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Thread: What is that and what has it done with my spark plug?

  1. #1
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    Default What is that and what has it done with my spark plug?

    I was changing the valve cover gaskets, spark plugs and boots and when it came time to change spark plug #1 (or is it 4..), I see this

    It's some kind of covering over the spark plug that covers the hex cuts for the socket. It is white (although it's hard to see from the pic) and metallic sounding when I tap it with a screwdriver.

    Please tell me this is not someone's idea of a cheap fix for a stripped spark plug well.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauchande View Post
    Please tell me this is not someone's idea of a cheap fix for a stripped spark plug well.
    It looks like that to me.
    I hope for your sake it is NOT metallic but some kind of resin that can maybe be removed with the right liquids. Can you get in touch with the previous owner? It can't have been in there for very long can it?
    2008 audi A3 1.9tdi
    (former 1991 520i LPG)

  3. #3
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    Does the new spark plug go in okay? any issue in the spark plug hole?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
    Does the new spark plug go in okay? any issue in the spark plug hole?
    cannot pull the spark plug out, it is covered by the white "plug"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgenster View Post
    It looks like that to me.
    I hope for your sake it is NOT metallic but some kind of resin that can maybe be removed with the right liquids. Can you get in touch with the previous owner? It can't have been in there for very long can it?
    I've owned the car now for about 4 years. This has been the first time I have attempted to change the plugs.

    Well, looks like I'll be taking it in to my mechanic to see what he thinks can be done.

    Worse case is to pull the head and have it reconditioned.

    The good news is that the car still runs, so I can start saving and still get to work every day.

    At some point, I think itLll just be easier (and cheaper) to sell it and buy a 525i.

  6. #6
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    Shame on you! Not checking your plugs in 4 years! Stupid question:
    if you cant get at the flats on the plug, how did the PO tighten it in? Its not part of an old coil pack pushed down too far is it?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskychaser View Post
    Shame on you! Not checking your plugs in 4 years! Stupid question:
    if you cant get at the flats on the plug, how did the PO tighten it in? Its not part of an old coil pack pushed down too far is it?
    Haha, guilty as charged.

    no, I think it's more likely to be someone's idea of a cheap fix for stripping a spark plug well.

    I'm seriously considering giving up on this car and buying a 1993 535i (assuming I can find one for a reasonable price), this is just one of the many stupid things that has plagued me with this car.

    It's starting to feel like a yacht...

  8. #8
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    Spark plug hole isn't terribly hard to fix. It seems to me that it is JB weld stuck in there with the plug and somehow that is enough to hold the plug in along with the valve cover... So if you do change the valve cover gasket, you should be able to take the plug out with the cover... and whack it out from there.

    With the cover out, you got complete access to the plug hole... either create a new thread with threader chaser or put in a helicoil.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
    Spark plug hole isn't terribly hard to fix. It seems to me that it is JB weld stuck in there with the plug and somehow that is enough to hold the plug in along with the valve cover... So if you do change the valve cover gasket, you should be able to take the plug out with the cover... and whack it out from there.

    With the cover out, you got complete access to the plug hole... either create a new thread with threader chaser or put in a helicoil.
    Sorry if I'm not familiar with tap and die stuff.

    Wouldn't tapping the plug hole while the head is still on the car cause metal shavings to go into the cylinder?

    Ah so I finally get what you're saying (I'm slow).

    I already changed the valve cover gaskets, maybe I should be more specific. My car is a 540i, 4.0 litre V8. The spark plug wells are on the head, not the valve cover. I would have to pull the head off in order to reach it from the other side.
    Last edited by dauchande; 11-30-2009 at 11:47 PM.

  10. #10
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    The spark plug hole rethreader has slots on it where you put grease on it... so most shavings are trapped on the grease. To get the remaining out... the engine will blow it out.

    I didn't change the plug but I thought the valve cover goes all the way down to where the spark plug sits... because there is an oring down there that you got to change or otherwise the oil will leak into the spark plug well.

    Got the same car... didn't do the gasket yet. but did change the plugs.

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