Introduction: Making an Inexpensive Broken Spark Plug Boot Removal Tool
This instructable is to show you how to make your own inexpensive tool to extract that broken boot off of the spark plug so you can continue with your tuneup.
For you DIYers that work on your own vehicle, there's nothing like replacing your spark plugs only to find out that the boot on the end of the wire has stuck to the spark plug and has detached itself from the wire/coil pack way down inside the spark plug tube. There is a commercial tool that costs around $30 but who carries that tool locally?
Using a 6' garden stake with a steel inner core purchased for about $3 at your local hardware store (Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot), cut off about 12" from the blunt end with a hacksaw. The one I purchased was GardenPlus 6' garden stake, item# 0093249, model# 831138 from Lowes. You can make about 6 tools for the $3 investment.
Remove the inner core end plug from the blunt end of the cut stake and discard the plug.
Using a box knife, score the plastic to the steel inner core about 1½" from the blunt end.
Using a lighter, heat up the plastic until it starts to soften and peel back.
Careful...the steel core will be hot!
Use the box knife to remove it from the steel core.
Split the end of the tool just a little to allow the tool to expand over the spark plug. I used needle nosed pliers inserted and rotated it to widen the end a little. The weld cracked on the end and a quick test fit over a used spark plug confirmed it was a good tight fit.
*Update* Using a grinder, I was able to gently roll the tip against the grinder wheel to put a sharp edge on the tip so the tool will cut through any fused rubber easily!
To use the tool, spray the end with some spray lubricant (WD40 works).
Place the end of the tool over the spark plug and push down over the spark plug. It may take a little effort but it should easily cut through the fused bond.
Remove the tool and the broken boot.
Remember to use a little dielectric grease on the inside of the spark plug boot to keep this from happening in the future. You don't need a lot...just a light coat. You can find the little packets of dielectric grease in your auto parts store near the front counter...or you could always ask. ;)