If there was oil in the plug well I would pull off the valve cover and replace the grommets for the plug wells and the valve cover gasket. While the cover is off and you can do it with it on, turn the engine over by hand. You can do this by putting a 19mm socket on the nut on the main pulley (harmonic balancer) and rotate the engine. Bring the piston to the top. Use a flashlight to see in the hole. Get the piston up to the top and fish with a wire.
September, 11, 2007 AT 1:14 PM
With a hole size of only 1/2" max to work through, and the fact that nothing could be seen in the 4" depressed cylinder, things did not look good.
Various wire designs revealed the Q-tip near the hole opening on two occasions, but I could not retrieve it successfully. I rigged up a fish hook on a wire, then two. Neither were successful. I could not even feel making contact with the Q-tip.
I figured to try the next day after a trip to the local fishing tackle store to buy the smallest treble hook I could find. Three different designs for that and one finally worked, a size 16 treble hook attached to 30# fishing line, inserted through a drinking straw. Twirling the line over and over again, with occasional pull-outs, finally yielded the bugger.