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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Trouble loosening the old spark plugs



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      09-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
Jeffman
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Trouble loosening the old spark plugs

I have a 2008 335xi AT, 30000 miles, Running Cobb Accessport Stage 1+ with FMIC and DCI.*I followed Cobb's instructions to change the spark plugs and stopped when I could not remove spark plug #1. I applied about doubled the amount of torque (45 nM) for loosening than is required for tightening (23 nM) and then stopped in fear of breaking the spark plug. Suggestions?
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      09-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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get a longer ratchet, more leverage should do the trick.
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      09-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
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Well obviously...but my concern is that I'll strip the spark plug threads or worse, break the spark plug. I tried with the engine cold, which is recommended. Any tricks here? Would a warm engine be better?
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      09-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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You might want to spray some pb blaster down into the plug hole and let it seep through for a few hours and then retry with a cold engine
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      09-03-2012, 03:12 AM   #5
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So first off, you need to use a special socket. Second, by quoting the amount of torque, are you using a torque wrench to remove the plugs? You should never use a TW for loosening anything, it damages the wrench. The breakaway torque is always higher to remove a plug or any fastener.
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      09-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
So first off, you need to use a special socket. Second, by quoting the amount of torque, are you using a torque wrench to remove the plugs? You should never use a TW for loosening anything, it damages the wrench. The breakaway torque is always higher to remove a plug or any fastener.
Special socket - check.
Torque wrench - only to check how much torque I was putting on the stuck plug...after trying to remove it with the socket wrench, extension, and special BMW socket.

The penetrating oil should work from multiple sources. Thanks,
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      09-04-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Your not going to strip or break the plug it if your going in the right direction and the socket is fully seated on the plug...on the other hand if it was cross threaded put in, then the damage is already done....
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      09-04-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHR View Post
Special socket - check.
Torque wrench - only to check how much torque I was putting on the stuck plug...after trying to remove it with the socket wrench, extension, and special BMW socket.

The penetrating oil should work from multiple sources. Thanks,
I understand what you were trying to do, but torque wrenches don't work in reverse (they do work for torquing left-hand fasteners). There is no reason to try and measure the torque when removing a plug or fastener, it has no relation to how much torque was applied to the plug (or fastener) when torqued down. Like someone else said, if the plug was put in incorrectly previously by being cross-threaded, then the damage is already done. Penetrating oil may work (plugs are sealed to the head to prevent combusion gas leakage), but it may not reach the threads. Just get the biggest wrench you can and get the plug out and see what is what. I doubt you'll break the plug. It's a steel plug body threaded into an aluminum head, you'll pull the threads out first. Good luck.

For example, I have removed O2 sensors that required a 3 foot extension on my 28 inch breaker bar, and the O2 sensor remained in tact.
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      09-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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Try the following trick that I've learned. Torque it back in, then torque it back out, keep doing this so that you don't accidentally strip anything. You're basically trying to loosen it slowly and surely.
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      09-08-2012, 03:39 PM   #10
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spray WD 40 down hole and let sit for a while.
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      09-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #11
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^ PB Laster works even better. The factory always overtightens plugs. On all cars. It's going to take some umpf to break them lose. As long as you have the proper socket/tool on it and you are square, put some torque on it. Make sure to use anti-sieze on the threads of the new ones. I also use di-electric grease on the plug boots.
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