Yesterday was a bad day

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Yesterday was a bad day
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William L Vanderburg on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 09:31 am:

Noticed a spark plug was loose and missing a screw top. From where I was standing I didn't notice where the top was. So I unscrewed the plug and immediately figured out that the top was in the spark plug well. Top fell into the combustion chamber. What to do?

Removed the head and had it buttoned back up in about thirty minutes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:01 am:

Hey William - I was messing with my spark plugs the other day and dropped the top into the combustion chamber. After I recovered from heart failure, I slowly cranked engine over until piston was all the way up in that cylinder, then was able maneuver and fish the top out with some safety wire. Lots easier and quicker than removing and re-installing the head.

Hopefully there's not a next time, but if there is maybe try that instead?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:04 am:

some times you just wish Henry had put that huge spark plug hole over the piston vice the valves.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:41 am:

Sorry to read about your problem, and glad you solved it.
I hope you either replaced the head gasket, or have ordered one, because it could blow a gasket soon if you re-used the old one. Be sure to torque the head several times after it has been warmed up. If it is an aluminum head, warm it up and then let it cool before you torque it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:48 am:

Will, great you noticed & didn't start it with the spark plug top inside the cylinder :-)

G.R, Charlie Yapp did that on his Lizard heads & they won't run without knocking on a car with std coil ignition, so Henry knew what he was doing :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William L Vanderburg on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 11:08 am:

The piston was up in this instance. Just happened to be the number 4 piston. The screw top was between the valves. Lol


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 11:33 am:



I've found myself in similar, head-scratching positions. Surprisingly good results can come of a cheapie, LED forehead-flashlight and a short length of stiff wire with a glob of freshly chewed bubble-gum FIRMLY TAPED to the end.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, Mostly in Dearborn on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 12:23 pm:

Gus Wilson, the fictional mechanic of the Model Garage, used a small hose with compressed air to blow the nut around in the combustion chamber until it came back out of the spark plug hole. He placed the piston at TDC and pushed the hose in.

I tried his method in my later years and found it works well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 12:24 pm:

Bob -- I didn't realize you were so young! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 12:45 pm:

No, Fred, that's not me. I called Ford Modeling Agency and contracted a model for an emergency photo-shoot. Then, I phoned a Manhattan ad agency and had them rush their best photographer and a couple of assistants over to my house. We shot only digital media because of the limited time, and I had the results messengered to and from a photo-retoucher. While that was going on, I rousted the hardware store owner out of bed and bought a roll of wire. The time constraints were such that I couldn't make a bubble-gum or double-sticky tape purchase, so I just had to do without. Anyway, the information went into the thread in a timely fashion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 04:05 pm:

Oops... forgot to use the :-).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 05:30 pm:

I have used a number of "sticky" compounds for fishing out errant hardware. My favorite was coaxial cable flooding compound. Most people, however, would have trouble finding that. For that matter, I don't know if I have any left at all either.
Chewing gum can and does work. I usually just ball it onto the end of a wire (I truly enjoyed Bob C'c posts however).
Permatex form-a-gasket, can work, however unless you have a partially dried out tube, is usually too liquid.
I, also, have used the compressed air trick. It does work (if you have an adequate air supply, and be careful!).

By the way. I HATE chewing gum. I think all three of the past three times I have chewed gum in the past thirty years, was to fish something out of somewhere. Once was a key out of a storm drain for a damsen in distress. She was shocked that such a silly idea really worked.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:16 pm:

A little OT but not much. When I was working as a Boilermaker I sometimes worked at Nuclear Power Plants. We did a lot of the work on the Reactor. One day we were on top of the Reactor on top of the control rod drives. They are really long drive motors that stand up on top of the reactor like super size soda straws. They are 90 of them on top and are about 40 foot long, with a platform on top for us to stand and work on them. To make the story short, one of our Health Physics personal dropped an ink pin and it fell to the top of the Reactor and there it lay. You could see it good from where we stood. You would have thought the world had ended. During the crying, screaming, blame slinging, finger pointing, back stabbing, and all the other things that happen in a corporate job setting. I suggested to get a few pieces of electrical tubing and screw them together till long enough and with a wad of duct tape on the end retrieve the ink pen. Oh no !!! we could not do that .!!!! The engineers worked for days looking for a way to remove the ink pen, They flew a remote handling engineer in from Sacramento Calif. on a special charted flight. They worked for days in "mock up" trying different ways to get it out. after almost a week of the over smart engineers working on it, I was called to "mock up" to give my idea a try. In less than 2 minutes I had the ink pen removed from "mock up" It took 2 more days to get a work order drawn up and approved. I then went back to the top of the Reactor and removed the "evil" ink pen from the Reactor head in less than 2 minutes. I just wish they had added the amount of money they had spent to my pay check.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 01:32 am:

Donnie B!!!
Me. Laughing and laughing! Been there. Fought that. Well. Not from on top of nuclear reactors. But one job was at a Naval nuclear submarine facility. A wonderfully interesting experience.

There is an old saying. The difference between architects and engineers.
The engineer learns more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing.
The architect learns less and less about more and more until he knows nothing about everything.

To which I added; The field tech must learn more and more about more and more until he knows everything about everything so that he can correct the mistakes made by the architects and engineers that tell him what to do.

Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 01:54 am:

Speaking of engineers. I used to work in a lead recycling plant near here in N.W. MO. The parent company was based in Baton Rouge LA. When they designed the plant in the mid '70's, they set up ALL of the water lines for the AVERAGE cold temps of our winters. It went on line in '78, and I started there in Maintenance in '82. We were still fixing, relocating and redesigning water systems for years after that. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 11:22 am:

I just happened to be reading this thread before I went to the Garage to play around. Used my T to run to the O'Reilly Auto Parts a few blocks away. Got back and noticed the engine was running rough. Decided to clean and gap the plugs, among a few other little things. As I was removing the first plug I remembered this thread and promptly put the top back on each spark plug before pulling it out of the head.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, May 23, 2014 - 11:02 am:

I too have dropped the top in. Don't remember how I got it out but I do remember the lesson, put the nut back on before removing plug. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Friday, May 23, 2014 - 11:24 am:

Been there, done that!

I just got another plug nut and started the engine.

I never knew what happened to that first nut.

It either did a melt down or went out the exhaust port.

There were never any ill effects from the problem.


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