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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, today I finally swapped plugs to NGK Iridiums and I discovered oil down cylinder 6's spark plug hole. Did some searching around in the forums and found that I wasn't the only one to have this happen to but the fix I keep seeing is a new valve cover because Infiniti doesn't make a replaceable gasket?

So I did some more research and found that the Nissan line of cars have replaceable gaskets for the same issue we have so now I'm confused why we can't do that as well. Without actually having a valve cover off the engine I can't really picture and understand why this is the case.

Has anyone actually looked into this without rushing into a new valve cover?

As far as I can see, the spark plug "tubes" are park of the upper engine camshaft and there's a gasket in the valve covered that seals the oil out. Maximas seem to have the same design, so i wonder if their gaskets would fit ours or any other line that Nissan\Infinit makes.

If anyone can enlighten me on this topic, that would be awesome. Tomorrow I'm going to see if I'm covered under warranty before I go any further into fixing it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did some more snooping around the internet and there have been guys who tried to swap the valve coveres with aluminum ones from the older infinitis but one of the ignition coils has to be longer and the oil cap is too high. Too bad because the valve coveres had replaceable seals for the spark plugs.

Either way, the most affordable method was to pop the valve covers and use RTV sealant around the spark plug gaskets and replace the valve cover gasket with a new one and voila, problem solved.

Dealer wants $362 bones for a new valve cover :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Had the chance to update my post and I have successfully deterred from spending more than $80 in a fix. Bought some hi temp grey silicone, new valve cover gaskets and two new upper throttle body gaskets and no more oil! Its around a couple hours work taking off the throttle body and valve covers but totally worth it.
 

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Yup - I did pay for the new valve covers. After 110,000 miles, I had oil in two of my spark plug wells. I never noticed a difference in mpgs or performance at any point before or after the valve covers were replaced. I wonder if the oil even has any impact on the plug's performance?

Let us know how your DIY stands up to the test of time - if your repair lasts without leaks, that'll be the way I go next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the insight, I just hope they won't leak again... really dont' want to go through all that again

nfiniti really screwed up making non-replaceable seals on the valve covers. They went the cheap way and wanted to make it easier to produce.

Plus the corbon plastic they used on the valve covers is an insulator but aluminum would've been a great heatsink. Ah well... Japanese cars aren't what they used to be.

Well the biggest problem with oil down in the spark plug wells is that the oil causes somewhat of a short but a mild one, enough to cause the coil pack to over work itself, overheating until it burns out. There was one member who had that happen to him and I think he replaced 3 of them if not more...

I'll pull the coil packs off sometime this week and provide an update!
 

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I am quite honestly not familiar with the FX VQ engine. Not sure if the valve cover doesn't have provisions for a gasket? I got a full gasket kit for my wife's 02 Maxima VQ so I have two questions that MIGHT be worth someone looking into?

1. Use that gasket kit on your current valve cover
2. Swap a valve cover from another car that does have provisions for the gasket (the 02 maxima)

Not sure if the valve covers are the same size though. Anyone in my area with an FX35, I'd be willing to take them off the wife's car to test fit if someone wants to meet up. Or is this null and void and someone has already tried this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The problem is the gaskets are sealed by the carbon, if you try to remove them, you crack the valve cover. One of the members tried and no go.

The older infiniti suv's had aluminum valve covers that fit the FX35 engine but sadly one of the coil packs has to be longer and the vent and other hose connections go vertical causing the upper plenum not to bolt on.

In the end, the only solution is buy the valve covers :(

The Maximas were made differently but never had this problem, or at least mine never did.
 

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I know this is old - but I just replaced the plugs in mine today, and well found oil in #5 - all others were fine.

:cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ya, Infiniti should be shameful! This should be a recall and not a wear and tear issue. Just do what I did, but new valve cover seals, put RTV grey silicone around the spark plug tube around the top, replace the covers, let the silicon cure overnight and you're golden.
 

