Volvo’s 5 cylinder engines take 5 spark plugs, and the debate rages as always as to whether Bosch Platinums are better than Champion or NGK. The safe route is OEM Volvo turbo 5-cylinder / non-turbo 5-cylinder or Champion RC8PYP.
The tools you are going to need
- 5 new spark plugs (I bought OEM Plugs ordered from FCP Groton (www.fcpgroton.com).
- 5/8 socket – specifically for spark plug use – so it is long enough to fit the plugs. I got one for $3.99 from AutoZone and it goes with a standard ratchet.
- The OEM plugs come gapped to the right amount. The right gap is 0.028″. A gapping tool might be required if you use other plugs. It is good to have a gapping tool anyway – they go for about $0.99 at the local auto store.
- T30 Torx head.
- anti-seize thread lubricant. Make sure that it is formulated for high-temperature use – It should say so on the back of the tube.
- pliers and some WD40 (optional)
Get the various tools and spark plugs assembled and make sure you’ve got everything you need laid out. There is nothing time sensitive about this, so take your time.
Use the Torx bit to remove the six bolts as shown below. Then remove the black cover.
This is what the head looks like with the black cover off. You can see the five plugs.
Disconnect one of the boots. The pictures below show #3 boot disconnected and the plug inside.
Remove the plug. The following picture shows the old plug.
Apply a dab of anti-seize to the thread. Be careful not to get any of that grease between the electrodes. Another suggestion I heard was using a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust before installing the new plug.
Install the new plug. You need to feel your way here to make sure you’re not cross-threading! Be careful on this step; stripping the threads here is one of the worst places to do it on a car. One trick is to cut a length of surgical tubing, about a foot, and pop one end over the spark plug tip, then use that to grab the initial turn or two, the theory being is that the tubing isn’t strong enough to cross-thread the spark plug onto the aluminum engine block.
Hand tighten it until you feel the Crush Washer collapse, then stop.
Reconnect the boot. Check to make sure that the boot is all the way down.
I found it easier to do one plug at a time – i.e., disconnect boot, remove old plug, install new plug and connect boot. I started with the #5 plug which is by far the hardest to reach and pull out. Unless you have very slender and dexterous fingers – I had to use a pliers to pull #5 out.
Put the black cover back on. I used some WD40 to clean the rust off the torx screws before reinstalling.
Start the engine, sit back and appreciate your handiwork. That’s all folks !!
Spark Plug Change Tutorial By Ajay, May 21, 2004
Comment here: Volvo Forum: Spark Plug Change Discussion