'97 Ford F-150--several issues.

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  #1  
Old 04-11-08, 01:52 PM
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'97 Ford F-150--several issues.

'97 Ford F-150 V8 Triton engine, 5.8(? or whichever is the biggest of that year/model) 4x4....if there's any other specs you need, let me know, I'll do my best to provide them.

SPARK PLUGS: My hubby needs to change the spark plugs on the Ford something awful...he's been putting it off because everyone keeps telling him how hard it is, how much of a PITA it is, etc. It's finally reached the point of no more putting it off.

So, anyone who has done this--tips, tricks, and advice would be great. We know the basics of doing it, we just need to know how best to go about doing the ones that are hard to get to in the back. Do you have to take off the intake manifold(???) or anything else to be able to get in there?

O2 SENSORS: Both need changed out--keeps throwing the codes for them, and I'm told that you can't change out one and leave the other or it will quit soonafter. What's the best/easiest/quickest method of changing them out? What will we need to remove to get to them, and is aftermarket or Genuine Ford parts recommended? (I don't know if you can get them aftermarket or not for sure, I'm just asking.)

VACUUM LINE: Keeps wearing through--we've replaced it repeatedly, taped it, and it keeps rubbing holes in it--which affects performance of lots of things. Anyone else have this problem and know how to stop it on a more permanent-type basis? We've been changing it or taping it about 2x or 3x per year, and it's VERY annoying!

SQUEAKY STEERING: The power steering is fine, but when you turn the wheel it squeaks--every time! It's rather annoying, although, apparently not critical (it's done it since he bought the truck about 8 years ago). This is more for my benefit--I can't stand the noise!

Anyway, those are all that I know of for sure--although I'm fairly positive that the ball joints need replaced as well (have to check with the hubby to make sure though). Hopefully someone on here knows what to tell us to make things a bit nicer on that truck....it's been a bit neglected over the past couple of years.
 

Last edited by Farmgirl84; 04-11-08 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Bad color choice
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Old 04-12-08, 06:07 AM
reyes45's Avatar
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As far as the plugs goes, I`ve replaced a few on Navigators and F-150`s and the easiest way as far as know is to remove the fuel rails. You don`t have to completely remove them, just pull them off the injetor ports. This will give you enough Flex to push them to the side a little to be able to get to the spark plug. You might have to replace o-ring on injectors, inspect them carafully before pushing them back in place. Lubricate the o-rings a little so they slide in easier.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 07:39 AM
Unclediezel's Avatar
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Reyes has given you the best advice possible on the plugs. Be patient and careful, and all will go smoothly.

On to the Vac hose and O2 sensors.......

Did you have the codes read by Reputable repair shop, or a
"Free Scan" at the local auto parts store.??

The less Knowledgeable staff will often Blame a Lean mixture code on O2 sensors. If the codes were 170 to 174, or any combination of them, It is possible the truck is actually running "LEAN", instead of failing its O2 pretests.

Now the good news. -----Adding air-(Or losing Vacuum) will certainly "Lean-Out" the fuel mixture to a point that the computer cannot correct. The most likely cause of a "Lean" mix, is a Damaged or Leaking "VACUUM HOSE".......!!!!!! I suggest you fix the hose problem prior to shelling out $ on O2's. They can be "Pricey". Re-routing the hose, away from obstructions and heat, will lengthen its "Useable " life.

The "Squeak " when turning is a Ford Thing. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that permanently Greased front end parts were the wave of the future. As time goes by, the grease degrades and leaves Ball joints, tie-rod ends and other lubricated parts DRY, which causes the squeak when they are rotated. Problem is..There is no way to add grease. Sooner than later, your truck will need front end "ATTENTION", as youve mentioned Ball joints in need of replacement. When they are replaced, request the "Aftermarket " type replacements. They will have the "ZERK" or Greaseable fittings, that the Ford parts are Lacking....
 
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Old 04-12-08, 04:22 PM
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Don't remove the fuel rail have done dozens and never removed the rails, you will be in for more than you can chew you may want to chang the wires it is hard but he can doit but tell him to do one at a time,and use oem parts u don't want to do it twice .Please tell what codes the o2 sensors are throwin.Use fuel line instead of vacume hose.As far as the front end lots of greese.U may want to get the balljoints checked?
 
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Old 04-13-08, 08:25 AM
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just my few cents....
i have "healed" multiple O2 codes/check engine light in a very simple manner.
1. buy new fuel tank cap
2. buy can or 2 of seafoam
3. buy a suitable funnel to pour seafoam into your tank
4. find a gas station somewhere close to a major parts store. call or drive in and confirm with them that they can reset codes in ECU with scanner
5. go to gas station and get ready for refill; pour seafom - because it's sizeable tank, i'd use 2 cans - in and replace fuel tank cap. get a vented one, six bucks, works great. refill with better grade gas, one up from 87, whatever it is, point is to get higher octaine. don't use supreme. you MUST pour seafoam in 1st, then flush it in with gas, or it may stay in the fill pipe bend.
6. immediately drive to that parts store and reset codes.
7. go on freeway and go for pleasent drive at about 65-70 mph, for at least 30 min or more.
eg, i fixed my wife's lexus rx300 check engine light like this. its O2 sensors are $500+ each, and sucker has 3 of them.
leaking fuel tank caps are notorious O2 code culprits.
i, personally, simply do all this at home, and diconnect battery overnight to reset codes in ECU.
to replace O2 sensor yourself, you'll need O2 sensor socket. i think it's about 20 bucks. might be more fesable to rent it from say shucks or autozone, then it's free.
 
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