SC'er, Vernon Cradier, was kind enough to share his
experiences with plugs and wires from his years of
experience in maintaining his SC.
With respect to plug wires,
"As for good stock appearing wires it's really
simple, use the stock wires.
The Motorcraft wires are spiral wound
solid core so you can't buy a better spark, just better
insulation and I've yet to hear of anyone having spark
leakage problems. In the old days of carbon core
RFI suppression wires, leakage or spark jumping was an
issue. With solid core wire, the spark usually gets
where it needs to unless the wire is obviously
damaged. Since OEM is solid core nowadays, there's
not much reason to switch, only price or
appearance. And if OEM is the appearance you're
asking about, the higher price is necessary."
With respect to spark
"It's recommended that you use Motorcraft
AWSF-32PP, or equivalent, gapped to around .047.
These are double platinum plugs and will provide long
When it comes to changing
plugs on an SC, Vernon's method is very concise and easy
"The cylinders are
numbered like so, facing engine from front of car.
Front to back, left hand side then right hand side.
#1 is the front passenger side and #3 is the rear.
#4 is the front, driver's side, and #6 is the rear.
#1: Done from up top, remove the air intake tube
and put in trunk for safe keeping. Drain and remove
the coolant overflow bottle and put in trunk. Now you can
get to #1 with a swivel on the spark plug socket and
about two or three 3" extensions on the ratchet.
#2: Done from under the passenger side. Due
to the tight fit, it is easier to use a short socket that
fits on the hex head of the spark plug socket. Push
the spark-plug socket on by hand then slide on the
ratchet with the short socket that fits the plug socket
head to loosen and install.
#3: Underneath, use a short (3")
extension on the ratchet with the plug socket. It
may be easier to push the socket and extension on first
then put the ratchet on them.
Warning: I may have 2 and 3 mixed up in my memory but I
don't think so. If you try and it seems like it then
switch methods and see what happens.
4-5 from underneath driver's side
#4: just socket and ratchet, fits and turns.
May have to put socket on first like others.
#5 & 6 are pretty easy.
Do make sure wires get centered then clicked down.
Don't try to crimp the terminal for tight fit on tip of
plug, for any reason.
When installing, coat the threads of all plugs lightly
with anti-seize compound. This stuff is messy so have a
roll of blue towels handy. If you get some on the
tips, clean with carburetor brake cleaner and do
over. Tighten plugs until they just seat then just
a bit more, don't strong-arm them.
When loosening if they are stiff, don't strong arm them,
just maintain pressure and they usually break loose
within 5-10 seconds. If not, then slightly increase
pressure and try again. The engine must be cold
(aluminum threads, you know)." (additional note:
this is something I see all the time. When you have a
very tight bolt or fitting, the trick to getting it loose
is to apply pressure SLOWLY. It will usually break loose
as you increase torque. If you whip on it hard, you will
almost certainly snap something. )
"If you drop a plug, inspect it BIG TIME. If
in doubt get another one--this is very important.
If you start it up and it's missing badly, then one is
broken. Without a scope, it's a guessing game as to which
one. If this happens and you dropped one or heard
some cracking sounds when torqueing one in, try replacing
the plug(s) in question first. With fresh anti-seize you
can do it warm, ....hot, you can't touch it!
Study the routing of the wires and only remove and
replace one side at a time to avoid mix-ups. Match
the old wires to the same size wires in the new
set. Take each engine side of the plug wires off
while still in the looms; there are three on each
side. Then match the wires to that side and lay
them out next to the old ones, spaced exactly
alike. Then transfer the looms one at time to the
new wires. Start from coil ends to plug ends and
put the three for that side back on in one piece.
Make sure that the new wires sit clear of any hot or
moving parts when on."