How to change spark plugs



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Thread: How to change spark plugs

  1. #1
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    How to change spark plugs

    Just changed the plugs and wires on my wife's 97 Grand Caravan 3.3L.

    Oh and I think I got the record for the longest lasting spark plugs--169k--man they looked like ****. Dealer checked the front ones at 100k and said they looked good so we didn't change them. The gaps were real big and some were worn down to nothing. No wonder it ran a little rough. Must have a dam good ignition system to still run like that.

    Used Bosch platinum +4 and Bosch wires--hope the van lasts another 160k. Purchased at AutoZone, no problems with fitment and wires were perfect.

    Front 3 took about 20 minutes--no problems.

    Back 2 by the drivers side of the exhaust pipe took 45 min. Not too bad but difficult to reach up from underneath and get enough leverage to remove the wires and break the plug loose.

    The last one on the passenger side took 1-1/2 hrs (yea I'm slow). Had to slip the S belt off the alternator, remove the top alternator bolt, loosen the bottom alternator bolt, slide the alternator back. Then remove the braket that attaches the alternator to the intake manifold. A socket with an extension can be fit in and remove the last plug.

    Whoo Hoo my first post. BTW--thought it proper to put this in 3rd gen section even though the 2nd gen forum already has a thread like this.

    TurboFB

    p.s. I only work on this thing cause I'm too cheap to pay the dealer and I want the job done right. I hope I never have another FWD car.
    1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE Turbo
    1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE

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  3. #2
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    plugs

    You did ok but never use Bosch plugs in a mopar. Really sucky. MOF I won't use tham in anything ever again. Every vehicle I've ever put them in has had running problems I couldn't trace until I got rid of the plugs and put factory spec oem back in. Especially on these where it's so darn hard to do.
    Larry

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    169K and never changed plugs. You are lucky you got them out of the block. YES, that ignitions system probably WAS good, but now it has been taxed to the limit. You may be replacing coils next. NEVER GO THAT LONG on the same plugs. That 100,000 mile tune up crap is for selling point ONLY.

    I have to disagree with you Larry about the Bosch. I don't like the +4 or any other gimmick plugs but the basic Bosch Platinum plug works great in Chrysler products. I have been using them in Chrysler products ( all types - turbo and NA ) since the late 80"s, when they first came out. Never had any problems in ALL of the many vehicles I have worked on (not just mine). I guess it is a personal prefference as anything else is.

    MHO

    Rich
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

  5. #4
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    What is an average spark plug lifespan?

    I think I should change my Saturn's plugs. I am about to hit 58K miles and since I have owned the car since it had 11 miles, I know they have never been changed.

    I also just started noticing that the power is going downhill.

    I need to have the ones in my wife's van done but I don't have the patience that he did and will end up paying somebody to do it. Hers isa 3.3 also.

    Chas
    Chas Stokes

    2000 Saturn SL1 "ZUUL"
    2002 Hyundai Elantra (Stolen ) "ZUUL24"

  6. #5
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    I have always recommended not going over 60-65,000 miles with the platinum plugs. Mainly ,because the longer you leave them in, the harder they are to get out of the head. It also puts stress on the ignition system when you go too many miles on badly worn plugs. If you are unsure of the plug to use, use the same brand that is in the vehicle. You should not go wrong then. Platinum is RECOMMENDED in vehicles that have plugs that are very hard to get at.
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

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    I agree TurboFB. I hope I have a choice in the future as to front or rear wheel drive. I believe there is a trend towards going back to rear wheel drive. The new Magnum (Wagon) is a nice looking car and I understand it is rear drive. I also heard that the new Cadillacs are starting to use rear drive. The Mercury Marquis/Crown Vic/Town Car are still going strong.

