Several helpful hints that I learned years ago before puberty overtook me -
- Go to your local auto supply store and purchase a "special" tool known as spark plug wire pliers - made by K-D or Lisle tools. These allow you to grip the spark plug boot further down on its boot. Give a few mild clockwise-counterclockwise twists of the pliers and the plug wire usually lifts, off reducing the chances of pulling the wire out of the boot and connector. Cost - maybe $20.
- Next, break the spark plugs free with your spark plug socket (and ratchet) and loosen them all about 1 full turn. Crank the engine over several times and you'll hear the compression "putt-putting" past the plugs. What this does is it blows most of the sand, grit and other debris out away from the spark plug holes thereby reducing the chances of anything falling down into the plug hole threads or into the cylinders.
- Next trick is to take a 6” long piece of 3/8" fuel hose. Push the fuel hose firmly over the old spark plugs like they were the spark plug boots being reinstalled. Use the fuel hose to remove the old spark plugs from the cylinder heads. For the new plugs, after straightening the side electrodes, correctly gapping them and wiping a tiny bit of anti-seize compound on the threads, push the same fuel hose over the new plugs. Then use the "flexible extension" to screw the new plug into the head as far as it will go. Doing this for each spark plug greatly eliminates the possibility of cross-threading the steel base of the spark plugs into the aluminum cylinder heads. Lightly snug the new plugs into the heads with a 6” handled 3/8”-drive ratchet. Put a little dab of silicon dielectric grease inside each spark plug wire boot and reinstall on the plugs.
You're done changing your spark plugs.
And yeah, get yourself a VTX1300 Service and Repair manual!!!
Anyone who attempts to do any type of repairs on their vehicle without first thoroughly reading that specific section of the repair manual for their vehicle is asking for troubles. I've been working on cars, trucks, bikes and motorized equipment for 45 years, and I ALWAYS drag out the manual for each vehicle that I'm working on, regardless of how many times I've done the exact same operation.