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Changing Durango Hemi spark plugs
I recently had to change the plugs and wires in my 2004 Durango Hemi. I read on several posts that it was a tediuous job, but I didn't read much in the way of directions. So, I thought I'd post some of what I learned for the next guy considering this job. Anyone who's done the job, please add on below. I don't intend for this post to become a debate over which brands of wires, plugs, nuts, bolts, screw drivers, and beer are best, but feel free to add below. I went to Advanced Auto Parts for everything. If you don't like the brands I chose, OK. I'm not going back in to change it, it runs great.
Overall, the job is not difficult. However, it is tedious, pricey, and it will challenge your toolbox a bit. A moderate amount of mechanical ability is all that's really needed.
I recommend doing everything with 3/8" drives. My 1/2" spark plug socket wouldn't fit into the valve cover hole.
3/8" x 3" extension
3/8" x 6" extension
3/8" x 10" extension
3/8" x 24" extension
10mm gear wrench
3/8" swivel (do not even attempt this job without this!!!)
5/8" spark plug socket (for removing the plugs)
5/8" deep well socket (for installing the plugs)
extendable magnet (better to have it if you need it BEFORE you start)
You'll need 16 spark plugs. I used Champion platinums. On sale for $3.50 ea.
For wires, you get one box containing 8 wires.
Also, four boxes containing two springs and two plug "boots".
That's right, 16 plugs - 8 wires. Trust me. Total cost about $160.
1. Remove the intake ducting between the top of the air filter back to the hose clamp.
2. Remove the air box from the clamp to the throttle body. Two bolts.
3. For each, you need to remove the coil, which is held on by two 10mm bolts (they don't pull out but have a retainer clip in the coil. This is good!), and the two plugs.
4. I started with the forward most plug on the passenger side. There's a tube going right over the top, but you can get everything out. I promise.
5. For each plug, you'll need a new combination of extensions and swivel. It doesn't look possible, but you can actually get to all of them. PATIENCE!
6. I'd recommend removing all the coils from a side to open up more room to get to the back.
7. Remove each of the plugs with a spark plug socket attached to a 3" extension.
8. Gap the plugs to 0.045" (at least that's what my Champions were specified at)
9. To install the plugs, I dropped the plug in. Fitted the 3" extension to a 5/8" deep well socket and then inserted the socket and extension into the hole. I assembled swivel and extension on top each time depending on location.
10. Change the plugs on a side.
11. CAREFULLY change all the wires. You have to kind of lace them between the sides. It will make sense after you get all the intact plumbing off. I promise!
12. Reinstall the coils. The rubber boots just pull off. Fit the springs into the coil first, then slide the boot over them.
13. Repeat on the other side.
14. Start the engine and make sure it operates. This will probably set a Check Engine light. Mine cleared after a couple starts.
15. Reinstall the plumbing.
I'm sure I've left something out. Big thing: get the tools - don't short cut this - and be patient. I took about 3 hours working casually with a couple short breaks to check on the Florida-Bama game.
Everyone, please add as you please.
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