Spark plug boot metal protectors

Hi all my Dakota 3.9 has these steel protectors that surround the boot of the wire near the plug.They are a pain to get off and back on again. I havent ever
seen these on any other vehicle and the plugs arent exactly buried down and inside,they are pretty accessible. Do these have to be there? Will the boots melt without them?
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No, and no
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How the hell do you get them off? I hate the way they hold dirt to drop in the cylinders when you pull plugs. What idiot designed these with the slit on top?

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Remove the plug first, then grab the tube with a pair of pliers. If the slit is at 12 o-clock, grab it with the jaws at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Squeeze together, rock back and forth gently, and pull out.
If they've been in there for a while, they're a bitch to remove.
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Will try that, thanks.

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Used compressed air to blow the dirt out before you take the plugs out.
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Thats what I normally do but feel there is probably some left in there that falls in.
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