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How to Change the Spark Plugs in a Ford Ranger

by Russell Wood; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and spark plug socket

  • Spark plug gapping tool

  • Replacement spark plugs

The spark plugs in your Ford Ranger are typical maintenance items that need to be replaced according to the regular intervals listed in your owner's manual. Of course, there are occasions when your plugs will need to be replaced sooner, such as when your engine doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders or when you can hear your engine backfiring because of rich fuel conditions.

Pop the hood and pull off a spark plug wire from the spark plug by grabbing the boot with your hands and twisting it while you pull it off. Then install the spark plug socket onto the 3/8-inch ratchet and extension. Unbolt the spark plug from the head of the engine using the ratchet.

Pull a replacement socket out of the packaging and use the spark plug gapping tool to make sure the spark plug is at the proper gap that the vehicle manufacturer's handbook recommends.

Bolt the replacement spark plug into the cylinder head using the ratchet and spark plug socket. Then push the stock spark plug wire onto the spark plug with your hands until you hear a popping sound, indicating the plug wire is linked to the plug.

Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for every spark plug on the engine, working each plug individually so you don't confuse the spark plug wires.


Make sure the engine is cold before you pull out the spark plugs. Otherwise, you risk burning your hands on the exhaust manifold.

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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