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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

I am currently putting a 2003 Zetec into my VW Vanagon. I had a low mileage motor shipped to me and found the spark plug galley full of water. The engine spins freely and looks brand new with only 10K miles. Tonight I began to pick at the crud, pulled out the plug wires and one came out with the electrode attached! Any thoughts on what might be my next steps?

thanks!
 

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C2H5OH
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Personally, I'd be very leery of that thing. Just hope it was cheap.

Looks brand new, I'm sure it does. Being stored under water will do that.


Cam lobes look like they have more than 10K on them to me. Could just be cheap oil. From what I've seen, you won't see any ware until they get quite a few miles.


I guess if it's something you want to be reliable, go through the whole engine and be sure of what you have. It looks like someone already pulled one over on you and that may not be the first you find.
Safe v sorry situation.
 

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BTW - Ford calls the engine a Zetec, V-tec is a Honda name for adj. cam timing.

Plug up the hole, then dig around there to get the crud out so you can get a wrench on the metal portion of the plug still in the hole.

Penetrating oil could help....

The others look full of crud as well, better to remove that then chance it falling into the engine when plugs are unscrewed.

P.S. - the porcelain is typically "roll crimped" at the top of the metal section of a plug to hold it in place. When that rusts away the porcelain can pull right out.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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Really looks like a bunch of carbon built up on the end of that plug...........
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, those thoughts all went through my head. Cheap, it was. New looking, it is. NO water in the oil and easy spin on the crank make me hopeful. Going to pull the head this week and look at the valves. Then i can clean up the mess. Any special tools I need to pull the head?
 

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Backwards Vince, I had to look close to see the white end was in the engine. Porcelain out of the plug base looks weird, eh? If I hadn't seen it before it would be harder to figure out.

How 'bout compression/leakdown testing? Might not be able to spin it for compression without a starter hooked up, but you could do a leakdown to check condition.

Cyl. head removal requires replacement of the head bolts, not just gasket on these. Special tools make Cam belt replacement MUCH easier, the only "official" way to get timing right. Fortunately the set is fairly cheap, look at the "Massive" vendor site you can link to from here for a quick look at them.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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Weird
 

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C2H5OH
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The plug look strange 'cus it's neeked. The portion with the threads on it is still in the head.
 

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Hmm at least that isn't as bad as the Ford 3 valve "modular" V8 engines that come factory with 2 piece spark plugs that are very known to fail in a similar way. However with those you need a special tool and a lot of time and patience to remove the broken spark plug or just pull the cylinder head off to get the broken park out. http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/120

Any updates on if you were able to get the engine running yet? Looks to me that the engine was stored outside or in a place that let water get into the spark plug valley.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I may take it back to the yard. Cleaned as best I could and still snapped another two plugs, even with penetrating oil. I did manage to get at those three free and clear. It might be worth pulling the head for the cost of head bolts. Everything else on this motor is cherry. Any bolts to stay away from from the "Giant vendor site?"
 

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Normally they are not as bad as the 3 valve but in that case that one might be. With that much rust around plug tops the engine has been sitting under water, low mileage there means nothing. Look at corrosion damage just outside the valve cover gasket track. I would compression test as well, if the water managed to slow-leak into the chamber the rings and cylinder walls may be garbage. With lower part of plug stuck the head threads may easily come away with it.
 
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