Ferrari 360 Spark Plug Change

The spark plugs on a Ferrari 360 are supposed to be changed every 30,000km or 18,750 miles.  I prefer to change them a little more frequently than that as I know of an example where a failed spark plug caused a misfire and cat over heating problem.

Early cars were shipped from the factory with NGK PMR8A spark plugs whereas later cars were shipped with NGK PMR8B plugs.  The difference is that only the anode on the PMR8A plugs is made from platinum – the PMR8B has platinum on both the anode and cathode.  The cost difference between the two types is minimal so I opt to fit PMR8B plugs regardless of the year of manufacture.

Changing the plugs is very easy and can be done by leaning in from the top of the engine bay.  You may want to use a step and a wing cover to make things easier.  I prefer to change one plug at a time in order to prevent any mistakes when connecting things back up.

First of all you need to remove the pencil coil.  Unclip the electrical connector marked A and remove both 10mm bolts marked B. 

Ferrari 360 Coil Pack

Now withdraw the coil from the cam cover – it will pull right off.

Ferrari 360 Spark Plug

You will need a 10mm spark plug socket – the 10mm refers to the thread diameter if you were wondering.  You will also need a socket extension bar.  I prefer to use the type that locks onto the socket and needs a button to the pressed to release.  That way you don’t encounter any problems removing the socket once the new plug has been fitted.

Ferrari 360 Spark Plug

Remove the old plug and check the tip for any tell tale signs of a problem.

Ferrari 360 Spark Plug

The new plugs should be supplied gapped to the correct width but it is good practise to check – the factory setting is 0.6mm.

Ferrari 360 Spark Plug

Now all that is left is to fit the new spark plug (torque up to 9.8Nm) and replace the coil.


21 thoughts on “Ferrari 360 Spark Plug Change

  1. When ordering the NGK plugs it was recommended to include spark plug O rings during the change (different part number and not included with the spark plug itself). The O ring is not described in your well document procedures above. Do you know what part this is and if/when it is needed as part of the change?

    1. I’m not sure what O ring you are referring to. Can you tell me the part number? The spark plug screws directly into the head and the coil sits on top of the plug – check out the diagram below (spark plug is number 5). Link to diagram.

      Ferrari 360 Ignition

  2. NGK Plug Part #: 192637
    Plug O Ring Part #: 167135

    Just a quick check to be sure there isn’t something I’m missing from that of a traditional plug change – thanks!

  3. Great site!

    Have you tried any other plug like Denso Iridium IU24?

    Just wanted to get your insight into plugs of this nature.

    Thanks!

    Best regards,

    1. Hello and thank you!

      I’ve not used anything other than the NGK plugs – they were designed for Ferrari to put in their engines so cannot see any benefits from running different makes.

  4. Aldous,
    I have a question to ask simply for your expertise…
    What would happen to my 1999 modena if I removed my cats. I know the 99 had a “PRE-CAT” …I have no idea what that means…but how would it improve my cars performance.. would it run cooler, ??? faster???? Sound better???
    OR… would it throw off my motor and set off all kind of alarms???
    or God forbid…damage anything????

    Thank you sir..

    Anthony C. Alvarez

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Firstly, as far as I know federal spec 1999 cars did not have pre cats. Pre cats are catalytic converters situation in the headers upstream of the main cats.

      If you removed the main cats then you would feel a performance benefit as you would be removing a major obstruction in the exhaust system which would allow the engine to rev more freely. However, the emissions control system (which is a lot more onerous on federal cars than euro ones) will not like the removing of the cats. The system constantly samples the exhaust gas to ensure the cats are working properly. If you remove the cats you will get a CEL.

      Another thing to consider is your state emissions testing – the removal of the cats is likely to mean the car would not pass the test, although I think this varies from state to state.

      Thanks,

      Aldous.

  5. Hi – the workshop manual says to “Apply a minimal amount of the prescribed type of lubricant to the threaded part”. Is that copper grease?

