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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to do some preventive maintenance. I thought replacing the spark plug on a Toro 724 QXE would be easy. But I can't figure out how to remove it. The manual reads ...

1. Remove the boot (Figure 22).
2. Clean around the base of the spark plug.
3. Remove and discard the old spark plug.
Note: You will need a ratchet wrench extension to
remove the spark plug

But after tugging on the boot, I decided to stop before possibly doing some damage and took some pictures. What I thought was the rubber boot is connected to what looks like a pipe with a bent neck. The bottom picture is a close up.








This picture is a closeup of where the boot plugs into what appears to be a metal pipe. Do I tug it out?




 

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Disclaimer: I've never done one like that. I've done a few hundred or maybe thousand cars and hundreds of small engines though. My Troy is a lot like that and so is one of the Toros.

The metal "pipe" is just a protector for the rubber spark plug boot inside it. I would first try to twist gently that boot back and forth to make sure it breaks free from the plug. Usually they will kind of glue themselves to the plug over time from the heat.
You might need to use a screwdriver or ??? whatever you can get in there to gently move that boot back and forth. Try not to pull on the wire itself !
Once you feel it's free try to get a screwdriver at the base of the boot, either the metal or better the rubber and getting a hold of it up at the angled area pull and pry at the same time.

If you hate this you can pick up a packet or small tube of dielectric grease at an auto parts store and going back together apply some to the inside of the boot to help it not stick to the spark plug, release easier next time and also prevent water from getting in there.

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If that doesn't get it you can always swing by an auto parts store and pick up a spark plug wire puller. They run about 10-15 and can make the job so much easier.
A good needle nose pliers would work too just want to be careful you don't crush the jacket trying to get a grip on it. The plastic coating on this tool helps grip it.

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Twist it, to break it loose from the plug and pull on that metal sleeve. It can stick some, but it will come off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So it's really the metal sleeve that needs to pull off and not the rubber "knob" at the top?

I had thought about spark plug wire pullers but if the entire sleeve needs to come off, then I probably shouldn't be tugging at the rubber piece at the top of the sleeve.
 

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My snowblower has the same thing. You want to take off the entire metal sleeve. It sounds like you didn't pull too hard to damage anything (like where the rubber goes into the sleeve) so you should be fine.

Can you reach the spark plug from its recessed spot? Mine is in a similar spot and I can't reach it with pliers
 

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So it's really the metal sleeve that needs to pull off and not the rubber "knob" at the top?

I had thought about spark plug wire pullers but if the entire sleeve needs to come off, then I probably shouldn't be tugging at the rubber piece at the top of the sleeve.
Yes, the metal sleeve is a heat shield.
 
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