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Arench
Arench, Master Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 1490
Experience:  30-years experience auto and truck repair.
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1999 Chevy Blazer: head gaskets..removing..spark plug..driver side

Customer Question

I'm trying to change the head gaskets on a 1999 Chevy Blazer, but I'm having issues with removing the center spark plug on the driver side. The steering shaft is in the way and I can't get a socket on it. I also cannot remove the exhaust manifold as well. Do I have to drop the shaft that connects the steering wheel to the steering gear to complete this? If so, how? Chiltons does not explain this proceedure in much detail. It's a 1999 Blazer with 4.3 Vortec, 4wd. I've never experienced this type of problem before. I'm starting to think that I should have paid to take it in.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.

Greetings from Mikey at Just Answer!

 

The way to do this is to jack the truck by the frame on the left front, letting the wheel hang down, remove the left front tire, you can get tools in the wheel house opening.

Long extensions and swivel sockets needed.

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I've already tried going through the wheel house opening. This shaft crosses directly in front of where I need to go. There is not enough room for me to get a socket on much less take out the plug, meaning that there is not enough room for me to remove the exhaust manifold. How do I remove this shaft?
Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.

Actually, there is engough room with a 5/8 swivel spark plug socket and a 36" extension on a downward angle. Done that job many times and I never have removed a steering column. If you really want to move something, take the motor mount bolt out on that side and jack the engine up. Trust me if this gives you trouble, you don't want to mess with the steering column.