Inserting new spark plug tube seals into the valve cover ... anything better than beat them in?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by pingd, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Got them out easily with @NutzAboutBolt tip of using a long handled pry bar.

    Anybody know any tricks about putting the new spark plug tube seals into the valve cover?
    I've see people use motor oil and also (diluted) dish washing soap to lubricate it.

    I tried pounding them in with a 1" socket and a hammer ... that is only scuffing up the bottom though.
    Those's also those metal tabs that make it even more difficult.
    There must be a trick I'm missing?

    Thank you!
     
  2. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Like I said in your other thread, the tabs need to be bent back.

    Using a socket is the only way. You can try lubing the seals with silicone spray before driving them in.


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  3. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Oh, sorry, I thought you meant bend the tabs back for getting them out.
    Should have thought forward and deduced one might have to do that for getting them back in though ... thanks!
    [What a PITA ... should have thought twice about replacing them as you also advised.]

    What is the best way to bend them out (and then back in) without breaking them/the surrounding assembly?
    A pair of joint pliers and a lot of luck?
    So many heat-cooling cycles seems to have hardened them.
    Also seems like there's absolutely NO way to detach/unbolt the piece with the tabs.

    Are the tabs serving any useful purpose ... maybe mask off the area and Dremel cut them out?

    I wonder if anyone has used something like a heat gun on them until close to melting/deformation temperature so they're pliable, or is that crazy thinking?
     
  4. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Slip joint pliers to get it started, then carefully use a chisel and a hammer if the tab is extra super stubborn.

    The tab is supposed to keep the seal from coming out.


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  5. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    You can use WD-40 to lube the tube seal and use a big socket and hammer to hammer it back into the tube seal.
     
  6. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Again, thank you all for your advice and encouragement!

    For those interested in the blow-by-blow:
    - taking the spark plug tube seals out was super easy with a long pry bar (thanks to NutzAboutBolts)
    - initially, unable to install any of the new spark plug tube seals
    ---- probably should not have take them out - they did not appear to be leaking (153k)
    - bent the little rectangular tabs up with slip joinit pliers (tabs that prevent the seals from falling out)(thanks The Critic)
    - used some silicon spray as a lubricant on the new seals
    - removed the item from the attached pic (to the right of oil filler cap (on top surface of valve cover)) - but not before cracking it (REMOVE BEFORE YOU START HAMMERING!)(what is the name?)
    ---- I SEE NOW THAT THERE'S A BLACK ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR, VALVE COVER LEFT SIDE ON THE TOP THAT SHOULD ALSO BE REMOVED PRIOR TO HAMMERING
    - used a 1 1/16" deep IMPACT socket, square hole towards the seal (i.e. inverted) and a 4 lb sledge and a piece of wood to pound it in (POSSIBLY A 1 1/8" might be the absolute largest you could use) - unfortunately seal scuffed up marginally due to all the pounding (appears viable though)
    ---- used a cut up old seal to judge for depth (use tree pruning shears to cut)
    ---- also had to occasionally use a big, flat punch and a hammer to level the seal as it was going down (i.e. to keep the seal level)
    ---- needed 2 people - one to steady the valve cover - one to pound (ground surface = smooth concrete with a layer of cardboard)

    Tomorrow I will continue with the other 3 ...
     

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    #6 pingd, Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  7. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Would anyone have access to the Official Toyota Repair Manual on how to change the spark plug tube seals?
    Having a devil of a time ... have deformed several of them ... both after market (Fel-Pro) and genuine Toyota.
    I even got the superseded part direct from the Toyota stealership 11193-0V010 (original: 11193-36010).

    I had some limited success inserting one in the WRONG way (i.e. bulging side facing towards heaven/up).
    But I see from the youtube video @36:55 mins "Toyota Prius 2ZR head gasket replacement", that the puffy/extruding/bulging side points towards hell/down (when assembled points down).
    To me, it seems that applying pounding force via ~28mm socket against that bulge just isn't the right way to go.
    Tried with the socket facing both ways - larger flat surface works better.

    There has to be some kind of trick (heat? chemical?) or special tool or cleverness (angle, offering to the gods)?
    I'm probably completely wrong but would a dealership tech hammer it in? (potential damage to valve cover for example).

    Thank you!
     
    #7 pingd, Oct 18, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I have a complete machine shop available to me

    Are they inserted from the top like the spark plugs?

    Simply put, I just machine a matching driver out of either POM Delrin or PEEK plastic rod and be done with it.

    Delrin or POM (polyoxymethylene) is often used to make drivers for seals on engine production lines. They are generally custom made as needed in the manufacturer's machine shop.
     
    #8 Georgina Rudkus, Oct 18, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  9. pingd

    pingd Member

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    If the valve cover is oriented in its normal operating position, they are inserted from the bottom to the top with the bulge side facing down.

    Interesting approach Georgina, maybe I will have to do that also because hammering them in via 28-30mm socket seems futile.

    I just put them in the freezer to see if cold will help contract them (doubtful).

    I wonder if I nicked out (i.e. cut) a few slices on the topmost side-outer edge-NOT through to the center and used high temp RTV sealant, if that would hold up over time?
    Anyone know what sort of pressure and heat it would be subjected to? (if memory serves, inside the valve cover it might get to ~300F).
     
