About a week ago I blew #10 spark plug out of my 1999 super duty. I was able to screw it back in, though it only has 2 1/2 threads now, and was able to put 12 ft/lb's of torque on it. I am driving it around and it is running fine but i am wondering if i am sitting on a ticking time bomb thats gonna blow at a random time, and if so what should i do about it. Should i just run it until the plug fully blows out, or is there an easier and cheaper fix that i could do if i fix it before the threads are fully stripped out. I have heard about Time Serts, but without pulling the head i would be scared of having a metal shaving get down into my cylinder and scratch the hell outta it. If someone that has had experience with any of this could tell me what i should do it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.
sincerely Josh Ludwig
thanks for answering so quickly, i kinda figured that it was a time bomb. i decided to park it until it gets fixed. but is there anything cheaper than the $360 time sert kit, I am still in high school and do not have a ton of money lying around. i have heard about helicoils working for some people, and then others saying that it would blow out. is there anybody that has tried it, and if it didnt work what happened that made it not. and is there another insert i could put in that has good quality that would be cheaper than the time sert or a place that i could buy a used time sert package. thanks for looking
You probably got about 6 months till it blows out again.
Run your truck and dont worry about till it happens again.
Using any of the inserts is not a guarantee that it will not
do it again. It will not necessarily fix it permanently.
The only way to cure the problem is to change out the
heads for Ford Racing head products or Trick Flow Specialties
head products that do not use the original Ford design.
They are not cheap but also give you more power too.
thanks for all the information. i never get too far from home with it so i am just going to keep checking the torque on the plugs at regular intervals and have a local garage that i would trust with anything that has to do with an engine put a heli coil in it. i changed all of the plugs last weekend. is there a special trick to get to the back one on the passenger side. it was a pain and if there was an easier way to retorque them that i do not know of that would be great to know.
thanks for reading
I had a plug blow out on mine, and I went with the Timesert kit. I was in the same boat as you back then money wise(was in college), so I was a little hesitant to put down the money for the kit.
I bit the bullet and bought it, and I was very pleased with what I got. I did the repair in my dorm room parking lot, and by using a bunch of grease and a "rigged" shop vac I was confident I didn't leave any shavings in the cylinder. I've got over 60,000+ miles on the repair and it's holding strong, and I don't expect to have any problems out of it.
You will have a hell of a time with #10 though, luckily mine blew on # 6 or 7, so it was a lot easier to get to.
what causes the plug to blow out on these ford heads anyway. i have been hearing about this alot lately. not only the V10's but the V8's also... I have about 180,000 on my 5.4L and changed the plugs 3 or 4 times over its life so far and never had a problem (knock on wood). Im just wondering if anyone can tell me why this is a common problem with theses heads.
What causes the plug to blow out is not rocket science.
Ford blessed all of us modular owners with bad engineering designs
for the heads, among other problems. They gave only 4 threads in
the casting to hold the spark plugs in, instead of going the full 3/4"
depth of threads that is really needed. This and using a poor grade of
aluminum alloy material cannot possibly hold the plugs in. My Dodge
Neon has aluminum head and you dont have to 'torque' the plugs, just snug them down like the old days. Twelve plug changes and never a
problem with them. Although you should use antiseize on the threads,
no matter what vechicle.
Helicoil and/or one of the others does not use the full 3/4" thread
depth on the inside of the insert. BE CAREFUL AND CHECK THEM.
Using these inserts will do you no good in helping with this problem.
You will be back in the same position as before.
As far as rethreading goes, use what Ford recommends. Again, no
matter what kind of good luck you may have with whatever insert
that you use, there is no guarantee of it lasting for any length of
time. If you tighten that plug too tight, out comes that insert.
And, sometimes you have some blow-by past the exterior threads
of the insert. Do a leak down and compression test on any of the
inserts, both when installed and after one or two plug changes.
Fordfanatic4life i didnt mention in my post that my truck with almost 180,000 mile on it is a 2001. what years are most people having problems with? should i count my blessings that i am one of the lucky ones that it hasn't had it happen to me.
what should the plugs be torqued at anyway 14ft-lbs. with anti seize on the threads?
so when ford went to the 3V heads they fixed the problem is that what happen?
i've never heard anyone on here repairing a plug hole with a proper repair kit and have it happen again in the same hole..
Same here. I have heard of a few helicoils pulling out, but it seems the complete kits(i.e timesert) seem to be holding up pretty good. Since I've personally installed one myself, I really can't see any problems coming from it.
It was around 04' that they came out with the 3v heads.
The 3v heads were merely a performance improvement, not a head
improvement. With the 3v heads, now you had a problem of the
spark plug breaking off in the head, instead of blowing out.
The E series vans still to this day use the same crappy head as was
used in 99'.
Antiseize, antiseize, antiseize..........cant say it enough.
It will protect the threads somewhat from ripping them out when you
remove the plugs. Tq. is 12-14# and no more than that.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE THE PLUGS OUT,
UNTIL THE ENGINE IS ABSOLUTELY COLD.
If you do not let it cool down completely, you will rip out the threads.
Did I forget to mention to use antiseize???
use what Ford recommends to use, you'll have best luck with those.
None of the companies paperwork gives you a guarantee of it lasting.
Some products are better or worse than others...read my other replies.
They will back out and some will screw in further, if you're not
absolutely careful torquing and lubing those plugs when installing them.
a guy that has done about twenty trucks that has blown out spark plugs has replaced them with heli coils and says that none of them has blown out. He claims that the only reason that a heli coil will pull out is if that it is properly installed. he will come out to my house and heli coil it for 50 dollars compared to a DIY 360 dollar time sert kit. Is he right or wrong. i am in no way a mechanic and do not know the difference between a time sert kit compared to a heli coil. Any information about this would be great.
thanks for posting