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Old 04-28-2006, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4th Generation spark plug wire boot came off

I was removing my spark plug wires to check the condition of my spark plugs. The first one came out fine, but the second one, the boot end of the spark plug wire got disconnected and is now sitting on top of a spark plug inside the cylinder head. I really don't want to bring it to pay a mechanic to have them take it out so what can I do to get it out? I've tried very long nose pliers and a long flat head screwdriver. Both don't seem to do anything since the boot is pretty snug on the spark plug. The spark plug still fires when I reattach the wire but I need to get out the boot asap and will have to order a new set of wires. Please give me any advice as to what I should do. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Maybe my wires are too old and needed replacement, since it had about 30k on them. Leave it alone and let the mechanic take care of it? Here is a pic attached:


EDIT: Searched and was surprised to find this thread:
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t35834.html

Might try the clothes hanger option or a long and strong pick. Any other options? Thanks.

Last edited by 97&02camryleI4; 04-28-2006 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Um in to sure but i think that you will have to remove the valve cover and then remove the spark plug tube inside the headcover to be able to remove that plastic. It shouln't be that hard. Just get your self a haynes manual at your local auto parts store if you don't have one. Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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nah dude you don't have to take off the valve cover, what you will need is a wire coat hanger , make is straight with a hook at the end is pull the boot right off, shouldn't take you more then 1 min to do it
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Okay I will try the coat hanger as soon as my new set of spark plug wires arrive. Is www.ngk.com the cheapest for the wires? I'm just looking for OEM replacements. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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try to get a metal shishkabob skewer thats what i used one time it worked like a charm use some pliers to make a lil hook on the end and go do some fishing! oh yeah dont forget to grab a beer or 4

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Old 04-29-2006, 06:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Try a little contact cement. Put it together wet, let it dry, and voila.
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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the super glue trick works wonders. that happened to my buddy's 5s-fte and we used a long narrow flathead screwdriver to fish that sucker out of there. after that is was as good as new. we changed the plugs and we were off to the track to see what he would run on some balding tires.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Patience and the coat hanger worked for me. Make the 90 degree hook part just a little large and when you get it past the rubber you twist it and it wedges against the rubber. Next time use a little of that spark plug cap lubricant that comes with the wires. If your existing wires are OK except for the cap you can just reuse what you have. Shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 04-29-2006, 11:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks all for the replies. Now I'm actually excited to go get that sucker out but not until I get my new wires, since they needed replacing anyway. Do you guys know if that boot end is snugged up on top of the spark plug really well or it requires very little force to pull it up? I just hope things go smoothly and not run into any other problems. Thanks again.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can also just take the plug out with that part of the wire still attached with a deep well 5/8 socket. Don't use a regular 5/8 spark plug socket as the rubber insert in the spark plug socket will interfere with the part left on the plug. Shouldn't be a problem removing the piece once the plug is removed.

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Old 04-29-2006, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well I got it out finally. It's actually quite interesting what I ended up using to fish it out. Initially, I followed all your advice to use a coat hanger, shish kabob, flat head screwdriver, and anything else I could have thought of. Well, all of that did not work at all for me. I believe the reason is because my spark plug tubes are not fully turned all the way down? When I tried to lift up the side of the boot end, it would come up very little and then fall back down because there was an opening, or gap, inside the tube right above the boot end. Seems like this gap is there because the spark plug tubes are not fully inserted all the way, which may explain why I have burned oil residue from the lower ceramic portion all the way to the threads of my spark plugs. The spark plug tubes should not have any type of gap inside right?

So I went to buy some krazy super glue and applied it liberally to the end of a 1/2" drive extension (socket side) and let it sit on top of the boot end for about 5 minutes. I did try to put the glue on a flat head but there just wasn't enough surface area for the glue to make contact with the boot. Then I slowly lifted it up and it came right out. I spent about 1 hour trying to fish it out (in my case it didn't work) when the super glue trick did the job.

But now I know I have to remove the valve cover in order to reseal the spark plug tube threads and tighten them down to specs. I guess I'll be doing this at the same time I replace the end cap and valve cover gasket. Thanks everyone for the advice/suggestions.

