Spark plugs have a shelf life, and the shelf life of the 5.4 Triton engine spark plugs is between 30,000 and 100,000 miles. At the end of their shelf lives, engine misfires will become more common, and your car will start guzzling more fuel than usual.
At this point, you will have no choice but to replace the spark plugs. But which plugs should you replace your engine’s current ones with? Ideally, you will want the best replacement spark plugs for 5.4 triton engine.
However, not every spark plug out there will be the right fit for Ford’s 5.4 Triton engine. Furthermore, some will be a better fit than others. And in this article, I have compiled a list of some of the most top-rated spark plugs for the 5.4 Triton.
Top on this list is the Motorcraft Spark Plug SP546. What I loved about this plug is its platinum tips and nickel alloy electrode. This gives it excellent heat resistance and quick ignition.
At number two is the Motorcraft SP515 plug, which shares the same pros as the SP546. These two Motorcraft plugs were the closest to OEM level plugs in terms of quality.
I have also included a guide on what to look for when searching for the right plug for this engine. Before we get into the reviews, though, let’s go over some facts first.
Why trust this review
As a mechanic, I have worked with many different Ford models. As such, I happen to know a lot about the other plugs to install in Ford models. I specifically targeted the 5.4 triton engine due to the problems that many have faced with its plugs.
Removing spark plugs from the 5.4 L Triton engine
To replace your engine’s spark plugs, you will first have to remove the old ones. Removing these parts will require the use of some tools. The tools needed for this job are
- Spark plug socket
- Torque wrench
- Ratchet extension
- Basic socket set
There is a plastic engine cover that you will have to remove to get a clear view of the engine. Once this cover is removed, the fun part begins.
The next thing to do is to remove the electrical connectors of the ignition coils. To avoid damaging the connectors, I recommend applying rubbing alcohol. The latter is excellent for cleaning electrical connectors.
Removing the electric connectors will give you easier access to the ignition coils. A simple socket set is all you need to remove the ignition coils. Once they are out of the way, you now have access to the plugs.
Before removing the plugs, I always spray a PB blaster down each plug hole and let it sit for a few minutes. I have found that this makes them easier to loosen.
Now use a spark plug socket to slowly and carefully loosen each plug and remove them. Something to note is that as you remove the plugs, there is a high chance of breaking them in two.
This is a common problem with this engine type and one that you should be prepared for. An extractor set will come in handy when removing the second part of the plug if it is broken.
Should I expect different variations of the 5.4 L triton plugs?
The simple answer, yes. Spark plugs designed to fit this engine come in several variations. Some are better and pricier than others. The electrode tip is where you will notice the main differences.
While all plugs have a copper core, some manufacturers have come up with clever ways of improving the longevity of their products. Bosch, for example, has one that has four ground electrode tips designed to improve durability and performance.
Another way through which manufacturers differentiate their plugs is by using precious metal layering. In this process, precious metals are applied onto the ground and center electrodes to make them burn hotter.
This method makes plugs burn hotter than others and also means they will cost more than other types.
The reason for spark plugs breaking off.
One of the problems I have already mentioned that you are likely to encounter is plugs breaking in two during removal. This is a problem common with the 5.4 L Triton engine, so why is this?
The reason is the design of the plug. You see, Ford uses a unique two-shell design for its plugs, which means the plug is divided into two. As such, in between the tip of the plug and the cylinder head is a gap where carbon builds up over time.
Since the electrode is welded to the bottom part of the plug, there is a high chance of breaking when removing. The plug breaks along the gap, separating the upper and lower parts.
How to remove broken plugs
What do you do when the spark plug you are removing breaks in two? While this can be a frustrating ordeal, it is possible to remove the broken part. When the plug breaks, the lower part remains in the cylinder head.
To remove the broken lower part, there are some tools you will require. These are;
- A flashlight,
- Easy out extractor
- Penetrating oil or PB blaster
- Breaker bar
The first thing to do is see what you are dealing with by shining a flashlight. You should see a hollow threaded section of the plug still stuck in the cylinder head.
