[Vwdiesel] gasser problem: broken spark plug

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Sun Aug 24 11:11:22 EDT 2003

> sorry guys, i know it's a gasser problem, but i am at my wits end. i
> broke a bosch platinum plug at the nut trying to get it out. electrode
> is completely out. i did pb blaster, waited a good hour, sprayed some
> more, waited a while, tapped in a 4-sided ez-out and it's stuck hard.
> access is limited w/o removing other things.
> thoughts? advice?
> prayers?
> dennis


This is the problem with "forever" spark plugs, esp with al heads.  They
stick like glue.  The last one I had problems with, I ended up putting
my mouse on it, and carefully applying impact, in hopes that it would
free things up.  That worked for two plugs.  One remained, and I used
"light" impact, and a 12" breaker bar.  In the end the threads were damaged
somewhat, and I ended up chasing them.  Torque is what got them out,
with little success attributed to finesse.

One concern with driving in an EZout is that you're expanding the plug,
causing more interference.

You could try heat...a gas torch, with small tip on the plug body.  You don't
want to melt the al, so watch the temp.  But you do want to heat it so that
you can have a chance at crushing or otherwise breaking up the corosion
matrix on the plug threads.  I'd suggest this technique if you're handy
with a gas torch, and have a good sense of temperatures, and are comfortable
that you want plasticize or melt the aluminum.

Since the electrode is out, you could try taking a hacksaw (metal) blade for
a jig saw, and cutting a groove into the plug body.  By the time you get close
to the threads, you will have relieved much of the tension on the body.
Even if you end up cutting to the threads, you may not end up damaging
the threads with a saw kerf.  Likely if they're damaged, it will be
from corosion around the area.  Putting two or three cuts into the plug
will take much of the stress off.  Worst case, you make the cuts through
or almost through the plug body, and remove the pieces.

The first thing I'd try is a large spiral extractor, and that will spread
the plug body less than the ezout.  If you have one available.

In general, you can normally re-tap the spark plug hole in the head and
install a helicoil replacement thread.  I know at least one race group
which does this on all their al heads.  I've managed to avoid installing
helicoils, (kit $30) but more than once I've bought them to have on hand
for this kind of a situation.

You're going to get metal particles into the cyl, and should have compressed
air handy to help clear out the debris.

Don't know if I've helped you much, or given you any really new ideas.

The lesson to all of us is to pull spark plugs on a periodic basis, especially
in al heads.  Presumably Neverseize helps, although one could fool me.


ps: You should probably buy a spark plug thread chaser when you're in at the
parts store ($5 or so).  I know I'dd get beat up on this one, but you can
also make a chaser out of a discarded plug by cutting a couple of sharp
grooves in it with a die grinder or cutoff tool.  The chasers I've seen
in the stores are just chasers, and not taps, and tend to have rather poor
quality, and dull cutting edges.

pps: This is the torment you have to suffer for having a gasser.

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