fyi it's a strut tower bar, or strut tower brace, not a sway bar. I am fairly certain you have to remove the strut tower brace. It will be worth the extra 3 minutes it takes you to remove anyways, considering how tight the engine bay is.
Yeah, you gotta get the strut tower brace off to get the cover off. 2-18mm bolts hold it down on each side. You may have to pull the coil packs too, unless you have dainty little girly hands and don't need the room.
To get the plug wires off, I have found it easiest to use needle nose storks (long reach) with either a 3/8" or 7/16" hose pulling needle nose storks to work the boots off the plug. I know some may chime in and say to use the plug wire puller pliers, and I have no less than 4 sets of them, the storks are easier and provide better leverage.
Use a regular spark plug socket with a hex on the end, and turn it with a 19mm wrench rather than using a ratchet. you don't want to use a ratchet, especially on the passenger side. Also, if you find that you need more room when working on the passenger side, pull the battery.
__________________ Bin Laden, Gaddafi, and Kim Jong il all dead within the same year...maybe Team America World Police does exist! 2004 Platinum CTS-V - LS6 with an E Force, BTR cam and springs, ported 317 heads, Kooks, RXT clutch, Transzilla T-56 Mag, CS 8.8" rear kit, tuned by me! 2000 CCSB Powerstroke - Normal mods 1987 Buick Turbo - Still beginning the long path towards recovery
I was able to wiggle the cover off with out taking the strut brace off.
When I changed my plugs, I used a set of long reach needle nose pliers, and then used a breaker bar to leverage the wires off. I did not have to touch the coil packs or the battery, took about 2.5 hrs. I did destroy a wire in the process, but it was already burned through so it was a gonner any way. To make getting to the plugs easier, I used a shallow socket on top of the sparkplug socket. My sparkplug socket has a hex end on it, this really helped out a lot along with a universal joint.
I agree with Alan, about 30 minutes. On your '07, you can get the engine cover off without removing the strut brace, put some tape on the top center at the rear and be very careful not to scrape it. I don't remove the coil packs and I switch between 1/2" and 3" long extensions.
I made my first attempt at this today, everything seemed to be going ok ... the wires are harder to get off then I expected. Taking the strut tower brace & coil packs was no biggie at all so that is going to help, I ran out of time & had to put the old plugs/wires back on that I actually got off. Not as easy as it seems, but like anything ... with the right tools everything goes a lil more smoothly!
Needless to say I will be picking up some hose grip pliers as those will go along way with this plugs/wires change.
__________________ 94 Camaro Z28(Typical Bolt ons)(TH400)(4.10 gear)
BEST ET - 12.74 @ 106MPH / 60' - 1.69
05 Cadillac CTS V : Volant CAI, Ported TB, D/S Rottors, Creative Steel MM, TM, Diff Mount, BMR Pinion Support, Lingenfelter Short Throw Shifter
I just did mine this weekend with 98k on the factory stuff and even with long nose pliers I had no luck. Mine still had the heat shield, so what I did was get a long flathead screwdriver and pryed the heat shields away from the plug while using the cylinder head as leverage. Once I did the first one that way, the others were cake.
FYI, everyone says #8 is the hardest to access, I felt #4 was the most difficult due to clearances against the oil dipstick tube.
I did mine a few weeks ago using a flex head ratchet on top of the spark plug socket. I did remove the tower brace and coil packs (so easy why not). Gave me a chance to clean everything since I am a clean freak. Just pulled the wires until they came off since I was replacing them anyway. Broke a few. Having owned a 96 Z28 I thought they were very easy on the caddy. I also put a little anti seize on the plugs before reinstalling.
__________________ 2005 CTS-V. Black with Tan interior. UMI Motor mounts, Black CTS console, Short shifter from Brian, CAI.