Got some new plugs today. Couldn't find any dealers in town with enough stock of the correct Motorcraft plugs for my '03 4.0 so I remembered reading on here that the Autolites would work fine too. Took a few minutes of cross-referencing at Autozone but I ended up with Autolite Platinum 5144s. They (as many have found) list the OHC plugs as what goes in the SOHC 4.0s as the same which is NOT correct. Fortunately the guy at the counter was cool and worked with me. Also stopped by the dealer down the street and picked up a new PCV valve. It was $14, not bad.
AS for doing the plugs, it was much easier than I was expecting. I jacked it up and took the tire and splash guard out from the passenger side and besides having to get a little creative with some extensions and one swivel, I got it all done. The back and middle plug on that side are kind of a pain becuase my plug socket kept getting stuck on the new plug after it was installed with no easy way to get it off. Ended up using a bent nose set of narrow vise grips to grab it and pull it off on both of those plugs but it took a minute to finangle it in there. Heres the original plugs that came out...not in bad shape, but the gaps were not even close to being even. Keep in mind the truck only has 58K on it:
Now, heres some pics and info on the PCV valve replacement if it helps anyone. Heres the Motorcraft part. If you go with aftermarket, make sure it has that "horseshoe" around it for the coolant.
Its located on the back side of the drivers valve cover:
With the engine cooled off, pull the large hose off the valve. Now just twist the whole valve about 1/3 turn counterclockwise and it comes right out...
Now you just slide back the clips on the coolant lines and remove it. Much easier to access the coolant lines and clips with the valve out of the valve cover.
This one was pretty nasty but was still operational. You can tell by shaking it and listening to the "rattle" inside. I imagine you could clean it out and re-use it but I just went with the new one.
I put a drop of oil on the coolant "horseshoe" of the new valve to make sliding the lines back on easier. Now just re-install it, replace the coolant lines/clips and stick the large line back on...easy.