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Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

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Old 04-11-2008, 10:51 PM   #1
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Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

I just changed out the wires, plugs, cap, and rotor on my truck and had a quick question about the spark plug wire retainers. Aside from being a major pain in the ass to pry open, does anyone know where I can purchase replacement clips. I did pretty good, only breaking one of them but I need to open them again (I didn't like the way I lined up the wires in the retaining clips).

Aside from replacement clips, does anyone have any pointers in making them easier to open or they naturally a piss-poor by design? I was hoping there was a *special* tool to open them, but I have yet to come across one.

Thanks!
Old 04-12-2008, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

Most auto parts stores sell replacements that don't have the cover that snaps closed. I just use a real small screwdriver to pry them open at the lock.
Old 04-12-2008, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

For anyone who is wondering Napa sells replacement clips. They are a little different from GM's original design, but MUCH easier to unclipped.

SH-60- I am not crazy about the clip less ones. I like something which is guaranteed to hold the wires from the red hot manifolds (even though some have said the wires do not melt if they touch)! I broke a clip on the right side (by the maze of brake lines) but zip tied it back together. I am not going to go through the trouble of replacing it. On an interesting note, AFTER the job was done I found that you can remove the rails which hold the clip assemblies. In fact who ever owned my truck last did not even bother to fasten the rails, only hand tightening the bolts which hold them on. I was surprised they did not fall off!
Old 04-13-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

You can buy the clips-retainers from GM and they are pretty cheap actually. They come with room for 3, 2 or 1 wire. A three-clip can be used in most areas. gmpartsdirect.com has them but you'll have to add them on to some other item to make it worth it. You might have to buy them in packages of five or something too.

You need great retainers on the 4.3, because as pointed out, it gets really HOT down there!

I agree with the poster above. The easiest way to open them is with a thin bladed Craftsman screwdriver. I have two I use, a straight blade and then one where I bent the blade at 90 degrees (lifetime warranty)! I still break them from time to time. I wonder if a little WD-40 might make things easier to open? I pull them off the mounting bracket to provide more room to move the clip around hopefully open it successfully.

Good Luck
Old 04-13-2008, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

Not just NAPA, lots of places sell them. Probably a whole page of them in Summit. I've never had one of the aftermarket ones let go of a wire. You have to force the wire into them, so normal operation of the truck can't possibly pull them out. Then you won't have to worry about red hot manifolds.
Old 04-13-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

Damn, I didn't think those clips came off that metal bar fastened to the engine! I was trying to pull them off but figured they were all one piece or something. Either way, I took a look on gmpartsdirect.com and did not see the clips. epiphaknee- can you please point me in the right direction.

As I said I did a pretty good job getting them off. Actually, I used the method with the screwdriver which you said. Only one of them got really "stuck" and I ended up breaking one side of the plastic clip. That was the one I tie wrapped back together. I put 2 tie wraps on it just to be sure. I may not worry about it, considering it is in suck an inconvenient position (fought that mother for 20 minutes before it broke). Still, please let me know where I can find the replacement ones.

Thanks!
Old 04-16-2008, 03:52 AM   #7
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

The wire tie trick should work. Typically they are far enough away from the heat so they don't burn up.

Try GM part numbers 12132229 and 12163607. These should be a one, two or three retainer. You'll have to call a dealer and ask which is which one. Both of these come in packs of 10 from gmpartsdirect.com and note they are only a little over one dollar each at a dealer. This is one of the few "good" dealer parts to buy. They are used on many GM vehicles so typically they have them in stock (e.g. they break them all the time too).
Old 03-04-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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Lightbulb Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

As a professional technician for 30+ years, the best and usually easiest method to replace spark plug wires is to leave them attached to the retainers, rails, brackets, whatever and remove them as an assembly - on a v6 or v8 remove each side as an assembly. then you can open the clips easily and rout the wires in the factory configuration. replace one wire at a time and duplicate the routing of the OE wires then install the assembly as it came out. This method saves a whole lot of time!! Replacement clips are available from all OE dealers and the aftermarket. I to prefer the OE clips.
Old 03-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #9
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

Thanks floyd! Do you have a time machine or just a really long handle on the shovel you used to dig up this thread?
Old 03-04-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

Yeah i just did mine and those clips were a pain in the ass i let my buddy handle while i tackled spark plug #4
Old 04-12-2009, 04:16 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

I appreciate the advice in this forum. It saved me a big headache. On the passenger side, I removed the whole assembly which went well.

On the driver side it was a little tighter clearance so I used some long handled pincher pliers to depress the latch on the clip and then using a screwdriver to pop the clip open.

Done with all 6 wires in about an hour.

Thanks again for all the advice.
Old 08-11-2009, 03:09 AM   #12
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Re: Replacement Spark Plug Wire Retainer Clips

dittos - pass side was ok, and better when I removed the two pieces that aren't used. Driver side is a b****. I still don't have it off. The bolts are blocked.
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