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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, so it’s going to cost a little more than $3, but a heck of a lot less than the dealer quote of $2k. Depending on what tools you already own, repairing it yourself should cost around $500, and you get some new tools to keep for future repairs.

A couple weeks ago, I had a spark plug blowout, just like described in this thread. Unfortunately for me, this manufacturing defect occurred at 102k miles on the original spark plugs. I didn’t spring for the extended warranty, and even if I had, it would not have saved me here. When the dealer gave me a quote of $2600 to fit it and perform an E service, I was :mad: to say the least. Between my wife and I we have owned six cars since we met, three of which were purchased new. The ’05 Ody has far and away been the least reliable, most troublesome car of the group. And it’s the only car I’ve ever owned (out of 14 since I was 16 years old) that has left me stranded due to a mechanical failure. But I digress…

I researched the problem and discovered a product called Time-Sert. It’s similar to a helicoil, but you don’t have to drill out the spark plug hole, only re-tap the existing one. This means you can perform the repair without removing the head, which is where all the $$$ is spent.

Below I have outlined what I did, which I hope will help other cheapskates like me save a little cash. Read the whole procedure first and familiarize yourself with it, especially the video from Time-Sert. It will make the repair go much smoother

Shopping list:
Time-Sert spark plug tooling TS4412E. There are other dealers, but this one was close to my house so shipping was fast (and free!)

Time-Sert inserts TS44111. At $3 a pop, I bought two, just in case.

Time-Sert Driver Oil. You can use another lightweight oil. I used Marvel Air Tool Oil because I didn’t realize I needed any when I ordered the tooling. It’s your call.

Six NGK IZFR5K11 sparkplugs. Might as well replace them all while the hood is up.

Ignition module. Mine was destroyed when the plug blew out. I assume yours was too. Check to confirm this same part is compatible with your particular vehicle.

White Grease. You can use other grease, but this is nice because it’s easy to see the aluminum chips

¼” Click stop torque wrench. I made the mistake of doing this job with a much larger torque wrench. It was okay for the cylinders in front, but for the ones it back this would have been MUCH easier with this. You may already have one, but I assume most people do not.

4 claw pickup tool. Any claw type pick up tool will work.

Fiber Optic inspection camera. A what? At first, this may seem a bit extravagant. Given how much money you are saving, this tool buys you a lot of peace of mind. At least that’s what I told my wife.

In addition to the tools above, there are other more common tools that you will need. If you don’t have anything on the list below, you will need to beg borrow or steal it for this job.

Tool list:
1/4” drive to 3/8” drive socket adapter
3/8” drive 5/8” spark plug socket
3/8” ratcheting socket driver
3/8” drive 10mm six point deep socket
13mm six point socket (1/4” or 3/8” drive fine)
3/8” drive 19mm six point socket
3/8” drive 22mm six point socket (7/8” six point will also work, as will the standard issue tire iron)
6” long 3/8” drive extension
3” long 3/8” drive extension (you will need two of these)
6mm allen wrench
Flat screwdriver
Air compressor
Two shop vac’s (if you don’t have two, one shop vac and a household vacuum will do)
2’ of 1/4"ID or 3/8”ID flexible tubing
Duct tape (because what job is complete if you don’t use some duct tape)
Plastic grocery bag
2 strong rubber bands
earplugs
Beer

I was “lucky” enough to have the #5 cylinder fail, which makes this whole procedure much easier since the spark plug hole is on the front side of the engine. If your failure occurs in cylinders 1-3, it will be trickier to see what you are doing, but still possible.

1) Familiarize yourself with this video of how to use the Time-Sert tooling.
Now that you have watched how the tooling works, let me take a minute to explain what I did.

My main concern was dropping aluminum shavings into the cylinder. The piston, cylinder, and valves are not going to be happy about bits of aluminum rubbing between the rings and cylinder wall, or getting stuck in the exhaust valves, etc.

This solution is advertised as an “over-the-fender” repair, meaning you are not required to remove the head. The video says just spray some WD40 on the tap to catch the chips. I didn’t feel that was sufficient, so I did a couple things to further minimize the chance that chips will fall into the cylinder.
First, instead of WD40, I used the white grease listed above. The grease really holds onto the chips well. Also, and even more critically, I pressurized the cylinder. I did this by blowing air into the airbox, blocking off the exhaust, and rotating the engine until the intake valve was open. This was surprisingly effective at blowing any loose chips up and out of the spark plug hole.

2) Remove the plastic panel in front of engine and set the plastic fasteners aside. This step is really only necessary for improving the access to cylinders 4-6

3) Using the 6mm allen wrench, remove the remains of the destroyed ignition module on the offending cylinder.

4) Using the 10mm deep socket, disconnect the negative, and then positive cables from the battery.

