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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)

Tools needed:

Red items are specific to the PCV valve
*Vise grips (optional)
*Pliers
*Adjustable wrench (optional)
*7/8 12-point deep socket (preferred tool, I substituted with a 7/8 combination wrench)
*A good light
*Toothbrush to clean the throttle body
*(not shown) PCV valve, P/N EV-243 (YF1Z-6A666-AA), $4.55
*(not shown) Throttle body cleaner

*Antiseize
*Spark plugs (DUH :) ) - I used ACDelco RapidFire plugs, part number 8 (yes, just '8'), $6.89 a plug
*White grease - spray can for electrical connectors, tube for spark plugs and COP boots
*Teflon lubricant, or other "dry" lube, for throttle and cruise control cables
*Torque wrench, as small (short) as possible, that will do 9 to 11 ft-lbs. I recommend a small inch-pound wrench for reasons that will later become apparent.
*Magnetic snake - MUST be the snake variety that will bend around the intake manifold
*Ratchet(s) for your socket sizes
*8 mm socket for the engine cover (if you have one)
*Spark plug gap tool
*Small screwdriver (optional)
*4" extension
*1/2" to 3/8" adapter (used as a 1" extension)
*6" extension (optional)
*8 mm wrench
*Spark plug socket

Unplug the battery first, both to keep yourself safe and to make the computer re-learn the idle strategy for the new plugs. Follow the relearn procedure in your manual.

PCV Valve
Remove the engine cover, if you have one. There are three 8 mm nuts holding it on; I put antiseize on the threads when I replaced the cover.


Loosen the hose clamps on the intake. Unplug the MAF and pull out the crankcase vent hose. Unclip the airbox at the filter and lift the assembly out.


Now you have access to the PCV valve, shown here:


Pull the hose off, and depending on where it separates, you may have this small piece of hose still stuck to the PCV valve. Pull that off as well.


In this picture, you see the adjustable wrench on the PCV valve. The ideal tool would be a 7/8 12-point deep socket, but I had to improvise. My adjustable wrench was too beefy to have clearance to turn, but the tool that finally did the job was a 7/8 open end wrench placed the same way as the adjustable wrench. A 1/4 turn will loosen it, then you can either pull it out with pliers or reach your hand in and grab it.


If that small piece of hose separated, pop it back onto the rest of the hose before you connect it back onto the new PCV valve. You will have more leverage that way.


While you are in there, clean out the throttle body as well.


Here are the new and old valves side by side. The old valve still sealed properly, but at $4 a pop I changed it anyways.


Spark plugs

As with all aluminium heads, make sure the engine is cold before proceeding.

With the engine cover off, you have easy access to the front three plugs. Use the 8 mm wrench to remove the COP mounting bolt.


Remove the electrical connector and pull the boot out. Inspect the spark plug well for debris and blow it out if necessary; mine were spotless.


With the old plug out, gap the new spark plug to 0.052".


Apply a light band of antiseize to the centre of the threads, and grease up the positive terminal.


Use your torque wrench to torque the spark plugs. I reduced the factory specification of 11 ft-lbs to 9 ft-lbs because of the antiseize. I sprayed white grease over the inside of the boot, and put grease over the boot lip to help keep water out. I noticed some corrosion on the COP mounting bolts, so I applied antiseize there as well. I also sprayed grease into the female end of the electrical connectors. Repeat these steps for the other two plugs.


Now the hard part begins. All three plugs in the rear bank will be removed from the passenger side - you may want to lay down a fender cover or cotton towel if you have a belt buckle or shirt buttons. This is the first one.


Feel down to get an idea of where the other two COPs are, and unplug the electrical connectors. The third connector can be easily accessed from the driver's side, from under the EGR valve.


Use your 8 mm wrench to remove all the COP mounting bolts and set them aside - you will need to have all three COPs removed at once, unlike the ones in front. You will have to do a lot of feeling around. With the first COP pulled up against the bottom of the intake manifold, it needs to be bent towards the driver's side, then pivoted towards the rear of the car to clear the intake manifold. Once the coil pack is out, the boot will flex and pull out. Drop your spark plug socket (without any extension) into the hole, then drop the 4" extension in. DO NOT click the two together. Use your ratchet to loosen the old spark plug, again without clicking the ratchet onto the extension. You may need the 1/2" to 3/8" adapter for that little bit of extra reach - that can be clicked onto the ratchet. Fully unscrew the spark plug by hand, and then take out just the extension. Use your magnetic snake to grab the spark plug socket, and again to get the old spark plug. Gap, grease, and apply antiseize to a new plug and screw it in by hand - use the same method as before by dropping in the tools one by one. Now a small torque wrench will come in handy, as my smallest one was still too long to work in this space. From working on small engines, I know what force to apply to get 10 ft-lbs of torque fairly consistently, so I "cheated". Once it is torqued in, stuff a shop towel into the hole to prevent debris from falling in. Do not reinstall the COP yet.


The middle plug comes out by rotating the COP so that the electrical connector faces the rear, then pulling it up and bending it towards the passenger side. This is why the first COP could not go back in, as the second COP needs this room to come out. Install the new spark plug as above and stuff the hole with a shop towel. The last COP is the trickiest one. It will come out in the same way as the middle COP, but you need to make sure the wiring is out of the way in order to both rotate and pull out the COP. Install the new spark plug and put all three COPs back in, starting with the driver's side and moving towards the passenger's side. Spray grease inside the boots and use grease on the boot lip as with the front bank. I sprayed white grease on the COP side of the electrical connector, as I could not reach the engine side. Reverse the steps and rotations involved in getting them out. Use your 8 mm wrench to reinstall the mounting bolts, and put the electrical connectors back on. Before replacing the engine cover, clean and lubricate the throttle and cruise control cables with a dry lubricant.


