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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may sound like a dumb question to some of you, but remember, I learn by asking questions. I wasn't born automotively smart.

When pulling plug wires one at a time (with vehicle running) to check for a dead plug/cylinder, will it cause any damage to the vehicle? Also, can I do it with my hands or will I get a shock?

Thank you.
Ted
 

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Will not cause damage to the vehicle.

I always pull the wires wearing leather gloves (rubber would probably work better). If the wires are old and the insualtion is worn out, or you get the pulled wire too close to a ground, you will get a shock. It only takes once, and you'll never let yourself get shocked again........:eek:

-SM
 

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Get yourself a pair of plug wire puller plyers. They work well, will not damage the boot, and you will avoid burns and shock.

Mac

cooper30 said:
This may sound like a dumb question to some of you, but remember, I learn by asking questions. I wasn't born automotively smart.

When pulling plug wires one at a time (with vehicle running) to check for a dead plug/cylinder, will it cause any damage to the vehicle? Also, can I do it with my hands or will I get a shock?

Thank you.
Ted
 
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Ted, it may cause damage to your vehicle. More specifically the catalytic converter if your vehicle is equipped with one. When you pull the plug wire you're sending unburnt fuel directly into the exhaust where it will burn in the cat. You can damage the cat if you leave the wire off for too long. Pull the wire, check, and then get the wire back on. Wait a few seconds before doing the next one.

Don't pull the wires by hand, especially if you're using an aftermarket ignition or a hot Mopar part. It will make you stomp holes in the cement.
 

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Good call on the cat PG. I was thinking along the lines of 'will not cause any mechanical damage. My oversight Cooper.... :-\
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Makes sense PG. I'm going to do it on my 90 RC which most definitely has a cat. Thanks for the heads-up.

And my very next purchase is going to be a pair of plug wire pullers. I got bit by a snowmobile plug many years ago and I don't want to try it again with a truck ignition.

Ted
 
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Slanted_Mind said:
Good call on the cat PG. I was thinking along the lines of 'will not cause any mechanical damage. My oversight Cooper.... :-\
I knew it was an oversight on your part, SM. You're one of the guys I listen to when it comes to tech stuff. Your posts have helped me a great deal in the past. {cool}
 

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Right good over sight but ah what about the cyl already being dead, oooooops i guess it already did it's damage then, for the even 2 minutes you leave the plug wire off it won't kill the cat, also get a test light ground it and stick it into each terminal at the cap you won't get shocked and it's easier, when you get no change in the way the motor runs thers your dead cyl, have a nice day
 

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Coop, you can buy a tester that the spark plug boot hooks on to. the end looks like a spark plug and the other end you hook to ground. I wouldn't puncture the boot. After you find the dead cylinder you could use this tester to see if is just a plug or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tim in NB said:
Coop, you can buy a tester that the spark plug boot hooks on to. the end looks like a spark plug and the other end you hook to ground. I wouldn't puncture the boot. After you find the dead cylinder you could use this tester to see if is just a plug or not.
That sounds handy. Thanks Tim.
 
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Evildriver-3 said:
Right good over sight but ah what about the cyl already being dead, oooooops i guess it already did it's damage then, for the even 2 minutes you leave the plug wire off it won't kill the cat, also get a test light ground it and stick it into each terminal at the cap you won't get shocked and it's easier, when you get no change in the way the motor runs thers your dead cyl, have a nice day
Marty, don't be talking down to me. I do know what I'm talking about sometimes. And if the cat was already damaged he would definitely know it, pulling plug wires would be the least of his worries.
 

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Evildriver-3 said:
Right good over sight but ah what about the cyl already being dead, oooooops i guess it already did it's damage then, for the even 2 minutes you leave the plug wire off it won't kill the cat, also get a test light ground it and stick it into each terminal at the cap you won't get shocked and it's easier, when you get no change in the way the motor runs thers your dead cyl, have a nice day
If the cat is in good shape, probably wouldn't hurt it. If it has 100k + miles on it, it may already be on its last legs and could be hurt by the added raw fuel. Or worse, it could wash the cylinder wall, then the cyl loses compression, and it is constantly dumping raw fuel to the cat.

