Donít you hate the sinking feeling you get when you realize you have stripped a bolt or broken the head off a fastener. The car project, whatever it was, suddenly got harder and less fun.
Near the top of the Don't-strip-or-break-it list are spark plugs. Nobody wants damaged threads in a cylinder head or half a spark plug frozen in place. Unfortunately, the potential for problems increases when high mileage spark plugs are left untouched in relatively soft aluminum cylinder heads.
Watch Pat Goss's hands-on tips for removing spark plugs without breaking them. Hopefully you will learn a few things that will keep the next spark plug change fun, not nerve wracking.
Listed under Extras and some specific car models, RockAuto has spark plug non-foulers and spark plug hole chaser tools that can clean up damaged threads. There are even tools specifically designed to remove broken spark plugs and bits of spark plug porcelain from the Ford Triton engines.
Watch This Video
Everyone with aluminum heads should keep this video and watch it every year or so. The man is telling it straight and I fully agree. Anti-sieze is good, don't 'gorilla' the plugs out, and always start the threads by hand.
Aluminum and steel naturally don't get along. Steel rusts and aluminum corrodes. They also expand/contract at different rates. Many spark plug threads have been trashed because folks use their 'tried and true' cast iron practices (that don't work on aluminum). Well, sometimes they work, but other times they don't. It's like shakin' dice. You really don't want that first stripped plug hole to teach you a lesson. - Dave
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