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Plug boots melted

  #1  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:34 PM
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Default Plug boots melted

Hey y'all, I'm new here. My wife has a 1998 LX sedan with the 2.3l VTEC. This past weekend the heater hose blew while driving on the interstate, and the engine overheated as a result. My dad thinks it should be okay as far as the head gasket goes, as I pulled over and shut off the vehicle just a few minutes after the engine started sputtering. I decided to replace the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. I struggled to pull the wires off the plugs, and once removed I discovered why: the plug boots and parts of the plastic insulators were melted in the plug wells as a result of the engine overheating. I've got one out and most of another, but two are still in there. I've tried everything I can think of: long needlenose pliers, wire, putting a deck screw in the remains and pulling it out - which only worked for one. Any other ideas? I need to get it fixed ASAP. Thanks in advance.
 
  #2  
Old 10-14-2014, 01:48 PM
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I would cut the wires as short as possible to minimize interference.

Suggest try to grab w/ needle nose vise grips to allow hard pull.

If the part pulls into leaving a ring of rubber in place, suggest using a heated long knife to melt/cut through the remaining plastic. A sharp kitchen knife should work, but will need to be thin and not very wide. Heat w/ propane torch.

If all else fails it may be possible to remove valve cover and remove the spark plug tubes. I googled "honda spark plug tube removal" and found some pics. I don't know they are removable, hopefully someone does. I would suspect the tubes are tightly threaded in place. A special tool is apparently used for Chrysler and Toyota heads, maybe will work for Honda.

I found following video of pulling spark plug tubes and reinstalling. Doesn't say what engine is pictured.


Following video may be helpful.


good luck
 

Last edited by TexasHonda; 10-14-2014 at 01:50 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:47 PM
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That first video gave me ideas. The only concern I have is that if I was able to work it out of there, wouldn't the stuff inside the tube just fall into the head?
 
  #4  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:57 PM
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No spark plug is still in place to prevent any debris from falling into engine. Loose debris in spark plug tube could be blown out w/ shop air jet.

good luck
 
  #5  
Old 10-14-2014, 04:59 PM
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I'm worried about it falling into the head under the valve cover. Does the opening around the tube extend down that far as well?
 
  #6  
Old 10-14-2014, 05:14 PM
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You need a Factory Service Manual. Suggest an e-manual from automanualsource.com for $22.

There is no access from spark plug tube to underneath valve cover.

I was unable to find any documented instance of someone removing a Honda engine spark plug tube. It may require a machine shop tool to pull outwards w/ lots of force. Apparently, it is relatively easy in Dodge, Ford, and Toyotas.

good luck
 
  #7  
Old 10-16-2014, 12:28 PM
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Got it fixed. I used a flathead screwdriver and a rubber mallet to chip and dig at the remains of the boots until there was enough to grab with the needlenose pliers and pull out. Once that was done I blew out the rest of it with a ShopVac. Car's back in business and runs great. Thanks for the help!
 
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