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98 Legacy Outback (EJ25) #2 and #4 spark plugs... how the hell


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Kwhistle

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:18 AM

do you do it???

#2 subaru360

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 12:09 PM

Take out the battery, washer jar and the air filter box.

#3 johnceggleston

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 12:38 PM

if you search for threads on this subject you will find some posts with pictures showing the various combinations of socket, extentions, ratchests, swivels, etc that folks have used to get to #4.

and of course oem plugs, you want a very long change interval.

.

#4 nipper

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 01:50 PM

Just have no children, mother in laws, or ministers within earshot when you do it.


There are some very good how to's on here, just search for them.


nipper

#5 Rooster2

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:41 PM

Just have no children, mother in laws, or ministers within earshot when you do it.


There are some very good how to's on here, just search for them.


nipper


Yea, when I did mine, I didn't cuss so much, as spend a lot of time figuring out which drive extension, or no extension, or swivel use, and which angle to approach with a drive or breaker bar. It was summer when I did mine, two plugs one night, two plugs the next night. Prolly put 3 hours + into the project. It was the most difficult plug swap I have ever done. Suggest using antisieze on the plug threads, and dialectic jelly on the plug wires at the plugs. Will make it easier to change plugs in the future, if I ever need to do so.

I gave some thought to loosening up the motor mounts, then jacking up one side of the engine to gain work access, but never tried that, but maybe that would work.

#6 subaru360

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:47 PM

I can change them in about 10-15 mins. But I do it often.

#7 nipper

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:48 PM

I can change them in about 10-15 mins. But I do it often.


We dont like you anymore :mad:

:P

Unless your talking about a 360 then just go away


hehehehe

#8 JGromada

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:34 PM

i found a swivel joint extension when used with the spark plus socket is just the perfect length. I use that combination in particular to insert a new plug by hand (no socket wrench) into the engine. A swivel joint is nice because you sort of need to bend the extension to get the plug (& socket) to go in othewise you bump into the sidewalls of the engine compartment.

I have always found inserting new plugs much, much trickier than removing the old ones. The spacing is just soo tight. and its not a whole lot easier trying it from under neath the car.

I Like threads like this because you get some good ideas.

#9 davebugs

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:40 PM

I can change them in about 10-15 mins. But I do it often.


Assuming they aren't gaulded - that's about all the more it takes.

Anti-seize!!!! on the fresh ones. I also put dielectric grease on the plug wires and porcelin of the plug.

Another thing I've seen done that makes enough sense that I often do it. Get a way, way long extension - especially for the drivers side - like a couple feet long. Rather than trying to use the ratchet in the engine compartment get one long enough that the ratchet is actually outside the fender. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. I bought a cheap (GRIP) set just for this. And an excellent swivel spark plug socket (S-K or K-D - I always get them confused). A great combination.

#10 mdjdc

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:20 AM

The last time I did mine, I unbolted the motor mount on the side I was sorking on and did the job. Much easier and less cursing. I use an old wire boot to put them back in so that I cannot possibly crossthread them. Of course, the boot is not a subaru boot and I leave a little of the wire on it so I have something to spin. This system works great and was shown to me by my mechanic.

#11 davebugs

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:02 PM

The last time I did mine, I unbolted the motor mount on the side I was sorking on and did the job. Much easier and less cursing. I use an old wire boot to put them back in so that I cannot possibly crossthread them. Of course, the boot is not a subaru boot and I leave a little of the wire on it so I have something to spin. This system works great and was shown to me by my mechanic.


An old piece of hose works too. Old because they are more mallable than a new hunk that's still curved from being on the roll.

#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 09:20 PM

You guys think Subarus are bad, try changing the plugs on the rear bank of a 3.3L Taurus engine. Or worse, a Windstar. And even those aren't all that bad compared to the 3 valve 3.0 V6 Mercedes used for years in the late 90's and early 00's. Twin plug, and they're on the bottom half of the head next to the exhaust manifold. Can't change them without removing the engine. :eek:

#13 Gloyale

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 09:47 PM

You know how spark plug sockets have that hex head on the back of them, Like 7/8ths or something?

I've found that the spark plug socket with a deep 7/8ths over it makes the perfect length.

Also, make sure the rubber sleeve in your spark plug socket is glued into the socket, or just remove it.

The worst thing that can happen with these is for that sleeve to slide off when you remove the socket. If that happens, you won't be able to re-seat the plug wires.

#14 themoneypit

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 01:41 AM

you would think that subaru wouldve put an access hole in the frame rail... like they did on the SVXs. no wait, thatd make too much sense. maybe subaru thinks.... hey lets stuff a motor in there that grenades headgaskets and for shyts and giggles lets make the plugs a complete PITA....

#15 Gnuman

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 02:50 AM

you would think that subaru wouldve put an access hole in the frame rail... like they did on the SVXs. no wait, thatd make too much sense. maybe subaru thinks.... hey lets stuff a motor in there that grenades headgaskets and for shyts and giggles lets make the plugs a complete PITA....


I say we should organize a trip to FHI headquarters in Japan, so that we can express our appreciation to the engineer that did not test fit the engine in the car before putting a whole bunch of them on the road. . .

#16 Rooster2

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:34 AM

you would think that subaru wouldve put an access hole in the frame rail... like they did on the SVXs. no wait, thatd make too much sense. maybe subaru thinks.... hey lets stuff a motor in there that grenades headgaskets and for shyts and giggles lets make the plugs a complete PITA....


I thought the same thing when I changed my plugs.......why not a hole in the frame rail to facilitate plug changing. I guess the engineers who design Subies, are not into user friendly maintenance......or maybe ?? has this been adopted to the latest Subies on the road??

