broke off something - how to get it out?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by kevinj, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. kevinj

    kevinj Been here awhile

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    ||| EDIT : PROBLEM SOLVED |||

    Hi everyone,

    I messed up what should have been a simple maintenance task and am hoping for suggestions on saving the day. Keep in mind you're talking to a newbie here.

    I was replacing the secondary spark plugs on my 2006 bmw r1200gs. They're underneath the cylinder heads and it's a bit clumsy to get to them. I must have overtightened one because I broke it off. The photo shows 1/ on the right: the intact old spark plug that I removed, and 2/ on the left: the broken new spark plug. The missing piece is still in the bike and obviously I'll have to get it out somehow.

    But how? Is there a tool to do this? Or am I really in trouble?

    Thanks very much,


    Kevin

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    Wow..that's odd. I've never seen a spark plug shaft broken off. If it's current just and open hole with the steel sleeve of the plug shaft you may be able to get a screw extractor of the correct size to try and remove it.

    In the case of a broken screw or bolt you would have a solid shaft of metal in a hole. You would then drill a hole of the correct size and insert the extractor which I kind of a reverse threaded screw/bolt. You screw it into the hole and as it drives in it is tapered, so eventually it gets tight. The reverse thread exerts torque in reverse which hopefully turns the original broken shaft out.

    In your case you already have a hole in the steel sleeve....so inserting the extractor should be pretty easy. Just be careful as I assume the head is aluminum. I think you may be able to find a large enough set at something like Home Depot.

    Here's a link to what I'm talking about: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=202850653&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=202850653&ci_kw=%7bkeyword%7d&kwd=%7bkeyword%7d&cm_mmc=shopping%2d%5f%2dgoogleads%2d%5f%2dpla%2d%5f%2d202850653&ci_gpa=pla#.UR9BZRG9Kf0

    Best of luck!
    #2
  3. mark1150

    mark1150 Been here awhile

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    In all of my years working on cars and bikes I've never seen this happen before, perhaps a lesson to us all.
    I remember sometime last year talking to friend who had an 800GS, and the subject of copperslip came up.
    He swore blind that modern plugs don't need it, where as I said they should, I was called "old skool", I was wondering whether copperslip is recommended on the 12?

    Anyway back to the case in hand, an extractor should get it out as the poster above has said.
    Wishing you the very best of luck with it, let us know how you get on.
    #3
  4. FixxiT

    FixxiT Lunitic Fringe

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    Defective plug. Be glad it happened with a new plug while installing & not from galled threads when removing an old plug.

    The seperated threaded part should easily come out with the appropriate size e-z out :deal
    #4
  5. Firemanmike69

    Firemanmike69 Been here awhile

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    As said before a large ez out should work you could also try needle nose pliers against the ground tabs an try to turn the insert out
    #5
  6. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    I would apply some penetrating oil on the threads before trying to use an ez-out tool. The threads should rotate using a finger since there is no torque on the threads. Since that is not happening, the threads are sticking and penetrating oil will help. Patience is the main ingredient when using penetrating oil and waiting 48 hours after applying will provide better results. Also, based on the end of the spark plug threaded electrode it looks like a standard flat screwdriver would work to unscrew the plug metal. Good luck!
    #6
  7. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    I believe I'd try the screw drive method first as an easyout tends to wedge the area its expanding against the threads themselves when dealing with very thin material such as this. Use a magnetized srewdriver just in case one ot the electrodes breaks loose.
    #7
  8. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    With all due respect, if changing a spark plug got away from you, the remediation processwill certainly go worse. Get an accomplished mechanic to help you, or pay him to do it. BIGGER ($$$) things can go wrong, stop now and get help. Good luck:freaky
    #8
  9. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

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    +2

    Stop.


    get someone with more skill,
    #9
  10. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    A torque wrench it could be a good investment for you if you don't yet own one.

    And taking a shop class at a local community college would probably
    also be a good idea. Working on things when you lack the knowledge
    and skill to do the job properly can get expensive and more importantly
    it can render the machine unsafe for road use which could affect your safety
    and the safety of others on the road.


