.24535$ih4.18731@fe02.lga...
>
> when should I consider changing my plugs and/or wires?
> my 2000 LTD has 67K. it is a V8 and runs good.



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Old 09-05-2005, 12:01   #7 (permalink)
carbide@egine.com
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Re: Spark plugs and wires


Happy Traveler wrote:
> The OEM platinums are specified for 100,000, and will last that long, so
> that's what your user manual probably recommends.


They don't cost that much, and they're so hard to replace that it
doesn't make sense to use anything but platinum plugs.

I always buy used vehicles, and I typically only have them for 100K
miles, so if I put platinums in I never have to change them again.
-Paul

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Old 09-05-2005, 19:01   #8 (permalink)
Tech5656
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Posts: n/a
Re: Spark plugs and wires

Happy Traveler,
Are the horror stories about the plugs being stuck in the head? That is my
fear since they have been in for 100k.
That is the reason why I thought about having the dealer put new ones in and
just take the ones I bought back.
BTW I had bought Autolite Double Platinum plugs
(The package says NASCAR officially licensed-So they should be better than
OEM to use in my truck <Snicker>)

Thanks for everyone's input
Much appreciated!

"Happy Traveler" <happy_traveler@abc.net> wrote in message
news:eu6dneEyGdPqFoHeRVn-vg@comcast.com...
> The OEM platinums are specified for 100,000, and will last that long, so
> that's what your user manual probably recommends. I would take them out
> around 50,000, just to make sure I can, because I heard horror stories
> about
> removing plugs that were kept for 100,000. 'Reading' the plugs also gives
> an
> idea about the health of the engine, and I am a curious guy... Once they
> are
> out, it's probably worth spending the $25 on a new set.
>
> The wires, unfortunately, told me themselves when they needed to be
> replaced. The first time was around 40,000. The second time was around
> 75,000. If the originals got you to 67,000, you may be on borrowed time.
> Or
> perhaps Ford did something to improve their design in later years (as
> indicated by the $200+ price).
> BUT: do you even have plug wires? Not sure about Explorers, but sometime
> around 2000 Ford was switching over to coil-on-plug ignition.
>
>
> "stevie" <sf@dum.org> wrote in message
> news:11YSe.24535$ih4.18731@fe02.lga...
>>
>> when should I consider changing my plugs and/or wires?
>> my 2000 LTD has 67K. it is a V8 and runs good.

>
>



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Old 09-06-2005, 16:01   #9 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Spark plugs and wires

No first hand experience there, luckily. But yes, that's what you can find
by searching the archives of a group like this.
I am probably going to start a religious war by advising to apply anti-seize
compound to plug threads, but that's what I have been doing for two decades
and never had a problem. Also, I don't heed the typical plug manufacturer's
advice to 'add a half a turn (or whatever they say) after contact', and
ALWAYS use a torque wrench, set to the number in the manual (even when
working on my lawn mower). And just to make sure, I don't leave plugs in for
more than 50,000 miles. Your experience may vary...

"Tech5656" <Tech5656@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xg6Te.10861$p_1.3261@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> Are the horror stories about the plugs being stuck in the head? That is my

fear since they have been in for 100k.


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Old 09-15-2005, 23:01   #10 (permalink)
Eric F
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Spark plugs and wires

Use motorcraft plugs. They might cost $8, but how often do you change 'em?

"Tech5656" <Tech5656@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:fpMSe.4062$4i6.2387@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> My 98 explorer has almost 100k miles and is going in to the dealership for

a
> recall part install. Since it is going in anyways I asked how much it

would
> cost to replace the plugs and wires, the service advisor said $470.00. He
> must have heard it in my voice that I would do it myself, because he added
> "If you put in aftermarket plugs it will probably cause engine trouble".
>
> Is there something special "Resistance" wise with ignition system or is

this
> just crap?
>
> Any comments appreciated!
>
>



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