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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
No need to explain- I know lotsa one guys who have more contact and
day-to-day involvement with their ex that when they were married. And
half of them don't even have kids with the lady.
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
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).
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>
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...
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...
As a mechanic I HAVE seen plugs "just break" - poor weld on the ground
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)
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]
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.
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.
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
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.
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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