How to remove the spark plug boots from a 2002 GM Chevrolet Camaro V6 engine without losing all your knuckle skin.
Our 2002 Camaro has now done 99,000 miles, so with a trip “out East” coming up I figured it was time to change the spark plugs since they’re supposed to be changed at 100,000 miles.
Of course nothing is as easy as it used to be, and the spark plugs are buried “way down there” on the sides of the V6 engine, half back under the windscreen on the car, with the spark plug boots sticking out through the exhaust manifold enough to see them, but barely enough to grip them. I did manage to pull one off “by hand” with the loss of only a small amount of skin, but couldn’t even move the other 5.
So off to AutoZone (I had to buy the new plugs anyhow) to ask if they had a tool to pull these things off with. The only tool they had would have require removing the engine to be able to use it, at which time it wouldn’t be needed anyhow.
So, with some Kiwi Ingenuity™ I devised the Kiwi Spark Plug Boot Puller, which worked amazingly well, and allowed me to pull the remaining 5 spark plug boots off in about 5 minutes.The metal tube around the spark plug boots has a groove in it as can be seen on the #4 cylinder at the very bottom of the image above. It is enough to hold a shoelace that is doubled and tightened in a loop around the tube into the groove.
Here we see laces in the #6 and #4 cylinders
With the shoelace tightened in the groove, now you can pull directly outwards on the tube and spark plug boot, with zero strain on the actual spark plug wire. Slight wiggling up and down while pulling outwards helps to break the bond between the spark plug and the spark plug boot, allowing it to “pop” off.
Comparison of olde and new – the olde plug has done 99,000 miles, and the tip is clearly worn down, but not by a whole lot – about .010″