5) Using the 10mm deep socket, remove the battery hold-down. Lift out the battery and the battery box.

6) Using the 10mm deep socket, remove the two bolts holding airbox to the van.

7) Leaving the airbox connected to the intake manifold, lift up the airbox and place duct tape over the drain holes on the underside of the box.

8) Stick one end of the shop-vac hose into the bottom of the airbox and wrap it in duct tape until the connection is as air tight as possible. Attach the other end of the hose to the blower end of the shop-vac.


9) Cover exhaust pipe with a plastic bag and secure it tightly with two strong rubber bands.


10) Jack up front passenger side wheel and remove it (22mm socket)

11) Take the inspection camera out of the box, install the batteries, turn it on, and stick the camera down into the open spark plug hole. Rotate the monitor around so you can see it from the passenger wheel well.

12) Put the 19mm socket on the 6” drive extension and push it through the hole in the inner fender and slide it onto the nut on the crankshaft.


13) Looking at the camera screen, rotate the crankshaft and watch the piston move. You want the piston to come up to the top of the cylinder and start to move back down.

14) Remove the camera and turn on the shop vac

15) Put your hand in front of the spark plug hole. Hopefully you will feel air rushing out of the cylinder. If you don’t, put the camera back in and rotate the crankshaft a full revolution until the piston comes back up to the top and begins to drop again. If you didn’t have air rushing out of the hole before, you will now.

16) Shut off the shop vac, remove the camera, and crack open a beer. Relax and take a few sips, because the fun is about to begin.:cheers:

17) Open up the Time-Sert box, get out the tap, and coat the cutting threads and flutes with grease.

18) Install earplugs into your ears and turn on the shop vac. From here on the vacuum is going to be running for most of this procedure. If your shop-vac is anything like mine (really loud) you are going to want these.

19) Drop the tap into the spark plug hole and slide the tap driver over the tap.

20) Get the 13mm six point socket and ratcheting driver on the end of the tap driver and start cutting the thread, keeping track of how many rotations you have tapped. In my case the threads were so stripped that the first section of the tap had nothing to grip onto, so the larger part of the tap started cutting immediately. As you cut new threads, you should feel the chips blowing up onto your hands.

21) Once you have cut seven full rotations, back the tap out and look at the tap. Here is where you may need the 4 claw pickup tool. The tap driver comes off the tap and can be tricky to get out of the spark plug hole without it. Once you have it out, the tap should be covered in grease and aluminum chips. At this point you should clean off the chips. It’s difficult to do this with a cloth because the cutting edges grab and rip it, so I used an air compressor to blow the chip and grease into a trash can.

22) Re-grease the tap and start cutting again. This time you should be able to turn the tap by hand for the first seven turns, then you will need to cut another seven turns, back the tap out and clean it again. Note that at no time do you turn off the shop vac. You need to keep the cylinder pressurized to keep the chips out. Also, I should stress that those first seven turns by hand should be easy. You do not want to somehow cross thread the hole at this step.

23) Now you are ready for the final cut. I cleaned and re greased the tap, and threaded it in by hand until it stopped (14 turns). I then cut 5 more rotations (for a total of 19). Back the tap out and clean it a final time.

24) At this point, there will be some greasy aluminum chips stuck to the side of the spark plug hole. You can use the inspection camera to confirm this. Here is where I used the plastic tubing and a second vacuum cleaner. I cut one end of the hose about a 45 degree angle and taped the other end to the vacuum cleaner hose. I then turned on the vacuum and ran the hose in and out of the spark plug hole while rotating it to make sure I sucked everything off the side walls. Once I did this a few times I checked it with the inspection camera, and went back for any chips I missed. Again, don’t shut off the shop vac. Keep it blowing out of the spark plug hole to make sure any chips you unstick from the spark plug hole go in the vacuum hose or shoot out, not drop into the cylinder.


25) Now you need to cut the seat. This is a good time to watch the video again to refresh yourself with what you are trying to accomplish. You need to grease the tap and thread it in again for the full 19 turns. Then you slide the seat cutter over the tap and use the tap driver to rotate the cutter.

26) This next part is somewhat hard to judge. You will need to turn the cutter several full rotations before you really feel it bite in and start cutting the new seat. How much to cut is hard to judge. The video says to cut until you get a clean looking seat, and they show a picture. The problem is, even with the inspection camera and the cleaned out hole, it’s tough to see. I cut a few turns once I felt it bite in for good measure.