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Just checked my spark plugs today... was even gonna put in new ones but then decided F*CK it... I had someplace to go... :p

What a PITA!!! Spark plug 6 was BRUTAL to get to... even 1 was a pain cause of the hosing that was in the way... all the others were easy to access though so when the time comes for me to replace my spark plugs at least now I know I can do them all in about 2 hrs...
 

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Is it the same as the Maxima... do you guys need to remove the intake manifold to reach the rear plugs?
 

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kieranlavin said:
Is it the same as the Maxima... do you guys need to remove the intake manifold to reach the rear plugs?
Not that bad... but there's so much CRAP in the way... mostly wiring on the driver's side (plugs 4, 5 and 6) and the passenger side is relatively easy except for a hose over plug 1 that you have to actually REMOVE just so you have room to pull out the spark plug thingy-a-ma-jiggy... along with the wiring on that side of course too...
 

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Come to think of it, and looking at the FSM, it's freaking easy compared to the Maxima. I wasn't thinking... you guys have the engine longitudanal (sp?) as opposed to transverse so it's laid out completely different. It was nearly two hours of prep work unhooking vacuum lines, unbolting the MAF, unbolting the intake manifold and brackets and manipulating the manifold out without needing to take more crap off just to access the "rear" coilpacks and plugs
 

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I found a website that discusses the gasket situation and offers an alternative to the buy-it-new-from-the-factory cure. Go to http://www.rndfactory.com and you'll find information and photos of a do-it-yourself fix. I sent them an email about price and received this reply:

well, you have two ways of doing this....one, cheaper way would be just purchase $100 Do It Yourself and follow the installation instruction that we have provided. two, little more expensive but still much cheaper than purchasing new valve covers would be ready-to-install kit...price is 310 with 150 refund after we have received your old cores back.....please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions...thank you.........lance

I'll probably be choosing option A, but it'll be a while--need to recover from the spark plug change deal first.
 

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Going with their option 1

OPTION 1.
R&D Factory VQ-GROMMET SET . (they dont have the ready to install kit for our fx, only for the g35 and 350z I guess theres a small difference from ours).

With tax and shipping it comes to $131 but it says I'll get $45 + $5(shipping) after I return the "alignment tool"(no instructions about how to use it, I hope theres an obvious way to use it)

That makes it about $75 bucks and I already have a hole saw kit(cuz I'm handy around the house). It would prob cost you guys about $30 for the hole saw and drill adapter. I still need to buy Black Silicone RTV as per their instructions.


So thats about $100 instead of the $400 for two new valve covers. I will update with the results when I install it.



I found a website that discusses the gasket situation and offers an alternative to the buy-it-new-from-the-factory cure. Go to http://www.rndfactory.com and you'll find information and photos of a do-it-yourself fix. I sent them an email about price and received this reply:

well, you have two ways of doing this....one, cheaper way would be just purchase $100 Do It Yourself and follow the installation instruction that we have provided. two, little more expensive but still much cheaper than purchasing new valve covers would be ready-to-install kit...price is 310 with 150 refund after we have received your old cores back.....please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions...thank you.........lance

I'll probably be choosing option A, but it'll be a while--need to recover from the spark plug change deal first.
 

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The forum will not let me add this by editing my last post because 10 minutes has past...

Gonna pretty much follow this guy's video:
 

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I was somewhat surprised to get an email from the Forums saying I had been "quoted" about this item. It's been some time. I would wholeheartedly recommend this fix. It's one of those bit more time, lot less money repairs. The anticipation is much more troubling than actually doing the repair. When I did mine, there was no installation tool available. But a bit of care in using the hole saw was all it took--even though one of the holes didn't look quite as well aligned as the others. But the fix has passed the test of both time and miles. I haven't had a recurrence of this problem since I fixed it all those years ago. The most troubling part was trying to align the valve cover back in position after the repair had been made--due to the limited access. Once again, patience is your allay. I'm sure it will work out well for you. Good luck and be sure to update after it's back in service.
 
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