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Time for spark plugs on the 981

 
Old 08-31-2016, 12:59 AM
  #1  
Georound
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Default Time for spark plugs on the 981

Anyone changed the spark plugs yet? Doesn't seem to be much room. I think I might need to drop the headers. I don't remember my 987.1 being so tight.
The one I pulled (with 48k) miles looked good. I've had the FVD tune for the last couple of thousand miles with K&N filters.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:38 PM
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r553
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FWIW All Data DIY does not tell you to remove headers to change plugs. You may need different length extensions at some cylinders. It is advisable to have locking type extensions so your plug socket doesn't get stuck in the cylinder head. Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:14 PM
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There's so little room between the cat and the head that I can't really even unclip the front two coils. Maybe from under the car. I specifically was trying the driver's side.
I may remove the wheel liner first to see if there's an additional access. Was hoping a mechanic could chime in....The header bolts are pretty easy to get to, so that may be the path of least resistance.

Update: persistence pays off. All new sparkplugs installed. Good for another 40k miles. Passenger side took about 40 mins, drivers side was an hour or more. Add three extensions, a universal joint and leave some skin on the heat shield. Note, exhaust manifolds have triple square bolts, I didn't remove them. Likely would have made it much easier.

After driving it to work, it feels a bit smoother, especially off of idle. Reminded me of that new car crispness. Total cost $42 from ECS tuning. Hopefully, I'll never need to do it again . Probably will add pictures of one of the plugs later.

Last edited by Georound; 09-01-2016 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:37 AM
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I just replaced the spark plugs on my 981 BS as part of the 40k service. The plugs can be accessed by simply removing the rear wheels, plastic wheel liners, and the rearmost underbody cover.

Here are a few tips:

1) Place cut pieces of door edge guard on the raw edges of the catalytic converters. Does a great job of protecting your hands and wrists from nasty cuts.

2) Use two different plug sockets. Remove the plugs with a normal socket containing the rubber insert that grips the insulator. Install the plugs with a socket that has the rubber insert removed. This eliminates the frustration of installing the new plug and then having the socket not release when pulling out of the plug tube.

3) Install the electrical connectors on the coil packs before installing the retention bolts. Otherwise, the connectors will tend to hang down and be bound between the head and the coil pack as you install the bolt.

4) Configure your extension setup to allow for a flex joint that will sit just outside of the spark plug tube. This combination provides the most flexibility in removing and placing the spark plug into the tube. (see illustration)

Overall, not that difficult. The job was a cakewalk relative to my 997.1 or an old big-block Corvette.

First pic is drivers side and second is passenger.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:29 PM
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Relieved to learn there's no need to access them from the top. And good tip on the edge protectors. Hope the Cayman is exactly the same as the Boxster down there. One question for both: Were you able to use a torque wrench? Or just did it by hand? My experience with universal joints is they distort the force you put into fasteners. But if plugs have crush washers, I think the norm is to fasten them 3/4 of a turn from seated. Just wondering what you guys did.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:21 PM
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An attempt to use the torque wrench felt awkward. Specs for a plug of this size calls for 1/4 to 1/3 turn after seating. Maybe it's because these plugs have relatively thin crush washers, but I ended up snugging them up at slightly less than 1/4 turn. YMMV
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ///zhp04 View Post
I just replaced the spark plugs on my 981 BS as part of the 40k service. The plugs can be accessed by simply removing the rear wheels, plastic wheel liners, and the rearmost underbody cover.

Here are a few tips:

1) Place cut pieces of door edge guard on the raw edges of the catalytic converters. Does a great job of protecting your hands and wrists from nasty cuts.

2) Use two different plug sockets. Remove the plugs with a normal socket containing the rubber insert that grips the insulator. Install the plugs with a socket that has the rubber insert removed. This eliminates the frustration of installing the new plug and then having the socket not release when pulling out of the plug tube.

