I have a 2006 F150 5.4 Triton 3 valve. I've had a really bad issue, where a socket is stuck in my spark plug chamber and everything has failed to get it out.

The option I'm left with now is replacing the Head, but I'm not sure if I want to spend that much.

The injector is shut down to that cylinder is it safe to run till I make my decision on only 7?

  • What have you tried, where you say "everything has failed"? How on earth did you get the socket jammed in there in the first place too?!
    – George
    Aug 21, 2015 at 21:27
  • I had a similar issue with a Mini cooper. I managed to use the slide hammer I use for pilot bushings with the slide weight from my full size axle puller.
    – mikes
    Aug 21, 2015 at 21:33
  • 3
    Use a pair of needle nose vice grips. You should be able to lock onto the socket and pull it out. Also, if it's the rubber stuck to the spark plug which is holding it in place, consider taking the spark plug and all back out, separate the plug from it outside of the cylinder head, then pull the rubber out and go after it again. You'll be able to use an extension at that point to keep be able to haul the socket out. I do feel your pain, btw. Aug 21, 2015 at 23:43

5 Answers 5


Yes you can. Obviously you'll be at a reduced power level, but no problems should occur from doing this.

EDIT: While I believe this is a "plug on" application, you'll want to ensure your coil is not connected either. I doubt it will be down in the hole, but you don't want to have the coil attached to the wiring harness without it being able to throw electricity to ground somehow ... you'll burn out the coil doing that. Please also note, your dash light will light (check engine light) when you start. You will get some error about a misfire. When you get this fixed, you'll want to clear the codes. Also, consider taking the truck to a machine shop or a good mechanic's shop which deals with Fords. They will have dealt with this problem before, undoubtedly.


The engine is unlikely to be damaged. This is not true for the catalyst. With one cylinder pumping air into the exhaust the mixture sensors (oxygen sensors) will see this as a lean condition and try to compensate by enriching the others on that bank. This results in a uneven mixture at the catalyst, which can damage it. It OK to drive to the shop of your choice, but no farther.

Source: 30 years automotive diagnostics.


One thing worth mentioning is that running with a missing cylinder will result in engine vibrations that will be felt across most of the rev range.

This will not cause damage in the short term, but will make for a rather annoying driving experience.


I'm pretty sure if you disconnect the injector and the coil Yoshi should be fine! Don't listen to these other guys lol

  • I drove 100 miles with 6 of 8 cylinders working ( I pulled the push rods on two cylinders- long sad story). It was long ago but I don't recall any particular problems. Dec 6, 2019 at 17:59

Although everything above is true, surprisingly you will do just fine on 7. If it is an old beater like mine, raise your idol a few hundred RPM. Use better fuel. Power will be down ~12.5% not exactly, but roughly, on demanding climbs keep yourself in a lower gear. IMPORTANT! IF, your cylinder is dead because of a piston or ring-related issue be very careful that you are not blowing crankcase oil up through the cylinder. IF you do run it on that condition say goodby to your cats, and be sure you will have havoc on that side of the engine. The recommendation is to be sure you are not injecting gas into that cylinder, go ahead be creative on that one. Injectors fail all the time anyway. Let the sparkplug go ahead and spark away. But again if you start burning oil STOP! and fix the problem or get ready to R&R your engine (not as bad as that may sound if you shop). MarkMannM2

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