Summary: Stocking some kits in Ontario for fast delivery within Canada! No surprises and no tax. Faster delivery when compared to having your kit shipped from the USA. Ford spark plug blowouts are common in various models like Expedition, F150, Mustang, Crown Victoria E-series vans equipped with 4.6, 5.4 & 6.8 liter SOHC (Single Over Head) engines. This is only a partial list. If you have a different application, we also have recommendations for those as well. Any engine with aluminum heads and that means most today, could have spark plug thread issues. If you don't have time to read to figure out which spark plug thread repair kit is best for your application, give us a call. Please let us know what you're working on using our contact us form or give us a call at 800-734-8665 x251, we'll be glad to help.
We also specialize in larger thread repairs needed to fix threads when a parts store type thread repair was used previously and failed making the hole bigger. Commonly referred to as "over-size" repairs. Time Sert calls this "Big Sert"
There are many different brand spark plug thread repair kits available for the common Ford spark plug blowout problem, however they are not all as effective and long lasting as the solutions we recommend. Many Ford dealers and other repair shops quote thousands of dollars to replace the cylinder heads. One mobile repair service in the USA charges for the repair plus expenses to fly within the USA to fix spark plug threads. We have a better idea, fix it yourself and use the difference for your own vacation!
Our spark plug thread repair kits are used by DIYers and professional auto repair shops, saving our customers a lot down time and expense. Our spark plug thread repairs kits, fix parts store brand failures and can be done in the vehicle, over the fender for a fraction of the cost of replacing the cylinder head or paying for someone's vacation. The Calvan 38900 and the Time Sert kits like 5553 and the 5600 are the best repair systems on the market today using steel alloy inserts that share similar properties with aluminum, but are much stronger!
The Time-Sert 5600 has the largest outside diameter insert available which can be used when previous repairs have made the hole so large that the Calvan 38900 cannot work. The Time Sert 5600 spark plug thread repair kit also works for more applications than the Calvan 38900 does. We have the "How to" video (below) that demonstrates how to use the largest kit available (Time Sert 5600) to finally fix the dreaded "repeat" blown out spark plug problem that has left the hole too big to fix for regular kits. Call us to discuss if your particular situation would required the 5600 or not. Chances are that one of our kits will do the job. If working to repair a parts store repeat blowout the OD (Outside Diameter) of the insert is likely .66" or 17.64mm.
We've sold many spark plug thread repair kits, saving Ford owners a lot of down-time and money in the process. Continue reading and we'll explain why one of our kits should be the next and last "over the fender" repair. In vans the thread repair kits we sell can be used with engine cover removed without removing the head. Again we can assist with choosing the correct kit, but below is a basic guideline for Ford 4.6, 5.4 & 6.8 engines that use M14x1.25 taper seat spark plugs.
Time Sert 5553 - Repairs spark plug holes smaller than .663" (16.8mm). The outside diameter of the insert is .69"- it's Double Over-sized, used on many applications and has a Triton counter-bore needed for some 2001 and up. *Note Add-On Kit 5588 for repairing holes larger than .663" (16.8mm) repairing holes up to .73". Works for SOHC and DOHC engines. This kit is Made in the USA.
Time Sert 5600 - Stand Alone Kit that repairs spark plug holes larger than .663" (16.8mm). The outside diameter of the largest insert is .77" - it's Triple Oversized. Used on many applications and has a Triton counter-bore needed for some 2001 and up.*Note Add-On Kit for installing the Double Over-sized inserts for holes smaller than .663" (16.8mm) is kit number - 5588. Works for SOHC and DOHC engines. This kit is Made in the USA.
Calvan 38900- Over sized kit that repairs spark plug holes up to approximately .678" (17.24mm) which is the reamer O.D. The outside diameter of the insert is .73". Due to the guide being required this kit has a limited application (compared to Time Sert ). Fits only Ford SOHC 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 engines from around 1996 to 2003 (some models up to 2016). See our Calvan 38900 listing for more application details. Since there's no counter-bore for certain engines from 2001 and up for this brand, Time Sert recommends their kits, although we have not heard of any issues when using the 38900 kit. The 38900 works for only certain 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 SOHC 2V engines. This kit is made with some USA parts & Globally sourced components.
Ford 3V Engines
Note that some 2004-08 3V engines use a different kit for M16x1.25 - Calvan 39300 or Time-Sert 3221 DLT. The Calvan 38900 DLT is for Triton engines from 1998-2003 (some models up to 2016), if working on a DOHC InTech engine, use Time-Sert 5553 or 5600. If working on a 2004 and up 3V engine with M16x1.5 spark plugs use the Calvan 39300 or the TIME-SERT 3221. Some 2008's and newer use 4212H for M12x1.25 Spark Plugs.
More Ford Spark Plug Blow Out Repair Kit Info
Ford blown out spark plugs is a common problem with engines in Ford F150 pick up trucks, Mustangs, Crown Victorias, Vans, Expeditions and motor homes. A video showing spark plug thread repair using Calvan spark plug inserts being installed can be viewed on the Calvan 38900 description page. Read on for more information.