Also, I would like to introduce you to the

SHIFT<<<<

key. When pressed in conjuction with a letter key, you get a Capital letter, denoting the beginning of a sentence or a proper name. {cool} Another handy key is the "." This is used to denote the end of a sentence, so one does not have to read an entire paragraph before a point is made.

And I got the impression Cooper already knew what he was looking for by pulling plug wires.

{peace}

-SM
 

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Well if you are worried about capitols forget it im not, and it will NOT hurt the CAT ever looking for a bad cyl, ONCE again it is running on a dead cyl so where in the world do you think all that fuel is going.

Yes coop i am saying to stick it thru the boot, doing that yester isn't gonna show you a change since you will keep shutting it off to install that tester so when will you see the difference, i do it witht he test light all the time on hundreds of vehicles with hundreds of thousand different mileage differences and cats so don't worry about the cat especially if you have a dead cylinder
 

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Evildriver-3 said:
Well if you are worried about capitols forget it im not, and it will NOT hurt the CAT ever looking for a bad cyl, ONCE again it is running on a dead cyl so where in the world do you think all that fuel is going.

Yes coop i am saying to stick it thru the boot, doing that yester isn't gonna show you a change since you will keep shutting it off to install that tester so when will you see the difference, i do it witht he test light all the time on hundreds of vehicles with hundreds of thousand different mileage differences and cats so don't worry about the cat especially if you have a dead cylinder
ED-3
If you can't answer a thread without insulting someone than you need to post on your NAIR thread or go to this link! Once again you have done everything and seen everything. You are the greatest? www.dial-a-prayer.com

Sorry Coop :)
 

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Evildriver-3 said:
Yes coop i am saying to stick it thru the boot, doing that yester isn't gonna show you a change since you will keep shutting it off to install that tester so when will you see the difference, i do it witht he test light all the time on hundreds of vehicles with hundreds of thousand different mileage differences and cats so don't worry about the cat especially if you have a dead cylinder
Misfires typically happen at idle...and idle only. A true 'dead cylinder' misses at all rpms, and is usually caused by poor compression as a result of ring/bore wear, or worn valves or valve seats. I highly doubt the cylinder is dumping unburnt raw fuel into the exhaust at all times. If it is, there is more going on than weak/no spark.

Coop, I highly suggest NOT putting a hole in your plug wire boot. Ding so opens another path for the 40,000 +/- volts to travel to the engine block, rather than through the spark plug electrode. If you have ever had a plug wire with a 'pinhole' that you couldn't even see you know what I mean. It can cause a misfire, usually only at idle when the spark it at its weakest.

I have also seen plug wire testers that plug in inbetween the plug and plug wire, and will flash each time the spark plug fires (very similar to what Tim in NB described). This simple tool is a much better solution than poking holes in your plug wires' insulation/boot.

If you elect to pull by hand, just keep your free hand off of good grounds. If you wear gloves, wear both and you will not have to worry about being shocked. (If you aren't grounded, the spark will not 'want' to travel through you anyway)

-SM
 

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Yes but the tool doesn't let you see/feel the difference all it shows is it fired (sent a spark), doesn't show it fired and the cyl is dead, but the pin hole hasn't gave me or anyone else a problem, even much much higher voltage ign than factory stuff, another way for all of you that are afraid of the test light way is to touch the header tubes and see which 1 is cool or cooler
 

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if you have an infra-red temp tester, you can check the header tube temps.....

But, the easiest way to check for a dead cylinder, without putting a hole in the boot, or pulling it off, is use your timing light. Put it on the wire and see if it flashes consistently. If not, then you have an issue.

You can use a timing light on all the wires, not just # 1.
 
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