3MZ-FE 3.3L V-6 spark plug change with photos - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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Old 03-31-2011, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3MZ-FE 3.3L V-6 spark plug change with photos

I recently replaced the spark plugs in my '04 3MZ-FE 3.3L V-6 Highlander. Here is how I did it along with some photos.
Notes: I disconnected the battery before beginning. I used Denso iridium plugs SK20R11. They were installed with anti-seize compound on threads and torqued to 222 in. lbs. (18.5Ft. Lbs.). Dielectric grease was used on all boots before reinstalling coil packs.

Tools used:
3/8 drive ratchet, 3/8 drive in. lb. torque wrench, 6 in. and 12 in extensions, 8mm allen wrench with box end wrench attached for leverage, 3/8 drive sockets 10mm, 12mm, 14mm and 5/8 spark plug socket, stubby gear wrenches 12mm and 14mm, 5mm allen wrench with "T" handle and combination wrenches 12mm and 14mm.






Step 1
Removed engine cover using 5mm allen wrench (yellow arrows). Then pulled up near the back of cover to disconnect clips below cover and removed cover.






Step 2
This will expose the front 3 coil packs. Remove 3 bolts (yellow arrows) with a 10mm socket.






Lift out coil packs and replace these 3 plugs.






Step 3
Now for the back 3. I removed 2 nuts (yellow arrows) with a 10mm socket and repositioned the long bracket with all those hoses and tubes to uncover the intake plenum bolts.






Step 4
The intake plenum is held in place on the front side by 4 allen head bolts (yellow arrows) and 2 studs with nuts (yellow circles). 14mm socket for nuts and 8mm allen wrench with 8mm box end wrench attached for leverage to remoe bolts. (I did not remove the 2 studs because I don't have any female torx sockets. (This would have made removing the plenum a little easier).






Step 5
At this point I decided it would be best to remove the plenum and throttle body as a unit because I couldn't get anything on the lower aft bolt to separate the t/b from the plenum. I removed the flexible air intake duct. There are 2 brackets holding the plenum on the backside and 1 bracket holding the t/b. Not much room to work between the plenum and firewall area. Removing the brace between the struts gave me a little more room to work. After loosening the 3 bolts I used the stubby gear wrenches to back the bolts out. Note: the end bolts are 12mm and the center ons is 14mm on my eng. I marked all the hoses before disconnecting them. There are 2 coolant hoses on the t/b. I took them loose before I realized it and spilled some coolant before I got them plugged. Next time I will drailn the radiator. The photo below shows the plenum removed and standing side ways on the right side, coil packs out and plug being torqued. (This is when you change the 3 rear plugs)

NOTE: On the center bolt Use a 14mm open end wrench (it's a little shorter than a combination wrench ) and with one hand find the bolt head and the other hand guide the wrench onto the bolt head. I think this is the easiest way to do it.






The next photo shows the 3 brackets (red circles) that are behind the plenum and throttle body with the plenum removed. On my engine the center bolt was 14 mm and the other 2 were 12mm. These bolts were hard to get started. I finally left everything loose until they were all started. Also, the one on the t/b was easier to get to by removing the part of the t/b assembly with the butterfly in it and dilsconnecting the wire harness. 10 mm socket for these bolts.






Finally, reinstall everything is reverse order of removal. Refill the radiator, start up and check everything out.
That's it. It took me between 4 and 5 hours. Next one should be about half that time.
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Last edited by cmryhldr; 03-25-2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nicely done!

This should be a sticky....

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Old 04-01-2011, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great writeup! What torque did you use on the strut brace?
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great writeup! What torque did you use on the strut brace?
I failed to mention the torque for the strut brace because I did not intend to remove it origionally. Anyway it's 59 ft. lbs. This is the Haynes manual torque for the strut upper mounting nuts.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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pics between steps 4 and 5

Nice job. I want to do my spark plugs since 70,000 miles. Are there pictures in between steps 4 and 5 that you can post? thanks
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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pics between steps 4 and 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by trolly204 View Post
Nice job. I want to do my spark plugs since 70,000 miles. Are there pictures in between steps 4 and 5 that you can post? thanks

Sorry, that's all the pics that I made. I'll try to answer any questions you might have though.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the write up! Great info.

Owner's manual calls for this at 120k I'm at 108k now so I'll probably tackle this next spring.

Any noticable difference in engine smoothness, power, or mileage after the change?
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace View Post
Thanks for the write up! Great info.

Owner's manual calls for this at 120k I'm at 108k now so I'll probably tackle this next spring.

Any noticable difference in engine smoothness, power, or mileage after the change?
My throttle seems to respond a little better now and gas mileage is up maybe a half mile per gal.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We definitely need more of these write-ups with photos. It's very helpful for those who aren't too knowledgable with automotive repair. I learned something new today. Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by novasian View Post
We definitely need more of these write-ups with photos. It's very helpful for those who aren't too knowledgable with automotive repair. I learned something new today. Thanks!
Glad you found something helpful!!
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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anyone going to do this, can you post pic on your old spark plug along with the new one so we can see the different?

Also how do you set the gap on the plug? using a spark plug gap tool to set to spec?

Last edited by grandpapa; 09-07-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I didn't take any pics of my old plugs and all the new ones were gapped properly and didn't need adjusting.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if they are the iridium plugs, you will be surprised, they looked fantastic on my RX300 at 125k miles...Even the gap was good...They are truely the best plugs I have ever experienced in my long life of wrenching on cars...
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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if they are the iridium plugs, you will be surprised, they looked fantastic on my RX300 at 125k miles...Even the gap was good...They are truely the best plugs I have ever experienced in my long life of wrenching on cars...

Sounds like really no reason to do the plugs then?
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think at 120k I'll pull the front 3 plugs and inspect them, if they still look good, I'll likely just put them back in, and leave the rear three alone : ) If the front three look worn I will definietly replace those myself since they are super easy to do but may have to pay Toyota labor to do the rear three - guess it depends on how ambitious I feel at that point.

Last edited by jabberwock; 09-07-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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