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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay folks, here's the deal. back in my high school auto shop class, my teacher once told a story about some guy he knew who i guess had neglected to torque his spark plugs correctly one time. to make a slightly long story shorter, a few of the plugs shot out of the cylinder head and through his hood when he started up the motor.

well today that sort of happened to me, the number three (i think it's #3, it's the third one from the left) spark plug shot out of the cylinder head, and left a nice little dent in my hood (gotta repaint that damn thing now! :mad ). i looked at the plug itself, and aside from a few scratches on the butt end, it looked okay to me. couldn't get a good look inside the spark plug hole though, cause i wasn't able to take the valve cover off (will do that in the morning when there's more light).

anyway, much later when i was coming home from work i noticed that my car was accelerating really strangely from a dead stop. it would hesitate very slightly, and the intake tone would change dramatically for a second or two, but then would pick up again and act normally. since it had been sprinkling most of the day, i thought that perhaps it was just my tires slipping on the wet roads (stupid, i know).

anyway, i noticed that the acceleration just got worse and worse each time i had to stop. eventually the motor stopped operating normally, now the idle is really REALLY lumpy, and when i accelerate there's this really wierd noise that almost makes it sound like there's two different motors pushing my car. it's kinda hard to describe, but the exhaust is also intermittant, almost like a pulse.

it's too dark outside right now, so i can't really see what's going on, but here's my thoughts on what might be causing the problem (see if you agree with me):

1) the wierd idle is being cause by the #3 cylinder, because when the spark plug shot through the head, it stripped the threads off. i was able to get that spark plug back in real tight though, so i'm not certain about that.

2) the spark plug failed, and the lumpy idle is being cause by my motor having to run on only three cylinders. acceleration is pretty steady, it just feels like the motor is being choked off or something. i checked all the vacuum lines just on a whim, and that doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.

3) (god i hope it isn't this one) the cylinder head is cracked, warped, or otherwise damaged as a result of the spark plug being shot out, and the resulting leakage is causing the lumpy idle.

some things i should mention are:

1) when the spark plug shot out, i did see a little bit of smoke coming out from the hood (exhaust stroke i'm assuming), and if i turn my motor on now and let it run, i can smell a little smoke, but i can't see where it's coming from.

2) the boot on the #3 spark plug wire did get torn slightly at the end, first from the spark plug being shot out, and second from me using it to fish the spark plug out of the head (didn't have any long nosed pliers handy).

3) all the other spark plugs and wires are fine. i also cannot hear anything rattling around inside the cylinders, so i'm guessing i didn't blow a rod or something.

in the morning i'm gonna take a look at it, then probably head to AutoZone and pick up a new set of spark plugs and wires. if anyone has any other suggestions or feedback though, please feel free to chime in.
 

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your head isn't cracked, there is a chart on howstuffworks.com on how to torque spark plugs. alot of them aren't supposed to be more than about 1/4 turn past snug. you probably need to take head off and have a machine shop re-thread the spark plug hole.( don't attemp it with the head on the block or try to re-thread yourself.) you were defenitally running on 3 cylinders. I'm gonna say this is why your car is running like shit. the porcelin(sp) on the spark is cracked if it shot out of the cylinder and dented the hood. I have no idea. how your spark plug shot out of the cylinder if it was tightened down. Unless the hole was already cross-threaded or stripped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that's pretty much what i was thinking. ironically i was actually thinking about replacing the plugs and wires anyway, cause it's been almost a year since the last change.

come to think of it though, i do seem to recall that spark plug being a bit looser than the others when i put it in. maybe it just slowly worked itself loose over the past year, and just now finally sprang free?

if that's all it is though, then i guess the worst part about this is that i need to get my hood repainted now. but hell, i can do that myself so i guess it's not such a big deal.
 

