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Changed my spark plugs and wires today

This is a discussion on Changed my spark plugs and wires today within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I did the job in 4 hours. Thanks to install university for their write up on this. 2001 SS Camaro ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member 2001SSCamaro#2516's Avatar
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    Changed my spark plugs and wires today

    I did the job in 4 hours. Thanks to install university for their write up on this.
    2001 SS Camaro
    I installed NGK TR55 plugs and MSD Super Conductor wires. It went like this.
    Driver side plugs and wires were easy and took about 45 minutes. I didn't remove any other parts or loosen anything.
    Passenger side, I removed my Hochkis STB strut bar and the ACS (?) hose that connects to the exhaust manifold. I removed all but the last bolt on the coil bracket. I loosened the hard to get to (by the dreaded spark plug #8) coil bracket bolt enough to allow me to move the bracket up and out of the way. I held it up over the intake with a bungie cord. Plugs 2,4,6 and the wires were accessible (but not easily). The hardest part was removing the wire from the #8 plug. After tugging for about 30 minutes, I managed to pull the wire right out of the boot on the spark plug. Another 45 minutes I was able to get the boot off of the last plug. Went to take the plug off and noticed that the spark plug lead (metal connector) was still attached to the plug. Another 15 minutes to get that off. After all of that, the spark plug was not that hard to get off using a swivel extension (1"). I connected the socket and the swivel onto the ratchet, reached back there with the only arm that would fit, and placed it on the spark plug. Then I pushed it on the plug as best that I could, and it loosened up pretty easy.
    Assembly was not too bad. I used a box wrench on the 10mm bolt that I loosened (above plug #8 on the coil bracked) and tightened it back up and reinstalled the rest of the bolts with a 10mm deep socket.
    FYI, my 2001 SS Camaro has 16,000 miles on it and the stock plugs looked terrible. The little anode (?), the part that the spark comes off of, was actually so little, it was like the head af an ink pen. And this after only 15,000 miles. I highly recommend anyone who has not had a plug change to do it now. Stock plugs are crap. I notice the SS idles a lot smoother and does not backfire as much ( a symptom of Loudmouth Exhaust).

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I would've just taken that back bolt on the coil bracket off and left it off for when you have to do them again at some point. Sounds like everything went ok for you. Not as bad as people make it out to be although I've definitely changed them on cars that were easier.
    This is personal opinion only but I think the stock plugs are a good plug. I've never really had any issues with ac delco plugs. What did your plugs look like in general? Color wise. That is awfully low mileage to have a plug issue but then again the car is 7 years old regardless of the mileage those plugs are old.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I never had to remove my coil bracket for the #8 plug. That plug is easiest to do from underneath,,,,,I do all my plugs in 45 minutes.

    I agree with Orion,,,,the AC Delcos work fine,,,,,although we have found on the dyno a couple weeks ago that the NGK's that so many people like on this board aren't my first choice now.

    The biggest hangup with the AC Delco plugs on these newer cars is they no longer list a heat range, so crossing over is difficult. Although we know for emissions reasons the factory installs a pretty hot plug anyway. Most likely equivilent to the old style heat range numbers of 45 or 46. When switching to the NGK's that the book called for (same heat range as stock) we found the cylinder temps shot up considerably. Went to one step colder NGK (a #6) and still found the cylinder temps higher than they were with the factory AC Delcos,,,,so the NGK's were scrapped and a set of Autolight 104's went in,,,,,,this is a factory heat range platinum plug,,,,just like the AC's and the NGK's,,,,suddenly the cylinder temps dropped to near or slightly below the AC Delcos,,,,for giggles we installed 1 heat range colder,,,(autolight 103's platinum) and saw another drop in temps,,,,so this is the plug I am now running in mine. Since we couldn't seem to find a cooler heat range in the AC's,(damn new style part numbers),,and going to a colder heat range in the NGK's did nothing.

    To sum it up,,,, After playing on the dyno we found the AC Delco's to do just what they were supposed to do but those NGK's simply ran too hot,,,even installing a colder range NGK we didn't like what we saw. They seem to want to burn like an emissions plug no matter the heat range installed. Not that NGK's are bad,,,,they work fine for daily cars and mild motors I guess, and good for passing emissions, but they will probably make tuning more sensative with the heat they generate.
    No more NGK's for me.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 01-20-2008 at 07:11 AM.

