Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 08:20:19 -0700
From: "Greg Koenig" <gregk_at_innrspc.com>
Subject: Re: [E36M3] spark plug removal/installation
E36 Spark Plug Change Procedure:
1 Flat Bladed Screwdriver
1 10mm socket (I would recommend a shallow socket)
1 Medium (4" extension)
1 Universal Joint
1 16mm Spark Plug Socket (Facom B.J161)
1 3/8 Drive Torque Wrench Capable of 36nm of torque measurment
1 Small container for holding nuts and bolts
6 Bosch FL8DCR Spark Plugs
Ok, so changing spark plugs is actually a snap. Most of the fastners you
will be dealing with are 10mm. Be careful, as these little nuts are VERY easy
to loose in the engine compartment.
- Remove valve cover trim (the black piece that says "BMW M Power" on it.
Use the small flat bladed screwdriver to pop off the two caps that cover the
trim fasteners, and remove the oil filler cap. Cover up the oil filler
hole with a rag just to make sure nothing falls in. Remove the 2 10mm nuts
holding on the trim, and remove the piece. You will have to work it out, as
it is held up in the back by the wiring loom holder near cylinder 6. Keep
working it and it will come off. When it is removed, replace the oil filler
- Now, you will see 6 black boxes with wires coming off of each one. These
are the individual coils that actually fire each spark plug. Remove these.
They are held on by 2 10mm nuts each. Before removing, make a note of how
the wire coming from each coil is routed to the passenger side of the engine
and remember it, though the valve cover has runners designed to accept these
wires, so it is pretty easy to figure out. Use the universal joint on #6,
it is a PITA.
- Once each coil has been unfastened from the valve cover, pull it out of
the spark plug hole and let it hang over the side of the engine. There is
no need to actually disconnect the coil from the wiring harness.
- Use the spark plug socket to remove the spark plugs. Just drop it in
there and use the ratchet to unscrew the sucker... it's really KISS simple.
- Install new spark plugs with spark plug socket... use the torque wrench
to torque down to 30nm... BMW's spec has been noted at 36nm of torque, but
the spark plug box specs out 30nm of torque... I would use the latter as it
is the spark plug maker's spec. There is no need to check the plug gap,
since they come gaped correctly.
- Put everything back together just like you took it apart. The tough part
here is figuring out the wiring harness, just place it back into it's
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