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HOW TO: Change Your Spark Plugs and Wires (2.7 liter 3RZ-FE engine)

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by trdracing5, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Apr 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM
    #1
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't find a good write-up on how to change the spark plugs on a 2.7 liter Tacoma so I decided to tackle the project myself.
    It's actually VERY easy and straight forward.
    I just changed the plugs on my 4Runner with the 3.4 liter V6 engine yesterday so I can say it is MUCH easier to change the plugs on the 2.7 liter than on the 3.4 liter.

    [FONT=&quot]Parts and Tools[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]4 Spark Plugs (I used Denso Platinum plugs)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1 set of 4 Spark Plug Wires (I used NGK wires)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]5/8" Spark Plug Socket [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Ratchet[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Socket extension[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Anti-seize
    Dielectric grease
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]NOTE: Each spark plug wire is a different length and is designed to go to a specific plug. My set was numbered so you could easily tell which wire went to which plug.

    NOTE: Please check the gap on each spark plug to make sure it is correct!

    NOTE: PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Put a little bit of dielectric grease inside the spark plug boot when you are installing the spark plug wires. It will make it so much easier to pull the spark plug boot off the next time you change your plugs. You have been warned! [​IMG]

    NOTE: Distributor cap Plug order

    4 1
    3 2

    FRONT TWO PLUGS:
    [​IMG]

    REAR TWO PLUGS:

    [​IMG]
    NOTE: Everything I have read says to remove the stock air intake system as the first step. I found that I was able to access all of the spark plugs without removing the stock air intake system. The rear two plugs (shown above-directly behind the air intake system) are not that hard to get to from the top. This saves approximately 30 minutes of time.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    STEP ONE: INSTALLING SPARK PLUG #1

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pull the boot off of plug #1 and remove the spark plug from the hole using a ratchet with an extension and a 5/8 spark plug socket.

    Put some anti-seize on the threads of the new spark plug and install it.

    Put some dielectric grease in the end of the spark plug boot and slide it back in the hole connecting it to the top of the spark plug.

    Route the spark plug wire around to the distributor cap and install it. Make sure you hear it CLICK so you know it is connected. The wire goes in the top right spot on the distributor cap (see diagram at beginning of write up).


    [​IMG]

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    STEP TWO: INSTALLING SPARK PLUG #2

    Pull the boot off of plug #2 and remove the spark plug from the hole using a ratchet with an extension and a 5/8 spark plug socket.

    Put some anti-seize on the threads of the new spark plug and install it.

    Put some dielectric grease in the end of the spark plug boot and slide it back in the hole connecting it to the top of the spark plug.

    Route the spark plug wire around to the distributor cap and install it. Make sure you hear it CLICK so you know it is connected. The wire goes in the bottom right spot on the distributor cap (see diagram at beginning of write up).

    [​IMG]
    AFTER INSTALLING FIRST TWO PLUGS AND WIRES
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Now you are 50% of the way finished. :)


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    STEP THREE: INSTALLING SPARK PLUG #4 (or #3 depending on which order you go)

    Pull the boot off of plug #4 and remove the spark plug from the hole using a ratchet with an extension and a 5/8 spark plug socket. NOTE: You can choose to do plug #3 or 4 at this point. I chose to do plug #4 because it was easier (I left the hard one for last).

    Put some anti-seize on the threads of the new spark plug and install it.

    Put some dielectric grease in the end of the spark plug boot and slide it back in the hole connecting it to the top of the spark plug.

    Route the spark plug wire around to the distributor cap and install it. Make sure you hear it CLICK so you know it is connected. The wire goes in the top left spot on the distributor cap (see diagram at beginning of write up).

    [​IMG]

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    STEP ONE: INSTALLING SPARK PLUG #3

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pull the boot off of plug #3 and remove the spark plug using a ratchet with an extension and a 5/8 spark plug socket.

    NOTE: You can do plug #3 or 4 first. I chose to do #3 last because it was the most difficult to get to. Of course you could take the factory air intake off and it would be easier to get to but that adds another 10-30 minutes to the job.

    Put some anti-seize on the threads of the new spark plug and install it.

    Put some dielectric grease in the end of the spark plug boot and slide it back in the hole connecting it to the top of the spark plug.

    Route the spark plug wire around to the distributor cap and install it. Make sure you hear it CLICK so you know it is connected. The wire goes in the bottom right spot on the distributor cap (see diagram at beginning of write up).

    [​IMG]
    NOTE: There is just enough room to get plug #3 without having to remove the factory air intake.



    [​IMG]


    DONE!!!!
    That’s all there is too it. You have now successfully changed all four spark plugs and wires. Give yourself a pat on the back or treat yourself to a beer.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Apr 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM
    #2
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    Nice.
    Pretty much the same on the newer 1st gens except there aren't any spark plug wires. You just have to take out four little bolts that hold the coil packs to get at the plugs.
    Coil.jpg
     
  3. Apr 21, 2011 at 7:21 AM
    #3
    s1deout

    s1deout Active Member

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    Nice write-up. Great pictures and instruction!

