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Another Spark Plug question

1574 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  00Molavi
My 2000 SWB 3.3 is at 155K miles. I changed the plugs at 75K. Did the front and took the rears to Pepboys. I was planning to change them at 175K miles, but this weekend while changing the oil, I decided to check the condition of one of the front plugs. The wire was stuck, the boot came off, the plug gap was pretty wide and some burning on the base and around, so overall not good. These are the OEM Champion Double Platinum. My smog test is in a month or two.

I have decided to change the plugs myself. I have searched this up and down. I know 2001 and up is much easier. On my 2000, I am planning to take the wiper cowl and the alternator bracket off. I believe I took the bracket off once without even messing with the belt. But even then, do I have enough room?
I have long thin arm (6' tall, 150 lbs!). Can I just reach back there without taking the plenum off? What if I take the front motor mount off and tilt the engine as some manuals suggest?

The reason I ask is, if it involves taking the plenum off, then I might just pay the $150 to pepboys. I don't like the bellow approach, mostly because I am sure I won't get the #1 out anyway.
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· Virginia Gentleman
8,731 Posts
From what I've been told removing the windshield wiper cowl should give you just enough room to access the rear plugs, but even then I believe you'll be working blind. How's it been running?

Back when I had my 2000 T&C Ltd 3.8L AWD I went 148K miles before I changed the original plugs. Ran the same before and after I had the plugs, wires, fuel filter, EGR, serpentine belt and air filter changed (tune up). $150 labor to change the plugs is pretty good. The aforementioned tuneup I had done was $700 (parts and labor). Keep in I had AWD and it could not be accessed from below either.

I run Champion coppers in my '06 Ram Hemi. Recommended change interval is 30K miles. I went 102K miles on one set of plugs - they were worn but not too bad. Currently have about 50K on the current set. Fuel mileage only increased by 0.5 mpg after I changed them out.

· Super Moderator
21,367 Posts
I did them on my 1999 3.8 by removing the wiper cowl and intake plenum, then I didn't have to mess with the alternator bracket. It was easier than I expected based on what I had read, but still a bit of work. Mine were fine, though the gap had opened up just a bit by 110k miles.

Like Doug, I also had a Hemi that ran 100k plus miles on the 30k factory copper plugs. They looked worse, though not much worse, than the minivan plugs at roughly the same mileage.

· Registered
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The van is running fine. Starts are not as easy as they used to be, more noticeable since I put the new battery in. Still starts fine and has the same gas mileage (16 in town and 21-22 hwy). I know these plugs last a long time, but bear in mind that the last 50K miles is almost exclusively in stop and go traffic with the wife hauling the kids around town. I think that takes a toll on everything. The spark plug base looked coked and worse than the tip itself.

This weekend I have to do the pan drop and ATF change, the fluid has turned brown just after 25K miles. Then my other car is due for brake fluid flush. I have sourced the plugs at a good price, will see if my lower back cooperates.
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