In changing the spark plugs in my 2000 Ford Mustang GT (4.6L), I sheared one of them (number 3)
The ceramic is totally removed, as is the hex nut. The threaded portion as well as the ground electrode remain screwed into the head (and moderately corroded due to a previously unknown leak)
Pictures to describe what I'm looking at.
I have been soaking the bugger in PB Blaster for the past two days and am going to attempt an extraction tomorrow.
Having not worked on cars, but being a mechanically inclined person, I've been scouring the net for information and tips on both spark plug extractions and head removals. But the extraction it looks like a one and done deal. Either it works or the whole head is coming off.
I've got the whole weekend to remove the head, so time is not an issue. My limitations are tools, and experience.
Which brings me to my question: Is it worth the expense to take it to a professional for extraction? Or would he run into the same problems I would? Finally if extraction fails, would you recommend removing the head as a means of experience gathering, a DIY accomplishment, and a money saver?
This question is incredibly helpful and full of more information for people who stumble on this problem:
What is the proper way to extract a broken sparkplug?
Spec sheet specific to 2000 Mustang
A nice helpful link from a forum
Edit: Bad news. Will update tonight with new pictures...
So it is a number of months after this whole ordeal and with the help of a mechanic/buddy I managed to get through it, here is the full scoop.
So I called and got an estimate from the local Ford dealership, they said they have a special tool to get it out and they will do it for $250, $2500 for worst case (head removal).
Now, at the time I didn't feel like a "special tool","mechanical expertise", and "decades more experience" was worth $250, so I went to buy an extraction kit.
Bought the extraction kit, and it was about 3/4" round (pictures) and had a funny mating, so I headed on down to Harbor Freight (right down the street luckily) and after explaining what was needed (lots of depth, little width, still able to produce torque) I was given a multitude of sockets, extenders, connectors, adapters, and had myself a nice long spark plug extraction kit ready to go. Cue excitement.
Well I went to town extracting this bad boy, learning on the way how an extractor is supposed to work.
An extractor digs into the center of the bolt/screw and continues to bore into it until the force require to dig into it further is less than that required to tighten it (in which case it will tighten). This usually will allow for removal of the extractor and thus, the bolt/screw. But I only hoped it was this simple.
I kept digging in and in feeling resistance, but not getting any sort of traction or tightening that I should have been feeling. That did not stop me. I kept grinding and screwing and turning with a big ass breaker bar trying to get this free. Didn't work.
So I figured that it was stuck. I figured there must have been some hardcore gunk built up in these threads and I let it soak in PB blaster overnight while I thought of a solution. I finally came up with this (retrospect:not) genius solution. I'd hit it with some heat. Things would expand/contract a bit at different rates and I might be able to get it free! So I hit it with a handheld torch (Surprisingly cheap at Lowe's) frustrating because the head of the torch wouldn't remain lit while upside down (down near the stuck hexbolt). After about 30 min on the flames it was the moment of truth. I rigged up my extractomatic and laid all I had into this breaker bar. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then a audible pop. I danced in triumph as I had broken that damn hex bolt free. There was little to no resistance now and I was sure I could just ratchet that bit out now and slap a new plug in and be on my way.
I was wrong.
I actually didn't break the hex free, and nothing was coming out. No hex, no extractor, it was all stuck in there. To top it all off I dropped the only crucial socket that I didn't have a backup for somewhere in the valley of my engine. In a fit of rage, I threw my tools down and called for a tow. I told the mechanic (not my buddy) to remove the head and tell me what he saw.
I blew out the backend of my head.
But wait you say! If you blew out the backend of your head, what were you extracting?
I confirmed with the mechanic that the only way I was extracting directly into the piston head was that it was in the absolute top position (think 1/100,000,000). I ended up buying a replacement head, ignoring the mechanic's advice on replacing the engine (due to the scored piston) and replaced the head with a mechanicfriend in exchange for some computer work he needed done.
The mechanic said the car wouldn't run 10 miles on a scored piston. Some youtube videos, a couple bucks for tools, elbow grease and a mechanic friend and it seems to be doing fine. I've put 7,000 on it and am glad it hasn't blown up yet :)