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Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

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  • 9 Post By rsrocket1
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01 May 2016, 11:49 pm
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Default Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

I changed the spark plugs last Sunday, but it took until Friday to finish the job.
Even though changing the spark plugs on the PT Cruiser is not difficult, it is more involved than some cars where the plugs and wires are within easy reach where changing them simply requires unplugging the wires and unscrewing the plugs.
After watching a couple of YouTube videos, I labeled each connection with tape in order from the throttle body working counter clockwise. This will hopefully prevent forgetting to plug a hose or wire and causing bad codes or spotty engine performance when everything goes back together.

Everything went well in removing the intake manifold until I got to the plenum bolts in the front. A few had pretty severly rounded edges and the one on the far side of the driver's side looks like it was worked over with an impact wrench. When I tried loosening it, it simply spun. When I lifted the manifold, I didn't like what I saw.

The brass insert was not held into the lower housing at all.

Spark Plugs
Once the manifolt was lifted, there is tons of room to work on the plugs. I can't imagine trying to remove the wires and plugs without removing the upper intake manifold.

The old plugs didn't look bad. No oil on the inside, just an excess of anti-sieze on the housing and the spark plug threads

Compression Test
New toy!

This particular kit was being discontinued by Harbor Freight in favor of one with a separate hose for each threaded adapter and no "press on" adapters. I don't know which one is better, so I got the older model. With a 20% off coupon, it was $19. Not bad.

I've never performed a compression test, but it isn't very difficult at all. Just attach the correct adapter to the hose, screw the adapter into the cylinder, attach the gauge and crank the engine. Make sure all spark plugs are removed and no power is getting to the distributor. NitroPT recommended 5 revolutions to get to max pressure. This was very easy to hear while cranking the engine.
Cylinder 1

Cylinder 2

Cylinder 3

Cylinder 4

Wheter it's totally accurate or not isn't as important as they are all over 100 psi and within 25% of each other as specified by the manual.

I used Champion standard Copper Top #443 plugs and set the gap to 0.042"
I used a thin layer of anti-seize on the threads and some dielectric grease on both sides of the new spark plug wires and torqued the plugs to 13 ft-lbs. It's amazing how light 13 foot pounds is. I've hand torqued plugs in the past and probably tightened them quite a bit more.

Everything went back together fine. I simply pressed in the loose brass fitting for the time being and torqued the other bolts and the intake manifold held properly.

Starting the engine up, my heart sank. The engine ran fine, but the Ultra Gauge showed P0508 - Idle Air Control System Circuit Low and P0108 - MAP Pressure Circuit High Input. NitroPT said it's normal because I was cranking the engine with the both the IAC and MAP sensors unplugged. Made sense. I cleared the codes and they never returned. For several more days, the car ran fine, but I wanted to fix that loose brass insert.

Brass insert repair
On Wednesday night, I took the intake manifold off again and cleaned up the inside of the hole with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Use a towel or something to prevent anything from falling down the intake and down into the engine.

This would give the epoxy the best chance to hold onto the plastic which was already roughed up by the spinning brass insert.

I coated the bolt with some dielectric grease to prevent any epoxy from sticking to the bolt, then mixed up some plain J B Weld and coated the outside of the brass insert as carefully as possible.

I then inserted the brass into the lower part of the manifold and unscrewed the bolt.

A little clean up with a Q-tip

I also cleaned up a little epoxy from the bottom of the threads to ensure the threads were cleaned off. Nothing more frustrating than hardened J B Weld preventing your bolt from going all the way down.

I waited a full 24 hours before inserting the bolt and torquing and the repair held fine. So J B Weld does hold onto the type of plastic used on the intake manifold as long as it is clean and free of oil.
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Old 02 May 2016, 01:29 am
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

I enjoyed all the images you posted. Keep up the great work!
ptprice likes this.
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Old 02 May 2016, 06:35 am
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

Nice job, man. Someone should make a sticky out of this one.

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Old 08 May 2016, 02:43 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

I didn't remove my intake manifold completely. I got string and tied it on the left side then pulled it up and tied it to the hood latch.

Last edited by Danajcoop; 08 May 2016 at 03:07 pm.
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Old 08 May 2016, 04:37 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

Danajcoop. Don't want to rain on you parade, but I did a similar fix with standard JB Weld on a broken vacuum outlet on a plastic Honda air cleaner pipe about two months ago. My friend and I were pleased with the repair on his Honda. I followed all the preparations you have. It looked like it "stuck", but it unstuck last month. I tapped out the base and installed a threaded outlet in its place. good permanent fix. I didn't know about a dedicated JB Weld plastic product at the time.

I just repaired the camming device on a MFS by re-surfacing the worn work edge that wasn't transferring the activating motion when the fog lights were turned on. I used a JB Weld product.

The dedicated JB weld product I used under JB Weld's advise to do the resurfacing was "JB Weld Plastic Weld". JB Weld guaranteed it to work compatibly with the plastics that original JB Weld doesn't. It did!Original JB Weld doesn't permanently stick to polyethylene or polyproplene plastics which they tell me are used in most automotive applications.

See the thread, "How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie".

In your case, I don't think the "JB Weld Plastic Weld" would stick permanently to the brass fitting but with that brass fitting coated with standard JB Weld, you'd create a compatible surface for the " Weld JB Plastic Weld" to adhere to permanently. Just a hint if it come loose on you. Good luck.

Happy Ptin, ptprice
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Old 08 May 2016, 06:44 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

I didn't do the JB Welding, rsrocket1 did. I just tied the manifold to lift it up some to change the spark plugs. I saw it done that way from a youtube video. It was my 1st time changing spark plugs and I wanted to make sure that I didn't mess anything up.

Last edited by Danajcoop; 08 May 2016 at 06:51 pm.
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Old 08 May 2016, 06:57 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plugs, Compression, J B Weld

The mechanic used a bungy cord
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