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Helicoil fell in on top of the cylinder. Can I get it out through the exhaust port or must the head be pulled?

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I'm assuming the helicoil was for a spark plug repair? Pull the head!

Posted on Oct 13, 2010


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Having loud valve tick on 3rd cylinder compression test showed it was weak. took valve cover off and checked everything with feeler gauge to find

If you know how valves are installed in a head, then you know there is one traditional way to repair problem -- pull the head off.
The other is to replaced the seals and keepers while holding the valve up against the valve seat from the valve stem. Mess up and you pull the head to finish the repair. For someone who has not done engine work - take the car to the shop OR pull the head and take it in, Normally if there are 2 heads you do both at the same time, because repairing one side makes it stronger than the other and the can bring on other problems.

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You only get one chance with a helicoil like that. Real answer is a new part - cylinder head I believe. Slight possibility of upsizing to a larger diameter thread plug but not likely. Untill you get the new head you could try JB weld but it won't last and will signal the end for that head.

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Your most cost effective solution is a Helicoil, A Timesert is about the same maybe a few dollars more but if will be a better fix than the Helicoil. The next two options are the used head or if it is being removed a machine shop could build up and redrill and thread the hole (like new). Myself I would probably be satisfied with a good installation of the time sert but it might be a time well spent to see how much another head or the machine shop repair is going to cost you.

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1997 ford expedition spark plug blow, its all strip. its an aluim head. is there a quick fix or do i have to replace the whole freaking heads?

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The spark plug hole is tapped out to a larger thread size, with a special Helicoil tap. Loctite or some other form of thread locker is applied, and the Helicoil is inserted.

Helicoil's are made of Stainless Steel, and are much better than the original material used in the cylinder head. (Be it cast iron or aluminum)
Drag racers use Helicoil's in their engines.

Tapping out the spark plug hole for a Helicoil, or using a special thread chaser, is NOT a good idea, while the cylinder head is still installed on the engine.
The tap creates chips of metal which fall down into the cylinder.
Using a vacuum to try to alleviate the chips, falls short of a good repair job.

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if you are experiencing blow by, this could be a bad valve assembly or the spark plug may have poor threading. i would remove the head and take a look at the valves seals and springs.

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