Hex Nut Came Off Spark Plug?!?

Toyota 2AZ-FE

I went to go remove my spark plugs, and I wasn’t able to grab onto the plug. I was using a 5/8 inch socket. I then looked at the socket and didn’t think much of it at the time.

I then took a borescope and looked at the spark plug in question, and it looks like the hex nut is completely gone? It was rounded out, rusted out, but just plain old gone. It seems that perhaps when I did this job last the nut came off the plug and got stuck in the socket. Yes, I did use a torque wrench the last time I put them in.



I’m not sure if extractor sockets exist for spark plugs, if so, can someone point me towards one? Not only that, would that even work in this case? 100 % round, hex came off.

Unless I’m not seeing something the nut is completely gone and stuck in the socket.

I fear my spark plug is stuck in my engine!

Looks to me like the rubber boot that’s supposed to be on the end of your coil has come off and is still on the spark plug. Get in there with a long pick and remove it.


Or the rubber grommet from inside your spark plug socket…

Some people should just put the tools down and step away from the vehicle.


Hey thanks I fished it out.


The COP for the particular spark plug looks exactly the same as the other one. Any ideas on how I reassemble this rubber piece?

Oh I see likely from the socket huh?

Just to follow up on this, I always wondered why a 5/8 inch spark plug socket is the appropriate size for this engine, while every other fastener on the car is metric?

Because 5/8 is very close to 16mm, and most mechanics already have the 5/8 version and don’t need the 16mm version, by the way they make metric spark plug sockets also…

So I guess you got the clip off and got the timing chain tensioner replaced OK???

Google could have answered that in less time than it took to post the question.

I might try a 16 mm spark plug socket, if I ever get one. 5/8 seems nice and tight though.

I ended up prying on the tab so hard, that the tab just broke off, and the metal bracket bent out of the way (!) that it was clamped onto. Despite this, there was still something in the way of me pushing the wire harness clamp out of the way. Almost like it was clamped down elsewhere. But I couldn’t figure it out. I was going to try removing the valve cover, and using a borescope to watch the tensioner as I rotate the crankshaft. To see if it is causing the tapping sound. I’m thinking it might be. I had rotated the crank before and heard the tapping sound, sounded very similar to the ratcheting sound of the tensioner getting slightly depressed and extending back one tooth.

If I can catch it on the borescope, that it is indeed my issue. I’ll give it another try removing that clamp. There appears to be four different cables coming out of it. There’s also a power steering line, it’s electrical connector, brake booster hose etc… It’s a mess of stuff around the clamp. The service manual says nothing about this clamp.

That part gets stuck with the spark plug pretty often. Also the socket falls off the extension and stays with the spark plug sometimes, deep down in that hole. for the latter, I’ve learned to duct tape the socket to the extension, saves a lot of time fishing the socket back out. For the former, I use some really long forceps-style pliers to retrieve the socket’s rubber insulator.

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Those forceps come in handy too if you drop your keys between bucket seats. Dang near impossible to get you hand in there. I should buy an extra one. I originally bought to overhaul a Briggs carb. Needed it for something, don’t remember what. But then many valuable uses like fishing something out of the garbage disposal. Every he/her/them should have one.

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I also prefer a small piece of duct tape inside the socket. Is there anything duct tape can’t do?

A piece of 3/8 rubber hose works well to grab the plugs, too. Push it over the end and it grabs the plug.

I used to use that on my Pontiac for under the generator but had a stiff wire inside to guide it to the hole.

Not if you have quality spark plug sockets… lol
My Snap-On sockets have never lost there rubber in 30+ years…

Same thing, I have never had that happen with my Snap -On or Mac extensions, but the cheaper ones I have bought do it… Now I have slung sockets off plenty of time using an impact gun… But never removing spark plugs…
If your tools make you money for a living, then quality tools are an investment, but for the DIYer, not really worth it…

That is so true, and it is extremally hard to cross thread a spark plug using a hose to get it started…

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