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Rusted off spark plugs

Nhaz

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1993 4.0 XL
Howdy peps. Kinda long.. I'm windy

Only 4 weeks ago bought a 1993 explorer. It was in fantastic shape and ran really well. It ran so well I never even thought to look at its spark plugs.

I was planning on replacing the plugs and wires before the snow fell in a couple months.

In any case last Friday one of the plugs Blew the entire ceramic core out of the head leaving the rest of the threads and the ground side of the spark plug in the head.

I thought when I looked under the hood that it would be a simple fix and grabbed my tool kit for spark plug removal.

Then I discovered that the Entire area where the nut like area for the spark plug socket was gone. I mean totally gone. as it looks like it never existed.

300 bucks later and a professional to come and get the plug out since there was no way I could even get a handle on it. It took him 3 hours.

I now only have 5 more that look just like the first one. They havn't blown yet. And there isn't anything left for me to grab to get the damn things out.

So short of replacing the heads I would love to get some ideas here.

I Came up with one idea that I want to run past some people that have lots more experience with stuff like this.

Basically I go buy some CHEAP spark plug sockets. Fill the inside of the those sockets with JB weld and put them on the plugs and wait till it hardens and unbolt the mess and throw away. Will the JB weld hold for something like that?

And I mean cheap so I can cut them up with a dremmel tool if I have too.
 



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Nhaz

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Anyone? the weekends coming up.
 






rookieshooter

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Anyone? the weekends coming up.

That might just work. But I would spray some PB Blaster around the spark plug or better yet a mix of 1 part tranny fluid and 1 part Acetone. And be sure to mix well before applying. Either way let set over night and then try your idea. But with a twist no pun intended.
If it does not budge after a considerable amount of force. Try this. Some how on the end of the breaker bar or ratchet with pipe over handle for better leverage. Try to somehow strap something around the handle like a ratchet strap and put enough force on it so you can see the breaker bar or pipe handle bend and then somehow tie it off so you can leave it like that overnight. Or any thing you can keep pressure on the breaker bar, a board between bar and hood or fender. I bet it comes off then.
Make sure the JB weld sets up long enough. May take longer due to being partialy enclosed by socket.
I came up with this idea and has worked for me on really stubborn bolts.
In fact I did it last year when trying to remove some really rusted bolts on a 1979 Dana 44 steering bracket. I kept pressure on the breaker bar overnight after applying some penetrating oil. It was the mix I mentioned. Came right off next morning. Could not budge prior to this. That slow steady force for 12 or so hours did the trick.
Also make sure you put the mix or PB stuff on all the plugs the same time. That way it could working on all of them while your trying to get the one out. I would really go with the Mix, it's a whole lot better then PB in my opionion. Be careful, the Acetone is extremely flameable.

Even if it don't, I think if you hammered straight up on the extension to plug socket it would come off the plug.
Might want to put some Anti Sieze on the spark plug threads also when installing.
 






janolsson

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Rather than jb weld i would use something like this

Bolt extractor.jpg


They have sharp wide reverse thread inside that cut into whatever your winding onto. ie as you lever anticlockwise to undo the bolt these babies grip more.
Used in combination with penetrant and maybe the extented time of force as decribed above you may have some joy.

As an aside, i have read about mechs in the good old days using this method to remove wheel hubs off old jags. They would torque up a puller REAL tight then wrap a matress over the hub and leave overnight. Next morning the assembly would be across the other side of the workshop.
 






Nhaz

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I appreciate the information guys. I am not sure about the penetrating oil prior to the application of the jb weld. I am not sure what the residue might do to the jb weld mix. or how well it might hold.

There isn't anything left for a socket to be tapped on to. the plug looks like it never had a area for a socket its a 90 degree angle from the ceramic to the head.

I have decided to do a test run, I have a set of heads that are in need of being rebuilt(they were going in the ranger eventually) I am going to grind off the area of a spark plug that the socket needs to turn it out. put it into the old head and try the JB weld and socket.

Its not the Best test since its not rusted to powder but it will tell me if the JB will adhere to the ceramic with enough strength to turn it back out. I am also concerned that what might happen is the ceramic will bust out leaving the threads in the hole. or just bust off leaving ceramic AND the threads in the hole.

I bought 8 sizes of those reverse threaded removal tools tonight along with some other crap I may or may not need.
 






Nhaz

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Good day peps. So the JB weld trick did a good job. It held on to the spark plug hard enough for me to start to turn it.

But what I suspected might happen .. Happened. instead of turning out the plug. It turned out the ceramic and left the threads.

What I ended up doing was using the reverse drill bit tool for removing big bolts. I inserted grease in to the hole so as not to drop metal particles into the cylinder. and hauled on the wrench for about 2 hours. this failed to do much other then seat the reverse bit nicely.

I pulled that reverse bit out since it had turned itself almost all the way in. and got the next size up. It didn't do much either.

I left it in and went to dinner. came back outside pulled that larger bit out and stuck my dremmel in the hole with a rather small grinding stone and chewed down the inside surface in 1 location on the plugs threads. Put the larger reverse bit back in the hole and the threads let go in 3 tries and out it came.

After examining the leftovers the dremmel did Not remove more then a millimeter of metal possibly slightly less. So I don't actually know if the amount removed made a diff or not. I am suspecting that the heat generated may have made more of a difference then the metal removed.

So. total time for 1 plug removed pushing 3 hours.

2 down. 4 more to go LOL.
 






ragajungle

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This is EXACTLY why I left the OEM plugs in my 94. 287K on them I couldn't believe my eyes! I really don't think there is any nice way to extract them other than just what you are doing now. It wouldve prolly been easier and cheaper to get a set of heads?
 






Nhaz

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Yes and no. I have time. Not lots of money. Heads are around here about 250 - 350 a pair of rebuilds. And then there's the head gaskets intake gaskets valve cover gaskets and whatnot about 200 bucks there.

So before a wrench even touches the truck there's 500 bucks. To get a professional to do the head swap another 700. I am sure I could do it. But I get irritated when something breaks when and where it shouldn't. The mechanic on the other hand is better at fixing the unforeseen.

Right now other then time I have 36 bucks for tools in to it. Other then that initial 300. Of course, I watched the guy closely. Which is why I was able to get the next plug out. So 300 bucks well spent I say. He may be have done it for 27 years but I am pretty good at learning the how to on just about anything, and quickly.

I am probably going to forgo any more work this weekend. Mostly due to the fact they are calling for rain. And I want more Dremmel stone bits. those things wear out fast.
 






rookieshooter

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I applaud your patience. Keep us posted.
Once on an aluminum heads that had no Anti Seize, I buggard up the threads while pulling plugs and had to install one of those Heli Coils (sp) and worked fine.
Now on aluminum heads, I never never install with out using the Anti Seize.
Do the same thing on steel heads also.
 






SoNic67

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I did that too - broke off three of my original spark plugs. The issue it is well known and the removal tool is a bit different than a regular "remover" because of the thin walls that are left in place.

I didn't know that and I broke of a regular remover in the stupid hole - ended to remove the head after that.

Also, spray PB blaster days in advance. If the ceramic piece breaks off, do not push it in the cylinder. On mine, I turn the ignition key short and the compression did throw it out.

I would recommend to take it to a mechanic that did that before.
 






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