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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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Question 1.2 Core plug replacement

Hi, sadly I had a cooling hose split and badly overheated the engine on my 1.2 Lounge. the car was recovered and the garage is saying the engine has to come out to replace the coreplugs, this would be at great expense, in fact too much expense


Has anyone here successfully done this with engine in situ? I thought I might give it a go if possible.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #2
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Re: 1.2 Core plug replacement

Hi Mark. How thoroughly has the engine's condition been assessed? If you run water levels low in these wee fire engines they are very well known for blowing head gaskets - they really don't like getting too hot! If the engine has been seriously overheated, even if there are no signs of head gasket blowing right now you may well find it gives way in the near future.

Regarding the core plugs. I suppose it depends on which ones are leaking. I've had overheating and head gasket problems on these engines before without experiencing any core plug problems so your's must have got really hot - which makes gasket and maybe other damage even more likely.

Sorry to say but when an engine has been really "cooked" there are a whole host of "nasties" which can come out to bite you soon afterwards. Unless you can avoid labour charges by doing everything yourself, You might find sourcing a good used engine and just swapping it over will give a more satisfactory outcome in the long run.
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Old 10 Hours Ago   #3
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Re: 1.2 Core plug replacement

As Jock says, overheating that would cause core plug issues will have done so much more damage, that the core plugs become irrelevant.

Is the garage recommending core plugs because that is what they do for every overheat, on any vehicle, or have they identified a specific problem? If a specific problem with a core plug has been found, the engine is almost certainly scrap.

You say a 1.2 Lounge, but not whether this is Panda or 500. Used engines are plentiful, but there are some detail differences that need the correct choice.
Panda (169) Lounge originally had a 1.2 60hp Euro3 (square oil cap), then changed to a Euro 4 (round oil cap and cam sensor), then the very last ones went to the 70hp with variable valve timing(I think these were Euro5, but the change to Euro 5 might not coincide exactly). I think that is when the cam sensor disappeared again, but not certain of this. This was the same engine spec as early 500s.
In later Pandas, and 500s the engine went to Euro 6. It is important to replace with the same spec engine, or the engine computer will not fuel it correctly.
Replacing the engine will cost a little more in labour than replacing the core plugs, as the ancillaries take more time to swap over than replacing the core plugs, plus of course the cost of the replacement engine. But that option brings the promise of reliability, trying to repair the overheated engine brings fear of further failures.
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Old 10 Hours Ago   #4
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Re: 1.2 Core plug replacement

This is all getting a bit academic because I think this car needs a new engine, but it occurs to me that if the core plugs are needing to be replaced due to being corroded through, rather than having "popped" due to the internal pressure of over heating, you may only need to replace one or two in which case, depending on which ones they are, you might be able to do just the ones which are leaking? However, thinking about this further, why would they have corroded through? maybe just because of age and road salt corroding from the outside? but also maybe because it's either never had it's coolant changed so the anti corrosion additives are no longer giving protection or perhaps it's been run with no, or only a very weak, antifreeze concentration so the plugs have corroded - which means other serious internal corrosion is possible?

Then there's the possibility that you may find corrosion of the block where the plugs are fitted - less likely on a cast iron block than an ally one admittedly - which might make renewing the plugs difficult or impossible?

In conclusion, I'd definitely attempt core plug replacement on something old and rare where spares are not readily available (one of my old Hillman Imps for instance) but on a Panda? - Probably not.
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