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Glow plugs

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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 15:27   #1
recent volvo owner

Last Online: May 31st, 2013 14:15
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Erskine
Unhappy Glow plugs

After the occaisional cold-start stutter, Big Beastie has now apparently worn out her glow plugs. Takes about 15 secs to reluctantly fire then a bit of throttle sorts it. Only a problem on the first start of the day. Had this with a prev car (Xantia tdi) so confident(ish) it's the plugs. Very skint at the mo' so was wondering how difficult or practical it is for a total newbie to maintainance to change them. I need plugs and a torque wrench? Where exactly are the plugs? ( i said total newbie!). Is there an idiots guide anywhere online?
N-reg 940 turbodiesel estate (classic) - "Big Beastie" (now deceased)
M-reg 940 estate (SE) LPG/Petrol
(awaiting scrappage)
1998 S70 CD 2.5 auto LPG/petrol
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Old Oct 25th, 2008, 16:37   #2
big rig tech

Last Online: Dec 1st, 2008 03:24
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Location: cottonwood az

you dont need a torque wrench to do the glow plugs
and what year is your car and what engine does it have in it
85 740gle turbo diesel automatic currently stock
soon; coolant filter ,cat elc, trans filter, custom intake, exhaust, and any other free things that ill be able to play with
MY BABY 86 ford f-250 2wd 4 speed hypermax turbo
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 20:47   #3
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Default glow plugs

It is definitely something you can do yourself, though might take awhile on the first attempt. The second time is a lot easier, as I found out having purchased the cheapest set available only to have them go a few months later. So consder getting Bosch, or at least an alternative branded name.
If you are considering doing other things to the car invest in the engine service manual (40 notes from Volvo). If not use the online one at
If you do a search for "glow plugs 5 and 6" on the forums you will get a couple of threads explaining how to do it. A set of ratcheted spanners (40 notes, from China presumably, obtainable from Halfords) is useful and some open ended spanners (8mm for the nuts and I think 12mm for the plugs themselves). Illumination is essential, an engine lamp or equivalent.
The 6 glow plugs fit into the cylinder head just below their respective injectors on the driver's side of the engine. The electical supply comes from the battery via a relay which goes to plug one (at the front of the engine) then via a copper strip to nos 2 and 3. Another strip runs from plugs 4 to 6 and the 2 are joined by a connecting wire running between plugs 3 and 4 thus providing current to all plugs.
Remove the nuts holding on the strips/wire to the plugs. Take off the plastic shield which covers the pump belt (at the back of the engine) as no 6 is best approached from behind. The engine will start with 5 new plugs and you can if you wish wait for warmer weather to do the trickiest one, no 5. You will find a pillow is required for 4 (5) 6, the reason being that it is difficult to manoever your fingers between the injector lines and attempt to manipulate a spanner and see what you are doing without being able to look down over the engine - so you have to lie across the front of the bay, not a comfortable position without some padding.
Plug no 6 is close to the back so your fingers have some free space, but 5 is buried behind the pump bracket and the lines block free movement of your fingers, so even if you get a spanner on you will find that only a few degrees of movement result from your efforts. Ratcheted spanners are useful because only a few degrees are necessary to remove a nut. I ended up chopping some spanners in half. I don't think this is a task that any two people do in exactly the same fashion.
Be careful when replacing plugs and nuts on 5 and 6, use copper grease and make sure the plugs are turning easily. The last thing you want to do is damage a thread...



Last edited by jor; Oct 27th, 2008 at 22:06.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 21:39   #4
Blue TD
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Last Online: Mar 26th, 2011 13:32
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Location: sussex

For difficult glow plugs I use a small 'telescopic magnet' to remove/fit the small nut for the elec connection,sometimes if I am lucky I get it started on the thread first time !! but I dont usually drop the nut.
I sometimes push a piece of small bore plastic hose over the threads to help remove/fit the glowplug,once again using this method usually avoids dropping the plug.
As JOR said we all have different ways of doing things and of course different engines give different challenges.
I also test the new plugs prior to installation,my 440 ones measured approx 1.1 ohms between the body and the connection thread.

cheers baz
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