Fuller Ford’s Response to the I-Team’s Reports on 5.4 liter (3 valve) Engine Spark Plug Replacment

March 1, 2012

Hagit Limor and Phil Drechsler,

I wanted to write this letter in response to the recent I-Team investigation titled “$2,000 spark plugs, what some call design flaw, Ford calls routine”. I am the Service Manager at Fuller Ford in Downtown Cincinnati, a position I have held for 28 years.

I do acknowledge that the spark plugs on the Ford 5.4 (3 valve) engine do have a tendency to seize in the head of the engine, and that this often results in several plugs breaking off in the head and requiring extraction. However I do take great exception to the prices quoted, timeline represented, and general difficulty of the procedure as outlined in your article.

First, it is important to consider that the price of spark plugs, and therefore the price of a tune-up, has increased over the last decade, but it is important to note that the interval at which this service is required to be performed has decreased correspondingly. Spark plug intervals are now at 100k miles as opposed to the 15k and 30k mileage intervals of earlier models.

Second, Fuller Ford routinely quotes $540 to $750 to replace all eight spark plugs, depending on how many break. I would estimate that Fuller Ford has performed tune ups on 300 plus 5.4 (3 valve) engines, and with varying results. At times no plugs break, often several plugs break, and yes in some instances all of the plugs will break (in this scenario the worse case of $750.00 plus tax would apply). Very rarely, only once that I can recall, has a plug been seized so severe that the head of the engine would need to come off. The $2000.00 to $3500.00 price quoted in this article was shocking and quite frankly a gross misrepresentation of the reality of the procedure.

Finally, Ford, and several other tool distributers, have provided tools that help to extract broken plugs. These tools have been out for years, are relatively inexpensive for a shop to purchase, and greatly reduce the difficulty of the procedure. Generally speaking, the turn-around time, in the event that all plugs break, would be a day to a day and a half.

Fuller Ford has been a proud Ford franchise in Cincinnati since the 1920’s. After reading this article I felt compelled to both acknowledge that this problem does exist, but also to present a fair representation of the realty of the situation.


Tod Schachleiter

Service Manager

Fuller Ford Inc.


Ford F-150 Is Motor Trend’s 2012 Truck of the Year

January 3, 2012

2012 truck of the year

The 2012 Ford F-150, which established a new standard for full-size pickups with best-in-class fuel efficiency and capability, today was named Motor Trend’s 2012 Truck of the Year®.

“The 2012 F-150 is a no-compromise solution that can be tailored to fit virtually every customer’s needs, and the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award further reinforces that this is truly the best choice for America’s truck owners,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “We are proud to receive this award and even more pleased that our F-150 customers have additional validation of their top choice.”

This is the fourth time the F-150 has won the award – the most awards for any truck since Motor Trend began presenting its Truck of the Year award in 1989. The Ford pickup received the magazine’s prestigious award for previous groundbreaking new models in 1997, 2004 and 2009.

Motor Trend editors applauded F-150 because, they said, “F-150s are built to work and felt better the more they were challenged. Ford offers an enormous variety of configurations and designs, making the truck tailorable to just about any need. It’s the combination of advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and the performance of intended function that has earned the Ford F-150 the title of Motor Trend’s 2012 Truck of the Year.”

With more than a half-million sales through November and a lead of almost 150,000 sales versus the nearest competitor, the Ford F-Series is on track this year to extend its streak of truck leadership to 35 straight years.

Helping spark the F-150’s continued success is the powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, which now accounts for more than 40 percent of F-150 retail sales and is on pace to exceed 100,000 sales in less than a year on the market.

More capability, more technology

The 2012 F-150 offers customers plenty of technologies that boost capability, performance, driving enjoyment and fuel efficiency. One such technology is the class-exclusive electric power-assisted steering (EPAS). The system has been carefully tuned with sophisticated speed mapping to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking maneuvers. Ford is the first manufacturer to widely offer EPAS on full-size pickup trucks. EPAS contributes about a 4 percent fuel-economy benefit compared with conventional hydraulic systems.

