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#1178782 - 04/28/07 11:31 PM Spark plug gap
jmlock Offline


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Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 22007
Loc: Harris County, TX
Changed the plugs on my 97 today. Service Manual had the gap listed as .039 - .043. But when I pulled the ones in there (they appeared to be the factory orginals) they were all gapped at .078. So, I bumped the new ones to .045 and the car runs and idles fine. Anyone heard of them being gapped that much from the factory?
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#1178787 - 04/28/07 11:46 PM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: jmlock]
UDL Offline
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Registered: 10/07/06
Posts: 696
No, that's electrode erosion. IOW they are "worn out"

Check yours in another 50-60K miles...
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#1178801 - 04/29/07 12:33 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: UDL]
Colt45 Offline
less is more´┐Ż
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Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 6447
Loc: Moses Lake, Wa
If you put on coppers, check them in like 10k.
This is why they use platinums, they wear much slower.
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#1178819 - 04/29/07 01:19 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: Colt45]
TechnoWeenie Offline
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Registered: 10/02/04
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Loc: The perimeter
I thought gap was .052-.056 (shooting for .054)
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#1178826 - 04/29/07 01:29 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: TechnoWeenie]
texasvic Offline
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#1178859 - 04/29/07 03:03 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: texasvic]
BigJon Offline

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Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 11804
Loc: Virginia
.054"
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#1178878 - 04/29/07 04:50 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: BigJon]
Ciffer Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 4366
Loc: Witchataw KS
use autolite or motorcraft double platinums, .045 is gap for CNG engine iirc. gap to .054 with gasoline. should be good for 100k. and remember, no anti-seize, use a torque wrench, start plugs by hand

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#1178887 - 04/29/07 06:05 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: Ciffer]
lprocter Offline
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Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 533
Loc: Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Ciffer
and remember, no anti-seize, use a torque wrench, start plugs by hand


No anti-seize? Why the hell not?
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#1178888 - 04/29/07 06:07 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: lprocter]
Virginiamountainman Offline
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Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 2093
Loc: North Carolina
I had always heard in the past that you should not reset the gap on a platinum plug from the factory. Is there a safe way to gap a plat plug without damaging the thin layer of platinum?
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#1178889 - 04/29/07 06:08 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: lprocter]
Ciffer Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 4366
Loc: Witchataw KS
 Originally Posted By: lprocter
 Originally Posted By: Ciffer
and remember, no anti-seize, use a torque wrench, start plugs by hand


No anti-seize? Why the hell not?


you'll throw off the torque reading on your torque wrench, over tighten and possibly launch the plug

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#1178893 - 04/29/07 07:03 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: Ciffer]
lprocter Offline
Climber

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 533
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Torque wrench? What's that?
Seriously, though, I've never used a torque wrench for spark plugs. I just tighten them until snug, enough that they stick a bit when I try to take them out. So far, no problems.
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#1178903 - 04/29/07 09:15 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: lprocter]
jmlock Offline


Posting Addict

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 22007
Loc: Harris County, TX
I went with the Champion double platinum. And damn, I read the service manual wrong. I've got the cd version and forgot to select Crown Victoria. I know have my plugs gapped for a '97 Aspire. Time to pop the hood and do some adjusting. Thanks guys.
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#1178931 - 04/29/07 11:13 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: BigNSlow]
BigJon Offline

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Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 11804
Loc: Virginia
still should be .054. unless you use nitrous.
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#1178943 - 04/29/07 11:38 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: BigJon]
JCG1 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 07/03/03
Posts: 1725
Loc: Chicago
OH MY F*CKING . . .

I can not believe that we would really need to repeat this, there has to have been a BILLION damn threads on the topic over the years:

1) Do NOT use anti-seize despite what Haynes and Chilton's says. Dry or a light coating of oil.
2) Do NOT start the plug with a wrench, use your fingers on an extension or the classic length of tubing.
3) Use a properly calibrated torque wrench or you will be risking overtighening, wrecking the threads, and launching your plug (read the blown plug threads - you will NOT find anyone who doesn't appear to have messed up changing their plugs before it happened) The setting is pretty damn light; cause there ain't many threads in the aluminum.

{note: the debate over whether it's crossthreading or overtorqueing (or both) is resolved by threading cautiously and using a torque wrench \:\/ }

Oh yeah, do it with the motor cold AND make sure you thoroughly clean out the plug holes with compressed air or a serious shop vac BEFORE you pull the plug. Haul your head over the motor and look down into the well (use a flashlight if you need to) to make sure it's clean.

Colder heat range does not require less gap.
Higher compression or forced induction (blown or nitrous) sometimes requires running in the 30 - 40 range due to spark blowout problems. I run .40-.42 with the flattops/heads; I know a couple guys with similar motors who run nitrous on top of the cr bump, they run around .32

Better to have as much gap as you can as long as you're producing a healthy spark.


Edited by JCG1 (04/29/07 11:55 AM)
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#1178947 - 04/29/07 11:54 AM Re: Spark plug gap [Re: JCG1]
BigJon Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 11804
Loc: Virginia
 Originally Posted By: JCG1
I run .40-.42; I know a couple high-compression guys with nitrous on top who run .32


.32, wow, that's a lot of gap
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