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Ford E350 Spark Plug Blowout – Which Kit is Best?

Ford E350 Spark Plug Blowout – Which Kit is Best?

DennisB © Summary: Recent question from our customer regarding the correct spark plug thread repair kit for his Ford E350 van. Vans are harder to access when working on the spark plug threads or just about anything else in the engine compartment for that matter. However our kits can be used without removing the heads. Just as changing the sparkplugs can be done after working to gain access by removing air duct work and the engine cover etc. I know that makes it sound simple but you get the idea.

Below is a copy of our correspondence. 

Customer: Hello Dennis, I’m pretty sure I need the TIME-SERT 5553 Ford Spark Plug Thread Repair kit, but I’m not sure which inserts I need fully threaded or not. Can you tell me how to tell if I need the fully threaded inserts or not? Thanks, James

Our Response: Hello James, Thanks for the inquiry. What year make and model do you have? Is this a first time repair or was there a parts store insert installed previously? We sell a couple of different permanent type kits and can offer you options.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Dennis

Customer: Hello Dennis, Thanks for the reply. I have a 2002 Ford E350 15-passenger van. I’ve had three different plugs pop out in the last six months. The first was repaired by Firestone. I’m not sure what kind of insert they used. The second I repaired with an insert from Napa. The insert seemed OK, but the tool was hard to use. It took a long time and a lot of guess work. The third popped out yesterday. The threads on the spark plug don’t even looked damaged. I can’t see the threads in the engine that well, but from what I can see they look OK. I threaded the plug back in the hole and it seems like it might hold, but if it’s just going to pop out again next week I’d rather just get it fixed now.

I’m not really sure what to do. Are the plugs just rattling loose? Do I just need to tighten the remaining plugs? Should I put new inserts in all the remaining cylinders, or wait for each plug to pop out before repairing? I hate to repair things I’m not sure are broken, but I don’t really want a plug to pop out on every family trip for the next few years. Should I be using some type of thread locker when installing new spark plugs? Any advise would be appreciated.

I’d like a repair kit that will work for the first time a plug pops out and that will repair the other two (already repaired) cylinders if they should fail. Thanks, James

Our Response: Hello James, Thanks for the inquiry. This must be a 5.4L or a 6.8 V-10. We have the Calvan 38900 kit and extra inserts available that can be used on first time or oversize 2nd time repairs if the hole is no larger than 11/16″. The Time Sert 5600 is the largest repair but should not be used on virgin holes. A 5678 add-on kit would be needed to do first time repairs with the 5600 kit.

To answer you question about tightening. Yes, I would make sure all the remaining plus are all tight. The problem occurs when the plug loosens and the vibration destroys the aluminum threads. No thread sealer should be used on spark plug threads – only on external threads of inserts. Some truck owners will repair all holes to prevent the possibility of having problems in the future.

We have great feedback on both brands. The Calvan is the lowest price and works well for your application because it has a guide that eliminates guess work. The Calvan inserts are not fully threaded but the threads are made of steel alloy that is a lot stronger. These inserts work well for fully threaded or partially threaded spark plugs. The inserts that come in the 5553 kit are also partially threaded as well. If fully threaded inserts are wanted we can sell the 51457’s used with the 5553 kit. An additional installation ring is also required pn 51484A. The 5600 kit comes with the 51484A and fully threaded 51457’s. If your plugs are partially threaded the 51457’s are NOT used. My opinion is that fully threaded inserts are not really needed.

We also email additional tips when purchasing Calvan or Time Sert from us. We offer best prices and advice.

Which kit is best? Price wise the Calvan kit is and does repairs up to about .69″. However, the Time Sert 5600 is the largest in regard to the outside diameter, which does repairs up to .73″ by using an inserts inside another insert. We offer daily unadvertised specials on the Time Sert kits by phone. Anyone reading this that needs more questions answered feel free to contact us. 

We've been selling automotive tools since 2005. Call for assistance in finding the correct thread repair kit for your application at 800-734-8665 x251 or provide us your details by using our Contact Form.

3rd Nov 2016 dennisb

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