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Old 08-17-2003, 07:41 PM
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90's Corsica - blew out spark plug

A buddy of mine bought a 94ish Corsica 4 cylinder, and the next day it shot a spark plug out of the head and took all the threads out with it, what can I do to repair this?

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Old 08-17-2003, 07:49 PM
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You can buy helicoils at most "fast food" parts stores to repair this. I don't know if you have to remove the head though. Maybe someone else has experience??
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:04 PM
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Go to NAPA...

and get yourself a spark plug rethreading kit. The NAPA inserts are not like a Helicoil, they are more like a smaller version of a plumbing bushing that reduces the thread size.

You will get a tapered tap in the set to rethread the hole with larger threads. There will also be several lengths of threaded inserts, match up one to the plug for the correct length.

Put the stripped cylinder at TDC (piston up), then turn it either direction about a quarter turn on the balancer. This is to allow room above the piston for the tapping tool, so as not to gouge the piston crown.

I use a socket and extension to get the insert started at the same angle as the other plugs are, do yourself a favor and electrical-tape the insert and socket to the extension so they do not come apart.

Tap the hole until the tool can be turned easily with the fingers. This ensures the hole is threaded the whole length for the insert. I usually do not worry too much about the aluminum shavings, they can be blown out with an air gun wand inserted in the hole. Alternately you can coat the tap with grease to catch the chips. Any remaining chips in the cylinder will easily find their way out the exhaust port when the motor fires.

Yeah, some people will complain that shavings have no place in the motor, or that you must pull the head to fix the hole, but as long as the tap is lined up correctly you can fix this in about 15 minutes on an otherwise running car with NO ill effects. I had a lot of happy customers after saving them labor to pull the head... and everybody's cars are still OK...

Now that the hole is tapped, shoot a little brake parts cleaner in the hole to be sure the threads are clean. Oil the plug threads, screw the insert on the plug hand-tight, then wipe the external insert threads with a rag and brake parts cleaner, then put some hi-temp threadlocker (in the kit) on the insert threads. Just a drop or 2, more is not better. Screw it in the hole and just snug it down with the appropriate spark plug socket, no need to be He-Man here.

When the insert is installed the threadlocker will bond it to the head, and the plug will easily come out of the insert

Simple, really.

Doc
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:33 PM
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Arrow

I always use a Helicoil,because you cut less metal from the head and the local "fast food" auto parts store sell them here. They are very simple to use and the cutting tap centers itself so you cut it straight. I always put grease on the threads to catch as much material as possible and blow the excess out with an air hose (usually none is in it because of the grease). Also make sure the piston or valves are not in an area to interefere with the tap. I use long needle nose pliers to break the pigtail off. Don't fret if it should fall into the cylinder, as long as you have both valves closed prior to starting the job it will blow out with an air nozzle.
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:15 PM
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k, thanks guys
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