Spark plugs/Wires - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-17-2007, 11:56 PM   #1
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Default Spark plugs/Wires

Again... '99 Bonneville SLE.

My spark plugs and wires have last been replaced at 40K. I attempted a replacement at 120K, but was thwarted by spark plug wires I could not remove at all. It'* now 165K, and while the car is driving fine (thank god for platinums), I'd like to finally replace these.

I've done this on a great number of cars, and sticking wires where never such a problem... and all 6 are stuck. I even slit one open, and still couldn't get it off!

I obviously don't want to disable the car, but I'm getting to the point of going at these with a hammer to break 'em off.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Stephen
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:59 PM   #2
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I twist the boot in a circle until it frees up and if that fails I just rip it off. Since I'm replacing I dont care if I damage them or the plugs
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:01 AM   #3
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did you twist em? once you twist them, you should hear a POP, then take some vice grips or some pliers and get a good grip and just pull like all hell Mine were original at 95k, I had to use every OUNCE of strength on all of them to get them off, and I'm not exactly a weak person. I did get them off by hand, but it wasn't easy.

if you can pop the rubber loose by twisting the boot, all you gotta do is get the contact off of the plug...you don't necessarily have to pull straight to do that being that they're rubber, just YANK em off *if you have the new wires there*

where theres a will, theres a way. just make sure to pump some dielectric grease into the boots after the change so that the next change won't be such a pain.
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:08 AM   #4
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At 165,000 miles, you're probably about due for some new wires anyway if you destroy the old ones in the process. And... it sounds like you might. Twisting is the key to removing the things. Easier said than done on the rears, if you still have those heat shields in place.

I have had to carefully leverage some wires off the back side before, using a pair of pliers.

They sell those spark plug boot pliers too, but I've never seen them as being at all useful. If you have room to get those in there, your hands will do a better job.

I'd suggest wearing a pair of work gloves. There'* sharp heat shields and radiator fan supports that'll slice a knuckle really quick when something finally gives while you're applying a lot of force to it. I did this to one of my knuckles twice, just a few days apart, in the same spot, on the same sharp spot in the car, pulling the same plug (once to check, once to actually replace it with new). That sucks. I wear gloves now.

If you pull on and stretch the wires themselves (not the boots), chances are you'll break the conductive innards of the wires and develop a miss. It'* easier to do than you'd think. It'* not copper wire in there, just carbon-coated something or other (to provide resistance - it'* a radio noise/electronics thing).
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:21 AM   #5
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You could do what I did replacing them at 165K...

I paid someone else to do it! That is their job, not mine.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian
You could do what I did replacing them at 165K...

I paid someone else to do it! That is their job, not mine.
Bah! Take the money saved by doing it yourself and buy yourself dinner, or a massage, or something.
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:37 AM   #7
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I tested the hammer theory on a dead L36 one eveing. It works well from what I see..

One hit, and it'* on to the socket for the rest of the plug.
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