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Old 12-24-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
-AliasMunky3-
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Default First time changing spark plugs, done in 45 minutes

Hey all,

After reading all the gripes about how much of a PITA spark plugs are on the WRX, I decided to see what all the proverbial 'hub-bub' was all about. And since I was at 64k, even more reason. This is also posted under my name 'Alberto411' on TampaRacing.com in the Subaru section.

With the battery, washer fluid reservoir and airbox removed, it was clear that there wasn't a lot of space to work with. So, with the coils packs removed, a little bit of creative thinking was used to access the plugs. A mechanic/pit chief buddy with little-to-no Suby experience got to thinking and came up with this idea:

Tools used for the plugs themselves:
-5/8" spark plug socket, preferrably with the rubber seat
-3" extension
-3/8" ratchet
-torque wrench

1.) Once coil packs are removed, attach 3" extension to 5/8" spark plug socket.
2.) Seat extension/socket onto plug.
3.) With extension/socket/plug connected, attach ratchet to the extension.
4.) Begin loosening spark plug. Once space no longer allows ratchet/extension/socket/plug, disconnect ratchet.
5.) Hand loosen extension/socket/plug and remove from spark plug well.
6.) Reverse steps for new plugs.
7.) Torque to spec

Replace coil packs. I disconnected them from the wires, but my buddy didn't. Since he's a car guru, he was done way before me on the passenger side as I had the driver's side to work on.

Cliff's Notes...

With two people with novice knowledge to the mechanical workings of Subarus, but one of those monkeys having more extensive automotive knowledge in general, we had the spark plugs changed in ~45 minutes. Conceivably, someone with experience with this 'method' could have their plugs changed in about 30-45 minutes by themselves.

I hope this helps save many-a-knuckle, having to use socket swivels, having to use rubber tubing to pull out the plugs, having to jack up the motor and ultimately having to pay $200+ at the dealership.

-Al

P.S. sorry if this is already common knowledge. And for whoever cares, I went to the NGK Iridiums BKR6EIX / stock heat range on a Cobb v1 Stage 2 setup.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:25 PM   #2
Dutch Scooby lover
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You can also use a long socket , and a loose 1/2 inch ratchet

(Dont know how to call it, but my dad has a socketset that changes direction not by turning a handle or such, but you can push the entire square thing that holds the socket itself tru, as to reverse direction)

Remove that piece, insert it into the socket, so u have a socket with a 1/2 inch square sticking out, and then use a ratcheting spanner to turn it.
This works best on the nr4 cilinder, as there isnt much room there, nor can u remove something to make room.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
DDScooby
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This was by far the best DIY thread. IMHO anyway. It took me a lil longer than the OP but this was the best help for someone that had never backed out a set of plugs on a H4 engine. Thank you.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
SC2000
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what's the proper torque (lbs/ft) for the spark plugs anyway? are the motors interferance motors or non-interference motors?
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
wrxnoel18
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i've done 30 minutes! its wasn't bad..i hate lifting and working under the car...but this its ok..!
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
R7MR7M
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Cool This is a great write-up

I followed this the first time at around 60K. Now I have almost 120K and plan on following it again

This is a knuckle masher though... The frame rails are so close to the block that the plugs are almost impossible to get out and back in again.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
R7MR7M
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Thumbs up Torque specs for 2.0L Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC2000 View Post
what's the proper torque (lbs/ft) for the spark plugs anyway? are the motors interferance motors or non-interference motors?
According to the 2002 WRX Service Manual:

For the 2.0 DOHC Turbo-
Tightening torque: N-m (kgf-m, ft-lb)
Plug: 21 (2.1, 15)
Ignition Coil: 16 (1.6, 11.7)
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:56 PM   #8
bubba8000
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Quote:
Tightening torque: N-m (kgf-m, ft-lb)
Plug: 21 (2.1, 15)
Just changed the plugs for the first time on our newly aquired '95 2.2L sedan. (among other issues)The plugs were torqued in at least 70 lbs. I don't know how I didn't pull some thread out with the plugs, darn lucky. I hope the previous owner wins the lottery in his next life -- then blows it on a Yugo dealership.

