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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was changing my spark plugs today and I couldn't get the #3 spark plug out. That's the middle plug on the passenger side. I sprayed wd40 and blaster spray but still couldn't get it loose. I didn't want to force it and break it. Do you guys have any suggestions?
I have an 05 Outback 3.0R.

Thank you,
Tin
 

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2014 Outback Limited 2.5im 2012 Impreza Limited
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74 Posts
Try breaking it loose with the engine up to temp. The aluminium cylinder head should expand more than the steel plug. You can also try tightening it just a little first. The penetrant you use probably won't make it more than a a couple of threads.

At least with a steel (or chromed steel) to aluminum connection, there is way less chance of galling. I always use a little bit of copper based anti-seize on my spark plug threads. Good luck.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Try breaking it loose with the engine up to temp. The aluminium cylinder head should expand more than the steel plug. You can also try tightening it just a little first. The penetrant you use probably won't make it more than a a couple of threads.

At least with a steel (or chromed steel) to aluminum connection, there is way less chance of galling. I always use a little bit of copper based anti-seize on my spark plug threads. Good luck.
I've tried what you said and it still wouldn't come out. My brother tried and broke the plug. I think I will bring it into a shop tomorrow to see if they can get it out.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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Aluminum heads.
Do plug changes on a cold engine. NGK or Denso plugs are preferred.
Anti seize should not be used. The new plugs have it on them already.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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I've tried what you said and it still wouldn't come out. My brother tried and broke the plug. I think I will bring it into a shop tomorrow to see if they can get it out.

@traildogck do you have any advice ,...before someone tries to drive a H6 on 5 cylinders? ????:|
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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7,796 Posts
My brother tried and broke the plug. I think I will bring it into a shop tomorrow to see if they can get it out.
Are you saying that the plug broke in the thread area and part of it is still stuck in the cylinder head?

If so, this is likely going to need the cylinder head removed to get it out.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My brother tried and broke the plug. I think I will bring it into a shop tomorrow to see if they can get it out.
Are you saying that the plug broke in the thread area and part of it is still stuck in the cylinder head?

If so, this is likely going to need the cylinder head removed to get it out.
Yes. 1/2 of the thread area was broken off and still stuck inside. My brother tried drilling it so it would fall off the thread of the block. But now we have a major problem. That piece is now inside the cylinder. He put a new spark plug in and started the engine. I could hear the piston is knocking that piece around. Is there a way to get that piece out? Would using a vacuum work? If I leave it in there, would it burn off? Would you recommend trading it in for a new car?
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd Obsidian Black 5MT
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Oh for the love of all that is holy! STOP WORKING ON IT!!!

You're making it worse, and posibly have trashed the engine. The only way to remove that piece now is to remove the head or get very very lucky with a magnet. By starting it with that piece in there you're scoring the cylinder and piston and chewing up the valves.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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Yes. 1/2 of the thread area was broken off and still stuck inside. My brother tried drilling it so it would fall off the thread of the block. But now we have a major problem. That piece is now inside the cylinder. He put a new spark plug in and started the engine. I could hear the piston is knocking that piece around. Is there a way to get that piece out? Would using a vacuum work? If I leave it in there, would it burn off? Would you recommend trading it in for a new car?
:1pat:

I hope you're putting us on.... So many questions, like why would you button up and start a car when you know something fell into the cylinder?

Yes it's a problem. No it won't burn off (otherwise, you'd have no spark plugs). It's not in trade in condition.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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7,796 Posts
Stop. Just stop.

This is now needing a professional mechanic, not your brother, to sort out, if it can be sorted out. Your cylinder interior, piston top, and valves may be trashed. You're not going to fish the broken piece out with a magnet; even if you could get hold of it, you won't be able to extract it through the spark plug hole - it likely won't fit. The cylinder head will have to be removed, the piston, cylinder wall, and valves inspected, and appropriate repairs done.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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I read something here that doesn't add up. "My brother tried drilling it" I just replaced mine last week and there is very little room between the frame rail and valve cover. Is this some kind of magical drill he used.
I'm suspect that any of this happened...
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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I read something here that doesn't add up. "My brother tried drilling it" I just replaced mine last week and there is very little room between the frame rail and valve cover. Is this some kind of magical drill he used.
I'm suspect that any of this happened...
They could have drilled a hole through the frame rail (unlikely) or lifted the engine enough for a right-angle air drill. Neither option are ideal.

If trading it in is a serious option, do it.

If not, start looking for another engine: it will be cheaper than having this one repaired.

And don't let your brother do any more engine work.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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The situation OP is in was avoidable, but there is a lesson here that ought to sink in with all of us: Just as important as having the correct tools and know-how to do a job, it's also very important to know when to stop and call in someone competent.

Yes, that will incur extra costs - but nowhere near the cost of replacing an engine.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I read something here that doesn't add up. "My brother tried drilling it" I just replaced mine last week and there is very little room between the frame rail and valve cover. Is this some kind of magical drill he used.
I'm suspect that any of this happened...
They could have drilled a hole through the frame rail (unlikely) or lifted the engine enough for a right-angle air drill. Neither option are ideal.

If trading it in is a serious option, do it.

If not, start looking for another engine: it will be cheaper than having this one repaired.

And don't let your brother do any more engine work.
. You are correct. He took off the wheel and drill a hole through the frame rail. Anyhow, I called a tow truck and have it towed to the shop. The mechanic will remove the intake manifold and see if he can get it out. If not then he will have to pull the engine out.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is it even worth it to fix this car? It has 108k miles. 4 brand new tires. Or sale it as is and buy a new car?
 

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2018 Dark Blue Outback 3.6R Touring arrived 8/31/2017
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Is it even worth it to fix this car? It has 108k miles. 4 brand new tires. Or sale it as is and buy a new car?
You should get the engine fixed or replace it.
Unless there are other notable major problems it should still be worthwhile to keep it.

It was stupid to run the engine with something loose inside like that, but it'd be downright dishonest to sell the car with what's been done to the engine without explaining to someone, would likely count as fraud.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT and 05 Outback 3.0R
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So the mechanic at the shop says the piston is crack. He says I can either replace the engine or buy a new car. How much can I get for the car as is? I will list it as "crack piston, need a new engine."
 
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