The Back 3 Plugs [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : The Back 3 Plugs

02-27-2004, 08:54 AM
So last time I tried to do my plugs was about a year ago and I could not get to the back 3 plugs. This time I am more prepared.
I have a Spark plug boot puller, a swivel for my socket and a little more info. as to how to reach them. I've been told that I can remove my Strut Tower Brace and then pull the ICM's. Is it hard to remove the Ignition COntrol Module's? Or is it a few bolts and then they lift up and out of the way. Has anyone changed their plugs by doing it this way and if so was it pain in the a**?

02-27-2004, 09:35 AM
I changed mine by removing only the strut bar...pita..but not horrible

02-27-2004, 09:48 AM
again, learned this trick from a mechanic (well my brother did.. but I was standing next to him when the mechanic told him how to do it, his lil trick). Just remove the bolts to the front 2 engine mounts (the ones you can visually see in the engine compartment that connect to the engine in plain site, just remove those 2 bolts. Get in your car and turn it on, place the car in Reverse. This causes the engine to tilt forward a tad bit clearing enough room so you can easily access the rear plugs. After replacing the plugs.. get back in the car (turn on the engine) and place the car in Drive, this causes the engine to push back into its original position... then with a little man power... align the bolts in the holes and torque them down... job done. (PS... this worked on a Grand Prix SE.... and it looks basically the same.. as the grand am.. atleast inside the engine compartment.. so I don't see why it wouldn't work with a grand am):boogie:

02-27-2004, 09:57 AM
wow! lemme know how you make out with that...

02-27-2004, 10:15 AM
That wont work on the 3400, they do not have the dual dog bone style mounts that they use on the 3100. The only front engine mount on the 3400 is on the bottom, and I'm surely not going to let that go to do a couple plugs.

Your on the right track with the plug boot puller, swivel socket and removing the STB. Removing the coils will make things easier, but its not imperative.

02-27-2004, 11:21 AM
Ok, sounds good. It should be easier than last time, but I am expecting some hassles....

02-27-2004, 11:27 AM
I've taken my back 3 plugs out 3 times now and it was a piece of cake. I don't see what the problem is here? Just take off your strut tower brace and you'll have access. You just need to be able to feel around. When putting the spark plug back in use the spark plug tool with an extension on it and leave the ratchet off. CAREFULLY screw the plug back into the cylinder head.

02-27-2004, 08:55 PM
I had no trouble changing mine either. I've since put on the strut tower brace, so I'm sure I'll have to remove it next time. Maybe a sore back/neck from hovering under the hood, but thats all. I simply used a 3/8 ratchet, short extension, and a spark-plug socket, and removed nothing. I had no use for a swivel. You just have to "see with your hands and fingers" back there. Two plugs are facing this way / / and one is this way \. As mentioned before, when re-installing the plugs be sure to thread them in by hand or with the socket/extension GENTLY and make sure they aren't cross-threaded before you tighten them down with the ratchet. I'd say the hardest thing to do is getting the spark plug boots off of the plugs since you're bent at a weird angle with not much room to move back there.

02-27-2004, 10:15 PM
Ya the back ones are pain to remove. You have to reach in pretty hard. 3400 engine is too big for our bay.

03-02-2004, 01:02 PM
I found that by removing the ICM all the way to the left makes getting the #1 cylinder plug out easier. The ICM is labeled 2 and 5. It was a little tough, but once the ICM and STB was removed, I could get my hand behind the engine and down far enough to feel the tips of the plugs after removing the wire boot. I almost crossed #3 and #5 which would have resulted in 1-5-3 for the rear three plugs. I caught it however and now the car runs smooth as hell. I went back to the stock plug, and it got rid of the lumpiness. The Bosch Platinum -2's were all ashed up and scorched after only 20,000 miles. The car runs much better with the AC Delco Platinum plug in it.
Thanks for all of your input guys....;)