spark plug change - where are they? help! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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spark plug change - where are they? help!

Okay, I feel like a moron for asking this question, but where the heck are the spark plugs on my 2004 XT? I have the new plugs, the tools, the time, and am ready to go but I don't know exactly where they go. I removed the windshield washer resevoir, the filter (and the battery so I could empty the fluid out of the washer fluid), so I'm ready to go; I just need to find them! I've never installed them on a Subie before, but have on GM's, motorcycles, chainsaws, lawnmowers, etc. I know it's a horizontally opposed engine so they should be on the sides.

Attached are a couple pics. If somebody could mark them up or describe where they are and what they look like I'd appreciate it. I think they're yellow with wires coming out, but there are some hard pipes connected to them so I'm not sure.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 02:59 PM
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This may point you in the right direction: Spark Plug Change - EJ20 - ScoobyMods
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 02:59 PM
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Spark Plug Changing - Instructions - ScoobyMods

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:04 PM
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Service manual info on spark plugs. Note you have "coil on plug" type.


04 spark plug removal.pdf
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 06:40 PM
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ps... unless you have a decent set of ratcheting wrenches and short extensions.. this is a PIA.. ha ha did mine like a week ago and for some dang reason it was a lot more work then I remember from my WRX.. maybe it was more I wasnt in my new garage but my townhouse garage in 40F weather
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Was gonna do my plugs this week...ironic.

05 2.5RS
03 Outback
They live on.

Last edited by Real Lyte; 11-22-2008 at 07:02 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, that's exactly what I needed. I'll get on it tomorrow morning.

Peaty, I think the information listed above should be included in kastle's instructions. For the life of me I could not figure out where his pictures were taken on the engine.

Thanks again! (note this is before I bloody up my hands and might not be able to type!)
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Got it done yesterday in the 45 degree weather. It got pretty frustrating on the driver's side. I thought at one point it was physically impossible to fit the ignition coils back in there and couldn't figure out how they actually came out. But somehow got it back in there and the whole thing probably took me 3 hours.

One question though: On the rear driver's side plug, there seemed to be only one way to get the ignition coil back in, and I wasn't sure if the coil actually seated on the plug or not. How can I tell?

After doing the plugs, fuel filter, and a fresh oil change, the car seems to purr like a kitten. I've always had a weird stutter in 2nd gear when trying to keep a constant speed, and this *seems* to have gone away (fingers crossed).

Tips:
1) on the driver's side, to get the rearmost coil back in I had to have the forwardmost coil removed.
2) Have a good pivoting wratchet; mine was breaking on me which bloodied up a knuckle or two. Gotta go get that Craftsman warranty on it!
3) Have plenty of extensions or adapters to create the right length. I have a couple 3" extensions but not a 1.5 like mentioned, so I created one with a bunch of adapters linked together. This isn't really a tip; you MUST have them to get the plugs out. A really long extender (like 12" or so) is nice to get the bolts out for the air flow box.
4) when removing the ignition coils, make sure you rotate them and try all kinds of configurations to make them move.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt D View Post
Got it done yesterday in the 45 degree weather. It got pretty frustrating on the driver's side. I thought at one point it was physically impossible to fit the ignition coils back in there and couldn't figure out how they actually came out. But somehow got it back in there and the whole thing probably took me 3 hours.

One question though: On the rear driver's side plug, there seemed to be only one way to get the ignition coil back in, and I wasn't sure if the coil actually seated on the plug or not. How can I tell?

After doing the plugs, fuel filter, and a fresh oil change, the car seems to purr like a kitten. I've always had a weird stutter in 2nd gear when trying to keep a constant speed, and this *seems* to have gone away (fingers crossed).

Tips:
1) on the driver's side, to get the rearmost coil back in I had to have the forwardmost coil removed.
2) Have a good pivoting wratchet; mine was breaking on me which bloodied up a knuckle or two. Gotta go get that Craftsman warranty on it!
3) Have plenty of extensions or adapters to create the right length. I have a couple 3" extensions but not a 1.5 like mentioned, so I created one with a bunch of adapters linked together. This isn't really a tip; you MUST have them to get the plugs out. A really long extender (like 12" or so) is nice to get the bolts out for the air flow box.
4) when removing the ignition coils, make sure you rotate them and try all kinds of configurations to make them move.
Did mine today on my SF model in about 30 minutes. Not sure for the SG. Probably longest part is moving all those dang wires and the washer reservoir out of the way on the driver side. I only used 1/2" ratchet with 10mm and 12 mm sockets (the spark plugs socket of course) with a 6 inch extension, no pivoting ratchets or anything fancy. Pulling the boots off can be a pain, twisting while pulling definitely helps!

05 2.5RS
03 Outback
They live on.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 05:34 PM
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SF is weak sauce compared to the beeotch that the SG is (I say this only having SG experience but was spanked by the task). There is a wire retainer before the first coil pack that is best clipped. It's like a tie wrap connected to the engine. That driver side rear pack and plug takes like three beers to get out

Jeff 06'FXT
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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Well I have never seen the SG setup, I assumed they only got easier throughout the years lol...

05 2.5RS
03 Outback
They live on.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 05:42 PM
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Talk to me after you do an H6...

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Anybody have any ideas on this one:

One question though: On the rear driver's side plug, there seemed to be only one way to get the ignition coil back in, and I wasn't sure if the coil actually seated on the plug or not. How can I tell?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 06:09 AM
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If it's running right after it's most likely OK :)

The thing I don't like about the coil on plug set up is, you have no positive feedback that it's on there properly. Unlike a spark plug cable which when you remove or install it you get a nice positive "click", the coil pack just sits on there. The first time I did the coil type (02 WRX I think) I took the thing on and off a few times thinking it was not on right. If you got the coil pack in position and the bolt is tight, it's most likely just fine. While the boxer with the spark plug cables is a bit of a chore to do I found the coil on plug setup to be more frustrating. Getting the coil pack on an off is like one of those table puzzles. You have to mess with it in all these positions just to get it out of the way to get to the spark plug.

Peaty

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Peaty. It is indeed running, and running well. Which is nice since I have 1000 miles to drive this weekend for Thanksgiving. I hoping my gas mileage is a bit better after these few things.
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