Speaking of broken spark plugs...

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On Tue, 08 Dec 2009 10:56:37 -0600, AZ Nomad wrote:

There's still brakes and timing belts and clutches and coolant pumps and other stuff to worry about once the mileage gets high enough, though - and I suspect lots of folk out there believe that if it's a modern vehicle it therefore needs no care at all...
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Jules wrote:

Remember back when the service manual recommended removing the head/heads to clean the carbon buildup every xx thousand miles? GEEZ! I seem to recall having to do a lot of fiddling with my 50's, 60's and 70's vehicles just to keep them running reasonably well. When I was younger, I loved tinkering with engines, now I just want to get in the darn thing and go.
TDD
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I had a '69 with a 1650 made by a Porsche mechanic in Houston. It had a Holley Bugsprayer carb, headers, mechanical advance distributor, a cam, roller rocker arms, big oil cooler, and a clutch from the VW Transporter truck. It screamed, and I could get third gear scratch. It turned a lot of heads. It would do 90 down the freeway. Handling was squirrely, though.
Steve
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

The plug itself almost certainly had nothing to do w/ it...it's just a symptom of what went wrong. Nor would have replacing them @100k or whatever was the recommended interval likely have made any difference.
--
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Your mechanic sounds a bit like me. Fix it when it breaks. You're in the middle cause you'e a caring parent?
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Christopher A. Young
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That's basically the reason. She's low on cash, and doesn't understand why I give a damn. The day after this car mess began, there was a death on her side of the family, so she's overwhelmed.
The mechanic really is quite remarkable. Over the years, he's talked me OUT of doing certain things to old cars. He's very good at presenting the mechanical facts, but at some point, that aspect runs out of steam and it comes down to financial decisions which only the owner can make.

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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: (snip)

day-to-day involvement with their ex that when they were married. And half of them don't even have kids with the lady.
-- aem sends...
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

A plug "broken"??? How? What broke? In 50 years w/ all personal automobiles and light trucks plus tractors and other farm equipment BD (before diesel) I've never seen a broken plug other than breaking the insulation or somesuch external damage.
Unless something like the other doofus-caused damage this seems more than peculiar it was the plug. I, like another poster, don't know the engine but if caused mechanical damage to a plug the timing or a rod or somesuch sound more proximate causes than a plug. The plug may be a symptom...
I swapped a rebuilt engine into an old Honda CRX years ago for not a lot of money...back then there was an abundant supply from Japan owing to a change in their emission requirements iiuc. Don't know what options would be at the moment for that one. Generally, if a vehicle is still otherwise in good shape one can still repair pretty major for less than what would spend on the replacement (unless one is extremely fortunate or disciplined in the process anyway).
--
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dpb wrote:

Well I have....
A few years ago my wife's 100K plus miles Oldsmobile had a tune up including new plugs and plug leads. A few weeks later a noticable miss developed and my mechanic found that one of the plugs he'd just replaced had lost it's ground electrode. He replaced the plug "under warranty" and her car seemed to be running OK after that.
About 8 months later her car failed the emissions portion of our annual state inspection because the engine computer was reporting uneven firing. A compression test showed weak compression in the same cylinder which had its spark plug lose its electrode.
The upshot was that a valve job was needed to make things right again. The exhaust valve in the weak cylinder and its seat had a "groove" in them which looked like it might have been caused by slamming down on that spark plug electrode which had fallen off.
There was no way of "proving" the valve problem was the direct result of that failed spark plug, and because I trust and want to keep the great relationship I have with my mechanic, I just paid the bill without trying to create a ruckus over it.
I'm still fondly remembering the olde days when I could fix anything on our cars with my own tools and knowledge. Nowadays it seems like I'm doing repairs with my checkbook more often than my tools. <G>
Jeff
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(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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jeff_wisnia wrote:

Stuff _can_ happen but it surely isn't common.
If the electrode was gone when the plug came out, it likely was laying on top of the cylinder. They should've gotten it out then rather than just sticking another plug in and going on...
--
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On Tue, 08 Dec 2009 10:28:30 -0600, dpb wrote:

I've seen them break due to overheating, but I don't think I've ever seen one that's "just broken" either.
If it's outright smashed and there are no issues with the cooling system then *something* had to have hit it...
cheers
Jules
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On Tue, 08 Dec 2009 12:17:11 -0600, Jules

electrode allows it to fall off. I've seen compression seals let go, allowing the insulator to move in the shell, and the insulator shatter (after making a LOT of noise for quite some time)
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-snip-

Only you can determine if it is worth it to spend that much money on that car. My mechanic has recommended that I junk my daughters 99 Grand Am a couple times. Since we know the entire history of the car, it runs fine despite the 200,000 miles on it, the body and interior are in great shape, and she likes the car, we've spent the money-- and I'm glad we have.
If it was *my* mechanic telling me that about *my* car, I'd be tempted to go ahead and have it overhauled. I couldn't replace it for $3 grand. [and know exactly what is new and old on it]
Jim
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wrote:

Think in terms of what it would cost per month for a new vehicle. Be sure to factor in the higher insurance and taxes. Just about any new car will cost at least $300 a month. If you fix this car for $2000 and get only one more year out of it, you are still ahead of the game.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

A incorrect spark plug that is too long will manifest itself upon the very first revolution of the engine.
Since you have a confirmed damaged plug, my guess is that you dropped a valve. If that is the case, the valve is what damaged the plug, not the other way around.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
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For the broken plug. Take the broken plug out, and then start the engine for a couple seconds. It will be unbelievably noisy. But, the missing plug will allow a hole for the pieces of metal, etc, to come flying out. Don't be any where near the hole, even with safety goggles.
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wrote:

Where was the plug broken, what part of it, did it melt, what is the plugs color, did you try a new one just to see what happens or try a compression test. So post a photo of it, you can tell alot about a cars overall running condition and age by looking at a plug. A 15 $ compression tester and a new plug will tell you alot.
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On Tue, 8 Dec 2009 09:28:30 -0800 (PST), ransley

Nice little chart here:
http://www.verrill.com/moto/sellingguide/sparkplugs/plugcolorchart.htm
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Ms. April is pretty hot.
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wrote:

And Ms. June
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