Ok so my truck has over 144k miles on it. I bought the truck used in 2005 and it had 53k miles on it then. I dreaded even the concept of trying to change out the spark plugs due to some posts regarding stripping out the threads and then needing to have the heads drilled/tapped again. Geech that would really suck.
But, I want you all to know that I finally swallowed my fear and dove head first into this project this morning. $60.00 for new plugs - and I stuck with the OEM Champion plugs and one new $45.00 coil pack. 12 hours later, and the job is done - sort of.
I started with the first two plugs on the passenger side and gapped them to .045, installed them, then installed the spark plug boot and coil pack, spark plug boot and electrical connection on the coil pack. Then moved to the next set of plugs and repeated all the way to the drivers side.
I'm here to tell you that the last two sets of plugs under the brake booster is quite a challenge. But be smart, and remove the air bellows on of the engine. There are only two small 3/8" bolts in the front holding it on along with a small electrical connection just off to the left center in the front.
Now, when I got the engine all put back together, I fired up the truck. *lope, lope, lope.....dead...." WTH? So, I checked all electrical connections again and re-sat each spark plug boot again (multiple times) and the truck finally fired up but not without an engine code.
I drove down to the local auto parts store to get the code checked out and it said it was a bad air intake temperature - high temp gauge. But, I haven't changed this yet. I also noticed that there was a small grounding wire on the passenger side of the block that went from a rubber grommet to and looped over the top of a stud. This is located directly on the top center of the valve cover on the passenger side. Thinking this might be the culprit to why the truck was loping and then dying, I changed that out but to no avail. I think I'll try the air temp sensor tomorrow to see if that fixes the issue.
Attached are some pictures of what spark plugs look like that are well worn beyond their use. These should have been changed years ago, but again my fear was holding me back. It shouldn't have because I had absolutely NO issues at all removing them and will keep up with the 30k mileage requirement of changing them like they should be.
The gaps varied in size from .070 to .085 on the old plugs. Quite a bit of difference than what is recommend.