Changing spark plugs in a gm 3.8

I am trying to change spark plugs and wires on my 2001 Impala with a 3.8 liter. I was able to get the boots off of the front plugs OK but I am having trouble getting a good grip on the rear ones. It seems like they have glued themselves to the plugs. Anyone have any suggestions for removing the boots?

They make a tool for that, I have had success with a dandelion digger.

Here’s the tool barky was talking about:

Not sure how well it works for dandelion’s, tho… :wink:

That tool probably won’t even fit between the spark plugs and the firewall. The dandelion puller will work better.

There’s a special pair of plug wire pliers that are available and work pretty well on things like this. The ends are rubber coated to protect the wires or boots.

One thing you should do before attempting to pull them is to try and rotate the boot back and forth on the plug. It could mean the difference between destroying the wire and saving it.

Just replace the wires. If they weren’t bad they will be once they are pulled loose.

Yeah I’ve struggle with the back boots. Never tried a dandelion puller but in desperation I went down and paid $10 at Checker for about a foot long needle nose or bent nose plier. That worked better than the cheaper puller I had bought before. Yep not much room for a puller so you need something to grab onto the boot and then leverage it against the engine or something to force it off. I thought it was just me getting older.

Also be sure to use the dialectric grease on the inside of the boot to help pull them off again in the future.

for 15$ harbor freight sells tool # 66188, 6 piece panel/trim set. select short tool with largest opening, cut half of handle off, pop boots off with ease on rear of gm 3.8 engine. works,and price is right, plus you have a set of panel/trim tools.

Hopefully dilligara found some solution to the problem. It’s been several months.

I bought a par of plug wire pliers-didnt work. I coudn’t get a good grip on the boots. I took Bing’s advice and bought a pair of 12 inch straight needle nose pliers and a pair of bent nose pliers. The straight pair worked like a charm. Long enough to reach and could get a good grip. Changed the back 3 plugs in about 15 minutes. Amazing what the having right tool will do. Thanks to everyone for the tips and advice.

Thanks for calling back.

I just looked at that panel tool kit RRman talked about and looks useful. I’m thinking that long handled one bent in a little at the bottom might be useful for the back boots.

For panel tools, one of the most useful tools is part of the bracket off the kids bike training wheels, so don’t throw them out when you take the training wheels off. Its bent at just the right angle and has a half circle cut in them. I’ve used it for putting a steering wheel lock ring back on too and lots of other stuff. I keep one in the garage and one in the tool box all the time.