99 XLT SOHC 62K miles, when to change plugs?

My truck runs fine , no problems. I thought I read in my manual that the spark plugs should be changed at 100K. I was just woondering has
anyone changed theirs earlier and if there is any reason for me to change them now being my truck is 8 years old.
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My mechanic recommended that the plugs be either changed or at least removed and re-inserted every 60K miles to avoid them getting to the point that they can not be removed from the engine. He had someone bring in a vehicle with plugs that had been in the engine for 120K miles and he could not remove the plugs as they were effectively welded in place. I have figured the cost is minor to remove them every 60K miles. I have just had them replaced for the second time and the 97 Explorer has 132K miles on it.
I however hope to hear from one of the Ford Mechanics who frequents the group as to his experience.

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That being said, I tried removing the plugs on the drivers side to see how hard it would be, and although I did have to exert some force, they did come loose. Now the passengers side, I did not even attempt those yet. It looks like you have to be Houdini to get the last 2 plugs out in the rear. I remeber someone said to get at them through the wheel well, so I'll search this group and find out.
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Mikepier wrote:

Yep, through the wheel well, with various swivel joints and socket extensions. Those two particular plugs are designed break loose suddenly, tearing all the flesh off your knuckles.
--
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the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
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Same question for a 98 5.0 with AWD. Must one remove the front wheel or just turn it out of the way? Thanks, Steve
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Well I just tried to turn my wheel to the left on my 99 and I can manage to get to the last plug, but in order for me to really get a good grip on the ratchet handle, I need to take off the wheel. And also the middle plug is hard to get at with the wheel on. So I think it's just better to remove it. Don't forget use safety jack stands, don't just rely on the jack itself.
I'll try again with the wheel off. The plug did not come loose by the way,. I'm hoping for better results.
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Hurry and find a solution. My 2000 5.0 has 83000 and I will be changing them soon.
Good luck.
wrote:

Well I just tried to turn my wheel to the left on my 99 and I can manage to get to the last plug, but in order for me to really get a good grip on the ratchet handle, I need to take off the wheel. And also the middle plug is hard to get at with the wheel on. So I think it's just better to remove it. Don't forget use safety jack stands, don't just rely on the jack itself.
I'll try again with the wheel off. The plug did not come loose by the way,. I'm hoping for better results.
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Perhaps I am used to tougher challenges, because the 5.0L on my '98 Explorer has been the easiest engine to change plugs in many years. Unbutton the dust skirts in the wheel wells, turn the wheel to and fro as needed, and that's it. The vehicle stays on the ground, and nothing more than a 'wobbler' type extension needed. And even that is probably just because I insist on sticking the long torque wrench there for reinstalling. Does the 2000 have coil-on-plug ignition or wires still? My plug wires have been the most unreliable part of this otherwise great vehicle.
wrote:

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I have a 3/8" universal type swivel adapter. I was going to use that since I don't have a wobbler extension. Is there any real advatage or disadvantage?
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Well forget about that idea. I just tried the swivel adapter and it was awkward. You can't really get a straight line torque. It's a lot better to just have the 5/8" spark plug socket with the ratchet handle. I just can't get seem to get this thing loose.
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Update: I borrowed a 1/2" breaker bar from a co-worker, and got a 5/8" socket with a 1/2" drive .The rear passengers side plug came loose with no problem. The breaker bar actually worked out great since you can swivel it to give you more clearance, not to mention it gives more torque and leverage. Hopefully the middle and front plugs will come out easy.
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I got the middle and front plugs out. I used the breaker bar on the front. I could not use it in the middle but lucky for me the plug was not that tight. Although I did leave the wheel on, I guess it would be easier to take it off. So now I'm looking foward to buying new plugs since I know now that the old plugs can come out easy.
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wrote:

My '97 EB SOHC had the check engine light come on at about 60k. Turned out to be nothing more than a tune up, new plugs air cleaner PCV. So much for 100K tune up and replacement of plugs
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