Changing spark Plugs
In reference to the Best Solution comment posted by "Apprentice" on October 6th, 2008, I add the following:
This weekend I went through the ordeal of changing spark plugs and leads on a 2001 3.3 V6 Xterra owned by my younger son. Although some changes were relatively easy, there were those that had a degree of difficulty, in particular the 6th spark plug and lead at the rear of the engine between the block and the firewall. To simplify the removal and replacement of same, firstly remove the hood, this will give you addidtional space to maneuvre. Next remove the brackets that secure the A/C piping that runs across the upper area of the firewall. Also, release the brake lines from their firewall securing clips. You may even want to remove the brackets. Make it easy on yourself and remove any obstructing bracket, hoses etc that may inhibit access to the plug in question. Remember that the plug is below and inline with the 5th plug and the indentation in the firwewall. By removing all obstacles, you can now drop a swivel socket onto the plug head which is at a slight angle pointing towards the firewall. It is difficult to remove the plug lead but persevere and it will come off however, before you attempt to remove the plug, get a mirror down between the block and the firewall, shine a flashlight into it, and look to see if the ceramic on the plug has broken away (happened to me), this procedure will also help you locate the position of the plug. If present, make sure that you clean any debris out of the channel around the plug base. You really need someone with small hands and wrists to get down in there to remove any debris with a small straight edge screwdriver, the same goes for placing the swivel socket on the plug for removal. You will need a short extension connected to the socket and then a long extension with swivel to rise above the firewall. This is necessary to attach the socket wrench to the top of the final extension and give yourself adequate room to rotate. Remember, the angle is only slight and the extensions should be almost upright but favouring a slight angle towards the firewall. Be very careful when applying pressure to remove the plug and ensure the socket is perpendicular and not leaning to left or right, as you risk snapping off the plug terminal. Once the plug is out (only use a proper plug removal socket that will retain the plug securely within its body)remember the plughole position and angle, place the new plug into the secure socket and guide carefully towards the hole. Rotate the socket slightly clockwise and anti-clockwise and without pressure until you feel the plug seat down in the hole. Gently rotate the socket/plug clockwise into the thread. Once you know the plug is seated correctly and has connected with the blockhead thread, continue to rotate until tight but do not overtighten as you will risk snapping the plug off at the stem. Once in securely, those small hands come into play again to replace the plug lead, press downwards on both sides of the plug lead flange until the connector snaps in place over the plug stem, replace hoses and brackets, secure all pipelines and cables, clear all tools away from the top of the engine or around the compartment and crank the engine up before replacing the hood. If you have done everything correctly, the engine will fire up immediately. Once satisfied, and after patting yourself/ves on the back, replace the hood and test drive. You will find the difference amazing and the efforts worthwhile. Another tip, secure all extension rods, swivels and socket with electrical tape at the point of connection, this will ensure that if you have to tug hard at any time to get the tool out, it will not come apart. Important: Use only approved rating spark plugs that are designed to last 100,000 miles or you will not only be cahnging them again after 20,000 miles +/- and your vehicle will be once again a gas guzzler. approved ratings run between $2.50 and $9.50 per plug. Get the best, maybe expensive initially but, in the long run, you will benefit. Oh, yes, almost forgot. Advisable to disconnet the battery before you start working around the engine. Unlikely that the engine would kick over but best favour the side of caution!!
SE Florida Brit
Jun 18, 2008 |
2002 Nissan Xterra