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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellas,

I am going to be changing out that pesky lower intake manifold this week and I really need to change the plugs. I believe they are the originals. Engine is 3800 II. I am really dreading trying to remove original plugs out of aluminum heads with 95,000 miles on 'em, but this car has to get a kid thru three more years of grad school and could use new plugs and wires. Anything to be aware of? Any tricks to make it easier? Thanks.
 

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My 2 cents worth
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Double Vision, You should have left this statement out. You are going to 'high-jack' this thread.

"I feel your pain, although not on spark plugs but on other areas of engines and things that should have had anti seize put on them and the factory didn`t bother. Recently I had to redo the A/C system in my dads truck, all the hoses and the evaporator core. The lines were seized on the fittings and I was hot the lazy and cheap factory didn`t put anti-seize on any of this stuff and thus ruined 2 hoses driving the bill up higher."

You should never use 'anti-seize' on A/C fittings, only use the specified oil for the system on them.


Cool Rockin Daddy, just remove them when the engine is cool. They will come out easy then, now the plug wire boots might be a different story. Be sure to put some dielectric grease in the new plug wire boots before you install them.
 

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Cook, I seriously doubt placing a very small amount of anti-seize is going to hurt anything. Especially when nothing from the a/c unit comes in contact with the threads on the hoses since it doesn`t go past the O rings.
The corrosion from the A/C`s use seized the lines on. Now I don`t know about you but that`s a hell of a lot of work that could have been avoided and money saved because they could have been reused.
When my brother in law went to remove the dryer that`s connected to the evaporator core the core busted because the threads were seized. It took me 3 days to remove the entire dash and replace the core, all that could have been avoided. Now, I`ll go back and edit my post since I`m a high jacker now. Strange, I don`t even own a gun.
 

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I recently changed the plugs and wires on a 3800 in a 95 Lumina Van. Couple things that bit me and maybe you can avoid.....
-Clean the areas around the plugs very well first; after the first one I sprayed some WD-40 on a shop rag and went over as much as I could around each plug. It didn't make the plug and easier, but it did keep the threads clean in the head.
-One long wobble extension is gold. I'm not sure if you're going to do this by the book or the "shade tree" way, I opted to go over the top of the engine. A universal joint wants to bind, I found a longer extension with a wobble on it and a stubby ratchet worked great.

Hope this helps and your project goes smooth.
 

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Any tricks to make it easier?
The old trick of using a length of fuel hose as a starter always comes in handy when dealing w/hard to reach plug locations- the hose acts as a big universal and allows the plug to be turned from "around a corner" if need be.

It always helps to have an assortment of plug sockets and socket/extensions for getting into various spots as the need arises.

3rd. from the left is a locking extension. Nothing better than having a plug socket w/a nice, tight sleeve inside for holding that plug while you search around blindly for the hole. But nothing's worse than losing that same socket, plug and all, because the sleeve had a better grip on the plug than the extension did on the socket!

The locking extension- or the "one piece" socket and extension (bottom) does away w/all that mess.

The other various tools (swivel sockets and wobble extension, etc.) are what you'd expect to find in most boxes. The extra-long socket (far left) is actually handier than one might think at first. It does away w/the need for an extension in many cases and gives a good purchase for turning.

Don't forget the hex on the plug sockets are there to aid in cases where a wrench may be able to turn the socket when a ratchet can't. Especially a stubby Gear Wrench ;) .

DoubleVision said:
The corrosion from the A/C`s use seized the lines on.
Obviously, using a wrench on both sides of the union will reduce the chance of damaging the tubing or fittings- where this can be done. Flare wrenches are always a good idea- necessary even- when dealing w/aluminum tube/fittings.

Somewhere around here, I have a couple adjustable wrenches with 3/16" thick steel "flats" welded onto the jaws for just such a thing. The ~1/4" wider (on each side of the jaws) flats spread the load on the big fittings better than a regular adjustable, open end or flare wrench, all of which are very narrow for the width of those larger AC fittings.

A little too late to help your bro' in law, though :pain: .
 

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I see where your coming from Cobalt. My bro in law took every means needed to make sure it came apart smoothly as he`s been a mechanic for over 25 years. He used 2 wrenches and right as the nut began to turn we heard a loud "POP" and knew right away what it was. Next we removed the lower hose coming off the evap core and it wasn`t in much better shape. It ended up ruining it entirely as it twisted the soft aluminum. I ended up having to remove the front grille, air box, coolant resivoir and other odds and ends just to reroute it back to the condenser. Once the lines were off and I inspected the lines and threads I couldn`t believe the amount of corrosion,, and I guess the lines being aluminum didn`t help matters any either. If I ever have to do another job like that again I think I`m going to just remove everything on the firewall and use a plasma cutter to make a door around the evap core then fab up a panel with self tapping screws. That would have been far easier than having to remove the entire dash just to change the core. I wish the factory had done it like that to start with. But in the end, no matter what method was used to loosen the nut it still would have cracked as badly corroded as it was. Maybe I`m crazy, but i`m all for anything that makes life easier and anything that could have been used by the factory so the lines didn`t seize on would have been a blessing but by letting it seize they made money as the lower hose was a dealer only piece. It was a geniune GM part made in, you guessed it, China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for pointing that out. Dan. Don't know which one it and don't care. I was talking to my buddy who is service manager of Caddy/Buick dealer and I could have sworn we were talking lower but it's all good. It's all coming off and whatever part is melted and warped is the one that will be replaced.

Thanks for plug tips also, guys. I was more concerned about plugs coming out with no thread damage than how to actually get them out. But, it's all good. Until I get under the hood of the beast and something inevitably goes wrong. Man, I like working on my '69 Camaro so much more. :cool:
 

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The aftermarket puts "grippy" paint on oil filters and the OEM puts thread sealer on head bolts, so why doesn't the spark plug manufacturers spend (and charge) a nickel to put anti seize onto the threads of plugs from the factory, or at least put a small tube in the package- like they do w/dielectric grease in plug wire sets or those little capsules of high-temp lube that used to come in the box w/points.

Sell them along w/plugs w/o the sealer for those who have their own- but you only get plugs w/o anti seize if you specifically ask. The default plug would have anti seize. :mwink:

It's not that enthusiasts or mechanics are the problem (right now I can lay my hands on AT LEAST a half dozen different types of thread compound/anti seize compounds- as can most here), but Joe Blow who could Give AS, will yank out plugs and throw in new ones w/o so much as checking the gap- let alone putting anti seize comp on the threads.

THAT is where "we" have problems- prior ham-fisted owners or hacks who stink up the show by over- or under-torquing fasteners because they don't own a torque wrench- or the manual to get the info from, for that matter, or make electrical splices w/twisted wires held together by a prayer and some 10 year-old electrical tape w/more adhesive on the front than the back of the tape, and any of a hundred more dumb-a**ed ways of fouling things up- including not using anti seize comp.

But I digress.

As long as the engine is stone-cold when the plugs are removed, hopefully they will come out w/o any extra threads from the heads attached.
 
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