Glow plug replacement questions

b1mmuo27

New member
No, I am not pulling the head off yet. Does the US owners manual list the glow plugs to be changed at any interval?
 

talkinghorse43

Well-known member
No mention in the owner's manual that I've seen. Since pulling the head is so expensive a proposition (might even need a new head), I'd think you'd want to explore all options first. I wonder if 4 working glow plugs would be enough? Also wonder if heating the engine before starting would make glow plugs unnecessary. If heating would work, could use the aux heater (if you have it). If you don't have the aux heater, could wire the booster heater (if you have it) to work like the aux heater. If you don't have the booster heater, could install an Espar heater to simulate the aux heater or an electric tank heater to heat the engine. If all 5 glow plugs in working order is an absolute must, then I would probably pull off the intake manifold (for better access) and work on removing that glow plug shell.
 

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
under service B it does mention removal and cleaning of plugs re-install with anti-seize
lubricant two different reams to clean up depending on carbon build up.. Canada has the reference but it's on the data disc. My manual states main service B at 46 thousand kilometors to remove plugs inspect and clean to aviod possiable long term problems with seizure and to extend the life of the plug service indicator two spanners. there is a breif from MB stating fuel issues.

Richard
 

b1mmuo27

New member
Ohighroof- thats what I used & it broke. A four sided easy out. I even made a little heat shield for the plastics & used my mini oxy/acetalyne torch to heat it a little.
Altered Sprinter-thanks but they rushed these into Canada without doing a lot of research. Mechanics in the dealerships weren't trained yet. Their appears to be a lot of misinformation & lack off in the owners manual. Believe me I was the biggest fan of my van. Lately, I'm losing the faith. I have had 4 GM diesels & none of them had to have the glow plugs out at 50K. When I did pull them out at 100K they came out. I think these vans have been in your part of the world a lot longer than here. I have 2 Renault turbo diesels in my boat, direct injection, no glow plugs. Heated air intake. The van also has a heated fuel supply. It's just on those cold mornings when I come out of the igloo:laughing:lash the huskeys together & head for the van. No igloo but I do have a Siberian husky though.
 

b1mmuo27

New member
Hi Doktor A. I would if I could find it. It drop onto the driveway & I think it rolled into the snow. I'll look for it in the light tomorrow.
 

talkinghorse43

Well-known member
Heating the glow plug shell is the wrong way to go. The way to go would be to get the engine to normal operating temp (~180F) and then spot cool the plug (ice water, liquid nitrogen, or others through a small tube inserted into the plug shell) to make it shrink away from the Al head. Since the head is massive and Al is a good conductor of heat, the metal around the plug should stay relatively hot while you cool the plug. But, of course, you have to work fast after cooling because the plug will quickly heat up again.
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Ohighroof- thats what I used & it broke. A four sided easy out. I even made a little heat shield for the plastics & used my mini oxy/acetalyne torch to heat it a little.

How many other glow plugs have you attempted to remove? Your description of the initial "soft turn of the wrench "hints that this glow plug was severely weakened before removal even began. Is corrosion the culprit? Are any other plugs severely corroded?

Regarding removal of the "remains"-I would first remove the fuel injector to facilitate compressed air "clean-out" of the cylinder. Then I would position the piston well up the cylinder but not quite at TDC.

Purchase a small set of LEFT-hand drill bits from your Snap-on man. Choose your drill bit size(s) carefully from the set(you can measure the OD of your new injector threads) and pack the drill grooves with grease -to retain chips. Use a reversible electric drill at very slow speed.

With a little luck, the drill will "back-out" the remains before having to drill below the threaded boss length.

Use compressed air through the injector hole to blow out any loose debris. The above procedure of course assumes you have easy access or extended the drill bit(s) with a weld on extension. Doktor A
 
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b1mmuo27

New member
Actually Doktor A tit doesn't look to be corroded. I thought it moved easily because of the WD 40 siting in the well for 2 days while driving it. Their is only the next one beside it that I believe is the same now, as it spins freely & wiggles the same. I can get a drill on it as it is & did. I had to use a carbide tip drill to drill the easy out. I cannot get reversible drills until tomorrow. As it is not blowing by I am good to go tomorrow. I will have to try these ideas on both cylinders tomorrow. I have found the nut portion from the glow plug but can;t seem to find the stem. I had it this morning....:hmmm: You can see that nut has cleanly sheared off, their is no real sign of corrosion, just grease.
 

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b1mmuo27

New member
talkinghorse43 The block doesn't get too hot this time of year. I took it for a run on the highway before trying to extract it. You could put your hand on it & leave it. That's how cold it is. But according to the gauges it comes up to temperature. I heated the aluminum block in front of the well, the plug broke almost flush, no where to place anything cold.
 

talkinghorse43

Well-known member
I was thinking of inserting a small tube into the hole that the center electrode once occupied and deliver the coolant through that tube. Since the head isn't hot, it would be best if the coolant were very cold. Or, if you could find a non-flammable refrigerant (maybe r-134a) or non-flammable high vapor pressure solvent in a spray can (like a WD-40 can with a plastic tube tip - I don't think WD-40 itself would work; vapor pressure isn't high enough), you could just stick that plastic tube into the hole and spray.
 

talkinghorse43

Well-known member
Actually Doktor A tit doesn't look to be corroded. I thought it moved easily because of the WD 40 siting in the well for 2 days while driving it. Their is only the next one beside it that I believe is the same now, as it spins freely & wiggles the same. I can get a drill on it as it is & did. I had to use a carbide tip drill to drill the easy out. I cannot get reversible drills until tomorrow. As it is not blowing by I am good to go tomorrow. I will have to try these ideas on both cylinders tomorrow. I have found the nut portion from the glow plug but can;t seem to find the stem. I had it this morning....:hmmm: You can see that nut has cleanly sheared off, their is no real sign of corrosion, just grease.

