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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Spark plug popped out stripped threads - help

A spark plug has popped out of the cylinder head. The car is a 2002 mini cooper. It's stripped the top part of the thread off the head. I've looked up on line and there seems to be a couple of options:
use something called a heliocoil to rethread it
get a new head.

I have seen a cylinder head on e bay for 30 (upgrade to s works so not needed).

Which is better? heliocoil or put on a new head?

Is it a really expensive job to get a new head fitted?

Also the part number on my cylinder head is almost the same as the one on e bay except for the very last letter; mine ends with an A, the one on e bay ends with a C. Is this significant? What does it mean?

I am very, very wary of garages etc as when this happened my wife and I were a 115 miles from home (after visiting our daughter in hospital). Got the car recovered to a tyre/exhaust place and they told me what happened (plug popped out) they said they'd put new HT leads on and fit a new set of plugs. It got us home after a very stressful 2 days. Just looked under bonnet and NO new HT leads - gits!! The place is ETS tyres in Newark, Notts.
Can anyone help with above questions?
Thanks
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:35 PM
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Fitting a new head is a fairly expensive job (same cost as fitting a new head gasket) as there is quite a bit of time and labour involved removing parts and replacing. If the helicoil can be done 'in-situ' it should be far cheaper and if done properly should be as good as an original plug thread. Get some quotes/guarantees for both and compare. As a temporary solution the plug could perhaps be fitted using a suitable high temperature 'Loctite' thread locking adhesive if there are still some good threads left but the high compression forces will probably eventually pop it out again.......

You can compare part numbers online below or refer them to a local Mini parts dealer, enter your chassis number at beginning:
RealOEM.com BMW R50 Cooper Cylinder Head
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
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Where abouts are you? Someone may know a reliable MINI specialist near you.

Helicoils are fine when done properly
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for all the info.

Yes, I think I'll definitely go down the heliocoil route. The cost of getting a new head and the amount of miles on the clock doesn't really make it a good option yet.

I live just outside Oxford (ironically I work just around the corner from the BMW mini plant!).

I live in a town called Carterton, Oxfordshire so if anyone can recomend a mini garage?

Also, would it be worth approaching precision/light engineering company or would a gagage be just as able? (heliocoil).

Thanks for your help guys
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Old Jul 7th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Idealy you want a mobile helicoil specialist like those below but who covers your area, they will often be used by several garages, etc within their particular area:
Mobile Helicoil Services - Home

'Thread Doctor' .....Surrey based but is said to good and able to sort most thread problems in situ if spark plug seating is undamaged:
Perryn Allen
01252 879889 or 07831 345804
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 02:56 PM
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There are other options out there , other than the Helicoil..

There is a great thread INSERT. that is unreal easy to do.. and the head can stay on the car.. Kit cost only 300.00 USD. then you can fix anones..

Just me.................................

Thumper

......The OTHER MINI Head!
06 ABRG MCS
263 WHP on a budget!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 08:57 AM
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Hi guys,
Thanks for the replys.
I found a local garage that were able to rethread it using a 'Time - sert'.
I called round a few garages and all said that the head would have to come off to rethread it. Consequently the price doubled. Prices ranged from 400 to 800.

However, the garage (J. Millen and Sons, Witney, Oxon) used the Time - sert to rethread it WITHOUT taking the head off. Brilliant!: Cost 195.

Very happy
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 09:45 AM
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Thaks for the info............found this video on 'Time-Sert'
http://www.timesert.co.uk/

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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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time-sert

Quote: Originally Posted by Alan64 (original)
Hi guys,
Thanks for the replys.
I found a local garage that were able to rethread it using a 'Time - sert'.
I called round a few garages and all said that the head would have to come off to rethread it. Consequently the price doubled. Prices ranged from 400 to 800.

However, the garage (J. Millen and Sons, Witney, Oxon) used the Time - sert to rethread it WITHOUT taking the head off. Brilliant!: Cost 195.

Very happy

when you refit the spark plugs do you use the original specification (thread size) spark plug in the repaired hole?
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 07:40 PM
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The insert fitted would normally be with same thread as original spark plug.
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