DLKAPA
Topic Author
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Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 6:55 am

Just changed the spark plugs on my chevy, damn those things are bitches to get to, especially on the passenger side where the air filter housing makes it almost impossible to get down there.

But she runs great now Big grin
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
gordonsmall
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 6:56 am

Try doing them on a 205 1.9 GTi ...........
Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
 
cfcuq
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 7:05 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Thread starter):
Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

If it was easy, we wouldn't be able to charge you 3.5 hours at $125.00/ hr to change them for you.
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Thread starter):
chevy

You just answered your own question  Wink
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
deltagator
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 7:43 am

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 3):
Quoting DLKAPA (Thread starter):
chevy

You just answered your own question

Damn! You beat me to it. To change the spark plugs on my wife's Buick you have to unbolt the engine mounts, put the car in neutral, and push it forward to rotate the engine. Absolutely ridiculous! While on my Honda Accors they are all right there on the top with easy access. American car engineers had to be at the bottom of their classes in college with some of the designs they come up with.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
desertjets
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 7:44 am

If they were such a bitch to get at you better have put in a decent quality set of platinum tipped plugs and a new wireset so you don't have to bust your knuckles up again for a while.

I am assuming this is a front drive car w/ a V6?
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
srbmod
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 4):
American car engineers had to be at the bottom of their classes in college with some of the designs they come up with.

On my car, the geniuses @ Chrysler put the fuel filter on top of the gas tank. So unless you've got real skinny hands, you'll have to drop the gas tank in order to change it.

Thankfully, it will be a while before I have to change the spark plugs on my car. On the engine used for my car came straight from the factory with platinum tipped spark plugs that they say won't need replacing for 100,000 miles (When I bought the car two years ago, it had just under 12,000 miles, and I haven't even driven it 10,000 miles in two years.). Heck, I may not even have it when it reaches that point.
 
AirCop
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 9:09 am

Do I miss the good old days when the spark plugs were right in plain view and the oil filter could be removed by just reaching in, no need for yoga.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 5):

Shift-on-the-fly 4 wheel drive V8. Actually, the oil filter isn't half bad to get to and replace, and the last set of spark plugs were the plugs that were on the car when we bought it: 10 years and 157,000 miles ago.

[Edited 2006-05-10 02:38:33]
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
cptkrell
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 9:59 am

It's called packaging and structure, folks. With all the bullshit required by all the laws (of lawmakers AND physics), it's sometimes difficult to cram all that crap into a given area and make it service-accessable.

Powertrain design itself falls into the equation; non-ohc V-engine designs pretty much dictate that the plugs will be somewhere "down there" and although OHC designs put the plugs at the top of the cylinder head(s), there is usually a host of other gizmos to contend with on top of the engine, and of course styling - and the public - wants a swoopy low hood profile. Additionally, E/W engines make matters worse as opposed to N/S engines because one bank (if a V) is cramed up near the firewall. If a single bank on a E/W engine (like a 4 or a 6), the plugs will be left or right depending on the the engine design and sometimes transaxle design (whether forward barrel, thru C/L or rear barrel), and that means the plugs may be in front of the vehicle or squeezed up against the firewall.

Crash regs will also take a toll. There will be a minimum hard metal distance from front impact surface to the first major assembly (this could be the transaxle or engine block) and minimum metal-to-meat (the last hard metal to the driver's ball-of-foot). These crush spaces are dictated by vehicle mass, and to package the vehicle in the shortest distance, the rearmost surface(s) of the hard metal is driven closer to the firewall. This, of course makes plugs a bitch when they are close to the firewall as per DeltaGator's E/W (transverse-mounted) Buick powertrain. It's not so bad really, though. Simply unbolt the dogbone and rotate the engine/transaxle on it's E/W axis, and boom! Done!

I hate to admit it, but it was my idea to put the battery under the rear pax seat in the Olds Aurora and Buick Riviera. There was simply nowhere else to put it (save molding a custom-shaped battery for underhood installation). I think on some Chrysler cars, you must access the battery through the front fenderwell, and on our 300C, I believe the battery is in the trunk. Packaging space is a rare commodity because of the bullshit that is required and all the bullshit that people want.

