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Basic
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:37:17 AM EST
There has gotta be a trick for this. I've been amateur wrenching for 20 years, but these ones have me stumped.

It's on a 2002 Chevy Malibu, and it's the plugs in back. Very tight area, almost inaccessible. I bought a plug boot puller but it's useless in this situation.

I'm about ready to take some pliers to them, but I figured I should check in with the ArfMechanics first.

Also, what should I put on the plugs when I reinstall them?

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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:38:47 AM EST
Pull...Pull again
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:39:43 AM EST
pull. destroy them. replace wires.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:39:55 AM EST
You just have to pull fairly hard. Not really anything else to it. Sometimes they can be stuck pretty good but just keep trying.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:45:37 AM EST
I've ripped the guts out of plug wires just pulling them straight up.

Since then I twist left and right as I apply upward pressure.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:46:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2010 7:50:07 AM EST by ultramagbrion]
You have to grab as close to the plug as possible , and tight enough so that you twist the metal connector inside the boot .
Still , you may break it ( especially the ones buried deep inside a tube into the cyl head.)

Keep twisting and pulling till it gives.

I dunno about these newer vehicles , but I've got the crimping tool from Moroso that's used to make plug wires and I've repaired / made a lot of the older ones. I dunno if these new types can be re-attatched or whether they are molded around the metal clip/connector .

WD-40 or any other silicone sprays are your friend on removal , as well as assembly .It's kind-of like a 'never-seize' for plug wires. Sometimes you can force the spay inside the plug boot by working the nozzle in between the boot and wire and soaking the connector/clip.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:49:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2010 7:50:38 AM EST by Mattyvac]
Do they have hooks on the sides?

heres an old trick i did on my VW I had in high school:

take a metal coat hanger and flatten the triangle to just like a thin 1-1.5" flat oval shape in the same orientation
bend the hanger in half at the middle hook part, it should result in something looking like tongs, except made out of wire
slip the 'tongs' on the outside edge of the spark plugs as far down as you can and until it locks onto something and then pull up...
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:50:22 AM EST
Use dielectric grease in the future to prevent stuck boots.

Chevy is notorious for running the exhaust manifold too close to the spark plug boots...
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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:57:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By MillerSHO:
I've ripped the guts out of plug wires just pulling them straight up.

Since then I twist left and right as I apply upward pressure.

+1

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Posted: 8/27/2010 7:57:26 AM EST
Slide a small screwdriver between the boot and the wire. Pull the screwdriver apart enough so you can insert the tube of a silicone spray can into the boot.
Spray and the boot will slide easily along the wire.
You now have access to the metal clip on the plug, you can use a pair of pliers.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:01:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
There has gotta be a trick for this. I've been amateur wrenching for 20 years, but these ones have me stumped.

It's on a 2002 Chevy Malibu, and it's the plugs in back. Very tight area, almost inaccessible. I bought a plug boot puller but it's useless in this situation.

I'm about ready to take some pliers to them, but I figured I should check in with the ArfMechanics first.

Also, what should I put on the plugs when I reinstall them?


I'm assuming it is a V6. Can you take the front dogbone engine mounts off and rotate the engine forward to gain more access.

As everyone else has said, just pull up, twist, and continue doing it until they come off.

Oh, and yes, GM has a tenancy to have their spark plug wires/boots running wayyyyy to close to the exhaust manifold.
A guy told me one time, "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:02:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By GTwannabe:
Use dielectric grease in the future to prevent stuck boots.

Chevy is notorious for running the exhaust manifold too close to the spark plug boots...


A good tip. I always put dielectric grease on the plug terminal when installing them. I've ruined a few plug wires trying to remove them.

I am not sure if they put any on at the factory- on my last car (Subaru) I pulled all of the plug wires and put grease on right away.

I feel your pain on the boot puller- I have one, too, and I can't use it half the time when changing plugs on various cars. It's just too tight on many of them. I use a long needlenose pliers to rock the boot and hope I won't be going to buy a new set of wires that day.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:04:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2010 8:04:46 AM EST by kissfan]

http://www.harborfreight.com/spark-plug-boot-puller-65440.html

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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:05:40 AM EST
Keep twisting and pulling on the boot. It'll come off.

Originally Posted By GTwannabe:
Use dielectric grease in the future to prevent stuck boots.
...


Yes sir. After you get them off once, they'll slide off like butter then next time if you smear some dilectric on the terminal on the top of the plug.

I also use copper anti-seize on the plug threads.

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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:13:33 AM EST
Push in and twist first, then pull and twist.
Sometimes a with needle adapter for a blow gun between the wire and the boot you can give em a little dose of air to break the bond too.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:18:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By gogoquadzilla:
pull. destroy them. replace wires.


haha, thats usually how it works for me too.

I gently pinch and pull, while twisting/rolling it back and forth. Have ~70% success rate.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:21:32 AM EST
Try a pair of these:
Spark Plug Boot Pliers
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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:21:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
Keep twisting and pulling on the boot. It'll come off.

Originally Posted By GTwannabe:
Use dielectric grease in the future to prevent stuck boots.
...


Yes sir. After you get them off once, they'll slide off like butter then next time if you smear some dilectric on the terminal on the top of the plug.

I also use copper anti-seize on the plug threads.



A good practice to begin if there are those reading that don't do it. Beats having broken plugs drilled out.

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Posted: 8/27/2010 8:23:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By GTwannabe:
Use dielectric grease in the future to prevent stuck boots.


Do this. But for the present, just get a good hold and jank them out. If they seperate, replace them.

GM is also very good at putting the rear plugs near sharp metal and bolts, and accessible with only 2 fingers as long as you are physically laying on the engine. I think it is designed that way to keep the DIYer out. Last set I changed on my Dad's 89 Caddy, my arms looked like they were used as scratching posts by a pack of ferel cats.
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Posted: 8/27/2010 3:13:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By BillofRights:
There has gotta be a trick for this. I've been amateur wrenching for 20 years, but these ones have me stumped.

It's on a 2002 Chevy Malibu, and it's the plugs in back. Very tight area, almost inaccessible. I bought a plug boot puller but it's useless in this situation.

I'm about ready to take some pliers to them, but I figured I should check in with the ArfMechanics first.

Also, what should I put on the plugs when I reinstall them?



Feel the boot down to where the clip is. If you grab that with pliers and pull you're less likely to damage the wire than trying to pull it by hand with that oily film on the boot and your hands.
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