Sep 282013

Why the cost difference and what do you get for your money. Looking at the two kits the most obvious differences are that the 5553 comes with 5 inserts, some oil and loctite, and a few extra tools.

4412E 5553
14mmSPkit01 Tritonkit5553

Is a small bottle of oil, some loctite, and a couple of “convenience” tools worth a couple hundred bucks to you, maybe, maybe not. The 5553 kit comes with 5 inserts but if you only need one, or if you want the full thread inserts, maybe those 5 inserts don’t add any value. The inserts are normally around $11 each, so if you need all 5 the 4412E is going to cost you another $55 on top of the $200.

Besides the inserts the 5553 sports a different seat cutter, adds a reamer to size the hole before tapping, adds a seating tool, and comes with a blown molded case to keep all the pieces organized.

The steps to cut, tap, and insert the hole are different between the 4412E and 5553 kits. With the 4412E kit you ream and tap the hole in a single operation, you then thread the tap deep into the newly cut spark plug hole, drop the seat cutter down over the tap and cut the seat, remove the seat cutter and tap, thread the insert on the insert setting tool, screw the insert into the newly tapped hole and seat and set the insert in one operation. With the 5553 kit you cut the seat, ream the hole, tap the hole, seat the insert, then set the insert, all as separate operations.

With the 4412E kit you perform more operations overlapped or without removing a tool between a job. This sounds like it could be faster but it also sounds less flexible. I wanted more tools, each with a specific job so I could do each step, make sure each step was correct, and then move on to the next step.

I did not like the method of seating and setting the insert in one operation with the 4412E kit. With the 4412E kit you thread the insert onto the setting tool, use the setting tool to seat the insert, and then continue tightening eventually setting the insert.

Seating the insert means making sure the insert is tightly screwed and seated into the tapped hole.

Setting the insert means mechanically expanding the bottom of the insert and camming the locking pin to lock the insert into the hole. With the 4412E kit the assumption is the seating torque is significantly less than the setting torque. Otherwise the insert would start to set before it was fully seated.

With the 5553 kit the seating tool is separate from the setting tool. The insert is first seated with a short threaded tool and then set with a long threaded tool. The seating tool has short enough threads to insure it does not reach the bottom of the insert where the swagging and camming occur. The insert is first fully seated with the seating tool and then followed with the setting tool. That way there is no chance of partially setting the insert while trying to seat it.

The 5553 seat cutter looks a bit nicer in that the seat cutter works stand alone whereas the seat cutter in the 4412E kit slides down over the tap after you’ve tapped the hole.

All in all the 5553 kit seems more complete and makes more sense to me. The 5553 kit is quite a bit more expensive than the 4412E kit and breaks what are single steps using the 4412E kit into multiple steps.

If you’re a professional mechanic, where time is money and you’re always working on someone else’s vehicle, maybe the 4412E kit is a better choice, get ’em in and get ’em out.

I’m not in a hurry and I’d rather take my time with each step.

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