Champion 7989 One Piece Design Spark Plug – Ford 3V

6:08 pm Ford Problems, How To Auto Repair, Lisle Specialty Tools, What's New?

Champion 7989 spark plugs are a one piece design that eliminates separating (image courtesy of ModdedMustangs.com).

Summary: In this auto repair blog post, we provide information about an improved design spark plug for Ford 3 valve engines. The original equipment Ford Motorcraft spark plugs have became notorious for breaking when being removed.  One of our previous articles is on broken spark plug removal; but who wants to put the same bad design back in?  There was a huge need for a newly designed replacement spark plug that would work in place of Ford’s badly designed spark plug that has caused much expense and inconvenience for many Ford owners. This article is about that plug and has application information as well.


Ford owners looking for a better spark plug to put back in their vehicle after going through broken spark plug blues are turning to the Champion 7989 one piece design. The two piece Ford design has been a total nightmare for unsuspecting Ford owners and mechanics. The original spark plugs can break easily due to a combination a poorly designed spark plug and carbon build-up. If changing the spark plugs for the first time in one of these engines, read our repair article on Changing Ford Spark Plugs 4.6, 5.4, 6.8 – Ford TSB 08-7-6. The article provides information that may help the person doing the job, from prevent breaking the spark plugs to begin with – or least it may help prevent breaking anymore. If researching how to remove broken spark plugs, we have an article that shows the Lisle 65600 DLT in action doing  just that. We sold the Ford special service tool (303-1203) when there were no other options, but now the tool we sell the most of is the 65600. In most cases this tool does the job terrifically, preventing the need to remove the cylinder heads to remove the OE separated spark plugs. The Champion replacement plug at this time only comes in one heat range, however this seems a like a small trade-off to have a plug that’s not going to break at the time of the next tune up!

The Champion Double Platinum Power spark plug (7989) one-piece design is the one I would choose if faced with this dilemma. In addition to its problem-solving design, the new Champion Double Platinum Power plug features the conventional looking electrode which can be gapped. The Motorcraft design has a n electrode saddle which due to design CANNOT be re-gapped. The new Champion plug also has an exclusive Heat-Active alloy, which enables the plug to reach and maintain the optimum temperature range more efficiently.

The new Champion Double Platinum Power spark plug is available at this time for the following vehicles:

  • Ford Expedition                   2005-08     5.4  V8
  • Ford Explorer                       2006-07     4.6  V8
  • Ford F-150                           2004-07     5.4  V8
  • Ford F-250 Super Duty      2005-08     5.4  V8 and 6.8  V10
  • Ford F-350 Super Duty      2005-08     5.4 V8 and 6.8  V10
  • Ford F-450 Super Duty      2005-07     6.8 V10
  • Ford F-550 Super Duty      2005-07     6.8 V10
  • Ford Mustang                      2005-07     4.6 V8
  • Lincoln Mark Lt.                  2006-07      5.4 V8)
  • Lincoln Navigator               2005-07     5.4 V8
  • Mercury Mountaineer         2006-07     4.6 V8

Question  What happens if you do everything possible to prevent BREAKING the plug but then you end up with stripped out THREADS?

Answer  We have a Time-Sert Kit for replacing damaged spark plug threads – see the related links below.

Please reference this auto repair article when quoting, linking to this page is welcomed and appreciated. If you are new to linking a page. 1. Left click the link; to highlight  2. Right click, select copy 3. Right click and paste to forum, blog web page etc. Thanks! Disclaimer: Auto repair information/tips are designed for informational purposes only, without warranty of any kind, in no event shall the author of this site be liable for any consequential, incidental or direct damages sustained in the course of using the information in this article.

Related Articles or Products

Ford Spark Plug Removal Tool – Picture of Ford’s Bad Design

Lisle 65600 DLT

Changing Ford Spark Plugs 4.6, 5.4, 6.8 – Ford TSB 08-7-6

Stripped Spark Plug Repair Kit for Ford 3V Engine with 16×1.5

TIME-SERT 3221

Calvan 39300 Insert Kit Ford 3V

25 Responses
  1. Eduardo :

    Date: January 10, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    !great articles! I am going through the process of repairing a broken spark plug tip and for sure I am exchanging from m/craft to champion spark plug. Tks. for Your contribution
    Ed

  2. J :

    Date: May 16, 2010 @ 4:27 am

    How are customers liking the Champion Spark Plugs in the 150s?

  3. pekeen :

    Date: June 4, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    i got a set 7989 champion. they would not fit my 2008 5.4 ford 150

  4. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 4, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    Pekeen, some newer 2008′s and up may use a special M12x1.25 (instaed of the older Taper seat plug. Always double check the application before purchasing. If possible compare the replacements with an old one – make sure the thread pitch and diameter up (older plugs like in the 7989 is 16 x 1.5mm.

  5. Michael :

    Date: August 30, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    I’ve never had any good luck with champions in Fords. If somebody brings a Ford into our dealership with a misfire and they just replaced the plugs, nine times out of ten they’re champions.

