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mjeff87

plug swap gone bad, really bad

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Welp, I screwed up.  Big time.  Decided to do a plug swap on the KJ over the weekend.  5 of the 6 plugs spun right out (they only have/had 25K miles on them) but of course the biggest PITA one, #6, was frozen.  Wouldn't even budge at all.  I filled up the plug well with PB Blaster and let it sit overnight and half the next day, then put a socket on it and it did break loose but was still seized.  I kept soaking it in PB, going back every hour or so and tightening/loosening it as much as it would turn and did get it to spin about 2/3 of a turn.  Then it snapped, and left the threads in the head.  I got physically sick when I heard it break.  I have (cheap) fluted extractors and got one inside the remnants and quickly tried to see if I could spin it at all.  Nope, not a budge, so I quit at that point.  Got my buddy with a tow dolly and dragged it to a local shop, who have been working on it for 2 days now and even they can't get the threads out.  I'm desperately trying everything possible (and so is the shop) to get them out WITHOUT having to pull the damned head.  If it ends up coming down to that, I might just as well do an engine swap on it.  About as much labor and cost as pulling the head.

 

Anyone here ever snap a plug off like this (on a ".7" Chrysler variant engine, with aluminum heads and steel plugs)?  Tips, tricks, prayers?  I told the shop they can keep it for as long as they need to and to not tie up a bay with it sitting in it and lose money on other jobs.  I don't care if it takes 2 weeks of soaking in Knock 'er Loose (that's what they're using, along with a nice set of Snap On spiral extractors) to get them out, lol.

plug.jpg

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that sucks. :(  royally.   I feel for ya.  I'm half dreading the work I'm planning for the CRD this fall.

 

 

always use antisieze

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Just break the threads off the new one and slap it down in there with a glue cocktail...should be good to go!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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I'm pretty sure I know why this one plug is seized, now thinking about it.  I spilled a ton of coolant all over the back of the engine last fall when I was flushing the heater core, like I always do.  I do use an air nozzle on my compressor to blow it all out when I'm done, paying special attention to the plug wells on that side of the engine (because they point straight down into the head.  My guess is I didn't get all of the coolant out of #6 back then and it's since cooked itself into some kind of impenetrable goop now.  Plus the head is aluminum and the plugs are steel...galvanic corrosion and all that jazz.

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Do a search on YouTube South Main Auto Channel Eric goes through this and shows you the process of getting a plug out it takes a special tool and apparently it's a frequent problem on Ford V8

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I've watched those videos, but I don't think that tool will work on my problem (at least from how I've seen it used online).  Thanks for the advice though.  The broken plug problem on that Triton is/was so bad that tool was invented specifically for it, lol.  We had a F350 here at work that actually blew 3 plugs right out of the head back in the day (because the head design only allowed 2 threads worth of engagement....brilliant idea).

 

Shop just called me, they're throwing in the towel on it.  I think they're (justifiably) worried about either breaking off their extractor inside the plug guts, or dropping debris down inside the cylinder.  I don't blame them.

 

Looks like I'll be pulling the damn head this weekend.  Yay.

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1 hour ago, mjeff87 said:

I've watched those videos, but I don't think that tool will work on my problem (at least from how I've seen it used online).  Thanks for the advice though.  The broken plug problem on that Triton is/was so bad that tool was invented specifically for it, lol.  We had a F350 here at work that actually blew 3 plugs right out of the head back in the day (because the head design only allowed 2 threads worth of engagement....brilliant idea).

 

Shop just called me, they're throwing in the towel on it.  I think they're (justifiably) worried about either breaking off their extractor inside the plug guts, or dropping debris down inside the cylinder.  I don't blame them.

 

Looks like I'll be pulling the damn head this weekend.  Yay.

Sound so much fun, back in day when i was really young and own a 2004 dodge neon, hey u don't laugh at me now :teehee: well it 2.4 and one of spark plug got loose but before when it happens i heard loud tapping under the hood and i shut it down and look under hood and couldnt figured it out, again i was young, so i turn back on and saw the plug was moving up, down, up and down so i try to get it turn and guess what? I making it worse, :doh: so i call tow truck to bring to the shop and somehow they got fix with new thread and never had problems again for few years. Good luck. 

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No judgement from me on the Neon....we had one as the first new car we bought as newlyweds.  It blew the head gasket @30k miles.....total pile of crap it was.  My FIL (who arranged the purchase for us because we were DIRT poor at the time) blew up on the dealership about it, I've never to this day seen him so angry about anything.  They fixed everything, steam cleaned the entire engine bay, and gave us a full tank of gas when we picked it back up.  Traded it a week later on a POS Chevy Baretta:laugh:

 

I called the dealership, they quoted $1300 just to pull and reinstall the head (doesn't include any machine shop fees for getting the remnants out).  They said book time for a head gasket replacement was 6 hours, which is essentially what needs done sans the machine work.  That's with all the proper tools, alldata and a tech that (hopefully) is familiar with the work.  I'm not doubting the book time estimate one bit, either.

 

Ive got some thinking to do on this one.

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how well does it run as 5 cylinder?  :dunno:

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Not well at all, especially with the compression stroke blowing out of the little hole inside the plug threads.  Sounds like a damn steam locomotive:laugh:. It does run though...enough to drive it up onto/off of a car dolly.

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As a long time Jeep dealer tech, Ive never seen this happen on a 3.7 or 4.7. Especially since they hadnt been in there that long, they should have come right out. If youre going to do one head gasket, you may as well do both of them, and maybe get valve job while youre at it.  The biggest issues these engine have is with overheating and then having head issues, so if you intend to keep it long term, I would either fix both sides, or get a full rebuilt one to go back in. And then use a dab of anti sieze on the plug threads from now on.

