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I'm more confused than ever about platinum spark plug gapping by Kitskaboodle
Started on: 07-01-2014 11:18 PM
Replies: 16 (1121 views)
Last post by: Pocket on 07-05-2014 09:35 AM
Kitskaboodle
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Report this Post07-01-2014 11:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My stepdaughter is now driving a 96 Saturn SL2 with the 1.9L DOHC engine. I bought some Bosch double platinum plugs for it. (#8100) But, I am kind of confused about whether these plugs should be gapped for my application? I couldn't find a technical assistance number for Bosch plugs. I ask this because the guy at Autozone showed me his screen and it said these plugs should not be gapped. On another note, some spark plug boxes say that they are pre-gapped but I don't trust that. By the way, I have never been a fan of platinum plugs but for some reason the only plugs listed for this car & engine are platinum. I guess that means I'm forced to use them.

So, what determines whether platinum plugs need gaping or not?
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Formula88
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Report this Post07-01-2014 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is this what they look like?


Try to gap plugs with that tiny center electrode and you'll probably break the electrode or crack the insulator and ruin the plug.

[This message has been edited by Formula88 (edited 07-01-2014).]

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Doug85GT
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Report this Post07-01-2014 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Doug85GTSend a Private Message to Doug85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can gap it with the correct tools. Many spark plug gap tools have a special arm that is used to bend the ground electrode. You should never pry against the center electrode.

You can buy a relatively inexpensive tool to gap the plug. It looks like this when you gap it:



There are more expensive tools to do it:




Even though they are platinum plugs, they should still be gapped for your vehicle. Many plugs come with the correct gap, but it is always good to double check.

[This message has been edited by Doug85GT (edited 07-01-2014).]

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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post07-01-2014 11:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My daily driver takes NGK laser iridium plugs. The ground on those will break off if you try to gap them and at $25 a piece, I'm not budgeting to experiment.

I check the gap at the parts counter with a wire gap tool when I get them in to make sure the measure out to spec. So long as they're close, I roll.
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Doug85GT
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Doug85GTSend a Private Message to Doug85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by skuzzbomer:

My daily driver takes NGK laser iridium plugs. The ground on those will break off if you try to gap them and at $25 a piece, I'm not budgeting to experiment.

I check the gap at the parts counter with a wire gap tool when I get them in to make sure the measure out to spec. So long as they're close, I roll.



I used NGK laser iridium plugs in my Turbo Dodge Stealth for years. I gapped them myself all the time, which is necessary since I am running higher than stock boost. They came gapped at about .035 and I needed them gapped at .028. It was easy to gap them. They are not as brittle as you think. You just have to take your time, and pay attention to what you are doing.

Also, I would find a different place to buy your plugs. You could probably find those same plugs for half or less. I never paid over $9 each for my NGK li plugs.
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zetabird
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Report this Post07-02-2014 07:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for zetabirdClick Here to Email zetabirdSend a Private Message to zetabirdEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
autozones computers say not to gap them because most people break them trying to do it, they usualy dont know how to do it the right way.its not a big deal if your carefull, i always checked them when i sold them there i know how those boxes are treated.....
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heybjorn
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Report this Post07-02-2014 08:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for heybjornClick Here to Email heybjornSend a Private Message to heybjornEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wife has a small jewelry hammer that works great on plugs.
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V8 Vega
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Report this Post07-02-2014 11:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for V8 VegaClick Here to Email V8 VegaSend a Private Message to V8 VegaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Why make yourself a bunch of extra work and possible expense? If the instructions say don't gap them then don't.
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84fiero123
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Is this what they look like?


Try to gap plugs with that tiny center electrode and you'll probably break the electrode or crack the insulator and ruin the plug.



Never heard of trying to do anything with the center electrode to gap a plug, that is not the right way to gap a plug.

This is the proper way to gap a spark plug !

 
quote
Originally posted by Doug85GT:

You can gap it with the correct tools. Many spark plug gap tools have a special arm that is used to bend the ground electrode. You should never pry against the center electrode.

You can buy a relatively inexpensive tool to gap the plug. It looks like this when you gap it:



There are more expensive tools to do it:



Even though they are platinum plugs, they should still be gapped for your vehicle. Many plugs come with the correct gap, but it is always good to double check.



