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Spark Plug No #2

 
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 02:38 pm
NitroPT's Avatar
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Default Spark Plug No #2

DTC P0302
A P0302 code means that the the car's computer has detected that one of the engine's cylinders is not firing properly. In this case it's cylinder #2.
Symptoms may include: the engine may be harder to start the engine may stumble / stumble, and/or hesitate other symptoms may also be present

Read more at: OBD-II Trouble Code: P0302 Cylinder 2 Two Misfire Detected


This is the engine trouble code that follows a sudden drop out of ignition in cylinder # 2. Number 2 is under the intake manifold and the service guide clearly states to remove the intake manifold to change it. But some had mentioned the ability using various jointed or modified tools to be able to change that spark plug without having to go the factory recommend method of removing the upper intake manifold.

I had tried a couple times without success only to resolved with myself that I was not able to do it? I used the method to at least unbolt the upper intake manifold from the rear engine to intake manifold support bracket and then removed the bolts from the front of the upper intake manifold connecting the lower intake manifold. This is the method I have used many times times when only needing to change spark plugs and nothing else.

Yesterday I took a friend for a quick ride to show him what a Turbo Charged PT Cruiser with a semi custom calibrated PCM feels like. I adjusted my torque limiters to 50% which I knew allow me to spike a nice 17psi boost along with a couple other adjustments in what I call my "ET" file.

I made a quick 0-95mpg jot with the trac on. And at the end of the test run the engine felt spongy. I made a return pass with trac off and at about 60mph I herd a pop sound from the exhaust and then the engine started to miss-firing followed by the engine light. I have a Ultra Gauge so was able to access on the fly and check the DTC and saw the P0302. AT this point I could tell I was running on 3 cylinders anyway and hobbled my PT back to the house.

A short while ago I decided to either support or de-buff the cylinder #2 spark plug access postings about the ability to be able to change that spark plug without needing to adjust the intake manifold position.
With the use of a *modified spark plug socket I was able to remove and replace the spark plug in cylinder # 2. Thus showing that it could be done and saving myself 20 minutes worth of work doing the spark plug removal the proper way as per the factory service manual.

Well I am here to tell you "WONT DO THAT AGAIN"!

When you damage by way of cracking the insulator nose you may not know it. There may not even be any indication that it happened even driving normally for several hundred or even a few thousand miles? But if you use your engine in a manor that increases the load like throttling up hard along with elevated boost levels then you get to quickly know what unseen damage you did during the installation of the spark plug.


*modified spark plug socket


Pictures posted a couple of months ago or so.



















These are from changing the #2 spark plug today.








I bent the Ground Electrode back to slip the broken pieces off.





I have changed literally thousands of spark plugs in my life and a broken electrode has only happened to me a few times and they were not my fault. In this case with the PT Cruiser I was at fault even how careful I was changing the one spark plug. Even though I was careful as I normally am regarding procedures working on a vehicles I still did not know I had damaged the #2 spark plug during installation.

There are logical reason for procedures and how to do them in a Factory Service Manual. Some of us can sometimes find ways to shorten there procedure time down on some repairs for removing and installing parts In this case with the #2 spark plug it may not be the best idea?
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Last edited by NitroPT; 04 Feb 2015 at 06:28 pm.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 03:30 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

The only time I remember breaking spark plugs was as a kid. I was seventeen or maybe eighteen years old. The vehicle was a 2-ton Chevy bucket truck that belonged to the electric company. The engine compartment was way too big for the anemic little small block 350. And getting to the plugs from the top was almost impossible. And the truck had the hydraulic pump for the bucket and wrench mounted on the front of harmonic balancer with big hydraulic hoses blocking the view of the driver's side spark plugs from below.

From below the truck it was too far to reach from the floor. So I had to basically lay on top of the front axle. And then reach up among the hydraulic hoses blind. And feel for the spark plugs. I was proud of myself after getting the job done. But then I started the engine. It barely started and ran like crap.

I began taking the left side plugs out and inspecting them. I think I broke three of the four. To replace them I had to crawl into the engine bay and basically stand on my head to get to the plugs. About 8:00 that evening, I finished the job and locked up the diesel shop alone.

On the PT subject at hand, I really appreciate Nitro sharing this story. Because I sure was under the impression this could be done without issue. And maybe with specific tools it could be. Nitro's tools may be a little better and thicker than the $7 Chinese spark plug socket and ratchet that some folks use. But either way, it's not worth it to risk loosing performance while trying to gain performance. So while I hate reading directions, I will likely pull the manifold as suggested. Great write up.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 04:44 pm
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Talking Re: Spark Plug No #2

Gap looks waaayyyy too big in the old plug!!!



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Last edited by soonercruiser; 04 Feb 2015 at 04:46 pm.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 06:33 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercruiser View Post
Gap looks waaayyyy too big in the old plug!!!



Not for Nitro's PT. That's called EXTREME expert spark plug gapping. You probably got to use one of those red MSD coils to make that work.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 06:34 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

I went out and took a "kool" video of a short "blast" after the new spark plugs but the camera fell on the floor and all I filmed was my brake pedal and leg!

Maybe I will retry that tomorrow? LOL





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Old 04 Feb 2015, 06:37 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

Sometime you've got to show me how and where you attached the Velcro under the hood for the hood bra.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 07:15 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

I have no idea why you brought this up again, or why you broke a plug ceramic.

I used a plug socket that had swivel (universal) built into top of plug, and had no issues.

Again, I got the idea from people on PtCrew that did it.

It is REALLY easy on an aluminum intake.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 07:21 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

I use a rubber hose to start the threads and screw it in till the hose disengages. Then I reach in with the sockets to tighten. not sure how the plug got cracked ?
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 07:35 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
I have no idea why you brought this up again, or why you broke a plug ceramic.

I used a plug socket that had swivel (universal) built into top of plug, and had no issues.

Again, I got the idea from people on PtCrew that did it.

It is REALLY easy on an aluminum intake.
I swear when I read this earlier he mentioned the plastic intake...but post has been edited, so know I'm not sure.
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Old 04 Feb 2015, 07:39 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug No #2

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
I swear when I read this earlier he mentioned the plastic intake...but post has been edited, so know I'm not sure.
Yep. Lynn did mention the plastic intake when I read it. And I also know my 2005 plastic turbo intake is a little bulkier than the aluminum ones on the 2004 salvage turbo PT's I've cannibalized.
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