Things could be worse. A big-block COPO Camaro came with a template to cut
out the paxside fenderwell to access the two rearmost plugs. Big-engine Mustangs required loosening the motormounts and transmission mounts to raise the engine for plug accessability. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
sovietjet
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 1:42 pm

Try changing them on my Subaru WRX...the boxer engine isn't any more pleasant than your chevy!
 
bill142
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 1:52 pm

try changing them on a front wheel drive v6. the rear bank is usually pretty hard to get to. Front bank is easy.
 
andz
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 2:14 pm

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 1):
Try doing them on a 205 1.9 GTi



Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 10):
Try changing them on my Subaru WRX



Quoting Bill142 (Reply 11):
try changing them on a front wheel drive v6

None of these have anything on your average superbike, at least in a car you don't need to drop the engine!
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
L-188
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 3:44 pm

Boy my 81 ford P/U was easy...it had the 300 straight 6 and there was lots of room to get in there...ditto for the oil filter.

I am still letting the dealer do the services on my new truck so I haven't tried getting in it yet.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
MrChips
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 4:00 pm

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 9):
Things could be worse. A big-block COPO Camaro came with a template to cut
out the paxside fenderwell to access the two rearmost plugs. Big-engine Mustangs required loosening the motormounts and transmission mounts to raise the engine for plug accessability. Regards...jack

It gets worse than that still - in the W12-powered VAG cars (Phaeton, Audi A8, Bentley Continental), you actually have to drop the engine to change the spark plugs - appearantly, it's a $2500 job - I'm hoping they get everything else while they're at it too.

C'mon VAG, let's return to our roots...please?
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
Molykote
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 4:04 pm

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 9):
I hate to admit it, but it was my idea to put the battery under the rear pax seat in the Olds Aurora and Buick Riviera. There was simply nowhere else to put it (save molding a custom-shaped battery for underhood installation). I think on some Chrysler cars, you must access the battery through the front fenderwell, and on our 300C, I believe the battery is in the trunk. Packaging space is a rare commodity because of the bullshit that is required and all the bullshit that people want.

I actually don't think this was a bad idea at all. I first noticed it on an old Audi 5000 CS turbo quattro my parents had when I was a kid. At that time it was supposedly done for weight distribution. The 7 series BMW my mom has today also has the battery under the rear seat (ditto my dad's 5, my mom's previous 5, and my dad's previous 3). My Miata has the battery in the trunk.

Provided there's a good ground and a positive contact point in the event of a jump I never had a problem with it - particularly if it helps weight distrubution. Although a small portion of overall vehicle weight the battery is a dense and fairly "moveable" object it would seem in the configuration of a car. The handling benefit to c.g. would also be welcome (although on an Aurora or Riviera who cares).

A look at your profile suggests that you will have more to add here than me so I await your thoughts. Other than the minor headache of removing the lower seat bench what is the problem with a battery under the seat? It's not a common replacement item.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
Molykote
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 4:10 pm

Quoting MrChips (Reply 14):
It gets worse than that still - in the W12-powered VAG cars (Phaeton, Audi A8, Bentley Continental), you actually have to drop the engine to change the spark plugs - appearantly, it's a $2500 job - I'm hoping they get everything else while they're at it too.

C'mon VAG, let's return to our roots...please?

I blame Ferdinand Piëch. He diluted the identity of all companies under the VW umbrella and started this multi platform "exotic" car push.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
DLKAPA
Topic Author
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 4:13 pm

Personally I love the battery placement on my truck. It sits basically at the front passenger side corner of the car, right on top, extremely easily accessable. In a half-ton V8, the battery can probably be wherever it wants and it won't affect the cg.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
gordonsmall
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 8:32 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 12):
None of these have anything on your average superbike, at least in a car you don't need to drop the engine!

True! But it's a damn sight easier to drop the engine on my GSXR-1000 than a 205!

I can lift the bike engine without much hassle, I can't lift the car engine at all without a hoist ....  Silly
Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:01 pm

Molykote; My negative thoughts about the battery under the rear seat, although pretty well isolated, were (and not necessarily in order):
1) safety from fumes and corrosion
2) leakage after severe impact or rollover
3) chance of fire/explosion closer to pax
4) temp control, especially heat
5) regular maintenance of cables and holddown ties
6) power loss from long cables (especially CCAamps)
7) more potential damage to longer cables
8) extra parts/cost/weight for remote jumpstart/charge connectors
9) weight gain/cost from heavier guage cables
10) weight gain/cost from heavier bat hold down module

My concerns were overided, and some evidently weren't all that justified as I haven't really heard of any super problems associated with that placement. One of my functions on this particular vehicle line was to identify potential negatives in certain areas, so I had my "bad-guy" hat on. As far as cost goes, every penny was like a dollar and every ounce was like a pound (back then we had to speed govern the Z-28 Camaro convertible because the few pounds of weight for hi-speed tires put the vehicle into the gas guzzler classification. Instead of doing that, we put lower-weight, lower-rated tires on the car and simply governed the top speed with the computer).