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Das.....I need to pick your brain (we can take this to PM if you want).

 

I'm a little hesitant to try and pull the head myself, only because of the three timing chains.  Is there any possible way to just pull the cam gear/chain off the one head somehow (without having to pull the others)?  Like, if you were to remove the tensioner and chain guides on that side, would that create enough slack in the chain to pull the gear off the cam?  If I could do that and just leave everything in the same position, I wouldn't have a problem unbolting the million things needed to come off to pull the head out.

 

Jeff

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Yes, its possible to do what youre saying, but youll want to keep tension on the chain so it doesnt fall in while doing the head work. Chrysler has a special tool to hold the chains on the bottom of the idler, but as long as you don't let it fall youll be ok. And before you disassemble, line up all your timing marks and don't let the crank move while its apart.

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Thanks.  I just talked to a second shop (that the first shop recommended to me).  They want to try getting the threads out before committing to pulling the head, they think they can get them out.  If they can't, I asked them if I could strip the engine down to just the head and timing chains, bring the vehicle to them and have them pull the head/chain(s), r&r everything and reinstall the head and chains. Then I could pick it back up, pay them handsomely for their work, bring it back to my garage and put it all back together.  They are cool with that, so I think that's going to be the plan for next week.  I'll get it towed up there from the first shop over the weekend (they're closed on weekends and Monday for the holiday).

 

Hopefully if the head does have to come off there's nothing wrong with it, aside from the stuck threads.  Just my luck it'll be cracked between the valves.....

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So....the saga continues.  Second shop got their extractor stuck (not broken though) in the head.  Their quoting $2100 to fix it (pulling the head) less any machine shop work needed to fix the head, if it's fixable.  My plan now is to get it towed back to my garage and I'll pull the damn head off.  I might just run to the junkyard and pull a spare head just to have on hand in case mine can't be fixed.  It's going to take a couple weeks to get all this done, so I'm looking to pick up a beater car to get around in while I'm doing the work.

 

Anyone selling anything for cheap?  I'm not looking to spend much more than $1000 on something.....

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43 minutes ago, mjeff87 said:

So....the saga continues.  Second shop got their extractor stuck (not broken though) in the head.  Their quoting $2100 to fix it (pulling the head) less any machine shop work needed to fix the head, if it's fixable.  My plan now is to get it towed back to my garage and I'll pull the damn head off.  I might just run to the junkyard and pull a spare head just to have on hand in case mine can't be fixed.  It's going to take a couple weeks to get all this done, so I'm looking to pick up a beater car to get around in while I'm doing the work.

 

Anyone selling anything for cheap?  I'm not looking to spend much more than $1000 on something.....

Damn thing didnt went smooth for ya, don't u have comanche? And is KJ only ride u have?

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1 hour ago, WahooSteeler said:

That sucks Jeff, sorry you are having to go through all of this. :sad2:

 

Yes, this is total suckage.  But, hopefully I'm getting all of my bad luck out of the way for the next couple years dealing with it.  Lol.

 

 

1 hour ago, MJXJjeepguy said:

Damn thing didnt went smooth for ya, don't u have comanche? And is KJ only ride u have?

 

I used to have an MJ, but sold it a few years ago (which I regret).  Pete still lets me hang out here, though :laugh:

 

My wife has a (brand new, like only 3k miles on it) Forrester, but we work in opposite directions with different schedules.  I used her car for a few days last week, but it was quite inconvenient.  Not impossible, but very impractical.

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15 minutes ago, mjeff87 said:

 

Yes, this is total suckage.  But, hopefully I'm getting all of my bad luck out of the way for the next couple years dealing with it.  Lol.

 

 

 

I used to have an MJ, but sold it a few years ago (which I regret).  Pete still lets me hang out here, though :laugh:

 

My wife has a (brand new, like only 3k miles on it) Forrester, but we work in opposite directions with different schedules.  I used her car for a few days last week, but it was quite inconvenient.  Not impossible, but very impractical.

Lol as long ur are still fan of MJ. :L:

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I'm sure it was mentioned, but did you try the helicoil tool? I know they are frowned upon, but better than a vehicle not moving at all.

 

I'll admit I used this on my 95 s10 4 cyl that I got from a neighbor for free and it's still running. Threads were messed up on all the spark plug holes. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Helicoil-5528-6-8-24-Thread-Repair/dp/B000CMFUOC/ref=asc_df_B000CMFUOC/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583863979919162&psc=1

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Problem is, the plug thread base is still seized inside the head (along with a snap-on extractor now, lol).  I've got to get them out first, then helicoil the hole if needed.  Thanks though :beerchug:

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I’ve had good luck with Hyundai’s both as a new car and as a beater. There are several on Richmond Craigslist right now for a grand and under.

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Friend of a buddy of mine said he might be willing to do the job for @ $900, less parts needed (head gasket, head bolts, etc) and consumables (oil/filter, coolant, etc. all of which I already have sitting in my garage).  If he says yes, I'm going to haul it down to him this weekend.  Maybe some good is happening in my life for a change, lol.

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3 minutes ago, FrankTheDog said:

I’ve had good luck with Hyundai’s both as a new car and as a beater. There are several on Richmond Craigslist right now for a grand and under.

 

Thanks.  We had a KIA back in the day and it was a tank.  I got t-boned in it on the way home from work one day and totaled it....but I was still able to drive it home from the accident scene.

 

ive been checking craigslist, but only searching for specific brands.  I'll check out the Hyundais.:thanks:

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We just bought an 05 Elantra GT for my daughter for $600, it needed an exhaust and a wheel bearing. She loves it because they don’t have to worry about what happens to it. Runs and drives great now.

Ugly as sin though with pealing clear coat in a few spots. Good cars.

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