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Old 04-24-2007, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default Good news! My car is alive again

As some of you know, I blew a spark plug out of my passenger side head the other day. The car had been ticking [sounded like an exhaust leak] for a week. It eventually blew the plug out before I figured out where the noise was coming from.

John [Shelby Guy] has done this repair before so he came over with the repair kit to fix the head for me. The repair consists of reaming out the affected spark plug hole, tapping the now larger hole and then inserting a threaded insert into the hole. The process was pretty easy and I was very happy when we threaded a plug back in there.

I had to run out to Dan's to get some new plugs so I didn't get much of a chance to try the motor. John and I threw a TR6 plug in there temporarily and started it up. It rattled for a second at start up and then everything smoothed out. I'd guess the gas in the cylinder dried out the oil around the rings or something and one revolution was necessary to lubricate it again.

After installing the new set of plugs, I started the car again. No rattles. Ticking is gone. I took it for a ride, let it warm up and then got on it for a couple of full throttle runs. YAY! Everything works perfectly. No bad sounds at all. Idle is smooth. Full throttle is smooth. Looks like the insert was all I needed. Thanks John! You are the man.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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no, you da man!

the new plug in the repaired cylinder felt ok as you tightened it up?

and thank you for the follow up call. i appreciate the positive feedback.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:16 PM   #3
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Yikes!! I had an 2001 Lightning that did the same damn thing. But I didnt get the ticking noise....just sitting at a red light, light turned and "pop" that was it. Which cylinder was the one that the plug blew out of? I have never heard of that happening on a terminator?
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
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Good deal cliff, Glad you got it fixed! I hope not too much metal got into the cylinder Wonder what cylinder was it? By chance was it 7 or 8?

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Old 04-24-2007, 05:34 PM   #5
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I have yet to hear of someone popping a plug out of the driver's side. They invariably come out of the passenger side. They also seem to be almost always NGK plugs. But I am not saying NGK is somehow bad. Its just that we all seem to switch to NGK.

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Good deal cliff, Glad you got it fixed! I hope not too much metal got into the cylinder Wonder what cylinder was it? By chance was it 7 or 8?

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Old 04-24-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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good job with the fix, and
good luck with the car, hope it didnt cause too much damage to your motor internally, only time will tell on that tho
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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My buddy had that happen on his 96 Cobra, passenger side. He had the same repair done to his, but now since he tried to change his plugs all it does is spin in the hole. Hopefully his was just a fluke that it happened.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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The new plug threaded better into the sleeved hole than any of the other plugs. It felt smooth going in.

It was #2 cylinder. The spark plug was intact and I have every piece of the old coil pack so nothing went down into the cylinder. John heavily greased the boring tool and tap so nearly every metal shaving stayed in the grease. We also made extensive use of my shop vac to make sure everything was out of the cylinder before inserting the new plug.

There have been quite a few Terminators that blow out the plugs. John repaired his 2 years ago and from the extensive road course racing his car does, you can count on this repair being permanent. My #2 cylinder is probably the best cylinder on the car now as far as hanging onto the spark plugs. Lightning guys do all 8 inserts as a preventive measure to keep their plugs in the car.

From the power the car makes and the complete lack of bad noises, I'd say the motor is fine and will stay that way for hopefully a long time. I'm relieved that the ticking was spark plug blow by rather than valve train or an exhaust gasket. Much simpler repair to do the insert than to pull the motor to replace a head.

I think the red Locktite will keep the insert in place. It probably won't ever come out.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:05 PM   #9
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Glad to hear everything panned out okay. I am running NGK's so I will throw the rabbits foot in the console and hope for the best. If you guys havent noticed I dont do alot of posts normaly and I was bored off my ass today at work. I will keep an eye on the events board and hopefully get a chance to meet some of you.
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:10 PM   #10
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VT likes to put serts in all the threaded holes for the lightning and the cobra guys if they have the first run heads.
It is better with the sert than without.
Any aluminum that might have escaped the grease and got into the bore wouldnt hurt the piston anyway.......

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Old 04-24-2007, 09:22 PM   #11
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Great to hear Cliff! BTW... were you able to figure out which coilpack was bad, or did you just close your eyes and pick on? LOL!
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSG03COBRA
Great to hear Cliff! BTW... were you able to figure out which coilpack was bad, or did you just close your eyes and pick on? LOL!
We didn't have an Ohm meter handy so I picked two of them and John did the eenie meenie minie moe. LOL! 7-1 odds that I would get a good one.

My shift light has been working correctly again so far since I switched coil packs. How is yours working?
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:51 AM   #13
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Just out of curiousity were you running factory coils or aftermarks? I see Granatelli makes a coil and since I can never keep money in my pocket are they worth the $$$.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:07 AM   #14
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perish the thought of giving any money to granatelli. everything they touch is crap.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:09 AM   #15
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Go to know thanks for the heads up. I figured what they were claiming was alittle far fetched.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyn high again
My shift light has been working correctly again so far since I switched coil packs. How is yours working?
Mine seems to be working alright now too... I'll keep an eye on it over the next couple weeks, but I think the real test will be heading to the track and giving it a couple WOT runs.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:55 AM   #17
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Woo hoo, glad you got it fixed Cliff.... It is nice to have people as helpful and knowledgeable as ShelbyGuy around! Nice work John.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSG03COBRA
Mine seems to be working alright now too... I'll keep an eye on it over the next couple weeks, but I think the real test will be heading to the track and giving it a couple WOT runs.
I'm going to watch mine for a couple weeks, too. I've been talking to Rick [from Raptor] about the early lighting of the LEDs and it's a helpful coincidence that you and I met while we were having similar problems. It may be that the shift lights react to problems with the coil packs. I'll let Rick know what we find out so he can use the info for future reference.

Dragon03, they were stock coil packs.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:38 AM   #19
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congrats. glad that you didnt end up with any major problems.


how much room did you guys have to work with? seems like it would be a tight operation.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CobraChris08
congrats. glad that you didnt end up with any major problems.


how much room did you guys have to work with? seems like it would be a tight operation.
#2 cylinder is right out in the open. It's one of the easiest to get to. Much better than #4 or #8. John leaned over the fender and had plenty of room to work. I should have taken pics.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #21
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The lightnings are definitely tougher to do that with, especially if it's one of the back ones, can't see anything in there. At least the Cobra's are a bit easier to work with. Glad to see you got it all fixed up.
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