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Discussion Starter #1
i was reading my haynes manual and i came across the section about tune ups and the spark plugs. it said that nissan supplied a special spark plug tool with the cars tool kit.

my question is: what is the easiest tool to use when changing the spark plugs. does the factory tool really help or should i get a swirl socket set? i dont know when a tune up was last done and i have a feeling it needs it.

thanks in advance
zelotic
 

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Tool works pretty well.
If you use a socket, use duct tape or something to hold it onto the extension. The socket tends to pull apart from the extension when pulling plugs.
 

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ive used a ratchet and a 10 inch ext. it works fine and u dont crossthread but u have to be patient. (spl?)
 

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Use the Nissan tool from the kit, it works better on all plug locations. Forget about swivel sockets, etc. yOU'LL BE BETTER OFF.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well i am in luck. i looked in my tool kit and i have the shaft/socket part of the tool but no handle. i will just have to make due with a screw driver.

thanks for the input
zelotic
 

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Discussion Starter #11
looks like a pipe with a hexagon shape on one end and a hole in the other end.
 

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yeah see like many others my car didnt come with all the stock things, thats what happens over 20yrs and 3 owners
 

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What works best is a spark plug socket that fits and is tested to see if the rubber insert will hold the plug so it won't drop out. Then duct tape an extension or two to this. The flexibility helps a lot with some plugs. Need to be sure you have the plug started by hand several turns. Use a little moly grease or anti-seize.


R & R for the plugs:

Best bet is to start on the passenger side due to better access, so it is easier to learn as you go.

Use the Nissan spark plug tool provided or tape a good spark plug socket (with a rubber insert to hold the plug) to a ratchet extension.

If a spark plug socket does not have a rubber insert or the one you have doesn't hold a plug very well...it's fairly easy just to make a better rubber insert from a short section of 3/8" oil hose RTVed (silicone caulk) into the socket. You DO NOT want to drop a new plug when trying to put it in...so make sure it holds the plug.

** IMO a plug socket duct taped to 2 ratchet extensions (3/8" size) will give you some advantages when removing and installing the more difficult plugs (* #5 & #6?) due to the thinness of the ratchet extension & it's flexibility vs the Nissan tool. Think about it.

* you also can remove the 2 bolts holding the throttle cables so you can get to #6 much easer.

Blow all dirt & so forth out of the spark plug wells before removing the plugs...using an air tank. Possibly a vacuum cleaner with an narrow attachment would work.

* Due to the difficulty of getting the dirt out of the wells and surrounding areas (and the importance of doing so), might be a good move to find a source of high pressure air with a long extension to blow the stuff out, even if you have to pay for the privelege.

* I also used a extendable magnetic pickup tool and a flexible claw pickup tool. Other aids are a length of coat hanger wire and a long narrow stick of wood with a round piece of cleaning sponge stapled to the end of it.

>> Stuff I found in the wells: steel metal particles, small steel washer, brass valve cap, chucks of old plug boot, misc fuzz & crap...none of which you want down in the cylinders....even a piece of hard plastic caught under a valve might bend it.

* I used some stuff like STP on a length of coat hanger wire to fish out stuff that the air and magnet wouldn't get...also the flexible claw helped a lot. A good flashlight allows you to see what's down there...it ain't pretty.

It's a good idea to use some STP type oil down near the plug threads before removing them to help keep some debris out of the engine as a plug comes out...but not too much or it will drag the debris down into the cylinder with it.

* If you can't get the socket to catch on the plug, sometimes something larger can be down there beside the plug hex that won't allow the plug socket to get a grip on the "flats". This has to come out...you DON'T want to round the flats.

* If you have any plug removal problems...take them out in steps...1/4 turn out...1/8 turn back in...& use some WD40 or oil. You CAN have a SEIZED plug where the alum is being deposited on the steel plug threads as you remove it...and if you aren't careful, you can BREAK the plug or trash the threads in the alum cylinder head.

* Its a good idea to label each plug according to its firing order number as you take it out...then you have a way of determining where a poor looking plug came from.

Gap the new plugs or check the gap if needed. If they are Bosch plugs...don't.

Use moly-based grease or anti-sieze compound on the new plug threads...covering the threads lightly.

If a plug comes out real hard...it's probably best to find a "chaser" to clean up the threads in the head. These don't cut & leave metal in the cylinder, but will clean up the threads. Use with care. Maybe you could get by with extra anti-seize.

Re-clean around the holes before installing each plug...especially where the plug gasket seats. I used a long narrow stick of wood with a round piece of cleaning sponge stapled securely to the end, with STP type oil on the sponge...turning it while bottomed in the well.

Start each plug by hand using the spark plug tool or socket & ext....trying to get each plug in by several turns before using a wrench.

Using a wrench, snug each plug down...making sure that there isn't a lot of resistance until the plug is close to being fully seated.

* Be VERY sure that you put NO sideways pressure on a plug as you put it in...you can crack the top insulator and you will then need to replace the plug... most likely after it's all together and doesn't run right.


Torque the plugs to to specs:

14 to 22 ft lbs

168 to 254 inch lbs
 
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