27) To get a look at the seat, you need to clean it up as much as possible. I removed the seat cutter and tap, and then I vacuumed the chips out again. The seat cutter is a little harder to get out than the tap, but if you keep the driver in there and wiggle it a bit, you can get it out far enough to grab onto it. Once that was done, I wrapped a cloth around a long thin flat head screwdriver and tried to soak up and wipe off as much of the grease from the seat as I could. Then I looked at it with the inspection camera. As far as I could tell, I cut a complete seat. (Knock on wood, the van is still running, so I guess I did it right :D)

28) Finish the beer, and open another.:cheers:

29) Now you need to install the insert. Put some of the Driver Oil on the insert driver, and thread the insert onto it. Add some more Driver Oil to the outer threads of the insert.

30) Slide the insert driver with the insert down into the hole, and used the insert driver driver (for lack of a better term), to thread the insert into the hole. As you thread it farther and farther into the hole, it should get tighter and tighter. I kept count of how far I screwed it in, thinking I didn’t want it to go all the way through and drop into the cylinder (that would be bad). However, the driver got really tight as I went along, so once I felt it was nice and snug in there, I removed the driver tool.

31) Viola! You are done. The head is as good as new. Actually, it’s probably better than new, since the factory threads already crapped out on you. Now all you have to do is install the new spark plug and ignition module. Oh, and now it’s safe to turn off the shop vac and remove your ear plugs.

A few notes on changing the rest of the spark plugs. I used a little dab (and I stress little) of anti-seize on the threads. I read up on this, and some forums recommend it while others don’t. I think as long as you are careful to make sure the anti-seize does not get anywhere near the electrode, you will be fine. I kept it away from the bottom three threads entirely. The benefit to anti-seize is that it helps prevent the steel spark plug threads from bonding to the aluminum head over time. If that happens, you are going to get really good at this procedure.

Somewhere on the web, I read the spark plugs should be torqued to 13 ft-lbs. The anti-seize allows the threads to rotate a little easier, so I backed it off to 12. If you bought the torque wrench I recommended above (like I wish I had done), you can dial in 150 inch pounds and that should do the trick.
The spark plugs on the far side of the engine are trickier to get to, and this is where the small ¼ drive torque wrench combined with 5/8 spark plug wrench, the 1/4” to 3/8” adapter, and the two 3/8” drive 3” extensions can come in handy. As you pull out the socket once the spark plug is installed, you can break the two 3” extensions in half rather than use one 6” extension, which is a bit cumbersome to manipulate back there.

Once you have changed all the plugs, you can put the wheel back on the van and fire it up. Mike has been running as good as new for about a thousand miles now. So far, it appears to have been worth the effort.

That's all I've got. I hope it's useful. Please feel free to ask questions, and more importantly improve upon the procedure. If you have done some basic mechanical work on a car, you can do this. Any additional tips or corrections that you can provide as you perform this yourself is very much welcome.
 

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Fantastic DIY!

For those reading this thread: Timesert (basically a tube) is better than Helicoil (basically a spring).

Important tricks as mentioned in this DIY:
- Cylinder at TDC as in this DIY.
- When all done, vacuum the debris using a clear vinyl tubing with O.D. slightly smaller than the hole. Make some adapters so tubing is connected tightly with the vacuum machine and suck all the debris out.

PS: One of the reasons the spark plug blow-out: inadequate torque at factory ---> spark plug working its way loose and kaboom.
So I usually go to: 18 ft-lb ---> 22 ft-lb range. Zero issues whatsoever.

I wrote it up here in the spark plug DIY.
Also if you ever wonder how much torque is needed to break a spark plug, it is about 90 ft-lb. See thread #17 in the link below:

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/52-2005-2010-odyssey/132134-diy-2007-honda-odyssey-spark-plug-40k-miles.html
 

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Can I be the first to say that this should be a "sticky"
 

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Great write up! Thanks for taking the time to show us.

You just made $1500 (tax free) for how many hours work ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
PS: One of the reasons the spark plug blow-out: inadequate torque at factory ---> spark plug working its way loose and kaboom.
So I usually go to: 18 ft-lb ---> 22 ft-lb range. Zero issues whatsoever.

I wrote it up here in the spark plug DIY.
Also if you ever wonder how much torque is needed to break a spark plug, it is about 90 ft-lb. See thread #17 in the link below:

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/52-2005-2010-odyssey/132134-diy-2007-honda-odyssey-spark-plug-40k-miles.html
That is great info. I will retorque mine soon.

I notice that TS44111 is copper insert, probably OK.
TS44186 is Aluminum type.
I was concerned about the Cu too, but according to the faq, they aren't.
Also, I called their Tech Support line, and was advised to use the 44111 part. I'm told the guy who answers the phone owns the company, so I trust him :)

Can I be the first to say that this should be a "sticky"
Aw, shucks. You are too kind.

Great write up! Thanks for taking the time to show us.

