Pathfinder V6 Spark Plug DIY guide

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deermjd
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Pathfinder V6 Spark Plug DIY guide

Postby deermjd » Mon May 07, 2012 6:26 pm

I recently changed out my spark plugs on my 05 Pathfinder. I basically followed the Nissan service manual that’s available here on the forum. While this manual may be correct, it could be improved and that’s why I’m putting the guide together to help make the job go a little easier.

Tools required:
• basic metric socket set with extensions of different lengths
• spark plug socket
• screwdrivers
• pliers
• short piece of rubber hose
• torque wrench (not required but nice to have)
• dielectric grease
• anti-seize compound
• shop air or vacuum cleaner

Now, before you go any further you must decide if you want to remove the intake plenum or not. The spark plugs on the passenger side can be replaced without removing the plenum but it takes some patience, plenty of socket extensions and swivel joints, and some luck. Or you can remove the intake plenum to gain better access to the spark plugs. I chose to remove it. It may take more time but it will definitely make the job easier. I also chose to remove the plenum so I could make sure the area around the spark plugs was clean and that any dirt or debris didn’t find its way into the cylinders.


Replacing the Spark Plugs:

1) Disconnect negative terminal from the battery

2) Remove the engine cover.
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3) Remove the portion of the intake between the air box and the throttle body.
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4) Remove the PCV hose from the intake plenum
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5) Remove the brake booster hose from the intake plenum

6) Remove the electrical connector to the throttle body and EVAP hose from intake plenum
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7) Remove the top two bolts on the bracket that supports the intake plenum
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8. Remove the EVAP connector
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9) Remove the bolt for the Vacumm Tank. Leave all the hoses intact for now

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10) Remove the intake plenum bolts

11) At this point you should be able to remove the plenum but make sure everything is disconnected so you don’t break something

12) I chose to keep the coolant hoses connected to the throttle body rather than remove them. Now you can lift up the intake plenum and just move it out of the way of the spark plugs

13) Tape up the intake manifold so that nothing accidently falls into the engine while you’re working
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14) Now is a good time to thoroughly clean the area around the spark plugs. You use compressed air to blow off any debris or use a shop vac. Notice how I taped a short piece of hose to the end of the attachment to get the hard to reach places.
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15) Now remove the first coil pack connector and remove the coil pack

16) Remove the spark plug

17) Take the new spark plug and make sure it is the correct type and correct gap. Do not gap these plugs if the gap is incorrect. Take them back and get the correct ones.

18 Apply some anti-seize compound to the threads of the new spark plug to make sure you can remove them after the next 100k miles.

19) Using a rubber hose, install the spark plug finger tight. Then tighten to spec using a torque wrench
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20) Apply dielectric grease to the coil pack and install coil pack.

21) Repeat steps 13-19 for the remaining spark plugs.

22) Note: The farthest spark plug on the driver’s side is much easier is remove once this is moved out of the way. Remove the two bolts that hold the bracket on.
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Now that the spark plugs are done, it’s a good idea to check a few things while you have everything apart. Check the MAF sensor and clean if needed. This is especially important if you have a K&N filter to make sure the oil from the filter isn’t fouling up the MAF sensor.

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Also check and clean the throttle body if it’s dirty.

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It wouldn’t be a bad idea to also take a peek through the intake and check out the intake valves and make sure they’re free of carbon deposits. If they are dirty, I’d recommended using Seafoam through a vacuum line to clean out the intake.

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With the air intake removed, check the fan belt for wear. These newer belts made from EPDM don’t tend to show the same signs of wear than a typical rubber belt will. They don’t really crack or break apart. The best way to check an EPDM belt is to use a gauge such as this one. It fits in the grooves of the belt and you can see if your belt is worn beyond a certain point. You can get one of these gauges for free from Gates. I believe I got mine from their website a couple years ago.

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Check for any oil leaks around the valve (rocker) covers and around the spark plug hole. Also check the coil packs for any cracking or deterioration.




Putting everything back together:

1) It is basically the reverse of removal

2) Refer to the service manual for torque specs and tightening sequence of the intake bolts. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts and crack the plastic. The service manual recommended to replace the intake gaskets. They are made of rubber so if they are still soft and not cracked, it should be fine to reuse them. That’s what I did anyway.

3) Now double check and make sure everything is connected properly. Then start the engine and check for any leaks.

4) Drive 100k miles and repeat 



I don’t intend this guide to be the only way to change the spark plugs but it worked best for me. If I missed anything or something is not correct please let me know. Any comments or feedback are welcomed. Hope you find this guide to be helpful!


