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toy81
01-23-2013, 04:12 AM
Successful glow plug extraction today which I credit to reading countless informative threads here on the forum. Thanks Guys!!!

First I spent 8 days optimistically soaking the plugs with Kroil as suggested by many. After reading the disaster stories, I decided to keep positive and sprayed a little extra for good measures. I purchased a quality 10mm deep socket, extension bar, and 1/4in driver with a 5 inch handle. I wanted a short handle to discourage the use of too much torque and although I tried to find a T-handle driver, no one around here had one. I taped plastic over the grill and found a steep hill to run the Sprinter up to get the engine nice and hot; it was difficult getting it too far over the 180 mark. Back home I disconnected the battery ground, pulled the connectors on the end of the glow plugs with standard needle nose pliers, and began on plug #1.

Plug #1 was only finger tight and came out surprisingly easy! I knew this was a bad omen, but I continued on. #2 was a bear so I skipped it and went to #3, #4, and #5. Plug #5 (nearest the back) took a while to coax out, but thanks to the posts here, I knew to work it back and forth very slowly to break up the carbon. #3 and 4 were not too bad, but they also requred some back and forth action to free up the carbon buildup.

Back to #2, I knew this could be the plug that would end my streak of good luck. I upped my game and moved to a driver with a longer handle. With more pressure I was able to loosen #2 ever so slightly, accompanying its movement was an audible "click" noise. For the next 30 minutes I worked on the #2 plug, slowly loosening and tightening the plug while taking short brakes to spray more Kroil on the threads and pat the sweat off my forehead. I let the Kroil soak in while I installed the other plugs, each of the new plugs were threaded in twice with anti-seize, to ensure good coverage. For the first 10 minutes #2 barley moved more than a a few millimeters either direction, but it finally broke free and moved about a quarter turn. I had to loosen and retighten the plug many times; each time the plug would back out a bit more until it finally came free. A T-driver would have been perfect for this process!

The three plugs that were the most difficult to remove were all originals and I'm at 140k. Figured I would break at least one off since that seems to be the trend with plugs that are well past their due date. After reading the great advice here I approached the job with a the strategy of patience, Kroil, and knowledge of my options if one did break. I was ready to order the pulling device from Europarts, or buy a time-sert if needed.

Quick question. How can I ensure the glow plug codes causing my check engine light will be cleared to pass smog? Do I need a DAD, or will they self-clear after a certain milage?

Thanks again!

Jrmorgan
01-23-2013, 05:09 AM
So I take it, the small amount of carbon that breaks off and falls into the cylinders isn't a concern here?

:hmmm::hmmm::hmmm:

EZoilburner
01-23-2013, 10:46 AM
Great news, glad they came out easy enough for You. I notice the copper antisieze, I remember reading NO copper a/s on plugs, only ceramic grease or gray a/s.

Aqua Puttana
01-23-2013, 12:31 PM
Once the glow plugs and glow plug module are working properly the MIL (aka CEL, ECU light) will clear after a number of operating temperature range start stop cycles (I ASS-U-ME that is the only reason for the light being on.)

A generic scan tool will also reset the codes rleated to glow plug problems.

Glad to hear it went well. vic

Boater
01-23-2013, 12:33 PM
Full marks for getting the old ones out :thumbup:, but as EZoilburner says, I'm afraid you get no marks for using copperslip for antiseize :doh:

Richard has told us many times (expect a proper telling off from him) that for steel finish plugs (bosch?) use high temp ceramic grease (sparingly) and for nickel finish (i.e. Beru plugs which are probably what the originals are) use no antiseize at all.

Copper and aluminium react quite fiercely and may increase rate of corrosion. Good luck trying to sort it out! :cry:

Aqua Puttana
01-23-2013, 12:54 PM
...
Copper and aluminium react quite fiercely and may increase rate of corrosion. Good luck trying to sort it out! :cry:
I missed that by jumping past the pics. I'd be using solvent sparingly and maybe a gun barrel brush to try and clean that out of the head threads. The glow plugs proper should be easier to clean. I'd follow with either ceramic grease or high temperature nickel bearing anti-sieze.

Edit: The good news is that there is a space between the threads and the seal proper for the glow plug. That gives some space for junk to fall into without going directly into the cylinder itself.

49816

Being that I doubt it is possible to get all the copper out, not using any anti-sieze may now not be a good option. An annual R&R of the glow plugs might be a worthwhile program now too.

The copper won't get you immediately, but I wouldn't wait too long. FWIW. vic

toy81
01-23-2013, 08:12 PM
Well Gee, I spoke too soon and apparently didn't read close enough. I can't believe I messed up the simple part!

Gun barrel brush I can get no problem. What type of solvent should I go for? I have some Kroil engine degreaser that I got when picking up the penetrating oil. What if I cleaned the ports out with diesel fuel?

Nate

Aqua Puttana
01-23-2013, 09:31 PM
I'm no expert, just thinking out loud.

You need to not drop any cleaning tools down into where you can't retrieve it. That should be a priorty. I wouldn't worry too much about a bit of residue here and there from the cleaning dropping in.

Were I you, I'd first use some cloth draped over the end of a small dowel so you can insert it and wipe out all the copper stuff you can. Repeat until it seems to be no longer worthwhile.

Next maybe follow with a barrel brush. I like the diesel fuel idea. Wet the brush. Twist the brush down into the threads, back it out, wipe off the brush, and then repeat until the wiping rag looks clean. Follow with another rag over the dowel cleaning. Repeat until you're happy.

I wouldn't worry about hospital clean. A tiny bit of copper residue shouldn't make much difference.

Maybe coat the glow plug threads with just a bit of ceramic grease or high temp nickel anti-sieze, run them in, remove, wipe, re-apply, run in... repeat a couple times.

Good luck. I'm certain it will all be OK. vic

Well Jee, I spoke too soon and apparently didn't read close enough. I can't believe I messed up the simple part!

Gun barrel brush I can get no problem. What type of solvent should I go for? I have some Kroil engine degreaser that I got when picking up the penetrating oil. What if I cleaned the ports out with diesel fuel?

Nate

toy81
01-24-2013, 03:00 AM
Well guys, got the job done today. Went with a rag first and then ran a barrel brush in several times until the copper no longer showed. Also got out some other (carbon?) buildup that was lingering in the threads where where I pulled the #2 plug.

Plugs are back in with the proper anti-seize. I made sure to thread them in and out a few times and check for any remaining copper, but I didn't see any.

Thanks Vic and everyone for catching my mistake on this and offering advice! I've been having an awesome time working on this van; it's been the perfect project to take my mind from other stresses. Next I'll be onto replacing the high pressure relief valve.

I removed the picture of the glow plugs with the copper anti-seize. I don't want to lead anyone in the wrong direction in case they are new to the forum and don't read the entire thread.

Nate

Boater
01-24-2013, 04:48 PM
I was looking through the starting section in my Haynes manual last night, they say to use "anti-sieze (or copper brake grease)" when re-installing glow plugs, so I'm sure you won't be the last person to do it!
That instruction was probably written for a steel head years ago and is just pasted into every book they produce with a section on diesel glow plugs...... I'll check the book for my car later and see if it has the same blooper!
They are reasonably good books, but they are not perfect.

I first saw the Haynes manual glossary on a Land Rover forum, not sure who actually first wrote it but this version is pretty good:
http://www.backtotheoldskool.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=97567&p=860831
Many of the terms are equally valid to other workshop manuals.