You just made $1500 (tax free) for how many hours work ?
I did it in one evening. It took me a little longer than planned because after I changed the plugs, I didn't get the connector seated properly on one of the ignition modules. Took me a little while to figure out what I did wrong. From pulling into the garage to cleaning up, it should be doable in 3-6 hours, depending on your skill level.
 

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Impressive!

This does require a good level of confidence in your own skills, and some metal-working experience (or feel), therefore not for everyone!

Did you have a contingency plan for any mishap?
 

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1+,

For those not familiar with this, I strongly recommend using a "guinea pig" first!

Find a junk engine from junkyard for target practice.

Or a junk Aluminum control arm (from a BMW) for target practice.

Best is to make some deal with some local auto repair shop that is throwing away some blown cylinder head and use it as target practice. The problem is: you have to buy a few inserts, because once an insert is installed, it is done and cannot be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree. If you have never used a tap before, you should practice on something to get the feel for it. You may even be able to go to the local dump and dig through the scrap metal pile to find a lawn mower that someone threw away. Even a novice with a full socket set can pull off the head in just a few minutes. or you can take the whole engine home and pull it apart just to see what all the pieces look like.

At the time I was pretty mad about the whole debacle, so most of my contingency plans involved sledge hammers, flame throwers, and a cliff. That said, you could probably still send it back to the dealer to pull the head and fix it the hard way. The Time-Sert is thin, so you might still be able to helicoil it depending on how badly you messed it up. I don't know what would happen if you dropped a whole mess of Al chips in the cylinder. Would they just end up exiting via the exhaust valve? I doubt it would score up the cylinder too badly since it is so much softer then the rings/cylinder walls, but I've never been bored enough to experiment dropping different foreign objects into a combustion chamber just to see what happens. Worst case, get a used motor and swap it. I bet you could have a local shop do that for a similar price to what the dealer quoted me for the helicoil job.
 

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Nice write up! I have used Time-Sert to fix two stripped Honda oil pans. They do work great and seem to last.
 

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Quick question, in the procedural it says:
30) Slide the insert driver with the insert down into the hole, and used the insert driver driver (for lack of a better term), to thread the insert into the hole. As you thread it farther and farther into the hole, it should get tighter and tighter. I kept count of how far I screwed it in, thinking I didn’t want it to go all the way through and drop into the cylinder (that would be bad). However, the driver got really tight as I went along, so once I felt it was nice and snug in there, I removed the driver tool.

The TimeSert video instructions say that this step should get tight but then free up as the last few threads on the bottom are "cold rolled" by the tool. My understanding is that this helps mechanically lock the sleeve (which has the shoulder on top end where the seat was cut) in place. Did you stop too soon?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quick question, in the procedural it says:
The TimeSert video instructions say that this step should get tight but then free up as the last few threads on the bottom are "cold rolled" by the tool. My understanding is that this helps mechanically lock the sleeve (which has the shoulder on top end where the seat was cut) in place. Did you stop too soon?
Good question. I recall it was getting REALLY tight and required a lot of torque when I stopped and backed out. It would probably be better to keep going as per the instructions, as long as you are sure you are not going to drop it down the hole. So far, it's holding just fine. The best thing to do is to practice on a bad head first so you can get a feel for process, but I was in a rush so I skipped that step :).
 

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Good question. I recall it was getting REALLY tight and required a lot of torque when I stopped and backed out. It would probably be better to keep going as per the instructions, as long as you are sure you are not going to drop it down the hole. So far, it's holding just fine. The best thing to do is to practice on a bad head first so you can get a feel for process, but I was in a rush so I skipped that step :).
10-4. Glad to hear it is still holding strong. If my dealer's helicoil fix does not hold, I am going to try the BIGSERT route. Thanks for the information and write up. Great idea on opening the intake valve and pressurizing through the intake.
 

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Helicoil -----> basically a "Spring".
Timesert -----> basically a "Sleeve".

The Timesert kit mentioned in this thread is $150 or so (amazon, ebay etc.).

I was at Autozone recently and saw this kit for $30.
OEM/M14 -1.25 Fix-A-Thred spark plug saver kit includes 3 pcs. insert, installer tool and tap

OEM/M14 -1.25 Fix-A-Thred spark plug saver kit includes 3 pcs. insert, installer tool and tap (25647) | Thread Repair | AutoZone.com

I have a question for the Helicoil/Timsert guru. In order to save money, can you buy the Autozone kit for $30 just to get the tap, then skip the Helicoil inserts (that come with the kit).
Then buy the appropriate Timesert Inserts (The Timesert Inserts are cheap, about a few dollars each) and use with the tap in the Autozone kit.
This way one can get this job done for about $30 + Timesert insert.



Here is the pic for the Autozone kit:


Helicoil.JPG
 
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