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Greetings. First post.

Does anyone have spark plug access instructions? looking to things the "right" way first time, and I would appreciate the help.

Thanks all.
 

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Welcome aboard.

I haven't looked up any specific instructions, but with Subaru boxer engines...all you should have to do is remove the plastic cover and then the spark plugs will be on the sides of the engine block. The Tribeca may be a bit more of a struggle than most other Subies since it's an SUV and the engine sits fairly low in the bay.
 

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Thanks! Yeah, I removed the cover and than found myself wondering how to proceed "correctly." I'm not new to removing/gapping/fitting new plugs, but the fully enclosed nature of the boxer engine made me think to ask others with experience how best to proceed.
 

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No secret, it's just held in by friction and rubber feet/plugs. It should just pull right out.
 

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OK we are at 59K miles and I decided to do the plugs on the Tribeca. I was expecting a nightmare but found it to be the opposite (I've done plugs on an H6 a few times before)

I'm going to apologize in advanced for not taking pics but like I say I was expecting the worse and have limited time. Taking pics adds a lot more time than you expect. I will give some text on the subject though.

First off there is no need to remove the engine cover, the plugs are on the side and not the top :) Also, make sure you do this on a stone cold motor. Let it sit overnight, this way you can mentally prepare ;)

I'll get more detailed on Scoobymods and post a link but in general this is how it goes.

On the drivers side you need to remove the battery (always undo the ground (-) cable first then the positive (+) second when removing then the opposite when re installing)

There is a metal bracket covering the wires leading to the coil packs, that needs to come off (two - 10mm bolts) with that off you can remove the coil pack from each plug

To remove the coil pack harness start with the coil pack closest to the front and press down on the harness clip and tug it towards the back to slip it off. Sometimes it takes two hands. The rear one is a bugger, you may need to do it with a long flat blade screwdriver. Just be careful to not snap the tab on the harness.

With the harness off the coil packs you can move it down and out of the way. Remove each coil pack with a 12mm socket. They are not on there tight and the bolt is held in by the coil pack so don't worry about it falling off never to be found again. I removed all three coil packs and marked them as to the location. It really doesn't matter which one goes where but it made me feel better :)

OK with the coil packs off, take a spark plug socket and a 3" extension and put it down the spark plug tube, then put a spark plug wrench on the extension after you are sure the socket is on the plug. The rear (towards the firewall) drivers side plug is the hardest to get to (left hand drive) you may need to use a different thinner ratchet depending on how thick yours is. What I like to do is just loosen the plug a few turns then remove the tools (sometimes you need to use a flat blade screwdriver to separate the ratchet from the extension) Then I take a 4 -5" section of fuel line hose and push it down the spark plug hole on the plug. I use that to twist the plug out and get it out of the tube. If you don't have this hose get it from a local auto store, it really is handy and you will need it to put the new plugs in.

With the plug out you want to prepare you new plug (NGK ILFR6B) for the installation. I like to put never seize on the threads of the spark plug and bolt of the coil pack and some dielectric grease on the spark plug end where the coil pack sits as well as some inside the coil pack boot. For both of these things I use a cotton swab like a Q-Tip.

With the plug ready to go, slip the rubber hose on the plug nice and tight, slip that into the spark plug tube and get the plug started by hand. Twist it all the way down till it's snug. This does two things. Makes it so you are sure you don't have it cross-threaded (very very bad on this type of motor meaning expen$ive to repair) and it puts the plug as far on as possible so you have more room to get your tools on there.

Take the hose off and put the socket and extension in the tube, then attach the ratchet. Tighten down the plug till it's snug then only go about another 1/16th of a turn. I know there is a torque spec but unless the motor is out on a stand I have no idea how you'd get a torque wrench in there. Note here: I use "The Force" and go by feel when torquing my spark plugs in. If you aren't comfortable doing this, take it to a dealer. It is possible to strip the threads if you are too ham-fisted and go crazy tight. I'm by no means an expert but have done enough to feel comfortable doing this.

After you get the plug tight put the coil pack back on and tighten down the bolt (12mm) again I did this by feel but there isn't a lot of torque so don't go crazy tight. Just note that the coil pack sort of sits on top of the plug. There is no positive click it's held on by the bolt only. In fact the spring inside the coil pack wants to push it back off. I got everything hand tight before using a socket to tighten it down. Again the rear plug by the firewall is a bugger to get the coil pack back in and on the plug. I had to come in kind of from the bottom with the coil pack rotated about 180 degrees. It's tricky and you will have to fiddle with it. I found this to be the hardest part of the whole deal and it wasn't all that bad really.