    .
    #10
  11. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    The above is VERY good advice and paying a pro to deal with the situation is
    probably some of the best money you will ever spend.



    .
    #11
  12. Dirty in all

    Dirty in all Adrenaline Junkie

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    That happens more than anyone here knows I guess. It's a defect in the plug. Get an easy out but dont let it slip or you'll get metal shavings and you dont want that. It shouldnt be hard to remove at all. The pressure is off the threads. Simple hand pressure is all you will need. Torque wrench on spark plugs? C'mon. Hand tight and quarter turn. Theres a crush washer on every single one of them, once it's crushed passed hand tight it's seated and not going to leak or come out. If it does just carry something in your tool kit. Stop freaking the poor guy out.
    #12
  13. kevinj

    kevinj Been here awhile

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    Thanks, everyone who took the time to read and/or respond. It's great to have a community where you can share a problem in the evening and find a bunch of replies waiting in the morning.

    I'll definitely try the screwdriver/needle nose pliers recommendation. If that isn't enough, I'll think carefully about the extractor. Sounds simple but I can imagine more going wrong there, and I may indeed choose to have it taken in and fixed.

    As for torque wrenches, I have them. I hand-tightened first, then put the torque wrench on and waited for the click, which didn't come (or at least the spark plug broke before I got there).
    #13
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    IMHO, first put the piston at TDC, then work out the issue. Make sure your tool doesn't go in too deep. Anyhow, once out, use a vacuum on the hole to pull out any debris.

    Jim :brow
    #14
  15. Chuck Pryce

    Chuck Pryce Been here awhile

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    Ok, did you get it out?
    #15
  16. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I have one ,or more, of them plugs on my bench. At first your post made me interested in duplicating the failure mode....plug in the vise and then a big wrench just to see how much force that would take.

    I'll go give that a try and then see how much force you could apply with a screwdriver at the electrodes to turn it out. Not much I'd think before they bend or break.

    Got one of them nifty little tools to magnetize screwdriver tips? I sure use mine quite often to bring stuff in and out and in case things break.

    Click torque wrenches...not always the best.You just can't get a reading that you are approaching torque. Tought I was going to break a bolt last week and then it did click.Ouf...! Switched to the beam wrench for the other ones.

    Will be back after some destructive tests....!:rofl
    #16
  17. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Look up Ford Triton spark plugs. They have a big problem with the plugs breaking off in the head. You will wind a lot of advice on removal.
    #17
  18. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Took 55-60 ft/lb to do that, according to the beam torque wrench:

    [​IMG]





    And then the screwdriver, should have tried from the other end but sure that I'd get the same results.

    [​IMG]



    Took only a few ft/lb, probably no more than 4-5 to twist the tips and then you can forget that method.They are really soft.:eek1

    [​IMG]

    In some way you are pretty lucky that the tip/porcelain came out with the rest of the plug. Had to punch some of that out of a plug a while back to make a compression gauge adaptor and it sure did not come out easy.:eek1

    Good luck!
    #18
  19. kevinj

    kevinj Been here awhile

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    Heh, thanks for the original research :). I don't know how I managed to put 3x the recommended torque on the plug (or else something was wrong with the plug - I'll pretend not to know which is more likely :)).

    In any case, I can affirm your conclusion about the tips. They are indeed very soft. Two turns of the screwdriver (not nearly enough to make a difference) and they're gone, partly broken and partly bent out of reach.

    I bought the extractor thing also while I was at the hardware store just now (it was only a couple bucks anyway) but I'm scared of using it: if I do it wrong, there'll be nothing left for the next guy to work on it. Might call the dealership to come pick up the bike. I'm mulling it over now.


    Thanks again everyone for the comments. There's some suggestions I haven't replied to, like using magnetic mechanisms or how hand pressure should be enough to remove it, but I don't see how to apply that. It's a small opening with nothing to hold onto ...
    #19
  20. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    TDC??? Top dead center could put the extractor tip onto the top of the piston especially if he bought one a bit small. I would recommend moving the piston away from TDC if putting an extractor into the hole.
    But i have to agree a pro would probably have it out in a few minutes and less risk to the machine.
    #20