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Spark Plug Gap

 
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Old 24 Dec 2014, 03:48 pm
mdfrodolives's Avatar
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Default Spark Plug Gap

Hello, everyone. Long time, no see.

There have been few problems with my 2003 non-turbo PT in the past few years, so I have been working on my 1974 Volkswagen Bug since I got it in 2012.

Anyway, I went to start the PT this morning--ambient temperature about 45 degrees F--and it idled kinda rough. Not too bad, but a noticeable difference from normal. I go to take off--slowly--and the roughness stays and the check engine light comes on--solid, not blinking. I go a block and decide to park the car back home. I make a U-turn and by the time I get to my driveway, the check engine light goes off, the engine idles smoothy. so, I back out of the driveway again and go to the store and the vet with no issues whatsoever? What the hell?

So, since I haven't changed the plugs or plug wires in 23,000 miles, I figure it's time to do so.

I went to the "Spark Plug" sticky on this forum to refresh myself on how to do this, and I find that many are commenting to gap the stock plugs to .040 instead of the recommended .048 to .053.

If I remember correctly, I had installed new plugs (the last time) with a gap of .50--and the car has run very well since then. Should I really gap the plugs to the new .040?

Why?

Thanks,

Tim
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Old 24 Dec 2014, 03:59 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug Gap

On a single electrode spark plug like Champion Copper Plus I recommend .042.

to save debates from some members that like .040 which will work as well

Why is a very loooong explanation and I think has been covered a few times on this forum.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 24 Dec 2014 at 04:03 pm.
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Old 24 Dec 2014, 07:44 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug Gap

Well, I changed the plugs, plug wires, air filter (it was about time), and the upper manifold gaskets.

The engine started up. No issues.

While changing the plugs, number one had about an inch of oil down in the plug hole. Those rocker-cover gaskets were changed by the dealer while the car was still on warranty--but that was probably eight years ago. Still, it seems odd that those gaskets should need replacement again--number one, anyway. It's not as if there is any oil pressure on them.

I hope the newer gaskets are better.

Tim
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Old 25 Dec 2014, 02:32 am
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Default Re: Spark Plug Gap

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfrodolives View Post
Well, I changed the plugs, plug wires, air filter (it was about time), and the upper manifold gaskets.

The engine started up. No issues.

While changing the plugs, number one had about an inch of oil down in the plug hole. Those rocker-cover gaskets were changed by the dealer while the car was still on warranty--but that was probably eight years ago. Still, it seems odd that those gaskets should need replacement again--number one, anyway. It's not as if there is any oil pressure on them.

I hope the newer gaskets are better.

Tim
What gap did you use?
You change your own oil? Isn't #1 by oil filler? Easy to spill oil while filling....
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Old 25 Dec 2014, 07:42 pm
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Default Re: Spark Plug Gap

The gap was .048. The dealer gave me the original plugs, Champion RE14MCC5. The TSB called for RE16MC (whatever) if changing the gap to .040. Since I didn't have those--and it was Christmas Eve, I just went ahead and did the deed, using the old-type plugs with the old gap.

I remember doing this before and having no issues. From what I remember, colder climates were the reason for the gap change.

And I have changed my own oil for the last three oil changes. Of course, whoever changed my oil before that may have spilled over into #1. The plugs haven't been changed in a long time, and many oil changes have been done since the last plug change. Hopefully, the last guy spilled.

I do not spill any oil. I always use a funnel.

Tim
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Old 26 Dec 2014, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Spark Plug Gap

The gap isn't a big deal - gap widens with time, so you may need to replace sooner than if you gapped closer.
Just keep an eye on the oil in # 1 - if you get no misfire or lose no oil, it really isn't a big deal.
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"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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