Almost every modification people undertake to customize their classic truck is done to either improve its appearance or performance. That said, sometimes these modifications can come at the expense of creating an inconvenience. Perhaps one of the best examples to illustrate our point is the most common modification of all, swapping the truck's original inline six-cylinder engine out for a V-8. Right out of the gate, this upgrade relocates the six original spark plugs conveniently placed at the engine bay's top center to down at the bottom of the left- and right-side cylinder banks paralleling the framerails.
To complicate matters, it is not unusual that either due to a need to reroute the exhaust as a part of the V-8 conversion or simply to satisfy a desire for increased performance, tubular exhaust headers are installed. In a perfect world, this would not be a problem, but the fact of the matter is in order to enable the dual quartet of pipes to stream in between the framerails and the engine block to clear essential items like the steering gear, the headers must be bent to conform to severe angles. These severe angles and random bulges in the pipes often obstruct access to the spark plugs.
The subject of inadequate or poor access to spark plugs is not unique to aftermarket tubular exhaust headers. In fact, the topic is one tool manufacturers have attempted to address ever since the very first factory V-8s were buried under power-steering pumps and air-conditioning compressors. Through the years major tool manufacturers have slimmed and refined the profile of spark plug-related tools, as well as improved the inner workings of spark-plug ratchet wrenches, but even with these improvements there can be an instance where a spark plug cannot be removed without taking extreme measures.
This is where the folks at HeaderSockets of Riverside, California, enter the picture with their selection of special spark-plug sockets specifically designed to address this problem.