    I've changed my plugs and going to do the wires this weekend.

    Did you mention what the gap should be (for the 1st gen 3rz)?

    The Haynes manual claims - .030 but this thread say .043?
    Truth about plugs
     
  4. Apr 21, 2011 at 8:26 AM
    #4
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    There does seem to be some issue with what the correct plug gap is for this application.
    The information that I used for reference (alldatadiy.com) indicates a .031 gap on the plugs.
    I referenced Denso's site and they indicate a gap of .028 for their plugs.
    I also referenced NGK's site and they indicate a gap of .032 for their plugs. I used a gap of .030.
    I can not find anything that references a plug gap of .043 for this application.
    I believe that figure (.043) to be the plug gap for the 5VZ-FE/6 cylinder engines.
     
  5. Apr 21, 2011 at 8:38 AM
    #5
    TacomaJack09

    TacomaJack09 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome write up glad you did this!!!! Rep for you sir!
     
  6. Apr 21, 2011 at 8:44 AM
    #6
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Rep points gladly accepted!:)
     
  7. Apr 21, 2011 at 9:04 AM
    #7
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Here is a picture of the 2.7 liter engine out of a Tacoma so that you can clearly see where all 4 spark plugs are located.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Apr 25, 2011 at 7:02 PM
    #8
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  9. Jul 11, 2011 at 4:50 AM
    #9
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    Just changed out the last set of non NGK plugs out of my 99 yesterday. Out of all my vehicles the NGK's have gave me the best life and service.

    [​IMG]
    A set of Bosch Platinum Plus with about 50K on them. Electrode Gap had grown as they all do after many miles (something else to consider when you get a hard start).

    Can you spot the rich cylinder/worn injector?. Usually the darker center electrodes indicate a worn injector, but you can also get that color depening on the way the plug indexes in the head and the flame front is licking at the plug. Glad to see that the threads were dry and no oil soot on any. Cylinder leakdown was less than 3%, everything is still tight at 177K miles.

    Was getting a couple extra revolutions when cranking before the engine would start. The new NGK V-powers when back in and solved all that. Gap was set at .034 (1 coil per 2 plug ign system).
     
  10. Sep 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM
    #10
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    One more thing to add..... while you are changing your plugs you might as well change your PCV valve. Its cheap and easy to replace.
     
  11. Sep 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM
    #11
    PrezidentRedz

    PrezidentRedz Uncivilized Creations Prez

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    Also you should note, After 2000, they changed to a Coil pack on every plug. I dont have wires on my 2.7.
     
  12. Jan 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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    scotrinaf

    scotrinaf Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI, on my 2004 2.7L tacoma, there are 4 coil packs at $80/each, plus the plugs... And you will have to remove some of the air intake hoses to remove two of them... Other than that, looks like it's a very similar process to what you've posted here. Thanks for the detailed pictures!
     
  13. Jan 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM
    #13
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  14. Jan 31, 2012 at 9:03 PM
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    96 tacomaPtown

    96 tacomaPtown Well-Known Member

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    one thing people might forget about on the earlier years is to check your rotor and cap for cracks or wear. its a cheap thing to replace and I think would be a good time to replace cap and rotor since you have all the wires off. all the connections would then be Brand new and no room for faults. if you do have a problem you know its not there.(unless you wire them wrong.):p.... the cap should be labeled 1-2-3-4.

    If you have the newer 2.7 with the coil packs it is a MUCH easier job.
    Here is a write up someone posted on how to accomplish the spark plug change on the 2.7 with coil packs.
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tec...z-fe-2-7l.html

    One guy said this yes I guess but look at the price difference for alittle extra time it takes to change the wires. like taking you truck to the shop for the price of the coil packs. 80/each...shit thats like the damn vsv valves. .....Toyota is loaded.
     
  15. Nov 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM
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    toyman1

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    next time I'm going to use those nice ngk wires!
     
  16. Nov 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM
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    Big Ed5150

    Big Ed5150 Active Member

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    please help, ngk says .032 gap for my 97 tacoma 2.7L, is this right, i see people saying .043 in other threads. please help before i do this.
     
  17. Dec 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM
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    z71bowhunter

    z71bowhunter Active Member

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    Yes,the gap should be .032 on this NGK plug for the 2.7liter
     
  18. Dec 12, 2012 at 5:55 AM
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    scotrinaf

    scotrinaf Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the posting, I added some rep for ya'. :) Would've done it a long time ago, but didn't know how, LOL :facepalm:
     
  19. Dec 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    #19
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. If everyone that benefitted from this post gave me rep points I would be the man. Keep those rep points coming.:D
     
  20. Feb 1, 2013 at 6:12 AM
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    ohcray

    ohcray Member

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    I'm probably the only noob reading this, but I have an '04 2.7L with 200K miles on it and will be replacing the plugs and wires soon. But where are the two things mentioned above located? I wish there was an exploded view of the engine and tranny somewhere with everything labeled...

    OP-Great instructions, by the way!
     

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