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Old 03-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
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Head gasket/seal problem?

Guys I got a cylinder #1 misfire and when inspecting the coils and spark plugs, I have found a pretty nasty oil leak on the heads around cylinder #1. When i took the coil out of cylinder 1 and 2, both had oil puddled in the bottom of the spark plug chamber. The top of cylinder one was pretty dark and visible deposits. Does this mean it has been burning oil for a while? The amount of old oil around that area of the head leads me to suspect that. Is this a blown seal or a head gasket issue? No water mixed with the oil anywhere. Can you do a head job with the engine still in the car? The car is a 3.4 early tech art mod done by an independent dealer and has benn driven only 3k in 10 years+.

Last edited by kiosko; 03-11-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:36 PM   #2
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Assuming you still have a 2000 S, start by replacing the spark plug tubes and O rings.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:42 PM   #3
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https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/SuperCat/1048/POR_1048_ELIGNT_pg1.htm#item1
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Last edited by Paul; 03-11-2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:24 PM   #4
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I’d bet 9x out ten leaks on the exterior of the cam covers are spark plug tube related. Clean them really well and replace the tubes, plugs and o-rings. Monitor. Prob good to go. Might want to do coils while you are there. There are a variety of things that can leak on top of the engine as well so it could be several things. The oil pressure sensor sits right above there and could be leaking. Most likely if there is oil in the tubes, the inner o- ring has failed, or the tubes have cracked. Porsche motors don’t particularly like sitting. Get the leak figured out and drive that thing to get some blood flowing.

Last edited by Geof3; 03-11-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:36 AM   #5
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Would someone mind explaining why are the spark plug tubes necessary?

The tube o-rings are keeping oil from where? Why are there not tubes on other automobiles, particularly domestics?

Do the tubes serve only to seat the coils?

Thank you.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
Would someone mind explaining why are the spark plug tubes necessary?

The tube o-rings are keeping oil from where? Why are there not tubes on other automobiles, particularly domestics?

Do the tubes serve only to seat the coils?

Thank you.
I think they isolate the spark plugs from the oil in the top of the cylinder head. The spark plugs go through the cam covers to get screwed into the combustion chamber in the top of the head. The spark plug tubes were eliminated starting with the 3 chain engines in 2002 on the 9996 and 2003 on the Boxster.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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I think they isolate the spark plugs from the oil in the top of the cylinder head. The spark plugs go through the cam covers to get screwed into the combustion chamber in the top of the head. The spark plug tubes were eliminated starting with the 3 chain engines in 2002 on the 9996 and 2003 on the Boxster.
Gotcha. Thank you.
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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Thank you guys for the quick reply. I will definitely replace all the tubes and orings as soon as i can figure out the misfire. Trying not to put anymore money in the car if the engine is dead. If a new coil in cylinder #1 makes it run smooth again, Iíll do all the coils, tubes and spark plugs. My concern is that the head gasket leak around cylinder one is something internal with seals, orings, valve seats, or the gasket itself which sounds like you have to pull out the engine to do. Lots of $ís i donít have!
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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The cause of the misfire might be the oil in the spark plug tube.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kiosko View Post
Thank you guys for the quick reply. I will definitely replace all the tubes and orings as soon as i can figure out the misfire. Trying not to put anymore money in the car if the engine is dead. If a new coil in cylinder #1 makes it run smooth again, Iíll do all the coils, tubes and spark plugs. My concern is that the head gasket leak around cylinder one is something internal with seals, orings, valve seats, or the gasket itself which sounds like you have to pull out the engine to do. Lots of $ís i donít have!
Kiosko,

Yes, before you have brain surgery, try an aspirin..

Seriously if you replace the ignition components (plugs / coils) your engine should run much smoother, the plastic tubes and o-rings should take care of the oil leaks, and the timing is perfect to do them at the same time.

Afterwards, wash your engine and would be able to spot any other oil leaks (if any..)

Good luck
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:56 PM   #11
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Thank you guys for the quick reply. I will definitely replace all the tubes and orings as soon as i can figure out the misfire. Trying not to put anymore money in the car if the engine is dead. If a new coil in cylinder #1 makes it run smooth again, Iíll do all the coils, tubes and spark plugs. My concern is that the head gasket leak around cylinder one is something internal with seals, orings, valve seats, or the gasket itself which sounds like you have to pull out the engine to do. Lots of $ís i donít have!
I think you are confusing the cam covers for heads. If there is a head issue, usually that translates as an intermix issue (milky coolant). Pictures would help, but I would bet itís the tubes, and if not, cam cover needs to be resealed.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:05 AM   #12
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Thank you guys much appreciated. I will put in one new coil i bought over the weekend and see if it runs smooth again. if it does i will ordered 5 more coils and tubes to go with the new spark plugs.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:31 AM   #13
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If the tube is leaking, the oil will seep into the spark plug terminal of the new coil and may cause misfires. Highly recommend replacing the <$10 tube and seals first.
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1998 Boxster with 7.8 DME, 2005 3.6 liter/325 hp, Variocam Plus, 996 Instrument panel
2001 Boxster bought new. Another motor installed at 89k.
1987 924S 2002 996TT PST2
Owned and repaired Porsches since 1974. Have driven them all the way the Dr intended...

Last edited by Paul; 03-13-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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