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    Thread: Spark plug stuck

    1. Member vwooom's Avatar
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      '84 GLI/'01 Wolf
      05-21-2020 02:35 PM #1
      I've tried several penetrant including the 50/50 ATF + Acetone. So far it won't budge. I have tried heating it up with a torch, but not a lot as I'm scared I'll damage something. Need some advice. Is it safe to apply heat to it? How hot & how much. I think the penetrant isn't getting down into the threads, maybe too tight. Tap with hammer + heat? Any tips or tricks? Thanks.

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    3. Senior Member briano1234's Avatar
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      90, 92, 93 Cabriolet They own you.
      05-21-2020 08:32 PM #2
      If the car runs, then put in all the others, and drive it to get the head up to temp, as a head up to temp may be that you loosen the threads a wee bit and are easier to remove. Going back use a tad of never-seize to the threads to prevent this in the future.

    4. Junior Member AlexBerryer04's Avatar
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      1984 VW Rabbit GTI 1.8l 8v
      05-21-2020 08:52 PM #3
      I might be wrong, but aren't you supposed to heat up the head and not the spark plug. Also, just try driving the car (if it runs) until it's up to temp and then try to remove the plug. Hope all goes well for ya!
      That moment when you have a Frankensteined Mk1 GTI.

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    6. Member vwooom's Avatar
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      '84 GLI/'01 Wolf
      05-21-2020 09:01 PM #4
      I left out an important piece of information. I can’t run the engineto warm it up, because it’s on a dolly. It runsamd came out of a gti. It’s going to go in my jetta, just wanted to put all new plugs in first. A friend told me to try tapping the plug with a hammer and give it some heat + anti seize. I tilted theemgine back to hopefully let the atf/acetone pool around the plug and hopefully soak in, but it didn’t work. Now all I can think is apply some heat, but how much is safe and heat the plug, or around the plug. Something tells me warm up the metal around the plug. I have some freeze spray. Maybe heat then spray the plug base with this. I tried tightening it a little first, it doesn’t budge either direction. Two plugs came right out.

    7. Junior Member AlexBerryer04's Avatar
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      1984 VW Rabbit GTI 1.8l 8v
      05-21-2020 09:15 PM #5
      If you're patient enough you should just leave penetrating oil on the plug for as long as possible.
      If you MUST get it out now, and you don't care about the plug you COULD zip it out with a power tool. Plugs are all one unit, so its very unlikely it will shear off. But I would just leave penetrating oil on it for a week.
      That moment when you have a Frankensteined Mk1 GTI.

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      05-21-2020 10:26 PM #6
      That last method could pull the threads from the head. Just leave the penetrating oil on it and occasionally tap the plug and surrounding metal. Quick bursts with an impact, forward and back, but don’t try to just blast it out.... all you’re looking to do is break up some of the corrosion, so the oil can creep in.

      -Todd

    9. 05-22-2020 01:47 AM #7
      What damage could come from blow-torching the head? It's on a stand

    10. 05-22-2020 08:33 AM #8
      Get some Kroil.
      It beats any other penetrating oils Ive ever used. I mean it really works well for this type of thing.

      Best option might be to pull the head off and that way you can add oil to the bottom of the plug too.

    11. 05-22-2020 10:34 AM #9
      You mention that the spark plug will not budge. If that is the case, you are wasting your time putting any type of oil on the plug because there is a gasket/seal on the plug and it's job is to seal. I'll assume that the last person tightened it good, maybe too good. Plugs need to be tighten just enough to crush the seal. Anything more is just causing issues in the future.

      I'm assuming that the engine was not sitting outside and not corroded too bad. If that is the case, I would get a large breaker bar and try to loosen it a bit. Once it moves [and it will with enough force], then you can apply some type of oil and hope it seeps down the threads. Twisting the plug back and forth will allow the oil to move further down the threads.

      I would not stress too much about it unless someone really did a number on it before you got it. Even if you damage the threads, there are plenty of ways to fix them. I've never seen a spark plug that would not come out or be fixed cheaply. Since the engine is out of the car, 90% of the problems fixing it are gone.

      If you have not, you may want to think about replacing any gasket/seals that are easy to get to. The rear cover would be the ideal time to replace it.

    12. Member vwooom's Avatar
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      '84 GLI/'01 Wolf
      05-22-2020 11:27 AM #10
      Thanks for all the responses, good info! I'll try to budge it slightly with breaker bar then some penetrant. If it doesnt move I'll get some kroll.

    13. Member vwooom's Avatar
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      '84 GLI/'01 Wolf
      05-23-2020 07:40 AM #11
      Good news - one of the stuck plugs came out really easy with a breaker bar. The 50/50 ATF + acetone must have finally got in there, I haven’t tried it in nearly a year.

      Bad news, one of them broke off. I thought it was coming, but the hexagonal bolt part twisted off. I pulled the Center electrode & ceramic right out with pliers. This leaves only the threaded part and the outer electrode still inside the head. The guy who installed this must have used zero lube or anti-seize.

      I think there’s still hope - maybe some heat + an easy out of the correct size?

    14. 05-24-2020 09:03 PM #12
      I would pull the head. It needs rebuilt anyway.

      Even if you forcibly get it out....what about all the chunks that managed to fall in? What....gravity is different up there in the nort?
      Understanding reality for what-it-really-is, for many years.

    15. Member vwooom's Avatar
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      '84 GLI/'01 Wolf
      05-26-2020 08:58 PM #13
      Found a video where a guy removes one exactly like I need to do. Will try this method.
      https://youtu.be/JijVI3RTkMY

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