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Old 09-14-2017, 05:58 AM   #81
Baron5867
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
(A horror story every time I try to remove the wires---"mutilation time" so I always just buy new)
I have found this tool very helpful, in addition to keeping the boots lightly greased with dielectric.

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Old 09-14-2017, 07:46 AM   #82
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Originally Posted by Baron5867 View Post
I have found this tool very helpful, in addition to keeping the boots lightly greased with dielectric.
Thanks, I will give that a try! This is the pair I threw out. Cheap and did not work.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lisle-Too...&wl13=&veh=sem

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Old 09-14-2017, 01:02 PM   #83
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
Thanks, I will give that a try! This is the pair I threw out. Cheap and did not work.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lisle-Too...&wl13=&veh=sem
I could see those having a problem. The style I linked to above works great... put the curved section of the tool against the plug down past where the boot ends. Give a small, sharp pull on the tool while pulling on the top of the boot with the other hand. Cuts way down on "mutilations".

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Old 09-14-2017, 01:04 PM   #84
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Originally Posted by Baron5867 View Post
I could see those having a problem. The style I linked to above works great... put the curved section of the tool against the plug down past where the boot ends. Give a small, sharp pull on the tool while pulling on the top of the boot with the other hand. Cuts way down on "mutilations".
Thanks---the next time I'm out to Walmart I'm going to pick one up.

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Old 09-15-2017, 03:39 AM   #85
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Not running so well now. Drove around to charge the battery in some stop and go traffic and the engine is starting to "miss". Haven't pulled the plugs yet but afraid to drive it much further. Afraid to even do the compression test on it now too. I may just take it in to the repair shop because this is something I probably won't be able to fix, myself. Will get a look at the plugs, tomorrow, in the light.

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Old 09-15-2017, 07:39 AM   #86
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

You may have real damage from that broken plug. They are fouling out rapidly now.

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Old 09-15-2017, 09:07 PM   #87
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Took the car in to the shop today. The code is gone but she couldn't tell me what they did to fix it! Now, this is a great garage and the woman behind the counter if Vietnamese, which is great. However, I can hardly understand a word she says. If I "gathered" 10% of what she is saying, that's a lot. With that said, and I'm just guessing here, is there a chance that that 340 code could appear if the boots on the spark plugs are not completely seated??? That's the only thing I can come up with and besides, the car did start to "miss", late yesterday. She told me that they looked at the plugs and noted their condition. So, they removed the plug wires and maybe when they put them back on, they did get a good connection? All I know is that the code no longer appears and the car is running great.
I pulled the plugs again and the two attachments are the same four plugs, just from opposite directions. (The photos, of the plug locations, are not the firing order but both pics were taken when standing in front of the car, looking at the engine.)
Still an oil problem, especially at position #3.
I did do a compression test and was very pleasantly surprised. The results were all within about 5 p.s.i. of each other! Within the first, maybe 6 strokes, the compression went up to about 175 p.s.i. on all four cylinders. Then, when the strokes went up to about 12, on all four cylinders the p.s.i. was about 205/210 p.s.i. Fantastic I think. Very little difference in compression on all four cylinders. Very happy here.
So, ruling out compression problems, why are the plugs so oily? And what would be the fix for that? Ever since I had the car overhauled about 3 1/2 years ago, I've only burned synthetic oil and changed it when it looked dirty. But I would like to take care of the oily plug problem. That can raise cane with the catalytic converter. Any suggestions?? Thanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Plugs four 1.jpg (170.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Plugs four 2.jpg (164.9 KB, 9 views)

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:06 AM   #88
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
Took the car in to the shop today. The code is gone but she couldn't tell me what they did to fix it! Now, this is a great garage and the woman behind the counter if Vietnamese, which is great. However, I can hardly understand a word she says. If I "gathered" 10% of what she is saying, that's a lot. With that said, and I'm just guessing here, is there a chance that that 340 code could appear if the boots on the spark plugs are not completely seated??? That's the only thing I can come up with and besides, the car did start to "miss", late yesterday. She told me that they looked at the plugs and noted their condition. So, they removed the plug wires and maybe when they put them back on, they did get a good connection? All I know is that the code no longer appears and the car is running great.
I pulled the plugs again and the two attachments are the same four plugs, just from opposite directions. (The photos, of the plug locations, are not the firing order but both pics were taken when standing in front of the car, looking at the engine.)
Still an oil problem, especially at position #3.
I did do a compression test and was very pleasantly surprised. The results were all within about 5 p.s.i. of each other! Within the first, maybe 6 strokes, the compression went up to about 175 p.s.i. on all four cylinders. Then, when the strokes went up to about 12, on all four cylinders the p.s.i. was about 205/210 p.s.i. Fantastic I think. Very little difference in compression on all four cylinders. Very happy here.
So, ruling out compression problems, why are the plugs so oily? And what would be the fix for that? Ever since I had the car overhauled about 3 1/2 years ago, I've only burned synthetic oil and changed it when it looked dirty. But I would like to take care of the oily plug problem. That can raise cane with the catalytic converter. Any suggestions?? Thanks.
The 340 will cause a miss and is most likely a failing plug connection to the plug.

The excessive oiling of #3 is an issue and we now know the problem is not the result of that cracked plug.

If you buy the correct plugs, NGK BKR4ESA-11 or non platinum equivalent and change them regularly you might get #3 and #4 back to functioning properly. Plugs will not last thousands of miles driving in your environment, too much stop and go operation. Once a plug fails you will be crudding up the rings and there is NOTHING in a can that will easily clean them out. Proper operation is what usually fixes this problem though. Plugs and wires are cheap so replace them as a complete set routinely.


