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Old 09-30-2010, 12:36 AM   #1
94AE
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Default Spark Plug Orientation

Hi. I did a quick search but couldn't find anything.

How would you key the plugs to the intake valves on a 94 DOHC? What is the correct direction in relation to the intake/exhaust manifolds?
I usually point them perpendicular to the direction of the intake manifold (so they open towards it).

Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

This is lifted directly from the NGK website-

"This is for racers only !!
Indexing refers to a process whereby auxiliary washers of varying thickness are placed under the spark plug's shoulder so that when the spark plug is tightened, the gap will point in the desired direction.

However, without running an engine on a dyno, it is impossible to gauge which type of indexing works best in your engine. While most engines like the spark plug's gap open to the intake valve, there are still other combinations that make more power with the gap pointed toward the exhaust valve.

In any case, engines with indexed spark plugs will typically make only a few more horsepower, typically less than 1% of total engine output. For a 500hp engine, you'd be lucky to get 5hp. While there are exceptions, the bottom line is that without a dyno, gauging success will be difficult."

Should you do it to a Saturn? Less than 1% of 125 hp? think you could feel that with the "butt dyno"?
Not.

On the 550hp 383 stroker in my drag car? Yes it's done, but can you feel the difference? Probably not.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

spencerforhire hit the nail right on the head.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
94AE
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

Thanks for the input. I know that it's of marginal improvement, but it's at least something I can do for a little better gas mileage.

My girlfriend's Hyundai has four arrows next to each cylinder that (I assumed) pointed to where the plugs should be indexed. We both thought the car ran smoother afterwards, but it's probably just our ignorant imaginations.

So, on the older DOHCs, what direction are the intake valves relative to the engine if viewing from the exhaust manifold side? Would the Chilton or Hayne's manuals have this information? I'm going to try to point the openings towards the intake valves next time I change the plugs.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

You might want to consider the standard measures for raising fuel economy; new plugs, wires, cleaning corrosion on the ignition coils and module/mounting bolts, changing oil and filter as needed including a new air filter. Most S-series cars suffering from mileage issues are usually about two major components not readily understood as time passes, the original engine coolant temperature sensor and thermostat.

The base configuration to establish (or re-establish) the factory estimated EPA mileage that may have been skewed for the worse by at least two parts not known to new members with mileage issues; replacing the original (two-wire) plastic coolant sensor and thermostat (if temps stay near the 1/4 mark). Use the Forum Jump below to find the How-to library about the ects, the brass replacement if not done yet and thermostat (195F) to raise operating temperatures and correct faulty air/fuel mixtures. Original plastic coolant sensors cause more fuel waste along with an old thermostat by running rich mixtures all the time and cooler than ideal operating temperatures. If these two parts have never been replaced, replace them immediately and there will be an immediate improvement.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

After I replaced my thermostat I got a noticable improvement in mileage. I didn't notice an improvement with the ECT but it did fix my issue of the car occasionally going into high idle at stop signs for no reason.

-Robert

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Original plastic coolant sensors cause more fuel waste along with an old thermostat by running rich mixtures all the time and cooler than ideal operating temperatures. If these two parts have never been replaced, replace them immediately and there will be an immediate improvement.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spark Plug Orientation

Awesome. Never thought about that. I will look at the coolant sensor and thermostat tomorrow. It tends to run overly-hot in the summer (can't let it idle too long without going into the red) and rich.

I have replaced much in the car except the engine and transmission. It has upgraded coils, new-ish indexed plugs, and Nology wires. I also had the back seats and sound insulation gutted, as well as the AC removed, to lessen the weight, as well as to compensate for the 1.75" suspension drop. Many other things.

When the odo worked, it got about 25MPG with a lot of stop-and-go around a small town. It regularly achieved 30mpg on the highway w/o using cruise control. If only I could test now, I could possibly find a better index.
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