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Socket Stuck in Spark Plug Tube

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by watsino, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:13 AM
    #1
    watsino

    watsino [OP] New Member

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    Never use a 11/16" socket to pull a spark plug. I know, why would you even use one.

    Well, I was removing the plugs for the first time at 80,000 miles after I read the maintenance schedule. Had my truck on a 8 yr warranty so took it to Toyota for all work until then. Realized that they never changed the plugs and decided to do it myself. I changed out my wife's TSX just before with no issues. Got to the Tacoma and the plug came off the seat really easily (didn't think much of it initially). After about 3 turns it got harder and harder. Used a little WD-40, got easier and another 3 turns or so. Then it got really hard. Decided to read up and got some PB Blaster. That made it much easier initially. With having to move the socket between the 3 holes checked my socket set and had a long 11/16" that fit up with a new plug well. I dropped it in the tube and was able to turn the plug, so game on. Kept turning back/forth with resistance but went slowly to not strip the threads. Got 2 of them out but the front passenger got so hard i couldn't turn it and soon realized couldn't get the socket out....

    Decided to punt and have it towed to a nearby shop (Firestone). They seemed confident they could get it out. A week later they call back saying they tried everything and felt uncomfortable going further. Reach out to the dealer and they were zero help. Ask some friends about who a good Toyota person is and take it to their shop (ex Toyota mechanic 20+ years). He spends all day on it, ends up trying to grind it out with no luck...

    He tells me I will need an Engine replacement, gonna be about 4-5K and get a 100+K mile motor from a wreck... Insurance won't cover it because it wasn't an 'accident'. I call around to some work buddies that are machinists and they have a few ideas. Drag it over to their 'shop' and he does some magic with an impact hammer and some snap on tools.

    So, $200 to the first shop for 4 hours because he "felt bad". $700 to the 2nd shop for a 'full days work' and $250 is all the last guy charged me. Probably most expensive spark plug change ever...

    IMG_1566.jpg
    IMG_1564.jpg
     
  2. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:19 AM
    #2
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    wow, so was the spark plug that tight or was the socket in at an angle or crossed onto the plug to the point where it wouldn't come out?
     
  3. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:23 AM
    #3
    watsino

    watsino [OP] New Member

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    I think it was a little of both. You can see i had all but the last 2-3 threads out before i ran into issues...

    The socket clearance in the tube was probably less than 1/16". As the spark plug came out it must have been at the slightest angle forcing it to push against the wall.

    The other 2 spark plugs on that side I used my 5/8" and it still took me hours of back/forth with PB blaster due to all the carbon build up. I assume the issue was from either the initial torque not being high enough and/or just running 80k miles on a set of plugs that were designed for 30k...
     
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  4. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:25 AM
    #4
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    i see!

    Better make sure you put some antisieze on the new plugs!
     
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  5. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:25 AM
    #5
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised that the spark plug didnt break in there.
     
  6. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:33 AM
    #6
    jowybyo

    jowybyo Mobtown Offroad

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    Did you try running the plug tight again and then attempt to remove the socket?
     
  7. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:36 AM
    #7
    watsino

    watsino [OP] New Member

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    It got to the point when trying to move it couldn't get it to budge either way. I had been working it in/out prior to that with good luck. One turn down and 1.5 tuns up. The angle just must have gotten to the point where it was cross threaded and i wasn't gonna be able to touch it with hand tools.
     
  8. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:44 AM
    #8
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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  9. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:46 AM
    #9
    watsino

    watsino [OP] New Member

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    Nope. Took it in to the dealer for the first 8 yrs/80K miles with the extended warranty. Realized shortly thereafter they never changed the plugs so I decided to do it myself. Had ZERO issues changing my wife's plugs (i don't think it was operator error).
     
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  10. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:46 AM
    #10
    Torspd

    Torspd Tor-nication

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    This right here. Had the same thing happen with a friend’s truck. 100k without ever changing the plugs. Practically seized in. The amount of force needed to remove me made me very skeptical that the nut would shear off.
     
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  11. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:48 AM
    #11
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a bunch of tiny things went wrong at just the right time to ruin your day.
     
  12. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:08 AM
    #12
    diabetiktaco

    diabetiktaco Instalander

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    Haha this is the type of shit that would happen to me. Especially when it's 95 and humid outside and I have somewhere I need to be.
     
  13. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:10 AM
    #13
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    sigh. True. So much truth
     
  14. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:24 PM
    #14
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    And now we know why they specifically make a spark plug socket.
     
  15. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:42 PM
    #15
    MR5X5

    MR5X5 Well-Known Member

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    Not a socket problem. Look at those bottom threads full of metal. Good old fashion galling. Antiseize is the ticket.
     
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  16. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:46 PM
    #16
    LoveableWerewolf

    LoveableWerewolf Well-Known Member

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    I once did my spark plugs and forgot antisieze. My buddy advised me to go back and put it on. Boy am I glad I did now.
     
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  17. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:48 PM
    #17
    Jimmyh

    Jimmyh Well-Known Member

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    I would be wondering about the condition of the threads that remain in the head.....?
     
  18. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:51 PM
    #18
    LoveableWerewolf

    LoveableWerewolf Well-Known Member

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    We're they actually copper spark plugs? My 2.7 came factory with irridium and says specifically not to put any other kind.
     
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  19. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:51 PM
    #19
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    i4 's are specd with the irridiums. v6's are standard plugs unless you have the supercharger.

    Looks like OP had some buildup on the final threads, which caused the plug do get hard in the spark plug hole, torquing of the socket on the hex of the spark plug caused the socket to swell and capture it in the tube.

    man thats a shitty deal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  20. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:55 PM
    #20
    LoveableWerewolf

    LoveableWerewolf Well-Known Member

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    Wow that sucks. Ooof.
    Well, live and learn, cough it up and keep on going. No use in being hard on yourself. Mistakes happen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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