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Spark Plug Wire and Plug DIY...I need one!


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9 replies to this topic

#1 subastic

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 03:04 PM

i have a 97 OBW and need a DIY to change my plugs and wires...

Can anyone point me in the direction of a resource. TIA

#2 friendly_jacek

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:00 PM

Not different from a regular plug job, except that you have to remove battery, washer fluid tank, and intake ductwork to get access the the plugs. It took me a couple of hours of slow paced work. I put double platinums plugs with antisiese, so I would not have to redo it in mere 30,000 miles. Rubber hose is great to screw plugs in without crossthreading.

#3 a97obw

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:28 PM

......And when you grab the plug wire at the plug end by the boot, don't pull on the wire itself (you already knew that!) but grabbing it by the "wings" on the boot and pull out and DOWN. If you pull up, you'll never get it loose!

When you install the new wires use a bit of dilectric grease on the connectors....slide the end that fits the coil pack on, then pinch the boot and lift up to "burp" the boot and it will snug up to the coil pack.

#4 subastic

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:40 PM

......And when you grab the plug wire at the plug end by the boot, don't pull on the wire itself (you already knew that!) but grabbing it by the "wings" on the boot and pull out and DOWN. If you pull up, you'll never get it loose!

When you install the new wires use a bit of dilectric grease on the connectors....slide the end that fits the coil pack on, then pinch the boot and lift up to "burp" the boot and it will snug up to the coil pack.


No, i have never replace spark plugs before or plug wires. I just replaced my knock sensor last night and am feeling confident about the plugs. i just want a step by step guide...ASSUME I KNOW NOTHING, if that helps. but good info so far....

#5 Equalizer

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:57 PM

When you install the new wires use a bit of dilectric grease on the connectors....slide the end that fits the coil pack on, then pinch the boot and lift up to "burp" the boot and it will snug up to the coil pack.


I was wondering if that "dilectric grease" helps with contact, or if it simply cuts down on corrosion eating the posts on batteries? I just replaced my plugs and wires (oem) recently because it, the trouble engine light, was putting out a code. Think I'll start a new thread so as not to distract from the original question.

Best regards,

Frank

#6 brus brother

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:21 PM

There is a recent post "$29 plug wires" that has some tips on where to buy oem plug wires (and plugs) online for cheap.
As far as technique is concerned, first time out I would suggest that you do one wire/plug at a time so as to not mix up where the wires go. Use antisieze grease on the plug threads when reinstalling. If you meet resistance when installing new plugs, STOP! You don't want to cross thread these babies! You should be able to glide them in either by hand or using a small piece of rubber hose attached. I have never used a torque wrench but if in doubt, and you are just getting into the game of grease, might as well invest in one now. If you don't get one, best advice is to snug it up but don't crank down on it. Sorry, but that's one of those do it once and you'll know for the next time things.
Wear nitrile gloves available at auto stores.
As a brain surgeon once told me, confidence lacking competence is very dangerous.
Go slow, ask questions and good luck.

#7 The Dude

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:38 PM

Know this, Subastic. You are learning to "swim" in the deep end of the pool. Once you have done it, replacing the plugs on a Subaru is no big deal. However, with those mile high rocker arm covers, you literally can't see what you are doing. DON"T even think about changing your plugs without access to a torque wrench. You'll also need a collection of metric sockets, extentions and swivels.

It's not brain surgery, but the procedure requires some finesse. Cross threading the spark plugs would be my biggest concern.

#8 friendly_jacek

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:26 PM

On a final note, subaru is probably not the engine to learn how to do it. Too costly to fix stupic mistakes. Ask someone to help you and show you the ropes.

#9 a97obw

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 12:18 AM

The Dude said:

"DON"T even think about changing your plugs without access to a torque wrench."


The Dude also said:

"I didn't say YOU peeed on the rug, I said WU peed on the rug!"

(MAN I love that movie!)

I'll second the advice of using a piece of rubber hose--not as in a garden hose, but as in something like vacuum line or fuel line, probably 5/16 diameter about 8" long would be good. Put the tip of the plug in the end of the hose then add just a light coat of anti-seaze on the spark plug threads. Now guide the plug and the hose towards the engine and when you think you're there, start rotating the hose. You'll feel it get a little bit harder to turn once it starts to thread in correctly. If it gets in a bind, back it out!

Ahhhh, but before you remove the plug and after you have removed the plug wire, use another piece of 5/16 hose about 2.5 feet long (you DID buy 3' of the stuff, didn't you?) and fit it down in the cavity of the cylinder head where the plug goes, stick the other end to your mouth and blow blow blow! This will get any sand and grit out of the deep hole where the plug is giving you a bit of insurance in avoiding a cross threading with the new plug.

Cross threading a cylinder head with a spark plug is TROUBLE and VERY expensive to fix!!

As for the torque wrench suggestion, that is probably a good one, if you can get a torque wrench in that tight spot as the 97 Legacy Outback do have! But if you do use a torque wrench, make SURE you know the difference between Ft. lbs. (foot pounds) and In. lbs (Inch pounds).
Personally, if it were me attempting to torque them with a torque wrench, I'd start with the wrench set to the correct setting, and then see how it feels (pressure wise) against the inside of your hand while you torque a benign bolt (the 12mm across the flats bolt that holds the upper radiator brackets to the car come to mind) before you over do it! Good Luck!

And last but not least, most all of the spark plug sockets you can buy will be a tight fit in the cylinder head. If the socket has a sticker on the side of it make sure you remove it. On the 2.5 engine, don't be surprised if you pull out the socket extension and the socket is still in the head. This is where you need a pair of hemostats. Stick the 'stats in the hole, then inside the socket, spread them open and retrieve socket.


(But try it on your neigbors Pontiac first!)

#10 brus brother

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 04:10 AM

"If the socket has a sticker on the side of it make sure you remove it. On the 2.5 engine, don't be surprised if you pull out the socket extension and the socket is still in the head."
Oh yeah, almost forgot, I used a little duct tape, securing the extension to the socket, to prevent the above from happening... the second time!




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