Is changing the spark plugs really that bad? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Is changing the spark plugs really that bad?

I've always heard it's a pain in the ass on a subaru. The manual makes it seem pretty easy, just remove the battery and the air intake. Is there something I'm missing? It's just the normal NA 2.5 L, not the turbo or 6cyl.

Any special attachments or tools needed other than just a torque wrench, a few extenders, and a spark plug socket?

The manual says to use 15 ft-lbs for new plugs, but to reduce by 1/3 for lubricated plugs, which would be 10. They don't mean reduce to 1/3 do they (5 ft-lbs)?

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 12:04 AM
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Definitely look for some DIY plug change threads here and on! There are some that will tell you exactly which size extension to use for each plug. It isn't necessarily a tough job with the right tools, but it's blindly working in very tight spaces. I couldn't tell you from memory exactly which tools I needed, but I'd recommend having a full assortment of 3/8 and 1/4 extensions and 3/8 and 1/4 deep sockets.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 01:39 AM
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certainly not all subaru engines are a pain - some are the easiest i've ever seen. some are frustrating.

if there's any valve cover leakage or time to adjust the valves (150k) sometimes it's helpful to plan to do the plugs with valve cover gasket or valve adjustment as it's an easier job on some with that out of the way.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 09:14 PM
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I find getting the freaking boots off the plugs the toughest part.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 09:24 PM
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I just did this two weeks ago on my wife's 2.5i. Aside from the extensions and torque wrench you already mention, I would highly suggest a 3/8" drive universal.

For the drivers side you will need to remove the battery. On the passenger side disconnect the MAF sensor and then remove the air intake tube as well as the back half the air filter housing. Not too bad of a job at all.

When putting the wires back on you will need to apply a good amount of pressure until you hear a pretty distinct "pop". When I first put the drivers side wires on I didn't push hard enough. It wasn't until I did the passenger side that I realized what I should be hearing and then had to go back and redo the wires on the drivers side.

Like I said not too bad at all, maybe an hour job at the most.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 04:23 PM
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I recently changed the plugs on my newly acquired 2009 2.5 and found it to be much easier than my 1999 2.5, with the right extensions. With the 1999, I just take it to my mechanic, he loosens the motor mounts and raises the engine just enough to make changing the plugs much easier.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:33 AM
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major pain on the turbo. but I can have the drivers bank off and plugs out in just under an hr.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:59 AM
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 01:34 PM
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I did mine a few months back from underneath and wasn't horrible. Just make sure you have the right tools before beginning the job.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 05:28 PM
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It a job for someone with patience and time. Also, if you have huge hands, you might want to hire a 12 year old with small hands and nimble fingers.

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