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Old 03-30-2004, 11:05 AM
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Heli Coil

ok so this car I am about to talk about is no where near a hot rod--My fiancee's daily driver (commuter car) is a 1990 geo storm with like 140,000 miles on it--but the top end was rebuilt about one year ago--anyway the motor blew a spark plug out of the head and spilled gas everywhere over the engine block. So i got the spark plug back in but it feels like it just wants to keep turning. So I wnt to put a heli coil in but I have a problem--the heads are aluminum so I will not be able to get the shavings out--what should i do? Do you think the aluminum shavings will blow through the engine with no problem cause they are soft. I know what you are thinking throw this car in the garbage--and let me tell you I would love to but we are both pretty broke now going to grad school and all so throwing it to the junkyard is out of the question---any thoughts?

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Old 03-30-2004, 11:26 AM
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Put some grease on the tap that should catch most of it let the rest "blow through".
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:27 AM
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Wow, that stinks!

The best way is to remove the head and have it done. The chips from the tap will go into the cylinder and cause problems, probably big problems!

Plus, once the heli coil is in, there is a tab on the end of the last coil that needs to be broken off. Its the piece that the installation tool locks into to screw the coil into the new threads.That is steel and will definetally cause problems if it goes in the engine.

I suppose that if you are desperate and can write off the car if it doesn't work, you could dip the tap in grease and hope it catches all the big pieces. Only go one turn at a time, remove the tap, clean it off and re-coat with grease. But that still leaves the little metal tab to deal with. I suppose a small magnet on a string might catch it, but it will stick to the cyl. wall too on the way down.

If you do try it, make sure the piston is all the way up. You must get the metal tab out, maybe you can snap it off with some needle nose pliers? Then use compressed air to blow out the cylinder and say a prayer over the poor thing and crank it up.

Mark
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:06 PM
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I hate to be the "devil's advocate" but I think I'd pull the head and take it to a machine shop. Trying to tap a hole STRAIGHT and putting in a helicoil on a head in place will be extremely difficult. AND if you scr*w it up ...now you have to replace a head. I'm betting you could pick up a junk yard head cheaper then playing that game. Just my $0.02, GOOD LUCK! ...Mark
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:27 PM
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Considering the car has a lot of miles on it and I assume you are on somewhat of a budget and can't afford $200.00 plus for parts+labor. You can get what is called a "solid" heli-coil spark plug thread repair kit from the large auto retailers even Wal-Mart had them. This kit has a self aligning tap and three solid thread coils.

Remove your spark plug. Turn the engine till you can see that piston is up in the cylinder. Coat the tap with heavy grease and turn it into the head, cutting threads. Back out the tap a few times and clean the cutting edges recoating with grease each time. When the tap breaks thru the other side remove it. Then take an air source and blow into the splug hole to blow out chips.
Take a can of Brakleen and clean out the hole, remove all traces of grease, then apply locktite sealer to the threads and install it till the seat lines uo with the original spark plug seat. Then take the setting tool that comes in the kit and sharply strike it straight down. this will set the insert so it will not come out.

The nay-sayers will criticise this but virtually all the used car dealers do this to every bad s-plug thread car they get, new or old!
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:35 PM
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Go to the junk yard, or go to eBay and pick up a new/used head.

So who was the ******* that over tightened the spark plug in the first place?
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Old 03-30-2004, 12:47 PM
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Rebuilt heads= $300.00, Used head $150.00, New head $$$.00. Gasket set=$100.00+ Mill used flat and inspect for cracks $50.00+ Add em up!
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:09 PM
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If you buy any rebuilt head for a geo for $300.00 ya need to be slapped a few times!

Rebuilt head for the 1.3 should'nt cost more than $100.00, used should be much less.

Do you need me to provide some links?

The gasket set at the highest is about $65.00.
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:37 PM
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Rebuilt heads on eBay,,,,$189 to $275

Gasket sets were around $43.
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 87442lover
If you buy any rebuilt head for a geo for $300.00 ya need to be slapped a few times!

Rebuilt head for the 1.3 should'nt cost more than $100.00, used should be much less.

Do you need me to provide some links?

The gasket set at the highest is about $65.00.
Lol what kinda rebuilt heads are you buying, sounds like someone is doing 1/2 the job
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:40 PM
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$25.00 for a complete head for the 1.3L, I'm sure you could snipe it out before it closes below $50.00http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=2469742098
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:46 PM
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I wouldn't bother with a different head if yours is in good shape (with the exception of the spark plugs threads) I would just healy coil it and it will be as good as new. Buying unknown used heads is risky at best.
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:32 PM
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Pull the head...reuse the head gasket if cash is really tight. tapping the head on the bench is a heck of a lot easier and your likely hood of success will increase 100 times if you have never done this before.

For what it's worth a machine shop might have the helicoil your looking for and could retap the hole for the price of the kit saving you the work.

How long could it take to pull the head off a GEO anyway? Couple of hours? I wouldn't take the chance of a small particle getting stuck on a valve and burning the valve or the seat.
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:28 PM
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its a geo

I would and have done the tap set that you screw it in to the remaining holes and it cuts the oversized holes at the same time. then install the insert and strike with the supplies tool to "seat" the insert with out problems shouldn't be hard to do on a 4 cyl its all in front of you.
Jesse
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:54 PM
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Head gaskets are NEVER to be used over again on bi-metal motors, H&ll they hardly last with new gaskets and bolts. The cost of the heli-coil kit at Wal-Mart was $12.00. Machine shop gets $20.00+ plus cost of Heli- $8.00 plus cost of cleaning head,$15.00, plus a used aluminum head is going to need resurfacing in 90 percent of the cars. I Do it every day.
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