I would pitch those plugs and continue to replace regularly. This will take some time. Plug wires are not designed for multiple connect disconnect cycles so they will also soon fail. To clean this up you can not tolerate poor ignition in any of these 4 cylinders. Fiddling with heat ranges is not the thing to be doing now either as the operating conditions should change with proper maintenance.

Remember your rebuild shop would not install pistons with proper drain back ports or drill holes so you have a stock design with the OEM oil consumption issue. You must maintain that level at the full mark and not allow it to drop more than 1 or 2 diamonds below full before adding. Oil temperature is an issue in that part of the country.

Last edited by OldNuc; 09-16-2017 at 08:12 AM..

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #89
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The 340 will cause a miss and is most likely a failing plug connection to the plug.

The excessive oiling of #3 is an issue and we now know the problem is not the result of that cracked plug.

If you buy the correct plugs, NGK BKR4ESA-11 or non platinum equivalent and change them regularly you might get #3 and #4 back to functioning properly. Plugs will not last thousands of miles driving in your environment, too much stop and go operation. Once a plug fails you will be crudding up the rings and there is NOTHING in a can that will easily clean them out. Proper operation is what usually fixes this problem though. Plugs and wires are cheap so replace them as a complete set routinely.
Thanks for that info. Considering I am in stop and go, city traffic all the time, how often should the plugs be changed?? Or is this just a matter of taking them out for inspection from time to time? Once a year? Every six months? And I am using the NGK BKR4ESA-11's. And to get me over this "cleaning process" should I just change the plugs in a month or so? Thank you.

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:39 AM   #90
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

I would install the #3 new plug about 1/8 of a turn after the gasket contacts the head, just tight enough it does not rattle out. I would check this plug weekly and plan on a complete 4 plug replacement based on the condition of #3. That will determine the frequency and it may be weekly. As I mentioned the plug is properly gaped from the factory so all you have to do is visually verify that there is a gap and all 4 look OK, do not measure or adjust the gap as it is not required. If you find one that is closed up take it back as it has been dropped and is no good. These plugs have a thick paper collar to protect that factory gap setting. Check that the thick paper is not crushed as it will show a dropped plug by having a damaged end on it. The only thing that will fix this is to keep those cylinders all firing reliably. When they quit firing they really pump oil up in the cylinder and that is hot enough to cook the oil.

Once you have an idea of the life of #3 then you have the starting interval for changing plugs. You can probably order these plugs from RockAuto in groups of 4 at a lower cost than the local parts store. A couple weeks of reliable firing should show changes in plug condition. This is when you get to reevaluate what is going on here.

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:51 AM   #91
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I would install the #3 new plug about 1/8 of a turn after the gasket contacts the head, just tight enough it does not rattle out. I would check this plug weekly and plan on a complete 4 plug replacement based on the condition of #3. That will determine the frequency and it may be weekly. As I mentioned the plug is properly gaped from the factory so all you have to do is visually verify that there is a gap and all 4 look OK, do not measure or adjust the gap as it is not required. If you find one that is closed up take it back as it has been dropped and is no good. These plugs have a thick paper collar to protect that factory gap setting. Check that the thick paper is not crushed as it will show a dropped plug by having a damaged end on it. The only thing that will fix this is to keep those cylinders all firing reliably. When they quit firing they really pump oil up in the cylinder and that is hot enough to cook the oil.

Once you have an idea of the life of #3 then you have the starting interval for changing plugs. You can probably order these plugs from RockAuto in groups of 4 at a lower cost than the local parts store. A couple weeks of reliable firing should show changes in plug condition. This is when you get to reevaluate what is going on here.
Will do and I ordered these from Rock Auto, which was the cheapest option even with delivery. I will stock up and buy a lot ---- cheaper in the long run, considering shipping fees. Thank you and I will check the plug and probably replace them all, in another week. Then I will re-evaluate with the next batch. Thanks, OldNuc!

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:53 AM   #92
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Post back what you find so we keep up on progress.

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Old 09-16-2017, 09:58 AM   #93
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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Post back what you find so we keep up on progress.
Thank you, I will, with photos of the plugs. Thanks to all for the help! Oh, and OldNuc, that compression set is great! Not only did it come with 4 different plug thread sizes, the one on the end of the actual hose was the size I needed already. So, less chance of error/leaks during the test. Seems like a good, reliable set.

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Old 09-16-2017, 10:37 AM   #94
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

That is a tool that will last a lifetime and serve you well.

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Old 09-16-2017, 02:04 PM   #95
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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That is a tool that will last a lifetime and serve you well.
Yes, so glad I finally have one. And at such a great deal. WallyWorld (Made in China but--- what the hey)

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Old 09-24-2017, 08:53 PM   #96
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

Just inspected the four plugs and three were "black" but not badly. The one other plug was grey in color which I was surprised that the two good cylinders were not grey. I bought more plugs from Rock Auto and now have 5 sets of four to install over time. Since the black carbon on the ends of the plugs were not that much different than what I saw after the first two days of doing this, should I just continue using these plugs and monitoring weekly or change them out now? Thanks for the advice!

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Old 09-24-2017, 09:19 PM   #97
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

I would monitor for another week and if degraded then change.

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Old 09-24-2017, 09:20 PM   #98
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

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I would monitor for another week and if degraded then change.
Sounds good. I was concerned that the carbon buildup was on three plugs now but as stated, not that bad. Will recheck next week. Thank you!

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Old 09-24-2017, 09:47 PM   #99
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

And yes, I am concerned about just how much "pulling and tugging" on these plug wires will do them in. I've got a lot of lube on the whole spark plug, white porcelain body to allow the wires to be removed easier. Hopefully, they will last.

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Old 09-24-2017, 09:55 PM   #100
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Default Re: Spark plug ceramic tip broken in engine

They should. If a single wire fails it will affect both plugs on that coil and it will be obvious.

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