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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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1996 maxima: Location of Rear spark plugs..cover (a coil on top..plug)

Customer Question

Location of Rear spark plugs on 1996 maxima. The fron three plugs are under a cover (a coil on top of each plug with a short 6" cable connecting to the plug). The rear plugs I can't see at all. There is the manifold that fans out toward the back side of the engine. How are the rear plugs accessed, underside of car, removing things, or from top rear of engine? The chilton manual is of no help. Please be specific or link to picture if possible. How and where are the three rear plugs. Thanks
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
You will need to remove the intake plenum to access the rear plugs. Be sure to get all the grounds and hoses attached back on when going back together.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: Thanks for the information, but can you be more specific on what has to be removed and a link to a visual.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Your answer to my first question about the engine service light on and missing was direct but very short. I didn't realize I could ask for further information. The causes were: Carbon caught in Value, Carbon in Spark plug, Broken vlaue spring, Broken Spark plug insulator and Clogged fuel injector.

What symptoms would distinguish one cause from another? Would burst of exhaust indicate an exhaust value problem? etc.....
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

There aren't any visuals available for that. It is just the upper intake. It usually has a serires or bolts across the front and a brace or two on the back corners. Remove any hoses or electrical plugs that prevent you from moving the manifold out of the way.


I'm not going to get involved in another question withing this one. There is no short answer to that anyway. Your going to have to get some diagnostics done.


Here's what's available on the spark plugs but it skips right over the rear ones.



REMOVAL & INSTALLATION


See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 3: The VQ30DE engines have a decorative facia that must be removed to access the coils and spark plugs




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 4: Pinch the tab on the coil connector, then pull the head off it




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: VQ30DE and VE30DE engines have individual coils for the spark plugs; you have to remove them to get to the spark plugs




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 6: After the retainer screw is removed, carefully pull the coil out of the cylinder head




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 7: Use a long extension with a locking end to remove the spark plugs




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 8: When installing a spark plug, be careful not to bump the electrode out of adjustment




Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 9: Always use anti-seize compound on the spark plugs to prevent stripping out the aluminum threads




A set of spark plugs usually requires replacement after about 20,000-30,000 miles (32,000-48,000 km), depending on your style of driving. In normal operation plug gap increases about 0.001 in. (0.025mm) for every 2500 miles (4000 km). As the gap increases, the plug's voltage requirement also increases. It requires a greater voltage to jump the wider gap and about two to three times as much voltage to fire the plug at high speeds than at idle. The improved air/fuel ratio control of modern fuel injection combined with the higher voltage output of modern ignition systems will often allow an engine to run significantly longer on a set of standard spark plugs, but keep in mind that efficiency will drop as the gap widens (along with fuel economy and power).


When you're removing spark plugs, work on one at a time. Don't start by removing the plug wires all at once, because, unless you number them, they may become mixed up. Take a minute before you begin and number the wires with tape.




  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, and if the vehicle has been run recently, allow the engine to thoroughly cool.



  2. Carefully twist the spark plug wire boot to loosen it, then pull upward and remove the boot from the plug. Be sure to pull on the boot and not on the wire, otherwise the connector located inside the boot may become separated.



  3. Using compressed air, blow any water or debris from the spark plug well to assure that no harmful contaminants are allowed to enter the combustion chamber when the spark plug is removed. If compressed air is not available, use a rag or a brush to clean the area.


Remove the spark plugs when the engine is cold, if possible, to prevent damage to the threads. If removal of the plugs is difficult, apply a few drops of penetrating oil or silicone spray to the area around the base of the plug, and allow it a few minutes to work.




  1. Using a spark plug socket that is equipped with a rubber insert to properly hold the plug, turn the spark plug counterclockwise to loosen and remove the spark plug from the bore.


To install:




  1. Inspect the spark plug boot for tears or damage. If a damaged boot is found, the spark plug wire must be replaced. If the engine has distributorless ignition, carefully look over the coils for any cracks or signs of arcing.



  2. Using a wire feeler gauge, check and adjust the spark plug gap. When using a gauge, the proper size should pass between the electrodes with a slight drag. The next larger size should not be able to pass while the next smaller size should pass freely.



  3. Carefully thread the plug into the bore by hand. If resistance is felt before the plug is almost completely threaded, back the plug out and begin threading again. In small, hard to reach areas, an old spark plug wire and boot could be used as a threading tool. The boot will hold the plug while you twist the end of the wire and the wire is supple enough to twist before it would allow the plug to crossthread.



  4. Carefully tighten the spark plug. If the plug you are installing is equipped with a crush washer, seat the plug, then tighten about 1/4turn to crush the washer. If you are installing a tapered seat plug, tighten the plug to specifications provided by the vehicle or plug manufacturer.



  5. Apply a small amount of silicone dielectric compound to the end of the spark plug lead or inside the spark plug boot to prevent sticking, then install the boot or coil onto the spark plug and push until it clicks into place. The click may be felt or heard, then gently pull back on the boot or coil to assure proper contact.















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