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Cannot remove spark plug - socket won't push in all the way to grab the plug

Hi There,

1995 dodge ram 1500 4x4 5.2L v8

I replaced 7 out of the 8 spark plugs in my truck. I can’t seem to be able to remove my number 2 plug. The plug (and boot) is surrounded by a heat shield.

The socket goes in fine until a certain point. Then it just seems like there is not enough space between the plug and the heat shield for my socket to go in. So basically I can’t even loosen the plug.

It’s not that the socket isnt deep enough. A: I replaced the other 7 plugs already, and B:…well…I accidently cracked off the top part of the plug that’s current in the engine.

Anyways, the point is the socket cant go in far enough to grab the plug.

When I put a flat head in between the plug and the heat shield it seems like the heat shield is bent in but I’m not 100% sure on that. I can’t remove the heat shield, i’m not even sure if that’s something that can be removed.

I thought this might have been a rust thing and used a lot of PB blaster and let it sit for days without effect.

What would a mechanic do here? What’s the deal?

Inspect the area carefully for clearance and consider breaking the ceramic top off the plug and then removing the remaining base with whatever socket will fit. Using a deep well 1/4 inch drive socket to break the ceramic and a needle nose plier to remove it would get you half way home. Be certain that you won’t have fragments hung in a position to fall into the spark plug hole when it is open. If the heat shield is interfering you might be able to twist it back to its original position by prying against the plug base before removing it.

Actually, I already (accidentally) broke the ceramic top off the plug. I suppose half the ceramic top has been removed.

No fragments exist, any there were I blew away with compressed air.

I’ve twisted the heat shield every which way with no effect. It just doesn’t seem to want to move farther away from the plug.

What are the odds that you can post a picture?

Can you even see down in the well? Is the old plug all rusty & corroded and maybe that’s keeping the socket from seating?

I would “line up” the socket with the “nut” that is the remaining base of the plug and knock the socket on the plug with a mallet. Once the socket is on the base you should be able to remove it from the cylinder. Then the challenge will be to get the base out of the socket.

You’ve already broken the plug, so what’s to lose with more force? If you are not comfortable doing this, drive or tow the truck to a mechanic. Leave it and don’t watch what they do. They will find a way to get a socket on the base, perhaps a thin walled impact designed socket and they will get it out.

Everybody is responding to “how do I get it out?” Don’t forget that you need to figure out how to get the new plug installed. I wish I had some ideas for you.

You could look around for another spark plug socket with skinnier walls. It is possible that plug does not match the others and you may need a different size socket.

It would be very helpful to see the problem. As cigroller suggested, a photograph might get you up and running again. I just don’t recall ever seeing a MoPar small block that had the plugs in a confined space. The exhaust manifold gasket has a runner from the center pair of ports outward to the front and rear ports and a U shaped tin heat shield was nestled in the gap between the cylinders as I recall but maybe that was an earlier set up that is now history.

I second uncle turbo’s tapping on the socket.
I have used a thin wall deep socket,and gently forced the socket on.

When i installed a new plug i used a piece of rubber tubing that would fit over the plug wire tip to install,turning just enough to get the threads started.

Run a small screwdriver or probe around the outside of the spark plug inside the well to see if there’s some piece of debris stuck down there keeping the socket from seating.

I found a number of references that claim they will pull out if you gently squeeze the shield with a channel locks and wiggle while pulling up.