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    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Nov 6, 2008, 11:12 AM
    Spark plug wire loosens
    Hello.
    I recently tried to diagnose an ignition problem. I removed one spark plug and it looked fine so moved on to something else. I eventually fixed the problem but now the spark plug wire (boot?) keeps lifting about a 1/4 inch higher than the other three. I then screwed the spark plug in a bit tighter. I don't own a torque wrench, but I think it's as tight as it should be. Does anyone have any insight on this?
    97 civic, by the way.
    Thank you
    kitch428's Avatar
    kitch428 Posts: 1,437, Reputation: 152
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    #2

    Nov 6, 2008, 04:03 PM

    Check and see if the gasket is on the plug threads, and the boot may be oil saturated and has swelled to an improper fit.
    ... just some ideas.
    Dr D's Avatar
    Dr D Posts: 698, Reputation: 127
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    #3

    Nov 6, 2008, 08:23 PM
    A 1/4 inch difference in the height of the spark plug boot is much too large for improper torque of the plug. Most likely the steel connector at the end of the plug wire is deformed, and is not properly seating on the center-wire of the plug. When you push the boot onto the spark plug, you should feel a definite "snap", when it is in place.:)
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Nov 6, 2008, 10:17 PM

    Thanks for the imput guys.
    Kitch: I've since removed the spark plug, and replaced it, so the thread is still good, and I didn't find any evidence of oil anywhere.
    Dr.D: I'll check the 'plug wire'. That makes sense. The thing is it doesn't 'snap' on, but it does fit where it should, until I drive it. That's when it lifts off about 1/4", so I figure some pressure must leak from the spark plug and pushes out the plug wire a bit.
    Thanks again. I appreciate the help.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #5

    Nov 6, 2008, 10:58 PM

    The clip in the boot gets pulled out, so the plug doesn't snap into the boot. The 1/4" distance is about the thickness of the plug connection and a little bit of metal.

    Because it's stuck between the rubber and the clip, it appears connected, but it becomed undone. It's supposed to have a metal connector to the top of the plug inside the boot.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Nov 7, 2008, 08:09 AM

    That sound about right. Can I 'tweek' it or is new wires the only solution?
    Thanks.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #7

    Nov 7, 2008, 10:27 AM

    You generally have to force the clip into place. Look into a good one and then the bad one with a flashlight to see what your trying to achieve.

    You may have to force the wire down the boot. Spark plug "wires" are not wire in the conventional sense. It's more like a composite fiber. The only way to reattach the crimp is special crimp.

    It will require a significant amount of force. Start by pushing the wire into the boot. Usually this happens when one doesn't grip the BOOT Firmly when removing the wires. You pulled on the wire is the most likely cause.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Nov 7, 2008, 11:25 AM

    I tried to force the wire into the boot, but I don't think I managed to do anything. Am I trying to do this with the boot/wire out (of it's hole) or the boot/wire while it's in?
    I tested with a spare spark plug and got it to 'snap' inside the boot (with the boot out), then pulled the plug out and put the boot back into the 'boot compartment.' I can't tell if snapped on. I guess we'll see after I drive for while. It seems like it might fit a bit better, but not really convinced.
    Thanks
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #9

    Nov 7, 2008, 12:02 PM

    NO.

    Get a flashlight. Remove the boot. Look into the boot with the flashlight. See if you can't see anything wrong.

    Do the same with a good boot and compare if you can't.

    The plug should click especially because your saying it doesn't go in far enough.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Nov 7, 2008, 12:29 PM

    I don't see anything wrong inside the bad boot, compared to a good one.
    I took a good boot and it clicked in the bad boot hole.
    It appears the boot is good, but the spark plug, or something in there is bad.
    Should I replace the bad plug?
    Thanks
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #11

    Nov 7, 2008, 12:43 PM

    It's the wire. Not the plug.

    If you see a circular metal clip inside the boot in the proper position, then the only other choice is that the clip has collapsed. i.e. It's too tight.

    You can try removing the plug use plug in hand and boot in hand to force it to click by wiggling it from side to side.

    Another choice is to get a wooden dowel rod and flare out the end and try to expand the clip. Something slightly larger the top electrode connection of the plug.

    The biggest problem is that you can't buy one plug wire.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Nov 7, 2008, 01:05 PM

    A plug in hang clicks into to boot in hand, but it won't click in when I push the boot onto the plug inside the motor.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #13

    Nov 7, 2008, 01:08 PM

    OK, have an idea. At the end of the boot, place a rubber band to compress the end a bit.

    Boot probably expanded because of oils.

    You might also compare lengths.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Nov 7, 2008, 01:26 PM

    I should have noticed this, but figured the spark plug was darker because of oil, but a rubber ring is stuck around the spark plug, that came off my spark plug socket! I compared the one I used to a larger socket which has a rubber ring in it.
    Any suggestions? I'd hate to get my socket stuck down there too.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #15

    Nov 7, 2008, 02:11 PM

    I do have a suggestion, but it will take a little time. Like maybe overnight. Get a small tube of some weatherstrip adhesive from an auto store. It's used for rubber/metal adhesion.

    Clean the inside of the socket really well and dry thouroughly. Superclean is a very good choice, but it's expensive. So use something like all or ERA or some liquid laundry soap and water and then finish up with fantastik and finally something like Windex.

    I doubt you can do anything with twhat's stuck.

    Coat the inside of the socket with the weatherstrip adhesive and apply as directed. Push socket on plug and wait until morning.

    Another idea which might be faster, but has the possibility of not working. Take an 8.5 x 3" piece of paper and fold (a roll type fold) so it will fit into the socket.
    Put a hole about the diameter of the insulator into the paper in the middle.

    Stuff the paper into the socket, so the hole is inside where the 3/8 drive socket would be. Fold the edges over onto the socket and tape around the outside leaving some play at the bottom.

    The idea is to expand the inside of the socket with the paper and push the socket onto the rubber until it reaches the nut. It won't fit on the nut because it's too big.

    You should be able to create a friction ft and pull the rubber out.

    Try this method first. You may have to adjust the paper thickness.

    A third way.

    Get some long self taping screws like the woodscrews about 3" long and screw two of them into the rubber. Then use two pair of pliers to pull it out. This method could be frustrating.

    Two pair of Long needlenose pliers might also work.

    These can all work. Some may be easier for you to do than others.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #16

    Nov 7, 2008, 02:38 PM

    Thanks for all your help KISS. I'll have to wait until Monday. I'm out for the weekend. I'll let you know what happens.
    Thanks again
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #17

    Nov 7, 2008, 10:50 PM

    Instead of paper, try a sheet of sandpaper folded over and stapled. Might get by with just a small piece.
    fromhull's Avatar
    fromhull Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Nov 11, 2008, 01:01 PM

    Hi again. I ended up twisting the sprank plug socket onto the rubber ring and after a while it just came up with the socket. I guess sometimes you just have to fiddle a bit.
    The boot then snapped onto the plug.
    Thanks again for the help

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