Mike, I understand what you are trying to say but if after I remove the spark plug with the deep well 5/8 socket, what do I use to bring up the spark plug and the boot end? I never thought of using a deep well though, so that's an excellent idea. Just how to lift them out of the cylinder is another question. Thanks for the suggestion.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my CEL came on the day after I found out the spark plug wire's boot came off. My dad said the car felt like it was struggling with no power so I'm guessing the No. 2 cylinder wasn't firing, which caused the car to detect a cylinder misfire or something along those lines? Also, I smelled what most likely is fuel while driving around the block to see what my dad was talking about. Is this because air/fuel is being dumped in the cylinder but it's not combusted because there's no spark? Did I cause any damage to the engine by driving around for about 10 minutes with the No. 2 cylinder not firing along with buildup of air/fuel in combustion chamber? Sure hope I didn't flood the cylinder. I don't have a scanner tool to find out exactly what the code is but could this all be related and had caused the CEL? I'm still waiting for my wires to come from the mail but I heard that I should scan for the code and then clear it before putting the new wires in? On my Integra, there was a way to get the code without the scanner, by jumping some diagnostic terminals and then turn the ignition to 'ON' and the CEL would flash a certain number of times to indicate a specific code. Can someone help in regards to this matter? Sorry for so many questions and such a long post. Just wanted to get all the details in. Thanks so much you guys are very helpful.

Last edited by 97&02camryleI4; 04-29-2006 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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congratz.

mine caused the same for my gen 3

i used a shaved chopstick + screwdriver. took ages to get it out

used the coat hangger and it was a charm
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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"Mike, I understand what you are trying to say but if after I remove the spark plug with the deep well 5/8 socket, what do I use to bring up the spark plug and the boot end? I never thought of using a deep well though, so that's an excellent idea. Just how to lift them out of the cylinder is another question. Thanks for the suggestion."

You could have used a magnet if it didn't come out with the deep socket. As long as you got it out with the super glue you can use your spark plug socket, so it's a mute point right now.

As far as damage to your car from driving it that way, it didn't do the cat converter any good as that's where the unburned gas ends up via the exhaust valve and the exhaust system, but 10 minutes shouldn't be too detrimental, unless the cat was on it's last legs to start with.

Yes the code is probably because of the missfire. Your generation 4 Camry is OBD2. After a certain number of missfires the computer will set a code for a missfire in that cylinder. You didn't say which plug wire this was, but from your picture it looks like cylinder number 3 (second from the driver's side fender on a 5SFE). If that's the case, the code will probably be 303. If I'm not reading the picture right and it's another plug wire/cylinder, the code will be 30_. You can have the code read and cleared for free at Autozone or some other auto parts stores in your area may offer the same free service. I would do that after you have installed the new wires. Eventually the light will go out on the dash aby itself after a certain number of starts and drive cycles, but will be stored in the computer until cleared by the scanner. I'm sure that will create a problem when your car has to pass California emissions.

You may want to put a bit of dielectric grease on the part of the new plug wires that go on to the go on the spark plugs. This will prevent the new wires from sticking on the plugs and having this problem happen again. You can get dielectric grease at any auto parts store for a couple of dollars.

Good luck.

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Old 04-30-2006, 06:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I got codes P0300, P0302, and P0300 (pd). So the no. 2 cylinder is misfiring. I have new plugs and wires on the way for install. I will also be removing the spark plug tubes to reseal the threads and making sure they're torqued properly. What can I use as an adhesive to reseal them? I will pick up some dielectric grease at Kragens so I pretty much will have everything.

Because I had a misfire, is there any special way I need to start the car if maybe a cylinder was flooded? Should I clear the codes before or after I start the car with the new wires/plugs? Thanks.

EDIT: Thanks to everyone especially Mike for helping me through all this.

Last edited by 97&02camryleI4; 04-30-2006 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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"Because I had a misfire, is there any special way I need to start the car if maybe a cylinder was flooded? Should I clear the codes before or after I start the car with the new wires/plugs? Thanks."

No, you can just start up the car after the plugs and wires have been replaced, the way you normally would. You should have the codes cleared after replacing the plugs and wires. The light on the dash will probably go out after a while, but the codes will still be in the computer's memory until they are cleared by the proper tool.

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