    Jay in MA
    2009 Honda Accord, 2.4 (Mobil1 5W-20)
    2009 Nissan Altima
    2000 Toyota Camry, 2.2
    1999 Toyota Camry, 2.2
    1995 Chevy S10 S.S., 4.3
    1985 John Deere 318 (Mobil1 10W-30)

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    I have to disagree with you Larry about the Bosch. I don't like the +4 or any other gimmick plugs but the basic Bosch Platinum plug works great in Chrysler products. I have been using them in Chrysler products ( all types - turbo and NA ) since the late 80"s, when they first came out. Never had any problems in ALL of the many vehicles I have worked on (not just mine). I guess it is a personal prefference as anything else is.

    MHO

    Rich[/QUOTE]
    THe plain Bosch Plat. is what I had inumerable problems with. Both is Ford and Chrysler products. Went back to using only what is oem and no more issues. Parts guys confirmed many having terrible issues with Bosch Plats. You may be lucky or I may have been unlucky but if so I've been unlucky WAY too many times with WAY too many vehicles to ever trust Bosch plugs in anything ever again. As far as multi electrode plugs and al that other hoo haa that's all it is. BUt if you find yourself chasing strange driveability demons falling fuel mileage, rough idle etc. YOu just can't figure out get rid of the Bosch plugs and I'll bet the problems go away.
    Larry

  9. #8
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    Plugs

    Well I have always "tuned up" my cars that had standard plugs every 15,000 miles. I changed my two cars that had platinum plugs (claimed 100,000 service interval engines) at 50,000. In both of the later cases the plugs still looked very good.

    There are some cars/engine combos that are plug type sensitive. When I had my 86 Mustang SVO I ran only Motorcraft original spec plugs and ignition components. It is a widely known fact among SVO enthusiast that most ignition misses and pinging under boost isses could be solved by giving a fresh tuneup with Motorcraft ingntion items and not running gimmick or specialty ingintion components. Especially when running higher boost pressures that most of us SVO owners run/ran. Those cars were HARD on ignition componets (Fords problem prone TFI module not with standing)

    And of course my van just got new plugs and wires courtesy of the dodge warranty with 10,000 miles on them.


    Cudd
    2004 Inferno Red, Anniversary Edition, Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 3.8 V6
    2002 Mercury Sable LS, 3.0 24V Duratec V6

    Previously owned vehicles

    99 4WD Ford Explorer XLT, 4.0 SOHC V6
    86 Ford Mustang SVO, 2.3 FI, TC, IC, I4
    95 Ford Contour SE, 2.5 24V Duratec V6
    94 4WD Ford Ranger XLT , 4.0 V6
    89 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, 3.8 V6
    91 4WD Ford Ranger XLT, 4.0 V6
    81 Chevy Caprice Classic, 305 V8
    88 Ford Mustang 5.0 V8
    79 Ford Mustang Cobra 2.3 TC, I4
    75 Ford Elite 351W V8

  10. #9
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    BUt if you find yourself chasing strange driveability demons falling fuel mileage, rough idle etc. YOu just can't figure out get rid of the Bosch plugs and I'll bet the problems go away.
    Thanks Larry. I will keep that in mind if I have those problems arise.
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

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    I decided to run down to the parts store and pick up some plugs for the Saturn.

    The guy at the store thought that my car had Delco's from the factory. Since it is a GM, I thought he may be right. Well, not quite. Seems they were of a no-name brand. Kind of reminds me of the cheap batteries you get in toys when you buy them.

    However, I did put AC Delcos in it and gapped them to spec. AMAZING the difference. Maybe I should pay more attention to that. I noticed it starting to run rough, especially if the AC was on. SMOOOOTH now. Not the power that my 3.0 had... but smooth.

    I shall keep an eye on those from now on.

    As soon as I get the money, I am going to have some other poor sucker change the plugs in the 3.3. I AIN'T doing it.

    Plug 3 in the saturn had nearly no electrode left. 1 and 4 looked fine. 2 had a large gap burned into it but otherwise looked ok. No wet plugs or anything.

    I can't really complain about the no-namers as they DID go 58,000 miles and were the originals.

    Chas
    Chas Stokes

    2000 Saturn SL1 "ZUUL"
    2002 Hyundai Elantra (Stolen ) "ZUUL24"

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