How-to Change Spark Plugs 2005+ Gen 2 Frontier
6 Nissan OEM Plugs (P# 22401-5M015) These are the NGK’s (NGK PLFR5A-11)
8-10-12mm Sockets, 5/8” Spark Plug Socket, Pliers and a torque wrench.
Disconnect that battery!
After doing that, I used my air compressor to blow off any dirt/debris that was around the valve covers and intake manifold area to minimize the possibility of junk falling into my engine.
I started on the ‘easy’ side first, the driver side. Start with the One closest to the front. I just called it #1 for easy reference. Start by using the 10mm to break loose the coil pack bolts. You can do this to all three coil packs to save a little time since there isn’t any real way to mix them up due to coil pack wire length. BUT, on the third plug (against the firewall, drivers side) you WILL need to remove the Primary 02 Sensor connector to get enough working room to remove the spark plug, at least I had to.
Remove Primary O2 Sensor Harness:
Use the 5/8” Spark Plug Socket and remove the first plug. I ended up having to use about 8” or so of extensions to get enough working room. After you’ve removed the plug and inspected the plug + hole, go ahead and insert the new plug into the socket and gently lower that in the hole and carefully thread it in by hand until it’s snug. Then torque it down. If you don’t have a TQ wrench, just get it tight enough to complete the seal.
Coil Pack removed:
Spark Plug #1 Vs. New:
Spark Plug #2 Vs. New:
Spark Plug #3 Vs. New Shot #1:
Spark Plug #3 Vs. New Shot #2:
Repeat step 4 on the driver’s side for Plugs 2 + 3. After doing that, re-install the 10mm bolts holding the coil packs down. And DON’T forget to plug in that Primary 02 Sensor!!
Plugs 1-3 Drivers Side Completed:
For the Passenger Side:
Start by removing the intake tubing. Mine only takes one 8mm bolt and two clips. Stock I believe is one 8mm on the throttle body, two 10mm’s on the engine mounting bracket, two clips on the stock air box AND Unplug the MAF Sensor. This just provides for a little bit more/easier working room.
The fun part. Removing the Upper Manifold to access the #4 + 5 Spark plugs. I started by removing the two Vacuum hoses that are attached to the upper manifold. One on the very rear of the manifold that’s tucked behind the engine wiring harness, and the other that is attached on the Left side of the throttle body.
Throttle Body Vacuum Line, Remove:
It’s hard to see, but behind that huge engine wiring harness is the vacuum line for the brake booster, it needs to be removed:
After removing the Vacuum lines I then attacked the Wiring. Remove the Throttle Body Plug/Connector from the throttle body. There’s one more plug/connector on top of the manifold that controls Vacuum functions. Still on wiring, disconnect the Engine Wiring Harness from the metal bracket @ the rear of the manifold. This allows you to ‘swing’ the manifold over and rest it on the radiator. The small vacuum canister that is bolted to the top of the manifold will also need to be removed in order to access the manifold bolts, 12mm for the Vacuum Canister.
Remove these little clips that hold the harness to the engine bracket:
Remove Vacuum Canister and the Wiring Harness that’s connected to the vacuum lines:
Now you can start by removing the multitude of 10mm bolts on the lower manifold. Be careful not to drop/lose these guys! There are also two 12mm bolts on the support bracket just under the throttle body that need to be removed in order to swing/fold the manifold over to rest on the radiator.
Before attempting to even move the manifold, make SURE you’ve got everything disconnected so you don’t damage anything. If possible, try to do it in one fluid motion, this always helps…right?
Here’s what I mean by ‘fold it over’:
Presto, now you’ve got working room to access Plugs #4 + 5. First, Plug those intake ports with small towels, or tape over them so as nothing can fall in. That would be a tragedy.
Working room for Plugs #4-6:
Be sure to cover those holes!! My IMS gaskets were 100% perfect even after having been in there for 50k+ miles and all the drama:
Start by removing the 10mm bolts that hold the coil packs in place, and again, there’s three. After removing the bolts, gently pull out the coil packs. You Kiiiind of have to gently force them out due to the short wire length on this side.
Use the 5/8” Spark Plug Socket and remove plug #4. Inspect the plug and the hole for anything unusual like glazing on the spark plug, or even a leaky valve cover gasket. Mine were all good to go so I went ahead and Installed spark plug #4 & torque/tighten it up. Re-install its coil pack and 10mm and tighten that up too.
Plug #4 Vs. New
Repeat step #8 for plugs 5 + 6.
Plug #5 Vs New:
Plug #6 Vs New:
Re-install the Upper Manifold in reverse order. Fold the manifold back over, install 10 & 12mm bolts that hold it to the lower manifold + tighten those. Install plugs/harnesses. Re-connect Vacuum lines.
DOUBLE CHECK everything!!
Re-install Intake. 8 + 10mm and two clips.
Overall, it was a Very easy job. It does however look very daunting after you find out you have to remove the upper manifold, but it’s more tedious than anything. If you’ve had it off a million times like I have, it’s just second nature. Of course more the reason to do it yourself after you ask Nissan to do it and get quoted 4+ hrs of labor!! I knocked mine out in light rain and took a lunch break all just a hair over an hour
It seemed to help restore the ‘pep’ my truck had lost after all the racing, tuning, top speed runs, and 75,000 miles worth of Very ,VERY hard earned miles. I don’t have the little shudder/studder/bog I had on take-off from 0-10mph anymore. Of course it was so insignificant I didn’t really mind, but it seemingly helped the overall picture of a performance oriented truck. I want to say the plugs cost $66 + tax. So a little more than $10 a plug. Not too terrible and a good investment versus me Frying a spark plug @ the track or earning some more hard miles.
This is another job someone who has basic mechanic skills and tools can do as long as they take their time and follow directions. The ONLY thing I would have to warn about is be VERY gentle when applying reverse torque to remove the spark plugs from the aluminum heads. It’s a nightmare to repair them, ask the Ford 5.4L guys! I would have applied a little dab of anti-seize to each spark plug before installing them, but I didn’t have access to any so I used a little dab of oil (making sure not to get it near the electrode! It would foul it!). Other than that I chose to break up my maintenance over several days (oil change one day, spark plugs + filter clean + Bilstein shocks from Member PRO2X). BTW the shocks work amazing! But after having done its little tune-up it sure rides Nice again. The only thing I have left to do is a full transmission flush..
2005+ Nissan Frontier P0304 Misfire on Cylinder #4:
How-to Change Spark Plugs 2005+ Gen 2 Frontier