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Discussion Starter #1
Today I attempted to install new spark plugs without removing my intake plenum. I installed 5 of the 6 plugs successfully and left the middle one on the passenger side for last (directly underneath a plenum duct). The plug got stuck to the spark plug socket and both together are too long to clear the plenum on extraction. I tryed using an extension to draw it out but it just comes undone and will now have to remove the plenum anyways. My advice, dont use the spark plug socket. Find another way to get it out once its loose.
 

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it takes what, a whole 5 minutes to remove the intake, sometimes the short cut takes longer:(
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ya id rather tear things off of my engine in my clean indoor shop back home, im on the road right now. We cleared out my dads garage so I can do the job right tomorrow opposed to how we were on his driveway today.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Finished the job today. Im a special operations mechanic and have taken off my share of intakes but get very skiddish when working on my own stuff. New advice, if you have enough mechanical aptitude to change plugs you can take your own intake off. Dealerships charging for 4 hours of labor need to be sued.
 

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what I want to see, are photos or video of getting the power pack off each plug on passenger side and getting a socket lowered to the plug WITHOUT taking all that plastic
off in the first place.... I had to take the intake manifold off to get to ALL 3 on the passenger side.
There was absolutely no other way for mine. and it took much more than 5 minutes for my plastic stuff to want to move without fear of cracking something...
BUT, I MUST SAY... this was my first plug change on a VQ40...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The plug closest to the radiator on the passenger side was kind of a PITA. I had to use a craftsman 10MM midget wrench (tiny wrench, prob 3 inches long) to crack the power pack bolt. the coil is flexible so it bent slightly and came out. The rear plug was fairly simple to get out; I put the socket in first added an extension after that and then used an elbow fitting to get the ratchet to work right. Like I said the socket got stuck onto the middle plug so I had to take the intake off anyways. Sorry no pics, but I do believe its possible to pull off.....being a professional mechanic im kicking myself for being a panzy and not taking the intake plenum off to begin with. Sorry, no pics this time.
 

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if you take the rubber grommet out of the spark plug socket you can pull the socket back out after loosening the plug and grab the plug with a piece of 3/8 fuel line. you can re-install the plug with the piece of fuel line and then re-tighten with the socket. just be careful not to **** the socket sideways and crack your plug when installing. i've done it both ways and its still easier and quicker to loosen the plenum. also amounts to much less foul language for some reason ; )
 

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I changed my plugs about a month ago. It's close to impossible without taking the intake off. I tried and failed without taking the intake.
 

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I have never taken my plenum off and have no problems accessing the #1 &#2 plugs. (3 changes now) It's about having the right tools - flex socket, extension and ratchet, 10mm wrench, Patience!
 

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Ha! I knew someone else out there had to have pulled it off. Just takes the right tools and some serious patience.
 

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After looking at the useful how tos around here and on the internet, i pulled this one off today.

I didnt remove any harnesses or the intakes. I used a flexy socket extension, a u joint extension, 3, 6, and 10 inch extensions, a flex grabber, a 5/8 socket for spark plugs with the rubber fitting inside, a 10 mm socket, and a 16mm. The pass side was toughest in the front plug. Getting the coil pack wire clip unplugged was extremely difficult. Took about 90 min. Got it done by snaking a "just right sized" vice grip pliers in there. Everything else came down to appropriately chosen extensions.

Two pieces of advice for whoever attempts this next: for each 10mm coil bolt, be very careful not to break the head off when loosening or tightening. When you put the bolt back in, coat it with lots of anti seize.

When youre removing each spark plug, use the 5/8 socket with the rubber retainer. It will help to remove the plug. However, when installing the new spark plug, its counterproductive. This feature holds the plug so tightly that my socket extensions would disconnect from the socket while the socket was still on the plug. Instead, use a regular, 16mm socket. Makes life easier.
 

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if you take the rubber grommet out of the spark plug socket you can pull the socket back out after loosening the plug and grab the plug with a piece of 3/8 fuel line. you can re-install the plug with the piece of fuel line and then re-tighten with the socket. just be careful not to **** the socket sideways and crack your plug when installing. i've done it both ways and its still easier and quicker to loosen the plenum. also amounts to much less foul language for some reason ; )
I used to to work on Forklifts for a living , i made up somethning similar to your 3/8th hose .. An old spark plug boot, preferably one that has ridges on it , I cut off the wire and use the boot ,, works great and i rarely burnt my finger on V6 Toyota forklifts anymore :)
 

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I've not changed spark plugs on my Frontier yet, but, as a general rule, I've found it is often quicker and easier to get stuff out of your way than to fight with tight clearances. e.g. on some vehicles I owned in the past, it was possible to change the water pump without removing the radiator, but it was actually much easier to get the radiator out of the way first.
 

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The first time replacing the plugs without pulling the plenum took a little while for me. Now, it takes me about 40 minutes to do a set of plugs without removing the plenum. I'm thinking the job will be easier next time as I've installed an XTP plenum spacer since then and now I have a little more space over the #1 and #3 coils.
 

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Most plugs these days are installed in deep bores, and although the boot is intended to keep out debris, unless its perfectly positioned, stuff can get in there, especially water from powerwashing.
I would suggest blasting out the bores with compressed air before removing the plugs. If that means pulling the plenum, then so be it.
Although like many of you, I have removed my share of plugs and just hoped the crap that falls in (water, oil, sand) passes harmlessly through the cylinder...which it usually does.
 
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