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Stripped Spark Plug Dilemma - 2003 F4i

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Old 08-01-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Stripped Spark Plug Dilemma - 2003 F4i

Hey guys, I have a serious problem regarding my 2003 Honda CBR600 F4i, and was wondering if I could get some advice. I bought this bike in pristine condition with only 3k miles on it. About 3 months of owning it, one day as I was riding, a spark plug came out the its socket on the head. When I got home I was able to just screw it back in with no problems, and the bike ran good as new.

Fast forward to now, about 2 months later. The same spark plug came out AGAIN. So, I did the same routine, but this time was a little different. When I tried screwing the spark plug back in with my fingers, I could tell there was too much resistance. So I got out the torque wrench out and tightened a only about a half turn more. I knew I should be able to screw it in mostly with my fingers, and that this was not normal. So I took the plug out again, and tried shooting a bit of air inside to clean out any dirt. But this time when I tried screwing in the spark plug, it would not catch the first threads at all. So I'm pretty sure the head is a bit stripped.

So...I took the bike to my local dealership/repair shop. I tell the guy my situation, and basically he tells me doesn't want to fix. He said it's a very difficult job and that it's too much of a liability. He didn't even look at the bike, but he pretty much told me all he could do is order a new head, and it would cost around $2000. I mean I've read countless of posts online of how people with this same problem have had mechanics fix it using a time-sert or a helicoil, for no where near $2000.

I'm pretty much a novice on doing engine work, so I doubt I could fix it myself without messing something up. Do you guys think this shop is just screwing me? I'm really not sure what do to about this, any feedback from you guys would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:28 AM
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Find a new shop...a shop that actually repairs engines. Any mechanic worth his salt should be able to do a helicoil.
 
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:59 AM
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Same situation just happened to my friends F4. If you can pull the cylinder head off of the bike yourself and take just the head to the shop then it wont cost you too much. My friend did this and it only ended up being $25 to get a helicoil installed There is a lot of labour involved in getting the head off though. It all depends how much you can/want to do by yourself.

Good luck
 
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:56 PM
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I would like to do it myself, but I'm not too confident in myself. All I've really ever done is change the oil, the spark plugs, put on a new exhaust, and installed a power commander.

If I was to buy / download the F4i service manual, are there instructions for this task? And would I have to rent or buy any special equipment or tools? I'm assuming I would have to unbolt the engine, and raise the whole frame over the top? Thanks for your help guys!
 
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by zellster View Post
I would like to do it myself, but I'm not too confident in myself. All I've really ever done is change the oil, the spark plugs, put on a new exhaust, and installed a power commander.

If I was to buy / download the F4i service manual, are there instructions for this task? And would I have to rent or buy any special equipment or tools? I'm assuming I would have to unbolt the engine, and raise the whole frame over the top? Thanks for your help guys!
Service manual would have step by step.

You can do it. Just label EVERYTHING and have a clean work area.
 
  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:39 AM
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Ouch, man that sucks. I will say this.... I am a mechanic by trade for a local Ford dealer, and I cannot even begin to count how many spark plug holes I have tapped, and heli-coiled in the vehicle with the cyclinder head still on the truck. Depending on which hole blew out, it can be done. What I do personally is cover the tap with bearing grease while I am tapping the hole for the heli-coil. That prevents about 90% of the metal shavings getting into the cylinder. Then, I will spray out the hole with brake cleaner, blow it out with air, and crank it over before installing the heli-coil. They make specific heli-coils for spark plug holes so make sure you research that. I have never had one come back with a problem in all the years I have been doing them. Good luck, and let me know if I can help you any more.
 
  #7  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
Ouch, man that sucks. I will say this.... I am a mechanic by trade for a local Ford dealer, and I cannot even begin to count how many spark plug holes I have tapped, and heli-coiled in the vehicle with the cyclinder head still on the truck. Depending on which hole blew out, it can be done. What I do personally is cover the tap with bearing grease while I am tapping the hole for the heli-coil. That prevents about 90% of the metal shavings getting into the cylinder. Then, I will spray out the hole with brake cleaner, blow it out with air, and crank it over before installing the heli-coil. They make specific heli-coils for spark plug holes so make sure you research that. I have never had one come back with a problem in all the years I have been doing them. Good luck, and let me know if I can help you any more.
Thanks a lot for the reply. I downloaded the service manual, and it does indeed have step by step instructions on how to take off the head. As far as helicoiling it without taking off the head, I don't think it's possible with this bike. The hole it just too deep and awkward, and I don't think the tool will reach.

I just read that removing the head requires the engine to be removed. And I don't have a floor jack or a hoist. I'm kind of starting think I'm in over my head. If did decide to just take it to a shop, what is a price I could expect to pay for this service? Thanks guys.
 
  #8  
Old 08-04-2010, 08:38 AM
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Not cheap. I assume the shop would drop the engine to get to the head so yes it will be expensive. Find out the shop cost vs buying an engine jack and other tools and see if it's worth it. Also remember this will take some time so figure out if a lost weekend is worth it (who knows how long it will take?).
 
  #9  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:34 AM
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Rip it apart take the head off look it over really good
go in the house and think about what you just did.
go on ebay/craiges list and find a new motor.


the Job well take some time to do But it can be done.
Just make sure you have a clean place to work that thinks wont get moved or kicked around
place things out in a way that well help you remember where they go and if you can take pictures as You go so You can use them to put it back together
take your time and don't rush.
 
  #10  
Old 08-04-2010, 02:56 PM
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I am actually doing the same thing to my 1991 F2 motor. I have it out of the bike (no jack or hoist) just removed rear wheel (on stand) then slowly lowered the bike untill the engine was sitting on the wooden pad i slapped together in 10min. then un-bolt the engine and raise the bike (using rear stand) up and off the motor. have a buddy around to help stabilize the engine while you manhandle the frame out of the way.

you should probably drain/remove radiator as it is easy to do and would be in the way otherwise.
 

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