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Old 08-03-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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spark plug noob question

not only have i never changed the spark plugs on my boxster, i've never changed a spark plug period.

so here's my question. if i had screwed it up would it be evident quickly or would it take time / driving to identify?

i replaced two spark plugs so far - it got too dark.

i turned the key and it started right up no hesitation or backfire, etc. no CEL. i let it run for a few minutes.

going to finish up tomorrow, just want to know if i need to go re-do the two i've done.

here's a pic of the first plug i took out along with the new plug.



they were fairly easy except for:
1. my torque wrench broke after i tried to use it the first time. last time i buy a tool from advance auto parts.
2. the spark plug socket didn't want to come out of the tube on the second plug i did. i had to take the plug out again, pull it out of the socket and put it back in then reinsert it into the tube.
3. the allen screws did NOT want to come off, even gave myself a nice cut on my pinky finger when one finally came loose and my hand went flying up and hit the body.

i have one of those little bendy allen wrenches that come with most do-it-yourself furniture that fit in well. i found out the tool that you use unlock / lock the headlight assembly holds the allen wrench perfectly and makes a nice little breaker bar.

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Old 08-03-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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read my post in DIY on the subject. http://www.987forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21515

I would recommend changing all of them before driving it. I'd think your idle would be the first thing to be wacky. You should be alright. again i would change the rest asap. The one closest to the passenger seat was the hardest. Follow my hints!! use a small and a regular size allen wrench. the large is good for breaking the bolt loose.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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The car started, no mis-fire, no CEL.... you probably did it right.

I would not have recommended learning how to do plugs by starting with a Porsche, but that's me.... lawn mower, 72' Ford Pinto, 89' Bonneville, but probably not a Porsche.

Bleeding and cussing is part of the experience.

Buy tools from Sears (Craftsmans)... they take alot of abuse before they blow apart/fail... and then you return them for a new set.

Good luck with the next 4 plugs.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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thanks guys.

yeah everything else is craftsman, but i forgot the torque wrench and advance is literally 1/2 mile from the house.

i figured it was okay so far. nothing seemed wrong doing it, so i think my main problem was doubting myself - if it was that easy i must have screwed it up.

i was going to start with the 944, but i sold it before i got around to it. my escape had the plugs done as part of the 100k maintenance so i didn't really see the need to re-do it just to "learn." not that there's much of anything to learn really. i think i had to put the plug in my lawnmower when i bought it so i guess i have some "experience."

i should mention that no dealer has a record of the plugs being replaced and the car now had 67k miles on it. ( 65k when i bought it )

i read the readup you did mp earlier and followed the instructions at pedro's garage. the thing i noticed both of you left out was anti-seize - worth the $6 from what i hear. also, no one mentioned ( and i didn't use ) dielectric grease...

the plug tubes looked good (so far) so i didn't mess with those. looks like i might have some extra o-rings.

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Old 08-03-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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I thought about using those, but read somewhere they weren't needed, especially if you use the iridium plugs. They claim the iridium plugs will never need changed again. I will probably do it in a few years if I haven't upgraded to an 09 boxster

yep, pedro is the man, I just add my little hints I learned the hard way. If you haven't done the serpintine belt I would suggest that, as it was easy. Also oil was a breeze once I bought the canister remover tool from autozone. I believe its "B". Next is the throttle body cleaning. I hear that is the best remedy for a bad idle. Pedro has that one also. All I have left is Fuel filter, air filter, tires(tomorrow) and fix my rear window.

Good luck and look at it as a way to get to know your car better.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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I don't think there's anything more mysterious about swapping plugs on a Boxster than any other car or engine.

The coilpaks come off easily if you give them a slight twist as you pull.

But, consider that both the plug and the coilpak bolts are steel while the head is aluminum, meaning that you can strip the aluminum head far easier than you'd imagine! Ton$ of fun that!

So a proper torque wrench is essential. But how you gonna get a torque wrench on an offset Allen wrench?

