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Old 07-05-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default Spark Plug wrench question [Update: Done!]

I've never done sparkplugs on my 97 Bonneville or my wife'* 2001 Grand Prix GT, both with NA 3800 engines. In my past experience with wrenching on my cars, I learned that it'* really easy to break the spark plug wire at the boot end when removing it from the plug.

I know this is a really simple question, but what do you guys use on your Bonnevilles? Do you buy one of those special spark-plug-boot-pliers that are made just for the job? If so is there any brand/model that has worked particularly well for anyone? Are there any to stay away from? Are there any clearance issues with using one? Do I even need one?

I dropped in at the local Pep Boys and Kragen, and all they had was this thing:
http://www.agriemach.com/images/D305...tPuller361.jpg

That looked a little less-than-ideal, but what do I know? Does it work?

Online I see tools like this one:
http://shoptoolsshoptools.com/images/lis21250.gif

and this one:
http://www.setools.com/images/824asmall.jpg

Anyone use anything like those?
All tips/answers appreciated.

-Mark
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:28 PM   #2
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I have a set of the last ones..

Here is what you are going to run into. On the bonne..there are metal shields on the back wires. It'* simply sabatoge to make you look bad. Plan on doing wires. The fronts can be pulled with the pliers..but...you can easily get them with your hands. The backs..reach on in and twist..you might scrape up your arm a bit.. scrapes heal.. bruises fade and chicks dig scars.

On the GA..I've done plugs on my Dad'* 96 3.4/3.1? It'* all braille and no fun.. expect to leave a little blood on the motor.. Women enjoy taking care of you after you fixed their cars with blood.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Boosty has the right idea.

I have the second and third tool although I have only used them to pull the wires off while the car is running for fear of getting 50,000 volts rippling through my body. It'* happened several times before and let me just say......it'* an eye opener for sure.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:30 PM   #4
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On the GP be sure you rotate the engine forward by taking loose both of the front dogbone mounts.

On my friend Impala it easily rolled forward, and then you give it a little extra tug and slip one of the bolts back through a hole on the engine designed for this purpose.

Makes things much easier to get too.

If you go ahead and get new wires too. You can get the old ones off by whatever means necessary. A small pair of channel locks came in handy for getting the old wires off. Twist them till they break free, then they should just pop right off.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:35 PM   #5
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I don't use anything but my hands. The fronts are easy on the Bonne. The backs, I just reach back there, fumble around until I find the wire (bad back prevents me from reaching them and seeing them at the same time), give the boot a twist until it will move, and then pull it off. Needless to say, I don't do the next one until I have finished the current plug so that I don't cross the wires (again)
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:48 PM   #6
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When I did my plugs, they all came off fine with my hands except for the first one, that exact thing happened to me (had to buy a set of new wires ) Not sure what I did differently one the first one than the rest of them. So be careful I guess...
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:58 PM   #7
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Boost, your post made me laff, I have left much blood behind on the 3800'* in my Regency and 2 Park Aveys I also found that twisting untill they are loose helps alot. The back plugs wires seem to "burn out" prematurely whether your put the shields back on or not. Over the years I had a few rough engine problems that traced back to bad rear wires, So I just started buying new plug wires with each plug change and just rip the old ones out.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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I use my hands, and I twist them to help break them free before pulling them off - by the BOOT (not further up the wire, duh ) Be sure to use a dab of dielectric grease during reassembly. It should make them come off a bit easier next time too.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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If I can get my big arms down there, almost anyone can.
I find that if I re-lube the boots yearly I have little problems getting them off at plug time.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:09 PM   #10
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I just get in there twist and yank in the same diagonal angle the spark plug is in. Doing that I have never had a spark plug snap on me.
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