Once you have all three coil packs on, now you need to put the plug back on each coil, start at the back and work your way forward. You should hear a click when the plugs hits home. If you don't, double check to see if it's in there properly by tugging on the wire to make sure it won't slip off.

After you have all three harness plugs on the coil pack, put the metal bracket back on that holds the coil wire loom to the motor. Put the battery back in place (positive first then negative) Now you are ready for the other side which is easier.

To get to the plugs you will need to remove the whole airbox (front and rear section) and move the power steering bottle out of the way. For the airbox start by taking the front section off. It's held in with two phillips screw plastic molly type fasteners. Turn the center an pull it up with your fingers then pop the whole thing out. The font part will lift right off.

Next with a flat blade screwdriver undo the one hose clamp on the back of the airbox, unplug the MAF plug from the MAF and release the little clip that's holding the MAF wire. You may need to use some small needle nose pliers to undo the little clip. I've undone that clip too many times and it broke. I hold the wire to the hole on the airbox with a wire tie. With that stuff out of the way undo the two clips that hold the front on and remove that half and the air filter.

Now you need to remove next section of the air-box. With a 10mm socket (long extension for the lower one helps) remove the one nut and two bolts holding it in. Set the whole deal aside.

With a screwdriver kind of wedged at the bottom of the power steering fluid bottle push it up and off it's bracket. Put that aside out of the way but be careful not to tip and spill the fluid out.

With all that stuff out of the way this side is done the same as the drivers side. When you are done just put everything back in place.

I know it sounds complicated but it reality it's not, just a little time consuming but nothing too tough.
 

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spark plug removal

I just followed Peaty post above, Thank you Peaty !. It helped. I have NOT looked forward to changing the plugs, but I did it this afternoon. Took me a couple of hours as I was in uncharted territories. The plug change was the last part of the 60,000 mile service that I did myself.I did the tranny( double drain method), the differentials, the cabin filter, the oil,checked the pads and the fluids,and the engine filter.
Enclosed are a couple photos to help you.It was not real hard,just tight access and several scratches on my arms and knuckles.
 

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I did the driver side and left the passenger side for later. There isn't much room. I would rather change any oils (diff, trans., engine) than changing spark plugs.

I was able to get a torque wrench in there but the accuracy while working there with the limited space was questionable. But I still feel a torque wrench is must unless you have it in your hands.
 

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Dude you are lucky enough to have Hyundai Elantra as your first car. I remember mine was a secondhand one. It was Honda, bought for me by my dad. Anyways, you can personalize your car to match your personality.
 

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Peaty said:
To remove the coil pack harness start with the coil pack closest to the front and press down on the harness clip and tug it towards the back to slip it off. Sometimes it takes two hands. The rear one is a bugger, you may need to do it with a long flat blade screwdriver. Just be careful to not snap the tab on the harness.
I have a problem with this part here ^^^^^.

I did the driver side few months ago and now I am doing the passenger side not remembering the detail about the coil connector disconnect.

It seems that the coil connector has a tab that should be lifted up and away from the coil pack, not pushed as the instructions says.

Anybody has the trick how to disconnect the coil connectors?

Thanks!!!!!
 

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OK, the instruction is correct. It is necessary to push on the side of the connector, on the end of it, the side where the cables are. The tab is like a lever and pushing on it would lift the front.

There is little room and hard to see the anatomy of the connector. Now I am good to go!
 

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I changed them at 74k miles. The old spark plugs where in very good condition to my surprise. Changing them at 90k or even at 100k seems safe.
 

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Peaty said:
OK we are at 59K miles and I decided to do the plugs on the Tribeca. I was expecting a nightmare but found it to be the opposite (I've done plugs on an H6 a few times before)

I'm going to apologize in advanced for not taking pics but like I say I was expecting the worse and have limited time. Taking pics adds a lot more time than you expect. I will give some text on the subject though.

First off there is no need to remove the engine cover, the plugs are on the side and not the top :) Also, make sure you do this on a stone cold motor. Let it sit overnight, this way you can mentally prepare ;)

I'll get more detailed on Scoobymods and post a link but in general this is how it goes.

On the drivers side you need to remove the battery (always undo the ground (-) cable first then the positive (+) second when removing then the opposite when re installing)

There is a metal bracket covering the wires leading to the coil packs, that needs to come off (two - 10mm bolts) with that off you can remove the coil pack from each plug

To remove the coil pack harness start with the coil pack closest to the front and press down on the harness clip and tug it towards the back to slip it off. Sometimes it takes two hands. The rear one is a bugger, you may need to do it with a long flat blade screwdriver. Just be careful to not snap the tab on the harness.

