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Old 04-01-2006, 12:28 PM   #1
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Cracked Plugs...

Hello, Jus wondered if any of U guys can throw a light on My odd problem, My little car, Ford Fiesta ( UK ) 1300cc... runs a dream...then out of the blue, it throws into misfire mode, I start at the plugs, as they are the nearest things 2 Me... I noticed sparks all around two of then, when I removed them, the pot covering is either loose or jus falls apart... this is the second set 2do this.This set had only covered 800 miles, & are as NEW... They are the genuine FORD product from a ford main dealer, the colourin is fine & the engine is in good order, My car has jus gone through a strict MOT & emmisions test, which means if it fails the " E " test, it's bye bye, until U get the engine sorted... It's funny 'cos the car kinda losses it's perky performance & jus picks up speed slowly, I jus fitted a spare set of SOB, & she runnin jus fine, but I'm a little puzzled at why this has happened 2wice 2Me & once 2 My D/Ds car ( Exactly the same car as mine,even colour LOL )Thank Guys...Chris.....
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
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Chris,

What do you mean by 'pot covering'? Are those the rubber sleeves that fit over the end of the sparkplug? Or are you talking about the ceramic part of the spark plug.

If the rubber sleeves are breaking down, you may be having high tension leakage from the wires to ground/earth. Or they may be cross-firing, where the spark is being induced in one wire because it is routed parallel to another wire.

Try a new set of wires, and change how they are routed so they cross each other at right angles.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:14 PM   #3
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Chris, I suspect Don is correct about HT leakage to ground. When it has happened to me in the UK it has been a combination of damp English winter weather and a film of dirt on the outside of the plugs. This was a particular problem on the early transverse engine minis from 1959. One solution is, like me, to leave England in November and return in April. Another is, like me, to only use diesels, whether in boats or vehicles. The immediate solution is to remove the spark plug leads (numbering them!), and use paper tissues to dry all the surfaces of the leads, caps and plugs. If you then replace the leads, and start up the engine in the dark, you should see no arcing sparks. As a prevention of future problems, especially if the car is not parked in a dry garage when not in use, I use a spray can of fluid made for water displacement on petrol (gas) engines. It's called "ignition system spray" or something similar. I use it when maintaining my daughter's petrol powered car, and she parks it outside in the damp Cornish winter, with no starting problems. Good luck
Nick.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:35 AM   #4
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Ceramic...

HI Guys, fanx 4 that, but it's the actual Ceramic on the plug that keeps breakin down, givin Me spark leaks, I changed Our leads, & I use a good quality damp seal spray, I ran a Hillman Imp for 3 months...It failed 2 start at the slightest sniff of dampness...Grr, hence the 3 months -Bye -Bye Hillman...LOL, I dunno if its a bad batch of plugs or what ?, I've had abt 5 Fiestas, & is on Her 4th... I do most of My own work, I mean, most of U can change a Alternator, radiator & so on... but now these cars R all chipped-up & computorised... when it goes down...it's a nightmare.. so I start at the easiest, Plugs, Leads, Coil, & so on, I have cured My missfire by changin plugs, & She runs fine, infact I would say BETTER... BUT U kn it's most likey all in the mind, 'cos I got it runnin agn, & feel good abt it...LOL...
The plug tips are the correct colour, accordin 2 the pics in the manual, LOL,
but I jus don't get it, Y the ceramic is lose or jus breaks up, My plug socket IS the right one, & has the rubber guard inside, & is a tight fit... the cracks r a brownish colour, yet run OK when first started, then play-up when they get warm, & have them selves a Spark Show... Gone r the days when plugs were 1s 9d each, I payed 14 a set of 4... it's NOT the cost at all...it's the AGGRO it causes... LOL.... Agn FANX Guys...Chris.....
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:57 AM   #5
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Chris,

Sorry to hear about your problem. I guess I jumped to the thought that it was the wires because I have never seen spark plugs fail the way you describe them.

The only time I ever had a broken spark plug is if I got careless when installing them or taking out.

I think you got a set of plugs that were defective from the factory. Rare as it is, it happens. We have a shop nearby that makes heart pacemakers; some of those turned up defective.. I guess anyone can have a bad day.

Good luck with the new set.
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
My plug socket IS the right one, & has the rubber guard inside, & is a tight fit...
chris

get rid of the rubber guard, you are probably cracking the plugs when you are tightening them. don't ask how i know, but i do!

the problem won't show up until they get dirty or wet. when tightening them just try to keep the socket as straight as possible.

every one of my deep well plug sockets have the rubber removed, and i haven't had to buy sparkplugs in groups of 9 ever since!

john
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote ----- I jus don't get it, Y the ceramic is lose or jus breaks up.

Chis---I'm a retired mechanic and have seen this happen a few times over the years with different degrees of severity. I think you'll find you have an internal coolant leak. I've seen it happen where the "chill" of the coolant cracked the hot cermic and in one case where enough coolant got in that on startup the hydraluic action pushed the cermic loose. Have you been loosing coolant???---Pieman
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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I wonder...

