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  #1  
Old 03-17-2010, 08:59 AM
BenGone BenGone is offline
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Default Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

So I was reading through these old threads here and saw where a bunch of you guys are taking off the intake manifold to get to those last 2 spark plugs, or just taking it in to a shop.

Don't waste your time and money. There's an easy way and it involves a few special tools: a tire plug tool or an old broken flat head screwdriver, about 2 feet of wobble extensions ($10 at Harbor Freight), and a little bit of bailing wire (I'm from the South, so we use bailing wire...any type of sturdy rope or twine will work).

If you've got that, you can change those last 2 plugs and wires in 5 minutes or less.

The plugs on my 2.5 have the hook on the boot. Take the rope and put a loop of some kind in it. Use the tire plug or screwdriver to guide the rope through the manifold and over the hook. Pull it out and remove the hook. Be careful taking the hook off; it'll break easily. With the hook off, it's a lot easier to get the wire back through all that stuff under the manifold. It's a straight line to the plug through the manifold...it just looks like it's a maze. Use the ratchet extensions to get to the plugs. A flashlight may help. Once you get the plug out, you can see how easy it is to get a new one back in.

Now, when you're putting the wires back on, you can take the hook off of the original Motorcraft wire and put it on whatever wire you have (Again, be careful, these things break easily...I know because I broke one). The trick is to feed the wire from the front of the engine under the manifold out through the 'straight line' in the intake and THEN put the hook on the new boot (You'll never get it lined up if you put the boot hook on then try to get it on the plug underneath the manifold). Turn it around and feed it straight back onto the plug. Use a deep socket that will fit AROUND the boot and give it some pressure. Keep your head close to the plug so you can hear it snap into place, and so you can hear what you're doing. Be a ninja...rely on your other senses...specifically sound. Turn the damn radio off. You don't want to F anything up under there.

If your last 2 plugs don't have the hook, buy some.

That's it. It's not hard. It's not tricky. I don't have pics but I'm about due for a plug change so I'll see what I can do.

Good luck.

Edit: How to never "cross thread": push the plug (or bolt or nut or whatever...this works for all applications) against the hole (item to be threaded) and turn it lefty-lucy very slow until you feel (or hear) a small tick (about like a crappie bite)...the threads are lined up...proceed to righty-tighty. Still, always go slow because nothing is full proof. (ALWAYS do this when re-inserting a screw into any kind of wood).

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Last edited by BenGone; 03-17-2010 at 11:00 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2010, 12:14 PM
js250 js250 is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

thanks man
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2010, 11:45 PM
cacher cacher is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

One pair of Mac tools ("grabbers" #sp600), or other brand of long spark plug wire pullers, and a few extensions with a wobble spark plug socket, and they can all be done easily. You can actually reach all the way down into the plug port with these Macs. I found one that had never been changed at 100K miles in there, and the electrode was half burned off. Mine just tunred over 186,000 miles this week, and still fries right up.

I have been doing it for years, and it's easy. there is no need to remove the intake at all.

Ebay expired listing for item #130369215129 will show you what the Grabbers look like.
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Last edited by cacher; 03-20-2010 at 12:16 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2010, 08:45 PM
CajunHank CajunHank is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Ben...Did you ever take pics of your easy spark plug change procedure? I'm getting ready to tackle the job. My Ranger is a 1999, auto, with AC Thanks for any help.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2010, 03:28 PM
SpeedNinja SpeedNinja is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Good thing I didn't read this before pulling half my motor apart yesterday to do my plugs...

I actually needed to clean the TB and intake anyways. Since all that stuff is done, I may invest in some of these tools and have at it the easy way next time.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2010, 07:25 PM
red_rider red_rider is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Whats the hook you're talking about again? Is it only on some model plugs? Still sounds complicated considering I can barely even see the back 2 plugs, and btw whats a wobble extension?
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2010, 08:26 PM
CrimeStar CrimeStar is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

not sure about the hooks but a wobble extension is aka a swivel extension if that helps.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2010, 08:29 PM
sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

The hooks are plastic pieces locked around the spark plug boots on certain wires. Only OEM and one after market company make wires with the hooks (Autolite I think). Life is so much better whey they have the hooks.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2010, 10:21 PM
cacher cacher is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Never heard of, or seen, the plug boots with the hook on them. Would love to know more, and yes bailing wire can be a mans best friend. Great for radiator hose clampage also.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2010, 10:48 PM
red_rider red_rider is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimeStar View Post
not sure about the hooks but a wobble extension is aka a swivel extension if that helps.
oh gotcha, i'd just never heard it called a wobble. Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2011, 08:48 AM
skulldrinker skulldrinker is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

Quote:
Originally Posted by red_rider View Post
oh gotcha, i'd just never heard it called a wobble. Thanks.
This is an old thread but I have to say that a "wobble" is not a "swivel extension".

A swivel is aka a universal joint. A wobble is a straight extension with a slightly curved//shaved tip on the end that sticks into the socket.

If you can not get to the fastener straight-on with a ratchet and extension and you need a universal joint but don't have one then a wobble extension will somewhat "act" as a limited universal joint. With its shaved end tip it allows you to slightly pull the end out of the socket and tilt the ratchet at an angle without losing grip of the socket. If you did that with a standard ratchet extension it would simply not grab the socket's square hole and would fall out when you tried to turn it.

I would not use a wobble with an impact wrench same reason as you should try to avoid using u-joints. They can be unpredictable and possible take off a leg or an arm. LOL

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by cacher View Post
One pair of Mac tools ("grabbers" #sp600), or other brand of long spark plug wire pullers, --cut--
Here are more spark plug boot pullers than you can shake a stick at.

http://www.cainekeys2.com/tag/spark-...-removal-tool/
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2012, 11:11 PM
piscespokerbrat piscespokerbrat is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

While the plug change is tedious, I would say re-routing new wires under the intake manifold is a major bitch and a half. I changed all 8 plugs and wires out over the weekend, and the drivers side isn't as bad as one would think. You have to use a universal joint on the #2 plug. There is no clear line of sight due to the fuel rail regulator in the way. I used a good old fashioned long ass screw driver to help coax the plug wires off of the plugs and a zip tie to hook the wires. Passenger side takes 5 minutes tops.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2012, 01:32 PM
ranger95 ranger95 is offline
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Default Re: Easy Spark Plug Change on 8-plug 4 Banger

I remember the little hook and the end of the spark plug wire. Mine was cracked but still worked. I used a bent cloth hanger wire to pull it out. I would recommend using the Motorcraft double platinium spark plugs, they will last 100,000 miles. They are kind of expensive but worth it.
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