For someone like myself who's not mechanically inclined this seemed like a very daunting task. Biggest fear is applying too much torque, too much leverage, either ruining the thread or breaking the spark plug while it's still in the engine. Knock on wood, thank god everything went as smooth as it did. Space is super tight.
Tools and parts used
- OEM NGK plugs x 4
- 10mm socket
- 14mm or 9/16 spark plug deep socket
- 1" angle extension
- 3" extension
- standard 3/8 driver
- extendable and angle-able 3/8 driver
- plastic 1/2" hose 1 feet length
Initially, used a 14mm deep socket but found out it was not deep enough. Had to run out and get a 9/16 spark plug deep socket from NAPA for $6. Started from passenger side first, as that had the most room, and a good starting place to get a feel of how things are going to be. Removed the wire that attached to the intake first. Removed both pieces of the plastic intake header, held together via 10mm bolts. Having removed the intake header, there was plenty of room to work with. The coil packs did require a bit of wiggling to get them loose. Actually, only one coil was super tight, the other three came out without much resistance.
After having replaced the passenger side, I started the engine and listened to the engine, looking to see if there was any hesitation, rough idling and rough throttle response, or whether the engine light turned on (not sure if it would if something didn't go right). After everything seemed normal, shut the engine down and went on to the driver side. On a side note, tried removing the spark plugs immediately after a drive home, but it was super tight and wouldn't budge, so perhaps letting it cool down over night helped with things. When removing the plugs, I made sure to hold onto the end of the socket, as too much leverage applied when it's off angle may cause the spark plug to break. So yeah, be careful.
After having removed the passenger side plugs, I felt much more confident in tackling the driver side plugs. The challenge on the driver side is there's absolutely minimal space to work with, even removing the coil pack was a bit of a challenge. Had to remove the battery first. Couldn't have done the driver side without the 1" angle socket extension and extendable angled socket driver.
One important thing to note is that I made sure to place to spark plug into the plastic hose, before inserting it into the hole, and slowly hand threaded it on until the plastic tubing wouldn't turn any more, then pulled out the plastic tube and used to socket to tighten it the rest of the way. I would say I gave it another 1/4 to 1/2 turn after it was hand tightened.
After all is said and done, I'd say it was a pretty good learning experience, probably took much longer than any seasoned mechanic, spent roughly two hours start to finish. Good luck to those looking to venture into this DIY.