Hi Mike... I think U may have solved My problem... I recall drivin through a deepish puddle on a tight left hand bend & the water came over the left side of My screen, & I got a missfire for the next 6 miles to work, I jus thought it would dry out, it was fine when I started it up & got home later that day, it was OK, I looked in the engine bay, it was all dirty mud-water stained, now this bend is bad 4 floodin, simply 'cos the field next 2 the road is clay clogged, I do My Metal detectin in it, & it's hard work 2 say the least..LOL, My Engine IS a transverse, & the plugs r at the front... I DON'T use or lose any fluids, only tooo much GAS...LOL, so readin in2 what U sayin I may b gettin damp into the crack caused by the cold water coolin My hot plugs, & overnite the moisture gets in2 the Ceramics, & when I fire it up, hence the Misfire... What do U think ?... If so, FANX, I'll change My route, so I guess My D/D done the same thing as I did, Grrr...LOL... Cheers...Chris.....
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:13 PM   #9
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Chris ---the moisture causing the problems I saw was not from the outside as in a splash but from an internal engine problem, a coolant leak as from a leaking head gasket and in one case it was a cracked cylinder head. It's doubtful that a splash would cause the problem you're discribing.--Pieman
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:20 PM   #10
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If you have a head or head gasket problem, it should show up in your oil. Take an oil sample and send it to a diagnostic oil lab. They should be able to tell you if you have a coolant leak. In the states, it costs about $20.00. Should be about the same in the UK.

Rob
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:19 PM   #11
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Still no joy...

Well, I've taken My car 2 a so called specialist, & for the neat sum of 35, He gave Me a list of 8 options...put it this way, it's so sick, it'll have 2B put down... Here is what I was presented with;

Firstly..... what was done 2 My car, by them... ( Yea ! I bet ), Preasure tested the Radiator & coolin system, tested the thermostat, checked water hoses, Re-gapped & cleaned plugs...

Secondly..... Advised:, Change Head gasket as engine done 95,000 miles, Change Oil & Filter, Plugs, Air Filters, Thermostat, & 2b realy sure change all HOSES... & wait 4 it... change the Anti Freeze...
OK, Well I Done My Oil, & ALL Filters & winterized My car, as I Always do, B4 Winter sets in, I bn doin it since 1970... I already put NEW Hoses & Plugs & a million other things, like NEW fan Belt ETC:, ( as U do )... Well a total waste of My 35... in My opinion... On My way 2 work this mornin I Saw a RAC Van parked up, ( AAA kinda service, ) ... As I'm a member, I asked Him 4 some advice & showed Him the paperwork from the so-called specialist, Guess what, for a few 's A Guy will come out 2 My Home, look over My Vehicle, give Me His opinion, then go with Me in My car & ask them 4a RE-CHECK... Well Saturday Mornin is FINE with Me... SO I'll get back 2U on that one, BUT He did say, He knows this Garage well... & has heard of iffy dealins B4 with them... It may well change now !!!, I don't like bein ripped off, nor R I as stupid as I r cabbage lookin... LOL ( Grrr )...Chris.....
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:06 PM   #12
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Strange...

Chris, you may have a problem with the electricity entering the plug, and having nowhere to go after. This could be caused by bad contact from the base of the plug to the threaded part of the head. If you are doing the work yourself, try putting a little dielectric compound on the non-threaded end of the plug (where the wire clips on), and umm, maybe some anti-sieze on the threads. If there is already this stuff on the threads (it is silvery-looking), try removing as much of it as you can, and give it a go.
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:15 AM   #13
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Strange...

I kinda find it a lttl amusin & maddenin at the same time... My engine is runnin fine ( NOW )... since I changed the plugs, starts OK, pulls great, no missfire no nuffin, uses very lttl water* & NO oil... * I use abt a 3rd of a pint a YEAR... I was told thats normal evaporation... accepted tollerance, & comes under the terms of " The joys of Motorin " or as one garage I went 2, many, many years ago, said, If U dont kn what happens under the donnet, thats Your look out,...& if U didnt have a motor car, U would'nt have any problems, I in turn replied, it's People like ME that keeps People like U in a job... Anyhow, I'll find out on Saturday ( I HOPE )... funny that under a 1000 miles My plugs should take the attitude, sod this, I'm outta here, & go to pieces on Me...crack up & render useless, they kinda *iss Me off a lttl...LOL, I Need My car, I live in My car, it's like a TAXI 2 ME... thats Y I buy Fords, Hence the slogan, Fix On Road Daily... Both My D/Ds & Mine have served us well... Cheers Guys, I'll catch Ya ltr...FANX...Chris.....
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:17 PM   #14
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Mmmm ???

Well, I took My car down 2 the Gal who does what I call My Heavy stuff... She did Me a Preasure test & Compression test, found NOTHING wrong at all, but did say, 4 a 94,000 mile engine it was in good shape, but DID advise Me that due 2 the mileage, it could Jus B the GASKET, & recomended I had it changed, She asked if I did much long distant high speed mileage, I don't, but, I DID, whilst visitin My Mum in hospital I done a 40 mile round trip on the Motorway... it was durin that period that I got the plug trouble... So I guess I'll book it in 4 Her 2do, ... OK, Yep She is a SHE Mechanic, knows more abt cars than I'll ever kn, but She don't kn what a Metal detector is 4, ( She saw it in the bk of my car )...LOL... So it could jus B that, ( Hope so )... I asked Her abt the Thread lube, & She'll sort it, so fanx Overlander, & Fanx 2U ALL...Chris.....
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