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Thread: Spark plug change gone wrong :(

  1. #1

    Spark plug change gone wrong :(

    FCD15B72-0CB0-4093-861C-880E1A3A458C.jpgI was attempting to do a simple plug change. 09 R1200 GSA
    I bought four new plugs and the BMW cover puller from the dealer. I was slowly and methodically going through the job. I checked my spark plug socket against the new plugs for size. Then I inserted the socket into the whole and began turning. It was working out and then it snagged. I immediately stopped. Then I tried to back it out. No go. It is seriously stuck. I can only think that there may be a sizing issue or the socket walls are too thick? Bottom line is it is stuck I have tried a slide hammer because I can reach into and behind the the 3/8 drives holes ledge. I am seriously in a tough spot. The dealer is estimating $1000- $2000 repair depending on different scenarios up to having to buy a new head. I am not a quitter but unless I can save money on my own Services, like oil, fluid, plugs and air filter. I enjoy my bike so much and am looking forward to doing long distance trips.
    Are there experienced BMW mechanics that come to your home in Orange County California?
    Are there local schools or training for BMW Bikes. I want to have as many skills before I get into trouble. The BMW bike is a fantastic machine, I will take big jobs to my local dealership but I want to keep my ownership costs down.

    Thank you for giving this a read and will appreciate any advice on home service mechanics and training.

    By the way I had previously had changed all my fluids_ oil, trans and final drive with out a hitch.
    Last edited by kwikfile; 11-12-2017 at 04:45 AM. Reason: Added a photo

  2. #2

    Spark plug change gone wrong 😞

    Have you attempted to turn in the opposite direction, as if tightening first, before trying a slide hammer?
    Anything relating to screws and wrenches/sockets if it is mismatched or rounded and slipping might clear if running the socket back in the opposite direction to "unwedge".

    It sounds like your socket went down fine and then fit onto the plug fine as well.
    You didn't mention anything about the socket not fitting right on the actual plug.

    The only thing I could think of that gets it permanently stuck is if it split open, and then does make contact with the wall of the bore.
    Anything else should be undoable by going in the opposite direction. (Even a split socket would get the spreading force removed if reversing it of the hex working as a wedge)
    With "anything else" I mean if there was a socket size mismatch making it wanna slip on the hex that is. Or a rounded off hex on the plug if not installed with proper tools.

    I guess I don't have a solution (as I'm afraid the slide hammer negates any reversing attempts) and am just looking for more info.

    Edit: Was this a new spark plug socket or has it ever been abused?

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    Last edited by morfic; 11-12-2017 at 03:49 AM.

  3. #3

    Still stuck... Thank you for reading.

    0F3DFDE1-89B1-48EE-8EDD-B6BE63A29C51.jpgI bought the a couple of months ago. I wanted to set a base for maintenance and services. So I am not sure if I was dealing with an issue with the hex on the plug from the start. At this point it may be impossible to know.
    I have gone clockwise and counterclockwise but only to the stuck point.
    If it was a clock my free movement is between 11:58 and 12:02 not very much motion there. There is very little room between the socket outer wall and and inner wall go the well. I will attemp another slide hammer cycle in the morning with fresh attitude and sleep. It really appears as if the plug never really came out. I may of hit a high point of the hex where the 12 and 6 o’clock corners are wedged in the socket. Again I am guessing. I am sharingto at a minimum when it is solved another may avoid this situation.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by kwikfile; 11-12-2017 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Added a picture

  4. #4
    I'm interested what got you there.
    Is this a used bike? Enough miles someone else changed them themselves setting you up for this situation?

    Get a wrench to fit on the hex of the socket to wiggle it while you tap it gently with the slide hammer.
    If it something that can be overcome somewhere between 11:58 and 12:02.
    In case it's actually free somewhere in between those two spots





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  5. #5
    Krmugin
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    I know that you can get a 'freeze' spray, that can cool stuck fasteners and such. I'd spring for a can, and try to shrink the socket a little. CRC freeze-off is one. Cheaper than a grand, and you already have the worst case...

  6. #6
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    I will throw in my 2 cents worth. It sounds like the socket is galled into the cylinder head. Maybe try some lube around the outside of the socket. Do not use WD40 use something like a liquid wrench or a 50 50 mix of automatic transmission transmission fluid and acetone. Lay the bike on it's side and spray the lube around the outside of the socket. Let it sit to try to get into where it is galled. Then try turning the socket.

    The idea of cooling off the socket sounds good but I would do that after trying the lube.

    Again just my 2 cents

    Roger L

  7. #7
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Is this one of the cases that needed a thin-wall or turned down socket kinda deal?
    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...rk-plug-socket

    I'm not there but I would try coating the area with synthetic motor oil or perhaps warmed up STP oil treatment. Then, work the socket in and out until you can again find the spot that let the socket fit in the first place and wiggle it out.

    Let us know how you make out.

    OM
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  8. #8
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    If all else fails get an end grinder and take it out piece by piece.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  9. #9
    Gerard jagarra's Avatar
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    If I had a socket stuck like that I would turn it till I reached that free point you mentioned. Use a good pair of vise grips and grab the end between the socket opening and hex portion, adjusted to the point that I had to use two hands to snap it shut. If I didn't have a slide hammer then I would get a long screwdriver and go through a vice grip opening till I was over the rocker shaft put a block between the end of the driver and rocker shaft till it had a small gap and then pull the handle toward you and fulcrum the socket off.

    Using freeze spray may help if you are rubbing on the outside of the socket, canned air if held upside down acts as freeze spray.
    1994 R1100RS-(5/93)-,1974 R90/6 built 9/73,--1964 Triumph T100--1986 Concours

  10. #10

    Off with it's head!

    I wouldn't go overboard with the slide hammer if I were you, the head is a cast part and could be damaged pretty easy which would set up some rather expensive repair costs. The socket went in easy enough so it should come out with a good grip on it, a little manipulation and a ton of patience.

    Read up on cylinder head removal and if you need to buy the parts and proper tools to remove the head or trailer it to the dealer to for the socket removed. Sometimes the standard tool box tools are perfect for the job and sometimes paying a little extra for a spark plug socket made for the job is worth all the tool box tools you own.

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Stuck

    Maybe impact wrench cordless type that rapid vibration makes a big difference and you can use tool to move head of socket up down right left etc.,( too try and get things straight and unwedge socket). When you reach point where spark plug or socket will not tighten any more, do you think plug is tight in head?

  12. #12

    Reverse what you were doing when it stopped

    Use small tools here. While turning the socket clockwise (tightening) gently tap the top of your ratchet with a small hammer as to push it back into the hole. If that loosens things up countinue to slowly tighten the spark plug and then remove the socket if possible.

    This worked for me when I attempted to use a toolbox socket while changing spark plugs on my '04 R 1100S BCR, I never considered a slide hammer though.

  13. #13
    got, got, got no time... rguy's Avatar
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    I would use a small ball peen or tack hammer in conjunction with your slide hammer. Attach at 12:00, gently pull and tap tap tap tap tap tap like a tiny reverse hammer effect. Repeat at 6:00 then 3:00 then 9:00. Rinse and repeat. Patience (and persistence) is a virtue.

    P.s. if you want to try heat / cold then use a heat gun on the head and then freeze spray on the socket.
    Neal - '16 R1200GS / '81 R65
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  14. #14
    Registered User krazyhank's Avatar
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    Just a thought - what about packing dry ice into the open end of the socket. Then a heat gun on the surrounding head surface.

  15. #15
    Any news on this?


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