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Old 03-08-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Spark Plugs and Brake pads

I'd like to change spark plugs on a new to me 2003 Boxster with almosst 70K on it. What would be a good recommended spark plug and what is the proper gap? Also, I have seen people talk about replacing the o rings and tubes. Is this something I should have on hand "just in case"? I don't want to strand myself if God forbid I need parts since this is my daily driver.

I also need new brake pads all the way around. Mine were just barely good enough to pass state safety inspection so I woul dlike to tackle them before the sensors need replacing. I would like some feedback on a pad that will put out as little dust as possible while maintaining street driveability. Can I assume that ceramic pads would be too aggressive for street use?

I appreciate any feedback!

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Old 03-08-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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I have not done plugs yet (i need to) but for pads I love my Porterfield R4-s'. Great bite and possibly less dust than OEM (i'm more tolerant on dust than most). That gets my vote at least.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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I just replaced my plugs and tubes.

I went with the OEM Berus since a lot of folks seem to recommend them. But at around $15 per plug, I have to wonder whether going with the other recommended (and cheaper) plug - Bosch, iirc, is just fine. I suspect that it would be.

Honestly, I don't remember the gapping on the berus, they are four prongs, so I don't have the proper gapping tool to even check them (i.e. wire style guage) assuming they can be gapped like traditional plugs give their config; I believe they're suppose to be pre-gapped. although it's good to check the gap anyways, if possible, I've had no problems since install, i.e. such as misfire, hesitation, etc.

As far as the o-rings and tubes are concerned, there is no need to replace them if they're not leaking, imho. You can check by looking around the coil packs to see if there is any leaking oil. In my case, it was pretty obvious almost all of them were leaking (i have around 90k on mine), so I replaced them all. Otherwise, if they're not leaking, I wouldn't bother with them because the tubes and o-rings are another $30 or $40 bucks. In actuality, I don't even think the plastic tubes themselves go bad, but the o-rings on the tubes.

As far as brakes, I can't help you that much since I just went with a regular street pad, pagids, which seem good enough for my use.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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O rings are cheap rubber gaskets that go on each end of the plastic tubes. If you have 60k on the car, the tubes and the gaskets should probably be replaced as a preventative maintenance item. A set of six tubes and gaskets shouldn't cost you more than $40 from Sunset Imports (vs. your local stealership, which will charge you $40,000 and take your left nut as well in the transaction).

I was unable to remove mine when I swapped my plugs, but they seemed to be in very good condition so I think the PO swapped them out or new ones were installed when the reconditioned motor was put in the car just before I bought it.

I still have the tubes and will figure out how to remove the old and put in the new when I do a plug swap again in a few years' time.

As far as pads go, finding good pads that don't squeak and don't produce a lot of dust is a real challenge. I run Pagid.
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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they can certainly be replaced as part of preventative maintenance, though my rationale was that if it's not leaking, best not to mess with removing the tubes or spending $$$ right now since the time will come to part w/your wallet on some other repair. compared to my wrx, it was a lot easier changing the plugs on the box, so it's not difficult to go back in again if you notice subsequent leaks. However, the tubes were a b$tch to remove. some folks have mentioned being able to pull them out by hand, mine seemed fused in. I saw a trick on pedro's garage about using the boat transom plug (which basically is a plug that you can cause to expand inside the plug tube by turning an attached t-fitting), but that didn't even work. I ended up making my own tool based upon a jury-rigged tool my local p-car dealership used and that finally did the trick. once they're out, it's easy to swap out the seals and re-install.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #6
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On Tubes / plugs:
I changed mine recently after noticing some oil inside the tube. I was doing the 120,000 miles service and had to go back later to change the tubes and o-rings.
I got the set from sunset for the previously mentionned $40. Looking back I would just order the o-rings. the tubes were in great condition but the rings were no longer round.
Because of the wear on the o-rings and the oil sipage the tubes came right off using Pedro's recommended transom plug ($2 at bass-pro).
I would recommend you order the rings only and replace if there are any signs of oil on the plugs. Otherwise, leave it alone. It is not an exciting DIY and the space you work in is somewhat small and could be frustrating if you have to fight the tubes out of their place.

On Pads:
hard for me to tell since I just changed mine for Pagid yellow and have not done enough driving/braking to jusdge the amount of dust. Braking power sure is good.
Changing the pads was so much easier than I thought (Pagid yellow do not have a hole for the sensor).
my 2 cents.

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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ditto on the tubes. mine seemed fine at 90k, though I had already bought new ones. the oring were obviously shot.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:26 PM   #8
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I've just done my, 2000 Boxster with 63K, plugs and I regretfully went with NGK 2 prongs. I could notice that second and third gear doesn't push me against my seat like it use to. Although, I noticed that I got around 120 miles with a quarter of a tank.

As far as gapping goes, I've not seen anything about gaps and I would say it'll be a bit hard to move them prongs especially the 4 prong plugs. I didn't order enough rings so I'm going to order some more and do them (can't believe an O-ring is 4 bucks each).
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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There is no need to change the tubes unless one of them is cracked. They are totally inert in their function... just swap the 'o' rings...and ONLY if they're needed.

I'm of the school that when it comes to gaskets and seals, if they're not leaking, leave them alone.

Some want to change them as a matter of convenience 'since I'm already in there'.

But the odds of pinching an 'o' ring and not getting a proper seal on one of the 12 'o' rings is much higher while lying on your back, working at arm's length in poor light as compared to when Hans (or Mohammad or Mika) installed them on a bench in good light during the engine assembly.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
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I just changed my spark plugs and O-rings this past weekend. The first few tubes were difficult to get out, but the last three were a breeze. I used a very specialized, intricate, expensive tool to remove the tubes...

...a piece of coathanger with one end bent back 1/4" to grab the edge of the tube, and the other end of the coathanger bent into a "handle" with a rag wrapped around it for a better grip. Worked like a charm!
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:22 PM   #11
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I need plugs as well - tempted to order the Bosch are the OEM Berus really worth 2-3x the price?

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