#17 Bluestone

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:55 AM

Before I did my first spark plug change on my 2000 Legacy wagon a while back I was a bit concerned after hearing how "difficult" it was to do but I really found the procedure to be pretty easy.
I first moved aside the washer reservoir and the air cleaner conduit, then pulled the battery(some leave the battery in but I removed it to assure easy access).
Spark plug access was then a "piece of cake". I connected my spark plug socket to a 10 inch extension and attached that to a flex head socket wrench.
Plugs removed quite easily(the previous plugs were not overly tightened).
I installed NGK platinum-tipped plugs(#BKR6EGP) , smearing their threads with anti-seize compound.
I also replaced the spark plug wires using NGK wires.
The whole process was without drama and took me about 2 hours(no need to rush).
My Legacy wagon has been running just fine since then.
Anyway, quality spark plugs will last a good 30k miles before they should be replaced so plug replacement is not a frequent necessity if engine is in good shape.

#18 Kwhistle

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:44 PM

Spark plug access was then a "piece of cake". I connected my spark plug socket to a 10 inch extension and attached that to a flex head socket wrench.

That wouldn't work on my '98. Maybe it's just that my mounts are worn out and engine seats deeper in there, but there is no way to get a 10 in extension into the plug well. At best, it may work with a couple uni joint extensions, but there is no way to ratchet that.

#19 98obster

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 09:10 PM

I haven't changed mine yet but it looks like a straight shot from underneath looking up. anyone?

#20 Rooster2

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 12:33 PM

Before I did my first spark plug change on my 2000 Legacy wagon a while back I was a bit concerned after hearing how "difficult" it was to do but I really found the procedure to be pretty easy.
I first moved aside the washer reservoir and the air cleaner conduit, then pulled the battery(some leave the battery in but I removed it to assure easy access).
Spark plug access was then a "piece of cake". I connected my spark plug socket to a 10 inch extension and attached that to a flex head socket wrench.
Plugs removed quite easily(the previous plugs were not overly tightened).
I installed NGK platinum-tipped plugs(#BKR6EGP) , smearing their threads with anti-seize compound.
I also replaced the spark plug wires using NGK wires.
The whole process was without drama and took me about 2 hours(no need to rush).
My Legacy wagon has been running just fine since then.
Anyway, quality spark plugs will last a good 30k miles before they should be replaced so plug replacement is not a frequent necessity if engine is in good shape.


Up the millage to around 100k miles, maybe more before another plug change. Few years back I bought a 99 OBW with 148k miles on the odo, pretty sure they were the originals. Motor still ran pretty good. Plugs were super tight and hard to break loose. Plug wires seemed shrink wrapped to the tops of the plugs, because they had been on the car so long. I had to destroy the wires to remove from the plugs.

#21 Kwhistle

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:50 PM

Well, finally got to it yesterday so I'll post how I did it just for the sake of general interest.

The whole thing took me good 3 and half hours. I started with the hardest one, the #4. After I tried every extension and uni joint I could think of, including the configuration from the manual, I ended up using the 5/8 plug socket with a 3 in extension. A little problem--had to insert each of the pieces one at a time. First, inserted the socket (without the rubber plug holder!) onto the spark plug inside the plug well. Then, put the 3 in extension. Keep in mind, all of this was done blindly, just by feel. I had less than 2 inches of space to mover my fingers around there. The extension was about 1/2 inch too short to get a regular ratchet in there, but luckily, I had a flexhead ratchet handy, and was able to get it in, barely.

The next problem came up when I loosened the plug and it stared coming out. With the little space there, it was borderline impossible to get the ratchet out once the plug was half-way out. I had to use a small screwdriver, to detach the extension because there simply wasn't enough space for me to hold it with my fingers. Once the spark plug was about 90% out, I pulled out the extension. It was held up by the plug socket, so it took some serious manipulation to loosen it off, while inside the plug hold because both the socket and the extension wouldn't come out together. Got the socket off the plug with magnetic pickup. Finally unscrewed the rest 10% of the way with my fingers in the hole.

Putting in the new plug was the reverse of all that. First screwed it in with my hands, then got plug socket on it, then 3 in extension on top of that, and finally tightened it with a ratchet. There was no way to get a torque wrench in there, so I just tightened it up to what seemed reasonable.

The other plugs had a bit more room around them, so it went much easier there, but still the same routine. I was able to get torque wrench in there, and tightened them all properly to 15 ft-lb as recommended in the manual for plugs with anti-seize.

I meant to take a few pics, but got pretty tired with all of this, so only took a pic of the #4. The arrow points to the 3 in extension in the plug well. I have no idea where in the world people would stick 10-in or longer extensions that I keep on reading about.

One thing I would most definitely recommend for this job is magnetic pickup, a good one. Seems like a small thing, but you do drop things... a lot. Don't do this without one of these.

Attached Files


Edited by Kwhistle, 13 December 2009 - 08:45 PM.


#22 98sub2500leg

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:47 AM

Well, there isn't much clearance on the 98' to the sidewall that's for sure. I loosen the plug with the Gloyale combo. I'm sure a lot of us have many a plug sockets from the rubber coming out then having to purchase yet another one.
On a few occasions I grabbed the wrong socket with the rubber out of the socket(lost) and found out after the plug was unscrewed. Lucky for me I have small enough hands to get the tips of 2 fingers into the holes and grab the end of the extension, angle the extension to grab the socket and maneuver it out-not fun.
Dave's method with the rubber would have saved me some grief though.

#23 Rooster2

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:29 AM

When I changed plugs in my 99 OBW, it took me a good three hours of cussing, when adding and subtracting extensions, using a wobbler, and finger tip loosening, and tightening the plugs to get the job done. Nastiest plug change that I have ever done. Just no room to do work. Wish Subaru had cut nice access holes in the inside fender wells to give access. It would make the job a lot easier.




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