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Old 03-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Help out this rookie

Ok as stated I am a rookie when it comes to working on cars. Detailing them I am great at but other things not so great. I want to change my plugs and wires. Any suggestions what to buy and where to buy from? Second I see all 6 plugs but I have no clue how in the world I can get to the back ones. It looks like you need really really small hands and arms and this 6ft 6in frame doesn't have them. Second I want to do a coolant flush and I have no clue how to do that at all. Any pictures posted would help even more then just words. Thanks guys and keep in mind i am a rookie!
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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The back plugs are definitely doable but are pretty tough without removing the engine hoist bracket (especially plug #6, plug closest to the steering wheel). If the wires are original, like mine were, expect plenty of resistance. Getting them off was the toughest part for me. I recommend Belden wires as well as NGK TR55 plugs both of which you can get from NAPA is you have one near.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:15 PM   #3
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Hello, I just changed my plugs and wires this past Sunday. I must say what a job, especially the rear ones (#2/4/6). I was actually replacing my valve cover gaskets at the time, and thought it was a prudent thing to do while I was in deep at the time and with 62000 miles on the originals. I have an 01SE L36 engine so yours may be different. Be ready for some major access issues, pulling, twisting and forearm scratches! I found removing the rear engine lift near #2 (1 bolt/one nut) and the bracket above #4 (2 nuts) gave substantial additional access to work. I layed a coulple of sheets of thick cardboard on top of the engine so I could sit and work from above.

I fought all three rear plug wires with no success. I swear the plug wires were permenently seized on to the plug. What I did was get my adjustable water pump pliers and a 1/2" square wooden stick long enough to reach from above the plug and extend above the valve cover. Push the plug heat shield in to give additional room to allow the water pump plier jaws to grip the plug boot. Wedge the wooden stick between the water pump jaws and the head, grasp the handles and stick together with your left hand, and use your right to leverage the stick against the valve cover, pulling towards you and whala, they popped right off (except #4). #4 was so tight, the boot was literally stretched at least 1 1/2" or more before the metal clip on the spark plug broke right off (staying attched to the plug), it was that tight!! I had no intention of replacing the wires at the time, but this forced the replacement. You can get quite a bit of leverage this way as opposed to tugging, pulling and twisting in such a tight area.

I replaced my plugs with NGK TR55IX irridiums ($6.98 each at Advance Auto) and NAPA Beldon wires ($36). They were a perfect fit and the car runs much better than I expected it would.

Have fun and Good Luck.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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When i did my plugs, i remember using some vice grips to lock down on the plug/wire and then prying it out with a metal bar. It was a last ditch resort but it was pretty easy after i figured it out. I found there was no way for me to get the leverage i needed to remove the plugs.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:18 AM   #5
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just did my wires/ plugs today!! it took a while as it being my first time, i was able to get the motor to lean forward making it much easier to get to the rear . remember, one wire/plug at a time
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lglarum
The back plugs are definitely doable but are pretty tough without removing the engine hoist bracket (especially plug #6, plug closest to the steering wheel). If the wires are original, like mine were, expect plenty of resistance.
Will that allow the engine to tilt foward? If so how easy is it cause of the rookie I am. Second do you have any pics so i can see what to look for.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:37 AM   #7
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I just did my 00 SE this summer. Im 6'3" and have big hands, the back ones were not really all that difficult. If you can get a good grip on them, working them a little bit at a time should pop them off.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:11 AM   #8
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Yea but how much different is that compared to an SSEi? Not much I would assume but I figured I should ask.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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The rears are a PITA, but with patience, time, and struggling - you'll get them off. Many have had luck removing the rear engine bracket, and coming in that way. I was able to do mine by running my arm under the heater hoses, and above the power steering pump. Push the metal covers down toward the engine as far as you can. Grab the end of the boot near the wire, and keep twisting as far as you can. After a few times, it will eventually come off. Plan on replacing the wires, and on getting yourself a few scratches.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
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I would like to know where that bracket is that allows the engine to lean forward as some have said.
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