Q: How do I remove spark plugs from Ford 3V engines without breaking them?
A: Ford’s three-valve engines, found in many Mustangs, Explorers, Expeditions, F-series pickups and the Lincoln Navigator, have proven themselves through the years as reliable and powerful. They also share another common characteristic, often frustrating technicians – a tendency for spark plugs to break off in the engine upon removal.
The two-piece plug design separates the electrode portion of the plug, which can become locked in the cylinder head via carbon build-up, and the exterior hex head, used to remove and install plugs. Using a standard socket many times will only loosen the hex portion, leaving a broken spark plug stuck in the engine, and a frustrating problem for technicians.
OTC’s Ford Spark Plug Removal Kit, No. 6918, is specially designed to not only lock on the protruding hex head, but utilizes a collet assembly that locks onto the top of the spark plug, allowing the plug to be loosened with a standard 3/8" drive ratchet. For the technician staring down a broken plug, OTC includes an optional adapter that can be used if the hex head has already been removed.
Having the cam timing close is no longer an option, it has to be perfect for the engine computer to do its job to maintain emissions and fuel mileage requirements.