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Missing Chunk of Aluminum From Cylinder Head. What do you think?

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1997-2006 Expedition & Navigator 1997 - 2002 and 2003 - 2006 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator Discussion

Missing Chunk of Aluminum From Cylinder Head. What do you think?

 
  #1  
Old 03-11-2019, 11:59 PM
TheHungryTubist
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Missing Chunk of Aluminum From Cylinder Head. What do you think?

Hey everyone, I have a serious problem

That's a photo of the spark plug well of cylinder number 2.

1999 Lincoln Navigator
5.4l 32v
200,000 on the dot.

On my way home the other day, I was driving up a hill that goes for about 2 miles. About halfway up my car started to shake bad. At first i thought it was the tranny again because that's what happened right before i had to replace it a few months back. I was on a section of the highway with no shoulder and i thought that i could make it up the rest of the way. Luckily i did. When i pulled over i immediately checked under the hood. there was dark smoke and a strong smell of burnt rubber coming out from under the spark plug cover on the passenger cylinder head. After getting it towed home i pulled the cover off, and sure enough cylinder 2 and 3 both had melted coils. I unscrewed the spark plugs (Yes they were still threaded in) and the #2 Spark plug was completely fried. 3 was fine. But also there was a huge chip missing from the threaded portion of the #2 Spark plug well. Turns out there was fuel igniting all over my other ignition coils. I have a feeling that the hole may be too large for a helicoil but i wanted to ask you guys what you thought. I know i'm going to have to pull the head off anyway to check to see where that nice chunk of aluminum went and how much damage it did to the piston and cylinder wall. After only 200,000 miles. I hope it's not the end of my truck. Does anyone know if this is repairable? or if i'm better off finding another head at the junkyard (I'm on a budget). Any insight to what you think could've caused this in the first place would be nice.
 
  #2  
Old 03-12-2019, 05:11 PM
CathedralCub
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The plug probably loosened up over time before it blew out when it was on the last thread.

How many threads are left?

Do you have access to a scope so you can look in the combustion chamber to see if your chunk is there?
 
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:17 PM
TheHungryTubist
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I currently don't have any kind of scope like that. This friday i'm going to pull the head and inspect it further. I figure there might be a chance it can be saved but i wanna see if there are any other cracks/damage first before i throw money at it.
 
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:25 AM
Spaznaut
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When you removed that spark plug was it tight or loose? What do the threads on the spark plug look like?
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:17 AM
TheHungryTubist
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The spark plug was snug, not tight or loose, i replaced them less than 5000 miles prior and im pretty sure the one in number 2 was just as tight as it shouldíve been. The threads however are damaged on the blowout side. Theyíre sheared off, Iíll look for it and send a picture tomorrow. I just got to the house where Iíll be working on the car, but itís already dark and I donít have any work lights... so tomorrow Iíll send more pics of the cylinder head and the spark plug.
 
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:54 PM
SDDL-UP
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Out Expedition was repaired with a kit from Snap-On, probably a Keen-sert from the way the mechanic explained it to me. It has lasted over 120,000 miles since. I would avoid Heli-Coil in this application as I've heard they just don't last...nothing to back that up, maybe it's just easier to get the Keen-sert installed properly.
 
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:45 PM
Skauber
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If you want to have a look inside with a scope before pouring hours of labor into pulling the head, you can buy a cheap USB borescope camera on Amazon for 10-20 dollars. If you see a trashed piston/walls with the scope, you'd save your time if the block is beyond repair.
 

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