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that one civic said:
okay folks, here's the deal. back in my high school auto shop class, my teacher once told a story about some guy he knew who i guess had neglected to torque his spark plugs correctly one time. to make a slightly long story shorter, a few of the plugs shot out of the cylinder head and through his hood when he started up the motor.

well today that sort of happened to me, the number three (i think it's #3, it's the third one from the left) spark plug shot out of the cylinder head, and left a nice little dent in my hood (gotta repaint that damn thing now! :mad ). i looked at the plug itself, and aside from a few scratches on the butt end, it looked okay to me. couldn't get a good look inside the spark plug hole though, cause i wasn't able to take the valve cover off (will do that in the morning when there's more light).

anyway, much later when i was coming home from work i noticed that my car was accelerating really strangely from a dead stop. it would hesitate very slightly, and the intake tone would change dramatically for a second or two, but then would pick up again and act normally. since it had been sprinkling most of the day, i thought that perhaps it was just my tires slipping on the wet roads (stupid, i know).

anyway, i noticed that the acceleration just got worse and worse each time i had to stop. eventually the motor stopped operating normally, now the idle is really REALLY lumpy, and when i accelerate there's this really wierd noise that almost makes it sound like there's two different motors pushing my car. it's kinda hard to describe, but the exhaust is also intermittant, almost like a pulse.

it's too dark outside right now, so i can't really see what's going on, but here's my thoughts on what might be causing the problem (see if you agree with me):

1) the wierd idle is being cause by the #3 cylinder, because when the spark plug shot through the head, it stripped the threads off. i was able to get that spark plug back in real tight though, so i'm not certain about that.

2) the spark plug failed, and the lumpy idle is being cause by my motor having to run on only three cylinders. acceleration is pretty steady, it just feels like the motor is being choked off or something. i checked all the vacuum lines just on a whim, and that doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.

3) (god i hope it isn't this one) the cylinder head is cracked, warped, or otherwise damaged as a result of the spark plug being shot out, and the resulting leakage is causing the lumpy idle.

some things i should mention are:

1) when the spark plug shot out, i did see a little bit of smoke coming out from the hood (exhaust stroke i'm assuming), and if i turn my motor on now and let it run, i can smell a little smoke, but i can't see where it's coming from.

2) the boot on the #3 spark plug wire did get torn slightly at the end, first from the spark plug being shot out, and second from me using it to fish the spark plug out of the head (didn't have any long nosed pliers handy).

3) all the other spark plugs and wires are fine. i also cannot hear anything rattling around inside the cylinders, so i'm guessing i didn't blow a rod or something.

in the morning i'm gonna take a look at it, then probably head to AutoZone and pick up a new set of spark plugs and wires. if anyone has any other suggestions or feedback though, please feel free to chime in.
:number1 i personally will do these:

1. get 1 new spark plug
2. try to screw it into that #3 thread BY HAND TIGHT( not wrench / socket)
3. does it srews/turns normal and smooth back-n-forth?
4. if Yes, torque it properly ( 1/4 turn after hand tight)
5. if Not, #3 cylinder head's thread is stripped ( most likely) :noo
then, it needs to be re-threaded professionally.
6. if no.5 yes, put new plug's wire ( #3)
to determine,wheter it ( the old one) is still good or bad.
7. how it runs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well i went to Autozone bright and early this morning and replaced the wires and plugs. car runs just fine now, so yeah it looks like all that was wrong was the motor was running with one less cylinder and went wacky because of it. still have to get those threads checked out though.

and damn, the #3 wire was all fucked up when i pulled it out, no idea how that happened, but i'm glad i got the wires too and not just the plugs like i was originally going to do.
 

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that one civic said:
well i went to Autozone bright and early this morning and replaced the wires and plugs. car runs just fine now, so yeah it looks like all that was wrong was the motor was running with one less cylinder and went wacky because of it. still have to get those threads checked out though.

and damn, the #3 wire was all fucked up when i pulled it out, no idea how that happened, but i'm glad i got the wires too and not just the plugs like i was originally going to do.
Glad you fixed it but you should of went to advanced auto :ninja :hehe
 

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so this is the new not so horror story. This had a happy ending, unlike the original horror story......

running on 3 is fun. My old tracker did that and sounded like a lawnmower....:ninja
 

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why cant that kinda engine breakage happen to me?? first it was cracked ringlands, then a rebuild with forged internals, then it was turbo seals blew, then it was new sc61 and it went bad so now i have to ship it back to be replaced. then it was two cracked sleeves. Thats it for me. im getting a new motor and new sc61. paying to have Jeff Evans tune it and be happy. ur lucky you didnt have a carbon fiber hood :hehe
 

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hey my metro I had had only 3 cylinders....and had an exhaust leak... it sounded...well it kinda sounded like my honda...:lmao
 
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