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post #1 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on what did this? (spark plug pics)

After getting the P0300 code thrice in the last week (after pulling the negative terminal off the battery to reset it each time), I decided to swap my plugs. Total miles at time of change: 41,500 (exactly). The gaps are all over the place (comparing the 6 plugs) but I'm really curious about the one on the right in the top pic.. This particular plug was the middle cylinder on the passenger side. I've never pulled a plug this bad from any vehicle or motorcycle I've owned...

Apologies, I thought about documenting each plug from each cylinder, but I was standing on my bumper with the Jeep off-angle, in the woods when I made the swap. I can only say (with certainty) that the far right plug came from the middle cylinder on the passenger side:




Nasty:


Gnarly:


Profile of the "finger" (which is what I call it) looks like a duck who was shot sideways through the eyes:


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post #2 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 02:53 PM
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My guess the electrode was banged against the block as it was being installed.

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipewa View Post
My guess the electrode was banged against the block as it was being installed.
Holy Toledo (literally) - these were the factory plugs.. Do you think the metal being all torn up was a result of the electrode being curled inwards, or do you think it may have been somewhat gnarled before installation?


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post #4 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepingGreen View Post
Holy Toledo (literally) - these were the factory plugs.. Do you think the metal being all torn up was a result of the electrode being curled inwards, or do you think it may have been somewhat gnarled before installation?
IMO probably due to the curved electrode. I'd be doing a compression check on that cylinder just to be safe.

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well, needless to say, it runs MUCH better now - much smoother idle. I installed Bosch Platinum +4's.. Seems like the I'm getting better mileage now as well - which isn't a surprise, considering at least 1 cylinder wasn't firing some of the time...


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post #6 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipewa View Post
My guess the electrode was banged against the block as it was being installed.
I agree. Your lucky nothing else happened. Great save.

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post #7 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asphalt assault View Post
I agree. Your lucky nothing else happened. Great save.
That was my first thought once I saw it! If the "finger" broke off and fell down, things would be much worse! I regret not doing it much sooner.. I think if/when I get a new Jeep, I will quickly swap the OEM plugs.. Odds are that the vast, vast majority are fine but for $35 bucks and 30 minutes, I'd do it..


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post #8 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:42 PM
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Pretty interesting! I'd at least pull the factory plugs and inspect them. After all, I think they only QC check something like every 500th vehicle... At least, that's the number I've heard by word of mouth.

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post #9 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
Pretty interesting! I'd at least pull the factory plugs and inspect them. After all, I think they only QC check something like every 500th vehicle... At least, that's the number I've heard by word of mouth.
Well, that was my first thought.. Then I thought - well, I scraped my knuckles to the damn bone taking them out (passenger side was a bit of a pain) - why not put better plugs back in?

Seriously, though - it frightens and upsets me that not only was one plug majorly defective (whether it was the installation process or not) but if you look at the set, the gaps are all over the place - it looks like they were all bounced off the ground a few times.. Really upsetting to think about. How much fuel $$ have I wasted over the last 4 years because of this?


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post #10 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 04:33 PM
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My first thought was a chunk of carbon.
Carbon build up from low quality fuel can do that. It can also cause the difference in plug gap, as in smaller pieces hitting and breaking apart inside the combustion chamber.

Do you run a decent grade of fuel? Or run fuel system cleaner?
How did the compression test come out? Did you compare the reading to another cylinder?

Also I believe those Champion plugs are copper core, and should be replaced at 30k miles.

edit: Sorry I just caught the difference in color between the plugs as well. You may want to check on your o2 sensor or for a vacuum leak if the three lighter colored plugs are all from the passenger side.

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-21-2013, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfj aka tambil View Post
My first thought was a chunk of carbon.
Carbon build up from low quality fuel can do that. It can also cause the difference in plug gap, as in smaller pieces hitting and breaking apart inside the combustion chamber.

Do you run a decent grade of fuel? Or run fuel system cleaner?
How did the compression test come out? Did you compare the reading to another cylinder?

Also I believe those Champion plugs are copper core, and should be replaced at 30k miles.

edit: Sorry I just caught the difference in color between the plugs as well. You may want to check on your o2 sensor or for a vacuum leak if the three lighter colored plugs are all from the passenger side.
Very good points.. For the gas - I fill up with regular/87 at Arco (usually). Sometimes Chevron, sometimes Shell.

Haven't tested compression or anything else.. Just the plug swap.. Also sounds like (just in the last week) I might have an exhaust leak but that's another thread altogether..

I would certainly agree with the 30k mile swap - especially considering I actually wheel my Jeep - water splashing up, mud, dirt, rock crawling in 95į temps, etc.. I just can't get over how the metal is "chewed up" on that one plug... What did that plug ever do to anyone?!


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