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Changing Spark Plugs And Ignition Coils


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1. thanks to loren and the wonderful diy section!

2. i changed my plugs and ignition coils (@ 80K) without removing wheels or bumpers or using a jack/lift. felt my way through it. took me about 3 hours.

3. wanted to share some photos of the condition of my ignition coils and plugs. please note every single ignition coil was damaged. especially the ones facing the rear (003 driver.jpg and 006 pass.jpg).

thanks again!

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Wow,

Interesting that all the coils were damaged. Where do you live?

winter months are in the northeast (with winter tires of course) and summer months are down south. i still wonder why ALL of the coils were damaged and to such an extent. perhaps extreme weather variations?

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without removing wheels or bumpers or using a jack/lift.

I have no idea how you did this. I had to remove the wheels and mufflers, and still cursed alot.

At 40k, I had 1 coil with a cracked housing. It was originally at the rear driver's side. There's a brilliantly placed drain pipe that exits right above the coil there. I didn't have a spare ready so I moved it to the forward driver's side position so I could change it out more easily when it arrived.

1. Did those plugs and coils go 80k or did you have a change previously?

2. Did you notice any performance change?

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without removing wheels or bumpers or using a jack/lift.

I have no idea how you did this. I had to remove the wheels and mufflers, and still cursed alot.

At 40k, I had 1 coil with a cracked housing. It was originally at the rear driver's side. There's a brilliantly placed drain pipe that exits right above the coil there. I didn't have a spare ready so I moved it to the forward driver's side position so I could change it out more easily when it arrived.

1. Did those plugs and coils go 80k or did you have a change previously?

2. Did you notice any performance change?

preface: having read the diy comments and other boards, i was intent on having an independent porsche mechanic do the job. i don't have a jack and i wasn't into getting one. moreover, i wasn't into spending 8 hours. out of curiousity, i walked into the service bay at an authorized porsche dealer. it just so happened that the mechanics there were relaxed and didn't have much work to do. there was one 997.2 on a lift. i asked the master mechanic if i really had to remove the wheel to do the spark plugs and coils. his response: "we don't remove anything. you just need to get under the vehicle. if you are comfortable playing around, it is really no big deal. people make a lot of changing the plugs. it is really no big deal. as far as ignition coils, we haven't seen any problems with them in the 997.1. we have with the cayennes though. look, you can do it--if you have the tools."

1. these coils were the original coils.

2. i've attached some images. i had a lot of tools around. i didn't have a specific 4" extention, but i did have a few 3" and a couple 1.5" extensions along with a couple swivel thingies. the driver's side took about two hours as i was trying to figure out how to access the bolts. there are times when a 6" works best. other times, the 4.5" w/o swivel works best. yet other times, the swivel is important. after i figured it out, the passenger side was about 30-45 minutes of work. i didn't even look to see where things were, i just felt my way through it. i think if you can touch the bolts and the connector thingy with wires that attaches itself to the coil, you can comfortably do this. as you can see in the attachment, with the rear most coil on the passenger side i used BOTH 3" extenstions, a 6" extenstion, a 1.5" extension, and that swivel thing. it was actually very quick.

3. the performance gains are subtle but noticeable. i don't think i could have possibly noticed that the car was not all it could be before i did this. having changed the coils, the car has a very smooth, yet articulate power enhancement. i don't use the sport pasm anymore--it's that different. sounds beautiful. these are things i didn't notice when it was new, but now, that tone, that articulation between gears, especially from neutral to 1st gear (as in a stop light) and between 1st and 2nd, and the full throttle response is reflexive, something i now pay attention to on 997.1 porsches that i hear on the road.

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Edited by grujfo1
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  • 2 months later...

At about 39000 miles, my 997S developed a misfire & check engine light. It turned out that 3 ignition coils were defective. The remaining 3 looked deteriorated. My mechanic replaced all 6. He said that it was common for coils to go bad on cars that were driven in the winter and subjected to salt laden road spray. They are not in a protected location. It is apparently also common, on replacing one coil, to have issues with the others. An inexpensive part, around $60 each, and probably not such great quality. Evolution Motorsports has come out with an improved ignition coil for the turbo, it might be worth checking with them to see if they fit the M96/97 engine.

One caution, if you have a coil failure like this, don't drive the car very far or use much throttle opening. The unburned fuel will poison the catalytic converter.

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Of course it is necessary to replace the coils ASAP, however the DME will shut off, the corresponding injector, after a quantity of misfires, to protect the cat. The MIL (engine check) should go over from blinking to steady at that time and within a couple of seconds.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

This isn't down to a faulty or badly designed part per se, but the location of the Coil Packs. Primarily, issues are caused by water spray, but mainly it's the heat exposure due to close location to the rear silencers.

I'd say that getting to 80k on the originals is good going!

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