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Pop - Clunk Clunk!

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Old 05-31-2006, 08:30 AM
mini626
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Pop - Clunk Clunk!

On my drive home last night I heard a loud pop and then my engine started to sound like a diesel lawnmower. She lost some power but I was able to drive another couple of blocks before pulling over a opening the hood. I was surprised to see a wire (not sure what the right term is) leading to a spark plug almost all the way out of the engine. With a small tug I could see that the spark plug was completely out.

I've got an '04 MCS with 22k miles, alta intake, 15% pulley and IK22 plugs. Anyone heard of or had this happen to them?
 
  #2  
Old 05-31-2006, 09:59 AM
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Could you replace (screw in) the plug? If not then it may have stripped the threads, which will require a new thread device be installed on that cylinder (helicoil).

I remember that there were a few discussions about torquing spark plugs properly and then checking them for loosening from time to time. Maybe do a search on spark plug torque?

Not the end of the world, but what caused this must be investigated... and you sure don't want extra bits of metal bouncing around in the cylinder head.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:02 AM
mini626
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Yup, just found the thread:

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ad.php?t=57721

Glad (sorta) to know other's have been through this!
 
  #4  
Old 05-31-2006, 10:04 AM
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This is usually the unfortunate result of inadequately torqued spark plugs. If the plugs are not torqued properly, or are not rechecked soon after installing them, there is a chance that one or more can loosen. When this happens, the plug will 'rattle' in it's hole. It will not unscrew, since the plug wire and boot are keeping this from occurring. Over time, the threaded steel plug body rattling and pounding on the threaded aluminum head will eventually ream the hole out and the plug will pop out of the head. Unfortunately, to repair this requires the head to be removed from the engine block and an insert called a Helicoil fitted to the head to restore the threads. In some cases, the head has to be replaced.

In other words, it's not a cheap repair.

In very rare cases, the spark plug itself has been known to come apart, ejecting the center insulator from the threaded metal base. In that case, only a new plug is needed.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:07 AM
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So if the thread was on the plug (which it was when I saw it) it is more likely I will need the new Helicoil or head?
 
  #6  
Old 05-31-2006, 10:07 AM
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[quote=Greatbear]...snip... In other words, it's not a cheap repair. ...snip...quote]

If that be the case, I hope that you are still in factory warenty time/mileage!
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:11 AM
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[quote=DrDiff]
Originally Posted by Greatbear
...snip... In other words, it's not a cheap repair. ...snip...quote]

If that be the case, I hope that you are still in factory warenty time/mileage!
Except I'm going to guess that the dealer didn't put in those IK22's... which means she's going to have to foot the bill even if it is under warranty still.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:19 AM
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It's still under factory warranty and Webb Motorsport warranty... Webb did the install
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mini626
It's still under factory warranty and Webb Motorsport warranty... Webb did the install
Ah... that could help out. If it is the plugs I don't think you'll get anywhere with the dealer.

I put my NGKs in myself and have been checking the torque every week just to make sure. I have a big fear of things going boom that aren't supposed to in my engine.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:37 AM
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IK22 loose

I was checking the plugs this past weekend (IK22s), and was surprised to find one loose. It hadn't backed out very far, but was easily turned by hand. I probably last looked at the plugs about 6 mons ago, and I always torque to 18 ft-lb. I'm now thinking maybe NGKs are the way to go.
 
  #11  
Old 05-31-2006, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by inimmini
I was checking the plugs this past weekend (IK22s), and was surprised to find one loose. It hadn't backed out very far, but was easily turned by hand. I probably last looked at the plugs about 6 mons ago, and I always torque to 18 ft-lb. I'm now thinking maybe NGKs are the way to go.
I don't know if it will make THAT much of a difference, but I always torque to 20 ft-lbs.

I haven't noticed any backing out of the NGKs and I'm really happy with how they are performing.
 
  #12  
Old 05-31-2006, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mini626
It's still under factory warranty and Webb Motorsport warranty... Webb did the install
MINI is not going replace you head, if need be, if another company installed those plugs ...

Interesting. See here http://store.webbmotorsports.com/for...opic.php?t=305

I quote:

"If you have replaced the spark plugs in your head (or if anyone else has), please check that the torque spec is 18-20 ft/lbs.

We have had a couple of cars seemingly loosen up, and the result can be BAD."
 
