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03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? #5414583 04/27/20 12:03 PM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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I am getting ready to do a spark plug change next week on my 03 Suburban 1500 5.3L
I have had the vehicle since 66k miles. It now has about 130k miles.
I have no clue when or if the plugs have ever been changed.
Are there any known problems with removing these plugs that I should be prepared for and any tips or tricks to help make this go smoothly?
I know the older Expeditions had issues in some of the years with plugs breaking and the head threads stripping, I just want to be prepared if there are any known problems on the Suburban.

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414587 04/27/20 12:08 PM
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mattd Offline
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Straight forward, but I would also get a wire set.


2007 Ford F-350 4x4 6.0 PSD

ASE Master, L1, L2
Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414634 04/27/20 01:03 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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The rear plug on the passenger side can be a bit tough. I think I used a couple of short wobble extensions .


13 elantra 84k 5w30 synpwr
03 chevy avalanche 83k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 19000 miles m1 0w30
Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414644 04/27/20 01:17 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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There may be a thin heat shield on the passenger side close to the rear plug. It tears up skin. Plan on plugs AND wires.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
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Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414647 04/27/20 01:19 PM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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Any preferences on plugs and wires?

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414662 04/27/20 01:33 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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I like laser iridium's and oem wires.


13 elantra 84k 5w30 synpwr
03 chevy avalanche 83k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 19000 miles m1 0w30
Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414679 04/27/20 01:45 PM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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When you are ready to turn the plug, I recommend a 1/2 inch ratchet crossed over to your 3/8 inch drive spark plug socket. It’s going to take a goodly amount of torque. Don’t be surprised if it’s makes a bit of a squeal. smile


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414682 04/27/20 01:48 PM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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Some guys shoot a bit of liquid wrench or equivalent into the spark plug well and work the plug back and forth.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 04/27/20 01:51 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414745 04/27/20 02:53 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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If the job is difficult, get iridium or ruthenium. NGK ruthenium, NGK Laser Iridium, or Denso Iridium TT. Pair them with NGK wires

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5414802 04/27/20 04:09 PM
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krismoriah72 Offline
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I have a 2003 suburban with a 5.3 and have changed the plugs.

I used AC-Delco 41-962 per bulletin https://images.oreillyauto.com/parts/img/documents/acd/41-110.pdf gap at .40

A few of my wires broke during replacement so plan on wires as well. I used Delco wires.

The back plug on the passenger side is the toughest. I used a couple wobbles and a couple of extensions.


FYI while you are in there... do u ever feel a slight clunk in the steering? If so remove the bolt in the steering shaft and push and pull the shaft towards the firewall and towards the front a few times. It lubricates the joint with grease that gets dry over time..


I also did both of my front 02 sensors while i was at it.. and kept them as spares in case the back ones act up.

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5416361 04/29/20 11:52 AM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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Rock Auto has 2 sets of AC Delco wires that fit my coils stamped 12558693.
The standard replacements are about $14.00 more than the professional replacements.
748HH Under standard OE Replacement
748HH
And
9748HH Under Premium
9748HH

Money is not an issue. Which would be the better set to get?
Any idea what would be the difference between the 2 sets?

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5416398 04/29/20 12:25 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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The 748HH set is the actual OE wires, so if that matters to you, get those wires smile

The 9748HH will most likely be generic aftermarket wires reboxed. I mention this because if you want Delco, you are probably seeking OEM

My choice is always OEM or NGK wires

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5416443 04/29/20 01:17 PM
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Redright9 Offline
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Like all others have said, fairly easy, but do the wires too. Use factory wires or NGK.. I would also use factory plugs/ AC delco plugs. I have had a few of these style trucks with that engine and have not ever had any issue going that route.

Re: 03 Suburban - Spark Plug Change - Anything I Should Be Prepared For? [Re: Fitz98] #5416883 04/29/20 09:49 PM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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IIRC, the spark plugs on the driver’s side tilt to the front.The spark plugs on the passenger tilt to the back and are more work. You can do them either using the flying superman stance, ( lying on your belly across the engine bay) , or you can remove the front passenger wheel, block the vehicle and come in through the wheel well. ( it’s what I did). Good luck. smile

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 04/29/20 09:50 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
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