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Old 07-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
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2003 Spark Plug Change - Easy, Real Easy

Just wanted to share this for anyone that hasn't changed his or her own spark plugs

Its easy as hell.

I have a 2003 so it doesn't have a distributor....so you have to remove the "coil pack". 4 bolts.

Then unplug it from the wiring harness, and pull it away from the motor.
Put it off to the side.

Gap your plugs to .035 , I used champion RC12ECC which was only like 10 bucks. I went with these for the fact that was the plugs that came in it when I got it. I had actually went and got some platinum champions that the guy at the parts store said would fit, however they ended up being about 1/4 inch too long. I didn't want to try and force it into the coil pack, so I returned and went with the original replacement copper plus)

I'm sure there are reasons to go with platinum, and maybe those would have worked.......but I KNOW RC12ECC will work.

Anyway, ......I had to use two different size extensions on my ratchet it get around the air intake. The hardest to get to was the one in the back, but I just opened my hood to the maximum and used a short extension.

I removed each one at a time , replacing old with new as I went.

Tightened everything up when all were in.........reinstalled coil pack....done

Total time - 20 mins
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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Nice writeup, that will be a big help to those who have not yet changed their plugs in the newer distributorless 4.0L engines. The plug changing process is now way different from older engines so lots of folks here will appreciate your helpful writeup.

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Old 07-11-2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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Yeah, I went to change mine the other day and kept looking for the spark plug wires, lol. Took me a few minutes to realize that the plugs were underneath the long bar.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:54 PM   #4
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I had read how easy it was...but ended up saying screw it and paid my buddy $30 to do it the other day. I also went with the same plugs you did. I originally was going to use the APP985's but at nearly $5 a plug, I laughed and told him to give me the factory Champions instead.

I watched my buddy do it all though and you're right...it was very simple. I just know every time I read something is easy, I run into SOME kind of unexpected problem...broken coil rail wire, broken spark plug, etc.

Plus while we had it in the bay, I had him change my oil (decided to try some Schaeffer oil w/ a Wix filter) and I rotated my tires.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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Yes, good writeup. One thing that helped me get to the difficult ones that weren't a straight shot (a/c or air intake) was a wobble socket extension. It allows a little rotational play of the socket.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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I think its kind of funny you posted this write up today since i just got done doing the same thing a few hours before you posted it
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:35 AM   #7
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A tip: When starting to screw the new plug in in a difficult spot - slip a piece or vacuum hose over the outside end of the plug - use the hose instead of the wrench to turn the plug a few turns - preventing cross threading.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:56 AM   #8
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Thanks! This motivated me to do mine today =)
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:41 AM   #9
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Nice Write-Up the plug change can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the coil pack set-up.

Couple other tips, use some of the Plug Boot grease, it will really help with keeping the boots from sticking to the plugs when the time comes to change them again, and a bit of anti seize on the plug threads never hurts either.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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good thread, thank you. I will me doing mine this spring and will make sure to revisit this post!
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:17 PM   #11
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Agreed, this is the easiest spark plug change I've ever done over the course of owning 15 vehicles. 15 minutes tops..ANYONE with working arms, a socket set and a spark plug socket can do this.

Or just park outside your auto parts store and borrow their stuff to do the work.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3nt3nc3d View Post
I had read how easy it was...but ended up saying screw it and paid my buddy $30 to do it the other day. I also went with the same plugs you did. I originally was going to use the APP985's but at nearly $5 a plug, I laughed and told him to give me the factory Champions instead.

I watched my buddy do it all though and you're right...it was very simple. I just know every time I read something is easy, I run into SOME kind of unexpected problem...broken coil rail wire, broken spark plug, etc.

Plus while we had it in the bay, I had him change my oil (decided to try some Schaeffer oil w/ a Wix filter) and I rotated my tires.
* A TRUE friend would NEVER have taken your $30 bucks!
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
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EXACTLY why I never even wanted to be remotely mechanically inclined!!

NOTHING is easy, when it comes to mechanical work!!
Have watched my brother for way to many years thinking he had an easy job on some of the one's he's done and it turns put to be tougher than crap!!
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:37 AM   #14
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Any need to gap new plugs these days?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon M View Post
Any need to gap new plugs these days?
They're supposed to be pre-gapped but I would double check them since it's easy. One out of six of my Champions was way off. Maybe got dropped or something.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #16
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thx
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:03 PM   #17
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Speaking of changing the plugs. I had gone to change out the air filter as well and found a wix filter in there. Guess the previous owner put one in. Jeep now has 32,000 on it. Anyone know how long those are good for. It's a DD not much wheeling yet. Normal conditions down here in FLA. I had bought a Fram and did notice a difference in the construction so gonna bring that one back anyway. Thanks. Don't mean to poach in the thread.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:33 AM   #18
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the cheap champions seemed to work the best for me and hey instead of regaping them next year, just get new ones lol
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 PM   #19
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thanks guys this is a huge help
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:23 PM   #20
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Ha, Man great thread. Im new to the forum and after reading, decided to change spark plugs first. I have a 2003 as well with the 4.0. I bought the champion double platinum too, havent put them in yet, but after reading your post, they may not fit haha. Thanks man, im about to go try and hopefully not break anything. Im not very mechanically inclined lol.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:24 PM   #21
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If anyone has a trick for removing the coil rail electrical connector, I would like to hear it. (I am familiar with the sliding lock; that is not the issue.)
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #22
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I don't unplug the connector plug from the rail when I change plugs on these....FWIW
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I don't unplug the connector plug from the rail when I change plugs on these....FWIW
x2
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:28 PM   #24
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I don't unplug the connector plug from the rail when I change plugs on these....FWIW
FWIW, I already know how to NOT disconnect the coil rail. I am just looking ahead and anticipating the day that it needs to be disconnected.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:31 PM   #25
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No need to get all touchy. Pry the red lock tab back, depress the release tab, and carefully work the two connector halves apart.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2611 View Post
x2
x3. just removed the bolts, pulled if off then moved it up if I remember correctly. another tip, rest the hood on the windshield, gives you some extra room for the ones in the back.

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