Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Staunton, VA - USA
Removing and Installing Spark Plugs on the RR/Bentley V8 - Tips and Tricks
I just received a private message asking about removing the spark plugs and this task looking challenging on an SY series car (Shadow and derivatives). Depending on the exact model year and equipment it can be anything from mildly challenging to absolutely miserable. I am hoping that this thread will encourage people to share their own techniques and photos in regard to removing and installing the spark plugs.
I recently removed all the spark plugs on LRK37110, a US spec 1979 Silver Wraith II. Both the A-Bank (right) and B-Bank (left - from the perspective of sitting in the car) pose certain challenges with the engine bay setup in this model. On the A-Bank it was much easier to get at both A1 and A2 if one released the hot air intake first.
For removal, it really helps to have ratchet extensions around 1 foot long for the A-Bank and 2 to 3 feet long for the B-Bank. The most miserable plug, as far as removal goes, for me is B3. Attached are photos showing how I angled in with the long extension to grab the B3 and B4 plugs for removal.
It's every bit as challenging, possibly more so, getting the things back in. One recommendation I received years ago that has served me well is using a wooden dowel with a short piece of hose or vinyl tubing (I use the latter, as you can get it in a diameter that's better at holding the plug from the top). With the top of the spark plug pushed far enough into the piece of tubing to have a solid grip you angle back in like you did to remove the plugs in order to screw them back in. The flexibility of the tubing helps to prevent cross threading and also gives you enough "wiggle" on the plug. Afterward it's easy to pull off (provided you've secured it to the dowel). After all the plugs are in you go around with your ratchet, extensions, and the spark plug socket without the rubber "grabber" boot in it and tighten the plugs down until just snug.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. ~ Niels Bohr