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Changing Chrysler PT Cruiser spark plugs

Dana44 wrote:

  1. [Webmaster addition:] Gap the plugs. According to forum posts:
    • Gap at or close to .50” if there is no misfire, hesitation, etc., and you want to get a trifle extra gas mileage. A safe middle ground may be .45” if there is misfiring at that gap. If you plan to modify your turbo engine, iridiums can be gapped down to .32” and other plugs can go down to .40-.45”. (Chrysler now specifies .40”)
    • On naturally aspirated (normal) engines, the gap should apparently be .40” according to a service bulletin, originally .50”. See the underhood sticker.
  2. Remove the cover on the engine.
  3. Remove the five bolts connecting the top two halves of the intake manifold where the dipstick is (five 8mm socket).
  4. Remove the EGR tube (one 8mm socket, other is 13mm socket).
  5. Remove the air hose from the air box at the throttle body with a flat tip screw driver and one more 13mm bolt underneath the throttle body opening.
  6. Rotate the top intake manifold up, block it up with a board if you want to keep it out of the way, but be cautious, there is an extention tube on the EGR tube in the back of the top manifold so the manifold needs to come forward to prevent gasket damage(light blue in color, actually a flat one and another fitted O-ring with ridges, be careful. Several hard and soft vacuum hoses and wires/sensors, no problems gently moving them around.
    • “Powerglide” seconded this: “I was very careful lifting the manifold up; there is a lot of stuff still hooked to the manifold when you rotate it up. The main thing is to get that EGR gasket out of harm’s way before you lift. Another thing that slowed me down was getting all my tools out of those 8 inch recesses the plugs fit in. I also put plastic over the open ports before I started pulling the plugs. I think I could do it now in about 30 minutes and I’m not a mechanic!
  7. Twist, then pull the plug wire boots and use a deep 5/8 inch plug socket with three inch minimum extension and rubber gripper to pull the plugs (or long needle nose pliers to retract the old plugs after unscrewed).
  8. Use anti-seize on the threads, and if the plug wires are over three years old or 60,000 (maintenance interval?) miles old, replace the wires as they tend to get pinhole leaks to short against the tubes they sit in.
  9. Before reinstalling upper intake, wipe excess oil in the intake out with a rag, remove the four burnt umber rubber gaskets.
  10. Clean (I like Dawn dishwashing liquid, safe for the hands, cuts the oil and grease really nicely), rinse and dry them and reinstall in reverse order of removal.

Webmaster notes:

Dana44 noted:

It can be done in less than 45 minutes. The fun part is realizing where the bolts are to take off the top intake manifold (non-turbo cars). Five 8mm in front of the top/bottom half, clean the O-rings and reuse them. There are two bolts that hold he intake at the throttle body and a bracket, the other holds the EGR pipe to the intake manifold. They are both located on the back side of the intake but aren't that difficult.

Careful pulling the intake/EGR pipe apart, there is a green O-ring there, so it comes forward and pipe comes out.

From there, I took a ten inch crescent wrench and closed it down small enough to fit one of the ribs on the underside construction of the intake manifold and placed the other end into th O of the DOHC on the valve cover and went to town. Wipe the intake manifold out because there will be some slight oil film inside, and other than that, bolting together is the opposite.

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