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I need some help, I snapped off a siezed plug!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by nutwagonfromhell, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. nutwagonfromhell
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 168

    from missouri

    I was replacing the spark plugs on an 89 Chevy 350, and I snapped a plug off. Now I got the threaded part stuck in this thing.
    Any way to get it out?
  2. chigger
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 169


    Try soaking with brake fluid and removing with an easy-out
  3. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 684


    THIS is why EVERYTHING that is threaded into a motor block deserves consideration and a LIBERAL coating of high-temp anti-sieze.

    Try some heat directly on the broken part and melt a small birthday candle into the threads...the parafin will 'wick' into the threads and then allow you to back out the remaining part with an easy out. Don't be scared to whack the easy out with a ballpien hammer prior to turning (shock the threads loose) GOOD LUCK
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  4. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Brake fluid is not a good idea, if it gets down to the rings it can score the hell out of the wall.
    Any good penetrating oil will work. Or you could try heating it with a pencil torch before using an EZ out.
    Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pull the head.

  5. Heating it, then applying something cold to the plug itself may help break the threads loose, too. If I were going to do the candle wax deal, I'd get the whole thing as warm as I could first so the wax has a chance to get down through all the threads.
  6. Bad Eye Bill
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 841

    Bad Eye Bill
    from NB Canada

    Remove the fuel supply, kill the spark, crank engine to clear fuel from cyl., heat the remains of the plug with brazing tip on acetylene torch till red, cool with water mist from a spray bottle, insert easyout, turn out plug threads.

    Have done many this way.
  7. Been there, done that (to a different engine). I tried the easyout method ... broke the first easyout off in the plug :mad: ... removed the remains of the easyout, drilled the hole larger for my "bigger stronger" easyout and dropped the easyout right into the cylinder (drilled the hole too big :().

    Ended up just drilling the plug until there was nothing left but the actual threads of the plug ... I then used a pick and "unwound" what remained. This was done on a Chrysler K-car where the plugs are right in front of you and easily accessed ... gonna be a lot harder on a Chev truck I'm thinking (with the head still on the engine).

    I filled the voids in the drill bit with grease ... hoping the "curlies" would stick with the grease and not fall into the engine.

    End result ... I got the threads out of the heads, managed to remove the easyout I had dropped into the engine, installed a new plug and drove on.

    PS. Didn't have access to a set of torches at the time.
  8. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    make sure that the center parts of plug are not in the clyinder
  9. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,149

    Roger Walling

    Peice of cake!

    Sharpen a long center punch and very carefully, brake off small pieces of porcilin, by chipping on an angle. removing each piece every time. Do not drive the pieces strieght into the motor. Soon you will have it all removed, try not to drop the center electrode into the cyl. use neddel nose plyers to remove it.

    Then take a very hot oxycetlin torch and heat the plug red hot if possible. Let cool. Repeat heating and let cool. The heating should only take a min. (The threaded area in the block will not get red hot)
    Take it out with an ezy out.

    Drink a celebration beer!

    I just did it two days ago.

    I have also drilled out one with a drill that was the root dia. of the threads and then used a 14mm tap to remove the remaining threads.

    This one was on a hemi and I used a special made bushing that fit in the valve cover hole to keep perfect alignment.
  10. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Pb blaster and spray for a few days ,Try tightening first
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,025


    Unless you pull the head I'd go with what Roger posted in post #9. Usually heating the stuck threaded item and letting it cool will break the bond that sticks it to the head.
  12. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Could run the motor ,to get it hot ,If not a fresh motor
  13. blt2go
    Joined: Oct 27, 2009
    Posts: 551


    you are not an envied man for this task. been there many times on moline tractors that run propane. common problem and most of the time no simple solution. as said, heat the head and cool the remaining portion of threads and try to twist out. i kept my easy out in the freezer so it could pull more heat from the threads. first i would quench with penetrating oil concentrated on the thread part. most of the time i ended up using a cut down hacksaw blade to cut the threaded portion into three or four pieces then picking out with alot of patience and cuss words. i've done 15 since the age of 11. grandpa used to make me bring all the pieces to him so he could see nothing big was dropped in the cylinder. small stuff was removed with a magnet then flushed out with air then diesel fuel. good luck.
  14. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,331

    Dan Timberlake

    did the steel shell break because it had rusted thin ? that's what happened to a chevy plow truck my dad bought from a contractor. It reportedly had a crate motor installed years before. The contractor probably ran the original plugs until he sold it to us. the whole truck was ravaged by salt, including the plug shells. the first one was so rusty compression popped it, so I proceeded to replace them. Half or more snapped rather than unscrew.