A 4.2-inch LCD message center that features information related to fuel economy, towing performance and off-roading, SYNC® AppLink™ and SiriusXM Travel Link also are among the customer conveniences available.

New features for 2012 include:

•36-gallon fuel tank on 4×4 F-150 EcoBoost-equipped units providing best-in-class 756 miles of driving range

•Two-speed automatic 4×4 system on Lariat, King Ranch, Harley-Davidson and Platinum models for improved all-weather traction

•Hill Start Assist, which helps keep the truck from rolling backward at a stop, making it easier to pull away when on a slope or hill, especially when towing

•Best-in-class payload capability of 3,120 pounds

Fuel-efficient and powerful offerings

All of the changes for the 2012 model year complement a powertrain lineup that debuted in 2011. The powertrain lineup delivers a mix of best-in-class fuel economy, horsepower, torque and capability. Ford is also the first and only manufacturer to equip its entire full-size pickup truck lineup with a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission as standard. Engine highlights include:

 3.7-liter four-valve Ti-VCT V6:

•Best-in-class 302 horsepower at 6,500 rpm vs. V6 competitors

•Unsurpassed 278 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm vs. V6 competitors

•Best-in-class 17 mpg city and best-in-class 23 mpg highway (4×2)

•Best-in-class 6,100 pounds maximum trailer tow vs. V6 competitors

5.0-liter four-valve DOHC Ti-VCT V8:

•Best-in-class 360 horsepower at 5,500 rpm vs. standard V8 competitors

•Best-in-class 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,250 rpm vs. standard V8 competitors

•21 mpg highway, unsurpassed 15 mpg city (4×2)

•Best-in-class 10,000 pounds maximum trailer tow vs. standard V8 competitors

6.2-liter two-valve SOHC V8:

•Best-in-class 411 horsepower at 5,500 rpm vs. all competitors

•Best-in-class 434 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm vs. all competitors

•13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway (4×2)

•Best-in-class 11,300 pounds maximum trailer tow vs. all competitors

3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost:

•365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel

•Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors

•Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm

•22 mpg highway, 16 mpg city (4×2)

•Best-in-class 11,300 pounds maximum trailer tow vs. all competitors

•Best-in-class 3,120 pounds payload vs. all competitors

Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. Fuller Ford is Cincinnati’s truck leader. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.


PUCO Rules and Regulations

July 26, 2011

Don’t let this happen to you! PUCO rules and regulations are real and are being enforced. Recently the Cincinnati Police pulled over two trucks right in front of Fuller Ford because they did not adhere to PUCO regulations. This particular company had two dump trucks pulled over by local law enforcement because their total vehicle weight far exceeded the GVWR of the vehicles. If law enforcement suspects your vehicle is overloaded or does not have the proper license plates, they will not hesitate to pull you over. On this particular day, the police pulled over and weighed both vehicles on the spot. The individuals were then ticketed for the offense.

Many commercial truck owners are confused by the rules and regulations regarding operation of a commercial truck. This is compounded by the 500 plus pages of information in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Pocketbook or the 300 plus pages of information printed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  Here is our attempt to simplify the information overload.

First of all there are some key terms that need to be explained:

Inter or Intrastate transport:  Interstate is defined as crossing state lines. Intrastate is transport within a particular state’s boundaries.

Private or for Hire: If you transport your own property, equipment or personnel, you are a private carrier.  If you transport property, equipment, or passengers and receive compensation you are a for-hire carrier or common motor carrier.

GVW or GVWR: Stands for Gross Vehicle Weight or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the total combined weight of the truck, passengers, cargo, fuel, and towed units if the GVWR of the towed unit is 10,001 lbs. or more.  The GVWR is located on the left front door or door jamb of the truck on the vehicle identification decal or plate.