Ford 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 modular engines are prone to spark plugs being blown out of the cylinders due to the aluminum threads failing. When the threads are about to come loose there is often a slight ticking sound/noise, like a small "exhaust manifold leak" would sound.
When the spark plug threads fail, it can eject the spark plug and break the ignition coil on the "coil over spark plug" design. Although rare, it is possible an engine compartment fire can erupt due to the raw fuel escaping the engine cylinder and the broken coil dangling, providing the spark. The cause of failure of the spark plug threads can be debated; poor design, over-torquing, under-tightening can allow the spark plug to vibrate and wear threads while held in by the coil, until the threads deteriorate and eventually fail. Over the years we've had Ford dealers that use Time Sert and Calvan, however there are some Ford dealers that will not recommend repairing the threads. Many only recommend replacing the cylinder head. Because of the expense of labor and parts involved in replacing the heads we recommend using the appropriate thread repair kit made by Time Sert or Calvan. After this repair the threads will be stronger than original.
Below is another reason we recommend using the over the fender repair as opposed to removing the heads.
Gaining access to the cylinder head bolts and removing the heads is difficult on trucks and SUV's. To remove and re-torque the heads, some Ford technicians do a "cab off" or "body off" operation. On trucks the cab is unbolted from the frame; on SUV's and vans the entire body is unbolted from the frame, the electrical wiring, AC lines, radiator hoses, heater hoses, master cylinder, etc. are disconnected. This allows the tech to use the car lift to raise the cab or body off of the frame. Once this is done the engine can be serviced much easier. This process takes less time than you might expect after the tech has done a few of these and knows exactly what needs to be done. However, using one of our kits and eliminating the need to do all that extra work is obviously the most cost effective and time saving method.
Below explains the difference between HeliCoil and the Time Sert and Calvan type insert.
Many techs at auto repair shops will use a Heli-coil repair kit to install a new Heli-coil insert. Techs are familiar with HeliCoils that are good for many applications. Many times the name HeliCoil is used as a generic name for a thread insert. This is similar to how some people say "Kleenex" but they are really using the term as a generic term for facial tissue. Just to clarify though; The Time Sert and Calvan type inserts are NOT the same as the Heli Coil. The Time Sert and the Calvan inserts are much thicker and much stronger and will not leak compression when installed properly. They also last the life of the vehicle. That being said, I actually have used the Heli-coil (wire coil) repair kit on two different occasions (years before I started selling tools) and neither of them failed that I am aware of. Sometimes they fail when the spark plug is removed on the next plug change. One concern of using the Heli-coil is that combustion pressure may escape the cylinder since the spark plug may not seat perfectly. I am also aware of a very experienced tech (also an ASE Master Tech) I used to work with, that installed a Heli-coil. However it did fail within a week after it's installation. The cylinder head was removed and sent to the machine shop, subsequently it was deemed as "not repairable" by the machine shop. If we would have only known about the Time Sert and Calvan repair kits back then, the cylinder could have been saved. This is because the Time Sert and Calvan inserts are much thicker and are large enough to repair a spark plug hole that has had a Helicoil fail previously. In fact, we commonly sell to customers that have had a Heli-Coil repair fail and blow back out. We also have had many customers that have tried cheap parts store kits that only bought them a little time, before they were back in the same situation, with a Blown spark plug.
Dorman 42025 HELP
The Dorman China made DIY kit that parts stores have been selling a lot lately. They have been keeping us VERY busy. It's what we consider a temporary repair because it relies on a self tapping adapter and uses a Ford 3V spark plug! Sometimes they last a little while, sometimes they leak compression and sometimes won't even thread in at all. We sell the Time Sert 5600 when the Dorman fails. If compression leaks outside the parts store repair insert/adapter, the hole can become oblong. So it's best NOT to drive a vehicle that's loosing compression. One recent customer used the Heli Coil Save-A-Thread kit and it lasted 3 months. He then used a Dorman HELP kit and it lasted a week. In this case it didn't blowout. The heat that resulted from escaping compression melted down the spark plug boot and some hoses. What a disaster!
More on repairing damage from the Dorman... Time Sert kits are designed to drill out the bad material and to tap threads into the hole, to accept the new solid insert. The Time Sert installation driver, finishes the threads and expands the bottom of the insert locking it into position. So if you need help after using the Dorman HELP kit, we got you covered! See our second website for more info on the China made Dorman Cylinder Head Repair. Or give us a call at 800-734-8665 x251.
We've sold many of Time Sert and Calvan kits since 2005. The kit numbers listed on this page are continually our best sellers and we've had no reported failures! One of the best features is that the spark plug thread repair inserts can be installed over the fender without the need to remove the cylinder head.
Using the Time Sert or the Calvan Kits
It's worth saying again "these kits have much thicker inserts that can be used when other thinner repairs like the Heli-coil or Sav-A-Thread have failed to hold". Using these kits require about the same access as if you were changing the spark plugs. Just a few steps more. The instruction videos that we provide, layout details on using the kits. Upon request when purchasing from us, we provide a compilation of the tips we think are important when using these kits. These tips are emailed to our customers upon purchase. We will also personally answer questions if needed, but we've found the tips clarify the job.
