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Old 04-19-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
JohnMichael
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QUICK Question for you Engine Guru's

I am in the process of changing my Valve Cover Gasket...again... and I noticed some oil down in the spark plug valley after I removed the Valve Cover. I sopped up the oil with some paper towels, and after removing each spark plug, I noticed the threads were dowsed with oil and crud...

My question, if any of that crud gets into the cylinder compartments and beyond, could that affect engine life and performance? Could it hurt anything else?

I'm in the middle of the gasket change, so quick responses will be MUCH appreciated...

THANKS GUYS!!!


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Old 04-19-2007, 05:54 PM   #2
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i doubt it really. it's have to be a substantial amount to cause a problem.

I've been told stories (by people i trust greatly) about a bolt being stuck in a cylindar then being shot out the tail pipe the whole time the engine was fine. the cylinders aren't a fragile as people make them out to be.

however, i would change those spark plugs so they don't foul out on you
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, and the tips of the plugs look totally fine, brand new looking in fact. The 'crud' didn't actually make it past the threads onto the tip, but after taking the plug out, I was worried that some of the 'crud' might screw something else up...

That screw story makes my feel a little better though.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Well, JM, I try to keep the engine as clean as possible on the inside. When I build an engine my workbench ( and I have one just for engines ) is about as clean as you can get.
That being said, try to keep as much of it out of there as possible. I have used a vaccuum cleaner before with a brush, also an air nozzle does wonders. Yes, some will get into the cylinder, you can't help that, but it will more than likely go down the exhaust pipe. It can cause problems if it gets lodged between a piston and the cylinder wall, but that is unlikely.
If the threads themselves are clean, use some anti-seize ( the silver stuff ) on the plugs and reinstall them, LEAVE the crud in place if the threads are clean, re-install the plugs, and THEN blast the holes out with air till clean . That is what I would do, do not risk getting anymore into your engine than necessary. I prefer to blast out the plug holes with air BEFORE I remove the plugs.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:04 PM   #5
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That bolt story?? I"ve seen some interesting things come out the end of a tailpipe, or should I say into the tailpipe, things like aluminum chunks, valve pieces, all kinds of good stuff. The clearence between the valve seat and the valve at full lift is pretty small, that piston in there moves ALOT faster than you think, the top of the piston is actually kinda weak when it comes to big things beating on it.
Like I said JM, if you can, reinstall the plugs, THEN clean out the holes. Next time clean em out first, always remove the plugs after the hole is clean. If a little crud gets in there you are prolly okay, but I never like anything to get in there if I can help it.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:13 PM   #6
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Thanks guys...i now have to type with my pinkies as i have copper spray-a-gasket all over them. and that crap could be the freaking stickiest stuff known to man.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:36 PM   #7
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Well, she's done. Let's hope this gasket is the lucky 'No-Leak' kind...

Thanks for all your help guys on my little afternoon quick fix. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to check my thread and give me some pointers. She cranked just fine and I even forgot to plug in the VCT Solenoid... Now, if only I can get the freaking copper coat off my hands and fingers...stuff is like silly putty mixed with uber super glue.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viney266 View Post
That bolt story?? I"ve seen some interesting things come out the end of a tailpipe, or should I say into the tailpipe, things like aluminum chunks, valve pieces, all kinds of good stuff. The clearence between the valve seat and the valve at full lift is pretty small, that piston in there moves ALOT faster than you think, the top of the piston is actually kinda weak when it comes to big things beating on it.
Like I said JM, if you can, reinstall the plugs, THEN clean out the holes. Next time clean em out first, always remove the plugs after the hole is clean. If a little crud gets in there you are prolly okay, but I never like anything to get in there if I can help it.
i never said it was a focus
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:59 AM   #9
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Had the same problem, cured with new cover gasket. I just wicked oil out with paper towels, then shot some non-chlorinated brake cleaner (evaporates completely) and let it dry before pulling plugs. If plugs are threaded, nothing will get past them.. If you're woried that something fell in and you don't have a shop vac, just pull all the plugs and crank the engine a bit and you'll probably blow out crud. Some controversy about using anti-sieze on plugs in aluminum heads. I never use it, have never had a problem in 7 years of frequent plug changes in aluminum head Ford SVTs (Lightning, Cobra, SVTF). Some make the argument that using the anti-sieze induces foriegn material into aluminum threads, thereby eroding the aluminum over time. Was really critical in the Lightnings (only 4 threads per cylinder in a boosted engine) and the concensus with L guys was dry plugs. Never had a problen with stubborn or frozen plugs or stripped threads. Good luck!
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