98 caravan rear plugs

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  #1  
Old 11-05-06, 07:22 AM
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98 caravan rear plugs

Im changing spark plugs &Ive changed the 3 in the front. How do I get the 3 inthe back out?This ia 3.3 liter gas eng. Thank u!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-05-06, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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rear plugs

Not very familer with the setup, but when I had a diffcult time getting to plugs remove filters and other crap in your way. And then just climb up in the engine with some plug pullers. Dont think there would be anthing specially about that engine just gotta get dirty.
 
  #3  
Old 11-05-06, 10:27 AM
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Question re 98 caravan rear plugs

Dear Dave, Theres no or very little room to get to these, I went underneath as well on top, you can barely see these plugs, from any angle, may be someone else may have a method, but thanks anyhow! Desperate Jim
 
  #4  
Old 11-05-06, 06:34 PM
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Even with a lift the rear plugs are hard to replace. I can't imagine doing it at home. Unless you want to remove the intake you'll need to get on your back and stretch those arms in awkward positions. Good luck with it.

John
 
  #5  
Old 11-06-06, 03:53 AM
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On the 3.3L I had to put it up on ramps, and lay underneath, feet facing forward, for the rear plugs. Pretty sure I had a short extension & universal ready, but it was doable. Only thing I'd recommend is something to prop your head up on while under there, as my neck was killing me the next day from lifting my head and reaching for those rear 3 plugs. I will tell you this though, my new 3.8L is even harder, almost impossible, even on a hoist. Do yourself a favour, put in platinum plugs, so you won't have to do it again for quite a while.
 
  #6  
Old 11-07-06, 04:44 AM
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I just replaced plugs/wires in my 97 3.3L over the weekend. I don't have a good place to put the van up on jack stands and work safely (sloped driveway, no room in my garage, and out on the street is just not an option), so I went in from the top. No doubt the folks that got under the vehicle will say this method is too complicated, but here you go if you don't want to get under there.

I removed the window washer cowling, which is straight forward after you remove the wiper arms (unbolt, then wiggle off - some people had to use a puller tool - mine just came off with wiggling) and the cowling cover. Remove the bracket that connects the alternator to the intake plenum. This gave me enough access to get plug #1 (left rear by the alternator).

After much debate with myself, I disconnected the intake plenum. There are a lot of connections to this, and to the throttle body. Label things so they go back correctly. There are 2 metal screws in the back, out of view that secure a wire/cable clip, plus a bolt that holds on to the strut that connects the plenum to the engine block. Then it's just 2 nuts and 2 bolts up front. Things are hindered by all that is connected to this assembly. I disconnected the resonator (box that says "remove me for access to air filter") from the throttle body as well (just a hose clamp holds it on). You'll also want to disconnect the ignition coil from the plenum and set it aside. I was not able to fully remove the plenum, but I was able to lift it up enough to chock it with a piece of 2x4 (don't use anything that would scratch or dent the aluminum) and that gave me access to plugs #3 and #5. Scrape off any old intake plenum gasket with a razor, held very flat. Don't go in there with a screwdriver to scrape, unless you're very very careful...the aluminum is easily deformed. Put on a new gasket before reassembly. Tighten using the order suggested in the Haynes or Chilton manual. Borrow or buy a clicker torque wrench. In Oregon, Autozone will loan you a torque wrench if you put a deposit down. The plenum is cast aluminum and will crack if you over tighten. Also the cylinder head is aluminum, so the plugs are tightened to 20 ft-lbs. Overtighten and you'll strip the threads. Yikes!

This took me all day. I could probably do this in 3 hours now that I've completed it once. This van went 170k on the original Champion plugs, and they look it. I have no idea how it was still running...though it was dying at idle more and more often. The center electrode on 3 of the 6 was just about gone. The others showed worn center electrode, but not as bad. Lots of metal gone from the other electrode as well. I put in platinum plugs, so hopefully I won't have to do this job again.

Tools used:
sockets, mostly 15mm, 13mm and 10mm.
3/8" socket for the back 2 metal screws on the plenum
13/16" spark plug socket
10", 5" and 3" socket driver extensions plus a wobbly extension
Torx T-25 for cowling cover
flat screwdriver
safety razor to remove traces of old plenum gasket

Cost:
Platinum plugs $2.99 ea.
Wire set $35.99 (I've never changed a wire set before, but it's worth the peace of mind in this case! - I don't want to have to go back in there)
Plenum intake gasket $3.99
Anti-seize for plug threads $1.99
My time (varies!)

Dealer cost to do the job? $325. I didn't get to watch any football games that day, but I'm happy to spend the $275 I saved on something else.

btw, the engine is now running nice and smooth, and no stalling/dying. What a PITA considering this is usually a DIY maintenance item. Fuel filter? You gotta lower the fuel tank to access it!! It's enough to make me take a look at this kind of thing the next time I go to buy a vehicle.
 

Last edited by robert.pdx; 11-07-06 at 05:01 AM.
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