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DOH! stripped spark plug hole?...need HELP


Guest Anonymous
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Guest Anonymous

So I'm putting on the new exhaust manifold today, which by the way went on fairly straitforward aside from the tricky wrench work you have to do to get at the exhaust pipe hook up. Anyway, I decide it'll be a good time to swap in the new spark plugs before I get the new manifold on there. All 4 plugs come out fine, number 2 and 4 have a little resistance but nothing more then can be expected from plugs that have probably been in there 5+ years.

So, I get all the plugs out and inspect them, nothing out of the normal aside from masive carbon build up. Good thing I'm changing them... So I start putting them back in, using a socket and extension but no driver, and simply threding them in with my hands. All 4 go in till the point they are hand tight. I get out the socket driver and touqe wrench to get them tight. When I come to #2, I spin it with the socket driver a few times, it gets tighter but nothing more then maybe 10 pounds a foot, just enough to need the driver. I keep turning, nothing happens. SHIT! I think, ok well its probably just the plug. I pull it out, and the threds are 100%. Just to make sure, I put the old plug back in. Same thing, it gets slightly past hand tight, then just spins.

So is this why my car was so cheap? Because one of the plug holes is striped out? What can I do? Is this a commen problem? PLEASE dont tell me my block is toast or something. If this is gona cost anything more then $100-200 or so to fix I'm afraid I'd have to sell it, which would be a shame after all of the work I'm putting into it. Please someone give me good news.

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Guest Anonymous

also, what size? 22 1.5 mm right?

Has anybody done this before? What size drill bit will it need? Is this viewed as a temp fix or will it last?

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Guest Anonymous

I guess that is looking like the best solution. My search led me to almost the same page.

So is 14 x 1.25 the right thred size? Anyone have experience using these? Is there anyway I could do this without removing the head?

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Guest Anonymous

I just went through this with my M20 engine... when I went to change out the spark plugs, two of them had been stripped by the previous owner.

If the helicoil goes in too far then it can act as a sort of glow plug - you'll have this little bit of metal sticking into the cylinder, it'll get red-hot, and cause predetonation. Also, when it gets helicoiled, metallic bits get into the cylinder and it will be hard to get it all out if the head is still on. You could do it without removing the head but it would be false economy; the cylinder walls would get roughed up from the debris and you're running the risk of even bigger problems.

I *think* (but not positive) M10 head bolts can be reused, so the only cost would be for a head gasket, and labor for a helicoil, if you do it all yourself. (Cost was $15 per helicoil for me)

HTH,

Ben

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Guest Anonymous

In relation to my '74, just after purchasing it I went about refreshing plugs and wires to ensure that everything would work as it ought. What makes this such a silly story is that I entirely failed to commit to memory even in a rough sense how many times the socket had turned relative to the head to remove each plug. Upon replacing the plugs, I confidently expected to turn each plug maybe three or four full rotations to seat the replacement plugs tight, but not so tight as to strip the delicate aluminum threads. My imagination got the best of me as three or four complete rotations will NOT seat a plug into an '02 cylinder head. After a lame attempt that left me with frightfully loose plugs, I was convinced that I'd stripped out every hole! Setting some sort of '02 standard for paranoia, I never suspected that I might not have researched the subject to reveal that something else was amiss. Not until I was given a nice 121 head was I able to reassess the situation to determine how many turns were necessary. If memory serves, it was about 10 or 11! To my great embarrassmet new plugs fitted (correctly this time) to my '74 improved the idle quality, etc. immensely = no thread damage to speak of. The tale may have no application to your situation, but I doubt I'm the only person who has panicked thus. Best regards...

Mike K.

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