If you transport hazardous materials and placards are required on your trucks, the PUCO regulations apply to you. Therefore, you definitely need to get an annual DOT inspection.  In Ohio, call 614-466-3392 to get your DOT number and register with The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

A brief overview of whether PUCO regulations apply for non-hazardous motor carriers:



*GVWR includes towed unit with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more. For example, on the second line above, if the customer is towing a 10,001 lbs. trailer, the GVWR of the towing vehicle cannot exceed 16,000 lbs. or PUCO regulations would apply.

More specific information about the above and guidelines for Motor Carriers of passengers can be viewed/downloaded here:

PUCO handbook pdf

Fuller Ford performs annual DOT inspections for $89.95. This includes pulling the wheels and performing a complete brake inspection.  The customer will be notified of any violations of PUCO regulations and advised on any brake repairs or other maintenance.  If it is the first DOT inspection, including new vehicles the DOT inspection plus the required fire extinguisher, triangle kit costs $229.95. Fuller Ford will also put the necessary inspection decal on the truck, keep the required files, and notify you every year when your inspection is due.  Not only are you complying with state law, but you are getting a very important and proper vehicle inspection as well.  Please contact Fuller Ford’s service department for an appointment: http://www.fullerisford.com/schedule-service.aspx.

2011 Ford Super Duty Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Tutorial

October 14, 2010


Injection of DEF to reduce NOx is a proven technology used throughout the auto industry. Unlike other manufacturers’ solutions, the DEF system allows the diesel engine to run at its optimum range in terms of fuel mixture – some systems require the engine to run richer, which can be harmful to diesel engines, to control the NOx.

  • DEF is a solution of approximately one-third high-purity urea and two-thirds demineralized water that is clear, nontoxic and safe to handle.
  • DEF tank, supply module and supply line are heated to help ensure DEF remains in a liquid state, preventing it from freezing while in operation or thawing from a frozen state.
  • DEF is injected into the exhaust system, to greatly reduce NOx levels.
  • The DEF tank includes temperature and fluid level sensors, and when the level reaches an approximate 800 mile distance-to-empty level, an instrument cluster warning alerts the driver.
  • On Pickups, the DEF tank and fill nozzle are located together with the diesel fuel tank and fill nozzle on the driver’s side of the vehicle and require refilling at oil-change intervals.


Watch this short tutorial on how to properly fill your DEF tank and when to fill it according to the message center in the instrument cluster:  


DEF is available at Fuller Ford in 1 gallon bottles or in bulk. Call our parts department at (513) 352-5870 or (888) 893-7505 or contact us at http://www.fullerisford.com/order-parts.aspx for more information.

As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. This includes the entire Super Duty line-up! Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s truck leader. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Fuller Ford can help you with all your Super Duty questions and needs! Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.

Ford Truck Commercial Upfit Rebates

September 9, 2010

Ford’s long history in the commercial vehicle market is backed by a reputation of quality, power, dependability and value. Ford Truck Commercial Connection Incentives offer even more value to your business with added purchasing power.


  • Pickups: Plow, Salt Spreader, Tool Boxes, Rear Lift Gates, Side Racks, Ladder Racks, Spray Tanks and Spreaders, Winches, Professionally created and permanently installed painted or vinyl company graphics and logos.
  • Chassis Cabs: Beverage Trucks, Box/PDV Trucks, Crane Body, Dump Trucks, Flat-Bed/Stake Trucks, Plow, Service/Utility Trucks, Spreader, Tow Trucks
  • Cutaways: Ambulances, Box/PDV Trucks, Shuttle Buses, Utility Body
  • E-Series Wagons: Shuttle
  • E-Series Cargo Vans: EconoCargo Interior Systems, QuietFlex Storage Systems, Masterack Racks & Bins, Vocational Upgrades
  • Transit Connect Van: Legget & Platt, Sortimo, Katerack and Adrian Steel Interior Systems


