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Spark plug blew out of cylinder head

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I have a 2010 Transit Connect XLT, 2.0 gasoline engine with 112,000 miles on it.


We got this van when we purchased our flower shop back in 12/17. The van came with the shop. It has been "maintained", meaning oil changes and brakes, maybe plugs... the basics.


The other day the spark plug blew out of the cylinder head. I have no idea if these were orig plugs (I don't think so) so I don't know if maybe the plug was over tightened or if it pulled a Ford and did what the plugs in the V8 engines due quite often... blow out of the cylinder.

Needless to say I'm a bit soured on Ford right now. Being a shade tree mechanic I knew I had a chance at re-cutting the threads and putting an insert in it. I'll spare the details but it didn't work. I took it to my mechanic and he is pulling the head off and taking it to a machine shop. They will see if they can repair or if we need to get a re-manufactured head.


Has anyone else had this issue? Also are there other engine things I should be aware of? We replaced the idler pulley and belt and will be replacing the water pump too. We will also be putting Ford spark plugs in it and the coil over the blown plug needed to be replaced. I've heard the transmissions in these are not the greatest as well.

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That is the first time I've heard that.  Probably overtightened and possible cross threaded .  Sounds like you have tried the helicoil fix, you are on the best path at this point.  These engines are shared with other Ford cars particularly the Focus so would think a head would not be too difficult to get for a reasonable price. I have the 2nd (US) generation and don't know as much about the 1st gen but have seen some posts about wheel bearings and transmissions.  I bought an interface off Amazon and downloaded the Forscan software so I can read the codes and reset stuff, better than the generic diagnostic code readers.  Not sure how well it works with the 1st gen.  


With reasonable care I think these engines are reliable.  I like the layout under the hood, much better than some other cars I've owned - GMC Safari and VW New Beetle turbo to name a couple of the worst for getting to stuff.   Have been dealing with my son's VW 2.0 turbo recently.  His oil pressure light came on at idle the other day.  Took it to a place and they checked it and swapped switch to a diesel version (lower set point).  I'm NOT OK with that fix but it got him home, now I get to diagnose it while he's driving my Volt!  He's about to graduate so almost done fixing his car :-)  Checked on prices for an oil pump, first price I saw was $1,784 - includes balance shafts which are part of oil pump, then realized it was for the other version of the engine!  His oil pump is $234.  Have friends with BMW's, there are some real high dollars issues there as well.  Seems like every manufacturer has some issues that have very expensive fixes.  



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Posted (edited)

This issue has been around for 40 years or so on any engine with an aluminum head.  It is caused by dissimilar metals corrosion and any mechanic worth his salt knows that when you change spark plugs, you must coat the threads of the new plug with something . . . . usually an anti-seize compound specifically made for spark plugs which keeps the corrosion from 'eating' the least noble of the metals . . . . the aluminum in this case


Recently (the past several years) NGK, Delco and possibly some others have begun coating their plug threads with a trivalent plating (looks like chrome) specifically to reduce the corrosion  -  If your new plugs have the coating, don't use any other compund on them too  -  The two together act like a lubricant and will cause you to torque them too tight


As always, with an aluminum head, be SURE to use a torque wrench when installing plugs and err on the side of sliightly under torquing them, rather than over torquing them  -  Just enough to crush the washer is all that's needed.  The aluminum is soft, the threads are pretty fine and it's not that hard to strip the threads, especially in an older engine which already has corrosion present



Edited by Beta Don

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I see somebody else owns both a TC and a Chevy Volt!  :love_shower:



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