Um... DUH.... (was re: 12V spark plug change)

Fisher, Scott Scott_Fisher at
Sun May 12 15:42:09 EDT 2002

So a few minutes ago, I asked if there was any trick to changing the plugs
on the 12V V6 in my wife's '93 100CSQ.

"It's another Uber-battery adventure," I told my wife, reminding her of her
own quandary when trying to find the battery in the same car.

"Oh!" she said.  "Just a minute..." And she started rummaging around in the
glove box.

"There is a spark plug spanner in the trunk," she said, and moments later
produced it.

VERY cool.

The other cars I own all use the larger, 13/16" spark plug and wrench -- in
fact, I remember noting how cool I thought it was that the CGT uses the same
size wrench for the spark plugs and the sump drain.  It took me a little
time to find the proper-sized plug wrench for the smaller plugs in the 12V
V6, but I managed to locate it.  If you're also getting set to do this job,
you'll need a fairly large extension to clear the intake manifold and fuel
injection rail.  One 3" extension didn't do the trick; it looked as though
two might, but I had already brought out the 24" extension.

To get enough leverage to break these plugs loose with the factory tool
required a little extra leverage.  To keep it all in the family, I slipped
the J-tube from the racing exhaust that came with my '61 356B coupe over the
short end.  That provided all the leverage I needed to get the plugs loose.

I lubricated the threads to avoid the problem again (just a little Bosch
grease to keep them from binding in the aluminum heads) and put in new Bosch
Platinum+2.  Yes, I unwittingly cheaped out and got two-prong instead of
three-prong plugs in my earlier stop at the parts store.  I'll change them
sooner than 2 years, now that I know the trick.

Oh, and for the record -- the old plugs were VERY worn.  At least two of
them had eroded the outer prongs to the point that I'm sure they were
misfiring; one at least had cracked the insulation on the center electrode.
And one, the rearmost plug on the right-hand bank (#3, right? I *love* the
way the wires are labeled) appeared to have a little rust in the portion
that extended into the cylinder head.  Let's hope it's that the valve was
open on that one and it's been damp in Portland.  Either that, or we have
figured out where the slo-o-o-ow coolant leak is going...

Final trick, maybe only necessary if you're using the 24" extension: I
*love* the way you can press the orange button in the hood strut and get an
extra 15 degrees of elevation.  VERY slick.  What a neat car.

My wife is VERY happy to have her car back -- we're off to the garden center
as soon as I clean up.  It instantly ran smoother from the first turn of the
key.  I can't wait to give it an Italian tune-up to clear any unburned crud
off the valves...

--Scott Fisher
  Tualatin, Oregon

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