    Oxy acetylene heat, followed by heavy impact, then big EZ out torqued fearfully got them out.
  15. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    This is a VERY common problem on certain models of Chev V8s. They used a cheap spark plug with no gasket, just a tapered seat. If you look at the part that broke off the metal is paper thin. Once the plugs have been in the engine a few years it is practically impossible to change a set without breaking off at least one.

    Have seen guys take the head off to fix this, ridiculous and unnecessary. You need the square easy out with straight flutes not the screw type. Heat the remains of the plug red with an acetylene torch, tap the easy out in with one gentle tap and it will screw right out.

    In some cases you need to jack the car up or put it on a hoist, remove the front wheel and cut an access hole in the inner fender.

    Any Chev garage can do the job in about 10 minutes. No doubt they have done dozens of them.
  16. special-k
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 45


    Rusty nailed it. I had to do the exact same thing on my 90 chev van. Really common on those years. A friend has a couple plow trucks around the same years. He has holes cut in the inner fenderwell to speed bup the repair. Aparently sometimes they rust so bad they spit out the porcelin just from driving down the road. I used the straight E-Z also and it came out easy.
  17. toadyoty
    Joined: Dec 5, 2011
    Posts: 20

    from Warm Beach

    You guys are a hoot! Take the GD head off!
  18. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221


    He,he, are new here. The hamb is chock full of people who can fix anything, without doing unnessary work or buying the expensive gasket set.

    Get used to it, it's hamb.
  19. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817


    wow. where were you guys, say, around 1992 when i broke one off on my 400 Ford?

    no experience, no help, and no money to pay for a repair..... junked an otherwise excellent car because of a busted plug.
  20. Baron
    Joined: Aug 13, 2004
    Posts: 3,570


    I have a short set of easy outs( either Snap-On of Mac Tool) that work everytime. Been using them at my shop for the last 15 years or more . Give it a squirt with some PB Blaster, let it soak for a while, and try the easy out( use the largest one you can drive in the hole). Good luck.
  21. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,298


    I wonder if instead of using an EZOUT you could insert a file (tang first) into the hole of the plug, tap it down with a hammer so it bites into the metal and then twist the plug out very carefully.
  22. Mattilac
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,150


    Ah yes, the joys of extracting snapped off spark plugs. I had to EZ out 5 (read: FIVE) busted plugs from a '98 F250. Apparently the factory plugs they used were notorious for breaking off right at the threads. I spent a whole day on it, and learned that heat, PB blaster, and a fat EZ out is the right way to do it.
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    Sure, why fix it in 10 minutes when you can spend 10 hours and hundreds of $$$$ bux. As Richard Nixon used to say "that would be the eeeasy way".
  24. nutwagonfromhell
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 168

    from missouri

    What happened is I turned the ratchet and pow! I snapped the plug, And all thats left is the threaded end. I think the electrode might be in the cylinder. I`m gonna take a picture tomarrow. I`s an 89 chevy 1500.
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    Fixing shitboxes with no dough. In a spot like that why not try something? If the car is going for scrap anyway what have you got to lose?
  26. This actually just happened to me when I was replacing the plugs on my flathead 6. Soak it with penatrating oil, add some heat and use an ez out. Worked like a charm!
  27. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,355


    On most files, the tang end is not hardened. This keeps them from snapping on the handle end. You'll just end up twisting the file end or worse.
  28. Mopar Jack
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,363

    Mopar Jack

    Number 15 has it right...
  29. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,924


    See post #13. He had it the closest. In the old days when they made wagon wheels they heated the tire (iron band) in a fire and it would grow in diameter. They slipped it over the wood rim and quenched it with water. It would shrink tight to the wooden wheel. So the object isn't to heat and swell the plug! Heat the surrounding area. Cool the plug if possible. Heating and cooling can break rust bond but if you can stretch the hole all the better.
  30. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 662

    from Ohio

    That sucks!!! I broke off a waterpump bolt in my 84 chevy and used a giant C clamp to hold the water pump on :eek: ....thank god ive never broke a spark plug, I always soak my plugs in pentrating oil before I try and remove em......

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