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Tune Up Dilemma

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Sep 2009, 11:32 am
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Exclamation Tune Up Dilemma

Hi, I just picked up a 02 PT. It runs well but I want to have a tune up done. The Spark plugs are obvious, they will be replaced with Bosch Platinums. Here's my 2 questions.

1. Ignition Coil: My thoughts are to replace this as my mechanic will have to remove the engine cover (modesty plate) anyways. The problem is the part is 90 bucks and I'm on a budget, do you think this is necessary. The Coil on currently is doing its job since the car is running and I see no visible damage like cracks. Will I really get improved performance by changing this part?????

2. Spark Plug Cables: I was planning on changing these but upon close inspection I see they are Mopar (which cost 50 bucks on Race and Street) and seem to be in good condition. Did Chrysler use Mopar brand as factory equipment??? I'm trying to determine if they are aftermarket already and I know Mopar is Chrylser's part company but it seems they would use some offbrand OEM stuff on their cars to save a few bucks.

Also same question on the cables as the Coil. If I see no visible damage like kinking or cracking of the cable jacket can i really expect improved performance with replacing them with another set of Mopars. I sell electrical cable for a living and I know cables are NORMALLY damaged from the outside in, not the other way around.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 10 Sep 2009, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

I would go with the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" theory and just do the plugs - and do them yourself if you are able.

Spark Plug Guide

I would use NGK Iridium IX Plugs. Iridium is better than platinum.

Iridium IX

Don't forget dielectric grease on the spark plug boots to prevent sticking to the plugs next time you go to change the plugs or wires. And anti-sieze compound on the plug threads to keep them from seizing to the head.


Last edited by lmmegt; 10 Sep 2009 at 12:13 pm.
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Old 10 Sep 2009, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

If you do change the spark plug wires, consider using the Granatelli low resistance wires, I bought a set for my PT from Modern Performance for $57.21 delivered to my front door. They are much better wires than the MOPAR OEM wires. If you at 45 to 50 K miles, they probably need to be replaced.
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Old 10 Sep 2009, 01:10 pm
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002ptcruiserwoody723 View Post
2. Spark Plug Cables: I was planning on changing these but upon close inspection I see they are Mopar (which cost 50 bucks on Race and Street) and seem to be in good condition. Did Chrysler use Mopar brand as factory equipment??? I'm trying to determine if they are aftermarket already and I know Mopar is Chrylser's part company but it seems they would use some offbrand OEM stuff on their cars to save a few bucks.

Thanks everyone.
I'm pretty sure the PT came with all black cables and the MOPAR High Performance wires are blue (at least mine are) so if yours are blue it's a good chance they were already changed. They are probably good for 50-75,000 miles.

As far as the coil goes, I think I've only seen one owner say that a new coil fixed a problem and that's out of hundreds that changing plugs and wires solved all kinds of other problems. Do as Immegt says: if it ain't broke, don't fix it as far as the coil goes. Preventative maintenance on the plugs/wires, timing belt, water pump etc. is a different story.

MOPAR High Performance Wires
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 10 Sep 2009 at 01:16 pm.
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Old 10 Sep 2009, 01:19 pm
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

I have to agree with Crewzin, MOPAR HP wires are blue. Leave the coil alone the stock one is fine, Use the "sticky" on the Performance section for the plugs. The Modesty cover can be removed by just pulling it up. 3 pins just holds it on.
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Old 10 Sep 2009, 04:46 pm
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

And gap the plugs at 0.040.
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Old 11 Sep 2009, 06:58 am
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Default Re: Tune Up Dilemma

My two cents worth. Yes plugs. No coil. It has been my experience that coils are working or they are dead. Any dissenters out there?
As to the wires I'll be wishy wshy and say that although they look good they still could be worn enough to allow moisture to enter and you'll be in there anyway. You'll know if you need them one cold and damp day when the car runs rough until the engine heats up and the wires dry.
One easy test is to look the engine running in the dark. If you see any arcing from the wires they're bad. But so much blocks parts of the wires so this may not be useful.
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Old 29 Jun 2010, 04:13 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Tune Up Dilemma

Greetings.
I have a 2003 PT GT with the stock turbo. Reference the question part about the coil bing good or dead. I had a drop in fuel mileage of about 2mpg, suddenly. After 3 fill ups and the economy no better, I changed the plugs and they were a little burned away, but not too bad. After 2 more fill-ups and the mileage still not better, I regapped pluds, AND changed the wire. Still not improvement. A week or so later as I was accelerating up an onramp to an interstate, the car back fired and began to run extremely rough! I shut it off and looked under the hood, and could detect nothing amiss. I returned home with the car having only the power of 2 or perhaps 3 pulgs firing. At least that is how it felt. As it was about dark, I opend the hood, and restarted the engine, it barely would stutter idle, BUT when I looked under the intake cover to where the coil set the light show was really active. I shut it off and the next morning replaced the coil assembly. I used an OEM one, and all the problems went away and the mileage returned to normal. I suspect that the original cause of the drop in mileage must have been due to a small crack having opend in the coil. Before the obvious major problem, I noticed the idle was alittle rough, BUT it had been that way for the 2 years I had the auto! I believe the coil housing finally let go, there were 5 obvious cracks I could see after it was removed.
So mine continued to run, I suspect almost flawlessly, due to the computer altering the air gas mix etc., even though I am sure the coil had been arcing for quite a time.
It has been 3 months since the change and I am back to 22-24 mpg avg, high way and city combined just like it used to do!
Just my 2 cents and worth about 1.5 cents...lol
Bill Welch
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