From the ‘This is New’ files


As seen on Instagram. Follow donburnside for more.

A common problem with some of the early generation MINIs was that of spark plugs popping out of the cylinder. I say common, more like something that was heard of every now and again. Mostly with the R53s, the threads in the cylinder head where the plugs screw in become weak and aren’t able to hold the plug under pressure, forcing them to ‘pop’ out.

Which has now happened to me.

Fearing the worst, I got Roxy into the shop. Turns out, it’s not as bad as one would think. The repair that happened for me was the following.

  • Spark plug socket tapped a little bit larger and rethreaded
  • A replacement sleeve screwed into place
  • Locktite holds things in place

There is another way that didn’t sound that hot to me using something called a heliacoil (sp?), which is essentially a spacer between the spark plug and the socket. That doesn’t sound that great, especially when the time comes to replace the spark plugs again. Total cost for this repair was about $100.

To be honest, I’m not super happy with either of these fixes. There is no way my car can ever be 100% with this fix in place, and the only way to make it 100% would be to replace the head, and that’s just not in the budget right now.

Next up, time for tires. Yipee!

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