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Old 09-10-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
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Another Spark Plug DIY (for dummies)

Well, I'm one of those overly-scared, timid, always-a-bit-leary type DIY'ers and I figured I can't be the only one. While I found many walkthroughs for a spark plug change, I figured I'd do a "for dummies" version that will hopefully benefit others that approach car maintenance as I do.

So.. here we go! I'll add notes here and there of stuff I did/should've done/shouldn't have done, tips, tricks, etc. along the way.

Tools used:
5mm allen head
10mm socket (for fender plastic covering)
19mm socket (for lug nuts)
2x (two) 3" socket extensions for the front-most plugs
5/8" socket for the plugs themselves
Your beverage of choice (mine was a Rockstar)
Torque wrench (small one will be needed)
Anti-seeze (yea.. I decided to use it anyway)

I don't know how the forum will actually display the pictures so they might all end up at the end of this post...

First thing to do is jack up the driver's side of the vehicle. Jack stand it if you feel the need. Safety first remember!

Get that rear wheel off and continue on by removing the plastic fender covering using the 10mm socket. There should be two and they are plastic, not on tight at all. Pop it off and you should then be able to clearly see all 3 coil packs!

Grab your 5mm allen-head wrench and pop each bolt loose on each pack. Once loose, they're easily removed by hand the remainder of the way. I did the plugs one at a time, so that is the approach I'll take in this DIY. Once the two bolts are removed for the rear-most coil pack, give it a little tug outwards to break the suction and with a little clockwise motion, it should pull out of the tube. The tips are bendable and the whole thing is rubber so don't be too 'careful' when removing them, you shouldn't hurt anything unless you're really trying to.

Once the coil pack is out of the tube, just set it to the right of the hole and get your 5/8" socket out and remove the plug. The way I did it was to break it loose with the ratchet and once able, I removed the rest by hand, being mindful to reduce as much "wobble" as possible. Now, you'll read a LOT of back and forth about whether to use anti-seize on the new plugs.. and to be honest, to a novice DIY'er, it stresses you out more than helps.. so.. I used it.. albeit very little, but still used some. I'm not opening a debate here, decide what you'd like. I just know that it was an extra 3 seconds of my time and I felt it was worth it at the time of replacement... /endrant (like the brylcream commercials say "a dab'll do ya"... just a little on the tips is good)

Put the new plug in, again, being mindful to reduce "wobble" and making sure it's in straight. Here is where I'm supposed to say "torque it to 22ft lbs", but /flamesuiton I don't own a torque wrench that small so I hand-tightened and then "felt" for the washer seating. "snugged up" basically. /removessuit

Now put the coil pack back in after visually inspecting it for any cracks, discoloring, toyota-part numbers etc. Retighten the coil pack screws. I didn't torque these either. I snugged them up until they were tight.

Now guess what? You get to do it 5 more times! Yay! The only caveat is with the 2 closest to the front of the car. While not difficult, they aren't as easy as the others as you'll have two large hoses in the way. They're merely an inconvenience, not a show-stopper. Slow and steady wins this race! Take your time to ensure they come out easily and go back in easily.. think "wobble".

I hate seeing "Installation is reverse of removal" so... once all 6 are replaced and all coil packs have been tightened again, go ahead and re-install the fender cover. I found that they are still installable if you accidentally put the wheel back on first (ask me how I know. This is the kind of stuff us "dummies" need to read about, that other DIY guides don't mention)

Lower the Box back down and make sure to torque the lugs (or don't?) to 96ft lbs. That's about it. Now go start it and cross your fingers

Remember that beverage? Well if the car is running tip-top after you're finished, then crack it open and take a victory swig.

Note: I was able to do the whole thing sitting indian-style (yea I'll admit it!) next to the car without using jack stands. The whole process took about 2hrs which included printing walkthroughs, bathroom trips, staring at the blonde neighbor and cleanup. Definitely a "finish by noon" type job and not hard at all. A 3 on a 1-10 scale.

Note: I ordered Bosch plugs from Pelican, but removed Beru from mine. They are interchangeable supposedly. We'll see.

Note: Lay out the old plugs and mark which cylinder they came out of. This is will help diagnose any issues after you visually inspect the old plugs for fouling, etc.

Hopefully this helps those out there that haven't been mechanics for 20+ years and are a bit leary to do their own work, simply because it's a P-car. Go get em!