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nutbar78
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Postby nutbar78 » Mon May 07, 2012 7:07 pm

Excellent write-up, thanks!

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Tue May 08, 2012 9:42 am

Looks like a nice detailed how-to. Mod's can you add it to the sticky how-to thread? (http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic.php?t=2305)

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FLiPMaRC
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Postby FLiPMaRC » Tue May 08, 2012 9:56 am

8) Thank you for this great write up! :!:

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disallow
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Postby disallow » Tue May 08, 2012 12:27 pm

good work dude.

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smj999smj
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Postby smj999smj » Wed May 09, 2012 10:51 am

Actually, the gaskets are "silicone," not "rubber." It's amazing how long they last!

08SEME
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Postby 08SEME » Sun May 13, 2012 7:08 am

Great write up!
I just did my plugs in my Xterra. I do have some recommendations to anyone who is planning on changing plugs:
1) If your using Seafoam to do it before the plugs I have seen people foul out plugs using it and it would be horrible to foul brand new plugs if you were going to change them anyway.
2) If your plugs are the same as my Xterra's do not check the gap the plugs in the Xterra were designed for the Nissan VQ series and have plug wires which will break off and cause them to function improperly. I found it is safest to go with OEM plugs (after putting in the reccomended Bosch plugs my X didn't run)
3) If you're going to be tearing down the intake manifold anyways check out the XTP Intake Manifold Spacer http://extremetruckperformance.com/?page_id=6 this has shown Peak gains of 8hp @ 5600rpm and torque of 23ft/lbs. @ 4400rpm,
with considerable gains between 3600-4800 rpm of 23hp increase & torque 33ft/lbs.! I have seen this product for sale down to about $200.

Josh

alloutz79
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Postby alloutz79 » Sun May 13, 2012 9:58 am

I got my oem ngk plugs off amazon for $9/each and my mechanic charged me $145 to do them......with only 73k on the motor, it runs sooo much better and better fuel economy too!!! So happy I did it

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ShipFixer
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Postby ShipFixer » Sat May 19, 2012 1:38 am

Also check and clean the throttle body if it’s dirty.
If people do this they should be prepared for the idle-air relearn procedure.

They should also be prepared to take it to Nissan and pay them to use CONSULT to reset it if the pedal-dance doesn't work.

(I'll likely never touch my throttle body again...)

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deermjd
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Postby deermjd » Sat May 19, 2012 3:18 pm

^ Thanks for pointing that out. My throttle body didn't need to be cleaned so I left it alone. I forgot about all the issues with cleaning the throttle body on this vehicle. So I'll add a disclaimer to clean it at your own risk.

webmastir

Postby webmastir » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:27 am

Great write-up deermjd!

So as long as you don't clean your TB, you don't have to do the idle re-learn thing mentioned couple posts up?

Also, I hope these pics don't go anywhere. They tend to do it a lot when people use photobucket (for not logging into their account once every so often)

goblue90
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Postby goblue90 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:19 am

Thanks deermjd for a great write-up! This proved to be very helpful for me recently when I was faced with a P0302 code (mis-firing in cylinder 2). I removed the #2 spark plug and saw that it was wet with gas and then removed the remaining spark plugs and discovered that all were fouled. With the plugs removed, I cranked the vehicle a few times to blow out the gas from the combustion chamber. I then installed new plugs and the truck has been running great since. Thanks again deermjd!

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deermjd
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Postby deermjd » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:21 am

Glad you found it to be useful. Did you determine what caused your plugs to foul up?

goblue90
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Postby goblue90 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:40 am

deermjd wrote:Glad you found it to be useful. Did you determine what caused your plugs to foul up?
My stupidity. Seriously. I removed the intake tube/assembly between the throttle body and air filter box to run some cables underneath (attached to the top of the radiator fan shroud) as part of my HID retrofit and started the engine without re-installing it. The engine bogged down after a few seconds and began to idle rough. I imagine the amount of air it sucked in post-MAF caused a really lean situation so the ECM probably tried to overcompensate and push in more fuel, flooding the combustion chamber and fouling the plugs (gas was also spitting out of the exhaust). It stunk, both literally and figuratively but luckily the fix was relatively easy.

webmastir

Postby webmastir » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:03 am

anyone know where to find torque specs for any of the bolts that were removed? i'm about to do this soon.

edit: nvm, i was being lazy:
http://www.thenissanpath.com/filelib/R51/Service/EM.pdf


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