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Discussion Starter #1
just finished changing plugs (first time) after 4 hours and my back and old cracked rib injury is really hurting cause i had to lay on the tailgate.


has anyone ever looked at a possible way to remove the tailgate when working on the engine. maybe come up with a quick hinge release and wire harness plug or am i just outta my gord for thinking this. i mean something without having to dismantle the rear end or drop the motor.
 

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Three months ago I changed the air filter and spark plugs on my 2009 at 49000 miles. I'm over 6 foot with arthritis in my spine. I used the tempurpedic pad I have cut to fit the storage area for my dogs. I pulled it out on to the tailgate laid across and I was done with both jobs in less than 90 mins. I almost found it to be relaxing. No nicks or cuts from the job. I did use the fuel hose trick for inserting the new iridium plugs.
I don't expect to change plugs again for 50,000 miles, if then.
Why go through all the trouble of removing the tailgate to do something you don't have to do for tens of thousands of miles?
 

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by the time you get the tailgate off, the plugs would be changed. The fuel line trick is the best way to go as you can't cross thread a plug that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the info guys. the mattress sounds good. i didn't have trouble getting the plugs in as i have all kinds of tools to use by hand. the problem was getting my big hands with paper thin skin under the overhang and getting the coil bolts and coils out. add to that the small vacuum hose and big "s" shaped hose that i could not get off for the much needed little clearance.

what is that hose called or what is it for or go to?

the reason i said remove the tailgate was for easier access for any needed work whether a few minutes or hours. notice i said a quick kit to remove tailgate. anything on that engine is a bear to do short of changing oil
 

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Well try dropping one of those coil bolts and then try to find it when it doesn't hit the floor. I now place a retrieval magnet under there to catch it if it falls, and I keep a few spare bolts on hand just in case.
That hose is a real pain bit I usually work around it.
 

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It takes about a minute to remove the two hinge nuts for the tail gate in the cargo area, then unbolt one end of the limit strap on the right side. Stick the right side of the tail gate forward in the left side of the cargo area standing up against the wall, being careful not to stress the wiring.
 

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if you are working on the motor and have the carpet lifted up, the tailgate will tend to push it down and bend the foam underneath. If it get creased, it will crack and allow heat to leak into the cargo area.

I don't know if removing the tailgate would help in changing the plugs as you are still working under the 'lip' of the rear opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks guys

ya my foam pad is cracked all the way across in two places. i'm going to put some 3m trim adhesive in the creases and cut an aluminum panel and then glue it to the bottom of the foam pad to reinforce it so it won't break again. i also had a left over sun shade so i cut it to fit and have it sitting on top of the engine cover for additional insulation.


wish i had an infra red gun to see how much heat comes up when i get done
 

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Keep it flexible or you won't be able to lift it up. You will want to be able to bend the sides a bit to tuck it under the plastic on each side of the compartment.
 

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I cut a sun shade to size and use it on top of the metal cover and under the carpet. Works great to reduce any noticeable heat. I cut a mop handle that fits into the side panels where it works to hold up the carpet when needed. The only bad thing about it is that there is really no storage in the car for it when not in use. (Maybe I should look for a retractable handle like used for some camera mounts to solve this issue and keep the carpet support rod stored inside the car when not in use). My carpet pad was cracked, so I repaired it by using book binder tape and that remains flexible and so far has seemed to work just fine. I only had red book binder tape at the time, so it shows more than I'd like, but it only shows when the carpet is pulled up to work on the engine, so no real worry. The book binder tape i used seems to not be effected by the heat to the underside of the pad and it has been in place of over a year, now and no peeling noted. (That tape can be purchased on Ebay in various colors and is not the same as Gorilla Tape or Duct Tape). The area where my plugs, coil bolts and such are located was modified on newer model Smarts to allow more clearance than my 2010 model is. Believe it or not, I had looked at the metal there and even considered making a modification by cutting it out a bit and being able to re-attach it with a couple of rare earth magnets and bracing when it was to be put back into place. The actual metal panel seemed to be easy enough to trim out without doing any structural damage in that area. However, I didn't want to do any alteration that may effect a future sale of the car. Being frustrated by that overhand and the tailgate in the way was not enough to get me fired up enough to do any body work modifications like that. I too have very bad arthritis, but the meds I am currently on have worked well for me so that I can at least tolerate this annoyance as I work on changing plugs or such in this area these days. Getting beneath the car and getting up off my knees is much more difficult than bending over the tailgate these days. That old mattress trick may be worthwhile to consider. I actually had more difficulty in replacing hoses and pushing them back into place so they didn't leak as my hand strength is not what it used to be.
 

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Unless there are actual chunks missing from the insulation, the cracks will close when you put the carpet back down. The little radiant heat coming from the rear deck doesn't travel through closed cracks... it's really a non issue.
 

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if you are working on the motor and have the carpet lifted up, the tailgate will tend to push it down and bend the foam underneath. If it get creased, it will crack and allow heat to leak into the cargo area.

I don't know if removing the tailgate would help in changing the plugs as you are still working under the 'lip' of the rear opening.
It is easier to remove the bolt for the tie-down eyelet and not fold the carpet. Push the carpet up against the back of the seats and secure it.
 

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I use an adjustable curtain rod to hold the carpet up. It stores easily in the tailgate & doesn't take up much room.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
smartbob i use kinda the same thing. i have an extendable and lockable iv rod. works great. i leave it in place and hang our jackets and sweaters on it since i don't have a security cover.

rustedwrench thanks i never stopped to figure out why i couldn't get the carpet up far enough. i'll fix that now so i can

coupe1942 good idea thanks. better then cutting a metal panel and gluing it to the foam. i too am affected with bad knees and hand strength


thank you gentlemen
 

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I assume everyone knows there is a little plastic clip that is supposed to hold the carpet up while doing engine maintenance? Bad assumption?

Page 112 of the owners manual.
 

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That little plastic clip doesn't always work. and can be a real pain to 'clip' sometimes. Mine was ripped off the carpet on my 2009 pure. It also doesn't hold the carpet all the way up, poor design but better than nothing i guess.
 

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The plastic clip on mine was much more frustrating to hook and unhook than it was worth. In fact, it was a real PITA at times when I simply could not get it to release. Maybe it is easier on other year models, but on my 2010, it was a real irritant to use.
 

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Cheap wooden dowl................

Went to local home store. Bought a small dia. wooden dowel stock.Just a couple of $. Measured and cut to desired length.Fits
the holes the carpet clip/cargo cover use. Does a great job of holding carpet up/out of the way. Store it out of sight,behind
seats,when not in use...................
 
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