The plugs that came out looked really good. The whole job took me three hours, including taking pictures, taking notes, and a lot of trial-and-error with the rear COPs. If I had to do this again, I could probably complete the job in 1-1.5 hours.
 

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great write up, and your crazy lol. i should forward this to the dealership that said it was impossible HAHA. (they also said i needed intake gaskets) but at 40,000km since i did mine ive had no problems other then leaking crap, and suspension stuff. nothing related to the plugs.
 

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Excellent write-up and pics. I will be using this as my bible this weekend.
You da man!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good luck. After re-reading my instructions, I find myself a little vague when talking about how to maneuver the rear COPs. When I talk about bending them or pivoting them, I am doing this with the boot pulled up from the spark plug hole as much as it will go. That is, the top of the COP is against the bottom of the intake manifold. I edited it to be more clear, and also added the step where I disconnected the battery. I'm not sure if all years had the same idle relearn procedure, so it's best to check your manual for that. I think it involves idling a few minutes with both the A/C on and off.
 

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Excellent write up Squishy :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I recently replaced a coil, so I took the old one apart. When I was doing this spark plug job, I did not know how the coil was put together and was more careful when maneuvering the rear COPs than I needed to be. Bending the rubber boot will not hurt anything, no matter how hard you twist it. It is just pushed onto the coil. The electrical connection is made with a spring which sits on the spark plug on one end and winds around a spade connector on the coil unit. Pretty robust, and I can see no way of destroying a coil when twisting and turning it. When putting a boot back onto the coil unit, there is something like a weep hole on the boot that matches to an arrow on the coil unit. Not sure what it is for.

Here are the separate components of a COP unit:


And a better look at the spade connector:
 

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Very nice! i didnt think it could be done! lol i have had my intake manifold off and on so many times in the last few days dealing with a bad coil!
I didnt know that my code reader error "P0351" meant it was the #1 cylinder . "P0352" would be cylinder #2 and so on. so i had to check each one till i found the bad one. "5th try"
Why wouldnt the scanner just say "cylinder #1!!
1000$ junk lol
Anyhow. Thanks again for this only wish i would have read it a week ago lol

 

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Ok, this is going to sound stupid but what does COP stand for in this statement:

With the engine cover off, you have easy access to the front three plugs. Use the 8 mm wrench to remove the COP mounting bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
COP stands for "Coil-on-Plug". It places the ignition coil right on top of the plug, eliminating spark plug wires. If you read further down, you'll see a picture of a COP unit with the boot disassembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update, looks like no-go on the Rapidfire plugs. They gave me a frequent misfire and may have burned out that initial coil. Better to stick with the Motorcrafts.
 

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Hey guys,
Long time lurker, 1st time poster.

I have had about bought my '01 Escape XLT 3.0 with 89K. I've had aboot 18,000 trouble free miles from her, but last week I got a skipping/hesitation with a corresponding misfire CEL code from Cyl 1.

So I decided to I follow the step by step on tyhis thread. BTW Thanks Squishy...good write up!

When I pulled out the coil pack and spark plug, they looked like this:


The spring tip from inside the coil pack boot:


Seems to me like a ton of Moisture was getting into that chamber. I cleaned it, lubed it, and sealed off the ends with white grease a la Squishy's write up. I buttoned it back up, and the CEL cleared itself.

I am still getting the hesitation and skipping when the engine is under load (i.e. in overdrive, or reverse, or 2nd gear start, but NO CEL. Otherwise it sees to run fine.

  • Do you guys think I am still getting a misfire or might this be a vacuum leak/ PCV Valve issue?[/*]
  • Could it be a different cylinder? (no CEL means wont show up on scan)[/*]
  • Does anyone have a better Idea of how to isolate that from Moisture?[/*]

I have a different new coil pack, but I am hesitant to put it in since I don't think the original coil has failed, I think it's just getting moisture logged. I did replace the plug with a new Bosh Double Platinum.

Thoughts? Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys.
 

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Did this plug change on weekend ...took 1 1/2 hours and was not that hard

totally with in the weekend warriors capability... great article thumbs up
 

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2001 3.0, was running great until I changed plugs and insulators 4-6, then no fire on 4 or 6, altho 4 will fire if #5 pigtail is plugged to it. Changed COPs 4 and 6, still no fire. Decided to move on to the rear plugs, #s 1-3, unbolted upper intake, discovered last mechanic had RTV'd it, wouldn't break loose, am now cutting it off. New upper intake $241 incl tax at Ford, couldn't find a used one or anyone else besides Ford selling a new one. High price to pay for having someone else work on it because I didn't have time. Doesn't make sense that no fire on 4 or 6 would be a wire loom problem, since 5 is fine. Any ideas on how to check pigtails with volt meter?
 

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by InnateDriven> Does anyone have a better Idea of how to isolate that from Moisture?

I use dielectric grease on the boots and plugs. Makes everything waterproof.
 

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Great write up Squishy! Thank you. I have a misfire in #1 and thought about doing this without manifold off but just the thought of manuvering the back coils seems nearly impossible with my clumsy hands :lol: I guess I may do the old fahion approach by getting the intake off.

Assuming I get the intake manifold off, I presume I should do at minimum upper gaskets. Anything else?
 

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they are broke how? are they still in cop and the heads broke off? or what? if broke and still in threads then u have to extract them out with easy out or drill them out,then get new ones,or go to junk yard..

How did ya break them? they all broke? :shock:
 

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jpmil20......don't think anything is stupid. Asking questions on this forum will save you hundreds of dollars a year. The fellas might pull your chain a little but eventually they'll come clean with great information. This is one of the best information forums in the world. I'm glad to be just one of the members.
 
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