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Old 06-01-2017, 10:47 AM   #1
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Changing Spark Plugs

I changed 5 of 6 spark plugs on my '03 S today. That's right, only 5. I could not get at the top coil pack mounting bolt of cylinder #4 (left side front). I tried every tool I have to get in there and loosen the bolt but nothing worked.

#1 was difficult but doable and the other 4 were no issue at all.

The car is running great with 5 new and 1 old plug. The 5 I removed looked fine for plugs with ~60,000 miles on them as I assume they are the originals.

Not that I can do anything about it but are there likely to be any issues with having one odd plug out of 6? The ones removed are 4 electrode Beru and the replacements are NGK Iridium.

When I do have to change it I will likely get my indie to do it when I have some other work done that I can't do myself unless someone out there has a suggestion on how to get at the damn bolt.

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Old 06-01-2017, 11:10 AM   #2
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I didn't have any trouble getting all 6 out when I did mine, but it has been a while. Did you remove the rear inner fender liner that is to the front? With those removed it is a little easier to get that last coil pack off.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:16 PM   #3
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Yes, I removed the liners and that certainly creates room. The issue I had was being able to get enough torque on the top coil bolt. I managed to get an Allen key on it but was unable to get any leverage on it to get it started. My hands are large and there is a hose and other stuff in the way that didn't allow me to get a ratchet in there either.

I may have to find a short, stubby allen key driver of some kind and see if that will work.

Like I said the car is running very well after changing the 5 but I would certainly like to get. that sixth one replaced as well.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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1/4 in driver with a hex bit attachment.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #5
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more torque with allen wrench

put short end of allen wrench in bolt
put box wrench, box end on long side of allen wrench at the end.
more torque
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions, but I tried a 1/4" driver and I still couldn't get my hands in there to get enough torque to get it started.

I'll give it another go after I see what I can find at Princess Auto, Canada's version of Harbor Freight. If they don't have some kind of mini hex head driver that I can get n there no one does.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
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Allen wrench with a 8mm long socket with a screwdriver handle driver. Like this:

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Old 06-01-2017, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Allen wrench with a 8mm long socket with a screwdriver handle driver. Like this:

Okay, this looks promising. I'll give it a shot this weekend.

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:13 PM   #9
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Hey Paul. I just changed my plugs a couple of weeks ago and got all the coil packs off using a hex socket on a 3/8 wrench, except for the top bolt on #6 where I had to use a hex key because of clearance issues.

Anyway, you're welcome to drop by if you would like me to have a go at it for you this weekend.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:28 PM   #10
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Did you

Take the tires off and the fender internal liners ?

Also jack it up as high as you can get it....and make sure it's cool....do not want to those steel plugs hanging on to that aluminum head due to heat
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:00 PM   #11
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This....
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-7-Piece-3-8-in-Drive-Hex-Driver-Socket-Set/3387798

...may help. it allows you to angle the head a bit and get your 3/8" drive on for more leverage.

I did my plugs and O-rings a few months ago. It wasn't too bad but I do remember the forward most coil packs requiring me to hold my mouth just right!
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:01 PM   #12
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PS. The set above also work great when removing the inner CV from the transaxle.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
Hey Paul. I just changed my plugs a couple of weeks ago and got all the coil packs off using a hex socket on a 3/8 wrench, except for the top bolt on #6 where I had to use a hex key because of clearance issues.

Anyway, you're welcome to drop by if you would like me to have a go at it for you this weekend.
Hey Mark, thanks I may take you up on that. I'm going to give it another shot this weekend and see what I can do. I wonder if the space is more limited with the 3.2 vs the 2.7 vs the 2.5. Interesting that I had no issue with #6, just #4.

Last edited by paulofto; 06-01-2017 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pdwight View Post
Take the tires off and the fender internal liners ?

Also jack it up as high as you can get it....and make sure it's cool....do not want to those steel plugs hanging on to that aluminum head due to heat
Did all the above and got 5 of the 6 done with little issue, just #4 was problematic with a bit of difficulty on #1 but I did get it done. Like I say, I'll give it another shot on the weekend.

Last edited by paulofto; 06-01-2017 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dghii View Post
This....
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-7-Piece-3-8-in-Drive-Hex-Driver-Socket-Set/3387798

...may help. it allows you to angle the head a bit and get your 3/8" drive on for more leverage.

I did my plugs and O-rings a few months ago. It wasn't too bad but I do remember the forward most coil packs requiring me to hold my mouth just right!
An ultra long reach hex driver like that might do the trick.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:37 PM   #16
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Oh yeah, forgot about needing a cold engine to do this. So... if you can't get it then let me know and I'll grab a bunch of tools and come to you.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
Oh yeah, forgot about needing a cold engine to do this. So... if you can't get it then let me know and I'll grab a bunch of tools and come to you.
Thanks Mark, I might need to take you up on that if I can't get it.. I couldn't get to it today but I will give it a shot tomorrow.

Send me your phone number by private email so I can text or call you. I thought I had it but I can't find it
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:38 PM   #18
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This is what I used to do mine

Vim Tools SHM400 Drive Metric Stubby Hex Bit Set 1/4-Inch 9-Piece | eBay

also has many other applications when working on these cars.

I also used a swivel head ratchet 1/4 inch with a short extension

1/4 SWIVEL HEAD RATCHET #11066 | eBay
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:59 AM   #19
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Success!

Got up early this AM to beat the coming heat today and took on spark plug number 4. With suggestions from forum members, specifically thstone, I was able to use the Allen key and an extension to get enough torque on the upper coil pack bolt to break it free. Still very tight working in there but I finally got it out and pulled the coil and plug. Putting everything back was much easier.

I'm glad I don't have to do that again for a long time. Car is running beautifully.

Thanks again to all.

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