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Old 11-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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Spark Plug Tubes: Question about Transom Plug

Gents,
Going to tackle the spark plug tubes tomorrow and was going to try to stop by Wal-Mart in the morning to see if they had one of those "transom plugs" that seem to be the tool of choice for this job.

I honestly had never heard of that thing before reading up on this DIY, so I want to make sure I get the right thing before diving in. Is this an everyday thing that every Wal-Mart will carry? Are there different sizes that I need to look out for?

Would needle nose pliers do the same job for removal?

Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Walmart may carry them, if not, you may have to find a marine supply. I have used one, and it worked great. I can't tell you the specific size, as I'm not at home.
As far as needlenose, I've done it that way too. The plastic is somewhat brittle, and tends to chip. No problem if you're replacing them, but it is possible for the chips to fall inside, not good.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Can't say for sure whether WalMart carries transom plugs or not. I bought mine online from a marine supply store. It is 1" in diameter.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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My weapon of choice is an old convertible top pushrod with a 1" washer and double nuts. The slot in the end is perfect for fitting a screw driver or small prybar for the ill-tempered tube seals.

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Old 11-03-2012, 04:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by stephe57 View Post
My weapon of choice is an old convertible top pushrod with a 1" washer and double nuts. The slot in the end is perfect for fitting a screw driver or small prybar for the ill-tempered tube seals.

Good idea! Looks like some battle scars there too! You can always tell which tools get used.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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If you use the transom plug, cut off the rubber shoulder and thoroughly clean the plug and the tube with brake cleaner to improve the grip.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #7
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I used the 1" rubber arbor from my drum sander set. Worked great.

+1 on the brake cleaner
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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Maybe I'm not understanding how this plug works...

If it fits going in, how does it "grip" coming out?? Wouldn't it need to "expand" or something to create the grip?
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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it's a 1" diameter rubber puck with a flat washer on each side. a bolt runs through the puck and joins the two washers. as you tighten the bolt the washers come together and compress the puck. the compressed puck squeezes outwards and seals the plug in the tube.

i found that, as i tightened the plug, it would expand inside the tube until i heard a 'pop'; that was the o-rings that hold the tube in place letting go. once they released it all pulled out without effort.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
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I just finished mine an hour ago!
Three tips I would suggest after just finishing...
1) To make it easier to get to the forward coil pack, that's deep into the car, remove the o2 sensor wire hanger. That will allow much easier access to the hard to reach coil and its only one simple bolt to remove.
2) My 1" T-plug I bought (from Farm and Fleet by the trolling motor/fishing section) was not grabbing that well... So I cut up a heavy dish washing rubber glove and wrapped a strip of it around the plug so it was a bit tighter to begin with. I wasn't getting enough grab out of it.
3) When pulling the T-plug out I found (by accident) pulling on a slight angle it had better bite/grip. I was cautious though as to not break the tube.

I greased the new tubes and they went in without a problem

I had 3 of them that were leaking pretty bad... I had lots of oil dripping on the cat and burning... And all over the bottom of the engine. Had I known how easy it was I would have done this long ago
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stateofidleness View Post
Maybe I'm not understanding how this plug works...

If it fits going in, how does it "grip" coming out?? Wouldn't it need to "expand" or something to create the grip?
There's actually about a 10mm edge on the inside of the spark plug tube. The tool will just barely grab that and when you keep steady pressure on the tool it pulls it out
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
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A marine supply store will carry them. It made the job of removing and reinserting the tubes soooo much easier.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Finished the job today. Easy Peasy.

If you've ever changed brake lines on a 914, you'll know the "tool", but it's one I made by bending over the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. Tool did the treat for this job as well. They "popped" right out with no trouble at all. Some automotive grease on the new ones and some "heavy" leaning on them with a broom handle, they slipped right in with ease.

Degreased and cleaned the engine really well, buttoned it all back up and ran it for about 10 minutes, then took it for a spirited run. Came back clean as a whistle.

Calling this one a success!
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