Spark plug tube removal

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
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dubster5775
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:34 am

Spark plug tube removal

Post by dubster5775 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:55 pm

The issue is that the spark plug socket is stuck at the bottom of the spark plug tube. It's binding against the wall of the tube itself. I have tried these options: Magnet is not strong enuf -it just detaches from socket, Needle nose pliers will not reach - to short in length, Vice grips on tube to pull/twist out - will not budge due to binding on socket, Locking extension on socket - not strong enuf to stay locked on socket. I've use WD-40 to soak the sides of the socket but that doesn't seem to make a difference.

I'm stuck now, i've talked to repair places and they indicate that the tube is pressed into the head so there is no way to remove it. I've seen a few tube removal tools on the internet but no video's of someone using one.

At this point i've been quoted $2500.00 to get it fixed, basically a new cylinder head + 15 hours labor to fix what was suppose to be a simple spark plug change. HELP!!!!

Vehicle info: 2009 Vibe 1.8L Base model.

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SeattleJeremy
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by SeattleJeremy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:55 pm

What spark plug is in the head (old or new)?
If it's old can you use a socket extension to reach and unbolt the spark plug?
If it's new can you unbolt the screw and pull them out together?

edit: OH.. um.. "It's binding against the wall of the tube itself" it sounds like you have cross threaded the plug (put the plug in sideways). That's above my pay grade for suggestions, sorry about that.
06 Vibe Base - Mono Platinum - Manual

Bookworm
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by Bookworm » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:50 pm

The 'tube' is misleading.

So, I'm understanding that you tried to put in a new spark plug, and then the socket jammed up.

To me, yes, that sounds like you tried to cross thread the spark plug. The only way to get it out would be to unscrew the spark plug. That is, get a breaker bar on an extension, and punch it widdershins. (Counter Clockwise)

Even if you can get it loose, there's a good chance you've mangled that section of the head, and redoing the thread would still be best with the head removed.

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vibrologist
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Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by vibrologist » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:43 am

Even if you can get it loose, there's a good chance you've mangled that section of the head, and redoing the thread would still be best with the head removed.
I can't argue with that.

The main risk of re-threading or inserting a Helicoil is this: The cutting action will create metal filings that can fall into the cylinder and possibly damage some surfaces when the engine runs again. That risk can be mitigated, but not completely eliminated, by adding grease to the cutting tool. Most filings will adhere to the grease and come out with the cutting tool.
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

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andrewclaus
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Location: Golden, CO

Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by andrewclaus » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:08 am

On the off chance that the plug is fine and somehow just the socket got jammed, I have just the tool for that--double-jointed needle nose pliers.

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joatmon
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Location: SMC MD

Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by joatmon » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:12 am

On my 03's 1ZZ, the "tubes" the plugs sit at the bottom of are part of the valve cover. No idea what the setup is on your 09

I'm having a hard time visualizing the problem, so if this doesn't make sense, blame it on that.
Did you try reversing the ratchet or using a breaker bar to wiggle the socket back and forth to see if you can get it to unbind?
Can you stick an extension into the socket and pry it back in line with the tube?

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SeattleJeremy
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Spark plug tube removal

Post by SeattleJeremy » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:12 pm

joatmon wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:12 am
On my 03's 1ZZ, the "tubes" the plugs sit at the bottom of are part of the valve cover.
That's a great idea, by removing the valve cover you should be able to see what is going on more clearly.
06 Vibe Base - Mono Platinum - Manual

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