    1. Hi Valerio,

      I’ve never discovered what the lubricant noted in the manual actually is. I personally do not put anything on the threads for two reasons:

      1. The NGK plug threads are zinc-chromate plated to prevent corrosion and seizure. NGK also state that this coating acts like a lubricant.

      2. There is a risk of overtightening lubricated threads (the reason I don’t put anything on the wheel bolts as well). If the threads are greased then they will go in further than if they were dry (for the same amount of torque). The plugs are pretty fragile things and the last thing I want is for one to snap off in the head (either putting it in or taking it out).

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Aldous.

  6. Hi just my humble opinion, but I would never install plugs into an aluminum head without a touch of anti seize. I have had many makes of high performance cars, Lotus Esprit, Ferrari 308, and several corvettes over the years. And I am an AP mechanic, we would never install a set of plugs into an aluminum aircraft cylinder without this little bit of safety. Zinc Chromate is not lubricant. its an anti corrosive. I would put a small dab or anti seize on the plug just be very careful to not get it near the electrode. As for torque, you are more likely to get a “high” torque reading on a dry plug then one with anti seize. just make sure your torque wrench is calibrated. I cant tell you how many wrenches are out there that are either low quality or have been tossed n and out of tool boxes for years. In the world of aircraft maintenance we have the checked and calibrated yearly.. Just my 2 cents.. greatly appreciate your website, outstanding reference material here!

  7. Hi Aldous, what is the outer diameter of the 10mm spark plug socket you used? I have just found out that the Draper 10mm / 1/2 inch drive socket that I bought a while ago is too wide to fit in the hole where the spark plug is! What brand is yours? Thanks!

      1. Hi Aldous, thanks for the info. I bought a Sealey “Thin Wall” (3/8″ drive) socket and it works. The model number is AK6557, and it has an outer diameter of exactly 20mm. It is a bit confusing as the Sealey socket is sold as a “16mm” spark plug socket (which refers to the hex nut size) rather than a “10mm” one (which refers to the thread diameter), but I can confirm it’s the correct size. The diameter of the Draper one was 22.76mm, which was too large.

  8. Hi Aldous, thank you for this great thread, I see you were recommending the NGK PMR8B plugs, my car is a 2003 Manual 360 but the book states PMR7A I’m guessing the 8a was used in the 355 and also in the early 360’s is the 8 any better or worse than the recommended 7? many thanks indeed

    1. I’ve never noticed that in the owners manual but you are correct – it recommends PMR7A whereas the workshop manual recommends PMR8A.

      The difference between the two is the heat rating – the 7 is a hotter plug. I would use PMR8B as it has platinum on both electrodes.

  9. Hi Aldous,
    Your website has given me great confidence to carry out some basic procedures myself on my 360. I am looking to replace all of my coil packs. After recently getting a CEL due to misfires I took my car to my ferrari independent where they replaced all spark plugs. They told me to keep an eye on the CEL and if it came back on they would look to replace the coil packs. I feel this is a task I can carry out myself. I’m imaging the proceedure would be the same as spark plug replacment minus the removal and replacement of the plugs! After reading the workshop manual I discovered that it states that it is necessary to carry out a ‘self learning cycle’. What exactly is this and is it something that I can perform? Any other advice you may be able to share with me regarding coil replacment would be very much appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Sam Dunkley

    1. The self learning cycle can refer to the throttle body calibration and also the ECU leaning the adaptive parameters. The easiest way for you to achieve both of these things is to cut the power for a period of time – wait 10 seconds with the ignition on before starting the engine.

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response. After reading through other entries on your site, I did discover a section on ecu reset. Will the change of coil packs require a reset to that extent where the car will need to be driven at various speeds in various gears for periods of time as you mention? Or a more basic reset like you explained in the previous response? Also, do the bolts holding the coil packs in place require torquing to a particular point? Many thanks.

      2. Personally I would just disconnect the battery. I can’t recall if there is a specified torque for the coil pack bolts but if there is it won’t be much – just nip them up by hand.

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