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How to replace spark plug Express 1500

Eaton's Avatar
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July 3rd, 2009, 2:53 PM   #1  
How to replace spark plug Express 1500


Could someone explain me how to replace the spark plugs on Express 1500?

I can access only 2 plugs on right side front, but can't rest of them

Should I have a special tool?

I have blown gasket, and while testing pressure test for coolling system,
I guess cooling water went to cylinders inside, and wet plugs.

After pressure test, engine wouldn't start, and I found 2 plugs are wet,
and suspect others also wet.

To dry out plugs, I need to take out the plugs...


Last edited by Eaton; July 3rd, 2009 at 2:57 PM.
Koffietje's Avatar
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July 3rd, 2009, 4:52 PM   #2  
Could be that you need to remove your front wheels. (No...I'm not joking). Then you can access most of the plugs through that wheel...thing. (housing? )
What year is your express ?

Dont dry the plugs...replace them. Cooling water usually has additives that dont dissapear by drying. You'll just end up with a lot of filth on your spark plugs.

Last edited by Koffietje; July 3rd, 2009 at 4:55 PM.
Eaton's Avatar
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July 3rd, 2009, 9:33 PM   #3  
Thanks for advice. my is 98 conversion van.
Finally took out 6 plugs (4 right side, and 2 left side rear), and trying to remove 2 more (left side front), but still can't figure out how to access these two.
Once done, will replace all of them.

Thanks again!

Koffietje's Avatar
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July 4th, 2009, 8:09 AM   #4  
Did you already try removing your frontwheels and going through the front wheel welds with your material? I know for certain this is the way to do it with 1997 cars. So i dont think there will be much difference with the 1998 cars, right?
-You need to raise the front part of your car with jackstands.
-Then remove the wheels. It is possible that there is still a rubber cover around the wheel wells, but that can easily be removed as well.
If you removed all the covers (there may also be some plastic covers that are attached to the car with plug ins, but they can be removed with the right tools. Or brute force...)
- Once that is done, you should be able to see the spark caps. Pull it free.
-after you removed the caps, you should be able to reach the spark plugs with a socket and an extension set.

Eaton's Avatar
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July 5th, 2009, 6:36 AM   #5  
I have completed to replace 8 plugs, and engineen runs fine now.
After I removed the engine cover, which was located at left side of front passenger seat, I could access plugs. But it needs very long and flexible arm, like a monky's...

tbb2's Avatar
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Posts: 86
Arlington, VA

February 22nd, 2012, 6:47 PM   #6  
Chevy designers are on crack ...

... why else would they make a simple maintenance operation like changing spark plugs into an ordeal.

Can someone define the entry points for the driver's side front 3 plugs and the passenger side front plug?
I've looked at the wheel wells without removing the wheels ...
Addendum- I had to access the plugs through the cabin engine cover, under the hood and each wheel well.

Can anyone send a pic or URL showing the torque wrench they use?

How about the ratchet and socket too?
Addendum- ... The standard extension(s) with universal at the 5/8" plug socket work.
Is anyone using a special plug boot puller?
Addendum- ... I had one boot tear at the plug clip so now I'm shopping for replacement wires. I did, after the fact, find there is such a thing as a spark plug boot wrench. Wish I had trusted my intuition.

2003 Chevy Express 3500 6.0L V8

I spent more time removing the cabin engine cover than it usually takes me to change the 4 plugs on my Volvo.

I got the 1 far back driver side and 3 back passenger side done in the better part of a day.

I cannot imagine how I am supposed to get my hand in much less put pulling force on the remaining plug boots to remove them ... and then be able to PBBlaster the plugs to loosen them ... and fit a ratchet in there!!!

My hands are so big I couldn't get the passenger side 2nd from front started by hand because my fingers couldn't reach in far enough to hold AND turn the plug. I don't have catcher's mitts!

Inspecting and cleaning the spark plug hole is normal for me ... I just don't own the high tech flexible lighted scope to look into the hole ... much less the robotic attachment to clean anything.

Thank you for listening ...

Last edited by tbb2; February 23rd, 2012 at 10:54 PM.
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