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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought a 2002 V6 Highlander and need to replace its spark plugs. The owner's manual explicitly says to buy iridium tipped plugs which is no problem. But what I have heard is a problem is getting the back three plugs out and was wondering if anyone had any personal experience with this.

Also, how many ft-pounds are required when installing? I found this web site which seems pretty helpful but thought I'd ask and verify its accuracy:

How do you change the spark plugs in a 2002 Toyota ...

Thanks!
 

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The back plugs near the intake manifold can be a pain to replace, but doable. You will have to remove the intake and a whole bunch of bolts in and around it to access the plugs.

Now coming to torque, this is my take on torquing plugs. I usually have a hose that I plug to the top of the plug and after applying anti-seize slowly thread it in. With the hose on the top of the plug it is nice and easy and once I have tightened it till no more with the hose, I take off the hose and put in the socket and tighten 2/3rd of a turn and thats it. Put the coil over it and you are done.

In essense you need to be nice not to cross thread the plugs (remember it is all Aluminium out there that is soft), anti-seize and 2/3turn.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, I'm not much of a gearhead -- what is anti-seize?

And unfortunately, I don't have too much time to spare and it caught me by surprise learning the rear plugs are on the difficult side. Is there any problem replacing the front three now and the rear three in a couple weeks?

That hose trick is nice -- I might just have to try that!
 

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Hope this helps on the rear plugs, it is for a different vehicle but does detail exactly what needs to be removed (Toyos have less hardware in their engine compartment, so it may not be as hard as detailed below).

Spark Plug / Ignition Coil Replacement


Anti-seize is a paste of metal and grease which prevents male and female parts from seizing/bonding together. Helps prevent galvanic corrosion between the male and female parts. You can buy the $0.99 packet from any autostore, apply sparingly on the plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about the question of replacing only the front three plugs right now and doing the back three in a couple weeks? Is that generally a bad idea?

Cool, I'll check that link out -- thanks!
 

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Toyota procedure is to remove the Intake manifold. But, It might be done with small fingers and patience if yu leave it on.

The front three plugs ar easy. And if yu do them first, it will make for good practice and familiarity when yu get to do the rear three plugs "Blindly".

:)
LT
 

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Has anyone ever actually removed the Rear 3 plugs without taking the manifold off? Has anyone ever attempted it and still had to take the manifold off for the middle back plug?
 

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It has been done with great difficulty and alot of time and patience. Along with two socket universals and several socket extensions.

And, that time spent, may have been better spent on doing it as the serv. manual states...by removing the intake manifold. Then the 3 plugs become a total 3 minute job by themselves.

LT
 

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scenic route or stick to the tour guide. your choice :p same amount of time either way it sounds like.

are there differences in spark plugs that actually make a performance difference?
 

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Negative. Only replace with Original Iridium Tipped Spark Plugs.

There is no advantage by using different brands or so-called "BETTER" plugs.

The originals are the best!! And they last the longest!

nuff said.:tu:

LT
 

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Is there a gasket or any O-rings that should be replaced when the rear air intake manifold is removed? I am not seeting any information on what helps seal the Intake manifold?
 

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Any particular reason why not? I have no stake either way, but the supposed fuel economy gain certainly sounds interesting.

There seem to be some independent tests done, some seeing HP gains on a dyno, though dynoe results can vary widely, and HP gains wouldn't be my concern really. My concern is mainly regarding fuel economy.

See this. They even tested them on a Prius, LOL:
Pulstar Pulse Blogs

At the very least, my curiosity is piqued. Snake oil, or something to it?
 

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A Hybrid was used for test purposes and the Dyno results were given as a "Net Gain". If yu know a little about Hybrids... Net HP is a combination of Brake HP and the Traction HP of the Batteries measured in Kwh. A very moot point was made by the Mfr of these plugs. (well they do not even refer to them as spark plugs.. like they are "special") And I do not trust the Dyno results. How true were these Independant tests????

If yu want to experiment...do it wisely and be methodical about your data collection. But I would not waste my time on any other spark Plugs.

Been there done it. Stay with the OE.
Toyota prevails in quality vehicles.. largely due to there engine designs. I won't deviate much from the intended design. Especially the ignition system.

Stay away.. Just my opinion.:happy:

With the gas crisis these days many are finding themselves looking for many ways to improve MPG.. And there are many companies that feed on this frenzy. Caveat Emptor!

LT
 

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I replaced the plugs in my 2003 Highlander V6 with dealer spec plugs and - as we all know and I found out the hard way - the front 3 plugs were easy and the rear 3 were a PIA. I took the engine plastic cover off and was able to get my hand/arm thru the manifold and get to the back 3. I used a Craftsman shorty ratchet to do so and all has been well for 20k+ miles. Hope that helps.
 

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I just finished replacing the spark plugs in my 2002 Highlander and did not remove the intake manifold. It is doable but time consuming, and as noted, you need somewhat small hands. It took about three hours, the same amount of time that would probably be needed to remove and replace the intake manifold I figure unless you're an experienced mechanic.
 
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