With the harness off the coil packs you can move it down and out of the way. Remove each coil pack with a 12mm socket. They are not on there tight and the bolt is held in by the coil pack so don't worry about it falling off never to be found again. I removed all three coil packs and marked them as to the location. It really doesn't matter which one goes where but it made me feel better :)

OK with the coil packs off, take a spark plug socket and a 3" extension and put it down the spark plug tube, then put a spark plug wrench on the extension after you are sure the socket is on the plug. The rear (towards the firewall) drivers side plug is the hardest to get to (left hand drive) you may need to use a different thinner ratchet depending on how thick yours is. What I like to do is just loosen the plug a few turns then remove the tools (sometimes you need to use a flat blade screwdriver to separate the ratchet from the extension) Then I take a 4 -5" section of fuel line hose and push it down the spark plug hole on the plug. I use that to twist the plug out and get it out of the tube. If you don't have this hose get it from a local auto store, it really is handy and you will need it to put the new plugs in.

With the plug out you want to prepare you new plug (NGK ILFR6B) for the installation. I like to put never seize on the threads of the spark plug and bolt of the coil pack and some dielectric grease on the spark plug end where the coil pack sits as well as some inside the coil pack boot. For both of these things I use a cotton swab like a Q-Tip.

With the plug ready to go, slip the rubber hose on the plug nice and tight, slip that into the spark plug tube and get the plug started by hand. Twist it all the way down till it's snug. This does two things. Makes it so you are sure you don't have it cross-threaded (very very bad on this type of motor meaning expen$ive to repair) and it puts the plug as far on as possible so you have more room to get your tools on there.

Take the hose off and put the socket and extension in the tube, then attach the ratchet. Tighten down the plug till it's snug then only go about another 1/16th of a turn. I know there is a torque spec but unless the motor is out on a stand I have no idea how you'd get a torque wrench in there. Note here: I use "The Force" and go by feel when torquing my spark plugs in. If you aren't comfortable doing this, take it to a dealer. It is possible to strip the threads if you are too ham-fisted and go crazy tight. I'm by no means an expert but have done enough to feel comfortable doing this.

After you get the plug tight put the coil pack back on and tighten down the bolt (12mm) again I did this by feel but there isn't a lot of torque so don't go crazy tight. Just note that the coil pack sort of sits on top of the plug. There is no positive click it's held on by the bolt only. In fact the spring inside the coil pack wants to push it back off. I got everything hand tight before using a socket to tighten it down. Again the rear plug by the firewall is a bugger to get the coil pack back in and on the plug. I had to come in kind of from the bottom with the coil pack rotated about 180 degrees. It's tricky and you will have to fiddle with it. I found this to be the hardest part of the whole deal and it wasn't all that bad really.

Once you have all three coil packs on, now you need to put the plug back on each coil, start at the back and work your way forward. You should hear a click when the plugs hits home. If you don't, double check to see if it's in there properly by tugging on the wire to make sure it won't slip off.

After you have all three harness plugs on the coil pack, put the metal bracket back on that holds the coil wire loom to the motor. Put the battery back in place (positive first then negative) Now you are ready for the other side which is easier.

To get to the plugs you will need to remove the whole airbox (front and rear section) and move the power steering bottle out of the way. For the airbox start by taking the front section off. It's held in with two phillips screw plastic molly type fasteners. Turn the center an pull it up with your fingers then pop the whole thing out. The font part will lift right off.

Next with a flat blade screwdriver undo the one hose clamp on the back of the airbox, unplug the MAF plug from the MAF and release the little clip that's holding the MAF wire. You may need to use some small needle nose pliers to undo the little clip. I've undone that clip too many times and it broke. I hold the wire to the hole on the airbox with a wire tie. With that stuff out of the way undo the two clips that hold the front on and remove that half and the air filter.

Now you need to remove next section of the air-box. With a 10mm socket (long extension for the lower one helps) remove the one nut and two bolts holding it in. Set the whole deal aside.

With a screwdriver kind of wedged at the bottom of the power steering fluid bottle push it up and off it's bracket. Put that aside out of the way but be careful not to tip and spill the fluid out.

With all that stuff out of the way this side is done the same as the drivers side. When you are done just put everything back in place.

I know it sounds complicated but it reality it's not, just a little time consuming but nothing too tough.
First of all thanks for the great write up, Peaty. I was wondering does this write up also apply to the '08 and up models? Thanks!
 
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