Calvan 38900 VS Time Sert 5553 – What’s the difference between Calvan 38900 and Time Sert 5553?
DennisB WiseAutoTools.com © Summary: In this article we cover a common question that we receive on the phone and in email inquiries. What’s the difference between the Calvan 38900 and the Time Sert 5553? The Short Answer – Calvan and Time Sert are completely different brands. The Calvan spark plug thread repair kit has a much more limited coverage. Primarily working on 96-2000 Ford 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 SOHC engines. Time Sert has a huge coverage that makes it much more logical for a repair shop to own, since it can be used on a wider range of vehicles. Both are oversize kits for doing repairs when a Helicoil or other competitive brand has failed making the hole larger. Since they are different brands, each manufacturer does things differently. Calvan uses a guide piece to align the reamer, which is like a drill bit, into the spark plug well/hole. Time Sert uses stepped tooling to guide their reamer in straight, so their kit can be used in many more applications. More information below.
Calvan 38900 and Time Sert 5553 Facts
1. Both the Time Sert 5553 and the Calvan 38900 are a permanent type repair as opposed to parts store temporary patch kits. No reported failures. We’ve been selling these kits since 2005. If used properly either of these spark plug repair kits will last the lifetime of the engine, unlike many parts store brands.
2. Both are easy to use, can be used on the vehicle without removing the head. We have many professional shops and do it yourselfers that are successful using both the Calvan and the Time Sert brands.
3. Both brands are held in without the need to whack with a hammer! Some competitive brands like Lisle and Sav-A- Thred require a cone shaped tool to be struck with a hammer to wedge the top of the insert and stake it in place. I know we’re not the only ones that think this is a flawed approach! Holding an insert in from the top, seems crazy, especially when you consider the heat and compression that the insert must withstand. Talk about a ticking time bomb! Time Sert and Calvan have better methods. Calvan inserts use high temperature JB Weld and have a head (or lip) on the top of the insert that tightens down like a bolt head. Time Sert’s inserts are held in with High Temperature Loctite and the bottom of their inserts are expanded with an installation driver, locking them in from the bottom of the insert.
4. Both Time Sert and Calvan have an engineered method of reaming/drilling and tapping straight. This is important, especially when working in a spark plug well that is not visible once the tooling is in place. As mentioned before, the Calvan kit uses a guide piece. Time Sert has a smaller end on the beginning of their tooling used as a pilot. This stepped tooling helps insure that every hole is perfectly straight, no matter what the application is. Calvan’s kit only works on certain vehicles, primarily 96-2000 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 Ford SOHC engines while the Time Sert kits can work on just about any application where an M14x1.25 taper or washer seat is required.
5. More on the inserts. Both brands use steel alloy inserts that share enough of the same characteristics as aluminum so there’s no heat expansion and contracting issues. I know many forums are caught up in this potential problem of different heat expansion and cooling contraction rates, however in the many years we’ve been selling these kits that has never been an issue. The good news is that if this is something that is important to you, we do have aluminum inserts available to be used with the Time Sert 5553 kit, part number Time Sert 51407A. Calvan does not have an aluminum insert option. Both Calvan and Time Sert come with tapered seat steel alloy inserts in the kits. Calvan only offers partially threaded inserts – about five internal threads. Time Sert has fully threaded M14x1.25 51457 tapered seat inserts in the 5600 kit (which is their triple oversized kit). The Time Sert 5553 also has partially threaded inserts in their kit, but fully threaded taper seat inserts and washer seat inserts are available separately. Fully threaded inserts require the use of the 51484A installation ring on driver installation tool.
6. The Calvan 389-4000 leak tester is only included in the 38900 kit. This tool consists of rubber hose, a brass air control valve and a rubber cone. It’s purpose is to help determine that the valves are closed before any reaming is done. This is important because the engine’s valves can be damaged by tooling if the valves are open and in the way. Also by isolating the cylinder by closing the valves, metal debris will not get blown into the rest of the engine when cleaning the cylinder out when blowing with compressed air. The good news is that we have the 389-4000 available separately so it can be purchased with a Time Sert kit as well. In most cases we ship it along with the kit. The 389-4000 eliminates the need to remove the valve cover to determine the valves are closed on the cylinder being worked on, as Time Sert suggests. Using the 389-4000 to determine the valves are closed whether using the 38900 or 5553 saves a lot of time and trouble.
*Time Sert 5553 and 5600 come with free next day shipping, the Calvan comes with free ground shipping which is usually 2-3 days. We also have the Calvan 38900-1 at a reduced price with one insert instead of the normal 6. Remember we’re NOT on Amazon, we sell exclusively on WiseAutoTools.com and DenLorsTools.com. To receive free tips on the kits we sell be sure to write the word “tips” in the comment section at checkout or mention to us on the phone when ordering. We’ll email them when you purchase right away so you can review the tips before your kit arrives. We appreciate any word of mouth advertising, like with friends “in person” the old fashioned way – or on automotive forums or Face Book etc.
Have a question not covered here? Comment below or give Dennis a call at 800-734-8665 (TOOL).