Spark plug woes - Focus Fanatics
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Focus Fanatics > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-05-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
tmittelstaedt
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 108093
Location: Portland, OR
What I Drive: 2001 Red Focus SE Street Edition

Posts: 226
FF Reputation: 0 tmittelstaedt Newbie
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Spark plug woes

Hi All,

I have 2 Focuses, a 2001 and a 2003. Both are manual transmission with Zetecs.

About a year ago I replaced the plugs in the '03 with NGK LTR5GP There were Autolite/Motorcraft AZFS 32F/FE plugs in there. The electrodes looked great when I pulled them so I didn't need to change the plugs but of course, I didn't know that until I pulled them out.

Well, a few months ago I was cruising along I-5 averaging 80 with bursts to 90, RPM between 4K to 6K. Everything running smooth. Then BOOM. #1 spark plug blown completely out of the head. Of course taking all threads with it. I limped into a NAPA and bought a replacement NGK, and there was maybe 1-2 threads left in the hole - just enough to put maybe 5 ft pounds of torque on it - which I did and then drove the remaining 200 miles home with #1 plug disconnected, going about 55Mph the whole way, and passed by every Grandmaw on the road. Not fun.

Anyway, I pulled the head, took it to a head shop which put an insert in, replaced the valve seals, milled a hair or so off the block face and I just got it back and am getting ready to put it back.

The thing that is bothering me though is WHY the FUCUS did this happen?

Hey, I enjoy working on my cars - in the summer, when the garage is nice and warm - and I'm not freezing my tush off. The last thing I want to do is a major job like this in the middle of winter.

Did I screw up the plug install and strip the threads? I was very careful putting them in and I have other aluminum head engines that I've never had a problem with. Maybe I didn't torque them right? I used a torque wrench but I didn't recheck torque a week or so later or any of that. Is the plug to blame? Is this an endemic problem with these engines?

I talked to a tech who works at a Ford dealership and asked him if he thought I was pushing the engine - he said he didn't think so - and he had dealt with this problem before with these engines.

The guy at the head shop said that what he's seen sometimes in aluminum heads is plugs get loose - then the engine combustion basically hammers the heck out of the threads with the plug bouncing up and down and finally hogs them out to where the plug blows.

I'm wondering if it was the NGKs. There is a thread difference between them and the Autolite plugs - the NGK's the threads are much longer. Same pitch, though - but in an older thread in this forum people don't like the NGKs.

I'm kind of thinking the plug got loose because there was definitely a single thread left at the bottom of the hole that the plug bit into - I felt it when I put the temporary plug in and I saw it when I pulled the head off.

Anyone run into this before?

Also, would anyone like me to post the pics of the head remove & replace?

One last question - the Factory Service Manual says the cam cap bolts are reusable but they can only be reused 3 times - your supposed to mark them with a punch each time you use them - mine are not marked - should I do this or should I discard them and buy new ones?


tmittelstaedt is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
anarchy0392
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Fan#: 102873
Location: Toledo, OH
What I Drive: 2002, Silver, SE

Posts: 436
FF Reputation: 2 anarchy0392 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (9)
Just saying if that happened to me I may have made a mess so to say. But that's crazy I've never heard of that. But I'd love you to post pics that would be nice.
anarchy0392 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
zetecDon
Where am I?
 
zetecDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Fan#: 62506
Location: east of Cincinnati, Ohio, OH
What I Drive: 02 ZX3, 02 MX-5

Posts: 7,444
FF Reputation: 28 zetecDon Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (45)
Moved to "General Technical Chat".
zetecDon is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:29 AM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information : Site Map

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.