installing hard to access plugs



installing hard to access plugs

Postby grumpyvette » December 23rd, 2008, 7:59 pm

there are several tricks & tools that make installing plugs easier, on many newer cars like my 1996 corvette theres a few plug locations where you need to remove accessory brackets or use special tools to access plugs
one trick to installing/starting the threads is to slip a plug neck firmly into a 18" section of rubber fuel line, you can then guide it into place with one hand while spinning the tube and plug with the other with far less chance of dropping the spark plug , so it can roll into some never to be located place in your shop or car frame , exhaust system, or suspension
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this allows the plug to be easily directed into place,spun and aligned in a tight place .

gap them correctly, a .043 is about correct for most applications and don,t forget the ANTI-SEEZE on the threads
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in many locations a swivel head ratchet wrench that fits the hex on a custom shortened spark plug socket is the ideal tool
cutting down a standard hex socket will allow it use with a wrench in far tighter confines
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cutting a standard socket to shorter length helps at times, in fact its a really good tool to fabricate, using a much longer spark plug socket
and an open end wrench vs a ratchet can work at other times..

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http://compare.ebay.com/like/3906088165 ... s&var=sbar
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=98484

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http://www.tool-sale.com/drive-flexible ... -3255.html

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pow-pow351690
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it obviously helps if the threads in the cylinder head are not buggered up so you might need a thread tap

[color=#BF0000]a FLEX EXTENSION CAN BE HELPFUL as can WOBBLE EXTENSIONS, and UNIVERSALS AND SHORT EXTENSIONS[/color]
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr2oFPfAg90

adding thermal spark plug shields for the ignition wires near the headers helps protect the ignition efficiency and reduce problems
http://cableorganizer.com/insultherm-spark/
then theres snap-ons limited access socket
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http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp ... e&tool=all

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94011
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http://www.rshongkong.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/searchBrowseAction.do?com.broadvision.session.new=Yes&D=Sidewinder%20Speedwrench&Ntt=Sidewinder%20Speedwrench&Ntk=I18NAll&Ntx=mode%20matchany&N=0&Nty=1&name=SiteStandard&forwardingPage=line&R=2483097&callingPage=/jsp/search/search.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@0140285926.1159188189@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccjaddilkjdlmmcefeceefdffhdhif.0&cacheID=hk01netscape&Nr=avl:hk01
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these spinner ratchets are basically a P.I.T.A. and nearly useless and clumsy 98% of the time but on rare occasions they are a job saver

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http://www.mytoolstore.com/kd/kdgear02.html#9520


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91705

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wobble extensions can be a help at times

http://www.amazon.com/Piece-Wobble-Socket-Extension-8in/dp/B0006BK1DO/ref=sr_1_3/103-3486570-0918205?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1191099843&sr=1-3

and you won,t be the first guy to cut a hole in an inner fender skirt to get access at a decent angle to a spark plug :thumbsup: and if you need to remove some accessory to get access, DO IT rather than beat yourself silly trying to work around the darn thing!!
think in THREE dimensions, sometimes accessing a plug from under the cars far easier than from above.
the two rear pass side plugs on some corvettes is usually easier this way IF YOU have the correct tools

In most cases a offset box end wrench can be used,

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in many cases you'll want to cut the wrench in half or shorter for easier access, or use one in combo with a spark-plug socket that's been cut much shorter than originally produced on a lathe, Ive even seen guys cut the socket shorter and weld a short wrench at an odd angle just for one particularly P.I.T.A. plug location on their car


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ratchet gear wrenches on plug sockets can be used frequently in tight access areas



cutting a socket down like this and use of a open end wrench , rather than a ratchet to turn the socket from the side on the rear hex is the better route, (yeah! you may need to cut it even shorter than the picture suggests) in fact with the use of a wrench on the outside hex, theres no reason the socket can,t be cut enough for the plug tip to extend well out of the drive hole where the ratchet usually fits into the socket and don,t forget that they make 1/2" drive sockets also that allow the plug to extend further out, or that you can weld a wrench at odd angles to the socket (even to the side of the socket) one great reason to pick up cheap Chinese wrenches , is the cut/weld use for applications where you'll be reluctant to do so with a decent wrench brand
the 12 piece SAE and METRIC SETS will cost you about $70 a set if you don,t catch a sale but i see them at some places selling for $130 a set so shop carefully
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RELATED INFO

http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80783

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: installing hard to access plugs

