View Full Version : Plug and wire change...

03-18-2003, 08:23 PM
Which plugs and wires should I use, and what's the easiest way to get the job done?

Aaron Pedroza
03-18-2003, 08:46 PM
Wires, I would go with Ford wires. I like my Taylors but have only had them on for about 2 months. I always use Autolite plugs with my beast. As fars as how to go about it, a lot of patience and a few hours. Oh and some extensions and and swivels will make it easier, or at least possible. Seriously though, passenger side are all from the top and drivers side are all from the bottom.

Make 7 Up Urs
03-18-2003, 11:03 PM
Im in the process in doing it right now and for the driver side i put the car up on the lift. If u do it from the top do u have to take off the intake tubing.


03-18-2003, 11:31 PM
if you try to do the driverside from the top it will make the job a lot harder than it is. you can do both the sides from the bottom but you need a lift and the right tools. if you don't have the right tools do the passenger side from the top once you remove the air intake. people make it sound harder than it is i can change the plugs and wires in no time (like 20 mins), once i have the car on the lift and i have all my tools.

03-19-2003, 12:11 AM
as long as you're stock. If you start mod'ing the mill, the Autolite Platinums still work well (if gapped about 46) but as you noticed he's running Taylor's and turning 12's. I've got Magnacor 10.5mm on mine and when it's back together :rolleyes: will probably turn 13's with street tires. Keep coming back and pay attention to those like Aaron who have the experience and results. ;)

03-19-2003, 01:38 AM
Here are the tips for '89-'93 ('94-'95 are easy):

The cylinders are numbered like so, facing engine from front of car. Front to back left hand side, then right hand side. #1 is the front pass and #3 is the rear. #4 is the front D/S and #6 is the rear, got it?

#1: Done from up top, remove the air intake tube and put in trunk for safe keeping. Drain and remove the coolant overflow bottle and put in trunk. Now you can get to #1 with a swivel on the spark plug socket and about two or three 3" extensions on the ratchet.

#2: Done from under the pass side. Do to the tight fit it is easier to use a short socket that fits on the hex head of the spark plug socket. Push the spark-plug socket on by hand then slide on the ratchet with the short socket that fits the plug socket head to loosen and install.

#3: Underneath, use a short (3") extension on the ratchet with the plug socket. It may be easier to push the socket and extension on first then put the ratchet on them.

Warning: I may have 2 and 3 mixed up in my memory but I don't think so. If you try and it seems like it then switch methods and see what happens.

4 & 5 are done from underneath the driverís side.

#4: just socket and ratchet, fits and turns. May have to put socket on first like others.

#5 & 6 are pretty easy.

Do make sure wires get centered then clicked down. Don't try to crimp the terminals for tight fit on tip of plug, for any reason. Good wires have boots bonded to them; with cheap wires you have to make sure the terminals are facing the plug before you install them down.

When installing the plugs coat the threads lightly with anti-seize. This crap is messy so have a roll of blue towels handy. If you get some on the tips clean with carburetor or brake cleaner and do over. Tighten plugs until they just seat then just a bit more and don't strong-arm them.

When loosening old plugs if they are stiff don't strong arm them, just maintain steady pressure and they usually bust loose within 5-10 seconds, if not slightly increase pressure and try again. The engine must be cold (aluminum threads).

If you drop a plug inspect it big time. If in doubt get another one--this is very important. If you start it up and it's missing badly one's broken or defective. Without a scope it's a guessing game as to which one. If this happens and you dropped one or heard some cracking sounds when torqueing one in try replacing the plug(s) in question first. With fresh anti-seize you can do it warm, after it's hot don't touch it!

Study the routing of the wires and only remove and replace one side at a time to avoid mix-ups. Match the old wires to the same size wires in the new set. Take each engine side of the plug wires off while still in the looms; there are three on each side. Then match the wires to that side and lay them out next to the old ones, spaced exactly alike. Then transfer the looms one at time to the new wires. Start from coil ends to plug ends and put the three for that side back on in one piece. Coat the inner boots and coil seals with Dielectric Silicone, also sold as Dielectric tune-up grease. This prevents moisture from getting to the terminals causing misfires and corrosion; it also keeps the boots from sticking. Good wires like motorcraft have it factory applied, make sure you twist all connections to spread it completely around.

Make sure that the new wires sit clear of any hot or moving parts when on. Avoid letting the wires touch for very long, crossing is ok but not running against each other.

I use and recommend Motorcraft AWSF-34PP plugs as they will increase power and reduce detonation at WOT. They can be installed as is for great results; they come with a 0.047" gap. Don't be concerned because they have a shorter tip, this is a good thing. If you can't afford Motorcraft ask for the '94 Mustang 3.8 plug. Whatever plug you choose it has to be a double platinum type due to the ignition system. Under no circumstances use Bosch Platinum of any style. They feature an extremely fine center electrode that is great for Mom and Pop but will melt away in your SC.

Motorcraft wires are your best choice also but a high quality aftermarket brand will work as long as it is made to OEM specs (spiral wound solid metal core). Thicker wires don't mean better spark just better protection. I also like Borg Warner but avoid Napa's Belden wires or Auto Zone's house brand (I don't care how cool red looks or how long they warranty them, I just want good wires that work.)

While you're at it replace the RFI Capacitor that attaches to the coil pack and is wired into the coil power lead. This is a cheap easy to replace part that never gets any respect. If yours starts to fail you'll have a hard to diagnose loss of power.


03-19-2003, 02:51 AM
You've obviously got too much time on your hands. :D j/k

Haven't seen the tip on the cap before. Is the value marked on it or just a part #? Thanks for the info. ;)


03-19-2003, 10:51 AM
Wow, I just did them on my new 95 and I did them all from the top. The only hard plug was last one on the pass. side. The drivers side took me about 5 min tops and that includes putting on the new wires. I did have to go under the car to get the boot for the first plug back on. But other than that, i did them all from the top with ease. I do suggest a piece of full hose to slide over the spark plug when installing. This makes it easy to thread the plug into the hole without the risk of cross threading.

Aaron Pedroza
03-19-2003, 11:25 AM
Lee, not quite in 12's yet, a little tweaking to do still. Thanks for the cudos though.

03-19-2003, 11:55 AM
Lee those capacitors are all the same internally from way back in the days, the difference is how they mount and what type of terminal is on the wire end. Either study those two things or take yours with you to the parts house. Ford should be able to give you the correct one.

The drivers side plugs got easyer when the ABS went under the battery in '93. Then in '94 Ford moved the engine towards the drivers side just a bit, probably with motor mounts. This made the engine sit more centered in the chassis as before it was offset to the passenger side. After that you can get to the passenger side plugs from on top.

Most of these long posts you see from me come from the hard drive nowadays. Like Aaron I was away for a while (good to see you back in action Aaron). It's funny how quickly things change, new people all the time. I kinda got burned out answering the same questions over and over. After a while I figuired out how to save my stuff but I was already tired. Now it doesn't seem to bad since I have most of it saved already. Also most of the things I found out back in the early days has become passed around enough to become common knowledge so I see people I've never heard of quoting me. This is great, saves me a lot of time.


Aaron Pedroza
03-19-2003, 12:32 PM
Ya, I've been gone for about a year or so popping in here and there. It is nice to share what I have learned over the years of trial and error to save some of the newbies to SC's some growing pains. Vernon(nice to see you still here), saw your long post and remebered some of your posts from the good old days of books of knowledge traded between you and Fred.