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  10. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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  11. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Not "jerry rigging." A seal driver made to fit the inner diameter of the seal with 360 degrees contact with the flat of the seal is the proper way to insert a seal without damaging it. That's how it is done at the factory.

    I'd stay away from used rubber parts that have already been on a car. The individual spark plug tubes effectively form each specimen to another even if made on the same machines on the same day being the piece made before or after are not identical. Reusing a seal with a different "set" is just risking a possible leak. I'd install new seals.
     
  12. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Georgina,

    I appreciate your concern for letting me know how to do a "seal" job correctly, but I'm pretty sure I have that covered. I can machine my own seal drivers, on my own lathe if needed, but typically I just purchase the correct tool for the job.

    As for "Not jerry-rigging." Maybe you didn't see this from the previous post:

    I wonder if I nicked out (i.e. cut) a few slices on the topmost side-outer edge-NOT through to the center and used high temp RTV sealant, if that would hold up over time?
    Anyone know what sort of pressure and heat it would be subjected to? (if memory serves, inside the valve cover it might get to ~300F).

     
  13. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Update: After scouring the internet for hours, 2 additional suggestions in the spirit of MacGyver:
    (a) DIY press with a bolt, washers and PVC pipe cylinder of the correct diameter:

    (b) use drift pin incrementally (i.e. tap 1 side, then maybe rotate 45 degrees, smack it again, etc)

    I'll post a summary as to what works/doesn't work.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I was starting to think: do something with a floor jack or bottle jack? Or even just the scissor jack. Build some sorta frame, or even use the underside of the car.

    Maybe slow but inexorable is better than hammering?

    Or...: an air hammer?

    Commencing on page 39 (of 49) in the attached, there's some install info. Also mentioned earlier in that document is to save the old gaskets, they're employed to help install the new.
     

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    #14 Mendel Leisk, Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  15. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Mechanics have successfully used the hammer tap method since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    A prefer, however, the full 360 degree method specified for precision aerospace work as "it has to be right the first time."

    Before the age of miracle plastics, a very hard and durable wood such as lignum vitae was used until Dupont developed Delrin trademarked POM or polyoxymethylene. POM is used now industrywide for installing rubber coated seals and aluminum parts especially in engines.

    Steel is harder than aluminum and can score and chip off debris. Aluminum drivers can "mushroom" from hammer blows and chip off pieces. That happens a lot in food processing, leading to recalled packages with metal particles.

    That's why POM is the preferred driver material. It is also FDA approved for food processing and environmentally safe under EPA regulations..
     
    #15 Georgina Rudkus, Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  16. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I often use the same method, but with precisely custom machined mating washers as removers and installers. That is done with a threaded rod and hex nuts.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Honda valve covers are a walk in the park: you can remove or push in the spark plug well seals in with your fingers. Wonder why these Toyota ones are so heavy duty??
     
  18. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Thanks again Master Mendel-Po, Georgina and TMR - sincerely appreciate the advice!

    Georgina: Would you guess a "typical machine shop" has POM Delrin/PEEK plastic rod on hand to fashion a seal?
    Would they typically be familiar with this, or would they say "never done that before"? If I came to your shop what would the expected cost be? (I have zero experience with the capabilities of machine shop.)
    Do you construct only the MAIN RING, or, MAIN RING with WALL?

    Here are a couple pics of the spark plug tube seals 11193-0V010. (superseded)
    In img1.jpg I added 3 notations for 3 sections (not sure they have standard names, so I made them up!):
    (A) MAIN RING - green rectangle
    (B) WALL - white ellipse
    (C) FLAP - red star

    Left to right (view reference: when preparing to insert into valve cover): (i) WRONG WAY UP (ii) Right way up (iii) Cross section (flap extended) (iv) Right way up (flap extended)

    Curiously, in the manual it says:
    REMOVE current spark plug tube seals and SAVE them
    CUT OFF FLAP and re-install the ORIGINAL ONES (please correct me if I'm wrong)
    Also curiously the only contact point I see is that the top of MAIN RING mates with bottom of spark plug tube - WALL and FLAP do not touch the tube at all! (so seems to me, you could do the same job with just MAIN RING?)

    img1.jpg img2.jpg

    (yeah, I was sitting at the kitchen table and a banana was the most convenient item to prop it up for the pics at that moment)
     
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  19. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Reading the manual more carefully:
    REMOVE ORIGINAL spark plug tube seals and SAVE them
    CUT OFF FLAP OF ORIGINAL ONES and install the NEW ONES by using the ORIGINAL ONES to hammer the NEW ONES in

    I stand by my observation that the seals DO NOT make contact with the tube at any other point than the mating point.
     
    #19 pingd, Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  20. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Quite simply, the method I describe using POM plastic is used by manufacturers on industrial assembly lines not small engine rebuild machine shops..

    POM is exceptionally easy to machine and it would take no more than 10-15 minutes to make a driver. Chucked on a lathe and a centering tailstock, the driver would have a solid center, and depending how deep the seal needs to driven, it just needs one or two steps cut on the end; only one step, if the outer seal needs only to be driven flush with the outer edge on the boss. It's than easy.
     
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