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Posted: 11/19/2008 3:29:27 PM EDT
If I ever meet the asshole who signed off on the engine compartment layout my first order of business will be to punch him right square in the cockholster!!  How high do you have to be to think that hiding the number 3 and number 5 plug behind the STEERING COLUMN was good idea for fuck's sake?  

Weak rant I know.  

Now to the problem at hand:  One option I have found is pulling the left front tire and squeezing in through the wheel well.  This seems much easier than the other option of pulling the entire steering assembly.  Does anybody else who has dealt with this have any better advice?  

Other than that I love the engine, plenty of power and very responsive.  I bought the truck new in 99.  Any other tips or tricks for maintenance will be appreciated as well.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:41:21 PM EDT
Did you see that rubber flap? Seriously, many bent 6's and 8's plugs are easier to access from the fender well.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:52:27 PM EDT


Description:
5/8" offset spark plug socket for limited access situations. Remove/install the spark plug on the #3 cylinder without interference from the steering column on GM 4.3L V6 engines used in GMC Jimmys, Chevy Blazers, S10 and S15 Pick up trucks (1994 to 2004) plus Oldsmobile Bravadas (1996 to 2001). Use with 11" extension. 12-Point, Flank Drive wrenching system. Industrial black finish. 1 1/2" length, 1 3/4" height. 3/8" drive.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:53:53 PM EDT
I've got two of'em.  I just pull that bolt out of the top of the gear box (that locks the shaft into the box) and pull the shaft sideways to get clearance to get that #3 plug.  None of the others are impossible to get to, just a PITA on #7 and #6.

The wires on the passenger side are in order with the plugs.  The ones on the driver's side aren't so either make a note or replace them one at a time as you replace the plugs.  It does make it easier to get the boot back on #3 with that steering shaft out of the way.

From experience, everything is a pain in the butt to work on on those things.  Can't change the transmission pan filter without taking the transmission cross member out and the y-pipe loose, can't change out the electronic transfer case shifter without taking the front driveshaft loose and moving some other stuff out of the way, can't grease all the ball joints without taking the front tires off, getting the old starter out is tough, putting a new one in take 3 arms (one real long one) or two people,  replacing the exhaust manifold gasket on the driver's side means taking the serpentine belt bracket and the AC compressor and power steering pump loose, etc, etc.

I'll keep the two I've got till they croak, but I'll never buy another one.  The Cherokee Sport is much easier to work on but the ride quality sucks compared to the little Blazers.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 4:04:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 4:05:43 PM EDT by 94TBlazer]
Better yet, I'll take that gas-guzzling American made POS off yer hands for a princely sum of $1000.  With this fortune, you can purchase a much more reliable Toyota...you will be the envy at the outdoor gun range pulling up in your RAV4....and the pain of the infamous #3 plug will be remedied!
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 4:36:59 PM EDT
Jack up the truck and you can acess #3,4,5,&6 through the fender wells by removing the weather guard.  Just go in over the top of the tire you'll see when you get it up its fairly easy.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 4:46:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By M1A4ME:
I've got two of'em.  I just pull that bolt out of the top of the gear box (that locks the shaft into the box) and pull the shaft sideways to get clearance to get that #3 plug.  None of the others are impossible to get to, just a PITA on #7 and #6.

The wires on the passenger side are in order with the plugs.  The ones on the driver's side aren't so either make a note or replace them one at a time as you replace the plugs.  It does make it easier to get the boot back on #3 with that steering shaft out of the way.



Yeah I noticed the wires were out of order.  At least they had the decency to mark the Distributor cap and the factory wires with numbers.  It's been a big help a couple of times.  I'm gonna try to do it without pulling the steering shaft out of the way but thanks for the heads up.
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