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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I was concerned - the only time my plugs were changed before, a friend of mine did them who was a mechanic. She's fixing to roll over 200k, so - it was time.

Remove the UIM? Don't? EGR? UIM gaskets? I didn't know. I got good information here - bought my plugs, and tried to order UIM gaskets. "We don't have them, but - we can order them" - "OK" I said. (I wasn't going to do the plugs until the weekend)

I went Sunday to pick up my gaskets. They showed them in stock - couldn't find them. *clueless* Welp, no plug changing today....

I got to looking - It's also been a long time since I've changed my air cabin filter. I just removed both pieces of the plastic cowling on the passengers side - it provided (semi) easy access to the rear side of plugs. If Ford truly wants like $300 to do that job - I'll do that *all day* - I was pretty proud of myself. I was also proud of the fact that all of the plugs were even, looked clean (I just had oil on the top part of one plug on the ceramic - valve cover leak??)

It's not hard to do - and, you'll feel great doing it the easy way. Just plan it so when you do a plug change - you change your air cabin filter!
 

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This isn't a new idea, removing the cowling, but posted/suggested on here many a time :)

But congrats on changing the plugs out! Not the worlds most easiest task, so all the more reason to celebrate with a beer or two when you finish the job :)
 

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I am firmly in the Don't Remove The UIM camp. As Nick stated, many members here are also. I don't believe in touching gaskets that aren't leaking, and I have changed Tec plugs a few times by removing the windshield cowling. I take off the driver's side as well, not too much more work than just the passenger side (have to pull off wiper arms as well), and goes faster after your first time doing it. Also, if your plug change gets interrupted by an emergency need for transportation, your car is drivable in very short order.
 

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On 04 and 05 Tec with COP, you do need to remove the UIM for a plug change.
 

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^+1 I forgot to add, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO COP.
 

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Nah! I have a 2001 Duratec. There's NO reasonable access to plugs #2 or #3 by removing the cowling parts. The coil pack is blocking access---very dificult to remove that working blind, let alone working blind on the spark plugs and risking breaking them on blind installation and tightening. Remove the UIM and do it properly plus perform other work such as PCV hoses and clean EGR.
 

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it takes me no more than 15 min to unbolt the UIM,(more like maybe 10)to lose the boot from the throttle, pull a couple electrical plugs and vacuum wires and bungi cord the manifold to the hood allowing me plenty of access to the plugs. Its worth the $20 every so often for new gaskets....most of us only have to take the thing apart once maybe twice.
 

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^+1 toronut and johnnyiroc!!! Do some other preventive maintenance, inspection, cleaning, etc. along the way. Clean up iac, throttle body, egr valve, egr channel from valve to intake, etc. Iirc, last 2 times i changed plugs on a tec, i was also replacing plug wires and coil pack. Almost a must to pull uim. What changed my mind years ago, i was swapping out plugs on a 99 tec without removing a thing to save time and changed out the easy front 3 and #1 on the back and then snapped #2 in half deep inside the plug well hole. Uim came off then and every time since when doing repairs on the firewall side of a tec. I must admit ive never attempted the cowless method though. Maybe next time if im not too skeered, lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good thoughts. I don't know how it is with an 04 or above - but, removing the cowling allowed me to reach all three on the back. I had no problems with the COP and I'm a large man. I had to go by "feel" on the two from the font - but, it was easy.
 

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The intake design on 04 - 05 Tec is somewhat different than the 00 Tec. Trust me, you cant get the COPs out without pulling the UIM.
 

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Well I changed my plugs yesterday for the first time and was mostly easy. I started with the one in back by the drivers side since that was the one that worried me. But I had removed the cowl and unscrewed the coil pack.( Also remembering to put back the ground wire and little holder that was in those screws as well.) Didn't need anything else out of the ordinary, maybe a longer extention for the ratchet.Total time about 4 hrs. start to finish. And this is from someone who hasn't changed them before.
 

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Ive only changed the plugs once on the wagon, though I may do it again this summer when I hit 90K miles. I have had the UIM off many times though doing my mods and I cant understand why everyone is spending the money on new "gaskets". The "gaskets" are actually O-rings and do not need replacement unless you have a leak.I actually get the ones from the donor cars also when getting parts at the junk yard. Just make sure both the O-ring and the mounting surface is clean, and you wont have any problems.
I do agree with the other posts about doing other maint while taking off the UIM, its a good time to check / change out any rubber hoses that may be in bad shape due to age.
 

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I have to disagree with several points on this. Not only can I change the plugs by pulling the UIM, I prefer doing so and replacing the gaskets. In only takes a brief scans through the posts to find that the P0171 and P0174 codes are very common, the gaskets will fail and leak sooner of later, whether to try to avoid disturbing them or not. The gaskets are not expensive, and the rated life of the gaskets is not that different from the rated life of the plugs. This means you can kill two birds with one stone. While the intake is off, you can also clean it, and inspect other components more closely, and head off minor problems before they become major ones.

For the record, on my '96 Duratec, contrary to other's posts, I have checked, and the plugs cannot be accessed by removing the cowl, nor is it easier to do so. The UIM is in the way, and there is no way to get a socket, extension, and wrench between the UIM and the valve cover and down to the plug hole. Perhaps those who have said it can be done have a different setup that allows them to do that, but with mine, it just can't be done any other way, nor would I want to.

Call me picky, but I prefer not to take shortcuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have to disagree with several points on this. Not only can I change the plugs by pulling the UIM, I prefer doing so and replacing the gaskets. In only takes a brief scans through the posts to find that the P0171 and P0174 codes are very common, the gaskets will fail and leak sooner of later, whether to try to avoid disturbing them or not. The gaskets are not expensive, and the rated life of the gaskets is not that different from the rated life of the plugs. This means you can kill two birds with one stone. While the intake is off, you can also clean it, and inspect other components more closely, and head off minor problems before they become major ones.

For the record, on my '96 Duratec, contrary to other's posts, I have checked, and the plugs cannot be accessed by removing the cowl, nor is it easier to do so. The UIM is in the way, and there is no way to get a socket, extension, and wrench between the UIM and the valve cover and down to the plug hole. Perhaps those who have said it can be done have a different setup that allows them to do that, but with mine, it just can't be done any other way, nor would I want to.

Call me picky, but I prefer not to take shortcuts.
Do it how you want - it's not "picky" - it's a matter of taste and choice.

I can assure you, I changed mine easily by removing the cowling. I potentially have a small leak in the rear valve cover gasket. At that point - I'll *have* to remove the UIM - at that point, I'll change the gaskets. Right now, the car is running wonderfully. I was able to get to the rear plugs with no issues and do what I wanted to do.

That's the name of the game.
 

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Done mine twice with the COP without pulling the intake.
COP = coil on plug
2000 Sable
 

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All I can say is: You would be crazy NOT to pull the UIM on a 96-99 Duratec to change the plugs. The amount of crap build up is unbelievable, to the point of actually hurting top end performance if you go by the standard plug change interval (100k). On top of that, the secondary runners are at risk of binding and breaking the cable if they aren't cleaned out. Seafoam isn't going to do jack here to fix this mess.
 
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