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Hello everyone,

I have a Generac Guardian 8kw stand by natural gas generator that is about 10 years old. It looks very similar to this one: Generac Guardian 6237 ™ 8kW Standby Generator System 50A 10-Circuit Automatic Switch

I have the company who installed it perform the yearly maintenance and last year they told me the spark plug was stuck but it should be fine for now. This year I'm getting ready to schedule the yearly maintenance and I'm starting to think about the spark plug again. I can see it and it doesn't look too far into the engine (like in a car) but I don't want to mess with it myself. I bought some Liquid Wrench penetrating oil for it and plan to spray some in a day or so before I can get my maintenance scheduled as I read it takes about a day for it to help.

Is there anything I can do to help this further? I'm concerned that this year again they say they won't be able to remove the spark plug and it might be fine again for another year, but eventually it will have to be replaced. The guy who came out last year seemed new but I wasn't home so I didn't get to chat with him (my wife did). Is this a common problem? Worst case I guess it gets stuck and the engine top has to be removed - or am I thinking extreme case?

Thank you for any advice.
 

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In my humble opinion your seized spark plug is THEIR chicken to pluck, not yours. You are paying them to PREVENT issues with your generator, not create them. They are negligent in not putting anti-seize thread compound on a spark plug and that is a dereliction of THEIR duty, as your paid servicer and maintainer of your generator. Anti-seizing a spark plug is about as basic as it gets! It is one of the most basic preventative maintenance things THEY can do, AND SHOULD HAVE DONE PREVIOUSLY. Un-bee-leevable. Call the owner of the shop. Speak only with the owner. I'd recommend not settling for less than the head being removed BEFORE they try to get the spark plug out. If they do get it to break loose there surely will be some grit dropped into the cylinder. IF the head is off that won't be a problem for you down the road. It's either seized, or one of their rejects cranked down on it too hard and converted your head's threads into torque-to-yield threads, part of which that will either come out with the plug, or drop into the cylinder. Either way, your retain the moral high ground here. Be nice, but be firm.
 

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I'm pretty sure the "yearly" maintenance consists of new plugs, air filter, oil and oil filter. It definitely sounds like a previous technician cross threaded the plug, and the subsequent tech took an easy route and left it alone. @Ground Fault has the right idea, call the company and speak to the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the posts. When I call to schedule I will try to speak to the owner but from past experiences, he is often busy and hard to get a hold of and there aren't many Generac service companies in my area. I haven't really had any bad experiences with them (yet) but I am disappointed about this situation.

If I can't speak to the owner, I was planning on calling and telling whoever (most likely a receptionist) that I want the yearly maintenance done but I also want to them to put down some extra time to resolve this spark plug issue as I want it changed this year. I also want to speak with the technician they send out and watch to make sure things are done properly when he is here (trying not to hover over his shoulder the whole time :) ).

If it is cross threaded, would the penetrating oil help? What's the best way to get it out? From what I read, penetrating oil and rocking it back and forth seems to be the way to do it. If they need to remove the head to get it out, is that a big job? Unlike a car, this engine seems a lot simpler and looks relatively easy to access and take apart, but I'm no mechanic.
 

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galling of the head metal is a BIG thing.. cross thread!! good one!!
bad service tech!!

better off removing the head first and doing it in a machine shop.
trash can drop in the cyl and make a worse mess!!
they make steel spark plug thread inserts now for the aluminum heads to stop the issue.
you have to over drill and re thread the head to do the kits.

and the lesson for the class is;
and yes on the never seize for the spark plugs on aluminum heads!!
cheap insurance.

the right way to repair it is to replace the head...
that can be pricey!!
 

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If done right, by someone who knows what he/she is doing, damaged spark plug threads are a relatively EASY fix. Head removal or replacement is not usually required.
 

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Agreed. It can be done that way. If done right. By someone who knows what they are doing. However, by all indications this maintenance outfit can make claims to neither. Just good enough to get on down the road to the next job seems to be their mantra. And FIXING the threads without taking the head off is indeed an easy fix, but that is not the core issue. The issue at hand is making sure that no debris is deposited into the cylinder bore while accomplishing the fix. And the only way that you can be absolutely sure that you don't is to take the head off. We aren't talking about repairing the plug threads on a $200 lawnmower. This is a critical piece of equipment that will be needed in a situation where failure is not an option. Be picky about your brain surgeon, not your peanut butter. I would require that they do this repair in the best way possible, which may not be convenient to them, but optimal for my family. They should do this repair in such a way that THERE IS NO CHANCE the repair will be the cause of the generator failure...and NO CHANCE I will have to endure my wife's resultant piercing gaze and scorn.

And when you get down to the meat of the issue, you didn't have a repaired head before they cross-threaded or galled the threads, you had a perfectly good head. I'm with Paul: I don't want a repaired head, I want a new or used head with factory-spec spark plug threads. You deserve to have what you had the day before their neglect put you in this situation. I would not "have my hat in my hand" when I spoke to them. Again, be nice, but be firm.
 

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amen gf!
it would be a different thing if it was a self inflected owner damage..
even if it was broke here on one of my personal units...
as expensive as the gen is I would just order a new head and the gasket kit...
it cannot be that expensive..
$500.00 to $1000.00

but this was done by a factory trained service group tech.
they owe you a new head!
or at least a factory re-manufactured head if new is no longer an option..
 
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