Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs

2-pin coil pack used on early V12’s

If you own a V12 Aston Martin like the DB9, V12 Vantage, DBS or Virage, you’ve likely heard about the common issue with lumpy idle that is attributed to a misfire condition involving the spark plugs and coil packs.   I’ve done an extensive series on determining the issue and how to replace them (check it out here).  Getting your parts together for that project has one complication – are the coil packs the original 2 wire or the updated 3 wire design?   Even contacting Aston Martin won’t resolve the question – they don’t know.   They will tell you they slip streamed the change sometime during production in 2006 ‘ish.  The only way to tell for sure it to be halfway through the project when you can finally see the tops of the coil packs and count the actual wires.   This is of course a tough time to stop and order the correct coil packs, leaving your car disassembled for weeks waiting on parts.  If you just play the odds and guess, you may end up with a dozen incorrect (and expensive) coil packs.  This misfortune has definitely happened to a few owners.  Let me show you how you can find out for sure BEFORE starting the project. Continue reading “Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs”

Aston Martin DB9 Coil Packs – Everything you wanted to know and more

As I was preparing to replace my Spark Pugs and Coil packs (read the article here) to deal with a Lumpy Idle issue with my DB9 (read this other article here) I was researching the Coil Packs to learn if I could find a cheaper source for them.  Many of the parts in a DB9 are not bespoke, and rather scavenged from the massive Ford conglomerate parts bin. Continue reading “Aston Martin DB9 Coil Packs – Everything you wanted to know and more”

Preparing and Installing the Coil Packs into an Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9 Coil Pack 4G4E-12A366-AA
DB9 Coil Pack

You may be installing Coil Packs into your DB9 as part of a scheduled service or as part of some other service issue.  I am swapping mine out as part of solving a Lumpy Idle issue (check out my post on this).  Regardless of the reason, getting it done right is important.  In this post I will cover preparing the coil packs plus how to install them properly. Continue reading “Preparing and Installing the Coil Packs into an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the Coil Packs from an Aston Martin DB9

removing-the-coil-packs-from-an-aston-martin-db9Each cylinder in your DB9 V12 engine has its own individual coil pack installed on top of the spark plug right down in the valve cover area.   You might need to remove the coil packs to replace them, or service the spark plugs, or to remove the valve cover or something deeper in the engine.   I’m replacing mine since my car is suffering from a Lumpy Idle (see my post on this).  Removing them is pretty easy once you have the preliminary work necessary to access them out of the way. Continue reading “Removing the Coil Packs from an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs in an Aston Martin DB9

Revealing the Coil Packs on an Aston Martin DB9
Ahh, there are the Coil Packs….

If your DB9 has developed a Lumpy Idle (see my in depth post on this) you’ll be faced with either taking it to the Dealership (and a $1,800+ labor bill plus parts) or undertaking the task yourself over a weekend.  There is a considerable level of skill and determination required to accomplish this feat.  Easily the most complicated service event I’ve done yet on my 9.   If you have the gumption, tools and the time it can be a rewarding and cost saving experience.  I think anyone can do it if you properly prepare. Continue reading “How to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs in an Aston Martin DB9”

Tools Required to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs on an Aston Martin DB9

Tools Required to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs on an Aston Martin DB9
All the Tools You’ll Need

If you are about to embark on changing the coil packs, spark plugs and perhaps the PCV valves on your DB9, it’s always comforting to know you have all the tools to do the job BEFORE you start.   It’s really frustrating to be halfway into a task and find out you are stuck since you don’t have the right do-dad.   The DB9 isn’t quite as simple as changing the plugs and coil on an old Chevy small block V8, and you’ll be twisting the spanners for hours just to get near the plugs and coils. Continue reading “Tools Required to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs on an Aston Martin DB9”

Parts Needed to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs in an Aston Martin DB9

Parts Needed for Changing the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs on an Aston Martin DB9
The bits you’ll need

If you have a lumpy idle with your DB9 (like mine was as detailed in this blog post) or are just doing a scheduled service that requires changing the plugs, it will be helpful to know all the parts you’ll need.   Of course, you’re sitting there going ‘Duh – I need spark plugs to change spark plugs you idiot’.   Yes, that’s true, but you also need a small assortment of other bits and bobs to put it all back together Properly. Continue reading “Parts Needed to Change the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs in an Aston Martin DB9”

Lumpy Idle / Misfire on an Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9 EngineWhen I purchased my DB9 a few years ago occasionally if I just sat still in the car while it was idling I could hear – no – feel in the seat of my pants – the slightest ‘lump’ in the idle.  Rarely, faintly, distantly, so infrequently that I never really worried about it that much.  At the time the car was 8 years old and had about 15K miles on it.

Turn the clock ahead about 2 years to spring 2016 (and about 25K miles total now) and the faint lump rather quickly progressed to a routine ‘lump’ at idle anytime in gear when stopped at a light or sitting in the garage.   The lump was only at idle, and seemed to be gone (or at least was not perceivable) at speeds above 900 RPM.   I started to learn more about lumpy idles (or misfires at idle) on the forums. Continue reading “Lumpy Idle / Misfire on an Aston Martin DB9”

My Coil Pack Change Long Weekend – DONE!

Aston Martin DB9 Coil Pack Change in Progress
Coil Packs changed and putting the Inlet Manifolds back on.

Just a quick update for those of you interested.  I’ve just spent the last three days changing out my Coil Packs, Spark Plugs and PCV system.  Fired the wee beasty up at 5pm today (July 4th holiday here in America).   Idling smooth as silk now.

In the coming weeks I will be posting articles with detailed how-to’s as well as video’s of each step of the process.   I used a lot of information from the forums to prepare myself, and it went mostly according to plan.   I will share what I learned so it may help the rest of you in your own projects.

Stay tuned!

Up Next – Coil Packs and Spark Plugs

Aston Martin DB9 Coil Pack
DB9 Coil Pack

Been travelling (with work for about 8 weeks now) and looking forward to getting back to home and some R&R time (which for me means fiddling with something on the DB9).

I’ve had a lumpy misfire at idle since I purchased the car, but it used to be very, very minor.  A few months back it started to become much more noticeable and it’s time to deal with it.

Misfire Profile Correction LearnedAvid readers of the blog may have figured out I was heading in this direction already by my posts about the OBDII reader and finding information about misfires, etc.    What’s I’ve learned with my car is that I have 2 cylinders misfiring substantially.    I have also been doing my research about previous service history (which you can see in the My Car section of the blog) and I learned that the DPO (damn previous owner) serviced just ONE of the coil packs prior to selling me the car, and the dealer had a footnote about other cylinders showing misfires, but they deemed it not worth the expense to fix it then.  So now its my problem.

A lumpy idle / misfire is a common problem with early DB9’s and is an issue with weak coil packs.  I think I’ve heard people say that if your car is over 10yrs old or 20K miles or more, the issue will appear.  It’s even mentioned as typical issue by Grant Neal in his excellent book The Definitive Guide to the new Gaydon era Aston Martin – A Buyer’s Guide and Car Enthusiast’s Guide (check out my blog article on this book)

This July 4th long weekend I am all set to change all 12 coil packs and spark plugs.  Parts ordered and arrived.   Process researched and vague ideas in place.  Special tools ordered and delivered.  GoPro charged and ready!

Over the next several weeks I’ll be starting to publish the process in both written blog and video format.  As usual I will be breaking it down into bite size chunks matching the sequence of tasks to get it done, usually 2-5 mins of video at a time.

Send along you tips and advice.   Here we go…..