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Old 06-19-2016, 12:36 AM   #1
08SubbySniper
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Default Broken spark plugs inside engine

Ok so I was doing a spark plug job when I pulled out the second plug I noticed that the threads where missing on the plug, turns out they are still in the heads, I procied to removing the next 2 plugs to only have the 4th plug snap in half inside the block so now I need help on what to do and fastest way to get the broken plugs out and my car back on the road.

Last edited by 08SubbySniper; 06-19-2016 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:35 AM   #2
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At this point without knowing your abilities, have it towed to a shop and have them fix it. This will likely result in a head removal.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:25 AM   #3
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That's absurd, are those just cheapo plugs or what? When I changed my plugs, all 4 came out real easy. I can't imagine if one snapped or if the thread came off, how does that even happen...talk about a headache.

If I were in your shoes I would bring it to a shop and admit defeat. It's unfortunate that what seemed like a simply task turned out to be the opposite but the last thing you want to do is make it worse.

If you really can't tow it to a shop and you want to do it yourself, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that feature people in the same situation as you. Do a little research and maybe one will work.

Good luck !
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiling View Post
That's absurd, are those just cheapo plugs or what? When I changed my plugs, all 4 came out real easy. I can't imagine if one snapped or if the thread came off, how does that even happen...talk about a headache.

If I were in your shoes I would bring it to a shop and admit defeat. It's unfortunate that what seemed like a simply task turned out to be the opposite but the last thing you want to do is make it worse.

If you really can't tow it to a shop and you want to do it yourself, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that feature people in the same situation as you. Do a little research and maybe one will work.

Good luck !
They're NGK Laser Iridiums (~$14/plug) so they are some of the nicest consumer plugs available. They were almost definitely over-torqued.

OP, it's possible the head can be saved, but unless you're very confident in broken stud removal, then I would suggest taking it to a shop as well.

Good luck!
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:57 PM   #5
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Looks like they were overtorqued. If it were me (And i do literally everything myself lol) i'd take it to a shop.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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A wheel lock removal socket is the best hope. Tapered and fluted style like this. Probably have to unbolt the pitch stop, remove the tmic, unbolt the motor mounts, and jack it up to get the spark plug holes above the framerails.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000Q...k+removal+tool

Last edited by n2oiroc; 06-19-2016 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:50 PM   #7
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They are STI in the heads? What does that mean.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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Like N2oirc said, you should unbolt the motor mounts and jack up the engine. If your confident enough, you can try to drill out the glass part and try to use an easy out on whats left from the spark plug.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkun View Post
Like N2oirc said, you should unbolt the motor mounts and jack up the engine. If your confident enough, you can try to drill out the glass part and try to use an easy out on whats left from the spark plug.
A wheel lock tool should be able to grab the round outside metal portion. Thats how i would do it so chunks of ceramic dont get knocked in the cylinder.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:35 PM   #10
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Seems liker that plugs where definitely over torqued and thats why they snapped, they are not cheap plugs ether they are NGK plugs. So now I have to pull the engine out and try to get them out if that failes then I'll have to take the heads to a shop to get fixed!
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08SubbySniper View Post
Seems liker that plugs where definitely over torqued and thats why they snapped, they are not cheap plugs ether they are NGK plugs. So now I have to pull the engine out and try to get them out if that failes then I'll have to take the heads to a shop to get fixed!
Calm down, the engine might not have to come out. I fix worse issues for a living. Dont get impatient and make things worse. Rent a car for a week and take your time and we can talk you through this. Start out by measuring the round portion of the plugs you removed, they are exactly the same as what is left in the heads. Once we know the size of them, we can get the correct tool to remove the remaining plug pieces. If you can unbolt the motor mounts and have moderate mechanical skills, this problem can be solved with very little money and not a lot of work.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #12
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I was able to pull out the spark plug threads using this screw extractor tool and lots of patiance, did have to unbolt the engine mounts and just lifted the mortor with a jack.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:39 PM   #13
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good to hear! is all the ceramic accounted for and not in the combustion chamber?
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:40 AM   #14
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good to hear! is all the ceramic accounted for and not in the combustion chamber?
All ceramic was pulled out and I used my shop vacuumed to make sure it was all sucked out, and no damage to threads was done!
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:09 AM   #15
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Amazing.

And this, people, is why torque specs exist.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 08SubbySniper View Post
Ok so I was doing a spark plug job when I pulled out the second plug I noticed that the threads where missing on the plug, turns out they are still in the heads, I procied to removing the next 2 plugs to only have the 4th plug snap in half inside the block so now I need help on what to do and fastest way to get the broken plugs out and my car back on the road.
08SubbySniper - do you still have those photos still around?

I did something similar to my 2014 Impreza. When I was putting the replacement spark plugs in I broke the ceramic head off from the thread portion. I have some photos at https://imgur.com/a/B1BbiOf.

