Debris left in cylinder after broken plug removal-Did I screw up?
This weekend I changed the plugs for the first time on my 2005 5.4 after 120,000 miles. Followed the guidlines in the TSB to get the plugs out. I had two break off. I had the Lisle Ford Broken Spark Plug Remover LIS 65600 on hand. The tool worked great accept when pushing the ceramic insert down into the sleeve it caused a small piece of the side electrode to break off and go into the cylinder. Nothing else went into the cylinder. I attempted to get the piece out with a magnet and then with a vacuum. No luck with the magnet and not sure if the vacuum was successful (no borescope). At the time I didn't think such a small piece of debris would be a big deal and got comfortable running the engine anyway. I've put probably about 30 miles with no problem. Now after giving it more thought I'm very worried that I may have screwed up by not being sure to get the small piece of metal out. The metal piece was a small thin portion of the lower electrode, probably 3/16th long by 1/16th wide. It was quite thin (~1/32) due to 120,000 miles on the plugs. I know the best thing would have been to have no debris what so ever. Did I screw up? Would I have seen a problem already if I was going to? Or is this something that will cause damage over time? Anything that I can do now to avoid any future damage? Thanks for any input you may have.
Well it sounds like you did due diligence with regard to getting it out. So, I doubt you will have any lingering impacts. The possible side effects would be scratching the cylinder wall and/or the piece getting stuck to a valve causing compression problems. More than likely you got it with the vacuum and have nothing to worry about.
my guess would be if it were in there it probably isnt any more. the first time your engine fired that baby was blown out the exhaust like a tornado. one time on a carburetated motor i inadvertantly got my shop rag sucked in the intake that baby was gone before i could blink my eye. i think your probably good.
talked to a life time race mechanic for a local drag team. he said even tho porcelain is harder than steel, its fragile and will break up on any movement of the cylinder. damage if any will be minimal. a grain of sand will do way more damage...
blow out the cylinder as best as you can. use a stick with HEAVY grease on it to pick up some of the junk. clean it out with some WD40 then start that bad rascal.
The debris was actually metal. It was part of the lower electrode that is the very bottom of the spark plug, and on the motocraft OE plug, goes from one side to the other. Hopefully it got out of there and isn't doing any damage.