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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 08-15-2012, 07:54 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Tool Talk: Spark Plug Socket, Old-Schooled vs Magnetic

This seems to be a neglected topic, but the other day I was changing my spark plugs on my 1998 Volvo V70, there were 2 problems with my "old-schooled" spark plug socket:

- The rubber boot is a bit tight, so when I pulled on the extension, the socket stayed down the well. A pair of long-tip pliers came to the rescue.

- Another time, the socket came out but left the rubber boot down there!

Admittedly the E39 spark plug is not in a deep well like to Volvo but.....

Alternatives are:

1. The GearWrench is 6", about $10 at Advance Autoparts.

2. The KD set has 3 items: 4", 6" and 11" for $32.


I just picked up the Gear Wrench Spark Plug socket for $10 at Advance Auto Parts. This is it!
Simply amazing, whoever invented this thing deserves a Nobel prize LOL.
- It has a strong magnet, it holds the spark plug amazingly.
- It has a swivel extension that is permanently attached to the socket.

Hands down this is the winner, throw away your socket with rubber insert LOL!



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Last edited by cn90; 08-16-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2012, 07:59 PM
poolman poolman is online now
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
Had the same problem with my V90 Volvo wagon and the needle nose saved me many times also. I would guess the mag socket would indeed be a better--I bought the gear wrench set when it first came out about 5 years ago---My son now has the set I used to own--but me thinks that this spark plug set will be a good addition to my tool set
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2012, 08:05 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Now this is something i think will be used repeatedly. I think I am gonna buy me a new tool! Thanx, Cam!!!
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2012, 08:46 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Fudman,

The minute I looked at the tool, I could not understand why this was not invented sooner. I hate the rubber thingy in my spark plug socket, it is "dinosaur" technology.

You really have to buy this Gear Wrench thingy and you will see, the design can be described in 1 word: GENIUS!
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2012, 05:58 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
CN, thanks. Yup done the needle nose bit more than a few times to retrieve the plug socket too. My work around was to use the rubber spark plug socket to get the plugs out, but to put them in I just barely push the plug into the rubber holder and then catch a few threads. Then pull the socket off the plug and continue to tighten the plug with a conventional 5/8's deep well socket.
I've got a ton of Gear Wrench ratcheting wrenches, 6mm to 25mm. Nice feel to them. Anybody know why they don't make a 23mm wrench?
I'll be picking up the magnetic socket on my next trip to Sears, hope the have it.
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Last edited by JimLev; 08-16-2012 at 06:12 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2012, 02:46 PM
speedchase speedchase is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i MT M62
I used the BMW spark plug socket in the trunk to the put the plugs back in until the plug catches a few threads and use the one from Autozone (after removing the rubber boot) to tighten the plug in. The BMW socket has a plastic boot and is attached really well into the socket using the plastic heads that fits into holes on the socket.

For removal, it was the Autozone socket (w/ the rubber boot) and extension as required.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2012, 03:03 PM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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I just use a regular socket to remove my plugs, and pull it out with the spark plug boot or a length of rubber tubing. I always had the same issue with the socket getting stuck in with the plug so I gave up on that. N
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2012, 03:07 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Believe me, go and buy this Gear Wrench tool and you will never look back.
I rarely ever "endorse" any tool, but this one is exceptional.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2012, 05:24 PM
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gchand gchand is offline
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Thanks Cam - great tool tip.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:53 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Update,

I have replaced spark plugs on my BMW, Volvo, Honda etc.
This magnetic tool is the winner!

I just threw away all the spark plug sockets with rubber insert, useless piece of junk that I used over 25 years!
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:06 AM
mr magoo mr magoo is offline
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Throw away tools?

I do not have the discipline to throw away less functional tools. I always think "sometime I will have a need."
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2012, 11:56 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
the socket came out but left the rubber boot down there!
Happened to me, over here:
- One user's pictorial DIY for replacing the BMW M54 engine spark plugs (1)


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
done the needle nose bit more than a few times
+1. The M54 spark plug well was too deep for my plethora of needle-nose pliers, so I had to use surgical forceps to fish my rubber plug out!


Luckily, the M54 isn't too bad to fish out the plug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr magoo View Post
I do not have the discipline to throw away less functional tools
Me neither! I don't even throw away parts of tools!

For an on-topic example, the old hose that came with my now-defunct Motive vacuum extractor was the perfect size for threading the spark plugs back into my M54:
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 05:57 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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I found them at Advance Auto, bought a few of them for presents for some of my gear head friends.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:25 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Yeah,

I don't look back to the rubber sockets any more.
They are already in the trash can, and I am speaking as a person who virtually don't throw out any old tools at all.
I have had enough with rubber sockets, what a waste of time.
My time is very tight between work, family/kids and other duties.
Time to move on to magnetic sockets.
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