Originally Posted by mhburris
I have read about the plug removal procedure for the past couple of days and I have one issue that I am a little unsure about. I am going to change plugs this weekend.
I will have the time for an overnight soak. Should I loosen the plugs for the overnight soak or soak overnight and then loosen and soak again?
It seems like I have seen it both ways??
When I changed mine, I did follow the most recent TSB, I also relied on my experience back in the 1970’s when aluminum heads & intake manifolds were just entering the street scene and never-seize did not exist. Here are the exceptions to the TSB that I did…
1. I ran Lucas fuel injection cleaner, mixed at 3 times their recommendation in 1 full tank of gasoline. Purpose…if I was lucky, it would dissolve or loosen any carbon buildup (although many do a real fuel injection cleaning also- and it is probably a best practice to do if you have more than 45-50,000 miles on the plugs)
2. Although I am a fan of PB Blaster, I used a product called ChemSearch “Yield”. The issue I have with using carb cleaner is the lack of lubrication…..in the old days of removing steel plugs from aluminum heads, we use to mix up acetone & ATF…or of we needed more lubrication, kerosene & ATF, “Yield” provides this lubrication- much better IMHO than even PB Blaster.
3. Yes, I put anti-seize on the plug threads (I know the TSB says not to)
4. Of course…a lot of patience, I really doubt if I ever put more than 20-25 lbs of force during removal (purposefully)
The end result, only one plug even “squeaked” coming out (but it basically unscrewed like a regular plug- literally). Plug #4 was initially a little stubborn, but after the second try, then waiting about 30 minutes, it came out with very little effort…just kept wiggling the plugs (tightening/loosening) by 1/8th or even less of a turn- and they all came out without a single one breaking or any issue really. Another technique that can definitely be used is to loosen the plugs about 1/8 to ¼ of a turn, start the engine for about 1 minute- this allows the flame to travel up around the plug to burn off the carbon, let cool, then remove with the process I previously described.
As far as using an air ratchet, I can understand the theory of “shocking” the carbon loose, but I have also seen and experienced in my younger days some real disasters.
Actual working time: 2 hours…..including washing my hands, total time was 5 hours.