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Garage How To: Custom Spark Plug Socket
Making life easier with dual carbs and thick intake manifolds
If you own an air-cooled VW, and have dual carburetors, then you know, first hand, how difficult it can be to replace your spark plugs. Due to the thickness of the intake manifolds, and tight fitting cylinder covers, using a standard sized spark plug socket can be a real pain. For those of you that have cylinder heads fitted with smaller spark plugs, that use the 18mm socket size, here is a tip that will help. Fit a spark plug into the socket, but make sure you have an extension fitted. As you can see, the spark plug will drop into the socket too far, which makes installing them that much tougher. By cutting down the overall length of the socket to the lower edge of the spark plug body (usually about 1/2-inch), you can make starting them in the heads quicker. Next, take your cut-down socket and by using a belt sander, tapper the outside lower edge down as shown. This will increase the area between the socket and the intake manifold base. The result of these mods will make changing spark plugs in your VW a breeze.
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BACKYARD BAJA BUGNo shop-built custom here — the father/son team of Paul and Alex Mulligan of Yorkville, Illinois spent eight years transforming a bare body shell into this amazing long-travel street/off-road machine. You can read all about the build in the November issue of Hot VWs magazine — on-sale September 30th.