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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had success retapping stripped spark plug threads on their GL1800?

What thread repair kit(s) did you use and any special preparation for the bike.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Can't help with GL inserts, but check youtube for Ford Triton engine ejecting spark plugs. Search with "ford triton ejecting plugs." Very common issue around 2000 to about 2003, followed by breakages up to about 2007. Lots of good info there on the operation. Coating the tap with grease to catch droppings seems a good, but not perfect plan that saved removing the heads each time. That worked for us on the 3 plugs that blew out of the heads on our 2003 Expedition.


Is there a kit for doing it? Probably a good purchase unless you can machine up a guide for the tap to keep it true to the plug center-line. I'd stop the tap a turn from going all the way through so the helicoil (or whatever) cannot get wound all the way through. One video on the ford showed TWO inserts sitting on the piston. Not a good sign. :)
 

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Has anyone had success retapping stripped spark plug threads on their GL1800?

What thread repair kit(s) did you use and any special preparation for the bike.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
What happened? Cross threaded or over torqued? I just happened to replace the plugs on my '02 today.
Aluminum heads make me nervous when it comes time to torque them in - especially the plugs with crush washers. Always feels like the threads are stripping during the washer crush faze of tightening. I did rely on my inch pound clicker torque wrench this time although in the past, have relied on my calibrated wrist that has many years of experience. Would dread dealing with your situation; no experience with any thread repair kits. Good luck and keep us posted on your experience.
 

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Always feels like the threads are stripping during the washer crush faze of tightening. I did rely on my inch pound clicker torque wrench this time although in the past, have relied on my calibrated wrist that has many years of experience.
On a NEW plug that has never been installed, turn the plugs until they are seated and you start to feel resistance. From there, 3/4 of a revolution will crush the washer and properly seat the plug. Don't use this method on any plug that has previously been installed, since the washer is already crushed.

As for thread repair, I'd remove the head. Anything less is asking for problems.
 

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Turn the plugs until they are seated and you start to feel resistance. From there, 3/4 of a revolution will crush the washer and properly seat the plug.

As for thread repair, I'd remove the head. Anything less is asking for problems.
Amen!

This is an expensive and/or tedious problem to deal with.

Often it leads to the decision to trade.
 

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Helicoil repair kit, do it right on the bike and blow the chips out with air by letting the engine turn over with the plug out. The kit contains all the special taps and insert taps you need. A bike shop may already do this repair by inserting these steel threads. Should have had this done right out of the factory.
 

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Helicoil or Thread Insert (Use a Thread Insert only if it's so buggered up that a Helicoil won't do the job.)

Careful when Installing Spark Plugs. Specification is only 13 lb/ft (18 nM) on a Goldwing. That's probably a whole lot less than you think it is. Use a Torque Wrench.
 

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Has anyone had success retapping stripped spark plug threads on their GL1800?

What thread repair kit(s) did you use and any special preparation for the bike.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
If you don't feel comfortable repairing your spark plug hole, I'd suggest taking your Wing to a mechanic for repair. A striped spark plug hole is not all that uncommon for a mechanic to fix. Most have fixed at least 2 or 3 in their span of being a mechanic. In almost all cases, the head does not come off to do this. The drill and taps are well oiled to capture metal particles, and compressed air is used to remove anything left behind.

Of coarse a repair like this has risk involved. Worst case is a metal shaving being left behind, it does not exit past the exhaust valve, but gets trapped and stuck in the valve seat. If that happens, then the head must come off. The mechanic will know when the engine is started. However, the percentage of a head coming off, for this type of repair is probably lower than 10%. If that happens, your repair costs will increase from probably 1-2 hours to maybe $1,000 - 1,500+.

Although I've never repaired spark plug threads on a 5th gen, for a kit, I'd look here first. As you can see, they even make specific kits for engines that are known to have problems. If they don't have the kit, you might want to order one in and hand it to them.

http://www.timesert.com/html/sparkplug.html

In the future, I'd recommend you use a high quality, 1/4" drive, torque wrench. On a 5th gen, I don't think I have ever torqued spark plugs like the others are recommending. I do know that the Owner's Manual says to tighten like the others say, but instead I use the method in the Service Manual.
 

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I would think a length of flexible tubing could be fashioned to fit the tip of a good shop vac and used to get any loose thread mat'l out of a cylinder before reinserting the new plugs. With all the mini cams available to fit cell phones, I'd think you would be able to inspect the inside of that cylinder to ensure all the bits were removed before restart as well.
 

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On a NEW plug that has never been installed, turn the plugs until they are seated and you start to feel resistance. From there, 3/4 of a revolution will crush the washer and properly seat the plug. Don't use this method on any plug that has previously been installed, since the washer is already crushed.

As for thread repair, I'd remove the head. Anything less is asking for problems.

I edited my original post to include a warning about not using this method on plugs that have been previously installed. This only works on NEW plugs where the crush washer has not been compressed.


Removing the heads on this bike is not that hard, and you have easy access to them, so that is the route I would use if I were doing this. It not only prevents metal shavings from getting trapped in the head, but it also gives you much better access to do the job right. You could then even take the head into a machine shop to have it repaired, so it gives you more options.
 

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#1 ON THE TIME SERT.

They are the standard of the industry. I had to do all four cylinders of a Toyota once. After 50,000 miles, they are still in the cylinder head even after a plug change at 35,000 miles of service.
Almost stupid proof to install.
 

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From the 2018 Owners manual:
Tighten new plug one full turn after it seats.
Loosen plug.
Tighten again 1/8 of a turn.:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all of your input...after educating myself on the Time Sert Threaded Insert online and YouTube, I feel a little more comfortable going this route.

There were a lot of great tips prior to re-tapping the hole.

I certainly will use a lot of common sense and good preparation while performing the re-tap.

I will document either thru video or pictures the repair process.
 

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#1 ON THE TIME SERT.

They are the standard of the industry. I had to do all four cylinders of a Toyota once. After 50,000 miles, they are still in the cylinder head even after a plug change at 35,000 miles of service.
Almost stupid proof to install.
When I was still working the Sheriff's Dept was driving Ford Expeditions with the 5.4 liter engine and the plug in that engine barely had 3 threads holding it in the head and they would pop out on a regular basis. We heard them drive into the garage and we knew immediately what the problem was. We bought a kit from Napa especially for that engine and it came with an adapter to vacuum out the cyl. and before I retired we did at least 6 -8 repairs and never had to pull the head. Later on Ford realized what the problem was and the plug holes had more thread area and the newer plugs had a longer reach.
 
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Later on Ford realized what the problem was and the plug holes had more thread area and the newer plugs had a longer reach.
Sometimes manufactures' do really stupid things, and that sounds like an example of such.
 
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