In my case, I have the ceramic portion out. I am curious to know how hard it was to do all of it and what was your thought process on DIY vs towing it a shop.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier55 View Post
08SubbySniper - do you still have those photos still around?

I did something similar to my 2014 Impreza. When I was putting the replacement spark plugs in I broke the ceramic head off from the thread portion. I have some photos at https://imgur.com/a/B1BbiOf.

In my case, I have the ceramic portion out. I am curious to know how hard it was to do all of it and what was your thought process on DIY vs towing it a shop.
itll be a bitch, you can do it, but how much time do you have to devote to this endeavour?
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:12 PM   #18
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itll be a bitch, you can do it, but how much time do you have to devote to this endeavour?
It'll probably be a month or two before I really start to need the car since I have alternative forms of transportation.

I'm open to trying pretty much anything as long as the worse case scenario is that I can make it any worse if it comes down to getting it towed and fixed at a shop.

I assume that worst case scenario is a shop has to remove the cylinder head out and would be a $1k+ job.
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:09 PM   #19
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I have done it with an extraction bit to pull that piece out on my Jeep.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #20
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I have done it with an extraction bit to pull that piece out on my Jeep.
On your Jeep, are the spark plugs horizontal or vertical?
Did you have to do anything to get better clearance to use the screw extractor?
Was it a 5/8th in spark plug or 14mm? If the latter, what size bit did you use?
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:06 PM   #21
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I was able to get the remaining ceramic piece out with a magnetic rod tool and some PB Blaster.

See the photo at https://imgur.com/M3fNhND.

That must mean the only piece remaining is outside thread.

I'm guessing if i can get it with an easy out I should be good to go?
Should I use a square one or round one? If so, what size?
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:34 AM   #22
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you need to get everything out of there - my concern would be how did this happen? there looks to be a decent amount of deformation of the plug - if this happened during install, then they were really overtorqued. Using an easy-out/bolt extractor might work, but you need to be really careful - if you damage the threads in the head, then you'll be in even worse shape.

Just curious, but where did you source the plugs? there are counterfeit NGK plugs out there which are known to be causing problems... the iridescent/non-uniform finish to the plating is one of the things that's been noted to be typical of counterfeits...

google "fake NGK" and you'll get lots of info
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:42 AM   #23
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you need to get everything out of there - my concern would be how did this happen? there looks to be a decent amount of deformation of the plug - if this happened during install, then they were really overtorqued. Using an easy-out/bolt extractor might work, but you need to be really careful - if you damage the threads in the head, then you'll be in even worse shape.
It was during the installation. I think I overtorqued it a little bit.

Should I just take it to a shop? They would probably extract it with an easy out and if that doesn't work pull the head (aka more or less a head gasket repair).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrD View Post
Just curious, but where did you source the plugs? there are counterfeit NGK plugs out there which are known to be causing problems... the iridescent/non-uniform finish to the plating is one of the things that's been noted to be typical of counterfeits...

google "fake NGK" and you'll get lots of info
Yeah, I bought them from Amazon and they were gapped incorrectly. That should have been my first sign that these plugs were counterfeit. Lesson learned.

I got my money back and promptly picked up 4 genuine ones from Autozone for when this issue gets resolved.

Last edited by skier55; 08-18-2019 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:12 AM   #24
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Should I just take it to a shop? They would probably extract it with an easy out and if that doesn't work pull the head (aka more or less a head gasket repair).
I don't know - I'd probably give extraction a try since I have the tools to do so. If it didn't go easily, I'd have it brought to a shop. If you do get it out, you need to inventory the bits you have and make sure you have the whole sparkplug - you do not want to find out you are missing a chunk of insulator the hard way! If the spark plug deformed/ovalized when it broke, it might not come out easily and could damage threads. On the plus side, it looks like the entire threaded section is there, and the deformed region would be at the top of the threads, so hopefully once it gets going it comes right out - if you lubricated the threads with some anti-seize before installation, there's an even better chance all will come out smoothly.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #25
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I don't know - I'd probably give extraction a try since I have the tools to do so. If it didn't go easily, I'd have it brought to a shop. If you do get it out, you need to inventory the bits you have and make sure you have the whole sparkplug - you do not want to find out you are missing a chunk of insulator the hard way!
By insulator, do you mean the ceramic?
If so, I'm pretty confident I have gotten it all out since the top piece (in the first photo) was the first piece that came out. Then I used compressed air to remove any bits out while the bottom piece (in the first photo) was still in. Finally, I removed the bottom piece (in the first photo) with a magnet tool.

Photos at https://imgur.com/a/4ycXTpr.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrD View Post
If the spark plug deformed/ovalized when it broke, it might not come out easily and could damage threads. On the plus side, it looks like the entire threaded section is there, and the deformed region would be at the top of the threads, so hopefully once it gets going it comes right out - if you lubricated the threads with some anti-seize before installation, there's an even better chance all will come out smoothly.
Yeah, I put some anti-seize before installation.

On another note, I thought with NGK's (at least genuine ones) you shouldn't put anti-seize.
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