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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm new to this DIY on RAV4. While I was trying to replace my valve cover gasket, when I try to put back the 30mm nut, one of the spark plug tube/well got cross threaded. Now I can't screw back the 30mm nut down to hold the cover evenly. I think I need to replace the tube but I couldn't find any info on how to do it safely or correctly.

Can someone who had done it have any suggestion how to remove old tube out, and using what tools, will a plier do it? According to diagram of part 11191, there are threads on both ends, so I think at bottom, I need to screw down into engine. I'm thinking to use a hand plier and clamp into center of tube real tight with both hands and rotate it counter clockwise to remove, not sure if it will work or have enough torque. And to put in a new tube, add some of the ultra grey permatex sealant to bottom of tube and then screw it back into place with plier. Does this sound right?


See 11191

/ CAMRY/VISTA / toyota | part detail?JP-CarParts.com


Thanks in advance.
 

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My 99 Toyota shop manual does not show how to remove the tube from the head.
But to install the tube you coat the bottom threads with an adhesive and the torque the part to 39 ft/lbs using a nut and a 30mm socket.

I would try to get a die and see if I could clean up the threads enough to repair the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. What's a die? I tried to clean the thread with Acetone but the thread is crossed on top so nut wont be able to screw all way down to tighten the cover. I also tried to reroute the thread with thin screw driver but without success. Maybe i'm using wrong tool.


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You can get a special file called a thread restorer. It has 4 sides so has 4 different thread sizes, but there are more than 4 so you either need to find out what pitch the thread is, or take it with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Slimjim. Thread restorer is interesting tools, didnt know there are such tools. Did some net search, the tools seem to cost more than a new spark plug tube itself. Good to know there are options.

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A die is a tool for cutting threads on a pipe or bolt.
A tap is used to put threads in a hole.
Both can also be used to clean-up cross-treading if there is not too much damage.
I rarely use my tap & die set to cut new threads, but being able to easily clean-up or chase a thread has made many a repair job go so much easier.

Find a hardware store or autopart store with a large tool section and take the nut with you to get the right die. Also get a handle that fits the die, it makes using the die much easier.

Tools can be fun!

Good Luck.


Thanks for the reply. What's a die? I tried to clean the thread with Acetone but the thread is crossed on top so nut wont be able to screw all way down to tighten the cover. I also tried to reroute the thread with thin screw driver but without success. Maybe i'm using wrong tool.


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First off, the tube IS REMOVABLE and replaceable! It is threaded on the bottom just like it is on the top. There is a super special toyota tool for pulling them out, but a GOOD pair of channel locks work just fine (and is what the majority of us did at the dealer, as that tool likes to get itself lost a lot). Grab it, twist it out. Clean it and the head, Apply a silicone sealant (Toyota FIPG is always the best), and screw it back in, tight as you can without damaging/crushing the tube. DONE! Make sure to clear any oil out of the spark plug tube and off the spark plug (if you left it in) to make sure it doesn't cause a misfire.

You CAN use a die for this, but it would be an unusually big die which I bet wouldn't be easy to find, and sure won't be cheap.. A thread file would only work to an extent, so that depends on the amount of damage to the threads, and how far down they were damaged. A die would by far be the best option of the two, but it is also by far not the cheapest option.

The choice is yours, but I'd just recommend replacing the tube. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Drifter for the info. I went with the option of replacing the tube since they are inexpensive, about $12 each+shipping I just received the 2 tubes yesterday and will be starting the work soon. Now that you mention the sealant Toyota FiPG, i wonder if the one i have Permatex ultra grey to use at bottom will be good enough, it's rated for up to 600F, got from NAPA auto.

I will try the channel lock grip, but worry it might be slippery due to the existing oil left on the tube, will try to clean it with Simple Green spray and maybe Acetone before gripping it to twist it out.


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The current shop I work at only uses permatex products, and I haven't really had any issue with them. I even use that same product you have, so go for it. Worse comes to worse, not hard to redo it.

As for it being hard to pull out, just use a good set of channel locks like I said. Bonus points for a set of self-gripping channel locks (sometimes called "parrot beaks", or like my Knipex's which are "Kobras"). The teeth should bite into the metal of the tube and grab it pretty well (9/10 times, the tool steel your tools are made of will be harder than the steel the tube is made of, so it should bite right into it). Just be sure to have a magnet handy to pick out any metal shavings out of the head if the channel locks slip.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok the tubes replacement went quite well, the self gripping channel tool worked well too, it just left few teeth marks on the tube afterward i think will be OK.
I have another question. I removed the 4 spark plugs and one of them has a single ground electrode, the other 3 are has 2 on each spark plug. I think a mechanic must have replaced previous bad 2 elecrodes one with a single electrode. There's a sticker on the side of my engine panel said to use 2 electrodes spark plug only. I got 4 new Bosch platinum spark plugs from local Autozone but they dont carry the 2 electrodes version, does it matter about NOT going with the 2 electrodes?

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh well, at end i went with the Bosch with 2 prongs, found at Napa Auto for $8 each, seems kind of pricey i think.

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