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2004 Frontier Crew Cab 4WD
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Discussion Starter #1
('04 Frontier Crew Cab XE 3.3L V6)

I watched videos on how to replace the #6 spark plug. I got the other 5 replaced. I bought a 9" wobble extension and a spark plug boot puller. I pulled the boot. Then I tried to feel for where the socket needs to go in, and I couldn't find it. In the process, I dropped my socket behind the engine, and I can't find it. Is there a diagram anywhere of exactly what's back there, or are there any pictures of the back side of the 3.3 anywhere so I can get a better idea of what I'm trying to feel for. Or maybe you have a snake camera and could get pictures for me? Also, where could the socket be? Where is it likely to have lodged that it wouldn't just hit the ground? This sucks. They don't run well on 5 cylinders!
 

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Its probably sitting on top of the transmission's bell housing. Maybe you can crawl under there and get feel for it. Or maybe compressed air could blow it out.
 

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2004 Frontier Crew Cab 4WD
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Discussion Starter #3
I tried 150PSI air from a 3/8 hose, and I tried starting up the engine (it shakes like a SOAB running on only 5 cylinders =oD). I eventually, through sheer masochistic determination, got the old plug out and the new plug in using a different 5/8" spark plug socket (which I also lost and recovered twice during the operation). I think the back of my right hand is going to be one solid bruise for awhile from jamming it between the engine and firewall so many times.

But yes, I got it done. I didn't think I would, but I did. And I lost a 5/8" spark plug socket in the process. Drove the truck down the road and watched the mirrors and listened. Never did see or hear it fall out. And before that, I laid under the truck and shoved my paws in anywhere I could squeeze them and never did feel anything. It'll probably ride a couple thousand miles right where it is, only to be discovered unexpectedly when working on something else, just like my 10mm GearWrench. If I never get it back, oh well. I have another.

But thank you for your reply. :)
 

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I always said whoever shoehorned that engine into that truck was a sadist.
 

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I use a Snap-On spark plug socket that has a built-in, 3-in flex extension. To that, I attach a 3/8-in drive universal and next a locking, 3/8-in extension about 15" long. Where the universal attaches to the spark plug extension, I wrap with electrical tape to keep it from pulling apart. As I lower it down using my right hand, I use my left hand to angle the spark plug socket onto the #6 spark plug. It gets easier after you do it a few times!
 

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I use a Snap-On spark plug socket that has a built-in, 3-in flex extension. To that, I attach a 3/8-in drive universal and next a locking, 3/8-in extension about 15" long. Where the universal attaches to the spark plug extension, I wrap with electrical tape to keep it from pulling apart. As I lower it down using my right hand, I use my left hand to angle the spark plug socket onto the #6 spark plug. It gets easier after you do it a few times!
I did this job once only, on my daughter's '98 Pathfinder, and I read up on this, and did similar to above. Regular spark plug socket, two 3" extensions, universal joint, left hand, mirror were involved.

Plugs took 1.25 hours, but the wires boots were pretty stuck on, didn't want to ruin those. I did leave the hood on, and lay down over the engine.
 

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2004 Frontier Crew Cab 4WD
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Discussion Starter #7
I should've updated this. I got it. Picked up a set of Ares wobble extensions and a spark plug boot puller (also Ares), and after a couple hours of sheer, masochistic persistence (and one permanently-lost 5/8" spark plug socket), I got it all done. Six new plugs. Iridium, so hopefully I never have to do that again. Also, I am like 5'6" & 145lbs, and it was all I could do to cram my hand between the engine and the firewall and accomplish anything with it back there. The back of my hand was one solid bruise for a few days.

Without the wobble extension set and the boot puller, I may have just put the truck in neutral, set it on fire, and let it roll away. That one spark plug was far more frustrating and labor-intensive than replacing both the harmonic balancer and radiator separately. That includes the entire process, from diagnosing the radiator (Uh, looks a like there's a little steam coming from under the hood...) to driving it home and having to stop and give it water on the side of a busy highway in the freezing cold.

⭐ ◻ ◻ ◻ ◻ 1 star
(Would not recommend.)
 
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