At checkout just write the word "Tips" in the Comments field and we will email the tips when processing the order.
Additional Tips are Emailed free after purchase. Just write "Tips" in the comments during checkout. Please don't ask us for tips if you've purchased elsewhere. Yes! That's actually happened.
Time Sert products are proudly made in the USA - Reno Nevada. Horizon Tools makes the Calvan Kit, also sold as under other labels including Blue Point (sold by Snap On for about twice the price). Many of our customers with 4.6 or 5.4 or 6.8 engines, decide to put inserts in all cylinders. Some only fix the failed ones and check the tightness on the others. Either way, this helps prevent the possibility of any future spark plug blow-outs.
Basic Tool List
1. Standard Pliers (not included) 5/8" Spark Plug Socket (not included)2. 3/8" Drive Extensions (not included)
3. Inspection Scope/Camera (not included) - Use to check for metal in cylinder.
4. Air Ratchet (not included) If a good quality air ratchet is not on hand we can ship one at the same time.
5. Starter Button-optional (not included). We prefer to manually turn the engine with a socket and ratchet on the crank bolt which eliminates the need for a starter button.
6. Cylinder Leak Detector (included in 38900 kit).
7. Air Blow Gun with 8-12" of Small Tubing (not included)
8. Safety Glasses (not included)
9. Lubrication like PB Blaster or WD40 (not included).
10. JB Weld (not included) Loctite is included in the Time Sert kits
11. 3/8" Ratchet (not included)
12. Shop Towels (not included)
13. Air Compressor (not included)
14. Brake Cleaner, to help clean out the cylinders and provide clean threads for Thread Locker or JB Weld to adhere to.
Below are a few of the questions we have answered related to spark plug blow outs in Ford and Lincoln vehicles. See our mechanics FAQ tool blog for even more questions answered on this topic.
Question: I have a 1999 Ford F150 with a 4.6 liter Triton engine with 126,000 miles on it. The number 3 spark plug blew out of the cylinder head. I called my local repair shop and was told that this was a common problem with this design engine because of the extremely thin (aluminum) casting in the spark plug area of the engine head, there is only about five threads for a spark plug. How are your inserts better?
Answer: While it is true there are only five threads for the spark plug in this design engine for the spark plug and the Calvan insert has five spark plug threads as well, the Calvan spark plug insert is steel not aluminum and the insert itself is held in place with ten external threads. The Calvan spark plug insert improves the design and durability at fraction of the cost of replacing the cylinder heads with the same design weakness. Time Sert offers fully threaded inserts PN 51457.
Question: I am selling my truck as fast as I can get a spark plug to stay in long enough to get rid of it. I wanted to use a Heli-coil because I won't have to drill, but the thread tool isn't long enough to reach in the spark plug recess, any suggestions?
Answer: I personally recommend the Time Sert or the Calvan tools because they are a better repair, but if you would rather use the thinner Heli-coil insert, the HEL5396-14 has the longer thread tool than the standard Heli-coil kit.
Question: I have Ford van that has had a Sav-A-Thread installed previously, it has blown out and I want to know if the Calvan insert will work since the Sav-A-Thread has left a bigger hole now?
Answer: Yes, the Calvan spark plug repair insert is a larger insert and has worked well for our customers before, saving the expense of replacing the heads. The Time Sert 5600 has the largest outside diameter and therefore can save heads that have pretty large holes. In fact up to .73".
Question: I used a Dorman 42025 cylinder head repair kit on my 2001 Ford F250. I hear compression leaking though. Do you have a thread repair kit that can fix an egg shaped hole?
Answer: Yes. The compression is most likely leaking from around the outside of the Dorman spark plug adapter (insert). The Time Sert 5600 kit (Designed and manufactured in the USA) fixes holes up to almost 3/4" wide. The reamer removes the bad material, leaving nice round hole to work on. Then a thread tap threads the hole to accept a triple oversize insert. It's installed with an installation driver which finishes the bottom threads and expands the bottom, locking it into place. Then a smaller insert goes into that so the original size M14x1.25 spark plug can be used. This is what we call a permanent repair as opposed to the Dorman HELP kit, which we consider temporary based upon the reports we get from our customers.
Question: I bought a rebuilt head and come to find out one spark plug holes had a repair insert, it blew out last week. The cylinder head has a warranty, but I cannot afford the down time all over again. Will the Time Sert or Calvan insert repair this hole?
Answer: Yes, the Time Sert or the Calvan inserts, both have thicker beefier repair inserts that you don't have to worry about. And I always tell our customers that when purchasing a rebuilt head of this type to be aware of the possibility that inferior repair inserts may already be in the head. Buying a brand new head would insure that there are no cheap inserts, but you would be stuck with the original weak design. Either the Time Sert or the Calvan thread inserts will save down time, money and are stronger due to the material being steel alloy instead of aluminum like the original threads.
We've been selling specialty automotive tools since 2005 in the USA and now have some of our products available in Ontario. Call for assistance in finding the best spark plug thread repair kit at 800-734-8665 x251 or provide us your details by using our Contact Form.