As you correctly mention, it isn't an entirely new idea with other vehicles using this bat placement. We used such in our drag cars in the '60s for weight distribution (maybe I subconsciously got the idea from that activity).

As far as changing plugs go, fortunately the manufacturers have bit the dollar bullet and gone to installing long life plugs and a coil per cylinder (or in the case of GM V6s lost-spark design, a coil per two cylinders) for pretty reliable ignition. A word to those when changing plugs; be sure to install a new set of highest-quality plug wires. Broken-down plug wires and their connectors are the cause of perhaps 75% of ignition woes rather than the plugs themselves. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
deltagator
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:09 pm

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 9):
I hate to admit it, but it was my idea to put the battery under the rear pax seat in the Olds Aurora and Buick Riviera.

You sir are a horrible person and should be beaten repeatedly with a wet noodle for such a travesty!

I would prefer it under the rear seat rather than the placement on my wife's Buick. It is right there on the driver's side but it is partly covered by the washer fluid resevoir. On top of that there is a metal "strap" holding the battery down but heaven forbid we actually put the bolt right where it can be reached. It is down below the battery so you have to use an extension to a socket wrench to get to the darn thing. That wouldn't be a big deal if you were changing the battery at home but no...of course the battery has to die when the wife is clear on the other side of Atlanta.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
andz
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:37 pm

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 18):
I can't lift the car engine at all without a hoist

The heaviest thing I lift when I need a plug change is the phone... "hello, is that Johannesburg Yamaha?"  Smile
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
cptkrell
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:45 pm

Andz wrote: "The heaviest thing I lift when I need a plug change is the phone..."

Right you are, except one might add "your wallet"  Smile

I agree, though...I don't even change engine oil myself anymore, except on the tractor where you hardly have to bend down to access the drainplug. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
gordonsmall
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:57 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 21):
The heaviest thing I lift when I need a plug change is the phone... "hello, is that Johannesburg Yamaha?" Smile

Fools and their money .........  Silly
Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
 
IAH777
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Wed May 10, 2006 11:01 pm

Quoting DLKAPA (Thread starter):
Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

I find them very accessible on Aisle 7, next to the oil filters.
 
cfcuq
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 12:51 am

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 22):
Cptkrell

Hello sir! The rear seat battery placement could be found in the original VW Bug.
Today, due to high electrical demands in vehicles, the industry is considering going to a 42 volt electrical system. Current battery technology does not lend itself to a compact 42 volt battery, so, in the meantime, they are considering placing 7 - 6 volt lead-acid batteries throughout the vehicles, connected in series to provide 42 volts. Imagine the placement and wiring nightmares to come ! And, try to find the faulty battery when one fails !
 
DLKAPA
Topic Author
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 1:18 am

Quoting IAH777 (Reply 24):
I find them very accessible on Aisle 7, next to the oil filters.

Really? At wal-mart they're nowhere near the oil filters.

Quoting CFCUQ (Reply 25):
And, try to find the faulty battery when one fails !

You can get a computer that can detect which one is down, no? Simply place ammeters (with a small amount of resistance so as not to cause a short) into their own circuit on each battery. Connect each ammeter to a central computer terminal and voila: when a battery fails, the ammeter reads 0, the computer detects the dead ammeter, sends a signal to the driver that battery X is dead.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
cfcuq
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 1:23 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 26):
You can get a computer that can detect which one is down

Yes, its sorta like doing an AVR test, but times 7. Not to mention the 7 extra connections to test for conductivity, plus the fact that these 7 batteries are going to be scattered all over the vehicle.
 
andz
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 1:55 am

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 23):
Fools and their money .........

Hey I did my time of doing my own servicing 20 years ago!
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
srbmod
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 9):
I think on some Chrysler cars, you must access the battery through the front fenderwell, and on our 300C, I believe the battery is in the trunk.

On my Stratus, the battery is in the left front fender, and you have to turn the wheels all the way to the right to be able to access the battery, via an access panel in the wheel well. To be able to jumpstart it or use it to jumpstart another vehicle, there are two posts in the engine compartment that are connected to the battery.
 
senorcarnival
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RE: Why Can't The Spark Plugs Be Easy To Get To?

Thu May 11, 2006 6:18 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 26):
Really? At wal-mart they're nowhere near the oil filters.

There's your first mistake right there, buddy: going to Wally World.  Silly

On my Saturn, the plugs are easy to get to. The classic ratchet + extension + spark plug socket set-up will do the trick.
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