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Plug change spells disaster

Well, I thought it would be an easy morning.  I had a number of maintenance
items to take care of on my 190,000 mile 87 4kq.

First, I replaced the cat and oxygen sensor, which went smoother than I
expected.  Last time I did exhaust work, some rust snuck in the vent holes
of my goggles and I spent a few hours in the ER getting it removed from my
eyes.  Not a fun experience.  This time the exhaust work went smooth.  As it
turns out, too smooth.

Next was the tune up.  New plugs, wires, distributer cap, rotor, etc.  As I
removed the last plug from cylinder #5, I was a bit surprised at how easily
the old plug turned.  Needless to say, when I installed the new plug in
cylinder #5, it was clear why the old one came out so easily.  The threads
in the head were stripped!  Stripped to the point where now I can pull the
plug out of the head without even turning it.  How the car was able to run
this long I'll never know.

Since I've never had to deal with this situation, I'm contemplating my
options.  I hate to get rid of the car.  It runs (well ran) great, and,
since I drive it back and forth between Baltimore and north New Jersey for
work, it saves me from putting an extra 15,000+ miles on my A4 every year.
Most of the suspension is new, tires are new, and so is the exhaust.

I suppose I could find a used head, but that's a little over my head (no pun
intended) for DIY.  But I also wonder if a shop can repair the damaged one.
Any BTDTs would be appreciated.

Mark Hilbush
87 4kq
98 A4qms
mailto:markh@clark.net (personal)