Getting to front plugs

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fallingoffalot

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My van is not really starting as well as it used to, one of the thing I haven't checked is the plugs. I went to do it the other day and can't figure out how to get to the front ones that are behind the carbs. Dropping the engine seems like an overkill. So, you twin carb owners, what's the easiest way?
 

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It’s not as bad as people make out unless you’ve got Weber ICT carbs. You need a 3/8” ratchet, medium extension with a wobble end and a decent plug socket.
 

fallingoffalot

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For twin carb owners there is no easy way, unless you have an engine hatch it's a struggle with various knuckle joints and short extensions.
Thanks, I suspected as much. I then came across mike202's posting on exactly this (which I even replied to at the time!) His carbs look a bit smaller than mine - well there's a lot more room above them. Is taking the carbs off an option? Looks like there are a couple of bolts at the base?
 

purpledog07

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You dont say what engine or carbs are fitted.
If the plugs have been in a while change them for new as a matter of course.
I have a type 1 engine with 34ict's on short manifolds (4 to 5" high)
A 3/8" ratchet, wobble extension and a spark plug socket with UJ swivel built in does the trick.
If you really can't get to them then unbolting and raising your carbs a bit may give you the clearance you need, just be careful not to bend your throttle linkage or damage your fuel hoses/pipes.
Carb gaskets are fairly forgiving but if you have to remove the manifolds from the engine then get new gaskets ready to fit. They are cheap and readily available, GSF usually have them on the shelf or next day at worst.
 

mike202

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I have Weber 34 ICT carbs with CB performance manifolds. These manifolds are taller than some cheaper makes so perhaps make it easier to access the front spark plugs. The main problem I had was that the plug socket that I used at first was too wide for the tin around the plug opening. I could tighten the plug up but had difficulty then withdrawing the socket as it is only attached to the extension bar with a push fit joint. (ball bearing and spring) I found an old T bar plug socket and this worked great as it is all one piece, and maybe slightly slimmer than the socket I had. Number 1 plug was the worst to access!

One thing to be careful of is not to cross the threads when screwing the plug back into the cylinder heads.
 

purpledog07

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Try this trick: Push a piece of fuel or breather hose over the top of the spark plug to extend it and use that to locate and screw it in by hand, then just pull the hose off and tighten with socketry.
 

ozziedog

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Try this trick: Push a piece of fuel or breather hose over the top of the spark plug to extend it and use that to locate and screw it in by hand, then just pull the hose off and tighten with socketry.

Or buy a new plug socket with the rubber insert, and try that with a three inch or four inch extension, half inch drive is better for this as you can get a decent grip on the socket extension. If you’ve got an old head kicking about, use it to practice running the plug in after you’ve cleaned it up thoroughly and don’t forget the assembly paste.:p

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,, or newspaper!!! :cool::cool::cool:
 

ozziedog

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Just an idea that I might try for the next time . Before you take your plugs out, take a picture or two with your plug socket and extension on at various angles so that you’ve an idea as to where your trying to be in respect to the rest of the motor:eek:

Ozziedog,,,,,,,mmmmmm, might help :)
 

fallingoffalot

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Thanks for all the tips, job now done 😊
It was a bit of a bitch. The worst one was the right front, I couldn't get the cap off and ended up pulling the lead off it. I found that I could reach over the top of the carb, with my left arm for the right side and vice versa, and get a decent grip on the plug. Once out, getting them in was easy and the T handled thing was very useful.
The plugs themselves all looked like this:
20220430_133013.jpg

It started on the first few cranks and seem to run better than it has for a while. A job I'm no longer scared of 👌
 

67panel

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So its either running rich, plugs are to cold a grade or its getting oil past rings/valve stems . You need to take one out after a good run without letting it idle to see what colour they are , should be light grey.
 

fallingoffalot

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What I ended up doing was this 20220430_135037.jpg
Which was fine for the fronts, I did the back with a straight 5" bar.
Try this trick: Push a piece of fuel or breather hose over the top of the spark plug to extend it and use that to locate and screw it in by hand, then just pull the hose off and tighten with socketry.
 

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So its either running rich, plugs are to cold a grade or its getting oil past rings/valve stems . You need to take one out after a good run without letting it idle to see what colour they are , should be light grey.
Plug heat range is something that is so frequently over looked.
 
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