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Old 05-26-2013, 11:48 AM   #1
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Changing spark plugs on 97 Sport 4.0

Do you need to remove the ac compressor (or at least what I think is the ac compressor) to remove the spark plug closest to the front of the jeep? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to change the plugs, wires dist cap and rotor. I have never done this before so even the smallest hint would be helpful.

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Old 05-26-2013, 11:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gregsjeep13 View Post
Do you need to remove the ac compressor (or at least what I think is the ac compressor) to remove the spark plug closest to the front of the jeep? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to change the plugs, wires dist cap and rotor. I have never done this before so even the smallest hint would be helpful.
It's not hard to move it enough to change the plug. I'm not sure if you can even remove the plug without doing it. Even if you could, it would probably be harder and take longer than moving the compressor in the first place. You don't need to totally remove it. Remove the belt and remove the bolts holding the compressor to the bracket. It'll slide toward the passenger side enough to get to the spark plug.

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Does not need to be removed or moved. Some extensions and a univeral swival will reach the plug. Get a plug boot puller so you don't mess up the wire.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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I owned a '97 TJ with a/c & only needed a long 3/8" extension with a swivel joint between it and the spark plug socket to change that #1 plug. It slips down through the a/c bracket without much problem. The more difficult problem is usually getting the spark plug boot off the plug first... that is why I finally ponied up & bought a spark plug boot puller tool which is like angled pliers.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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I need to get a boot puller. I also didn't have a swivel at the time. It's the little things that make life easier.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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I just changed the plugs on my 98 I6 with the a/c right over the front plug. I used a 45 degree needle nose pliers to remove the boot. It's a tight spot, but like what was said: socket, then swivel, to extension, comes right out. I found starting the new plug in threads to be the most difficult part.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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I ended up moving the ac since it was just four bolts. That plug was actually not too bad. The one closest to the passenger was the hardest. Could not get the boot off. It ended up ripping off and I had to cut the remaining rubber out with a knife. All was good except for that. When I was moving the ac I noticed I have some small cracks in the serpentine belt. Tomorrow I hope to have better luck with the serpentine belt, dist cap and rotor. Is the fan a pain to take off? Thanks.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
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I ended up moving the ac since it was just four bolts. That plug was actually not too bad. The one closest to the passenger was the hardest. Could not get the boot off. It ended up ripping off and I had to cut the remaining rubber out with a knife. All was good except for that. When I was moving the ac I noticed I have some small cracks in the serpentine belt. Tomorrow I hope to have better luck with the serpentine belt, dist cap and rotor. Is the fan a pain to take off? Thanks.
You don't need to remove the fan to replace the belt.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:52 AM   #9
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I have read some posts on the distributor cap replacement and they mention several times to make sure the rotor faces TDC. What is TDC and how can I make sure it is right? Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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TDC stands for Top Dead Center but no worries, you don't have to worry about that when replacing just the distributor cap. You only need to worry about that when replacing the entire distributor, everything under the distributor cap.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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One more thing I always do when I change plugs on my 4.0 jeeps...have three of them 97, 98, 03...anyway hopefully you have shop air....remove plug wire..before you put the socket on the plug blow compressed air oround the plug...you will surprised the crap that comes out...and just after the last thread of turning the plug to remove it another blast of air so the crap dosen`t go into the soon to be open hole
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:59 PM   #12
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TDC stands for Top Dead Center but no worries, you don't have to worry about that when replacing just the distributor cap. You only need to worry about that when replacing the entire distributor, everything under the distributor cap.
So even when replacing the rotor, no worries with TDC or any other kind of alignment? Thanks
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #13
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One more thing I always do when I change plugs on my 4.0 jeeps...have three of them 97, 98, 03...anyway hopefully you have shop air....remove plug wire..before you put the socket on the plug blow compressed air oround the plug...you will surprised the crap that comes out...and just after the last thread of turning the plug to remove it another blast of air so the crap dosen`t go into the soon to be open hole
I did not do this. What issues will this cause?
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:13 PM   #14
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I did not do this. What issues will this cause?
Very likely nothing. Not much other than chunks of metal will survive for long inside the combustion chambers.

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