Monday, June 8, 2009

How do you replace the spark plugs on Contour and Mystique?

Changing your spark plugs is crucial for optimal engine performance and best fuel economy. Here at The Wright Import, we want to help

For the 2.5l v6:

There are 3 things that get in the way of the spark plugs
-If yo are looking for performance plugs and wires, we have what you are looking for Nology Hotwires are the absolute best when it comes to performance

  1. The plastic cover piece on the front - three 7 or 8mm bolts to remove
  2. The box underneath that cover - 4 8mm bolts
  3. The coil pack - this one can be left in place, but for the effort to remove the 4 7mm bolts, it was well worth in my book. Having it loose also made it a bit easier to replace the plug wires


  • use a 3/4" plug socket on a 6" extension
  • put a piece of duct tape around the socket extension / socket joint to keep them together.
  • Use silicone / di-electric grease on the plugs and both ends of the wires.
  • A bit of anti-seize on the plug threads won't hurt either
  • Don't over-torque the spark plugs
    - don't remember exactly what the torque specification is, but it's lower than I would have thought - snug them in tight, but don't "crank" them down hard (sorry to be so darned technical there ;))
  • Do the spark plugs
    one-at-a-time! Helps prevent getting the firing order messed up.
  • Plug gap: .054

The rest of it is pretty logical in terms of removing the spark plug, setting up its replacement (grease, anti-seize, etc) and putting the new one in.

Parts Train

It was a whole lot easier than my 98 Sable 24v V6, and the 2001 Windstar. 30 minutes, a bit longer if you're doing the wires while you're at it.

Opinion: I prefer the Motorcraft brand spark plugs
- enough people who know more than me continue to encourage the manufacturer's brand to be convincing.


the spark plug
wires are very easy to replace. They are right on top of the engine and go down into holes right on the top of the valve cover. With the engine not running, unplug each wire from both ends, and replace each one at a time. I recommend you do this one at a time to prevent crossing the wires up. Each terminal on the coil assembly is matched to a particular cylinder, so you have to get the right coil terminal attached to the right spark plug. You will also notice that the replacement wires are different lengths, so as you remove each wire, install the same length replacement wire.


on a 2.5 v6 you will have to remove the intake manifold, to do this remove the plastic cover by the oil fill (water pump cover), then the intake bolts on top, the hoses on the intake (2 on top one on pip sensor, one to pvc valve) then remove the throtle cable bracket along with the intake hoses (from air filter) then remove the 2 bolts witch hold the egr valve to the intake manifold. unplug the 3 sensors (egr, tps and pip) lift up on the manifold, you will need to pull it towards the passenger side to get it out from under the egr valve. you will now see your spark plugs
and wires 3 in front 3 in back. inspect your intake gasket before reinstalling your manifold. replace if needed. DO NOT USE RTV silicon gasket. -nius


If you have the FOUR CYLINDER 2.0l engine, the spark plugs
are under a black plastic cover that is about 24" long right on top of the engine. You can see the spark plug wires that come out of the distributor located on the right side of the engine ( as you face it ), and they go under this cover. 8-10 screws must be removed to take the cover off, as well as a grommet for a sensor on the left side that can be pushed back up the wire harness once it is popped off the black cover.

The spark plugs
are under some long connectors that also seal the pocket that the plug is located in. Be careful because oil and debris collect around the plugs and can drop into the combustion chamber when the plug is removed. It took several minutes to burn off all the oil that got into the combustion chambers the last time I changed plugs on my Mystique.
Also note that there are TWO DIFFERENT PART NUMBERS on the original spark plugs
, but the Motorcraft specification now lists only one plug for use in all cylinders.


is it a v6? because if it is good luck,if its an ecotech than remove the top of the valve cover and they are under the "DI"direct ignition assy.if its a v6 it sure is possible but u will ahve to remove the neccesary components to get at them and the back 3 are the worst.

Replace spark plug wires, wire

Most automobile manufacturers recommend periodically changing the spark plug wires and distributor cap. The distributor cap is responsible for distributing the electrical charge received from the ignition coil along the spark plug wires to the spark plugs. As the distributor cap and wires wear, efficiency can drop, resulting in misfires, poor running and reduced fuel economy. Fortunately, it is very easy to change the distributor cap and spark plug wires.

Some jobs under the hood require advanced tools, brawn, or specialized knowledge, but virtually anyone can change the spark plug wires and distributor cap. The only tool required is a Phillips head screwdriver. White labels or notepaper, a marking pen and Scotch tape might also come in handy. Perform this maintenance when the engine is cold to avoid burning yourself on any hot components.

If you are not familiar with what your spark plug wires and distributor cap look like, don’t worry. A local parts store only needs your vehicle’s year and model to find the parts you need. You can also order your spark plug wires and distributor cap online. If you do order online, you will have an opportunity to look at a picture of the parts before ordering. You might want to print a picture of the distributor cap and compare it against the one in your car to make sure it is the correct part.

As long as you will be replacing the spark plug wires and distributor cap, you should also replace the rotor inside the distributor. The rotor, resembling a miniature weather vane, will become visible when you remove the distributor cap. It simply pulls up/off a stem. No tools required. The new rotor presses on the same way, and the part is cheap. The rotor spins a metal arm inside the cap that can become pitted and worn.

Once you acquire the parts to replace your spark plug wires and distributor cap, take a close look at the existing spark plug wires in the vehicle. Each spark plug wire plugs into the distributor cap at a specific location on the cap. The only critical rule to follow is that this order be maintained.

The engine fires in a specific succession, which the spark plug wires and distributor cap are set up to support. Most spark plug wires and distributor caps are numbered for clarity. The #1 spark plug wire attaches to the #1 plug on the distributor cap; the #2 wire to the #2 plug, and so on. At the opposite end of the #1 spark plug wire is the #1 spark plug, or the first cylinder that fires.

The safest way to change the spark plug wires and distributor cap is to unscrew and remove the distributor cap without unplugging any spark plug wires. Note the way the cap is oriented. You might want to tape a note that says “T” at the top of the cap. There will be one extra wire that runs to the ignition coil. Unplug this wire from the cap (leaving it attached at the coil) and tag it with an “IC.” Unscrew the cap, lift it off the distributor, and set it aside by laying in on the engine.

The wedge-shaped, "weathervane" rotor will now be visible, protruding up from the distributor itself. Grip it securely and pull straight up, applying even pressure. The distributor’s rotor stem is slightly flattened on two sides. Look inside the hollow rotor stem of the new part to orient it before pushing it down on to the distributor stem.

Now install the new cap, careful to orient it the same way as the old cap. Replace all four screws and tighten securely.

Remove a single wire from the old cap and from its spark plug. If the wire is numbered, choose the corresponding number from your new kit. If the spark plug wires are not numbered, find the right wire by choosing the same length from your new kit. Plugs are various distances from the distributor cap, making them of varying lengths.

Install the new wire on to the spark plug by pushing it down securely. You should feel or hear a pop or snap. Run the new spark plug wire to the new distributor cap, following any snap-guides or rubber brackets that might be holding the wires in place along the way. Look at the old cap to be sure you plug the wire into the same location on the new cap. Repeat this procedure for each wire. Finally, install your new ignition coil wire to replace the one you tagged earlier as “IC.”

When you replace your spark plug wires and distributor cap you can also check or replace your spark plugs, if necessary. With a little basic maintenance your vehicle should run smoother and more efficiently. The cost of spark plug wires and distributor caps vary, but an average modest cost is about $50 US dollars, including the rotor.