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I think cylinder 5 is the predominant problem child. I think there may be some valid cylinder 4 issues, but there may also be some confusion about cylinder numbering too... which confuses things.

For the record, the J35 cylinders are numbered as below:

 

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I'll go with you on that Speed.... I'm sure you keep better track than I do.....
Fuzzy Memory Syndrome. :)

EDIT: On second thought (or third or fourth), my other problem is nagging recollection syndrome...... wasn't it actually the #4 that had the cracked head problem on early models??? I remember reading about loose plugs in both 4 & 5, but it seems to me that #4 was infamous for cracked heads near the plug?????? Maybe we've seen two separate issues for each of these two cylinders.
 

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On second thought (or third or fourth), my other problem is nagging recollection syndrome...... wasn't it actually the #4 that had the cracked head problem on early models???
My research into this engine seems to indicate that the cyl #4 issues, burning excessive oil, seemed to dominate with 2006 and earlier years.
 

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Correct OldNorske. But the J35 has been in use for years before the RL. The Pilot is one vehicle with the J35.. and that came out in MY2003.
 

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I've also experienced cylinder 5 on a Honda Ridgeline, took out fan and new Radiator, a dealer has done a Helical repair, my question is I've heard that repair is only good for another 40,000 miles or less, , whats your experience?
 

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I have a 2006 Ridgeline with 220K miles and it runs like new. I wonder if these issues manifest earlier if they are going to happen. Any reports of this occurring on high mileage Ridgelines?
 

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I have a 2006 Ridgeline with 220K miles and it runs like new. I wonder if these issues manifest earlier if they are going to happen. Any reports of this occurring on high mileage Ridgelines?
In the many years I've been on this forum, this is the only instance I can remember of a spark plug actually "exploding". As long as you're using the OEM iridium plugs and they are properly torqued to spec, there should never be any worry of this happening.
 

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Ok, I looked at your pictures and from what I see it looks like all of the damage is external to the cylinder. It appears that the electrode portion of the spark plug, what goes inside of the engine didn't come apart.

You should be able to put in the thread insert, new plugs and coil and be fine. After putting in the thread insert, vacuum it out just like you did. Great heads up vacuuming all of that out before taking the spark plug out.

What everyone is missing in this repair is that face that it is very important to use a torque wrench when installing a spark plug. Also, it is equally important to NOT work on any engine until the engine is fully cooled. Can't tell if you recently purchased you Ridgeline or someone recently mis-installed the spark plugs by not torqueing the plugs. But these two matters are imperative to today's aluminum engines.

I also have a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL and presently in the middle of replacing the plugs for the second time. 175,000. miles
let's keep in touch,
 

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What everyone is missing in this repair is that face that it is very important to use a torque wrench when installing a spark plug. Also, it is equally important to NOT work on any engine until the engine is fully cooled. Can't tell if you recently purchased you Ridgeline or someone recently mis-installed the spark plugs by not torqueing the plugs. But these two matters are imperative to today's aluminum engines.

I also have a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL and presently in the middle of replacing the plugs for the second time. 175,000. miles
let's keep in touch,
Hope you didn't buy your spark plugs from Amazon. They seem to have a problem with fake plugs being sold. I believe I've been a victim of that scam.
 

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To make #5 easy to check you can replace 2 of the 3 screws that hold fan cover (cover blocks easy removal of #5 coil pack) -replace these phillips head screws with hex head (just top 2) then you can remove those 2 quickly and just pivot cooling fan cover on 3rd bottom screw and out of way to easily remove coil and check plug-only about 10-15 min job to check front bank
 

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What is the mechanism by which off-spec internal spark plug electrical resistance causes the threads in the cylinder head casting to fail?
 

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What is the mechanism by which off-spec internal spark plug electrical resistance causes the threads in the cylinder head casting to fail?
Sorry I was commenting on the topic of the thread which from the title I had believed to be spark plug failure from exploding or electrode damage which possibly caused the threads to blow out but I suppose the damaged thread in the chamber after the plugs explode which could also cause thread damage when attempting to remove that plug or even enough pressure could cause it too.
 

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I just had the same very issue occur on the #5 cylinder. 2007 RTL with 185k miles on it. Plugs were done with timing belt/water pump around the 95 mile mark, and were due soon.

Options I've been given would be to try a heli coil or to look for a decent used motor. The only unknown with the heli coil is what might have fallen in or damaged in the head.

Any comments on either of these options?

Also, I realize the mileage is high but I find this frustrating from a Honda considering I previously had 2 other 4 cylinder engines that drove well over 250 miles and were bombproof when I sold them.

Has anyone ever successfully brought this to Honda America/Canada for any goodwill?

It seems to be a fairly common problem, albeit maybe not high enough percentage wise to trigger a goodwill.
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I just had the same very issue occur on the #5 cylinder. 2007 RTL with 185k miles on it. Plugs were done with timing belt/water pump around the 95 mile mark, and were due soon.

Options I've been given would be to try a heli coil or to look for a decent used motor. The only unknown with the heli coil is what might have fallen in or damaged in the head.

Any comments on either of these options?

Also, I realize the mileage is high but I find this frustrating from a Honda considering I previously had 2 other 4 cylinder engines that drove well over 250 miles and were bombproof when I sold them.

Has anyone ever successfully brought this to Honda America/Canada for any goodwill?

It seems to be a fairly common problem, albeit maybe not high enough percentage wise to trigger a goodwill. View attachment 397897 View attachment 397898 View attachment 397899 View attachment 397900

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Just curious, but where did you buy your plugs when they were done at 95k ?
 

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Plugs were done by the dealership at the same time as the timing belt/water pump

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185k miles is middling half life or less of that engine. I'd have to show that to the dealership that did the work... assuming they're local to you.

It should be relative easy to get that cylinder inspected with a borescope and get a reasonable idea if any cylinder damage was done. Add in a compression check too.
 

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185k miles is middling half life or less of that engine. I'd have to show that to the dealership that did the work... assuming they're local to you.

It should be relative easy to get that cylinder inspected with a borescope and get a reasonable idea if any cylinder damage was done. Add in a compression check too.
Thanks. I'm sure your 100% right, but nobody is going to fess up and eat this one...

Issue with compression test is the gauge won't even thread in without tapping the helicoil.

Is there a way to compression test without threading? This would save me a few hrs of labour to find out the seals are gone.

To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement!

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