Next, pour some PB blaster down the plug hole and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, drive the square-cut easy-out extractor into the hole. Then lightly tap the extractor with a hammer. Be careful when doing this so as not to break the extractor.
Attach a socket wrench to the extractor and turn it in a counterclockwise direction. The extractor will grab the threads and start to turn. For some better leverage, you may want to use a breaker bar.
When the thread turns, the broken portion should come out after a few turns of the easy out extractor. We have a more detailed guide of Removing stuck Spark Plugs in this guide.
Should I gap my new spark plug?
The one thing you need to do before installing new spark plugs is to check the gap. Incorrect plug gaps will lead to a host of issues, key among them engine misfire, poor fuel economy, and poor plug performance.
The gap is the distance between the side and center electrodes. This gap is set to allow for proper arcing at the correct voltage for fuel ignition, leading to combustion.
While it is unnecessary to gap new spark plugs, ensuring that the gap meets the plug manufacturer’s recommended standards is a must. Different engines have different plug gaps. However, the standard measurement is between 0.028 inches and 0.060 inches.
Review Of The Best Replacement Spark Plugs For 5.4 Triton
Motorcraft Spark Plug SP546 Set Of 8
If you were to search for the best replacement spark plugs for 5.4 tritons, the Motorcraft SP546 set of 8 plugs would be top on your results. These plugs come in a set of 8 perfect to fit your Ford 150s v8 triton engine. But what makes them so good?
According to the manufacturer, these are designed to meet OEM standards, something that I wanted to test. So I installed them on my 2001 Ford f150 Supercrew, and I have to say the difference is noticeable.
The fine wire platinum tips translate to faster ignition of the engine. Also, the nickel alloy electrodes help improve the performance of the plugs.
I found that they were the same size as my F 150’s original OEM plugs, and it took me about 3 hours to install all the plugs. However, compared to other OEM plugs, these are considerably cheaper.
Overall, these are high-quality plugs sold at a reasonable price. And with the 1-year replacement warranty, you can always replace in case of any defects.
AD Auto Parts New Motorcraft (SP515) Spark Plug, (Pack of 8)
Another set of Motorcraft plugs you should buy for your Ford 5.4 L Triton is the AD Motorcraft SP515. These come in sets of 4, 8, and 10. But since we are focusing on the V8 5.4 Triton engine, I picked the 8 set packages.
Like the Motorcraft SP546 set, these are the same size as the factory plugs that come in a 5.4L Triton engine. As such, they should fit perfectly into your Ford truck or SUV. Also, like the SP546, you get platinum tips on the SP515.
These platinum tips offer a higher melting point. Also, they do not erode quickly, and you should be able to do intervals of 60,000 to 100,000 miles before requiring a replacement. You will also notice a slight improvement in MPG.
These plugs will fit perfectly into your Ford f 150, Lincoln, and Mercury models.
Fram Autolite HT15-4PK Platinum High Thread Spark Plug
Platinum plugs are known for their longevity, and the Fram Autolite HT15-4PK plugs are no different. The platinum tip offers the power and longevity you would expect from a high-quality platinum tip.
On the other hand, the nickel alloy side electrode offers resistance and strength. The combination of these two translates to minimize gap erosion and reduced chance of engine misfire.
Also, they do offer miles intervals of 60,000 to 100,000 miles. These plugs have a thread size of 16 mm and a hex size of 14mm. And given they are of the same size as standard 5.4 L Triton plugs.
These do come packed in four sets, which may disappoint if your truck uses the 5.4 Triton v8 engine, as you will have to purchase two sets. However, they are priced at a reasonable price, so a set of two will not be expensive.
MAS Ignition Coils DG511 with Motorcraft SP515 SP546 Spark Plugs compatible with Ford Lincoln Mercury V8 V10 4.6l 5.4l 6.8l Compatible
To get the best performance, you may want to replace the ignition coils as well as spark plugs. But instead of buying the two separately, the MAS Ignition Coils DG511 set allows you to purchase the two as a package.
