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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:04 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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#4 Spark Plug stuck.... What should I do?

Tracking down my #3 cylinder misfire problem and the #4 spark plug (or is it #3?) is stuck.

The plugs are numbered from the front according to BMW correct? With the #1 being the frontmost.

Anyways, the plug is just not coming out. I'm pretty sure the idiot BMW mechanic that put this one in cross-threaded the hell out of it. So far I have backed it out about 2-3 full turns but can feel galling and debris in there. What should I do? I feel like spraying WD-40 in there to help it a bit is my only option right now.

Oh man, this should've took 20 seconds at most....
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:08 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Search forum but some people have sprayed brake cleaner down the spark plug, let it sit for 1h or so, then try to undo it.

If it is galling, not much you can do, just go slow 1 turn out 1 turn in back and forth while spraying PB Blaster, Brake Cleaner etc. You may even need a breaker bar.

Worst-case scenario is Timesert.

Yes, #1 cylinder is toward the front of any engine.
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:16 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Thanks CN90. You don't know how assuring it is to read you type that (although it's obvious). I don't know... I feel like I'm toast. Such a bad situation. All I know is that I have to get this out.
I've been backing and tightening it over and over and it's smooth where I have traveled thus far.... Not good I guess. This sucks so bad.

Any way I can prevent metal shavings getting onto the piston head?
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  #4  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:23 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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This is a known issues in spark plug left in for 100K+.

Some threads on stuck spark plugs:

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...Spark-Plug-WTF

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...w-can-I-remove

Re metal shavings, don't worry, once the plug is out, make some ghetto vacuum tubing (Duct tape etc.) and hook it up to your shop vac and suck any debris out. The small pieces will be expelled once the engine starts, with no consequence.

Last edited by cn90; 12-25-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:25 PM
FrozenBimmers FrozenBimmers is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavarianE31 View Post
Any way I can prevent metal shavings getting onto the piston head?
I would unscrew the plug to the point where it is almost free, then attach a straw to an attachment on your vacuum cleaner and clean out the area around the plug. Then I would have a larger attachment sucking on the area as you pull the plug out.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2014, 02:59 PM
OzzieH OzzieH is offline
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You might try a real penetrating oil. I don't think WD-40 works all that well.
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2014, 04:26 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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WD-40 was designed as a Water Displacement" chemical. It has no lubricating qualities.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2014, 04:48 PM
djmjd djmjd is offline
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Back it out as far as you can. Spray enough liquid wrench (okay) or PB blaster (best) to fill the spark plug hole a bit (I'd say spray a couple table spoons worth of it in there). Let it sit like that for a few minutes then screw the plug in and back it out a dozen times. This will get the lubricant down in the threads. Let it sit like that for at least 15-20 minutes and then screw it in and back it out a bunch of times, increasing the amount you back it out little by little. If it ruins the threads after doing this, then there's nothing you could have done about it. A Timesert is the best fix for damaged threads.
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2014, 07:22 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Thanks for all of the help. #4 and #5 were pretty gummed up. Managed to keep twisting back and forth with doses of WD-40 in between to finally get them out. Going to replace them all with NGK platinums to try to diagnose my issue. I'll update that thread accordingly.
Plug threads seem perfect visually. Thanks again guys.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2014, 11:46 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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FYI,

I now use only NGK Iridium BKR6EIX, about $7/each at Advance Auto parts and the like.
Great spark plugs.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2014, 12:04 AM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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I considered Iridiums but I my research showed that they are slightly less superior to the Platinums in some terms due to the single prong vs 4 prong design.
But you really can't go wrong with either.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2014, 01:17 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I personally think single prong is better.
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2014, 10:47 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I personally think single prong is better.
Went with NGK single ground electrode Iridium also. The 4 ge's seem to be close enough together that they retain gunk. I don't think the 4 ge's were as great an idea as they were thought to be.

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  #14  
Old 12-26-2014, 04:34 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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The iridium plugs came out after our cars were introduced to the market place. They are of higher tech that the 4 prongs,,and there are many ways that they are truly superior to the older tech 4 prong plugs. After trying the for the first time back a few years ago,,they are the only thing I use now,,,
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2014, 06:27 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is online now
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Iridium plugs are the best for both performance and longevity.

The 4 prong technology was introduced as a way to get plugs to last 100k miles. That is their purpose. Has nothing to do with performance.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2014, 12:20 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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One thing about stuck park plug, in order to avoid damage to threads:
- Undo the spark plug a bit, maybe a 1/4 turn or less (90 degrees or less), all you care is undoing the washer sealing effect on the spark plug to allow penetrating oil to go down the threads.
- Now pour a few teaspoons of your favorite penetrating oil and let it sit for a good 15-30 min.
- Then back the spark plug out slowly, go back in and out, and in and out.
- You need to be patient because galling didn't happen overnight.

Last edited by cn90; 12-27-2014 at 12:22 PM.
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