('09-'13) How to change spark plugs? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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How to change spark plugs?

I've changed plugs on many types of cars for over 50 yrs including my Boxster, but THIS Forester has me stumped so far. I was changing the oil, so I poked around from beneath and then from above, and I could not even see a spark plug boot anywhere. I know they are there somewhere, I hope!

I found a few procedure things on this forum but they were for older models. Mine is a 2010. Does anybody have a procedure for doing this on an XT??? I'll appreciate it.

Thanks, Bob

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 05:49 PM
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this is for the N/A but should give you an idea

N/A Spark Plug Replacement [Anal]

09 limited
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobiam View Post
I've changed plugs on many types of cars for over 50 yrs including my Boxster, but THIS Forester has me stumped so far. I was changing the oil, so I poked around from beneath and then from above, and I could not even see a spark plug boot anywhere. I know they are there somewhere, I hope!

I found a few procedure things on this forum but they were for older models. Mine is a 2010. Does anybody have a procedure for doing this on an XT??? I'll appreciate it.
Regarding the XT, there are some in this forum who say you can change the plugs with the engine still on the front mounts. I am not one of them.

The following link describes a method of changing plugs on my 06 XT, but I suspect it pertains to your vehicle as well XT Spark Plug from He**

Before you rush out to sell your vehicle, read to the end of this thread. You should be able to change the plugs (including taking the motor off it's front mount - two nuts - and restore) in about an hour. The first time may take a bit longer. But, you only need to change plugs every... 40k or 60k or whatever.

Is changing the plugs pleasant? Not really. But 70's vintage Porsche's with flat-6 engines were a lot worse! The worst part of the XT Forrester job is likely to be back pain - you've got to work bent over on a bunch of parts you can't even see. Bite the bullet, jack the engine, do the deed. Liquor may ease the pain.

BTW, there are no boots - it's coil on plug and the coil insulators are quite inflexible. Are we having fun yet?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like I should get some practice by doing a DIY colonoscopy!!!! Then a DIY Root Canal........ Then I be Ready!!!!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 07:55 PM
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Sounds like I should get some practice by doing a DIY colonoscopy!!!! Then a DIY Root Canal........ Then I be Ready!!!!
It's not that bad. You just have to resign yourself to the fact that you must do a series of preliminary steps. Gone are the days when you simply pulled off the spark plug boot and unscrewed the plug. Those days are gone on lots of vehicles.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tok282 View Post
this is for the N/A but should give you an idea

N/A Spark Plug Replacement [Anal]
There is information on the forum on the XT...there is a difference. I don't have the XT so I can't help much.

Be careful what you wish for.

Last edited by adc; 04-23-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 05:20 AM
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Its not that bad but very tight. On the drivers side you will need to take out the battery and the air pump so you can get the plastic tube out of the way. The passenger side you just need to take out the intake box unless you have a aftermarket intake you can skip that step. The you can get to the coils but you may have to bend the rubber neck of the coil a bit to get them out but its doable. The plugs you will need a swivel knuckle to make it easier to remove and install.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:26 AM
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Its not that bad but very tight. On the drivers side you will need to take out the battery and the air pump so you can get the plastic tube out of the way. The passenger side you just need to take out the intake box unless you have a aftermarket intake you can skip that step. The you can get to the coils but you may have to bend the rubber neck of the coil a bit to get them out but its doable. The plugs you will need a swivel knuckle to make it easier to remove and install.
Two thoughts: First, if you jack up the engine, as described above, you should not have to remove the air pump. Or, at least, I didn't remove it. I do/did remove the battery and cold air intake.

I like to install my spark plugs with a torque wrench. But if you must use a u-joint with your socket to access the plug, it makes torque settings almost meaningless. I did not need to use a u-joint on either installation or removal - just a straight extension of the right length (about 4" extension plus the spark plug socket as I recall).

If you jack up the engine, you should be able to get a 'straight shot' at every plug so the torque readings will be accurate. A fine ratchet built into the torque wrench head is a really helpful, but not essential. This 'straight shot' is a real plus for the 'jack-it-up' method of changing Forester plugs.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:56 AM
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I did not jack up the motor and all in all it took 45 min taking my time I did not remove my cold air intake but the stock box will probably be in the way. I think the 09+ must be different then yours because the tube coming off the air pump goes over top of the driver side coils so there is no getting around it. I just took the pump bolts out and set it to the side just enough to remove the hose on the pump so you can move it out of the way. You don't have to remove the tube completely just out of the way. Oh and you are correct I didn't use the knuckle for the spark plug I used it for the coil. I don't feel theres really any need to jack up the motor but to each there own.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 01:24 AM
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how to change spark plugs

Wouldn't it be easier to do from beneath the vehicle or am I missing something, I'v been reading the threads about removing items, undoing engine mounts, I have a 2009 XT, removed the lower cowling and have clear vision, unhindered albeit a little narrow access between the chassis and valve covers.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 05:22 AM
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Welcome to the board grahamp

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 06:24 AM
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No, remove the coils and spark plugs from the top. I have not do plugs in a SH yet, but the SG is not too bad.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2013, 04:16 PM
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No, remove the coils and spark plugs from the top. I have not do plugs in a SH yet, but the SG is not too bad.
+1. Do this job from the top.

The problem on all the flat-four Subarus is that the engine and spark plugs are located down between the front frame members.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 02:30 PM
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Well, it's not terrible, but not simple- 2010 Forester non-turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobiam View Post
Sounds like I should get some practice by doing a DIY colonoscopy!!!! Then a DIY Root Canal........ Then I be Ready!!!!
I just did a 1st time (36K miles) plug change. old plugs were well over .044, but nice tan color.

Kudos to "Anal" guide to doing it. I bought the magnetic plug socket, it works quite well. already had 2 3" & a swivel connector. BOTH side plug wires came out with some difficulty, I had to twist/rotate to get them to release the hold on the plug, but got them off ok. I DID NOT TAKE OUT THE BATTERY. I thought about it, but I have small hands (size 8 glove), and I was annoyed at the thought of having to redo the electronics, figured I'd try 1st. it worked for me. feed socket w/1 extension partway down, add 2nd extension, feel for connecting of plug, add wrench, crank! slowly & carefully, it came out. battery side was tougher for me, than airbox.

airbox side, I got the rear plug wire out ok, not easy, and the plug came out ok also. front plug was a bear until I resigned myself to take the lid off the air box, didn't unplug any wires, just swiveled the lid out of the way, after loosening the clamp that holds it to the rest of the plenum.
And do it on a COLD ENGINE! I didn't even think about trying it on a hot engine.
all in all, much easier than I expected it to be. Again Kudos to adc, his layout of how to do it was very helpful.

I'm planning on doing MC brace & SS brake lines next, with a brake fluid change & at least new rear pads. I may even get brave & do upgrade of brake calipers/rotors, depending on the bucks/work involved.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 03:19 PM
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Again Kudos to adc, his layout of how to do it was very helpful. .
Glad it helped.

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