  • Ranger Pickup: $500 Upfit Cash*
  • F150 Pickup: $500 Upfit Cash*
  • F-Series Super Duty Pickups (F250 – F450): $500 Upfit Cash*
  • F-Series Super Duty Chassis Cabs (F350 – F550): $1000 Upfit Cash*
  • F650 & F750 Super Duty Chassis Cabs: $1500 Upfit Cash*
  • Transit Connect: Up To $500 Upfit Cash**
  • E-Series Cargo Vans: $1200 Upfit Cash (Call Fuller Ford @ (513) 352-5800 x 51 for information on additional interior storage incentives)*
  • E-Series Wagons: $1000 Upfit Cash*
  • E-Series Super Duty Cutaways & Stripped Chassis: $1000 Upfit Cash*


As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. This includes ALL Ford commercial trucks! Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s commercial truck leader. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati.  Check out our entire commercial truck inventory at http://http://www.fullerisford.com/commercial-new.aspx.

*Receive upfit assistance for the cost of the upfit up to $500. Unit must contain a ship-thru code of 31D or 31C to be eligible for up to $500 upfit assistance. Non ship-thru orders are only eligible for a maximum of $400 upfit assistance on upfits costing $200 or more. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 7/31/11. See dealer for details.

**Available on upfits costing $1200 or more. Excludes available factory-installed options. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 7/31/11. Restrictions apply. See dealer for details. Units receiving any form of CPA (56A), GPC (56G), Long-Term Rental (56K) or other concessions are ineligible.

Transit Connect Offers Endless Upfitter Possibilities

June 6, 2010

The Ford Transit Connect has quickly gained a reputation for its flexible balance of capacity and fuel efficiency. No other vehicle in the American market delivers the combination of capability and fuel economy offered by Transit Connect. That is why it was named 2010 North American Truck of the Year at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. However, many people might not realize that the Transit Connect can be equipped in countless ways to cater to their business’s specific needs. Transit Connect’s multiple configurations (Van and Wagon), vertical cargo walls, long loadfloor and low load height offer virtually unlimited upfitter possibilities. There are a number of new offerings from several different upfitters such as Adrian Steel.  Fuller Ford has partnered with Industrial Ladder & Supply Company, Inc. to bring you these endless possibilities from Adrian Steel. See some of the different configurations here http://www.industrialladder.com/listProducts.do?categoryID=814. The Transit Connect can be equipped with a variety of exterior racks, interior racks, bins, bulkheads and other upfits. Transit Connect accessories include, but are not limited to:

  • Wire mesh partitions and bulkheads
  • Wall liner packages
  • Mesh screens for side and rear doors
  • Cargo management systems (racks and bins)
  • Floor-mounted storage drawers
  • Exterior utility racks, ladder racks and drop-down ladder racks

There are also a number of specialty packages and features now available for the Ford Transit Connect:

  • Electrical Contractor and Plumbing HVAC – features contractor-inspired racks and bins
  • Courier Package – offers individual shelves that can be folded up or down to accommodate a variety of cargo
  • Multi-Rack System – features two 43-inch square shelves that slide out (from the rear) and can be removed. Shelf height can be adjusted
  • Multipurpose Double Floor System – serves up three long drawers that are accessible from the rear door and one long drawer from the side. Subfloor surface (above the drawer system) is 9mm Nordic Birch plywood
  • Sliding Platform – improves side accessibility and has a 300-lb. capacity
  • And more – ask us at Fuller Ford for additional information on other possibilities for your Transit Connect


Plus, there are a number of “specialty” systems now being offered for the Transit Connect. Called “Katerack,” these systems can be ordered in Transit Connect Van or Wagon configurations. Ford Motor Company offers four specialty packages:

  • Standard three-shelf base system – features three adjustable, pull-out shelves
  • Catering Upgrade – builds off the base system and adds another full (4th) drawer
  • Painter Contractor Package – features three drawers, each designed to hold up to 30 gallons of paint. It also features a single “deep drawer” that is walled on three sides to help control tall objects
  • Floral Delivery Package – has three adjustable, pull-out shelves that feature a unique, specially designed pegged floor system that is fully adjustable and helps control a variety of package shapes (see related story)


As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. This includes the Transit Connect! Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s commercial truck leader. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati.  Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.

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