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    Junior Member 2001SSCamaro#2516's Avatar
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    The only problem I saw with the stock plugs was that they looked pretty shabbly. Like I said, the anode was worn down the the size of an ink pen head. She still ran good though but ideling seems better now than it did before the plug and wire change. The temperature tests you did are pretty interesting. I might consider the autolites in 100,000 miles....Weren't autolites the stock plugs for Ford back in the day?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2001SSCamaro#2516 View Post
    The only problem I saw with the stock plugs was that they looked pretty shabbly. Like I said, the anode was worn down the the size of an ink pen head. She still ran good though but ideling seems better now than it did before the plug and wire change. The temperature tests you did are pretty interesting. I might consider the autolites in 100,000 miles....Weren't autolites the stock plugs for Ford back in the day?
    Yes, autolite is considered a Ford plug per say years ago as you said,,,,but in reality they make a good plug for just about any application now,,,,and I believe they are the plug of choice for most Nascar guys, not that that means anything though.

    NGK's aren't bad,,,,but they are made in Japan if anyone cares,,(I do),,,,autolites are made in the US, and A/C is some of the time,,,,sometimes you get A/C's and they are coming from Mexico, and other times they are made in US,,,,maybe the Mexican made plugs just haven't reached full circulation . But another tid bit that bothers me with NGK plugs is the screw on terminal end. Reminds me of a tractor plug,,,, Although I crank them tight when the plugs are installed,,,,that damn terminal end always winds up loose after running them for a while,,,,I never liked that.

    Autolites and A/C's don't have that silly screw on terminal. It wasn't until I found the difference in cylinder temperatures that we said thats enough of those plugs.

    For what it's worth,,,,I run A/C plugs in all my old school stuff,,,since those actually have a heat range in the part number that you can work with,,,,and they have worked great for me for years.
    Only reason I didn't run the A/C plugs in the LS1 is because the part numbers no longer list a heat range,,,so you can't tell where you are for a starting point,,,although I know it's a hot plug,,,just don't know how hot really, and the books no longer break them down in heat ranges either,,,which is where the DTS dyno came in handy from a comparison standpoint,,,kinda.

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    I have a need for speed! jigger1166's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2001SSCamaro#2516 View Post
    The only problem I saw with the stock plugs was that they looked pretty shabbly. Like I said, the anode was worn down the the size of an ink pen head. She still ran good though but ideling seems better now than it did before the plug and wire change. The temperature tests you did are pretty interesting. I might consider the autolites in 100,000 miles....Weren't autolites the stock plugs for Ford back in the day?
    New AC DELCO plugs are that way. The tips are very small. Have you compaired the plugs you pulled out, to a new AC plug?
    At 16,000 miles, I doubt they are worn. They are good for 100,000 miles under normal driving conditions, or 70,000 the way I drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger1166 View Post
    New AC DELCO plugs are that way. The tips are very small. Have you compaired the plugs you pulled out, to a new AC plug?
    At 16,000 miles, I doubt they are worn. They are good for 100,000 miles under normal driving conditions, or 70,000 the way I drive.
    I was about to make the same statement about the plugs, they do have the small pen type tips,but they are made that way, so the plugs he took out was still good. He can send them to me, i'll be glade to get them ,I'll get the other 84,000 miles left on the plugs.

  8. #8
    Member 180ls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I never had to remove my coil bracket for the #8 plug. That plug is easiest to do from underneath,,,,,I do all my plugs in 45 minutes.

    I agree with Orion,,,,the AC Delcos work fine,,,,,although we have found on the dyno a couple weeks ago that the NGK's that so many people like on this board aren't my first choice now.

    The biggest hangup with the AC Delco plugs on these newer cars is they no longer list a heat range, so crossing over is difficult. Although we know for emissions reasons the factory installs a pretty hot plug anyway. Most likely equivilent to the old style heat range numbers of 45 or 46. When switching to the NGK's that the book called for (same heat range as stock) we found the cylinder temps shot up considerably. Went to one step colder NGK (a #6) and still found the cylinder temps higher than they were with the factory AC Delcos,,,,so the NGK's were scrapped and a set of Autolight 104's went in,,,,,,this is a factory heat range platinum plug,,,,just like the AC's and the NGK's,,,,suddenly the cylinder temps dropped to near or slightly below the AC Delcos,,,,for giggles we installed 1 heat range colder,,,(autolight 103's platinum) and saw another drop in temps,,,,so this is the plug I am now running in mine. Since we couldn't seem to find a cooler heat range in the AC's,(damn new style part numbers),,and going to a colder heat range in the NGK's did nothing.

    To sum it up,,,, After playing on the dyno we found the AC Delco's to do just what they were supposed to do but those NGK's simply ran too hot,,,even installing a colder range NGK we didn't like what we saw. They seem to want to burn like an emissions plug no matter the heat range installed. Not that NGK's are bad,,,,they work fine for daily cars and mild motors I guess, and good for passing emissions, but they will probably make tuning more sensative with the heat they generate.
    No more NGK's for me.
    what would you reccomend for an almost stock ls1? no major power adders in the future either. I take it the 102's or 104's?

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