How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby woodhaven22 [OP] » July 11th 2010, 12:31am

Hello,

I have an 2001 AWD Astro Van 4.3L and having an issue the P0300. Well I went about and started to change my wires and plugs and the passager side went great. Went to do the drivers side and can't figure out how to get at the plugs or wires.

How in the heck do you get at these.

Thanks
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby castle_Rock » July 11th 2010, 12:41am

I find removing the wheel from the vehicle will allow you enough clearance under the Drivers side to get @ the plugs, wires. I get under the drivers side in order to remove those plugs.
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby Mr_Bowtie » July 11th 2010, 12:47am

I remove the wheel & any plastic inner fender stuff I can to get better access. Then a couple nice extensions and a swivel. OH YA make sure you proper support the Van with the tire off....jack stands...SAFETY FIRST! :chevy:
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby woodhaven22 [OP] » July 11th 2010, 12:58am

Maybe I'm missing something here!

I removed the tire and can only see one spark plug. The other two are closer to the rear and there is no access from the front wheel area.

If I look under the vechical, I only see a pipe in the way?


Thanks for any more help
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby Gary » July 11th 2010, 6:04am

You have the dog house off right??.The driver's side rear plug from the dog house,the middle plug from the wheel well and the front plug from the bottom.Make sure you don't cross thread them and strip the plug hole.I use a rubber hose fitted over the plug to get them started and then ratchet them from there.
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby woodhaven22 [OP] » July 11th 2010, 1:04pm

Thanks

Found this site with pictures. Didn't know to replace couple of spark plugs would be this hard!

http://********.org/bb2/viewtopi ... h&start=15
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby astroturf » July 11th 2010, 2:18pm

woodhaven22 wrote:Thanks

Found this site with pictures. Didn't know to replace couple of spark plugs would be this hard!

http://********.org/bb2/viewtopic.php?f ... h&start=15


Your link doesn't work...

Have a look here. http://sites.google.com/site/astrosafar ... park-plugs

Hope it helps, Jim

EDIT: This link points to a brilliant work by our own member: ihatemybike...
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby Mr_Bowtie » July 11th 2010, 4:11pm

^Good read! :clap:
I found it easiest with my AWD to go from the driver's side wheel well. Got rip some of the plastic stuff out of your way and get creative with the extensions. Like Gary said use a good spark plug socket with the rubber boot inside.
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby rev_les » July 11th 2010, 4:58pm

They pretty much covered it, I pull the wheel off too, and use a swivel and extension and git 'er from the gap over the a-arm. I've done it with the wheel on and just jacked up so the suspension's dropped all the way, and put a cover on the tire to keep road grime off me as much as possible, but heck, once yer there, just pull the 5 lugnuts, and use a panel popper and remove the retaining plugs to get the liner outta the way...once you've done it a couple of times, it's easy...the driver's rear plug is the hardest, if you do it first, the rest of the job's a snap :)
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby woodhaven22 [OP] » July 11th 2010, 5:15pm

Same link as I tried to post, sure cleared up how to get at these. At the end, It wasn't that bad to do! took me about 2 hours on the drivers side taking it very slow.

Thanks for the support - Astro is now happy!!
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby astroturf » July 11th 2010, 5:24pm

woodhaven22 wrote:Same link as I tried to post, sure cleared up how to get at these. At the end, It wasn't that bad to do! took me about 2 hours on the drivers side taking it very slow.

Thanks for the support - Astro is now happy!!


Great to hear WoodHaven
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby Mr_Bowtie » July 11th 2010, 7:56pm

Awesome! :clap:
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby castle_Rock » July 11th 2010, 8:22pm

sweet!
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby alexalexanders » July 12th 2010, 1:31am

Before i found this site or any for that matter. I changed my current astro and old astro plugs and wire thourgh the doghouse! Wish i would have found the site first, now im not dreading it that much any more!
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby LWright » July 28th 2010, 8:55pm

I found it easier to remove the 3 left side body to frame bolts and jack up the body a few inches, along with removing the wheel and shield.
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby RECox286 » July 28th 2010, 9:25pm

The front and middle plug are easily accessable from the wheel well. Get a 2 ft or longer extension, a flex spark plug socket and a ratchet with a longer handle than is standard, also helps to have a swiveling handle ratchet. Easiest way to get the rear plug is to go under the truck, and reach up to the manifold, remove the plug wire end, and use just the flex socket and ratchet. As mentioned, the old mechanic's trick of using a 6" piece of 3/8" rubber
hose will make installation go so much easier. One last tip, never try to remove spark plugs from a hot engine. Best to wait for the engine to cool to ambient temperature. Also, while there is more space on the passenger side of the doghouse, the same proceedure will work on the right side plugs.
Don't forget to coat the spark plug boots with dielectric silicone grease. I use it on all the high tension wire ends (distributor, plugs, and coil).

Once you've done a few of what may at first seem to be impossible jobs, and learn some of the tricks, then you will come to the realization that, as most of us here who work on these trucks, the thought that went into getting so much stuff into such a small space, and still have room to work, was a real feat of automotive genius.

Keep truck'n

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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby cowboydan » August 6th 2010, 5:27am

woodhaven22 wrote:Same link as I tried to post, sure cleared up how to get at these. At the end, It wasn't that bad to do! took me about 2 hours on the drivers side taking it very slow.

Thanks for the support - Astro is now happy!!


so... what type of plugs did you pull out? what are your new ones?
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby oldtymehockey » January 14th 2011, 7:12pm

Hey all, I am reviving this thread as it is the only one I have found so far in my one day tenure here with instructions and tips on spark plug replacement.

I have questions about the left side. Can you share any tricks to getting the spark plug wires off and back on? I am not seeing how I may get a grip on number 3 and 5. I think a long screwdriver, long needle nose, or pick would pull the wire off but I think getting the new one set back in there would be a challenge.

The plugs don't seem as difficult as I have plenty of extensions and u-joints to get a socked in on the plug.

PM if easier. Pics might help too.
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby RECox286 » January 14th 2011, 8:12pm

Hey Hockey,

There are pliers made specifically to remove the boot from the spark plug, however, there is barely enough room as it is to work from the wheel well, or even from the underneath of the truck. I find that a long flat blade screw driver, positioned to push the boot from the engine side, and worked carefully does as good a job as anything else I have tried.

If you come up with anything better, let us know.

Good luck

Bob
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Re: How to get at the spark plugs on the driver side?

Postby oldtymehockey » January 14th 2011, 9:52pm

Thanks Bob; and thank you for your service to our great country.
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