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    Glow plug removal.

    Hello all.
    Back again with another question. Anyone know how to remove glowplugs? Not those that can be unscrewed easily or even with a bit of pressure but those that won't move despite a soaking in penetrating oil for a couple of days. Those whom a friendly mechanic couldn't shift. A mechanic who also asked a couple of local garages and was told that they would need to remove the head, drill them out and fit a helicoil.
    Any ideas? We only managed to change 1 out of 4.

    #2
    I always understood that any sort of oil is bad news for spark plugs, which I'm assuming are basically similar to glowplugs in this respect. People have been know to lubricate the threads, supposedly to make them easier to remove. All that happens is that the heat of the engine evaporates the oils but leaves behind a residue which is baked on and acts like glue.

    It is possible that if you have applied penetrating oil, then run the engine, you might have made things worse.

    Presumably your mechanic had a good long socket wrench? You can get Power Bars up to a metre long which ought to shift anything.

    If it came to the worst and you have to take the head off, I still think that it ought to be possible to get away without helicoils. It should be possible to apply local heat with an oxy-acetylene torch on the head immediately around the plug, keeping the plug itself as cold as possible.

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      #3
      Glow plugs are ( or should be) fitted almost finger tight as they tend to corrode in with time. An old trick to release them is to soak them in coke ( Pepsi) over night the acids that would normally rot your teeth disolve the corrosion and free the plug. If you use a penetrating oil you've got to get them out while its still wet otherwise you make it worse. They are very thin metal in the body, if you use any force they'll just break off leaving you with a bigger job, like the head off etc, that in itself is not too bad until you want the new head gasket the same thickness as the old! They only make the thickest gasket ( there were 3 thicknesses) available for the C15. If you van had a thin one originally the newly rebuilt engine will seem a bit reluctant to start and smoke a bit more due to the lower comprssion it now has. So don't go at it like a bull in a china shop, be patient about the freeing off process, I sometimes take a whole week to get the plugs to let go. Re-fit them with high temp copper grease.
      Ant

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        #4
        I have always been able to unscrew the heater plugs on all our diesel vehicles over the years but have often struggled to remove them due to the build up of carbon on the heater bulb and it is just perseverence to get them out.

        Peter

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          #5
          I guess so. Never heard the Coca Cola tip before. I know it's Ortho Phosphoric acid (Which is also the basis for Jenolite !!) Great stuff to drink ! The van starts OK. It's just I like to go over a vehicle when I get a "new" one. Will try when we get back.
          We did use a deep socket and a 12 inch ratchet bar. I wouldn't want to use longer as I fear the torque will just tear the plugs into pieces. Will wait and see.

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            #6
            Personally an old saying come's to mind
            "If it isn't broke don't fix it"
            I would leave alone as long as it starts ok.
            Why risk damaging the head and having major expence work etc.
            Bare it in mind about how stuck the heater plugs are and who knows they may last for years yet.
            I know of people that decide to just take the head off to check things out.
            End up snapping head bolts and whatever just to check things it out.

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              #7
              You are quite right about the, "If it ain't broke...) I have enough wisdom to leave alone until starting becomes really bad. It isn't the best starter but I am used to my old Cit relay which started as soon as you hit the button and my renault Kangoo which does the same. Neither were twenty years old though. I can imagine it will be harder in the winter. My old relay would start first time after winter storage of more than four months.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by orkney viking View Post
                You are quite right about the, "If it ain't broke...) I have enough wisdom to leave alone until starting becomes really bad. It isn't the best starter but I am used to my old Cit relay which started as soon as you hit the button and my renault Kangoo which does the same. Neither were twenty years old though. I can imagine it will be harder in the winter. My old relay would start first time after winter storage of more than four months.
                First the silly question: You are waiting for the heater plug warning light to go out before you try to start the engine?

                In my experience heater plugs either work or they don't. There is no "in between". If they pass current they are working. This is easily checked by disconnecting the wire from the plug and holding a 12 volt bulb between the wire and the plug while someone holds the key in the heater position. If it lights the plug is good. If not, try the Coke!
                Problems with all the plugs probably means the fault is in the relay.

                If they are good it is likely to be low cylinder compression or injection problems causing reluctant starting. It may help to give a double dose of heater plug warming, but in the end that will probably cause plug failure.

                I'm not sure whether the Relay and/or Kangoo were direct or indirect injection engines. Direct injection engines do not have heater plugs because they should start well without them if in good condition.
                Last edited by Twolitre; 11-07-2011, 21:48. Reason: Editing.
                Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

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                  #9
                  Our Citroen engines (both indirect DW8s) need the heater plugs first thing in a morning but for the rest of the day they start almost instantly. First thing I usually put the key in and turn on the ignition as soon as I get in, by the time I have got settled andseat belt fastened they are ready to start. The XUD engine will start wil one or even two plugs down except in the depths of winter

                  Peter

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                    #10
                    Another trick I found especially in winter starting is to hold the clutch in this seems to take a lot of the strain off the starter motor.
                    Trouble is we now have an auto berlingo Duo and I keep feeling for the clutch on starting.
                    We had trouble with the relay that times / senses the heater plugs.
                    Sometimes it would just click on and off straight away.
                    Changed the relay and first thought it was completely broke as the heater light now did not light at all. The timer part is working you can hear it click on and off again about 10secs afterwards and more importantly is it starts so will leave it on and remember to count to 10 slowly.......

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