  6. Sunnyside Repair :

    Date: December 2, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

    We have had a number of these Fords in the shop in the past few years for this very problem. We just put a set of the Champion plugs in a test truck for a local tire dealer. Will post results as they come up, but they look like they should fix the problem! (I’m a 19 year Ford dealer vet) Left them in 1995 to persue my own shop & I’m still doing it! The comment above on Champion was always the same for me before also. Let’s see if they have done their homework.

  7. brad bryan :

    Date: September 5, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    I have an 08 f150 5.4 does it have the bad plugs in it or did Ford fix the problem?

  8. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 5, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Brad, some 2008 Fords have a little different design and some don’t. A different seat may be the only difference. I recommend handling them as if they have the same issue, as far as we know, they still may break. Good Luck.

  9. Glenn :

    Date: December 22, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Just read this article which notes, “The original equipment Ford Motorcraft spark plugs have became notorious for breaking when being removed.”, this on the new 3V V10 engines. You recommendation to use Champion 7989 which is a 1 piece design. The article shows only 2005 thru 2008, but not later years.
    As I have a 2011 chassis (engine hopefully the same year) my question is, has anyone had any problems when replacing their spark plugs in a 2009 thru 2011 engine? Or has Ford fixed this breaking problem after 2008?

  10. Mike :

    Date: December 27, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    Is the Champion 7989 still the best way to go for my 2006 3v V-10 in my RV? Thanks.

  11. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 28, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Mike, the 7989 is the spark plug I would personally use. There have been some guys saying on the forums that they could cause a misfire code. I’m not sure if that can be attributed to the 7989 100% or not. I still think that the benefit of the strength of this plug would make me want to give it a try. Good Luck.

  12. Earl :

    Date: February 1, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    I’m not familiar with heat range requirements. I have a factory bi-fuel 2004 F-150. Would these plugs be appropriate for a CNG truck considering CNG burns hot? Thanks.

  13. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 2, 2012 @ 6:39 am

    Earl, I was unaware that CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles burn hotter. Here’s a thought. Since your truck has been running CNG and it burns so much cleaner, there’s a chance that you won’t have the carbon build-up that causes a problem with the OE plugs. If they come out clean and without breaking; why not just go back with OE’s? Good Luck

  14. Earl :

    Date: February 2, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    Thanks. That makes sense. I’ll see what they look like when I take them out.

  15. Lane :

    Date: April 6, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    I am replacing the plugs in my 2004 F-150 with the 5.4 3V motor. I purchased the Champion 7989 plugs. Can you tell me what the gap should be?

  16. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 7, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    Lane, by looking up the gap I see that .043″ to .045″ (Metric 1.1mm) is the gap for the spark plugs which work in this application. Good Luck.

  17. John Barnes :

    Date: April 8, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    I just replaced the plugs in my 2006 F-150 with 127.000 miles on it. what a job it was. Thank God for lisle tool I bought, it saved me a ton of money from going to the dealer. The tool really works like they say it does, just takes awhile to do the job. Take your time and you can do it. I also went with the Champion plugs 7989.

  18. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: April 8, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    John, thanks again for your purchase. Glad everything worked out well for you. Come back and visit again for your future tool needs or if there’s anything else we can help you with. Happy Easter!

  19. Ford Spark Plug Removal Tool - Picture of Ford's Bad Design | Denlors Auto Blog :

    Date: June 2, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    [...] We used our new tool today and it worked just as designed. Slick! But I think the real winner is Champion’s one piece design sparkplug! I hope Ford can get over it’s”over-design-itus” and get back to good solid [...]

  20. perry :

    Date: July 15, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Can anyone answer if the 2009 and 2010 5.4 engine still has the bad plug design or did they change the design of the heads?

  21. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 15, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    Perry, 2009 and up on the Ford 3 valve heads use a 12×1.25mm taper seat spark plug. We haven’t had too many issues reported because the design is completely different. We do have a Time-Sert kit that fixes the threads, Part number 4212H.

    Time Sert 4212H

  22. Chris :

    Date: March 23, 2013 @ 7:01 am

    I changed my plugs to these around 3k miles ago and one miss fired this week. I extracted the plug and the end is slightly melted I hope I don’t have to rechange them all over again. they seem to not be able to handle the heat

  23. Dan Luttrell :

    Date: April 3, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    2008 F250 Superduty 4X4. Maintenance snow plow equipted truck. Removed the original spark plugs. Broke four upon removal. Had to utilize the special tool to remove the broken bottom part of the sparkplugs. I tried the Champion plugs. Lasted about six months. Computer started kicking up cylinder codes. Ford tested engine. Removed champion plugs and installed Ford specified plugs. Truck has ran great every since. Motorcraft HT 15′s seem to do better. I am an ASE Master certified technician with 28 plus years in the automotive fields.

  24. leonard :

    Date: May 3, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    #3 cylinder stripped out in 2006 5.4 ford tried napa kit failed can I use a 15mm tap to thread plug hole and then insert helicoil to accept 14mm stock plug?

  25. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 3, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

    Leonard, No. Helicoil doesn’t hold up well with compression situations. We sell the Calvan 38900 for repairing the 2 valve engines that use the M14x1.25mm and the 39300 for the 3V engines with the M16x1.5mm spark plugs.

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