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Just did Plugs on Dad's 2002 S10 and had no choice but to remove the Steering Shaft for the #3 Plug. I've changed Plugs more than a dozen times in our past & present 4.3L equipped S10s and, although #3 has been a bit tricky, I've never had to do this until now. This shows me how much variance there can be from specific vehicle to vehicle.

I found #4, the middle plug on the opposite side, harder because of the oil dipstick tube.
Had this trouble for the first time as well. The old Plug came out fine, but the new one kept wanting to crossthread during installation. I finally threaded the Plug in by hand, but then the socket wouldn't slide onto the plug. I noticed the Dipstick Tube interfering with the socket, so Dad & I removed the bolt holding the Dipstick Tube Bracket and moved the tube so the socket would slide on. Once the Plug was in and snugged up, we replaced the bracket bolt.

Also want to add, going thru the Wheel Well is the only way I'll do either side. Even with the (factory) Wheel/Tire in place, you have so much more room to work compared to trying to accomplish this within the confines of the engine bay.
 

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Thank you for the tip! Works good for my 2003 considering I'm too old to fight stuck caps and hard to access plugs. It would be cool to know the torque requirement for the 11 mm bolt but any way Thanks again!
 
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really? i did it in about the time as a normal plug, you get a snapon universal sparkplug socket with a 2 ft extension,. go through the inner fender and under the steering shaft and the socket will go right on, give the rachet a good smack to the left and bam you got the plug out
 

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Re: How-to change the PITA #3 spark plug

Good idea holding off on the fuel filter. I was too headstrong when I was teaching myself how to fix my truck and thought, "sure, I can muscle through the rust". Terrible idea. I ended up torqueing it so hard the fuel line ripped open (bought it used; pretty sure it was the original fuel filter at 150k...) and spewed fuel all over. I patched the fuel line and got a new filter in, but it would have been way better to just be patient and remember that you don't need to prove your virility against rust...

I'm doing plugs and wires today, hopin' I have a good time with it.

well, im all done.

didnt get the fuel filter, seeing as everything was rusted, and i didnt want to break it off and be ****ed. so im going to let my dad help me with that this week.

but i got the front of the truck up on jackstands, pulled both front wheels, and all the plugs were staring me in the face at that point. i just got them out through the wheel wells.

the hardest part for me today was routing the wires, and getting them in order in each loom. than getting them to click back together without breaking or falling.

having big hands isnt always a good thing. lol

well, id say 2.25 hours for a tune up and an oil change and trying to do the fuelfilter also isnt too bad for a 17 year old :)

some good tips in this thread for sure!

thanks guys!
 
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Me talking about that snap on universal socket was not me telling everyone to buy one. I do this for a profession. I'm wasting potential money if I do b.s. like pull the steering shaft. In the long run that tool will make me money and I wouldn't reccomend the do-it-yourself guy to go out and buy one.
 

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Me talking about that snap on universal socket was not me telling everyone to buy one. I do this for a profession. I'm wasting potential money if I do b.s. like pull the steering shaft. In the long run that tool will make me money and I wouldn't reccomend the do-it-yourself guy to go out and buy one.
Nothing wrong with having the right tool for the job. For us DIYers, I can attest that moving the steering shaft is quick and pretty painless. 20 mins to change all 6 plugs sounds about right. Personally on my truck I find changing the #2 spark plug takes longer than it does to change #3 including the time to move the shaft.
 

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I think it will ultimately come down to the size of one's arms or hands. Hear me out...

I used to DREAD changing the plugs on the Blazer. DREAD. Be afraid of it. Say "Oh, I don't know how to, I can't get the socket on, there is stuff in the way." Take it places so THEY can do it. Never had an idea how they did. Saw guys with two long extensions on each other arguing about how they couldn't get to it, .. all sorts of nonsense (turned out to be incompetency on their part.) So, I used to have an actual PHOBIA about this.

Early in my progression to where I am now, I literally only used to be able to change 3 of the 6 plugs. True story.

Now, the situation has changed.. Faced with how I MUST get this truck to start, I now have to change the plugs MYSELF, since I feel like my helper is not really the best thing (his help nor presence.) Sooo... I had to "buck up" and try to do it.

Now.. Maybe it was easier because I have my entire INTAKE MANIFOLD removed (changing spiders) but Im not really sure it is..

Not trying to start a flame war, argument, etc. And some may hate me. And some think I am an an idiot.

But I shake my head when people talk about unbolting a steering shaft. I also did find it easy to go through the wheel well on at least ONE plug, and I won't lie.. I kind of gave up trying to contort myself, and just did it that way. And I got it. But I ptobably could have got it the other way too...

Tools I used:

1/2" drive ratchet
12" extension for same ratchet
At one point, I used a chisel.. (to get off a plug boot)
plier (again.. plug boot)
Flashlight. THE FLASHLIGHT I HAD WAS JUST ABOUT USELESS AND BARELY DID IT. Get an LED "Police Keychain Light" like I now have! After video.
5/8" FLEX SOCKET
FLEX SOCKET
FLEX SOCKET spark plug socket, 3/8" drive with an adapter to fit my 1/2" ratchet.
FLEX SOCKET
FLEX SOCKET.
^^ bought it at Autozone. Looked at Advance Auto's tools and.. walked out.

And I did it all in about 20 minutes.

Here is my video, and submission. If you hate me, I love you.

Let's Keep On Truckin' brothas.

No more fear.

Here it is.

 

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S-Truck Resurrection!
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The photos arent showing up for me, I have tried different browsers, any suggestions on why?
Thank you.
Because this thread is 10 years old and most likely those pics on the host accounts are long gone.
 

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The photos arent showing up for me, I have tried different browsers, any suggestions on why?
Thank you.
prob got deleted off the server where he was sharing them...this thread is like, infinity years old.


Sounds like people replace their plugs with their oil around here :)
 

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Simple trick I learned today...
Simply cut a piece of scrap vac line and attach to plug. Makes threading in the new plug a piece of cake, with no worries of cross threading.
No removing the intermediate steering shaft needed.
A swivel spark plug socket and a piece of vac line.
Done.
 

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MySonoma Lover
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i Really gotta !! thankyou on that one i spent 46 Minuts just to put in the 3# plug alone , my total time to do my tuneup was more like 2.4 hours -Gassshppp---!. and

on my other rig the 2WD sonoma it only take about 52-60 minutes;

the Next time i do my Jimmy 4X4 Tune ; im planning to get in New plug wires, new Autolites (or Delcos) Double plat-plugs and the diElectric grease in all Holes and All in one single shot through.
 

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Not sure this is the easiest way... I definitely would not go through all that...

I replaced my plugs today... Using the design of how they made it to be done... Super easy.

Jack up the side you are working on so the clearance between the tire and the body is the greatest.

Remove the dust barrier between the wheel and the engine (or just split it like I did so it becomes a flap).

Notice now how you have direct access to all plugs, except the one that is just slightly behind the steering column.

Put the plug in the socket.
Attach a swivel joint.
Put the plug in the hole and start threading by hand using the swivel as a grip. Just a couple threads to hold it in place.
Attach extension. Hand tighten.
Attach socket wrench. Tighten.

Smile.

Sent from my Z981 using Tapatalk
 

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Like the boys in Vegas would say, you seem to be going about it the hard way.

All you need to do is to use a spark plug from some older SBC angle plug heads. Easy. Still available at Kaleco Automotive:

 

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I had to take mine in and out a few times, I ended up just popping off the bottom of the steering shaft and moving it over. Was only one small bolt and then had plenty of room
 
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