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Old 01-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Name: Andy
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by CXTKRS1 View Post
Have you tried using an actual spark plug socket? They are a longer than your typical deep socket and have a rubber o ring at the back of the socket to help prevent breaking off the ceramic portion of the plug. If the spark plug socket fails then transfer the rubber o ring portion from the spark plug socket to an impact deep socket (about the longest you will find) and use that.
Yes, it was the "actual spark plug socket" that didn't work. Too short. The socket just spun because the ceramic body of the plug got in the way.

So I wanted to share my solution, for anyone else who's in the same boat. Since the xD's 14mm plug socket size seems quite rare - and even the 9/16" (SAE equivalent that fits, but loosely) isn't one of the most common sizes, it was tough to find many alternative spark plug sockets. The one I bought from Advance Auto Parts (KD Tools Swivel model for ~$13) was too shallow, and I couldn't find any other 14mm or 9/16" spark plug sockets locally. Didn't want to order online, in case those were too shallow too.
So I took one of my new plugs to Sears and confirmed that it fit in a regular (non-spark plug) 14mm deep socket (3/8" drive). $5.
Dropped a couple of rare earth magnets inside the ratchet-end of my socket. I used a universal joint directly on the 14mm socket, and a 6" extension behind that. This let me "snake" the plug/socket/joint/extension into the opening, without removing the windshield wiper shelf. (In case you don't have an xD, there's a big obtrusive chunk of plastic and metal that covers about half the engine compartment - really messes up access, but that's just part of the package with an xD!)
Anyway, the magnets stayed inside the socket just fine, and let me pick up the spark plug when I had loosened it, and let me insert the new one without just dropping it down into the well. I made sure each new plug was threaded correctly by starting it with my fingers on the socket extension - this let me feel that it was threading properly before adding the wrench to tighten it up.

I think the only things I didn't mention here are that I got my plugs (Denso 3444) from Rock Auto ($40 shipped), and that I put a little anti-seize on the threads before inserting the new plugs.

Hopefully this will make changing spark plugs on your Scion xD easier!
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