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Spark Plug Heat Shield Tubes, How To Remove?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Bob Lincoln

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Posted April 19, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Friday I changed my plugs, and while doing the #5 plug, which is hard to reach and angles back toward the power brake booster, I broke the top off the new plug while doing final torque. It broke because I angled the torque wrench for clearance, not because of overtightening. I removed it and put the old one back in, which was in good shape. Had it nearly seated, when the socket began spinning without gripping the hex. Can't loosen or tighten it. But the plug wire snaps on fine, and the plug doesn't seem to cause a compression leak. It can't be fully seated, because the tip and the plug wire boot sit nearly 1/2 inch higher than the others. But it runs perfectly, got over 21 mpg yesterday.

I got a dental mirror and a penlight, and it looks like a piece of the center of the center electrode is trapped between the shield and the hex. Looks like the EMI coil portion of the center electrode. No evidence of other chunks. I believe it's wedged tightly enough that I can't pull it out with tweezers or a narrow screwdriver, or tape on a stick or compressed air or vacuum. My best bet is to remove or open up the heat shield. Does it come off, if so, how? I don't have the hand room or leverage to tug straight out with any force, as it angles toward the firewall. I'm thinking of a careful incision with a cutting wheel of a Dremel tool, peeling it open and then plucking out the piece. Then I'll vacuum so as not to drop anything in when I put a new plug in, then bend the heat shield back into place.

Advice? A better plan?

#2 Bob Lincoln

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Posted April 19, 2004 at 03:48 pm

bump

#3 dana44

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Posted April 19, 2004 at 04:39 pm

Bob, isn't the heat shield attached by the bolts on the exhaust manifold? Mine doesn't have that problem, but, when all else fails, vice grips to bend it out of the way or pull it out of the way a little bit. They are usually fairly thin sheet metal construction.

#4 Bob Lincoln

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Posted April 19, 2004 at 05:54 pm

These are individual rolled tubes that seem to be inserted into the head around each plug. I can't see if it's a friction fit, or what, but they're not bolted to the manifold. I will have to bend or mutilate them a little to get at the plug.

#5 Tech Man

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Posted April 19, 2004 at 08:11 pm

These are just a press fit into the head............just like the Neon spark plug tubes. There's not much chance of saving them as they are mutilated trying to remove them.

#6 ModMan_70

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Posted April 20, 2004 at 12:08 am

I seem to recall a special tool for the removal of these tubes. If it is too expensive to buy from the dealer, perhaps one can be made?

From what I remember, the tool appeared to be like a rubber tube with a long bolt (maybe use a bolt with an eyelet at one end?) through it and large washers at each end. You insert the tool into the spark plug tube and tighten the top washer down on the rubber tube. The rubber tube 'scrunches' outwards , grabbing the spark plug tube, and you pull the bolt to get the tube out.

I guess the tough part about making the tool yourself, would be finding the right sized rubber tube with a thick wall to it. Maybe you can layer 2 hoses or something. I'm not even sure if this would be worth the effort.

#7 Bob Lincoln

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Posted April 20, 2004 at 07:22 am

There's just no room to get leverage - it's plug #5, which is angled toward the firewall and has the power brake booster a few inches away. I'm NOT taking that off to do this job.

I guess I'll cut/bend it carefully, trying to leave it intact as much as possible to shape back into place enough to block some exhaust heat.

#8 ModMan_70

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Posted April 20, 2004 at 09:46 am

There's just no room to get leverage - it's plug #5, which is angled toward the firewall and has the power brake booster a few inches away. I'm NOT taking that off to do this job.

Oh boy, you gatta love it when stuff is orientated like that :angry: . Seems like every engine has it's 'hard to reach' part.

#9 Bob Lincoln

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Posted April 20, 2004 at 07:10 pm

As luck would have it, our electronics lab has a dental mirror for close work, and I borrowed it, reflected a penlight off it and could see the piece of spark plug. I didn't think I could reach, but I got a pair of tweezers down there and plucked the EMI coil piece out of the plug tube. I then blew compressed air and looked again, saw no more debris. The plug was indeed only about 1/3 seated (and not stripped), so I took it out, verified no debris around the hole, and re-installed it. Back to normal, no cutting, good as new.

#10 ModMan_70

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Posted April 21, 2004 at 10:37 am

Way to go!


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