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Q: Is there some sort of "universal" tool that can help install spark plugs into deep depressions in cylinder heads? My 1955 Chrysler Imperial has holes in the valve covers that are about 5" deep and I can't get my fingers down there to start screwing in the spark plugs. I used a socket wrench and extension to remove them, but am afraid I might "cross thread" the plugs if I use the wrench to re-install them. Also, I always find a little oil pooled in the bottom of those holes when I get ready to remove the plugs. Is this a problem that I should get fixed? -- Dan, Lancaster, PA

A: First, the easy part of your question: the simplest tool for such hard-to-reach plug installations is an old piece of heater hose that has an internal diameter slightly smaller than the plug's outer dimension. Just push the plug into the hose and it will hold the little devil snugly to allow you to start the threads without stripping anything.

Many engines of that type tend to leak some oil from the gasket surface between the cylinder head and valve cover. Generally I wouldn't worry about a little pool of oil down in the plug channels, but if it gets worse you'll have to remove the covers and put in a new seal or a bead of RTV sealant.

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