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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I been thinking about getting an air ratchet to take out the plugs in my van but don't know what size head to get,3/8 or 1/2". I know the 3/8 head is smaller but is it that much smaller than a 1/2". Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just talked to the service manager at my Ford dealership and he warned me not to use an air ratchet to remove plugs, to do it by hand, so I'm going to pass on the air ratchet.
 

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What was his reasoning, galling the threads if the plug is seized/corroded? That would be my take on it. I used to be a pro motorcycle mechanic and have always removed plugs and glow plugs in diesels by hand for that reason. If they don't come out easy then it's time to figure a way of of breaking the grip first. Air tools could be unforgiving....

I just talked to the service manager at my Ford dealership and he warned me not to use an air ratchet to remove plugs, to do it by hand, so I'm going to pass on the air ratchet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What was his reasoning, galling the threads if the plug is seized/corroded? That would be my take on it. I used to be a pro motorcycle mechanic and have always removed plugs and glow plugs in diesels by hand for that reason. If they don't come out easy then it's time to figure a way of of breaking the grip first. Air tools could be unforgiving....
That's exactly right dellwas, he said his mechanics all remove plugs by hand. I'm going to jack up the truck and take the front tires off like I did on another vehicle I owned to see if I can get at the plugs from the fender wells. Just to change the distributor cap and rotor was hard because of the impossible place it sets under the airfilter box and 3 or 4" air duct hoses to the fuel injection body. I had to remove them to get at the distributor and it was still a bear to change the wires in the cap.

The one distributor snap close to the manifold was in a bad place, I couldn't get it to snap on the cap, so I ran a piece of mig wire around the back of it and pulled the mig wire and it snapped on. It's gonna be tight but I'll get it.
 

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Ya, sometimes you have to wonder at the engineers. I remember a Datsun 220, or 240z, can't remember which, but you had to pull the hood to change headlghts. Come to think of it things haven't changed much. We have a '06 Mercedes Smart and the whole front cowling has to come off to change the headlight/running lights.

Nice looking ratchet!

That's exactly right dellwas, he said his mechanics all remove plugs by hand. I'm going to jack up the truck and take the front tires off like I did on another vehicle I owned to see if I can get at the plugs from the fender wells. Just to change the distributor cap and rotor was hard because of the impossible place it sets under the airfilter box and 3 or 4" air duct hoses to the fuel injection body. I had to remove them to get at the distributor and it was still a bear to change the wires in the cap.

The one distributor snap close to the manifold was in a bad place, I couldn't get it to snap on the cap, so I ran a piece of mig wire around the back of it and pulled the mig wire and it snapped on. It's gonna be tight but I'll get it.
This was the ratchet I wanted to buy but from amazon.

http://www.tooltopia.com/chicago-pneumatic-7830q.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ya, sometimes you have to wonder at the engineers. I remember a Datsun 220, or 240z, can't remember which, but you had to pull the hood to change headlghts. Come to think of it things haven't changed much. We have a '06 Mercedes Smart and the whole front cowling has to come off to change the headlight/running lights.

Nice looking ratchet!
I suppose if your a professional mechanic it's not so bad working on vehicles but when you're a fumbler like me it gets real frustrating. I just hate to give in to defeat without putting up an honest fight first.. If I count what I've broke, lost and left over parts when I'm done I probably would be money ahead to take the vehicle to a shop.

I would have loved to buy the ratchet but if it's not gonna work for plugs I don't really have need for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Treat yourself and buy the air ratchet-but don't use it for spark plugs!
If I didn't have a 3/8 & 1/2 CPs and a 3/4 ingersoll impact and a 14 volt Makita impact I wouldn't hesitate, but if it's not going to help with plugs I really don't need it. I'm sure I'll find something else I need. :laugh:
 

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Oh believe me, even the pros can have a rough go of it, and I'm sure the practicing pro wrenchs on here will vouch for that! Hey, at least you can work on your own stuff!

I suppose if your a professional mechanic it's not so bad working on vehicles but when you're a fumbler like me it gets real frustrating. I just hate to give in to defeat without putting up an honest fight first.. If I count what I've broke, lost and left over parts when I'm done I probably would be money ahead to take the vehicle to a shop.

I would have loved to buy the ratchet but if it's not gonna work for plugs I don't really have need for it.
 

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Air ratchets are awesome in tight places. A 3/8" will give your fingers a good smashing if you're not braced for the torque. I have used a 1/2", but do not own one. Nor do I plan to buy one. A good 3/8" would be a fine purchase and is a very useful tool. I am considering a cordless 3/8" or 1/4" drive. Removing spark plugs with power tools would not be recommended.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh believe me, even the pros can have a rough go of it, and I'm sure the practicing pro wrenchs on here will vouch for that! Hey, at least you can work on your own stuff!
I go slow and if I get frustrated I put the tools down and walk away for a day or so, things seems to work out better for me that way. Frustration is my worst enemy.

If I force myself I always do more damage than good. I work from the premise that you can always go back and retighten a fastener. It's an awful feeling when you feel a fastener getting easier at the very end.... especially so when working on alloy parts.:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Air ratchets are awesome in tight places. A 3/8" will give your fingers a good smashing if you're not braced for the torque. I have used a 1/2", but do not own one. Nor do I plan to buy one. A good 3/8" would be a fine purchase and is a very useful tool. I am considering a cordless 3/8" or 1/4" drive. Removing spark plugs with power tools would not be recommended.

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KJ that ratchet has adjustable power setting and can be tickled. Nice one ..
 

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KJ that ratchet has adjustable power setting and can be tickled. Nice one ..

I did not look at the link, yet. Still on the road. I have heard of an Ingersoll that has some kind of counter-torque technology, but have yet to see one.

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Sunbeam alpine tiger

Ya, sometimes you have to wonder at the engineers. I remember a Datsun 220, or 240z, can't remember which, but you had to pull the hood to change headlghts. Come to think of it things haven't changed much. We have a '06 Mercedes Smart and the whole front cowling has to come off to change the headlight/running lights.
Am I the only one old enough to remember the holes in the transmission hump inside the car so the back two plugs of the V 8 could be serviced

Vehicle Car Engine Auto part Classic car

View attachment 14061
 

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Isn't it Ford that has spark plug busting off issues anyway? I think I have seen tuneup advertising footnotes saying broken spark plug removal extra cost on Fords.
 

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Yep the 5.4s were REALLY bad for that. So bad there are special tools made just for getting the broken plug out and a special procedure put out by Ford on how to remove them. I think you are supposed to do it with the engine hot. We see a about one a month come in for plugs that end up getting snapped off. Of those about 1 in 20 need the head pulled to get them out.

I'm a mechanic by trade, I have a 3/8s air ratchet but no 1/2". I only use the air ratchet when space is limited and the 3/8s or 1/2 gun doesn't fit. In this case having the smallest 3/8s air ratchet possible is best. For spark plugs usually once you break loose the plug it can be spun in and out by hand. Unless you are cursed to work on a Ford.
 

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I agree with others who say not to use an air ratchet for spark plug removal. I would say that If I were you, I'd spring for the air ratchet anyway. Once you have and use an air ratchet to tear something down or put something back together, you'll wonder why you went so long without having one. I own a few 3/8" and 1/4" air ratchets and I'd hate to be without them. I've yet to convince my father to use an air ratchet and I cringe every time I watch him wasting so much time tearing a tractor apart using nothing but ratchets, sockets, and combination wrenches.
 

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Ya can buy one at Harbor freight for less than 20 bucks! Try it, and if you like it, buy a good one! For spark plugs (?), I'm not a fan............
 
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