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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any feedback on the condition of my spark plug? This is the middle plug on the driver's side, which I pulled to find out what type was installed. My truck is a 2007 Frontier SE with the VQ40DE engine. The info I could find online and even in the service manual was inconsistent. Page MA-28 of the Maintenance section says DLIFR5A11 (which appears to be a typo), but page EM-144 of the Engine Mechanical section says PLFR5A-11. DILFR5A-11 is what was actually installed.

I just bought the truck last week, with ~125,000 miles. I'm assuming it still has the original plugs. Based on the visual condition, would everyone agree that this plug has ~125,000 miles on it, or would you think it could look like this after ~20,000 miles (assuming the plugs were changed at the recommended 105,000 miles)? Any other feedback on the appearance/condition of this plug? Reassurances? Things to worry about?

Thanks!
 

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That gap looks huge. Change them.
 
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Any feedback on the condition of my spark plug? This is the middle plug on the driver's side, which I pulled to find out what type was installed. My truck is a 2007 Frontier SE with the VQ40DE engine. The info I could find online and even in the service manual was inconsistent. Page MA-28 of the Maintenance section says DLIFR5A11 (which appears to be a typo), but page EM-144 of the Engine Mechanical section says PLFR5A-11. DILFR5A-11 is what was actually installed.

I just bought the truck last week, with ~125,000 miles. I'm assuming it still has the original plugs. Based on the visual condition, would everyone agree that this plug has ~125,000 miles on it, or would you think it could look like this after ~20,000 miles (assuming the plugs were changed at the recommended 105,000 miles)? Any other feedback on the appearance/condition of this plug? Reassurances? Things to worry about?

Thanks!
Those are NGK Iridium plugs, buy the same ones and they are pre gapped so don't touch the tips with tools and install them. They cost $17-$20 each. I changed my Frontier and Pathfinder at 103,000 miles and neither looked as bad as those. The passenger side is a treat, lol.

Clint
 

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Any feedback on the condition of my spark plug? This is the middle plug on the driver's side, which I pulled to find out what type was installed. My truck is a 2007 Frontier SE with the VQ40DE engine. The info I could find online and even in the service manual was inconsistent. Page MA-28 of the Maintenance section says DLIFR5A11 (which appears to be a typo), but page EM-144 of the Engine Mechanical section says PLFR5A-11. DILFR5A-11 is what was actually installed.

I just bought the truck last week, with ~125,000 miles. I'm assuming it still has the original plugs. Based on the visual condition, would everyone agree that this plug has ~125,000 miles on it, or would you think it could look like this after ~20,000 miles (assuming the plugs were changed at the recommended 105,000 miles)? Any other feedback on the appearance/condition of this plug? Reassurances? Things to worry about?

Thanks!
You've got them out, they're pretty cheap. I'd say just do em, even if they didn't look cooked; which these do.

Those are NGK Iridium plugs, buy the same ones and they are pre gapped so don't touch the tips with tools and install them. They cost $17-$20 each. I changed my Frontier and Pathfinder at 103,000 miles and neither looked as bad as those. The passenger side is a treat, lol.

Clint
Passenger side easy mode if you pull the intake plenum. Its not super hard, just time consuming. I hate swivels with a passion though so I wanted nothing to do with doing it the "easy way."
 

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They used the NGK Laser platinums PLFR5A-11 (Stock #6240) in the VQ40DE up through 2006. In 2007, they switched to the OE Laser Iridiums DILFR5A-11, which is also used in the 5.6L-V8. Some of the catalogs, including NGK, originally showed the Laser Platinums as the original equipment plug for 2007. Either will work fine and the engine won't run any better nor get any better gas mileage no matter which one you use. Nissan rates them both at 105,000 miles, but the Laser Iridiums, which should not be confused with the 60K mile NGK Iridium IX, will really last a good 120,000 miles +. That is really the only advantage of the Laser Iridiums over the Laser Platinums is that the iridiums don't wear as much as the platinums. I replace mine every 100,000 miles and use the Laser Platinums as they are a lot less expensive and the local Advance Auto Parts store carries them (with a 30% discount code, they run about $9 a plug).
It takes me about 40 mins. to replace a set of plugs on a VQ40DE and I do it without removing the upper plenum. You need to get creative with your tools and have some patience, but it can be done. The trick with #1 plug is to disassemble the coil and remove it through the hole in the plenum in two pieces and install the coil the same way, being careful not to drop the spring inside the boot. If you have an XTP plenum spacer, it's easier, yet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I hadn't noticed it until OutFrontFrontier said something, but it does look like an awfully big gap for something that is supposed to be 0.044". I already reinstalled the old plug, and didn't check the gap, but I will check to see what it was when I replace them (if I can find my gap gauge; I think I have one somewhere). I have ordered a set of 6 new DILFR5A-11 plugs for $54 from an eBay seller. I'll look again, and I did buy a 2nd universal joint in case I decide to try it without removing the plenum, but my inclination at this point is to save myself the frustration of trying to wiggle through with the plenum in place, and just take it off. My main hesitation there is whether the 3 gaskets around each opening ought to be replaced.

Thanks, smj999smj, for the history of why we see both recommendations.
 

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Tape the socket and extension connections together so when you pull it out it can't separate.

