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Cannot get the Spark Plugs Out!


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17 replies to this topic

#1 sam45

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 09:40 PM

I am having a tough time replacing the spark plugs on my 96' legacy wgn. They are hard to reach and wires at the back do not come off.
I gave up half way through before I could cause serious damage.
Any tips on how to do this yourself or is this a job for a specialist?

#2 remarcable

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 09:53 PM

I find it easiest to remove the battery + battery tray along with the windshield washer resevoir for the driver's side. Some people find them easier to get at from underneath the car after you put the car on ramps.

#3 CROSSTBOLT

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 04:43 AM

Battery & window washer tank removal is a step in the correct direction. Intake duct removal for the other side highly recommended if you have not done it already. Getting the boots off require a twist first and then a pull & it will require both hands. :banghead: My Forester plugs at 20K miles were a PAIN to get the boots off! Good luck and may your knuckles survive!

#4 99obw

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 06:55 AM

I prefer to work from underneath without removing anything but the little mud shields. Twist the boots about a half turn and pull gently but firmly with spark plug wire removers or needle nose pliers. Make sure you don't pull on the wire itself, but pull on the end.

Use a torque wrench and antisieze compound when installing the new plugs.

Use a little dielectric grease on the inside of the boots when you reinstall them to make removal easier next time.

A '96 may be ready for new wires BTW.

#5 Supaglu

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 06:46 AM

Hi,
A tip for getting stuck spark plug boots off - works every time !
Grab the end of the "boot" and put a little bit of pull on it - then waggle the lead side to side vigorously - the boot will pull off with no damage to the lead. - Guarenteed !.
Dave H.

#6 mattski

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 09:04 AM

Originally posted by 99obw
I prefer to work from underneath without removing anything but the little mud shields. Twist the boots about a half turn and pull gently but firmly with spark plug wire removers or needle nose pliers. Make sure you don't pull on the wire itself, but pull on the end.

Use a torque wrench and antisieze compound when installing the new plugs.

Use a little dielectric grease on the inside of the boots when you reinstall them to make removal easier next time.

A '96 may be ready for new wires BTW.


I would disagree on the antiseize on the plugs. I think that NGK has something related to this on their website.

Matt

#7 99obw

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 10:26 AM

Matt,

Could you post a link to that? I would be interested in reading that.

#8 frag

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:34 AM

Me too, cause i always do that and have not had any (detectable...) ill effects up to now. Much easier to remove them next time.
Always ready to learn something new though.
By the way, I only put the fluid reservoir and air filter cover aside to get at the plugs. Never felt any need to remove the battery.

#9 Setright

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 02:18 PM

I lubricate the thread of my plugs with fresh engine oil and DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN them on installation. The collapsible gasket in the plug doesn't need very much pressure to seal well.

Any excess oil will burn off in the cumbustion chamber. I think the problem with anti seize is that it forms "gunk" in the chamber.

Luckily my plugs are angled upwards and a jointed socket wrench can get to them :D

#10 99obw

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 04:22 PM

I have read that using engine oil is worse than not using anything at all. The oil will burn off and leave deposits that make the plug difficult to remove.

It is important to only get the neversieze on the threads and not on the electrodes of the plug.

I couldn't find anything about neversieze on the NGK site. I did find something on another site that said it wasn't necessary to use neversieze with NGK plugs, as their threads are cold rolled instead of cut and the smoother surface eases removal.

#11 Setright

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 11:05 AM

Ermmm, I have been using Mobil 1 on plug threads for over a decade and never encountered problems. :D

#12 sprintman

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 02:16 AM

This is why I used NGK Iridiums as they will do 100,000kms and always use anti-seize on anything screwing into Aluminium. PLug changes are for the birds!

#13 sam45

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 09:27 PM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I was able to complete the job by removing the battery & case and the washer tank, and by moving aside the intake manifold. Still had a tough time with the wires: two of them came off with the lead broken inspite of holding the boots. I was replacing them anyway, so this was not a problem. I guess the wires were too old! I used NGK OEM V-POWER plugs and Subaru wires. There is some differerence and the engine runs smoother (I don't think it is my imagination) I am getting 25 mpg now and I hope this gets better.

Thanks again!!

96' Legacy, 2.2

#14 the_bard

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 04:51 PM

I've always sprayed a little WD-40 on the threads of new spark plugs... seems to make it a bit easier to remove 'em. Haven't considered what effects it would have on a cylinder/piston.

#15 scampen

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 02:36 PM

Sam45,
You mentioned a 'better' 25 MPG in your last post...I'm curious as to your MPG before the tune up?
I am in somewhat the same boat (OK, car) it seems, but with a 2.5L: 21 city, 23 hwy, and it's driving me crazy! Performance is missing - I don't expect porsche like acceleration, but at least some get-up-and-go!
Any reply would be appreciated from you or others!
Scott
'96 OBW, 2.5L, sloooow

#16 99obw

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 06:09 PM

To get good mileage your air filter, plugs, and wires must be in good shape. Once that is covered if you still don't see better mileage your O2 sensor could be at fault. Your car may need premium fuel, and if it does and you aren't using it then the timing may be retarded to the point of noticable power loss. Excessive carbon buildup in the engine could also cause the computer to retard timing. Start with the cheap stuff.

#17 scampen

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:34 AM

Fair enough, 99obw...I agree and have done 80% of the 'cheap' stuff: new air filter, water suction method (to remove carbon deposits), snorkeloctomy (remove factory air silencer), new upstream 02 sensor.
Next on my list (today actually): replace plugs and wires, try premium (ouch!) fuel.
I'll then take a tally of MPG and see how it comes back. My fear is that I may have bought a (used @ 95K) 1 in 10 Soob that simply has poor mileage/performance.
If all else fails, I'd consider taking the car to our local (goober) dealer and see if they can run diagnostics to determine what the deal is...
Scott
96 OBW, 2.5L, auto

#18 sam45

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 09:03 AM

Scott,

The 25 mpg I mentioned was before the tuneup (plugs + wires).
About 70% is hiway. I checked yesterday (first time after the tuneup) and there is no change in the mpg except that I think it runs little smoother. Air filter was changed only a month back.




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