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Old 11-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
Kittyfeet
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Awesome, thanks for the tips everyone. I found a gapper at Walmart for $1.36, so even if I use it just once, it's money well spent.

Turvis, it's a 2002 model.

The plan is to do the deed on Saturday. I'll update you on how it went.

 
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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You should have coil on plug ignition on that car. So some of the things about spark plug wires don't apply.

Older cars have one coil (a coil is the part that steps up the cars battery voltage to the 20,000 plus volts needed to cause a spark) that feeds the high voltage to what is called a distributor. The distributor distributes the high voltage through spark plug wires in a specific sequence to each of the spark plugs.

You car, according to the googles, has coil on plug meaning there is no distributor, and there are 4 seperate coils. Each coil is attached directly to the spark plug and is held in place by a bolt or two. The coils have small wires to them that evenually lead to the computer. When you remove the bolt(s) the coil will lift off the plug, exposing the plug. You will need an extension as usually the hole is pretty deep. Typically, the spark plug hole is sealed by the coil housing by a rubber seal so it is unusual for dirt to be in the hole. Your best bet is to wipe or dust the top of the motor off before you start and you should be good to go. While you are in there, check each spark plug hole for oil. if there is oil in any of the holes, you will want to replace the valve cover gasket.

Part of the expense is the amount of disassembly involved to change the plugs...it can be worse, my wifes old V6 Camry was a royal PITA because the rear bank of cylinders was coverd by the intake manifold.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #13
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Good advice. Take heed on the not pulling the wires off by hand. Then again, at that many miles consider replacing the wires too?

A cheap ratchet set with extensions and maybe adapters and swivels are not terribly expensive. A nice ratchet is worth having if you plan on continuing to do these minor repairs yourself.

Remember, do not put side pressure on the ratchet when taking them out. Plugs can snap in half. Also, when installing, nice and snug is all they need to be. You can strip the threads by torquing too much.

 
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:33 PM   #14
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Oh, and I always try and blow around each plug with compressed air, and have been forced to use a long straw to get anything loose out before taking the plugs out. Loose sand can fall in and scratch the cylinder walls.

 
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal
Good advice. Take heed on the not pulling the wires off by hand. Then again, at that many miles consider replacing the wires too?

A cheap ratchet set with extensions and maybe adapters and swivels are not terribly expensive. A nice ratchet is worth having if you plan on continuing to do these minor repairs yourself.

Remember, do not put side pressure on the ratchet when taking them out. Plugs can snap in half. Also, when installing, nice and snug is all they need to be. You can strip the threads by torquing too much.
If you're gonna replace the plugs you might as well replace wires while you're in there. The last time I did plugs in my car half the wires snapped off anyway.

Change the air filter and cabin air filter. Both cheap to do but will cost a lot more @ a garage.

Give the hood latch and door hinges a shot of wd-40.

 
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:19 AM   #16
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I was also thinking replacing the wires would be a good idea, but as the OP mentioned this is an intro didn't really bring it up. I've never done coil-on-plug. Is it different from distributors? Wolfstar's comment sounds like there are no plug wires.

I don't mean to confuse the thread- just clarifying for the general populous's good.

Good luck! Kyle

 
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:24 AM   #17
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Coil on plug has no plug wires. Plugs are the only maintenance item unless you tear a boot. That engine has an aluminum head. Change the plugs cold.

My engines i work on don't use spark plugs but I used to work on cars a bit. If you work yourself into a corner send me a message.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinjeepin View Post
Coil on plug has no plug wires. Plugs are the only maintenance item unless you tear a boot. That engine has an aluminum head. Change the plugs cold.

My engines i work on don't use spark plugs but I used to work on cars a bit. If you work yourself into a corner send me a message.
Right, there are no spark plug wires on most coil on plug ignitions.

Some, (some Toyota V6s for instance) have coil on plug for one bank of cylinders with a spark plug wire feeding a cylinder on the apposing bank.

According to the Googles, Early 2000 Sentras have one coil per cylinder, that attaches directly to the plug. So there are no spark plug wires.

For the record, I was a mechanic for many years, and still work on my own and (nice) freinds cars.

FYI, check out alldata.com for your vehicle. Alldata is what professional shops use for service, diagnostic, and technical service bullitens. It is a subscription, but it is well worth it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #19
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Its been a while since I worked on an 02 model but get NGK spark plugs Nissan's don't like other brand plugs. If you are wondering how I know this I am a Nissan tech. Get the part number off the old plug and match it up with the new ones. You don't want to gap them they come pre gapped you and actually damage the plug.

 
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #20
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The spark plugs are changed! Didn't get to it Saturday; the day was instead filled with an obstacle course run and chilling with friends.

On Sunday afternoon, I got the first two plugs changed. They came out easily and everything was straightforward. The third plug was kinda stuck, so I asked boyfriend to use his muscle. Turns out muscle didn't work, as the plug was seized. We got the 4th plug changed, but he had to help get the dang thing out.

Ran to the store and got some PB blaster and let it sit overnight. This morning, he was able to get the stubborn third plug out, and I got the new one installed. Started the car to make sure I didn't break anything, and she's running nicely.

Job complete! There are still a few more easy things to do, and one of these days I'll have to send her in for servicing, but I learned lots and saved a few dollars in the process. Win!

 
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