Like he said, all it takes is for just one person to drop the box the plugs come in and the gap is wrong, and we all know how well people who unload trucks handle parts.

Steve

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Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

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Formula88
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:
Never heard of trying to do anything with the center electrode to gap a plug, that is not the right way to gap a plug


So you're saying you should use the gapping tool the way the engineers designed it to be used?

When checking the gap, your feeler gage has to contact the electrode. Yes, if you're careful and know what you're doing you can do it, but as has been posted they are more prone to breakage and most people aren't careful enough to avoid damaging the plug. I carefully check the gap, but I've never had to adjuste one that came preset. Old style plugs like on the Fiero I routinely have to re-gap before installation.

[This message has been edited by Formula88 (edited 07-02-2014).]

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84fiero123
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:


So you're saying you should use the gapping tool the way the engineers designed it to be used?

When checking the gap, your feeler gage has to contact the electrode. Yes, if you're careful and know what you're doing you can do it, but as has been posted they are more prone to breakage and most people aren't careful enough to avoid damaging the plug. I carefully check the gap, but I've never had to adjuste one that came preset. Old style plugs like on the Fiero I routinely have to re-gap before installation.



Gee it wasn't invented by an enginer just some poor shmuck like me and is the recommended tool for adjusting those type of plugs.

http://www.google.com/url?s...&bvm=bv.70138588,d.c Wc

Its a PDF don't know any other way to link to it.

Steve
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Most plugs I've bought had a cardboard tube around the threaded end to keep the gap even if dropped in the box.
But I still check them.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 07-02-2014).]

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Formula88
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Report this Post07-02-2014 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Most plugs I've bought had a cardboard tube around the threaded end to keep the gap even if dropped in the box.
But I still check them.



Same here. Older plugs didn't usually, but the ones I've bought in recent years have.
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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post07-03-2014 01:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Doug85GT:


Also, I would find a different place to buy your plugs. You could probably find those same plugs for half or less. I never paid over $9 each for my NGK li plugs.


Same technology =/= same plugs.

2) RE7CL
2) RE9BT

If you find me someplace that will sell them for $9 each, I will clear their whole stock
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Patrick's Dad
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Report this Post07-03-2014 12:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick's DadClick Here to visit Patrick's Dad's HomePageClick Here to Email Patrick's DadSend a Private Message to Patrick's DadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just put Bosch Platinum plugs in my wife's T&C. Paid $5 each. Didn't gap, per instructions. Nothing's exploded yet. Will keep you updated.
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masospaghetti
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Report this Post07-03-2014 02:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for masospaghettiClick Here to Email masospaghettiSend a Private Message to masospaghettiEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just FYI - If my memory serves correctly - your Saturn, like many other GM and Ford vehicles of the era, used a waste-spark ignition system. A waste spark system fires each plug twice per combustion cycle, instead of just once like a normal ignition system. This means the electrode essentially has half the life of a regular plug.

More importantly, a waste spark system reverses the current on each firing event. On a single platinum plug, the platinum is used on the electrode that becomes sacrificial (I forget if its the anode or cathode). If you use a single platinum plug, the side without the platinum will wear prematurely, as it wasn't designed for a waste spark system.

That's why the double platinum is a good idea to use.

[This message has been edited by masospaghetti (edited 07-03-2014).]

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Pocket
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Report this Post07-05-2014 09:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PocketSend a Private Message to PocketEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by masospaghetti:

Just FYI - If my memory serves correctly - your Saturn, like many other GM and Ford vehicles of the era, used a waste-spark ignition system. A waste spark system fires each plug twice per combustion cycle, instead of just once like a normal ignition system. This means the electrode essentially has half the life of a regular plug.

More importantly, a waste spark system reverses the current on each firing event. On a single platinum plug, the platinum is used on the electrode that becomes sacrificial (I forget if its the anode or cathode). If you use a single platinum plug, the side without the platinum will wear prematurely, as it wasn't designed for a waste spark system.

That's why the double platinum is a good idea to use.



What are you smoking?

Waste spark means it fires twice. Two reverse the direction, the cyl head would have to discharge through the ground strap. Ask anyone whoever ever hooked a battery up backwards how that works out in the end

Skip the exotic plugs
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