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Poll: Best Spark Plugs and Best Oil for 1996 4.0L V6


RolandTrafton

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Hey Gang.

I just bought a 1996 Ford Ranger with 125,000 Miles, but it is in excellent condition. I think a Navy guy was the last owner. Very clean truck.

I’m going to do a tune up on it as I usually do after buying a used car, but was curious what you guys would personally favor for a 1996 4.0L V6 Ranger 4x4 when it comes to Spark Plugs and Oil

Spark Plugs: I’m going Motorcraft and nothing else, but am flip flopping between Copper, Platinum, Double Platinum, and Iridium. I’ve been steered slightly towards Double Platinum— some peculiarity in the firing order of the 4.0L that makes this plug favorable.

Oil: I live in Southern California where it’s been 100 Degrees all week and am often in Arizona, Nevada, all the toasty neighboring states. I’m leaning towards Mobil One High Mileage 10W-30 All Synthetic with a Motorcraft Filter.

So what does everyone have to say?
 


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Motorcraft or Autolite (Autolite makes Motorcraft plugs so they are the same thing) double platinum or iridium plugs only. Anything less will wear too fast due to the waste spark ignition system.

Use a motorcraft filter. They have the best drain back and bypass valves plus ford would not put cheap filters on their vehicles so you know they work.

I'm not touching the oil debate again. :ROFLMAO: just use the proper weight and if nothing is leaking you don't need high mileage. High mileage just has additives in it to swell gaskets.
 
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sgtsandman

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If the cooling system of the truck is working the way it is supposed to, you shouldn’t need more than the OEM specification. Full synthetic would better but it isn’t required since it holds up longer than petroleum or blend oil does.

The rest was already answered by Dirtman.
 

19Walt93

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Motorcraft and Autolite aren't the same anymore. I use the Motorcraft plug the vehicle calls for. Motorcraft is my first choice for filters, but Purolator and Wix are good ones, too. Napa and Carquest filters are made by Wix. My 11 Ranger 4.0 sohc got about 1 mpg better with Mobil 1 and the thrust bearings in my Mustang lived a lot longer when I was drag racing using Mobil 1. I'd use the recommended viscosity oil, 5w30 I think in your case and change it at least twice a year. If it doesn't get cold there 10w30 would work OK, too. Oil is actually multi viscosity, it's just more temperature stabile: 5w30 doesn't get thicker than a 5w when cold or act thinner than 30w when hot. 5w30 should flow better on a cold start than 10w30, keep in mind the engine thinks "cold" is less than operating temp.
 

RolandTrafton

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Ok great. Thanks guys. I’m going 5W-30 Mobil 1 All Synthetic because 5W-30 is Factory Specand don’t wanna go off course.

I got a problem with the spark plugs though: I can’t for the life of me find Motorcraft Double Platinum Spark Plugs that fit a 1996 Ranger 4.0 V6 on the internet! RockAuto just has single platinum Motorcraft. Same with PartsGeek.

All the Motorcraft Double Platinum Spark Plugs for sale from the auto parts retailers (AutoZone, Oreillys, etc) indicate “DOES NOT FIT” for a 1996 4.0

What the hell? Where do I get Motorcraft double plats for my 4.0???
 

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Should be #SP-486

Your truck actually came with 2 different spark plugs from the factory, one side had single platinum and one side had double platinum (ford was too cheap to use double platinum on both sides so they only put double platinum on the waste spark side). This is where the confusion on auto parts store websites comes from.
 

Eddo Rogue

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Mine only like the Motorcraft or Autolites. Double platinum or iridium. Hated the NGK's, ran like crap.
 

RolandTrafton

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Yeah it looks like SP-486 are the Single Platinum Motorcraft Plugs that came factory along the side that wasn’t Waste Spark.

Any idea what the model number is for the Double Platinum Motorcraft Plugs that came factory on the Waste Spark side?

Or at the very least, a model of Double Platinum Motorcraft Plug that would work well. Not sure if depth and thread varies much across all Motorcraft plugs but I’m trying to be as precise as I can be.

Obviously I’ve zeroed in on doing Double Platinum for the whole engine.
 

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Hmmmm went to look them up and one site lists them as single platinum and one site lists them as having a platinum electrode and platinum ground which obviously means double platinum so I'm a bit confused myself....
 

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+1 for Motorcraft wires and plugs (autolite as well). I am currently using them and have had good results.

I did use proper spec'd acdelco plugs with Motorcraft wires in my 4.0 ohv for a few months, can't report that I had any issues.
 

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Waste spark on a V6? What? This isn't the 4 cylinder forum...

I've always run Autolite single platinums in my 4.0 trucks. They work fine and are reasonably priced.

Filters: usually use Motorcraft

Oil: Whatever 5w-30 or 10w-30 is cheap... currently I have Mobil 1 in my Explorer because I got a shit load of it for $11/5 quarts on clearance at Tractor Supply. But I would use just about anything. OHV 4.0s are really not sophisticated, tight clearance engines...thus your range of appropriate products is pretty wide.

I can't speak for better gas mileage or engine longevity or anything with the Mobil 1, but I have noticed that I don't have to add any between changes in this particular engine... it burns roughly a quart of dino oil every 3000 miles, this oil change I am close to 5000 miles and it's maybe only half a quart low right now. @PetroleumJunkie412 hates Mobil 1 though, you will find both ends of the spectrum here.
 

Dirtman

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Waste spark on a V6? What? This isn't the 4 cylinder forum...
All the ranger engines with EDIS are waste spark systems. On the 4.0 cylinders 1 & 5, 2 & 6, and 3 & 4 share coils and fire together.
 

Shran

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All the ranger engines with EDIS are waste spark systems. On the 4.0 cylinders 1 & 5, 2 & 6, and 3 & 4 share coils and fire together.
I don't understand how that translates into special plugs being necessary for waste spark. There is only one plug per cylinder, so does that mean that all the plugs fire on the exhaust stroke as well or just 1-2-3 (or 3-4-5 or 1-3-5 or what?)

I can see why a 4 cylinder with two plugs per cylinder maybe would have a specific plug for one "side" of the head or the other but the V6 end of this discussion makes no sense. Pardon my ignorance? It makes absolute sense on a 4 cylinder because you're firing every cylinder on exhaust and compression but on a V6, why would you have special plugs on one head?
 

Dirtman

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Because one side (bank #1) always fires from electrode to ground on both compression and exhaust stroke, but bank #2 fires from ground to electrode during the exhaust stroke. The polarity is backwards.

A single platinum plug has a platinum coated electrode but not a platinum coated ground. This is fine for bank #1 which is always firing from the electrode. But because bank #2 fires backwards on the wasted spark, the ground wears faster unless it also has a platinum coating aka double platinum.

So from the factory bank 1 uses single platinum and bank 2 uses double platinum.

Im sure @RonD could explain that alot better lol.
 
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Shran

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Gotcha. That makes sense. I wonder how that affects long term longevity of a single platinum plug in the real world. Seems to me that people either change plugs way before they actually need to, or never change them at all.
 

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