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I changed my plugs today and this is what all four looked like. I apologize for my ignorance, any feedback is greatly appreciated.
-mike
 

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From the looks of it and my Haynes manual those plugs ran "Too Hot".
Symtoms:Blistered, white insulator, eroded electrode and absence of deposits. Results in shortened plug life.
Recommendation: Check for the correct plug heat range, over advanced ignigtion timing, lean fuel mixture, intake manifold vacuum leaks, sticking valves and insufficent engine cooling.

That's at least what your picture looks like, I hope this helps....
 

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you are running way too lean. I bought an AEM fuel presure regulator and it helped out a lot. I got that tan/brownish color which is closest to 14:1. Do you have a custom intake installed?
 

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I have a aem cai, just had the timing done a couple of months ago with timing belt/water pump, my engine temperature guage never goes too high, the only thing that I can think of is vacuum leaks.
 

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I've been in the same boat listen to me if you have an intake. Get an AEM fuel pressure regulator and it will fix this when you tune the adjustable fuel pressure.
 

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Teggyman on Feb/15/04 said:
you are running way too lean. I bought an AEM fuel presure regulator and it helped out a lot. I got that tan/brownish color which is closest to 14:1. Do you have a custom intake installed?
most common mistake: when to read the plugs.

If you read the plugs at idle, they reflect what's going on at idle and NOT what's going on where it counts...at the upper powerband location.

If you've ever seen an air:fuel ratio plot on a WOT dyno sheet, you will understand that the air:fuel ratio changes as the rpms go up. What happens at idle or at the low rpm, or at the mid rpm, is not the same as where it counts for performance, the upper rpms above 5000 rpm when you make a run.

If you are concerned about performance around town, you read the plugs for the rpms that you see for daily driving.


If you are concerned about performance for the 1/4 mile, you read the plugs immediately after a run.

As soon as you start cruising or idling, the plugs will show you the conditions at cruising or idling and not what happened during full throttle.


I hear people who have never fuel tuned properly and have i/h/c/e or i/h/e say that they run lean. BS!! The stock ECU runs way too much ignition retard and runs way too rich in the midrange. Why do you think all those people have black rear bumper stains over their 70 mm tip exhausts?

I suggest that you go to a 1 colder heat range plug and use a less conservative gap like 0.045 in. If it fouls, use a wider gap back up to the recommended 0.051 in.
 

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Yeah, I dont know what intake you guys are running, but last time I checked intakes dont increase power nearly enough to lean you out. You need more air to need more fuel, and intakes just dont get that much more in there.
 

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I don't have excess carbon deposits on/around my muffler tip at all. I also have advanced ignition.
 

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MD brings up a good point about pulling the plugs during idle/cruising situation. But with the plugs running too hot. The problem could be that the timing is off. Causing the car to run lean in idle/cruising condition. Which is not very common. So like MD said I would suggest running a colder plug. If you run your car hard often.

What I do is run the car hard. In 3rd gear most of the time. Then right after the run you shut the engine down. The reason is so the plugs show the condition of the engine right after you run. Not after you slow down and have the car in the lower rpm's. Which will not show you the actual condition of the engine in the high rpms. Sorry if im reposting what MD said. But this is what I do personally. I would then either run colder plugs or gap the plugs accordingly.

Sal
 

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Teggyman on Feb/15/04 said:
I don't have excess carbon deposits on/around my muffler tip at all. I also have advanced ignition.
Ray: you may want to take your car to a dyno that has a wideband O2 sensor that they can place in your exhaust tip. Do 3 runs after your car has been warmed up. Get the torque curve and the continuous air:fuel ratio vs. rpm graph. Tell me what you get.
 

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back in the days(they still might do this), AMA motocycles during practice runs would do plug readings by doing full throttle runs and then hitting the kill switch. Then coast into the pits to read the plugs. They did this a few times at, killing the motor in different situations. Would this be safe to do on our cars? This would be the only accurate way to read a plug IMO.
 

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Is there any concern about pulling the plugs while the engine is still hot?

Seems every once in a while there is someone who says that pulling the plugs while the engine is still hot, has a greater chance of stripping or "pulling" the threads out of the head. (while this may be an old auto myth).

Would there be any disadvantage to letting the car cool down completely? (provided you killed the engine right at a WOT run)
 

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StyleTEG on Feb/16/04 said:
Is there any concern about pulling the plugs while the engine is still hot?

Seems every once in a while there is someone who says that pulling the plugs while the engine is still hot, has a greater chance of stripping or "pulling" the threads out of the head. (while this may be an old auto myth).

Would there be any disadvantage to letting the car cool down completely? (provided you killed the engine right at a WOT run)
It's not a real issue with plugs, just use anti-sieze every time you replace them to be sure.

I know for a fact it's a problem with exhaust nuts... dont ask.
 
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