  #13  
Old 05-31-2006, 12:09 PM
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Are the plugs, torque specs, etc. the same for MC and MCS? Reading that thread on the WMS forum, it sounds like this problem isn't strictly limited to aftermarket plugs. Warranty or no, I'd like to check mine every once in a while.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:09 PM
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Happened to me too...

but my head wasn't removed for the repair. Call around to shops, and see what they charge. FWIW, you're looking at 6 hours labor (about) and a head install kit if they do remove the head.

I know, lots will say that there's no way to do this on a head still on the car.... But it worked, and lots of people gave me lots of little hints about how to do it and make sure all the thread cuttings came out....

Greasing up the tap is one I'd heard many times.

Putting a small wad of panty hose in the comubstion chamber was one that I'd never heard before. All the little cuttings get cought in the webbing and come out (pull the stuff out with a hemostat).

Total cost for my repair was ~$350.....

Matt
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:10 PM
mini626
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To be honest, i don't have the time or knowledge to do any of the work. I'm probably going to let Mini do the repairs and any costs will hopefully be covered by either the Mini warranty or the Webb warranty.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:14 PM
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Nooooooooooo!

Originally Posted by mini626
To be honest, i don't have the time or knowledge to do any of the work. I'm probably going to let Mini do the repairs and any costs will hopefully be covered by either the Mini warranty or the Webb warranty.
Find out before hand whether they will cover you with a warranty. If not, go elsewhere. I say this because you're looking at 6-10 hours of labor, and the dealer rates are astronomical.

Let your fingers do some walking! Call around. If I'd done what was easiest, I would have been out over $800 more than I was.

If you just leave it with them, they'll tell you it's not warranty, and then they'll charge you for tons of labor, maybe even a head. Then Webb will say (just guessing here), why did you go to the dealer for that? I'd cover the costs at "XYZ Motorsports" and that would have been $500 less, so there you go!

Never, ever, ever, leave an open ended service item that isn't warranty or recall at a dealer.

Matt
 
  #17  
Old 05-31-2006, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mini626
I'm probably going to let Mini do the repairs and any costs will hopefully be covered by either the Mini warranty or the Webb warranty.
Because of the aftermarket parts involved, I would bet MINI won't warranty it. Therefore, if you want to consider the possibility of the Webb warranty covering your out of pocket expenses, you really should get on the line and talk to Randy or Brian at Webb before you commit to having the dealer doing the repair. Given that part of the issue here may be the installation torque and whether the plugs were even installed correctly (i.e. to the proper torque), relying on a warranty to cover the repair expense may not be the best path.

What I'm getting at is, find out whether the warranty (any warranty) will cover the repair before deciding on a dealer fix, because if you wind up not having warranty coverage, and have to pay for this out of pocket, there are cheaper ways to get it fixed than by doing it at the dealer. Don't get work done with the assumption you have warranty coverage, verify your coverage (or lack of it depending on the circumstances) and then decide how to get your MINI repaired.
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:23 PM
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Of course I'll find out before hand, and I'm hoping that Mini will just do the repair... In the event that they don't I'm sure I'm at Webb's mercy as to how the repair gets done... I'd prefer to just get a rental and get my car when it's done, I'm sure it won't be that easy though :-\

we'll see!

PS Spoke to Webb before I even got in touch with the MINI dealership that has the car...
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 02:15 PM
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I think I have stock plugs lying around...

If you want to go to the stock look....

Matt
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 02:18 PM
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I've got my originals, thanks!
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:46 PM
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Now begins the fun... Mini wants 384$ to replace the plugs however the head is no longer convered under warranty unless they remove it and do a complete inspection (no estimate on that one).
 
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mini626
Now begins the fun... Mini wants 384$ to replace the plugs however the head is no longer convered under warranty unless they remove it and do a complete inspection (no estimate on that one).
Did they say they are replacable?

I'm just thinking that if they can seat the new plug with no problem, then I wouldn't think anything about your head would be stripped. Maybe I'm just mis-understanding what they said.
 
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:07 AM
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Mini did feel that they are replaceable... However, working with Webb I've moved the car from MINI to a shop in Webb's warranty network for further examination.

Apparently, if they are able to simply replace the plugs and clean out the cylinder I will be covered by Webb. But, since Webb feels this is a MINI issue he's doing this as a favor, not under the Webb warranty...
 
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:25 AM
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Please continue to update this thread. I am very interested in the results.
 
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:13 AM
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Got the word from EF1 yesterday, threads were gone so the cylinder needs a new Helicoil. 800$

So was Mini full of it when they said they could just screw in a new plug????????
 

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