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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Advice on changing plugs

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4 replies to this topic

#1 tracedog67


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Posted 03 January 2004 - 04:38 PM

I am going to change my plugs and wires tomorrow on my '97 OBW and looking for any clues or advice. Is there anything I should remove before hand, is it easier from above or below? Please respond for my wife doesn't want to listen to me cussing and throwing things in the garage.

thanks all,


#2 frag


    Soob shade tree mechanic

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 05:07 PM

http://usmb.ultimate...ht=plugs chang*

#3 NOMAD327


    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 07:27 AM

Once you remove the windshield washer bottle and battery (can probably just slide it forward on it’s tray a bit) on the left and the air inlet tube and mass air sensor and air cleaner box on the passenger side, access is fair doing a 2.5 in an outback. I would do the front plug first on each side, as they are slightly easier to do. What makes it the most hard is that the plugs are really far down inside the wells in the heads. The rear plugs on each side are harder because the frame rails are closer in the back. My problem was that an extension was needed, but there isn’t room to get one in with the socket attached. You have to slide the socket into the hole first, then slide in and assemble the extension, and finally attach the ratchet to the end of the extension. I immediately removed the sponge rubber plug protector from my socket, the reason being it will be extremely difficult to get the socket off the end of the plug and out of the hole if the rubber is gripping the spark plug. I didn’t want it on for plug removal either, because there is a lot of trial and error with your socket set as to what gives just the right length for getting the socket stack down into the hole. As I recall, what worked best for me was to use a plug socket in the rear, and then use a ratchet with a standard socket on it to turn the hex on top of the plug socket instead of using an extension. On the front plugs, a 3” extension worked pretty well with the regular spark plug socket and a ratchet. There was at least one plug which worked slightly better with a standard deepwell socket instead of the spark plug socket, but that was not a critical must have item! I would recommend having a small hand mirror on a stick or a ladies compact to be able to glance down into the well to see what’s happening. I’ve done a few of these cars, and on each one, at one time or another, the spark plug socket became slightly jammed on some aluminum protrusions of the head that were down deep in the well. The impression is that the threads are pulling rather than the socket is cocked and dragging. If you experience this, Use the mirror to reconnoiter. If in doubt, reverse direction, and the condition should go away if it’s not the threads. This usually happens when it’s just starting to go real good to scare the heck out of you.
Going back in with new spark plugs, make sure you check the gap first, then lube the threads with an anti-seize compound. Make sure there is a washer on the plug or you will wonder later on if it was in fact there. There. The big trick to installation, is to have a piece of rubber hose that’s about three or four inches long and a snug fit on the top of the spark plug. Stick it down over the top of the plug and use it to guide the plug into place. Twirl the hose between your fingers and you can probably get the new plug in half to three quarters of the way which is time not spent with a socket wrench. Putting all the stuff back on, make sure the three quarter inch hose that connects to the bottom of the intake tract after the air flow sensor is reconnected, The car will not run without the hose connected, and sometimes it slips off unseen during disassembly, and you don’t even realize it needs reconnected.

#4 Dr Farco

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 09:10 AM

Nomad pretty much covered it. When done installing the new plugs, I squeeze
a dab of die-electric grease into each
plug wire boot and work it around in there with a small screwdriver. Helps with removing the wires for next time.:)

Dr F

#5 gbhrps


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Posted 06 January 2004 - 09:11 PM

I found that with the back plugs on my 97 OBW a 3 inch extention on the ratchet and the plug socket was too long as well. I used a universal adapter instead of the extention as I recall. It was shorter and gave me room to get the entire assembly in around the frame rail.

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