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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Spark Plugs?

Has anyone changed the spark plugs themselves? I was wondering if it was a total pain to do or not too bad at all. It says they don't need to be serviced till 60k, but maybe someone has done it earlier? Please post if you can, thanks.

2004 Sunlight Silver 3i
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 03:44 PM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

just changed the spark plugs yesterday. I used the bosch+4 great investment. but to answer your question it takes about 15min to do very simple task. If you have 1 oz of mechanical skills it can be done

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Spark Plugs?

Anyway you can show pictures or explanation of how you did it?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 07:56 PM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

[quote author=Triphis link=topic=48253.msg752488#msg752488 date=1149446645]
just changed the spark plugs yesterday. I used the bosch+4 great investment. but to answer your question it takes about 15min to do very simple task. If you have 1 oz of mechanical skills it can be done
[/quote]

You had a better plug in there before :shock:

Mummy, don't even think of doing anything to these plugs till you get 'round 50k. You have iridiums, the car was tuned to work with these quick firing plugs.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Spark Plugs?

What's the best way to get at the spark plugs, since they are down depper in the engine?* I've found diagrams via a search on how everything works, but do you guys have a specific way that works best to get them out (and put them back in without cross-threading them?)

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Spark Plugs?

*Bump* Anyone?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 07:40 PM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

I used a really long spark-plug socket.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 02:01 AM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

[quote author=Mummyman link=topic=48253.msg752905#msg752905 date=1149470284]
What's the best way to get at the spark plugs, since they are down depper in the engine?* I've found diagrams via a search on how everything works, but do you guys have a specific way that works best to get them out (and put them back in without cross-threading them?)
[/quote]

I've changed plugs on many different vehicles and motorcycles. This job can vary from a 15 minute piece of cake to an all day+ nightmare. In this forum or another I saw one recount the horror of breaking the plug and having parts fall inside the cylinder (I have not gotten into that fix yet! If you do duct tape a tygon plastic tube onto a vacuum cleaner hose and suck out the cylinder through the spark plug hole). A 4 cylinder engine typically is dead easy. V-8 RWD is more difficult, and a V-6 FWD can be a real bear. I recall some of GM's early V-6's required the engine to be partly removed before you could even start.

Here are a few tips:

First disconnect the negative terminal from the battery, and then lift off the plastic cover over the engine.

1. Depending on the type of spark plug wire cover, getting this off can be the most difficult part. If it is a hard plastic type (have not looked at my M3 yet), this will be easy and can usually be done by hand. If it is a soft silicone type, then be sure to get a special tool that grips the plug cover so you can remove it without damaging the cover and wire. I believe the Mazda3 uses the coil in cover design and I would hope they are easy to remove. Have not dealt with that type yet.... Checked my manual and it says just lift off of the cover.

2. Getting the plug out typically is easy. You should first vacuum the area around the plug to be sure dirt does not drop in when the plug is removed. You can take some comfort if you are a DIY type in that they probably don'ty do this when you take it to a garage. Special spark plug sockets are sold which have a rubber cushion inside and minimize the chance of breaking the plug insulator. There are even special plug ratchet wrenches which have a flex in the shaft to get access to difficult areas. On a 4 cyl you will need a deep socket for sure and if you are buying one, get a spark plug socket. The rubber also helps to hold the plug. Special ratchet not likely needed.

3. Plugs tend to somewhat seize in place. When they "give" be prepared for it so you don't do a sudden side twist and break the insulator. See vaccum note above if you do.

4. When re-installing always check the new plug gap. The round tappered disk type spark plug gap tool is the best. Most plugs are right from the factory though. Don't make the mistake of the one poster and think you are doing good by putting in a platinum plug. The Mazda3 comes with an iridium plug which is better than platinum. Replace with iridium or be prepared to do the next replacement sooner. Manual says gap on the 3 is 0.050 to 0.053".

5. I always put anti-seize compound on the threads of the new plug, being sure not to get it on the business end. Put it in the socket (special socket with rubber will hold it there), and hand thread it as far as you can into the plug hole. If will thread a long way if you have not cross threaded it.

6. Torque to the factory spec, but I admit I do it by feel. Be very careful not to put any side torque on the wrench as you can break the new plug at this point - see vacuum technique above! Manual says to use 8-10 ft-lbs of torque.

7. Replace the plug wire. You have done this one plug at a time so you have not mixed up the plug wires - right? I also put some silicone grease inside the plug cover to make it easier to come off next time, if you have the tight fitting silicone type.

Hope that helps...

Ron, 2006 Mazda3 GT, Sedan, GFX, LP, MT, Sunlight Silver
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 05:49 AM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

They're no problem to access with an extension bar and a spark plug socket. A torque wrench is a good idea too. If you thread them in finger tight until they're seated, you can't cross-thread them.

As Ron mentioned, put a little (just a film) of anti-seize on the plug threads to prevent galling of the threads of the aluminum head.

I'd check at new (to get a little anti-seize on), 30K, 60K, 75K, 90K. Expect 75K out of them, with 90K as an upper limit.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 11:16 AM
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Re: Spark Plugs?

I would stick with the NGK irridiums not bosch or any other brand
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