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Old 10-29-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

When I put my valve cover back on, the plus on cyl. 1 tightened down some, but just spins. I had my torque wrench at 13 ft lbs, so I don't think I overdid it. After work I'll pull it out and check the threads on the plug itself, but there's a good chance it's the threads on the head that are shot.

What are my options?
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

Thread Repairs 101

Don't throw it away ? fix it!
http://www.automedia.com/Thread_Repa...es20021201tr/1
good luck
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

Harbor Freight has inexpensive thread chasers, if chasing would suffice.
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...gory=&q=thread
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

Thread insert is the way to go if you can't find a replacement Z1 head (I'm assuming it was on the VX this happened). Either way, if threads are stripped the head will be coming off to do the work.

Here's hoping that it was just the gasket washer crushing and not seated all the way yet and not stripped threads.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:37 PM   #5
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

Thanks... I'll try chasing the threads.

Never removed the head before... how much is involved? I do have the Helm's manual, so I can take a look this weekend.

On the bright side, the Helicoil would leave me in better shape than before, right? Might as well do all four...
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

I've repaired stripped spark plug threads on many cars - just not on a VX or a Civic for that matter. Unless the VX is different...
I use a threaded insert. There are a couple different ways to do this. But neither requires the head to come off. You need to drill and tap the stripped out hole for the insert. You can usually borrow or buy a combo drill/tap from a an auto parts store. I do this often enough I have a separate drill and tap.
The inserts come in different lengths depending on the length of the threaded part of the plug. The insert is installed with a drop of glue. You can find this whole setup as a kit sometimes - the drill/tap and selection of inserts.
When drilling and/or tapping go slow and put grease on the tools to capture the aluminum bits. Clean the aluminum shavings off the tools a few times through the procedure.
With all plugs out crank the engine over to hopefully blow out any shavings that were left in the engine. Put it all back together and drive away.

There is another insert called a heli-coil. Same type of procedure but the heli-coil comes with a special tool to install the heli-coil and the heli-coil does not require glue to stay in.
Or you can take the car to a local garage and they'll do it for you.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

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Here's hoping that it was just the gasket washer crushing and not seated all the way yet and not stripped threads.
Sounds like this was it! Never had that happen before, but the new plug tightens up just fine.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

Yeah I was going to say that if you stripped the head you would have lots of aluminum bits on the threads of the plug that came out. You SHOULD be lubricating the threads with some anti-seize compound or at least some motor oil.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

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Yeah I was going to say that if you stripped the head you would have lots of aluminum bits on the threads of the plug that came out. You SHOULD be lubricating the threads with some anti-seize compound or at least some motor oil.
Yes, I do that too.....just a tiny bit so you don't end up with it all over and getting into the combustion chamber. Also snug the plug in and then just 1/4 turn max. That's what the directions say on the boxes of plugs when you buy them anyway. I never had a problem doing it that way. If I didn't have the anti-seize handy, pull the oil dipstick and put a couple of drops on the threads.

Also, if you got an aluminum head which most are now I try to do them as cold as possible.

Just my experience. (I have done a crapload of plug changes with no issues)
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: Uh oh... stripped spark plug threads?

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Yes, I do that too.....just a tiny bit so you don't end up with it all over and getting into the combustion chamber. Also snug the plug in and then just 1/4 turn max. That's what the directions say on the boxes of plugs when you buy them anyway. I never had a problem doing it that way. If I didn't have the anti-seize handy, pull the oil dipstick and put a couple of drops on the threads.

Also, if you got an aluminum head which most are now I try to do them as cold as possible.

Just my experience. (I have done a crapload of plug changes with no issues)
ive always put quite alot on, even if it does get into the cyl it burns off on the 1st or 2nd explosion haha
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