Spark Plugs | How To Change
Changing spark plugs in your car is a pretty simple operation. The best thing to start out with is the new Chiltons Eclipse 1989-1999 manual. It is a good basic repair book, and discusses how to do simple procedures like plugs and oil changes, and only costs around $20. It is also a good idea to enlist the help of someone with mechanical competence to look over your shoulder.
Note that the procedure described here is kinda the 'safe' way to go.
People use different techniques, but the important thing is to be careful.
If you screw up the threads in the head, you're dead! (sorry,
couldn't resist ;). Seriously though, cross-threading and over-torquing are the things to be careful of.
- 6" socket extender
- plug gapper
- High Temperature anti-sieze compound
- torque wrench
- gap the new plugs to 0.050"
- put a little anti-sieze compound on the threads, if there isn't any already there.
- Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
- Take off one of your plug wires. Be sure to twist it first till it 'pops' before pulling it off. Pull the other end of the plug wire off the 'distributor' coil.
- With the ratchet, loosen the plug a few turns COUNTERCLOCKWISE.
- Remove the socket. Take the loose plug wire and gently press it back onto the end of the plug. Twist the plug wire until the spark plug comes completely out of the threads.
- Inspect condition of plug tip.
- Pop the plug wire off the next sparkplug. Loosen with socket, and remove with the loose plug wire as before.
- Repeat for the rest of the plugs.
- Put the end of the first plug into the loose plug wire, and lower it into the hole. Gently twist clockwise until you feel the threads catch (this technique mostly prevents crossthreading - a Very Bad Thing). Twist the plug in as much as you can with the plug wire.
- Pull off the plug wire, and proceed to tighten with the socket. When resistance is felt, stop.
- You have two choices here, tighten it all the way by hand, or use a torque wrench. I prefer a torque wrench, cause it's safer, especially if you're a novice.
- Tighten the plug to (I believe) 18-21 ft-lbs. Do not overtighten! (also a Very Bad Thing)
- Repeat the procedure for the rest of the plugs.
- Make sure that you reconnect the right plug wire to the corresponding plug.
- Reconnect the loose plug wire. Ensure all contacts are tight and snug.
- Reconnect the battery.
- Turn over the engine. If you did everything right, it should start and run normally.
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