Do it Yourself: Tune-Up on a 2001 Ford F-150 Triton Engine

by Justin Cupler

The Ford F-series truck lineup started in 1948 with the release of three models of the pickup truck: the F-1, F-2 and F-3. The 1948 F-series trucks had two engine options, the largest being a 239-cubic-inch V-8 that produced 100 horsepower. The 2001 Model year had two V-8 Triton engine options: a 4.6-liter and a 5.4-liter variant. The 4.6-liter produced 231 to 260 horsepower, depending on the options selected. The 5.4-liter variant produced 260 to 380 horsepower, depending whether it had a supercharger or not. Performing a tune-up on the 2001 F-150 Triton engine involves replacing the spark plugs, which Ford recommends doing every 100,000 miles.

Open the F-150's hood and unplug the wiring harness from the rear of all eight of the coil packs -- the small black packs on top of each spark plug.

Remove the bolts from all of the coil packs, using a ratchet and socket, and pull them from the engine, exposing the spark plug below each one.

Remove all eight spark plugs from the engine, using a ratchet, a 6-inch extension and a spark plug socket.

Check the gap between the center and ground electrode at the bottom of each spark plug, using a spark plug gap tool. The gap must be 0.052 to 0.056 inches. Do not attempt to adjust the gap in the plug, as the proper plugs for the Triton engine are double-platinum and they cannot be adjusted. Return any improperly-gapped plugs to the store where you purchased them and replace with properly-gapped plugs.

Hand-tighten all eight new spark plugs, using a spark plug socket and a 6-inch extension. Tighten the spark plugs to 13 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench, a 6-inch extension and a spark plug socket.

Squeeze a small amount of dielectric grease into the rubber boot at the base of each of the coil packs and push the packs onto the new spark plugs. Listen for the faint clicking sound indicating that they are fully seated.

Tighten the bolt on each of the coil packs to 89 inch-pounds on the 4.6-liter engine, and to 53 inch-pounds on the 5.4-liter engine, using a torque wrench and socket. Plug in the wiring harness on the rear of all eight coil packs. Close the F-150's hood.


  • check While the coil packs are out, check the rubber boot for any cracking and check the spring inside the boot for rusting or disfigurement; replace the boots and coil packs, as needed.


  • close Never use any thread lock or anti-seize on the spark plug threads.
  • close Never remove the spark plugs while the engine is hot, as this can cause deformation of the cylinder head.

Items you will need

About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.

Photo Credits

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