These MAS ignition coils come inclusive of a set of 8 SP515 and SP546 spark plugs included. This combo is compatible with the Ford Mercury and Lincoln models. The high-performance epoxy ignition coil delivers high energy output.
This, combined with the high-quality Motorcraft plugs, ensure good performance. This combo will help improve your car’s fuel efficiency as well as tailpipe emissions.
My main problem with this product is the fact that you do not get any installation manuals. This may make the installation process a bit challenging. However, if you have experience in installing Motorcraft plugs, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
ENA Set of 8 Platinum Spark Plugs
The ENA platinum plugs also come in a set of 8. These plugs are compatible with Ford Lincoln, Mercury, and f150 of 2004 to 2008. These plugs are designed to fit these vehicle models perfectly.
Designed to meet OEM standards, the plugs have additional firing pins that help reduce the chance of engine misfires. Also, the plugs are resistant to shock, vibrations, and impact.
Given that these are platinum plugs, you should expect longer mileage before requiring replacement. Also, they are easy to install, thanks to the pin-to-pin adjustment.
How To Choose The Top Notch 5.4 triton spark plugs
When shopping for the best spark plug for 5.4 tritons, there are a few things you should consider. These are;
The first thing to consider when purchasing plugs is vehicle compatibility. Different cars require different plugs. Therefore, it is important to check the specific spark plugs that are designed for your vehicle.
The ones on my list will be compatible with most Ford vehicles that use the 5.4 L Triton engine, mostly trucks, and SUVs.
Construction of the plug
Plugs are made from different metals ranging from copper, platinum to iridium. Platinum plugs offer the best of both worlds. These offer longevity, improved fuel efficiency, and performance compared to copper ones.
However, while their performance cannot match that of iridium plugs, they cost less than the latter. Thus the best spark plug for 5.4 triton will most often be a platinum tip plug.
Furthermore, platinum tips have better heat resistance. And since plugs tend to heat up due to their role in the engine combustion process, heat resistance is critical. Poor heat resistance will lead to the plugs getting worn out quicker.
The changing intervals
How often should you replace your plugs? For the 5.4 L Triton engine, Ford recommends after mile intervals of 100,000. However, due to the design of these plugs that we talked about earlier, reaching this mile interval is not always possible.
However, the best spark plug for 5.4 triton will last you between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Both platinum and iridium plugs are capable of hitting this mileage.
Equally important as all the other factors outlined is cost. How much you are willing to spend will influence your decision. As such, check the price of different models. Also, it is wise to go for those that come in sets of 8 as you will save money instead of buying them as single units.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which year did the Ford 5.4 triton engine have plug issues?
Ford models of the year 2004 to 2008 had plug issues due to the two-piece design used. This meant that the plugs broke when being removed. Ford rectified the problems, and post-2008 models no longer have this issue.
How much will I spend replacing Ford f150 spark plugs?
The cost will depend on whether you do it yourself or have a mechanic do it. Either way, the cost of all 8 plugs will be around 68 dollars. If you have a mechanic do it for you, there will be labor costs to consider, which will vary depending on the mechanics.
What spark plug brand does Ford use?
Ford uses different brands for their plugs. But for the most part, the company uses Motorcraft products.
What is the best spark plug brand?
In my view, Motorcraft products are the best for your Ford model.
How many miles will a Ford 5.4 last
A ford 5.4 can last up to 300,000 miles. However, some trucks can go for up to 450,000
What’s the Ford 5.4 spark plug socket size?
The socket size on most Ford 5.4 is 9/16 inches for post-2004 Ford models. For models of 1997 to 2003, the socket size is ⅝ inches.
Spark plugs are essential to the proper functioning of your engine. And whether you like it or not, you will have to replace them at some point. There are plenty of 5.4 l triton spark plugs out there, but not all offer the best performance.
The ones reviewed above should give you longevity and good overall performance.
Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Rifen