Excellent write up with pics. Thanks for the effort.
After all said and done, it wasn't bad at all, the anticipation is what is bad, and this is even with no experience working on cars...just be PATIENT.
I have a 2006 5.4L with 59,500 miles. I also did a hybrid method with the TSB, no air tools though. I also removed the air cleaner which helped to get at the 2 plugs closest to the firewall.
I used a standard ratchet to crack them before applying the pb blaster/carb cleaner and I'm convinced that I cracked the porcelain on one plug as a result (I would recommend using the beam torque wrench for this step too). Soaked them overnight. Used a beam torque wrench to work back and forth for a good 5-10 minutes each. I would go back and forth 1/8 turn until it felt smooth and no binding, then advance 1/8 and repeat.
I broke one, but as mentioned I think I broke it on the initial cracking...going too fast. I repeat, be PATIENT and this is not a daunting project.
In addition to the tools mentioned, I got an
. For the most part a 3" and 6" socket extension work well, but for the 2 closest to the firewall I needed something in between. Northern Tool had 1" and 2" extensions that worked well to avoid using an angle joint. I would NOT use an angle joint as the lateral stress is sure to crack the porcelain.
The Lisle tool is super easy to use. I spent more time working a good plug out than extracting a broken one.
At less than $150, less if you resell the special tools, it's a no brainer. I'm using the savings to upgrade my 2WD hub/rotors to Centric 2 piece (120.65128). Will still come out cheaper than the dealer would have charged just to change the plugs! If anyone is on the fence, you can do it.
Now what other widespread issues are on these trucks that I need to figure out?