Clint
 

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The plenum gaskets are, technically, re-usable as they are silicone, but I've found they "flatten out" a bit when they get to 100K miles and I would recommend replacing them if removing the plenum. Felpro #MS96943 has the three plenum gaskets plug the one for the throttle body and can be had at Rockauto.com for $17+shipping (use the part number search to locate it if you get it from Rockauto).

Since you are removing the plenum, it would be a good time to install an XTP plenum spacer; I got one on my Pathy and it does make a bit of difference in performance. You can get one here, if interested:

eXtreme Truck Performance ? XTP IMS intake manifold spacers for Nissan, Toyota & Suzuki with 4.0 engines for performance gains! | XTP Bolt-on Torque for your Truck or SUV!

I would be very hesitant to use NGK plugs at a really good price obtained from Ebay. NGK is the most counterfeited spark plugs in the world an Ebay has become a haven for very good looking, counterfeit auto part. Not too long ago, I purchased a set of plugs that were advertised as genuine Nissan plugs. The came in a box that looked just like the Nissan box and the plugs looked exactly like NGK PLFR5A-11 spark plugs except for one thing: when looking at the ground electrode, you could see a copper core...and NGK laser platinum spark plugs are supposed to have a solid nickel ground strap. They seemed like a steal for $38 a set, but you get what you pay for! From now on, I get my plugs from legitimate part sources like local auto parts stores or established, online part sellers like Rockauto. For more on NGK counterfeits:

PLUG STUDIO / NGK
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great, now I'm wondering if I wasted $54. It's what I get for being cheap. I will compare them closely to the originals, and try to return them if I find any difference. Although the seller claimed to be US-based, the name on the PayPal receipt is in Chinese.
 

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I just put ebay NGK iridium's in my FZ6. It starts and runs for now I guess. Seller have good feedback?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting resolution to my quandary over potentially counterfeit spark plugs. The seller supposedly shipped the plugs on 6/28, and provided me with a USPS tracking number, but the USPS shows no information about the status. Since an item shipped on 6/28 from New Jersey should have been received by now, I opened a case with ebay about the item not being received. The seller responded, "Hi,dear customer! We're so sorry to keep you waiting. We've contacted the express company,and they sent it to a wrong address.Would you lilke me to refund you with paypal? Thak you!"

For some reason, instead of just issuing a refund, they wanted my email address, and sent the refund as a separate payment in PayPal (unfortunately costing me $2.68 in PayPal fees to accept the payment). I hope this isn't some further attempt at a scam by attempting to rescind the payment shortly.

As it stands, I only lost $2.68 on the deal, and several weeks of delay, since I now have to order a set of plugs from a reputable source. At least I didn't waste the entire $54 and I won't be risking installing questionable plugs in my truck.
 

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I just purchased a genuine Nissan #22401-5M015 (NGK #PLFR5A-11) spark plug from Courtesy Nissan to compare to the counterfeit Nissan plugs I got from Gangle Products on Ebay. I'll have some free time in the upcoming weeks and will do a comparison with pics between those two along with a "regular" NGK plug, which I'll probably pick up from Advance Auto Parts or Rockauto. It's easy to see why people can be fooled by these counterfeits, as they look very much like the genuine article unless you really study them. Here are a couple of things that are "red flags" that you have a counterfeit "genuine Nissan" spark plug:

-the part number is wrong. On the end tab of the box, it has both the Nissan part # and the NGK part #. The correct #'s in this case would be Nissan 22401-5M015/NGK PLFR5A-11. The counterfeit plug has Nissan 22401-5M016/NGK PLFR5A-11. Nissan 22401-5M016 is an actual Nissan part #, but it is for the hotter NGK plug #PLFR6A-11.
-The NGK PLFR5A-11 is their "Laser Platinum" plug, which has a solid Nickel ground electrode. If you look at the end of the counterfeit plug, you will see the ground electrode has a copper core.

Less noticeable differences are as follows, which you would only be able to tell if you had both of the plugs to compare:
-the shade of gray used on the counterfeit box is noticeably darker than the "real" Nissan part
-the printing on the side of the box is a little smaller on the counterfeit box and "Q'TY 1" is in italics on the counterfeit box, but not on the "real" Nissan box.
-the cardboard sleeve that protects the spark plug in the counterfeit box fits snugger, is a little longer and a thicker material than the "real" Nissan part's.
-the blue printing on the porcelain of the spark plug is centered on the "real" plug, but slightly off on the counterfeit.
-the metal, threaded part of the spark plug is shiny and silver on the "real" Nissan plug, but on the counterfeit, more of a bronze-tint to the metal and not as shiny.
-the ground electrode has a more gradual bent to it on the "real" plug compared to the sharper bend of the counterfeit's ground electrode
-the center core electrode protrudes more out of the porcelain on the "real" plug compared to the counterfeit's.

With all of those differences, you might think it easy to spot the counterfeit, but, it's not so easy unless you are looking for it. I've been working with and using NGK plugs since 1985 and swear by them, but, if someone gave me a couple of each and I was expecting it, I wouldn't notice the differences unless I knew enough to study them.
Bottom line, of course, is "buyer beware" and "if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is." There are some great deals on Ebay to be had but you have to be careful and know what you are looking at. When it comes to spark plugs, from now on I'll purchase from either Rockauto.com or other reputable part source, like the local Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, O'Reilly's, NAPA and such.
 
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