Thursday, July 07, 2005

So just how does a car spit out a spark plug? Finale.

My Neon is back on the road. The dealer had to strip the valve cover and spark plug tubes off the engine so that a machinist could create a new hole for a helli coil to be inserted into. This, of course, necessitated the replacement of all the seals associated with the valve cover and spark plug tubes. The Bosch platinum plug was also replaced with a Champion Copper Plus plug. The total damage was just over $500.00 CDN.

Today I replaced the other three plugs as well as the wires. I also bought a torque wrench with a 0 – 50 ft/lbs range. When I torqued the first plug into place, I realized that I just may have over torqued the other plugs. When I was talking to my friend, who knows a thing or two about metal, he explained to me why I may not have realised that I had over torqued the plugs. When aluminium is over torqued it will “bunch up”, as if it where plastic. The effect would be that you would believe that you had reached the end of the threads. In actual fact the threads have been “eaten” and are now jamming up the hole. As the plug vibrates it would start to loosen up the thread remains until they finally work their way out of the hole. The end result is that the plug would pop out of the thread less hole. This is most likely what happened to my Neon.

In the end I’m a few bucks shorter and a little smarter.
The highway’s calling gotta go.

1 Comments:

Blogger leanangle said...

Besides you not knowing how to torque a spark plug, You fail to see the connection between environmental standards imposed on automakers and the flimsy alum. head of your Neon. Weight reduction needed to meet CAFE (corp. avg. fleet economy)standards means a flimsier engine, brakes, steering linkage and crumple zones. I prefer a Suburban, my health is more important than a snail darter or some other critter. BTW I sell torque measurement systems. Finger tight and 1/4 turn and you'll never go wrong, did you notice the captive crush washer on your plug? I hope they got the aluminum shavings out of the cyl. If they did not take the engine apart, change your oil and filter more frequently until you are sure there are no more metal shavings in your engine. Canada rocks!

2:35 PM  

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