Last edited by stateofidleness; 11-17-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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Yes! Awesome! Very cool DIY! Love your style!
What else?

Was it just Rockstar?

I loved the "I hate seeing "Installation is reverse or removal" so... "

Thanks a lot!

Later,
Andy
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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thanks
very handy
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the DIY. Mine are coming up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
First thing to do is jack up the driver's side of the vehicle. Jack stand it if you feel the need. Safety first remember!
Definitely use jack stands if you're going under the car. Never rely on a jack in that situation.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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just got my boxster and this was on the to-do list...had no idea where to begin until now.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have 2,000 miles to go until mine need to be done, so this is good timing.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Did you notice any performance or driving difference with the new fresh plugs?
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Spark Plugs

Just completed plug change.Replaced all the plug tube o rings as well.
Worth doing this too while you have everything apart.

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Old 09-28-2010, 05:23 AM   #10
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Worth the trouble

Just did my plugs last night. removed Beru plugs and put in Bosch from Pelican parts. made a signifigant difference while idling and (maybe it's wishful thinking) new boost in pwer and responsiveness. I bought my 2002 S used and without service records.
So far I've done oil change, Belt change, air and cabin filter, now plugs. This car is easier to work on than my Lexus!!!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed your post.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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I'm going to attempt the DIY instructions next weekend but I can't figure out what the right spark plugs are. The bosch website doesn't show the spark plugs for my boxster and pelican shows them, but not with the plug model number. I want to just go to Autozone or something to get my plugs but I want to make sure they're the right ones. Any thoughts on what the right Bosch plugs are?

2000 Boxster (not S)

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:29 PM   #13
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AutoZone won't have them. They'll sell you "some", but they aren't correct (ask me how I know )

Just order them from Pelican and rest assured they're 100% correct.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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I replaced my plugs and tubes today.

Very easy job. Took me about 2 hours but I tend to dawdle and take pic's and am generally not in a big hurry. Probably could have done it in an hour and fifteen mins if I tried.

One thing to remember to do is to check the spark plug gap before you install the new plugs. Usually they are ok out of the box, but one of my new plugs was quite a bit off (wide, not close). I set the plugs at .028".

The tubes came right out using a boat plug. The old tubes were in pretty good shape and so were the o-rings so if I still have any oil seepage its likely the cam cover.

Old plugs were Bosche and I replaced with OEM Beru. Engine runs a little smoother but otherwise no real detectable difference. Old plugs were worn but looked fine.

Thanks for the instructions, they helped a lot!
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #15
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[/QUOTE]
I recently learned that Porsche, published a bulletin indicating that it doesn't recommend using anti-seize compound on spark plugs for any of their engines (Porsche Technical Bulletin 9102, Group 2 identifier 2870). The bulletin applies retroactively to all models and the theory is that the anti-seize tends to act as an electrical insulator between the plug and the cylinder head. This could have detrimental effect on the firing of the spark due to the loss of a good, consistent ground connection.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #16
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Milk of magnesia for anti-seize as per Jake R.

I think recall Jake R telling me that he used milk of magnesia on turbine igniters.....perhaps that compound would avoid the insular condition?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:56 AM   #17
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I used a VERY LIGHT coating of anti-seize on my plugs and have had no problems.
I think the problems may arise when people goop it on like marmalade.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:00 PM   #18
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Changed Plugs now the Engine light ON

How do I trouble shoot this? The engine light is on and it runs rough.
Do I unplug a wire at a time till it does not make a difference. Could that harm the engine?

I am going to hook up Code Reader but I do not know how the plugs are numbered. From the rear looking forward Right side and Left side

2001 Boxster S 3.2

Thanks for any help
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:11 PM   #19
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Start a new thread with your question and members will help you diagnose. Be sure to post the codes that are present.

Let's keep this thread strictly to Spark Plug change tips/tricks/do's/don'ts, etc
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moorsb
How do I trouble shoot this? The engine light is on and it runs rough.
Do I unplug a wire at a time till it does not make a difference. Could that harm the engine?

I am going to hook up Code Reader but I do not know how the plugs are numbered. From the rear looking forward Right side and Left side

2001 Boxster S 3.2

Thanks for any help
http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php/topic/5955-cylinder-numbers/

The outline of cylinder numbers can be found there!

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