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Old 04-24-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
dmartin1
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broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

i broke a ratchet, must of been a real cheap p.o.s in the square plug on the driver side head, it half rounded in it like it was gonna wanna slip around and strip then caught but the dam head broke inside of it!

any ideas on how to go about getting this out? the truck has ram horn manifolds so its not that blocked by anything.


anyone ever experinced this?

i dont wanna run the sender in thewater neck (intake doesnt have a bung for one)
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1978 Shortbed fleet side bonanza fully loaded
1978 k20 Silverado loaded.currently engine-less
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
jabborabbo
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

Drill a suitably sized hole for a suitably sized easy-out and then rattle it loose?
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
GRX
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

Hmmm, that is a tough one. You might try a left hand drill bit and easy out to wiggle it loose.

Those factory installed pipe plugs can be a real bear! Installed extra tight, then couple that with swelling from rust and coolant corrosion, sometimes damn near impossible to get out. Especially on the vehicle. If you can get that broken ratchet out and you still have a good square left in the plug, I'd try a twisted square easy out like below. Probably have to heat the cylinder head around the plug quite a bit. I have removed dozens of those plugs for customers that way. Though mostly on the work bench not in the vehicle.
Best of luck!

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Old 04-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
jabborabbo
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

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Originally Posted by jabborabbo View Post
Drill a suitably sized hole for a suitably sized easy-out and then rattle it loose?
This suggestion was for getting the broken ratchet piece out - GRX's solution sounds like the way to go for getting the plug out!
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
SeniorVerde
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

I'd hold a nut over the broken square and weld through the hole of the nut.
Then you could unscrew the square shaft just an 1/8th turn to the point where it wasn't starting to strip in the square hole.

If you are able to weld down inside of the nut, and save some threads, you might be able to screw a bolt into the nut you welded onto the broken square and have a little more material to gab onto with Vice grips or pliers. Not sure if there is the access to get down to where you'd need to be though.

Man, that's a tough one.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
BLT gmc
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

If it is loose could try a magnet. A small pick set to pry gently at the edges. As above drill and easy out then pull it out, pray the tool steel is soft enough to drill. Last resort MIG welder as stated above- weld a nut on the grab it, or if the weld bits into the plug twist them both out together. Could start a weld with an arc electrode, disconnect the stinger or ground to purposely weld the electrode to the 1/2 square drive broke off in the plug. Then at least you would have the electrode to grab and pull. Good luck, Bruce
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
dmartin1
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRX View Post
Hmmm, that is a tough one. You might try a left hand drill bit and easy out to wiggle it loose.

Those factory installed pipe plugs can be a real bear! Installed extra tight, then couple that with swelling from rust and coolant corrosion, sometimes damn near impossible to get out. Especially on the vehicle. If you can get that broken ratchet out and you still have a good square left in the plug, I'd try a twisted square easy out like below. Probably have to heat the cylinder head around the plug quite a bit. I have removed dozens of those plugs for customers that way. Though mostly on the work bench not in the vehicle.
Best of luck!


grx, where would i go about getting one of those bad boys? the square is actually fine the ratchets metal gave before the steel plug did.


thanks for the tips guys! any are appreciated
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1969 Shortbed in progress
1982 short step, few suspension and motor upgrades.getting a 468
1978 Shortbed fleet side bonanza fully loaded
1978 k20 Silverado loaded.currently engine-less
1989 k10 suburban 9" lift
65 nova
And more
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
GRX
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Re: broke a ratcher head in cylinder head plug

Those twisted square easy outs are getting harder to find. Which is a shame since they're the only ones I've found worth a damn. I just did an image search and shared the first one that came up, which happened to be Ebay. Not sure what size you will need.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-SPIRAL-SCR...item3f24b33bd0
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