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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2012, 08:29 PM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Z3 Spark Plug Wire Removal Tool

Well, I got ready to change the plugs (1997 Z3 - 1.9L) and noticed the spark plug wire removal tool, that is supposed to be under the heat shield is missing. Any ideas how I can safely remove the spark plug wires to get to the plugs? I can't seem to find the BMW part online, either. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2012, 11:04 PM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is offline
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You don't need it. Just twist L/R while pulling and it will come off.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2012, 08:12 AM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Thanks. I tried pulling twisting boot to left (square end) and pulled hard by hand. I guess I can try harder, with more force. BTW, should I use the tool in the trunk (long socket wrench) to remove (old plugs) and install the new, or use a regular socket wrench? Thanks again.

Last edited by Gotechslack; 02-06-2012 at 08:53 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2012, 08:56 AM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is offline
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I use a Spark Plug socket, extension and ratchet.

Not familiar with what's in the trunk.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2012, 09:07 AM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgotBMW View Post
I use a Spark Plug socket, extension and ratchet.

Not familiar with what's in the trunk.
Thanks. Yeah, there is actually a tool in the trunk that looks like will work for the job.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2012, 01:54 PM
Stromtech Stromtech is offline
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If you have never changed plugs before then I suggest you use some caution...don't cross thread the plugs or over tighten them to strip the threads. Start the plugs by hand and then use a torque wrench to tighten them to the correct torque. Destroying the threads in the cylinder head can be a costly repair.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2012, 02:04 PM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromtech View Post
If you have never changed plugs before then I suggest you use some caution...don't cross thread the plugs or over tighten them to strip the threads. Start the plugs by hand and then use a torque wrench to tighten them to the correct torque. Destroying the threads in the cylinder head can be a costly repair.
Thanks Stromtech. I have changed plugs many time, but not on this BMW - Z3. With the sparkplugs seated down, I just wanted to make sure I followed the correct procedures and use the right tools. I am putting in original OEM plugs (i.e., Bosch) and do have a torque wrench. I will check the specs, but I think the plugs are torqued to 23 N. Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2012, 03:14 PM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
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do these plugs require anti seize
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:10 PM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Originally Posted by wifesauto View Post
do these plugs require anti seize
Everything I have read, indicates to install them "dry." However, several 3rd Party manuals (e.g., Chilton) and various forum posters indicate to put anti seize on the plugs. Here is an excerpt from PelicanParts tech article, that states otherwise.

Install each plug into the cylinder heads without using any anti-seize compound. Torque the spark plugs to 25 Nm (18.4 ft-lbs). While writing "How to Rebuild and Modify Porsche 911 Engines", I discovered that Porsche doesn’t recommend the use of anti-seize compound, as detailed in Porsche Technical Bulletin 9102, Group 2, identifier 2870. The bulletin applies retroactively to all Porsche models and the theory is that the anti-seize tends to act as an electrical insulator between the plug and the cylinder head. This could have detrimental effect on the firing of the spark due to the loss of a good, consistent ground connection. Keeping those findings in mind, I would make the same recommendations for the BMW cars

So, any ideas? I was planning on not putting anti seize on the plugs and installing them to the proper torque (i.e., 25 N). Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:21 PM
Stromtech Stromtech is offline
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Some info from another forum:

All NGK Spark Plugs are manufactured with a special trivalent Zinc-chromate shell plating that is designed to prevent both corrosion and seizure to the cylinder head; Thus eliminating the need for any thread compounds or lubricants. Read more on this PDF link...
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...2-c7uA&cad=rja



Here's what Autolite says about using anti-seize (snicked off the net somewhere):

We do not recommend the use of any anti seize products for installing spark plugs. Anti seize compounds are typically composed of metallic,
electrically conductive ingredients. If anti seize compounds come in
contact with the core nose of the plugs, it can lead to a misfire condition.
Anti seize compounds can also have a torque multiplying effect when
installing plugs. This can lead to thread distortion and thread galling
resulting in cylinder head damage. Autolite spark plugs are nickel plated
to resist the effects of corrosion and seizing. However, plug seizure is
aggravated further when steel plugs are installed into aluminum cylinder
heads for a long period of time.

