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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 09:48 AM
chaurian chaurian is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 325ci
Spark Plug Socket Stuck inside Plug Chamber

Hey Guys, thank you for all the nice pictures of the Spark plug DYI. Especially KrisL's (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...spark+plug+diy). Thank you Kris. I printed out this DYI for a good 6 months now but didn't start till this Christmas eve.

Well, I have a problem. I tape the socket to the extension but didn't use enough tape and now the spark plug socket is stuck in the chamber. If I had use the correct size spark plug, I can simply lossen the spark plug and get out the socket with the spark plug. But my idiot self used a 13/16 socket and not the correct size of 5/8. The socket has the rubber inside so it grips the spark plug pretty tight. I can turn the socket but only the socket is turning in circle and it doesn't lossen the spark plug.

Can I buy any special tool to get out the socket? Any suggestion would be appreciated guys?

Can I drive without 1 cylinder? Is so, would I tell people I drive an I-5...hahaha

Please help.
Thanks.
Joe
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2009, 10:06 AM
boomvang boomvang is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325xi, 2004 S2000
You should be able to retrieve the socket by reaching in with a long probe with a small hook on the end, the hook should be just a tiny bit smaller than what ever size socket driver you are using, most likely 3/8".
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2009, 10:15 AM
chaurian chaurian is offline
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I thought about that too. I used an old cloths hanger and bent the end into a hook but couldn't grip onto anything. But I'll try again...

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  #4  
Old 12-25-2009, 10:50 AM
chaurian chaurian is offline
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back out in the cold again but no luck...

Can I drive the car in the current state without messing up anything? just short distance to a mechanic.
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2009, 02:07 PM
im im is offline
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consider:
1-spray PB BLASTER or WD 40 in center of hole and outside edge..do NOT spray everywhere if possible..try to concentrate on areas because you want the square to be as clean as possible and not slippery...just outsides of socket and center part/rubber.
2-very long needle nose pliers..stick them in square hole and open pliers while pulling up
3-a long fat/wide screwdriver can also be placed on the diaganol in the square and pressure placed to one side as you pull up.
**you will get a check engine light if you drive AND IF the plug is not tight it could shoot out of engine.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2009, 02:19 PM
im im is offline
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basically the only thing really causing problems would be rubber in the plug..if you can reduce its grip the removal should be rather easy.
1-the PB blaster or WD #40 should help reduce the rubbers grip
2-a heat source like a hair drier blowing hot air into the hole would soften the rubber also...
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2009, 03:34 PM
chaurian chaurian is offline
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THANK YOU Sir Im. The WD-40 works. I put WD-40 between the spark plug and rubber as you said to lossen up the grip. I couldn't pull it out right away but let the WD-40 marinated for 15 minutes and it did the job. My wife can no longer ask me questions like, "What is WD-40?", "what do you use WD-40 for?" and "Do you ever use these stuff?"

Thank you again.

So lesson learned:
1) Spark Plug Socket are NOT universal. E46 uses the 5/8.
2) really tape the extension and the socket together.
3) and you guys are the best.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2010, 06:55 AM
im im is offline
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you are welcome.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 08:06 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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FWIW, when I changed the plugs two Sundays ago I followed the age old trick: put the rubber grommet in the spark plug socket when taking the old plug out, remove it when putting the new plug in. Just gingerly dropped each new plug in the hole then chased it down and screwed it on with the socket and a long extension. No stuck socket, no need to tape up anything. Oh, yeah, and the socket is 5/8". Don't forget the antiseize for when the new plug becomes old.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2010, 12:04 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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I have two different spark plug sockets. The one with the rubber is used to take old plugs out and to start new plugs. Before snugging up the new plug, I switch to the socket without rubber in it. I have found that snugging the plug will often make the rubber grip the plug tighter than the extension grips the socket. And then you have the problem that started this thread.

The issue I have with starting the plug with the socket with no rubber piece is the plug wants to fall out. If you can manage that, you can take the plug out with the rubber and put it in without it. I do not have problems using the rubber piece to start the plug by hand, however.

Jim
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  #11  
Old 02-26-2010, 12:57 PM
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catso catso is offline
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The easiest way to start the plug back in is using 6"of rubber fuel line hose. Pick a size that grips the top of the plug firmly. Start the plug on the threads with that. If it's crossthreading the hose will just safely spin on the plug. Cost 50 cents or less.
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2010, 01:22 PM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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I use a just normal deep socket. I don't why do you need a spark plug tool. A normal deep socket from Sears is better quality and deeper then normal spark plug tool. Also I didn't use any tape, a good extension should have enough pressure on socket to hold it tight.
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2010, 02:48 PM
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
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Can always get locking extensions if you are really paranoid.
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:31 PM
genuity genuity is offline
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Best $10 ever spent.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...5372_200385372
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2010, 01:37 PM
SPEEDCHIP SPEEDCHIP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genuity View Post
Good deal
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