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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Mods, feel free to move this to the knowledge base. I wanted to create it here so I can modify the thread right away.


I recently did a "Tune up" on my patriot. I took pictures to finally create a how to because I have been seeing more and more questions about doing it on the MK.




Tools Required:

Ratchet
5/8 spark plug socket
6-8 inch extension (to reach the plug in the tube)
spark plug gapper.
T-30 Torx head bit, or driver

Optional tools (for you gurus)
conductive electric grease
anti-seize
Torque wrench (I didn't use one, but some might want to. Especially if you have never worked on cars before)

Usefull specs:
NGK specs says 10-14 Ft. lbs for these plugs.
Gap should be set to .044
OEM NGK plug# ZFR5F-11

Tools I used


I used the exact same plugs that came in the engine originally. NGK v-power zfr5f-11

Picture of the box


1. First step is to remove the engine cover. You simply pull up on each corner. There is a rubber grommet on the cover, and a plastic ball on the engine, that the cover pops off of.

The plastic ball can be seen here. (one in each corner)


2. Next step is to find the 4 coil packs. (right in the middle of the valve cover.)

Cylinder 1's coil can bee seen here.


3. Squeeze the release lever for the clip on the coil plug and pull the plug off of the coil.

Plug removed


4. Use the t-30 torx bit and ratche, or t-30 torx driver, to remove the hold down screw from the coil pack.

Screw removed


5. Remove the coil by pulling it straight up out of the tube.

coil removed


6. Use the ratchet with your extension, and 5/8 spark plug socket, to remove the spark plug. (It is located a few inches down in the tube)

Remember turn to the left to loosen.

Removing spark plug


7. Once you have the spark plug loose, lift the socket out of the tube. The spark plug will be stuck in the rubber grommet inside the socket.

If you are using a regular 5/8 deep well socket, you can use a magnet to retrieve the plug.



8. Time to prepare the new plug. Check the gap, it should be set to .044 right out of the box. (Thanks to ti-claude31 for getting the info from NGK)
Mine were set to .045 so I left them at that. I doubt it would make much of a difference either way.

This would also be the step were you would add anti-seize to the threads on the plug.

Checking the plug gap


I always compare it to the old plug as well. Make sure the threads are the same length.

Side by side


9. Installing the new plug. (You should put the electric grease on the inside of the coil boot at this step)

A trick that us mechanics use, to prevent cross threading the spark plug, is to use the coil pack to get the threads started. It cushions the spark plug so your not forcing it into the cylinder head.

plug in coil boot.


starting the plug.


10. Use the ratchet and socket to tighten the plug the rest of the way. (this is were you would torque it to 10-14 ft lbs)

Tighten


11. you can now push the coil back down on the spark plug.

Coil pushed in


12. Final step is to replace the torx screw, and plug the coil back in.

Be careful installing this screw as you can strip the plastic valve cover if you try to make it too tight. I'd say they should probably not be torqued to more than 5-10 ft. lbs. Basically no tighter than you would tighten a screw.

screw and plug



Repeat this for each cylinder, and then re-install the engine cover when you are done.

Start her up, and make sure it runs smooth. :smiley_thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
excellent step by step instructions one of the best but I thought the gap was .035 factory?
Everything I read said .045. The OE ones I took out were actually at .047.

NGK plugs are gapped from the factory, and come with a sleeve over the threads to keep the gap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i checked on the ngk internet site and the precise gap is .044.
Good to know.

The computer at advance auto told me .045 and thats what the plug were set at right out of the box, so I didn't change em.

I'll update my post show the proper gap. Thanks for the heads up. :smiley_thumbs_up:
 

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good post. Changing spark plugs used to be a lot easier, but that doesn't look too hard. Anybody have better performance with a platnum plug?
 
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Nice post. I haven't had my Pat long enough to worry about the plugs. I had no idea how the system was designed. I guess plug wires are a thing of the past. Those coil packs look like they are $100 to $150 each.

Do those tubes go all the way to the head and keep dirt from collecting near the threaded hole? I have always cleaned around the old plug before breaking the torque.
 

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Excellent post Schoat333. Thank-you.

I used your information and did mine this last weekend. Pretty easy job, just use caution when tightening them in. (17 Nm max)

After 36,740 km they looked functional, however well used. See picture below:



 

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Do those tubes go all the way to the head and keep dirt from collecting near the threaded hole? I have always cleaned around the old plug before breaking the torque.
I wondered the same thing. That's one reason why I'm not too keen on using anti-seize. The correct torque is probably the most important thing when changing spark plugs. So many people have ruined their engines with overtightening...

Schoat333, very nice of you to make this instruction.
 

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Changing the plugs is a breeze. I replaced with platinum, but will probably go back to copper. I utilize a 10" length of rubber fuel line hose that fits snuggly on the plug insulator to lower the plug into the abyss. The plug can then be safely started by hand and the hose twisted off. I also use anti-sieze (sparingly) on the threads and tighten with a 3/8" ratchet. Remove the ground to the battery for a few seconds to cause the computer management to reset - the engine needs to relearn with the new plugs.
 

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For starting the plugs I just stick it into the plug socket (attached to the extension), lower it down in there, touch it to the head squarely, then turn it counter clockwise until I hear and feel the threads click (the start of the plug thread slips off the start of the head thread), then I hand tighten them to snug before putting the ratchet on there.

Darn near impossible to cross thread it that way.
 

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Like I already said, nice instructions you've made! One thing I'm wondering though: where did you find that torque value? From NGK's website I found 24 - 29 Nm (18.0~21.6 lb-ft.) with aluminum cylinder heads. Denso's recommended torque for M14 spark plugs is 20 - 30 Nm. And most importantly, Patriot's Service Manual says 27 Nm (20 ft. lbs).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Like I already said, nice instructions you've made! One thing I'm wondering though: where did you find that torque value? From NGK's website I found 24 - 29 Nm (18.0~21.6 lb-ft.) with aluminum cylinder heads. Denso's recommended torque for M14 spark plugs is 20 - 30 Nm. And most importantly, Patriot's Service Manual says 27 Nm (20 ft. lbs).
I must have been looking at the 12mm type. :doh:
 

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Johnnie said:
Patriot's Service Manual says 27 Nm (20 ft. lbs).
Having said that, there is also a another service manual that says 17.5 ±2 Nm (13 ±2 ft. lbs.)

Since both values are commonly used with automobile spark plugs neither one could be considered as wrong without further information. At this situation I would go for ~22 Nm as a compromise but this is just my decision.
 

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just found out from the E3 site..that if you don t have a tq wrench and want to 20lbs of tq..hand tighten the
plug..then use the socket wrench and go a extra 1/2 - 3/4 turn..

i ll stick with the half turn..

anyone have any experience with the E3 plugs?
 

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I just installed a new set of NGKs. Using my torque wrench I discovered that its about a full turn from when it resists to 13 ft lbs. Just for laffs, I used the torque wrench to remove two of the old plugs and it took about 40 to loosen them.

As for the gaps, the old plugs were all over the board -- anywhere from .040 to .044. Can plugs change gaps from normal use? Can't believe the factory would have done that. They were overdue for a change (37.000 miles). The new ones out of the box were about .042 so I opened them up just a tad. Took it for a 10 mile ride and maybe its pure placebo, but I definitely felt a difference: it was smooth as silk. Especially nice on the hills because that was where I first sensed it skipping with the old plugs. I guess I hadn't noticed how rough it was running on the level, but it really seems to be smoother all around. My MPG was running in the low 30s on my last two longer trips; I'll be interested to see if it can get any better.
 
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