Step up and make an investment into a proper set of hex bits - . A set will cost $20 and with a ratchet and 6" extention will make the job much easier and not risk having to retap a stripped head. You'll end up using them for way more than you ever imagined.

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Old 08-03-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon
thanks guys.

yeah everything else is craftsman, but i forgot the torque wrench and advance is literally 1/2 mile from the house.

i figured it was okay so far. nothing seemed wrong doing it, so i think my main problem was doubting myself - if it was that easy i must have screwed it up.

i was going to start with the 944, but i sold it before i got around to it. my escape had the plugs done as part of the 100k maintenance so i didn't really see the need to re-do it just to "learn." not that there's much of anything to learn really. i think i had to put the plug in my lawnmower when i bought it so i guess i have some "experience."

i should mention that no dealer has a record of the plugs being replaced and the car now had 67k miles on it. ( 65k when i bought it )

i read the readup you did mp earlier and followed the instructions at pedro's garage. the thing i noticed both of you left out was anti-seize - worth the $6 from what i hear. also, no one mentioned ( and i didn't use ) dielectric grease...

the plug tubes looked good (so far) so i didn't mess with those. looks like i might have some extra o-rings.


I do not recommend anti-seize. Porsche doesn't call for it and it'll totally screw up your torque value - s/b half with a greased thread. Very easy to strip the threads using it.

Dielectric grease will not take the temp extremes on a sparkplug and will actually act like a glue and bake the plug on.

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Old 08-04-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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just a follow up. finished the other 4 this afternoon. drove it ~ 20 miles without issue. idles fine, no smoke, no CEL.

the other 4 were pretty much the same as the other 2, but like MP said in his write up the one behind the passenger seat was a little tougher. i took the holder for the cat wire off and moved it out of the way, made things a little easier. the electric plug didn't want to go back on the coilpack, but i realized if i pulled the rubber sleeve up the wire it was a lot easier to do.

my only concern at this point is that the middle plug on the passenger side was weirder. the other 5 were easy to remove once i used the wrench to loosen them, and same with going in. could do it by hand without any effort.

however, the middle plug on the passenger side was not like that. it took more effort to remove it by hand and put it back in. seemed to go in easy for a little bit then a lot harder to keep turning,.. so i'm a little concerned the PO might have stripped the thread.

also, i have a habit of smelling things ( call me weird ) and the other 5 plugs all smelled of gasoline. however the trouble plug smelled more like oil. and there was more gunk on the thread than the other 5.

finally, i do not recommend the craftsman 2 1/4 ton floor jack. it doesn't really have an easy time of lowering. the valve is either closed or open with very little in between. in fact when it put it up on jacks the car didn't so much as gently descend on the jacks as it did more of a flop onto them. i think i peed a little. luckily it landed on the jack points and it was only an inch or so down.

taking it to the mechanic on friday for the cv joints. that'll just leave the fuel filter to do.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:59 PM   #9
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I had a friend in college like that " smell my finger"
seriously though, I have the same jack and had to be quick on the twist, but I got a it down smoothly with a "few jerks". Sounds like you might have a small cross thread action going on. Keep an eye on it, I use a milwaukee snake cam to check on stuff like that. Sounds like you did everything correctly and its running smoothly with no codes or lights. Congrats!! you just saved yourself a small fortune
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
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From your description of both the resistance in turning the plug and the plug's condition, it does sound as if it's cross threaded.

Because it was cross threaded, the plug didn't properly seal the cylinder allowing oil, air/fuel to blow-by and foul the plug.

It is something which should be corrected because you'll foul the plug and the valves, not to mention suffer performance and mpg. If you're lucky, it'll be a simple job of using a thread chaser - Thread Chaser or worst case, a helicoil insert - Helicoil

If you've never done this, or have any doubts, best to have a shop do it for you.

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:47 AM   #11
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Good directions.. I Have one question though. Upon removal of spark plugs, 4 out of 6 of the chambers had oil in them... any advice? Just some new O-rings? Is that a difficult job?

Jon

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