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  #1  
Old 09-10-2010, 09:25 AM
Dan Woodland Dan Woodland is offline
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Default How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Hi All,

I'm planning to replace my plugs and wires for the first time. I've read lots on the internet that it's not easy and some that it is.

Some say you must remove part of the engine cover while other say you can use a long extension and swivel to accomplish this task.

It seems like there are a bunch of smart experienced guys here so if anyone has a sure fire way to get the job done with the least amount of destruction I'd very much appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.
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All Original, 165K miles (complete brake job)
Clutch, master and slave, timing belt 110K
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2010, 10:51 AM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

A swivel and an extension is all you'll need .......a magnetic spark plug socket is also a lot of help

Shouldn't take you more than 30 Min depending on how fast you work

The only thing you'll have to remove is the plastic intake tube

And be sure to get the good wires with the plastic hooks otherwise it will be a PITA
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Last edited by TheStig; 09-10-2010 at 10:53 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:04 PM
Dan Woodland Dan Woodland is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Thanks Stig. I appreciate your help. I'll invest in a magnetic socket...

You any relation to The STIG on Top Gear?

I've been on several forums over the years and I have to say this one is certainly one of the best in regards to helpful information from members and the forum. I like the How To: section. Keep up the good work folks.
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1997 XLT , Splash suspension
5 speed , Regular Cab
60/40 split bench
All Original, 165K miles (complete brake job)
Clutch, master and slave, timing belt 110K
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2010, 04:27 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Woodland View Post
Thanks Stig. I appreciate your help. I'll invest in a magnetic socket...

You any relation to The STIG on Top Gear?

I've been on several forums over the years and I have to say this one is certainly one of the best in regards to helpful information from members and the forum. I like the How To: section. Keep up the good work folks.
i agree with what stig said except for the 30 minutes. I have changed my plugs and wires twice so far. if i do it again believe i could do it in an hour. I would allocate a couple of hours since you have never done it.......any 5/8 spark plug socket will work........they have the rubber inside them.....only use autolite or MC double platinum's or you will be changing them again soon like stig said wires with the hooks i
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2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2010, 05:55 PM
Dan Woodland Dan Woodland is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Thanks modelageek,

I found my spark plug socket you spoke of last night.

I figured it would take me longer thatn the Stig. Thaks for the reminder about the plug wire handles. I'll buy them tomorrow.

The parts shop showed me that OEM plugs for my truck are Iridium, they aren't cheap either, $6.50 ea.
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1997 XLT , Splash suspension
5 speed , Regular Cab
60/40 split bench
All Original, 165K miles (complete brake job)
Clutch, master and slave, timing belt 110K
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2010, 07:06 PM
Johnbaum13 Johnbaum13 is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Took me about an hour first time I did them. Assorted extensions, wobble attachments and a swivel. Motorcraft wires and Autolite platinum plugs seem to be the consensus of what runs and lasts longest in these motors.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:40 PM
Dan Woodland Dan Woodland is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Johnbaum13, thanks for the added information. I'll attempt the change this week.
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1997 XLT , Splash suspension
5 speed , Regular Cab
60/40 split bench
All Original, 165K miles (complete brake job)
Clutch, master and slave, timing belt 110K
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2010, 03:26 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan woodland View Post
thanks modelageek,

i found my spark plug socket you spoke of last night.

I figured it would take me longer thatn the stig. Thaks for the reminder about the plug wire handles. I'll buy them tomorrow.

The parts shop showed me that oem plugs for my truck are iridium, they aren't cheap either, $6.50 ea.
only use motorcraft or autolite double platinums. Dont use the iridiums

i would suggest mototcraft or autolite wires also. I used the autolites they are a lot cheaper. Also if you were ever thinking of seafoaming the engine do it before you change the plugs
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2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:17 AM
robuga robuga is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Yes it a little pain but take your time as you don't want to strip them.I got me a magnetic socket and used a swivel with plenty of extentions just be careful putting the plugs back in take your TIME!
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:30 AM
RWD HERO RWD HERO is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

When i first got my truck i did a tuneup, and it took a few hours. Take your time and dont get too frustrated. Get a friend with skinny arms to help.
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:31 PM
Dan Woodland Dan Woodland is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Done!! Thanks for all your help guys. Taking my time it took a couple hours with no problems.
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1997 XLT , Splash suspension
5 speed , Regular Cab
60/40 split bench
All Original, 165K miles (complete brake job)
Clutch, master and slave, timing belt 110K
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2011, 10:55 PM
tino2003 tino2003 is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

I took a brief look at my engine and I am confident the manifold will have to be removed. Can you tell me how to do this without removng the manifold. Thanks to anyone out there that can help.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2011, 11:39 PM
BrianR BrianR is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

You don't need to remove the exhaust manifold just be careful. A friend and I managed to change all 8 of my plugs without anything but a straight extension and some good lighting. What you need most is dexterity in the fingers to maneuver the plugs into the hole, and to get the socket in there, but it can be done, swearing might be involved though.

-- Brian
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:16 AM
Waychoff05 Waychoff05 is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianR View Post
You don't need to remove the exhaust manifold just be careful. A friend and I managed to change all 8 of my plugs without anything but a straight extension and some good lighting. What you need most is dexterity in the fingers to maneuver the plugs into the hole, and to get the socket in there, but it can be done, swearing might be involved though.

-- Brian


took the words right out of my mouth!! It's not as bad as it looks man just take your time and you can get it!
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:52 AM
terryduanemiller terryduanemiller is offline
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Default Re: How to replace Spark Plugs on a 97 2.3L

if you remove the duct work and throttle body, it's still faster than screwing with swivels and extensions.. and with out doing this it's almost impossible to remove and replace plug wires.. save you self the trouble, and just remove 1 clamp and 4 throttle body bolts...
it will take the guess work out of everything... I would never try to start in a new plug with a swivel and an extension, thats asking for trouble
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