To install a spark plug, particularly a thin wall, is relatively easy, but the process requires proper attention to details to avoid engine contamination and ensure correct installation. Proper installation is the key to maximum engine performance. Follow the simple steps below to effectivelyinstall your own thin wall spark plug.
Tools and Materials
- Plug Socket
- Torque Wrench
- Plug Starter
- Safety Glasses
- Thin Wall Spark Plug
- Penetrating Oil
Step 1 – Prep the Car
Do not work while the engine is hot. Let it cool for a few minutes before working on the installation. Determine where the plugs are located in the car. This information can be found in the vehicle’s manufacturer’s manual.
Open the car hood and locate the housing for the coil assembly that contains the old plugs. Loosen the screws on the housing and carefully detach the ignition coil. As soon as the ignition coil is disconnected, remove the assembly out of the way. Check the assembly for damage as well.
Step 2 – Clean the Work Area
Always wear safety glasses for eye protection. Wear gloves as well if possible. Before removing the plugs, use an air compressor to clean the work area. The objective is to prevent dirt and debris from falling into the engine cylinder. Contaminants will definitely affect the car’s performance.
Step 3 – Remove Old Thin Wall Spark Plugs
Connect the plug socket to the wrench. To remove the plug boot, hold on to its base, twist 90 to 180 degrees and pull it out. Position the socket over the plug and carefully turn counterclockwise. As the plug loosens, pull it out. If the plugs are too tight, use penetrating oil. For recessed plugs, use a starter tool to reach down and pull them out. The tool is a rubber hose designed for plug removal and hand-tightening. Remove the other plugs in the same manner.
Step 4 – Purchase New Thin Wall Spark Plugs
Always compare the old spark plug to the new ones to be installed. They should be of the same size and gap. Take the old one to the supply store in order to get a correct match.
Step 5 – Install the New Plugs
Place the plug into the rubber starter and position it into the plug hole. Tighten the plug by hand to avoid cross-threading. Twist counterclockwise a couple of times until the connection becomes hand-tight. Do the same with the other plugs in the set.
When all plugs are hand-tight, use a torque wrench to tighten the connections to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification. However, if a torque wrench is not available, use a socket and ratchet wrench. However, be sure to get information on the tightening specifications. This information is available in charts on automobile websites dealing with spark plug installation.
Step 6 – Reinstall the Coil Assembly
Connect the boot back over the plug or reinstall the coil assembly. As soon as the assembly is positioned correctly over the plugs, insert the screws and tighten them. Never forget to reconnect the connections for the coil. Close the car hood, and start the car for testing.