Anti sieze lubricant. It comes in a tube for those who havn't tried it. I always coat my spark plug threads with it. It really aids in removal, especially in tight spots. Cheap insurance.

Last edited by bubba8000; 11-05-2009 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
R7MR7M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba8000 View Post
Just changed the plugs for the first time on our newly aquired '95 2.2L sedan. (among other issues)The plugs were torqued in at least 70 lbs.
Holy geez!
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:46 PM   #10
kenliu84
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I'm new at working on my own car. What are coil packs?
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:14 PM   #11
R7MR7M
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Default Re: Coil packs

A coil pack provides the energy necessary to produce a strong enough spark to jump the gap of the plug. In the wrx, maybe not all but on mine, there is one coil pack for each plug (totaling 4) and they are located directly on top of the the plug. It basically replaces a distributor type ignition system.

So basically to take out the plug you have to unscrew the bolt for the coil pack and remove it. You will see that there is a socket-type connector on the coil pack where the plug sits.

Links for more info -

Here is a spark plug change tutorial that shows a picture of the coil packs:

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/mainte...parkplugs.html

Here is more info on a coil pack:

http://www.blurtit.com/q432989.html
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:50 PM   #12
Richbmxer87
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Yea i just did mine today, took about the same time first time aswell by myself. everyone was sayin use the specialty tools and blah blah i didnt use them and it wasnt to bad at all. yes specialty tools would have made it faster but is easy enough with regular tools.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #13
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Did my old WRX at 78,000. I had everything except my 3" extension. That added probably an hour to the job. Son had taken it and put it in "his" tools. Plugs were so tight that I was afraid I was going to twist the threads out of the heads. Mine also had rust on the threads. I think the plugs could have easily gone another 50,000. Looked great. RP
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -AliasMunky3- View Post
Hey all,

Replace coil packs. I disconnected them from the wires, but my buddy didn't. Since he's a car guru, he was done way before me on the passenger side as I had the driver's side to work on.
Good write up, but why'd you change the coil packs? Were yours bad?

./p
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:52 AM   #15
RideHolden
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i'm going to be doing this soon but don't know what the gap is on the impreza spark plugs. anyone know where i can find this information?
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:37 PM   #16
JimBlake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by protospheric View Post
Good write up, but why'd you change the coil packs? Were yours bad?

./p
Maybe he just meant RE-INSTALL them...?
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:38 PM   #17
bzbuzz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideHolden View Post
i'm going to be doing this soon but don't know what the gap is on the impreza spark plugs. anyone know where i can find this information?
stick with stock ngk plugs. you dont need to gap. I would not gap at all.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:40 PM   #18
bzbuzz
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little advice to you all:

MAKE SURE YOU GET CORRECT SPARK PLUGS. LOOK AT YOUR MANUAL. A LOT OF VENDOR HERE HAVE WRONG INFO.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:50 PM   #19
GreasyJoe
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In the tight confines I had to work in, I was having trouble getting the rear passenger side coil back onto the plug. I disconnected it from the little primary current wire so I could turn it upside down, then it was a straight shot onto the plug. I turned it right side up, plugged the little wire back in, and bolted it down. It was really easy to do, once I went thru fifteen minutes of frustration and finally thought of it.

One of those magnetic wand things for retrieving stuff you drop came in really handy. I used it repeatedly.

A 5/8 inch socket fits on the plugs, not the standard 13/16. I think a 14mm or a 16mm (can't remember which) will also fit. It took some aggravation before I figured that out.

I went to four auto parts stores, none had the original plugs in stock. I ordered them from Kragen, for just under $10 each. I got them the next day. Plan to have to order them.

It's not a hard job, but it's a fussy job.

Last edited by GreasyJoe; 01-14-2010 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:29 PM   #20
mjslive2fly
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Great DIY Thread. I just finished for the first time in about 45 min on my '02 WRX. No need for any swivels as others have stated. Use a 3/8 ratchet with a low profile head, 3" Ext and a 5/8 plug socket and you're good.

solid CEL now replaced w/intermittent flashing CEL... Off to Autozone tom to read the codes...
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