How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinder

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Pathy415
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How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinder

Postby Pathy415 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:09 pm

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage caused to your vehicle. This write-up is only meant to assist you in the process but is not a know-it-all guide. It is best to seek a professional mechanic for assistance or just have a mechanic perform the job.

How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 3.3L Pathfinder / QX4 (VG33E engine)

I hope this helps! :)


pathwinder
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby pathwinder » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:55 pm

thank you for this post . Really helpful.

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:04 pm

You're welcome!! Glad u found it helpful!

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GRNMACHINE
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby GRNMACHINE » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:30 pm

Big Thanks!!!!!! Plan on tackling this in the spring and pictures are always worth 1000 words. Thanks for taking the time to post!

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:46 pm

You're welcome! I'm glad people are putting it to use. Now I wonder if they'll sticky this.

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:35 pm

Now if someone could do a drive belt "how to" on the 3.3L that would be sweet!

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GRNMACHINE
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby GRNMACHINE » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:42 am

Timing Belt, Water Pump, etc writeup would be nice too! Almost positive I will be having the dealer do the work though.

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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:32 am

I agree with the timing belt/pump that would solve my drive belt "how-to!"

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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Suppatime » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:19 pm

So what issues did you have with that dreaded spark plug in the back?

I'm still having trouble getting to it... and I'd rather not remove the manifold if I don't have to.

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:24 pm

You don't have to remove the manifold. What I did was use the extension (I forgot if it was a 6 or 8 inch) with the spark plug socket at the end and sorta "searched" for the last plug. You have to pretty much climb on top of the engine, your head will be touching the underside of the hood. You have to feel for it (it takes awhile) once you have it engaged I added a universal joint and another extension to loosen it.

Also, make sure when you put the new one in that the new plug has a snug fit with the socket, you don't want that thing to fall out and get damaged.

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GRNMACHINE
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby GRNMACHINE » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:29 am

This should be a Sticky!!!!!!!!!

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Towncivilian
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Towncivilian » Sat May 05, 2012 10:05 pm

Added to how-to thread and general information thread. Thanks for the guide, Pathy415!

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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Pathy415 » Sat May 05, 2012 11:37 pm

Your Welcome!

Would have done a radiator and drive belt replacement but I was in a rush.

Rokkhed
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Rokkhed » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:48 am

Hey Pathy! (and my esteemed Pathfinder owners)

My '99 Pathfinder is running a bit rough at 175,000 miles so I am following your advice on the tune-up. I bought it used so I am trying to replace what I can on my own to get another 5-10 years of life out of it. I have the new NGK iridium plugs, wires, and fuel filter on order. I see you replaced a Bosch distributor cap with a BWD in your demo. Is BWD your preferred brand? Also, what other items can I replace on my own to extend the life of the patient, er Pathfinder. Yes, I do feel a little like Dr. Frankenstein ripping out a corpse's innards and transplanting new ones.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Rokkhed :facepalm:
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ipeelscats
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby ipeelscats » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:32 pm

You could also replace the PCV, clean the throttle body, and replace all of the fluids and trans filter. I did everything you mentioned plus this when I bought my used 98 qx4 last year. There was a massive difference in the way the truck felt afterwards.

Rokkhed
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Rokkhed » Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:23 pm

Thanks ipeelscats. Replace PCV valve and clean the throttle body... will do! I supposed I should also try cleaning/replacing the Mass Air Flow Sensor, Fuel/Water Separator and cabin air filters and eventually the shocks and struts. Looks like I might be living out of my Path for a while if costs keep ringing up.

I am really dreading changing the spark plugs, especially the one that Nissan evilly hid behind the engine next to the fire wall. I have already replaced all 4 tires with new Yokohama's (from TireRack.com) and replaced the exhaust system from the block on back (all Bosal aluminum parts.) I didn't know the Path had 2, yes 2 catalytic converters each going for over $700 from Nissan. Please dear Lord don't let those puppies die on me now.

So where is the trans filter? Is it next to the flux capacitor or the dilithium crystal module? :lolling:

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atraudes
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby atraudes » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:25 pm

I hate to say it, but if your cats went bad, it would probably be worthwhile to spend some time looking at what caused them to go bad (later, if not now). They generally go bad because the engine's running rich. In my case it was because the fuel pressure regulator went bad:

post6580093.html

In your case it may have been because of the bad plugs, wires, distributor, etc. Just some food for thought :cheers:

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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Buzzman » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:47 pm

The R50 pathfinders and QX4's with the 3.3L engines came factory equipped with a special tool from Nissan to help remove that #6 spark plug.
The tool is supposed to be stored under the back seat, along with the jack.
I suspect after a few ownership changes and 15 years of driving, that some of these tools have disappeared.
Start by checking under the seat and see if the tool is still there.
If not, then maybe someone you know in your area with the same vintage R50 can lend you the tool when you need it.

Check out this earlier thread on the spark plug removal issue on the 3.3L engine.
Lots of good information here.

spark-plugs-due-for-change-t314373.html ... lug%20tool

Rokkhed
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby Rokkhed » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:04 am

Thanks for all the great help, guys. One last question, Pathy's 'how-to' (http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/how-to ... ngine.html) says to use dielectric grease on the new rotor and plugs while other videos and forums I have read said to never put DG on metal contacts (unless it can achieve breakthrough voltage) because it is an insulator/protectant. Any suggestions? :gotme

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atraudes
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby atraudes » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:45 am

I found a pretty good discussion on the topic here. After reading that, I'd say it's not going to hurt anything to use it, and will prove beneficial in that things won't rust together.

tstoneami
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinde

Postby tstoneami » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:33 am

Just what I was looking for thank you!

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinder

Postby Pathy415 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:38 pm

Welcome!

MisterH
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinder

Postby MisterH » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:16 pm

Nice write up. Did the cap/rotor/plugs replacement today and I'm apparently one of the lucky few who still have the factory tool kit with the special socket for removing spark plug #6. Took a total of about 2.5 hours to do it all and 30 minutes just to do #6. I can't imagine trying to remove that plug without it. Another indispensable item to have on hand is a telescoping mirror to be able to see the spark plug hole when you're installing in order to get the correct angle on it.

Pathy415
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Re: How To: Replace plugs/cap/rotor on 1999.5 3.3L Pathfinder

Postby Pathy415 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:45 am

Thanks! Regardless of the task I do agree the telescoping mirror and magnetic pick-up tool are extremely useful!


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