3) Install the electrical connectors on the coil packs before installing the retention bolts. Otherwise, the connectors will tend to hang down and be bound between the head and the coil pack as you install the bolt.

4) Configure your extension setup to allow for a flex joint that will sit just outside of the spark plug tube. This combination provides the most flexibility in removing and placing the spark plug into the tube. (see illustration)

Overall, not that difficult. The job was a cakewalk relative to my 997.1 or an old big-block Corvette.

First pic is drivers side and second is passenger.
Thanks zhp04- great tips and photo of wrench set up that will be useful in 20,000 miles or so.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:53 PM
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Thanks for the tips and photos.
Looking forward to doing this
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:37 PM
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Well, I just finished replacing the spark plugs in my 2014 Cayman S. I appreciate the information from those who have previously accomplished the task. I did it by just removing the wheels and fender liners. I did not remove the under body panel. The edge of the cat is very sharp and I used a piece of duct tape to smooth it out. The front most drivers side plug by far the most difficult. For me the most difficult part was removing the torx bolt holding down the coil. I used a 27 to remove the first two before I realized the correct size is a 30. Once I was using the right size it went much better. The hardest part is positioning yourself so you can get your hands in the right positions and hopefully see a little bit. The passenger side is very easy and took me maybe a half hour to replace all three plugs. I did not, but I would suggest starting on the passenger side so you can see how the coils clip on and how it works before you do it blindly on the drivers side. I used 1/4 extensions for the coils and 3/8 for the plugs. Used one swivel connector on each. You need extension combinations that reach about a foot. I did it with my car on jack stands and me sitting on my rear as well as lying down. It would be a whole lot easier on a lift where you would be working at eye level. I did the plugs as the four year service with only 17,000 miles. They looked OK but were quite hard to break loose on a cold engine. Might be better if engine was slightly warm. Anyway, don't be afraid to give it a go and thanks to those who provided the previous information. Total cost was $42 for the Bosch plugs. Took it for a spin after and all is well.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ///zhp04 View Post
I just replaced the spark plugs on my 981 BS as part of the 40k service. The plugs can be accessed by simply removing the rear wheels, plastic wheel liners, and the rearmost underbody cover.

Here are a few tips:

1) Place cut pieces of door edge guard on the raw edges of the catalytic converters. Does a great job of protecting your hands and wrists from nasty cuts.

2) Use two different plug sockets. Remove the plugs with a normal socket containing the rubber insert that grips the insulator. Install the plugs with a socket that has the rubber insert removed. This eliminates the frustration of installing the new plug and then having the socket not release when pulling out of the plug tube.

3) Install the electrical connectors on the coil packs before installing the retention bolts. Otherwise, the connectors will tend to hang down and be bound between the head and the coil pack as you install the bolt.

4) Configure your extension setup to allow for a flex joint that will sit just outside of the spark plug tube. This combination provides the most flexibility in removing and placing the spark plug into the tube. (see illustration)

Overall, not that difficult. The job was a cakewalk relative to my 997.1 or an old big-block Corvette.

First pic is drivers side and second is passenger.
Nice write-up. I replaced mine at 27,000 miles when I was installing headers, so it was a breeze for me.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:50 AM
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Are you guys also changing the pencil coils? I had one fail after about 15k miles and thought it might be best to renew these as well.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:57 AM
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Most people haven't changed coils as preventative maintenance, but it is a good idea to keep one or two spares on hand, especially if you track.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:19 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for posting, I just bought my car a little over a week ago and plan to flush the brake fluid, change the air filters, engine oil and filter, cabin filter and spark plugs so that I have a benchmark.

Your timing was perfect and great write ups.

This can't be as bad a job as adjusting the valves every 15,000 miles on my 964 was.

Thanks....
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:44 PM
  #14  
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Thanks for the info! Glad I found this prior to tackling the plug swap. Yes, the drivers side was a little tight but manageable.
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