Cheap boroscopes?

Hey Folks,
I dropped the tip of a spark plug into a cylinder. The piece that screws on. I believe they are aluminium, so a magnet won’t work to retrieve it. I tried compressed air and nothing popped out. I may have blasted it out through a valve? I tried a vacuum and nothing got sucked out
I would think at top dead center with both valves closed I would hear it rattling around. I was thinking of buying a boroscope. There are some cheap units , 50 bucks , that hook up to a laptop. Has anyone tried them? Any thoughts?
York. Maine

Yes, 50 is on the high side, they work well enough. Get the thinnest one you can find. Good luck.

I have a cheap one which is basically a tiny webcam (it needs to be plugged to a PC or phone via usb) and it works well. I think it was even cheaper than $50.
Be aware that most of them are flexible, which is not really a good thing as you won’t be able to manipulate the camera very well. You need to choose a semi rigid one (at least in my opinion).
These are not more expensive, just a different variety.

FYI these things are pretty short sighted as they are optimised to capture video from a very short distance.

EDIT: the one I bought a few years ago is this one:

I have a Depstech WF028 wireless endoscope that fits the category you describe. It might work for you, it might not. When I bought it new, the optics were scratched beyond useful and a second set had to be requested to make it work.

On the other hand, models like the Oasis Scientific articulated borescopes cost about ten times as much. You could try $50 models first as they are only 10% the cost of next grade up. I found the lack of articulation capability too limiting on the $50-and-under models for some applications.

Are you sure they are ally? I thought they were steel,


Not sure if you have solved your problem or not and I know you tried a vacuum, but a trick I have used to try and clear detritus from inside the frame rails is to place a 1/4" piece of clear plastic hose inside a slightly larger diameter piece of rubber hose and then wrap your hand around them and the end of your vacuum cleaner pipe to concentrate the suction. I am sure the spark plug end would be retained by this method and allow you to draw it out. While removing dust etc. from the frame rails I noticed that any large pieces of debris like pebbles or rust chunks simply get sucked and held against the end of the plastic hose until you remove them.


For the record on the vacuum and plastic tube method, you can use slightly larger plastic tube and put a sewing pin through the plastic to “catch” the spark plug top.


I think I paid $10 or $15 on ebay for one that plugged into the USB port on the bottom of my phone. Had an LED light ring with a dimmer. The camera end was about the diameter of an old #2 pencil.

Every removable plug tip I ever saw was alloy.