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irregular spark plug

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Old 05-07-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
jabroni [OP] jabroni is offline
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can't remove irregular spark plug, special tool?

Hi, I'm the proud owner of a 2002 Tacoma SR5 X-cab 3.7l V6. Unfortunately, I live in the boonies, and getting my truck in for regular service isn't always convenient, so I've got a question about doing a plug job.

A little background. I bought it used from the dealership w/ 30k miles on it. It now has 86k (I drive this vehicle on flat paved roads about 15-20 miles every day, in other words I BABY it), and has developed a misfire on cylinder 2 (obd-ii diagnostic code P0302). So, it needs new plugs, anyway, and probably some other stuff (I DID bring it to the dealership for a 70k tune-up, so I haven't neglected it THAT much, but it definitely needs some maintenance).

OK, so here's my question about the spark plug job. I dove right in, bought a 5/8" spark plug socket w/ extension, and 6 new plugs, and got to work. 1, 3, and 5 were pretty easy (remove air intake manifold for 3 and 5). 4 and 6 were kind of difficult to access, but I was successful. Number 2, however, is where I had a problem.

I had no trouble ACCESSING number 2 (actually, it's probably the easiest of the 6 cylinders TO access), but the old spark plug was different than any of the others, and the plug socket that I bought wouldn't fit over it. The best I can describe it is, when I look down the spark plug hole, I can see the plug down there, same as all the others, but it's got this rod, extending from the contact end (not the spark end of course, which is facing downwards into the cylinder) of the plug -- maybe 1/2 an inch long -- which seems to poke the socket right out of the extension, whenever I put it down there.

My dealership doesn't seem to know what I'm telling them, nor does the auto parts shop where I bought my tools/plugs. Granted, I have a history of blithering like an idiot sometimes, but I tried REAL hard to be sane when I explained this, and still no dice.

I took a photo. It doesn't show very well, but you CAN see the end of the so-called "rod" at the center.



Anybody know what this irregular spark plug might be all about? Is it some special key that dealerships use to prevent users from servicing their own vehicles? Is there just some different-sized socket that I need to get it out of there?

Thanks so much for any help you can give!

-jabroni (tacoma enthusiast)
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Could it be the innards of the spark plug wire? Maybe it pulled out of the wire and stayed on the plug when you removed the wire. Can you pull it off the plug?
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:25 AM   #3
jabroni [OP] jabroni is offline
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That sounds like a really good guess. I hadn't thought of that. Any ideas how I might pull it off? Maybe just a set of needle nose pliers? Then, most likely, I'd have to find a way to replace the spark plug wire. As it is now, when I replace the wire, the vehicle still runs as it did, with the same cylinder 2 misfire code. Maybe it's not the plug, but the wire. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:37 AM   #4
jabroni [OP] jabroni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroni View Post
Then, most likely, I'd have to find a way to replace the spark plug wire.
You were surely correct, av_boy. I looked more closely, and now I feel a bit like a moron, but live and learn I guess. Also, the spark plug wire will be easy enough to replace because it runs across the engine block, to the #5 cylinder coil, that was also reporting occasional misfires. Must be it!

Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #5
jabroni [OP] jabroni is offline
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plug wire innards pic

Reached in there with some needle-nose pliers, and pulled out the wire innards (as you suggested). Went to the parts shop, picked up a new spark plug wire set. Replaced that one wire, running from spark plug 2 to spark coil/spark plug 5, and it's fixed. No more misfire or check engine light. Here's a pic. Thanks again.

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Old 05-07-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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No sweat, glad it worked out.
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