Frustration surrounds the Ford 5.4 Triton Engine. First, Ford had problems, according to Consumer Affairs, when the 5.4-litre engine blew spark plugs out of the head. Then, models from 2004 to 2008 were affected by spark plugs that were hard to remove and broke off in the head, according to Ford Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 8-7-6. This affects all Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles with the 5.4-litre engine. The best spark plugs to install for the 5.4-litre Triton engine resist carbon build-up, are durable and come in one-piece.
The new Motorcraft spark plug for the 5.4 Triton engine, the MC SP507 platinum plug, replaces the old plug, PZT14F. The SP507 is one piece and has a little more durability. The design prevents fouling at low engine speeds, and is self-cleaning at high engine speeds. The old PZT14F was designed in two pieces, and would have a tendency to break off in the head due to carbon build-up on the seat. The newer plug tends to be more durable in the torque stress. The lack of carbonisation build-up with the newer model aids in removing used spark plugs. This spark plug was made for the Ford owner who wants to stick with original equipment.
According to Drew Shippy, a spokesperson from Champion, "The new Champion 7989, another one-piece design, has greater durability and is the hottest-selling spark plug Champion has." The Champion 7989 has a double platinum design, and withstands the carbon build-up characteristic of the 5.4 Triton engine. Its one-piece design addresses the problem of breakage during removal, and the superior heat-active alloy prevents excessive carbon build-up. The Champion is crimped and laser-welded to form one piece.
Autolite makes the HT-1.5, which was designed to be more durable than the HT-1. This single platinum spark plug was the Autolite answer to plugs breaking in the 5.4 Triton engines. According to Autolite, the original plug was redesigned for enhanced durability and power. Autolite designed the HT-1.5 to run hotter. Hotter-running plugs do not corrode and foul, and are self-cleaning. The spark plug continues to be a two-piece design, but incorporates a nickel plating to prevent corrosion and carbonisation. The old Autolite plugs were designed with copper sheath and threads, which were prone to fusing and corroding.
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