1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sharing a lesson learned

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by Celerity, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    This actually happened a long time ago, but it's back to nip me in the ass today.

    A while ago in my girlfriend's 1999 Chevy Tracker, I was driving when suddenly the engine starting go haywire. Pops and and loud bangs, the engine hesitating so bad that it threw me forward in the seat. I thought I blew a bearing, wrist pin, or something equally as sinister.

    at 10:00 pm, I pulled over and checked it out. The engine has coil-on-plug type ignition, And the #2 cylinder was flashing occasionally with the pop and bangs. Turns out, the spark plug had exploded in the plug well.

    So I carefully removed the plug. The ceramic bits were everywhere. Luckily, I carry a mechanic's telescoping magnet with me everywhere I go, and a 10, 12 and 14mm deepwell with ratchet. I got the plug out, cleaned up the well of metal bits, and dismissed the ceramic bits as non-critical. I threaded a new plug (Which I don't keep) and made it home to inspect the trouble.

    The spark plug exploded, like I said, and the plug had a path for fuel vapors to escape from the cylinder. Occasionally there would be enough fuel vapor for the coil to hit, and create combustion ABOVE the plug.

    Ultimately, through debris on the thread and permanent head damage, I had to re-tap the hole (Which was a pain in the arse) and try to keep damage control. Well, I failed. After that, the motor went to shit.

    So my lesson learned: Don't just clean up plugs. Ceramics can develop hair-line cracks, and under heat those cracks become large enough to make the entire plug explode.

    Change your spark plugs, and insert them with ultra-care. Torque them down to specs using a torque wrench. If a plug comes out showing poor wear (fouled and whatnot) a sanding or cleaning is enough to get you home - but you MUST replace them. I kept cleaning them thinking nothing of it.

    -> Steve
     
  2. B16CRX

    B16CRX Senior Member

    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    damn.
     
  3. Estorvito

    Estorvito Soy Boricua

    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    wow...That must've sucked...
    But hey..Good iNfo ..
     
  4. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

    Messages:
    49,693
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Location:
    Retirement Home
    or, don't use cermaic based plugs?

    personally, i don't see the point. Sure, its a better conductive material, but when you have xxxx volts going through it, does it REALLY matter?

    good advice none-the-less.... i just think most of these ceramic multi-tipped, platinum jobbers are all hype..
     
  5. phyregod

    phyregod !!YTINASNI

    Messages:
    9,449
    Likes Received:
    225
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    Central Texas


    :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

    OMFG.. and pissedoffsol, too.

    Dont use ceramic plugs?? Ceramic is a better conductor??!?!?!?! BWAHAHAHAHA

    **edit**

    [​IMG]

    CLICKY to learn about spark plugs!
     
  6. Pewble

    Pewble Senior Member

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    lol. its like a super-double motor~! combustion below AND above the spark plugs. nice! im converting later today, to double combustion engine.
     
  7. jdmeg6

    jdmeg6 Senior Member

    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    So Cal
    :werd: Ceramic doesn't conduct electricity, it acts as an insulator
     
  8. civicious

    civicious FüK-VTEC VIP

    Messages:
    9,855
    Likes Received:
    629
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX


    Dumb, the breakfast of Cummiskeys.
     
  9. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

    Messages:
    49,693
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Location:
    Retirement Home
    wow, i just got owned.

    but whatever... i still don't see the need....
     
  10. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Multi-tipping is hype. And Platinum is hype too - But if .01 of a second is important to you, then it's not hype anymore.

    For your common schmoe in a Civic, yeah. useless.

    Iridium is where it's at :) To get a spark at a cool gap that's powerful enough is prime to me. By changing the materials at the probe end, you've dramatically changed it's arc jump versus the setting of the gap.
     
  11. confusatron

    confusatron Senior Member

    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago area
    Spark plugs do nothing for your performance. They can only deliver the spark that your ignition coil sends to them. All spark plugs can do is maximize the efficiency with which that voltage is delivered. In other words, putting a better than stock conductive material spark plug in an ignition system that is delivering a stock voltage based on what the ECU tells it to send, can only deliver stock voltage; or so I have read. (see how I weaseled out of that one?)

    It's like putting $200 spark plug wires on your car: spark plug wires just deliver the current, they can't increase the current beyond the level that is sent from the coil, all they can do is provide minimal resistance and good conductivity.

    http://www.magnecor.com/magnecor1/main.htm

    There is a lot of good information on that site about myths and hype regarding ignition plugs and wires and stuff.
     
  12. civicious

    civicious FüK-VTEC VIP

    Messages:
    9,855
    Likes Received:
    629
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX


    :huh:
     
  13. Slo86GT

    Slo86GT Super Moderator

    Messages:
    3,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Location:
    Memphis - Hellhole of the South
    Read my lips: NGK Wires, NGK Plugs, MSD Coil, MSD modified external coil cap, Honda rotor.


    It's all cheap to replace, works very well for the cost, and I never had a problem with it besides a used coil I got off H-T that was DOA. $35 replacement coil from Summit, and my car hasn't had a problem since.

    I just wish there was a relocation kit for the entire distributor inniards that wasn't $$$$$
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page