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Old 05-08-2009, 04:00 PM
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My spark plug colors, am I good or not?

Below are 2 of my plugs on a carb'd 383 stroker. These are accel 276s shorty plugs for headers. According to accel, they are HOT plugs (they claim that the last digit is the temp ranging from 1 to 8?? and these are 6). These are NON resistor with an msd6 and coil

The pics should show that the white center part is black but thiny covered and the electrode part looks lighter. Any oil that you see is from the valve cover oil that sometimes runs down when I dont seal it good

So my question is, do you think Im running ok or am I too lean / too rich / or is the plug wrong? I was thinking of going with a cooler plug with a resistor???




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Old 05-08-2009, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
Below are 2 of my plugs on a carb'd 383 stroker. These are accel 276s shorty plugs for headers. According to accel, they are HOT plugs (they claim that the last digit is the temp ranging from 1 to 8?? and these are 6). These are NON resistor with an msd6 and coil

The pics should show that the white center part is black but thiny covered and the electrode part looks lighter. Any oil that you see is from the valve cover oil that sometimes runs down when I dont seal it good

So my question is, do you think Im running ok or am I too lean / too rich / or is the plug wrong? I was thinking of going with a cooler plug with a resistor???



These plugs show either or combinations of the following:

1) A little rich

2) Plug a little too cold

3) Engine doesn't get warmed up

4) Not driven very far

5) Not driven very fast

6) Compression not high enough

Bogie
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:31 PM
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The center two plugs (especially) seem to have some small spheres of aluminum. I hope that's not what it really is- I've lightened the images to make them a little easier to see.

My left to right is your top to bottom:
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The center two plugs (especially) seem to have some small spheres of aluminum. I hope that's not what it really is- I've "doctored" the images to make them a little easier to see.

My left to right is your top to bottom:
That's just fuel chemistry, if this was lean, or the cylinder in detonation/preignition, the insulator would be white (if not white, white) and if the spots were melting aluminum off the piston that would appear as dark splotches on the insulator.

Bogie
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:48 PM
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When you learn to tune good like me, you're plugs should look like this.....perfect burn, best performance! LOL




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Old 05-08-2009, 05:50 PM
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check out this web site. http://www.4secondsflat.com/spark_plug_reading.html[/url]
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
When you learn to tune good like me, you're plugs should look like this.....perfect burn, best performance! LOL




That's soooo bad,,, LOL. I see you found my 78 Scottsdale.

Bogie
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:58 PM
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YEa, it's real bad. That's out of my new engine too! But back when my PCV was sucking herds of oil and it ran down number 2 cylinder. I do have a bad stem or stem seal on that one too as it still fouls some but not every 100 miles any more. But I live with it and just swap it out every 3 or 4 months. Sorry about the side track, another boring day here.

Mark
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for the opinions. Those 3 photos are of the same 2 plugs from different angles. Sorry I didn't mention that

Car is never warmed up, been started all winter on weekends and then shut off after 10 minutes

Driven 10 miles, maybe, per month this winter

These facts combined, are those plugs not used enough to determine the tuning?

Also, there's a 574s plug with a resistor and a 576s as well. Ones hotter than the other. I wanted to try a resistor plug with my setup. Yes, no? MSD 6, 38' locked out timing but computer controlled 20' timing at idle, MSD coil + wires, 9.7:1 compression

EDIT: Any odd metals that might be on the 2 plugs shown are from crap thats on the work bench.

Last edited by bubbahotep; 05-08-2009 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:58 PM
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Ummm...those plugs mean nothing without proper warmup to operating temperature, no wonder they look rich!
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:02 PM
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to read your plugs-- start car-- bring it up to temp- take it out on the interstate and run it as fast as you can get away with---when up to speed --let off gas at same time throw it into nuteral-and kill engine- coast to stop--pull plugs--
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
Any odd metals that might be on the 2 plugs shown are from crap thats on the work bench.
That's good. If it were aluminum, it would be troublesome.

What you don't want to ever see (images below) are extreme examples like these. Detonation and/or lean F/A mixtures are more likely to "pepper" the porcelain w/Al or material from the ground strap- or both, for that matter:
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Last edited by cobalt327; 05-08-2009 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:26 AM
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Those are some damn ugly plug pics posted

Ive driven the car at about 80mph on those plugs but just regular driving in the winter for a short distance to take a ride and didnt do it the way mentioned.

Ive had occasional hot start "kick back" issues and was thinking the plugs were heated hot and causing the cylinder to fire before it got spark when it tries to start. Was hoping my plug pics would confirm my guess but maybe with the little use the car see's I cant really judge. Im convinced its NOT an ignition issue as I have an MSD timing computer, new wires, new distrib cap and rotor, and once started the timing is dead on accurate.

Also, my plugs appear to have carbon (black) on the center ceramic and theres little resistance between the center probe and the ceramic because of the carbon. That cant be good. New plugs of the same type will only result in the same situation I think. But looking at the pics you guys are posting makes my plugs look pretty.

The carb is a holley and pretty well tuned. The engine shakes so much at idle its hard to get an accurate fuel flow out of the side holes. Ive got all of 12hg vac from the idle screws which according to Holley is the way to check for proper setting (highest vac)
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:59 AM
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your plugs cant heat up with the car off- if it kicks back on the starter its timing-- retard it about 3 degrees-- and your engine should NOT SHAKE at idle-- check your fireing order-- and set the timing --
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
The engine shakes so much at idle its hard to get an accurate fuel flow out of the side holes. Ive got all of 12hg vac from the idle screws which according to Holley is the way to check for proper setting (highest vac)
Hot kick-back can be from a lot of initial timing or even a battery with less than good condition or charge.

As for the engine shaking badly @ idle- are we to gather from this that you have a radical cam?

If that's the case, the plugs will look much as what you've shown until you are actually loading the motor and using it at the RPM that the cam's designed for.

Below that speed, and especially @ idle, a big-A cam will wreak havoc on plug reading- they'll soot up and generally be all but unreadable.

I'd suggest you sort the tuning as best you can (like you've already done, for that matter) AFA total timing and safe jetting goes, then go put some miles on the engine.

If you do this ending w/a "plug chop", you will get a much better indication of the tune from your plugs.
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