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I am having a LOT of trouble removing a spark plug from my Craftsman 9 HP Tecumseh model 24.88910.
I'm trying to do my first tune up on my own. I bought a new plug, 13/16" socket and a ratchet wrench. For the life of me, I can't loosen it. I feel like I don't have enough hand strength to loosen it, but shouldn't the ratchet wrench take most of the work?



Vehicle websites suggest using a penetrating oil. Can I use this on my snowblower? I acquired the snowblower 4 years ago and it hasn't had any maintenance done. I've used it two seasons. Last year, it wouldn't start. So I'm doing an oil change, lubed all the moving parts, replacing spark plug, etc. Any tips? Maybe I need a deep socket? I can't tell if I'm far down enough on the plug.
 

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Use PB blaster for the spark plug threads and leave it soaking overnight.

Does the socket have a rubber insert in it to hold the spark plug?? they are used to prevent the loss o the plug when installing it in one of those lovely places where you can barely get your hands in to.
If you have a motor with a large spark plug being the 13/16" it should slip all the way to the bottom touching the head.

You should plan on removing the starter recoil fan cooling shroud cover to check for any mouse nests as they can and will cause havoc with an air cooled engine. They love to chew on spark plug coil wires.

You are probably ready for new V belts as well so plan on removing the V belt cover and taking your hand rub the V belts and if you see rubber flakes in your palm its time to send the V belts to the V belt graveyard and replace them with Kevlar V belts.

The drive wheel should also be looked at to see if it needs to be changed as well(cracked rubber is not good).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Use PB blaster for the spark plug threads and leave it soaking overnight.

Does the socket have a rubber insert in it to hold the spark plug?? they are used to prevent the loss o the plug when installing it in one of those lovely places where you can barely get your hands in to.
If you have a motor with a large spark plug being the 13/16" it should slip all the way to the bottom touching the head.

You should plan on removing the starter recoil fan cooling shroud cover to check for any mouse nests as they can and will cause havoc with an air cooled engine. They love to chew on spark plug coil wires.

You are probably ready for new V belts as well so plan on removing the V belt cover and taking your hand rub the V belts and if you see rubber flakes in your palm its time to send the V belts to the V belt graveyard and replace them with Kevlar V belts.

The drive wheel should also be looked at to see if it needs to be changed as well(cracked rubber is not good).

Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes, the socket has the rubber insert. Will definitely check for mouse nests. Had a small invasion in the house recently. I have 3 in 1 oil and Liquid Wrench on hand. Would you recommend the PB Blaster or WD40 instead? I ask about WD40 because their website has some pretty convincing photos when comparing results to PB Blaster :wink2: Will check the V Belts and drive wheel as well. The operator's manual and I are about to become good friends this weekend.


I will update with spark plug news and with these tasks, I expect more questions!
 

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any penetrating oil will do as its a hit or miss with them anyways, imo, as many tests have shown.
its hard for the oil to get past the plug washer.
warm up the motor as that sometimes help. most say do it on a cold motor....but urs is either cross threaded or rusted on, if its rusted on then a hot engine might help but not if its cross threaded.

use a longer handle or a insert a suitable length pipe in wrench handle to give u more leverage, but do it gingerly when trying to unscrew plug.
plenty of utube vids on removing stubborn plugs on cars

did u resolve the no start? if no then check for spark by using another plug attached to plug wire, check utube.
if spark is present then leave existing plug alone for now and check fuel delivery and clean the carb which is the biggest cause of a "no start" issue.
if it starts after doing that then leave plug alone as it can snap off and give u a bigger headache, plugs last a very long time
 

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When an overnight soak with penetrating oil won't loosen a stubborn plug, I make it a point not to use other methods until I have a Helicoil of the correct size on hand.

Richard
 

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I agree with GeekOnTheHill, if you can't get it out, leave it alone IF the engine is running w ell and starting.

I agree with vinnycom, 1) penetrant won't get past the washer; 2) start the engine and warm it up; 3) use a longer handle ratchet even if you need to use a pipe over the ratchet handle to give more leverage, use a 1/2" ratchet than a 3/8"; 4) do not use an extension, use the spark plug socket with a rubber insert directly attached to the ratchet; 5) if it works, leave it alone.
 

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1.Warm up engine. Use 1/2" ratchet with proper socket. Try to tighten a little bit (clockwise)and see if it moves. If it does, remove it counter clockwise
2.Spray penetrating oil, whichever one you like and let it sit for a while. Spray again and let it sit. After a few hours, try the above procedure

Caution!!!!!! You are stronger than the stuck spark plug. You need to proceed with caution with the amount of torque you apply. You can snap off the spark plug or strip the threads. If that happens you will need to rethread or insert a coil with a tool similar to this
 

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does donyboy73 have a video on this? maybe one of the small engine guys has a video on You tube on this.
If you mean installing Helicoils, there are bazillions of videos. There probably are a bunch on removing stuck spark plugs, too.

Helicoils and similar tools from other manufacturers are actually very easy to install and do an excellent job. I've never had any problems installing them. The thing is that you really have to get it right the first time. The most common mistakes are not lining the drill and tap up perfectly in the hole, or trying to rush the drilling or tapping. Not lining up properly or trying to rush the process can result in having to buy a new head.

When installing Helicoils in assembled engines, I always use some thick grease on both the drill bit and the tap, and proceed very slowly. It helps catch the shavings.

On one-cylinder engines, after installing a Helicoil, I rotate the shaft until the exhaust valve opens, and blow compressed air through the spark plug hole. Then I spray whatever solvent I have handy into the cylinder and turn the engine over a bunch of times with the fuel valve closed and the spark plug hole empty. That usually gets most of the bigger shavings out. The rest should pass through the exhaust valve harmlessly when the engine is started.

Richard
 
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