Yes, it appears that the nut has sheared off at the joint where it may have been attached to the glow plug barrel by brazing or silver soldering. Probably over-torque caused it to shear - maybe on original assembly?

A question for Doktor A from those of us who may have waited too long (~127k miles on my '02 now) to remove glow plugs. The '03 service manual states that on assembly, the glow plugs should be torqued to 115 lbs-in. Probably removal torque will be higher, but how high can removal torque be without risking this type failure, or even worse, damage to the securing threads in the head? I'm thinking that in my case I could attempt to remove my glow plugs while monitoring removal torque with my bar-type torque wrench and if no luck by the estimated max torque, wait for a glow plug failure before attempting more drastic measures.
 

SprintED

New member
I now have to add complicated glow plug replacement every two years/50,000 to my list of things to FIX on my sprinter...with the added risk of glow plug breakage/head removal/lots of $$$$:eek::eek::eek::eek:

It is still a puzzle to me as to how a vehicle that is supposed to be super durable and has a 300,000+ KM inservice rating, can have so many things that need constant attention/repair?

Anyone thought of compiling a list of all these nice "not found in the owners manual etc..." maintenance issues so we can keep track of them all?:hmmm:


Ed
 

mean_in_green

>2,000,000m in MB vans
The reality is that your glow plugs will probably last as long as you keep the van.

Mine have lasted 730,000kms so far, and I've done the last 230,000kms (or so) with one of them not working at all.

They're only for starting it - if it can do that don't lose sleep over it.

Simon
 
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northener

New member
I expect(hope) to pass my 2006 to my children. 50,000 miles was just suggested as a maintenance schedule for the glow plugs. That seems short and what is the maintenance to be.
Should the plugs be pulled, greased, and re-assembled if they do have a life virtually of the vehicle but late replacement is sure to bring heartaches?
I have sorta penciled into my head that at 80k my vehicle will be about three years old and was going to have them pulled and inspected.
Ideas anyone?
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Yes, it appears that the nut has sheared off at the joint where it may have been attached to the glow plug barrel by brazing or silver soldering. Probably over-torque caused it to shear - maybe on original assembly?

A question for Doktor A from those of us who may have waited too long (~127k miles on my '02 now) to remove glow plugs. The '03 service manual states that on assembly, the glow plugs should be torqued to 115 lbs-in. Probably removal torque will be higher, but how high can removal torque be without risking this type failure, or even worse, damage to the securing threads in the head? I'm thinking that in my case I could attempt to remove my glow plugs while monitoring removal torque with my bar-type torque wrench and if no luck by the estimated max torque, wait for a glow plug failure before attempting more drastic measures.

The hex head is not "brazed or soldered"- the body is one machined piece. Our group member with the broken plug problem claims almost no torque when his sheared.

If you have the cylinder head at operating temp and use a short length 3/8 drive wrench, you likely won't have problems. I have loosened glow plugs with much more break-away torque than the actual specified tightening torque without failure. Doktor A
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
I expect(hope) to pass my 2006 to my children. 50,000 miles was just suggested as a maintenance schedule for the glow plugs. That seems short and what is the maintenance to be.
Should the plugs be pulled, greased, and re-assembled if they do have a life virtually of the vehicle but late replacement is sure to bring heartaches?
I have sorta penciled into my head that at 80k my vehicle will be about three years old and was going to have them pulled and inspected.
Ideas anyone?

50K sounds premature to me, as well. When you do have them removed, there really is no "inspection"-their operational status can be determined while they are still installed. Once removed for "exercising" and anti-seize treatment you may want to consider replacement instead. Purchased from after market sources- the Bosch glow plugs are not very expensive. Doktor A
 

b1mmuo27

New member
I think the question that should be addressed is why the vehicle was designed to NEED the glow plugs to be REMOVED at 50K regardless of status, working or not. Seems to me the more I thought of it, this is Daimler's problem not mine. Doubly true since it's not in the maintenance schedule or owners manual in Canada. I was sold on the fact it could go 18K between oil changes, got 30 MPG (Canadian) & was virtually maintenance free for the first 1/2 million kilometers. Only problem being you need to change the fuel filter every second oil change, but let's not put on removable clamps on the filter hoses. You know I have had the chance to take apart a BMW before & ALL the bolts holding it together had anti seize on it. Every single one. Yet Daimler couldn't afford any on the glow plugs when they put them in at the factory. Yet I'm suppose to pull them at 50K because of this?:thumbdown:
 

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