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Changing the spark plugs (warning: many pics!)

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Old 06-04-2001, 06:51 AM   #1
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Default Changing the spark plugs (warning: many pics!)

Ferris decided to buy into the hype and try out a set of irridium spark plugs. So last weekend we installed them. Overall install impressions, Prophet_S4 hit it on the nose when he said, "it's not difficult, just a pain in the ***!" Here's the pics:
First step is to remove all the plastic engine covers. We started on the airbox side because it is a little easier to get to. You will see the coilpacks that cover the plugs.

Unplug the connectors by lifting the silver tab. There are two bolts holding the coil packs in place. once you remove them the coilpack will slide out.

You will need a long rachet extension to get the plugs out.

Here's what it looks like with all three coilpacks removed.

Here's a side by side of the new and old plugs. You can't see in this pic but the diode on the irridium plug is tiny!

After you have gapped the plugs (we gapped at 30) and installed them, slide the coilpacks back in, bolt down and reconnect the plug.

Here's a tip, when reinstalling the airbox, make sure your thumb isn't in the way of the clips. They pack a mean punch as Ferris found out the hard way!

Getting to the drivers side plugs is a little more difficult because the coolant reservoir is in the way. We unscrewed it but left the hoses intact and moved it out of the way.

We had to move it around depending on which plug we needed to get at.

In some cases you will need someone to hold the reservoir when removing and installing the plugs.


All in all it took us about 45 minutes to an hour to do the whole job. It will go a lot faster the next time we do it (on my car). As for the performance difference with the irridium plugs, i'll let ferris comment on that.

z | b
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Old 06-04-2001, 06:55 AM   #2
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Default Please make this a FAQ! Exactly as is would be great.

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:01 AM   #3
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Default you guys have all the fun... you guys. i miss you guys!!!!!

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:13 AM   #4
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Default Great pictures and instructions. Thanks! BTW the gold chain has got to go! 8-P

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:15 AM   #5
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Default Hey remember a month ago i booked you for June 9th, you're coming with us saturday!!

We are doing Chris' exhaust and 0 - 60 and 1/4 miles runs!
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Great post Zaphod. I was just thinking about chaning mine for the hell of it.

I know I'll be using my "Mechanix" gloves....don't need to end up like Ferris.
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:16 AM   #7
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Default Oops. Fixed. Thanks.

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:22 AM   #8
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Default Impressions

Well yes I bought the hype and I'm sure most of it is.. However let me explain the reasoning...

I always noticed slight hesitations esp in the upper rev limits. Then it occurred to me the more boost and or compression, humm for some reason my car puts out 1 bar of boost I think I'll have the dealer check into that for me, the more voltage is needed to produce a nice arc. This esp true in the higher rev range when the coils must charge and discharger faster, leaving more room for misfires. Now to compensate for this, one could lower the gap, which as a general rule, would mean less power or lower the power needed to produce a spark. Problem one was no hard data on the required voltage and what the coil packs produce. So with no knowledge of what we had or what the ignition system could produce my search ensued. I came across Iridium plugs, which seemed to be embraced by another AWD/TURBO group, the VR-4s. So I researched it, Iridium has a resistivity of ~5 micro ohms and with a high strength manufactures are able to make a very fine tip, I believe it was .04 MM. They also sport a U Groove, but I think that's snake oil, much like the ****fires.. Anyway compared to our stock platinum with a resistivity of 10 micro ohms, I figured I could run a stock or large gapping. So after much debate I decided to take the $100 plunge. I went with a stock gapping of .032 in and the same heat range as stock.

Once installed and fired up, I got 0 misfires on cylinders 1-3 and 5 & 6, but 4 sported 6 or so I think the problem was the antisieze compound. After about 3 minutes at idle I had 0 misfires across the board. Unfortunately the weather prevented any g-tech runs before and after so we have no hard data. But after about 1500 miles the car seems have no hesitation, infact I think the falling off in the upper range is nonexistent at this point. Idle is also alot smoother, no more bouncing tach, it's basically locked at 800.

The only draw back is that the VR-4 people notice a crack insulator when running 18-22PSI of boost, I honestly doubt I'd run that so no worries and I'll check in another 1500 miles.

My vote is if you have 2 hours and 100 to blow it's worth it.
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:23 AM   #9
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Default Blood on the engine = 10 hp

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:25 AM   #10
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Default True......a hose clamp and a couple washers equal 15.........don't ask. :)

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:25 AM   #11
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Default Oooohhhh...sounds interesting guys but let Ferris mend his thumb first otherwise...

his 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs will be .008's slower than normal........

Good job on the insta-pics (install pics), I keep missing all these fun stuff you guys are doing lately
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:31 AM   #12
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Default Please let me know where and what to get, TIA

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:32 AM   #13
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Default Hmm.........Something to consider.

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: Please let me know where and what to get, TIA

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:49 AM   #15
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Default Turbos don't like irridium / platinum

Speaking from experience, although the S4 may be an exception... If you run 1+ bar I would definitely go with plain ol plugs.
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:51 AM   #16
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Default New Iridium vs. old oem. Who knows, new oem may have given same results? IMHO.

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Old 06-04-2001, 08:01 AM   #17
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Default Stock is platinum...

I actually thought the same thing about Platinum and was surprised to see them installed.

Copper's melting point is 1981 degrees F.
Iridium's melting point is 4449 degrees F.
Platinum's melting point is 3224 degrees F.

Copper's Tensile strength is 20,000 PSI.
Iridium's Tensile Strength is 160,000 PSI.
Platinum's Tensile Strength is 20,000 PSI.

I think the issue people were having lie with the Bosch Platinum's and I think that's why Audi went NGK..
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:04 AM   #18
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Default Yes

I didn't claim it to be better, like I said we had no hard data. Science proves it takes less power produce a good enough arc w/ iridium so you could theoretically run larger gaps. However with out the data on the coil pack it's all theory. Do what you want I'm just presenting another option
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Stock is platinum...

I have run NGK platinums in my DSM and without fail the car will start to miss past 18psi (1.2 bar). And yes I realize stock is platinum but I think that's more of a service issue for Audi than anything else seeing how much of a pita it is to get at the plugs.
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:14 AM   #20
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Default Ok, I have a few questions - what do different gap sizes and heat ranges provide? what's the

optimum for both on our cars? would there be any benefit to changing the gap or the heat range for stock vehicles? What about chipped cars?
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:14 AM
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