Remove Spark Plug Wires

Messages
283
Location
Central Texas
Thread starter
2013 Fiesta SE Hatch Manual Trans. 55,000 miles. I wanted to remove the spark plugs for inspection. They have never been loosened. was going to spray LPS1 greaseless penetrating oil a day or so before I removed the plugs. I am always conservative about removing plugs from aluminum heads. I began pulling the first wire off the first plug. It does not want to budge so I left it alone for now so I don't tear it up. any advice for removing spark plug wire that does not want to let loose of the plug? I see O'reilly has OEM motorcraft for $23.99. Can I trust that's not counterfit? If I damage the present set? Are there any sets that are better than OEM Motorcraft?
 
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6,748
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Just buy a new set. That's what I always do when I change plugs on my 1991 Ford. And I all but pack them with dielectric grease when I install them. It still doesn't matter. They all but manage to weld themselves to the insulators. I've bought the various, "boot removal tools", and all the rest. It never seems to help. I ended up breaking the tool, and still ruined the wires. Buy a new set, and you can gorilla the old one's off and not have to worry. (I just slice them open with a box cutter, then use pliers). And you'll end up with a better tune up as well. It will be the best $25.00 you ever spent.
 
Messages
34,444
Location
NY
I found if I installed wires with dielectric grease they come off. I usually rotate them clockwise and counter clockwise a few times and pull, they'll come off. OTOH on vehicles I didn't install the wires I typically have to split the boot with an X-Acto knife or a razor blade, and replace the wires.
 
Messages
283
Location
Central Texas
Thread starter
Probably should have removed them every year or two an dielectric greased them. Will try rotating them. That's a good idea. Are the OEM's at the dealer twice as much as Motorcraft at the store?
 
Messages
2,189
Location
Flaherty, KY
Ugh this thread brings back memories of having to yank plug wires off the back bank of transversely mounted V6's, especially GM ones! I still have scars on my hands from the torture. Really all you can do is wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, rock back and forth, repeat. Get a good grip on the boot (don't hold it by the wire!) and pull like [censored]. If you can get pliers down to the middle of the boot (where the actual connector is), if you get a good grip they will come out. Grabbing from the top of the boot is difficult because the boots like to flex and stretch, so that all your effort is stretching the rubber not pulling the connector off. I have had a few defeat me. In that case I get mad, throw a couple random tools at it, exercise my vocabulary and proceed to tear the thing all to [censored], pick up the pieces and bits of dismembered spark plug wire, then replace with new ones.
 
Messages
6,748
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
A lot of this relates to how close the plug boots are to the exhaust manifolds. On my 5.0 Ford several of the middle cylinders are surrounded by them. The boots are constantly baking. Add in driving 6 months out of the year in 100F+ temperatures, and there is no way they are not going to weld themselves to the plugs. On some engines this is not the case, and the boots and wires are better protected from extreme heat. I have several cylinders where the boots actually showed some signs of melting after 40,000+ miles. Plug wires are not an expensive tune up item in the grand scheme of things, considering what they do. It usually always pays to simply replace them with the plugs. Especially now that spark plugs are being changed at longer and longer intervals. I put spark plug wires in much the same category as oil filters.... Cheap and easy to change out. So why try to be cheap in the wrong place, and give yourself a possible headache to boot? (No pun intended).
 
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7,844
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
The ignition system of my recently acquired '05 Ranger (4.0 V6) hasn't been touched since it was assembled. Let's call it 15 years. I dreaded the day I do the plugs, until now. After reading this, I'll just get a set of replacement wires and have 'em ready to go on when the time comes. You fellas just saved me a buncha time. I feel better, seriously.
 
Messages
11,710
Location
North Carolina
I don't think i've ever changed plugs and not changed the wire set. Too much risk of damaging one, and having to do the job again. Especially on the transverse v-6 engines mentioned above. Too much risk of mis-fires later that can ruin the expensive cats.
 
Messages
84
Location
Somerset, UK
Only engine I've ever had real trouble getting wires off was a Ford Zetec-E in a Focus. I too ended up just getting a new set and cutting the old boots, which may be your best plan of action here. At 55,000 miles if you're going to go to the trouble of taking them out I'd probably get some new plugs too, unless they're a ridiculously expensive type.
 
Messages
462
Location
Kentucky
With regular sparkplug wires fitting a small right angle screwdriver or other pokey thing with a handle (can't think of the real name) up under the boot and wiggling it about a bit will really help to break the seal so to speak and let you pull off the wire. Not a big help with the fiesta though as the plugs are down deep between the cams.
 
Messages
718
Location
New York
I go with billt460. If it's a set that's already on there for a long time and you don't know if there was any dielectric applied? Expect to destroy the wires accidentally. The best you can do is twist but sometimes that doesn't help either. You could accidentally rip the guts straight out of the rubber too so even if you get the rubber moving. If you destroy one, you're still going to have to buy a new set anyway since I don't think you can get most brands in singles. Make sure you have needle nose pliers too if any of the parts remain attached to the plug. Next set that goes on? Definitely put the dielectric grease on.
 
Messages
1,130
Location
California
Dieletric grease on the inside of the boots only -- keep it off the connector and especially off the spark plug electrodes.
 
Messages
283
Location
Central Texas
Thread starter
LOL ! Ford dealer does not have the Motorcraft Wireset. Would have to order. Took 3 minutes to tell me that. $37+-. Autozone, $33, They also the individual wires - $6 to $8 each. That adds up to $27. So why would I pay more for the set than buying them individually? $6 savings. O'Reilly - $24
 
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