Here's what AC/Delco says:

Do not use any type of anti-seize compound on spark plug threads. Doing this will decrease the amount of friction between the threads. The result of the lowered friction is that when the spark plug is torqued to the proper specification, the spark plug is turned too far into the cylinder head. This increases the likelihood of pulling or stripping the threads in the cylinder head. Over-tightening of a spark plug can cause stretching of the spark plug shell and could allow blowby to pass through the gasket seal between the shell and insulator. Over-tightening also results in extremely difficult removal.


I also saw that if you decide to use anti-seize, you should reduce the torque value by 20%.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:31 PM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromtech View Post
Some info from another forum:

All NGK Spark Plugs are manufactured with a special trivalent Zinc-chromate shell plating that is designed to prevent both corrosion and seizure to the cylinder head; Thus eliminating the need for any thread compounds or lubricants. Read more on this PDF link...
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...2-c7uA&cad=rja



Here's what Autolite says about using anti-seize (snicked off the net somewhere):

We do not recommend the use of any anti seize products for installing spark plugs. Anti seize compounds are typically composed of metallic,
electrically conductive ingredients. If anti seize compounds come in
contact with the core nose of the plugs, it can lead to a misfire condition.
Anti seize compounds can also have a torque multiplying effect when
installing plugs. This can lead to thread distortion and thread galling
resulting in cylinder head damage. Autolite spark plugs are nickel plated
to resist the effects of corrosion and seizing. However, plug seizure is
aggravated further when steel plugs are installed into aluminum cylinder
heads for a long period of time.

Here's what AC/Delco says:

Do not use any type of anti-seize compound on spark plug threads. Doing this will decrease the amount of friction between the threads. The result of the lowered friction is that when the spark plug is torqued to the proper specification, the spark plug is turned too far into the cylinder head. This increases the likelihood of pulling or stripping the threads in the cylinder head. Over-tightening of a spark plug can cause stretching of the spark plug shell and could allow blowby to pass through the gasket seal between the shell and insulator. Over-tightening also results in extremely difficult removal.


I also saw that if you decide to use anti-seize, you should reduce the torque value by 20%.

Thanks. I'm leaning toward not putting on anti seize.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2012, 07:59 AM
turbo10325 turbo10325 is offline
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The boots on mine were baked on. After a great deal of pulling and twisting the boot separated leaving the baked on part on the spark plug. You may want to pick up some boot grease for the new plugs. Most auto parts stores have it in small packages at the counter.


Last edited by turbo10325; 02-07-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:17 AM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo10325 View Post
The boots on mine were baked on. After a great deal of pulling and twisting the boot separated leaving the baked on part on the spark plug. You may want to pick up some boot grease for the new plugs. Most auto parts stores have it in small packages at the counter.

Excellent point. Thanks!!
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:01 AM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Mission accomplished, guys. Thanks for the input. I used the tools in the photo, which included the "wrench" in the trunk. It holds the spark plug very well to assist in removing and starting the spark plug by "hand." I also purchased ($2.00 from local BMW Parts Dept.) the spark plug boot removal (blue) which greatly assisted in removing the boots. I bought the OEM Bosch plugs, which the box indicated to torque to 28 N (the BMW manual confirmed (see pic)) which I did with a socket extension and torque wrench (installed "dry"). Thanks again.

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  #15  
Old 02-11-2012, 11:40 AM
turbo10325 turbo10325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotechslack View Post
I also purchased ($2.00 from local BMW Parts Dept.) the spark plug boot removal (blue) which greatly assisted in removing the boots. ]
I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how the blue thing could be used to remove the boots...
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2012, 11:56 AM
Gotechslack Gotechslack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo10325 View Post
I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how the blue thing could be used to remove the boots...
LOL. Ok, let me try to explain. The end of the spark plug boot (i.e., what your grab to pull) is square. You place the blue tool over a spark plug wire and slide it around the square boot. The bottom of the tool grabs the bottom of the boot. I then slid the "spike" tool, which is in the pic and locate in the truck, through the hole on the blue tool, which acts like a handle. You then pull. Works like a charm. There is a place under the plastic shield (which you access to get to plugs) that holds the blue tool; mine didn't have one, but I do now!! I hope this clarifies.
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