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Unread 09-26-2019, 01:10 PM   #1
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Spark plug cylinders full of oil w/photo

A few months back I bought a 2006 focus wagon with the Duratec engine. It needed a alternator so I had it towed to my place and never really drove it other than up my driveway to check the tranny. I noticed the valve cover had a leak so I bought a new gasket and started to remove the cover. When I took out the spark plug boots I noticed all the spark plug holes were full of oil. There was so much oil I could not see any of the spark plugs.
My question is I have no idea how long the previous owner drove the car like this. Could he have caused damage to anything else? Do the boots now need to be replaced? Or is this normal when the gasket leaks and just replace the gasket and drive.


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Unread 09-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #2
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That's normal when the gasket leaks. Shouldn't hurt anything. Clean it out and go
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Unread 09-26-2019, 01:19 PM   #3
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Twist up paper towels to soak up as much oil as you can. Use contact cleaner to rinse oil out of the coils. You can remove rubber part to clean and reassemble. Replace spark plugs. Put a little dielectric grease around the coil boot that faces the spark plug. Use a quality gasket like Gates for the valve cover.
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Unread 09-26-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
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Wow that was a fast response. Thankyou!
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Unread 09-26-2019, 03:52 PM   #5
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Pull the oil out before yanking plugs, letting the oil run into motor may even hydrolock it to damage and it carries any rocks in the holes down with it too. I always airblow the ports out and you'll be amazed how many rocks come out (watch your eyes!). I've even cleaned up the old plugs to reuse them for years longer before.
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Unread 09-26-2019, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
Pull the oil out before yanking plugs, letting the oil run into motor may even hydrolock it to damage and it carries any rocks in the holes down with it too. I always airblow the ports out and you'll be amazed how many rocks come out (watch your eyes!). I've even cleaned up the old plugs to reuse them for years longer before.
Yes. I should have been clearer that the oil should be dealt with before pulling the plugs.
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Unread 09-26-2019, 08:18 PM   #7
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The o ring seals for the valve cover must be missing.
It doesnt take long for it to get oilled up like that with them bad or missing.
Did your valve cover gasket kit come with new ones?
If you clean the oil out with some degreaser from the boots youll probably be fine to reuse them.
I would replace the plugs for good measure.
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Unread Today, 12:23 PM   #8
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So definitely a case of the valve cover gasket/seals needing to be replaced. I had a 2003 Focus wagon with Zetec engine, and similar oil showed up in the recess of the head where the spark plugs live. A little tip I discovered for cleaning out this area before removing the plug boots or plugs themselves was to use a toothbrush and degreaser to get everything kind of loose in there. I mop up as best as I can with some paper towels, and then I hit the area with our leaf blower. We have a Harbor Freight 40-volt battery powered unit that puts out an amazing blast on "turbo" setting. That blows out grit and other things that I could not manually remove. I'm pretty sure that a blast from my air compressor would do the same thing, but not everyone has one of those. Most everyone seems to have a yard blower these days. Same tool can be nice to help dry off a vehicle after washing.
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Unread Today, 10:37 PM   #9
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One can use a cheap Walmart turkey baster to suck out most of the oil if the tip is shaped small enough, I've used battery testers missing the test bulb to do it too. Need a long thin nose to get down in there. Sometimes a 6 inch length of fuel line will attach to the baster end to make it go deeper.
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