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CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

 
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 06:21 pm
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Exclamation CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

Iím getting ready to change out my spark plugs and wires. Iíve read at least 40 threads on this forum specific to this topic, but I canít seem to find a consensus for ideal spark plug gap for a completely stock 2003 2.4L Dream PT Cruiser Turbo (60,000 miles) using brand new stock Champion copper plugs (470, RE14MCC5), new MSD ignition wires (thank you Nitro for the advice & info!) and original stock ignition coil. Under my hood on my sticker Chrysler indicates .050 is the proper gap. For my car PT DIY recommends .048 - .053, but if rough idle is a concern then PT DIY recommends .042 to smooth out idle. Yet here on the forum Iíve read anything from .032 - .050 is recommended as a general rule. I donít race and I wonít be doing any engine upgrades or computer modifications. I am not throwing any engine codes. My main goal is to increase MPG if possible and ensure a smooth idle/overall ride while not losing any performance or causing any internal damage from an improper plug gap. Not sure if it matters for spark plug gap, but I live in OH so we experience cold winters. I appreciate all feedback! Thank you!
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 06:35 pm
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

For the Non-turbo, Chrysler came out with a TSB that changes the stock gap from .050in to .040in.

Most of the Turbo owners are saying they are using somewhere around .030in
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 06:43 pm
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
For the Non-turbo, Chrysler came out with a TSB that changes the stock gap from .050in to .040in.

Most of the Turbo owners are saying they are using somewhere around .030in
Thanks Crewzin! What can I expect would be the differences in how my PT runs in terms of smoothness, MPG, idle, etc. gapping it .030 vs say .050?
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 06:59 pm
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

Hopefully the owners of the Turbo's will come along and answer that one.
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

There is a lot to know about spark plug gapping.

I only recommend a single ground electrode spark plug and starting gap .042
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Old 29 Jan 2014, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

Quote:
Originally Posted by EcalPT View Post
Thanks Crewzin! What can I expect would be the differences in how my PT runs in terms of smoothness, MPG, idle, etc. gapping it .030 vs say .050?
This question can not be accurately answered until you do and post your engines mechanical condition.

You first would need to refine your goal. What do you want most?
Then you would need to know the mechanical condition of your PT .

At this point if you want optimum performance from your spark plug are you willing to denote several hours of trails to determine the best gap and possible heat range.

What one person uses and claims works best for them may not work the same in your PT.

This is also why my previous response recommendation.

I have posted some good technical information on this forum somewhere about spark plug? May some one knows where it is?

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Old 30 Jan 2014, 12:27 am
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

If you see posting stating gaps down around .030, read carefully because those cases may be set ups with higher than stock boost. High boost is similar to high compression and in those conditions, the spark can have difficulty jumping the larger range of gaps. The smaller gaps probably aren't needed at stock, factory boost levels. A bigger gap has some pluses that a smaller gap doesn't so don't go smaller unless it's needed for your particular engine set up.

Plugs are changed because of things like oil and carbon fouling, usually caused by bad tunes, but they also need to be changed because the electrode tips gradually wear away over time which causes the gap to grow larger and may reach a point at which the spark can't consistently bridge the gap any longer.

Modern ignitions are much more forgiving of spark plug neglect than they used to be years ago. This is to eliminate a lot of the air pollution problems. The fact that they operate as well as they do is actually a side benefit of the pollution "fight". Of course, regular maintenance and attention is always better than no maintenance. And a plug check or change is "quality time" for any owner to spend with his/her car.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 07:10 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
There is a lot to know about spark plug gapping.

I only recommend a single ground electrode spark plug and starting gap .042
Nitro, this is a great starting point. Thank you for the advice here and in your subsequent post regarding hours of testing. Much appreciated !!
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 07:16 am
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Thumbs up Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
If you see posting stating gaps down around .030, read carefully because those cases may be set ups with higher than stock boost. High boost is similar to high compression and in those conditions, the spark can have difficulty jumping the larger range of gaps. The smaller gaps probably aren't needed at stock, factory boost levels. A bigger gap has some pluses that a smaller gap doesn't so don't go smaller unless it's needed for your particular engine set up.

Plugs are changed because of things like oil and carbon fouling, usually caused by bad tunes, but they also need to be changed because the electrode tips gradually wear away over time which causes the gap to grow larger and may reach a point at which the spark can't consistently bridge the gap any longer.

Modern ignitions are much more forgiving of spark plug neglect than they used to be years ago. This is to eliminate a lot of the air pollution problems. The fact that they operate as well as they do is actually a side benefit of the pollution "fight". Of course, regular maintenance and attention is always better than no maintenance. And a plug check or change is "quality time" for any owner to spend with his/her car.
2step, thank you for the insightful info! This is very helpful. Where you wrote, "A bigger gap has some pluses that a smaller gap doesn't so don't go smaller unless it's needed for your particular engine set up." Don't go smaller than which gap? The .050 recommended by Chrysler or did you have another gap in mind? And what are the pluses of a bigger gap? Many thanks !!!
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 09:25 am
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Default Re: CONSENSUS ON SPARK PLUG GAP FOR STOCK í03 2.4L TURBO???

The Transformer (coil pack) that we have on the PT Cruiser does not have the energy for large gaps exceeding a *given load and engine speed. When you factor in the condition of the engine there is no reasonable "guess" that can be intelligently made for a *maximum gap on a spark plug without testing.

Electricity is by all definitions very slow. The larger demand for energy is quickly used up with high ohm spark plug wires, high engine speeds,larger gaping of spark plugs etc.

It all boils down to the Initial Flame Kernel Development anyway! This goes back to my recommendation which seems to be accepted by most SAE's and professional racers in which simple bench testing will show that the best overall spark plug for optimum engine operation is still a single grounding spark plug with an approximate gap of between .040 and .044. So that is why I state to use an .042 gap as a good starting point or generally a good gap to run.

Who knows really what was on Chrysler mind when they recommend the gap of .050 for using the recommended brand and type spark plug?
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