Ford Freestar, Monterey 2004-2006

Spark Plugs

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Inspection & Gapping



Check the plugs for deposits and wear. If they are not going to be replaced, clean the plugs thoroughly. Remember that any kind of deposit will decrease the efficiency of the plug. Plugs can be cleaned on a spark plug cleaning machine, which can sometimes be found in service stations, or you can do an acceptable job of cleaning with a stiff brush. If the plugs are cleaned, the electrodes must be filed flat. Use an ignition points file, not an emery board or the like, which will leave deposits. The electrodes must be filed perfectly flat with sharp edges; rounded edges reduce the spark plug voltage by as much as 50%.

Check spark plug gap before installation. The ground electrode (the L-shaped one connected to the body of the plug) must be parallel to the center electrode and the specified size wire gauge (please refer to the Tune-Up Specifications chart for details) must pass between the electrodes with a slight drag. NEVER adjust the gap on a used platinum type spark plug.

Always check the gap on new plugs as they are not always set correctly at the factory. Do not use a flat feeler gauge when measuring the gap on a used plug, because the reading may be inaccurate. A round-wire type gapping tool is the best way to check the gap. The correct gauge should pass through the electrode gap with a slight drag. If you're in doubt, try one size smaller and one larger. The smaller gauge should go through easily, while the larger one shouldn't go through at all. Wire gapping tools usually have a bending tool attached. Use that to adjust the side electrode until the proper distance is obtained. Absolutely never attempt to bend the center electrode. Also, be careful not to bend the side electrode too far or too often as it may weaken and break off within the engine, requiring removal of the cylinder head to retrieve it.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Inspect the spark plug to determine engine running conditions

Removal & Installation



  1. With the vehicle in NEUTRAL, position it on a hoist..
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    WARNING
    It is important to twist the spark plug wire boots while pulling along the axis of the spark plug to avoid possible damage to the spark plug wires.

  4.  
  5. Tag the spark plug wire locations before removing them.
  6.  
  7. With a twisting motion, use the Spark Plug Wire Remover special tool to pull the 6 spark plug wires from the spark plugs.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Use the Spark Plug Wire Removal tool to properly remove the wires from the plugs

  8.  
  9. Use compressed air to remove any foreign material in the spark plug well before removing the spark plugs.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 6 spark plugs.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of the ignition system components: Ignition coil electrical connector (1), Spark plug wire-to-ignition coil (2), Ignition coil bolts (3), Ignition coil (4), Spark plug wire retainers (5), Spark plug wire-to-spark plug (6), Spark plugs (7)

  12.  

To install:

  1. Adjust the spark plug gap as necessary. The proper gap is 0.052-0.056 in. (1.3-1.4mm).

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Spark plug gap specifications

  2.  
  3. Install the 6 spark plugs and torque to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Apply dielectric grease to the inside of the spark plug wire boots before attaching to the spark plugs.
    WARNING
    Spark plug wires must be connected to the correct spark plug. Mark spark plug wire locations before removing them.


    WARNING
    Make sure the spark plug boots are positioned so the spark plug wires do not contact the exhaust manifold.

  6.  
  7. Connect the 6 spark plug wires to the spark plugs.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  

 
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