Postby bob » March 14th, 2009, 9:21 am

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=84

FYI....here was my solution to the spark plug issue. I removed the rubber insert in the spark plug socket so the plug itself would really sink inside the socket, that allowed me to really cut down the socket to clear my header tubes. Worked great. Then I was able to access #1 & #3 from under the car with a 3/4 open ended wrench to tighten the spark plug socket.
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Aluminum heads and spark plug seizure, one factor I see thats becoming more common with the newer cars engines as aluminum is used for the cylinder heads more and more is that spark plugs on newer cars can last for 100K miles and that allows time for thousands of heat and cooling cycles, and corrosion to take place in the cylinder head threads, I see this frequently on the LT1 heads now that the cars are 20 plus years old.
I was curious how many of you with high miles like, 80K- 100k or more have found thread seizure to be an issue when you went to change your spark plugs . This is a common problem with aluminum heads, that have had plugs threaded into the heads and left without being changed for years.
it is recommended on most cars that use aluminum cylinder heads to use anti-seize on the plug threads before each is installed,
but if it was not used before the last set of plugs was installed and its been a few years , when you try to remove the plugs it can pull or damage the threads out with the plugs being removed , ruining the head, requiring an expensive repair.. When I am removing anything from an aluminum head or block, that seems to be seized a spray of 50% acetone and 50% marvel mystery oil as a penetration oil used to seep into the threads , this penetrating oil will tend to help, loosen the threads in the head.
If you suspect the threads are binding ,don,t force it and ruin the heads, let the repeated spray mix, you spray, on the heads where the plugs are inserted, seep in over several days if necessary.
Since our plugs are supposed to last 100k. I thought I would make anyone aware of the potential problem before it happens. I have seen this thread binding problem occasionally , especially on older LT1-4 engines, the spray lubricant and penetrating oil works, at loosening old plugs, but having anti seize on the plug threads and not getting into a rush and cross threading, or over tightening the plugs is also a good way to avoid the problem.


I'm gonna make sure I don't loose that midget socket. Here's a few pics to get an idea of how much I had to cut/grind away.
Thanks all for your help:cheers:
viewtopic.php?f=70&t=202
a few tips

use anti seize paste on the new plug threads

http://www.amazon.com/Permatex-80078-An ... B000AAJTXY
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http://www.amazon.com/Permatex-22058-Di ... auto_img_b
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and don,t over tighten the new plugs
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http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsea ... lug+socket
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and an extended or short reach socket does come in handy at times

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=98484
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one of those tools thats useless 99% of the time but really a time saver the other 1% and well worth the price, thanks grumpyvette, this tool dropped plug install times an easy 15 minutes on my car

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getting the timing to retarded or f/a mix too lean and exhaust temps climb, usually resulting in burnt ignition wires or plug boots
THE MOST COMMON SCREW-UP Ii SEE IS GUYS HAVING IGNITION WIRE THAT GETS MELTED ON HEADERS, ITS THE HEADER DESIGN MORE THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER FACTOR THAT CAUSES THIS, SO BEFORE BUYING HEADERS TRY TO FIND A SIMILAR SET THATS BEEN INSTALLED AND CHECK THE PLUG & WIRE CLEARANCE/ACCESS, doing that, so you can avoid badly designed headers, can save you years of grief, obviously the picture above shows badly designed headers and the picture below much better plug access
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bob

 

Re: installing hard to access plugs

Postby joegagan » March 14th, 2009, 9:33 am

don't forget to keep fresh masking tape on hand to lock your wobblers in certain positions etc.
i like masking tape better than duct tape because it is rigid if you wrap about 5 wraps, and doesn't leave such a bad residue.

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Re: installing hard to access plugs

Postby grumpyvette » September 19th, 2013, 2:50 pm

Ed stopped over today with BOB to have me look over a 440 wedge powered Plymouth road runner they just got done doing a tune-up on, after they installed a new distributor cap, rotor and ignition wires and new plugs its running like crap, before they brought it over I asked them to verify the firing order and that the plug wires were not burnt or arcing to the exhaust manifolds.
its got the same firing order as a chevy 1,8,4,3,6,5,7,2
BUT the distributor Rotor turns counter-clockwise, like a Pontiac V8

http://boxwrench.net/specs/bchrys_B.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRRKxlEQQpo

and as I suspected they had number #3 & #5 plug wires swapped by accident, swapping them back solved the problem
hey we all screw up at times!... I,m just glad it was an easy fix!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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