How to Change Plugs in Ford Econolineby Contributing Writer
Part of general automobile maintenance is changing the plugs to ensure quick ignition when starting the vehicle. Changing plugs could refer to either changing spark plugs in an unleaded fuel vehicle or changing out glow plugs in a diesel vehicle. Since 1961, the Ford Econoline van has offered ample space and ease of access in the large engine compartment to take care of this maintenance job at home. Healthy spark plugs are an essential part of the van's ignition system.
Removing the Spark Plugs in an Econoline Van
Remove the interior engine cover. The cover is attached with clasping latches to pop open and loosen the hooks that hold the cover in place. Floor bolts also must be removed. Pull the panel off.
Open the engine hood on the exterior to let in light.
If replacing spark plug wires, as is generally done at time of spark plug replacement, do so now. One by one, detach the cable from the distributor cap and then attach the cable to the spark plug, so that you don't lose the firing order.
Loosen and remove the spark plugs with the 5/8-inch socket. A special socket with a rubber grommet in it is used to grip the spark plugs after they are loosened. If a specific socket for spark plug removal isn't available, however, a standard 5/8-inch socket may be used, even though it may make it difficult to grip the plugs to pull them out of the chamber.
Replace each plug as it is removed so that debris doesn't fall into the combustion chamber. Reattach each spark plug wire after screwing in each plug. Plugs should be snug but not overly tight.
- To get to hard to reach plugs, a disjointed socket extension or needle nose pliers may be used.
- To test spark plug wires, a spray bottle with soapy water can be sprayed on the cable. If tiny sparks can be seen when the vehicle is firing the cables should be replacing.
- Hot engines are hot. Vehicle maintenance should be performed on a cooled engine.
Items you will need
- 5/8-inch socket for spark plugs
- Socket wrench
- Replacement spark plugs
- Socket wrench extension
- Socket set
- old spark plugs image by Rog999 from Fotolia.com