Replacing Rear spark plugs on 1998 T&C AWD



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Thread: Replacing Rear spark plugs on 1998 T&C AWD

  1. #1
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    Replacing Rear spark plugs on 1998 T&C AWD

    How do you replace the rear three spark plugs on 1998 Town and Country AWD. My 1992 I replaced from below the car. My 2001 Town Country AWD, I replace from the top with great pain. The 1998 town & country AWD looks like if I remove the altenator and Intake manifold and mass air flow and Air filter, I could do it. How do the PROS do it.

    P.S. My 5 feet long, one foot wide noise head liner under the wipers and ducts is coming down and touching the aluminum intake manifold. Any ideas how to hold it backup. don't see any old glue or clips used.
    1998 Town Country LXI
    2001 Town Country LXI

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    I paid to have mine done after buying my 99 gran voy expresso{1st minivan}...had meineke do it. They removed the top intake section then removed the throttle body from it. I had them replace the valve cover gaskets, plugs, wires, clean the injectors and a new fuel filter..for only $950.00 +/-. Looking back I'd try it myself next time, just make sure you get the right upper gasket as they had to try 4 times with they're supplier to get it right.
    99' Grand Voyager, 3.3L, 97k{my current ride}
    01' T/C LXi, 3.8L, 88k{wifes current ride}

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    I have a '99 front drive and I do all the rears from below, using wobble extensions, regular extensions of different lengths, and a plug wrench. Van front is on jack stands. I don't know if the addition of all wheel drive makes that harder. I have large hands, so while being a knuckle buster, it's still possible to do. The front sparky, under the alternator, is the hardest, and some people remove the bracket to do this one from the top. Others remove the wiper cover and go from the top.

    Spark plug wire removal is also hard. You need those special, long pliers to seperate the wire from the plug without damaging the wire. I think mine came from Harbor Freight. If you change the wires, forum advice favors either MOPAR or NAPA brand wires.

    I wish you much good luck because it's a PITA job. Don't be afraid of doing it yourself, just be aware it will take a few hours, with lots of cursing. All this is assuming the AWD doesn't interfere with getting under/around the rear exhaust pipe from underneath. If so, that would make it a from the top job with lots of stuff to remove.

    I found on my van that the front rear plug was the original, the other two rears were not matching brands with the front side plugs. I would guess the $tealer never serviced the front plug, so make sure they actually change all the plugs, if you farm the job out.

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    Ok, say you've got a Front Wheel Drive, 3.3L up on jack stands. I understand that it's possible to remove and replace the spark plugs/wires in the rear from underneath the van, but how are you supposed to see what you're doing? Is it possible to complete the entire thing by feel? I guess I'd be worried about cracking the plugs and having them get stuck inside the block.
    1996 Chrysler Town & Country LX [My lovable Daily-Driver]
    2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited [Yes, it's still around!]
    2000 Chrysler 300M [New kid on the block...]

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    Check the search feature.. there are several posts on this out there.. but basically yes can get them from underneath with a few creative socket / extension / driver combos... If you were considering the intake removal, do the wiper tray and or the alternator instead.. both will help without intake removal.. I usually do the serp belt at the same time so the alternator is just a couple more bolts ..
    If you are taking the intake off.. do the rear valve cover gasket at the same time..
    never used any special wire removal tool... so far no problems.. but I am curious to hear more about that one..
    2006 DTS performance
    2005 Pacifica
    2001 SSEi Bonneville
    2001 RAM Conversion Van
    1997 Magna
    www.femint.com

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    It is hard to see the front plug and from underneath and you are doing this one by feel. The middle and rear are visible enough. I used a rubber hose over the ceramic end to insert and start the plugs. It's tricky again on number one. Don't forget to use anti-seize on all the plug threads.

    The wire removal tool I use are called spark plug terminal pliers. Available from Harbor Freight (PN 32867) and the auto box stores. They make wire removal easier and you don't crack the wire on aging hardened wires/boots. A bit of dielectric grease in the boot helps removal the next time someone does the job.

    The most popular sparkys on the forums for these vans are Champion, either copper or double platinum's. A minority use NGK or Autolite double platinum's. I always use platinum's because they go about 100K before you need to change them.

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    When you say 'front' I presume you mean the front of the engine (by all the pulleys).. yes that one is hard to get.. that's why I do the belt and pop the alternator... then you can get it... if the wiper cowl is off as well.. its quite easy to get..
    2006 DTS performance
    2005 Pacifica
    2001 SSEi Bonneville
    2001 RAM Conversion Van
    1997 Magna
    www.femint.com

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    I chose to do it the hard way - removing the intake plenum. Most everything is pretty straightforward and simple to remove, but a couple of tips:

    1) MARK AND REMOVE THE VACUUM LINES. These are hard plastic lines that Chrysler is VERY proud of. Two of the longer ones run about $60 each. One of the real shorty lines (from EGR to intake plenum) is about $17. Surprisingly expensive little parts. If you break them (I did), you can either pay through the nose or splice in some flexible vacuum tubing.

    2) There are two bolts behind the intake plenum that hold a sheet metal plate into which some clips routing electrical wires snap into. I suppose you might be able to unclip these wires, but access is extremely limited (even with wiper cowl removed), so not sure. I chose to remove this plate, and the bolts holding this non-structural part in were surprisingly large (and hence tight) and I had to create some additional leverage in very cramped space. It is during this step while contorting one's body to attain the necessary leverage that breaking of the earlier-mentioned vacuum lines will tend to occur.

    3) Be VERY careful with the aluminum heat shields (the ones installed on each spark plug boot) so that you don't damage them. Replacements are not available from the local parts store OR from the dealer. You'll have to either live with the damage, or go to the junkyard if the current ones are damaged. One of mine was a bit damaged, but reusable. I plan on putting it on the front, in case I ever find a replacement.

    After removing all this stuff (I even removed the fuel rail, since I was replacing valve cover gaskets at the same time), it gives very easy access to all the spark plugs, such that you can easily clean out any grime from the spark plug area BEFORE removing the old spark plugs. Also makes it easy to torque the new spark plugs, something that I think would be nearly impossible trying to do it from underneath.

    Chad
    2003 Honda Odyssey EXL (3.5L)
    1997 Town & Country LXi (3.8L)
    1992 Honda Accord LX (2.2L)
    1990 Chevy K2500 (5.7L TBI)

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    Metal heat shields on spark plug boots were installed at the factory on 1996 and 1997 3.3/3.8 engines, but went away in 1998. If replacement wires come w/o heat shields, there's no real need to reinstall them. On the other hand, you can buy a replacement set with heat shields. Two brands I know are Prestolite (OEM) and Delco.

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    I changed mine from underneath. It was nice comfortable weather, I was in no rush. Didn't need any jacks.
    No you can't see what you are doing, it is all done by feel.
    I gave the boots a twist, the wires came off. The plugs were loosened with a rubber insert spark plug socket, then the plugs were removed by hand with my fingers.
    Installed new plugs with my finger using a section of plastic hose, they screwed in very easily, then I snugged them up with the socket wrench.
    When I got tired from stretching my arm, I took a rest.
    Before I screwed in new plugs, I used a shop vac to suck up any dirt.
    When I was all done, I used a mirror to check everything.
    Yes my arms and hands got filthy dirty and a few small scrapes on my knuckles. I did it at 125,000 miles, original plugs. The center electrodes were worn down, but no "lead" deposits like in the old days.
    No way would I do it in cold or rainy weather.

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