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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 12-26-2010, 10:22 PM
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Spark plug gap

I was recently having a starting issue only when it's cold outside with my truck. I got a 92 F250 with a 5.0. Anyway, you've probably seen all 800 of my other post haha. I started think that maybe my coil is cutting out since everything has been replaced. But I just realized something. The plugs I bought were Motorcraft Platinum pre gapped at .054 and i was pretty sure that my sticker said thats what it needed to be at but I was wrong. I just noticed it says .044 is what they need to be at.

My questions. Cold too big of a gap cause hard starting when it's cold out? (when it's 60 or warmer out it'll start great but when it's cold it acts like it has only 2 cylinders until it warms up. once warm it runs and drives great!!)

And also, are these plugs gap ok to be adjusted? I thought I heard about platinum plugs not being able to be re gapped? I'm not sure and just wanted to check. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:14 PM
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You were right with plug gap of .052-.056. My chilton says .044, but my VECI Decal states otherwise, and you will find out here that most of everyone runs .054 for their plug gap. From what I have read, I see most people running a wider gap with more advanced timing.

Also, you will find that 99% of the members here do not use platinum tip plugs for the older engines. If you do a search here for 87-96 you will find many post concerning problems with platinum tip plugs. Someone correct me if wrong, but I have read several problems with them.

Most just run the standard Motorcraft of Autolite coppers for best driveability.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:39 AM
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I'll have to try the standard ones again then. I don't know if that's really the issue because I had platinum autolites in it last time and it was fine as can be. it was just recently doing this and I replaced them with the motorcraft ones and it still runs like crap obviously. But the autolites i think were gapped smaller so i'm not sure. This truck was great until it got cold lol
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:12 AM
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Alcohol in the fuel isn't helping cold starts any..
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timbersteel View Post
You were right with plug gap of .052-.056. My chilton says .044, but my VECI Decal states otherwise, and you will find out here that most of everyone runs .054 for their plug gap. From what I have read, I see most people running a wider gap with more advanced timing.

Also, you will find that 99% of the members here do not use platinum tip plugs for the older engines. If you do a search here for 87-96 you will find many post concerning problems with platinum tip plugs. Someone correct me if wrong, but I have read several problems with them.

Most just run the standard Motorcraft of Autolite coppers for best driveability.
There are many spark plugs out there these days. Speaking of Ford, alot ok millions make the mistake from listening to someone or one of those damn tv commercials. If its a Ford, buy a damn motorcraft, its what it was designed with and tested with, if there was any better plug, ford would of changed their plug styles as in which in some cases that has been done. People fail to understand that when they hear an ad of a new spark plug that does this and that, they think if they go out and get it, they will be set. Those E3 plugs are junk and more and more people are finding out the hard way. Now if you went and upgraded your ignition system, then maybe you would get what E 3 claims. Also, besides many other plug manufacturers, keep Bosch plugs out of your Ford and Champion plugs are for your lawnmower.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hodges710 View Post
There are many spark plugs out there these days. Speaking of Ford, alot ok millions make the mistake from listening to someone or one of those damn tv commercials. If its a Ford, buy a damn motorcraft, its what it was designed with and tested with, if there was any better plug, ford would of changed their plug styles as in which in some cases that has been done. People fail to understand that when they hear an ad of a new spark plug that does this and that, they think if they go out and get it, they will be set. Those E3 plugs are junk and more and more people are finding out the hard way. Now if you went and upgraded your ignition system, then maybe you would get what E 3 claims. Also, besides many other plug manufacturers, keep Bosch plugs out of your Ford and Champion plugs are for your lawnmower.

I couldn't agree more. I always run motorcraft or at least autolite (I had issues finding motorcraft at times and don't know why so I used autolite) I had a air compressor with a gas kohler on it that would never run right. I put an autolite plug in it and never had a problem again. Those E3 plugs are just terrible! I never heard anything good about them.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:32 PM
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lol i like how hodges put that...but i ran ngk g powers in my 95 bronco with stock ignition and ford racing wires and a mallory dist. cap and rotor and my gas milage boosted way up and it seemed i had a bit more power..i could be wrong here..but i believe in those ngks...if i dont use those i go with motorcraft
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jv2290 View Post
Cold too big of a gap cause hard starting when it's cold out? (when it's 60 or warmer out it'll start great but when it's cold it acts like it has only 2 cylinders until it warms up. once warm it runs and drives great!!)

And also, are these plugs gap ok to be adjusted? I thought I heard about platinum plugs not being able to be re gapped? I'm not sure and just wanted to check. Thanks in advance!
1. Yes an excessive gap can cause starting issues, especially in cold weather if the coil is getting weak.

2. Yes you can re-gap the platinums.

That being said, I would consider changing to a high-output coil to take advantage of the wider gap. The wider gap, with the stronger coil will provide a bigger spark kernel to help ignite the fuel air mix.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeismadness View Post
lol i like how hodges put that...but i ran ngk g powers in my 95 bronco with stock ignition and ford racing wires and a mallory dist. cap and rotor and my gas milage boosted way up and it seemed i had a bit more power..i could be wrong here..but i believe in those ngks...if i dont use those i go with motorcraft
Well its nice to see that it seems that you did good with another plug, but from what you said ( and not by much, just saying) you did not have stock ignition in your bronco. I am not saying that just putting a set of wires makes it high performance but it is no longer stock, just saying.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L. Ward View Post
1. Yes an excessive gap can cause starting issues, especially in cold weather if the coil is getting weak.

2. Yes you can re-gap the platinums.

That being said, I would consider changing to a high-output coil to take advantage of the wider gap. The wider gap, with the stronger coil will provide a bigger spark kernel to help ignite the fuel air mix.
Thank you very much! I got a brand new coil on it because I thought that was a possible issue but it wasn't. It's from napa so that's a small plus. I was thinking of getting a Accel high output one.I'll do that
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Well its nice to see that it seems that you did good with another plug, but from what you said ( and not by much, just saying) you did not have stock ignition in your bronco. I am not saying that just putting a set of wires makes it high performance but it is no longer stock, just saying.
I run NGK spark plugs too. Never once had a problem. NGK is the OEM supplier for several manufacturers, so it's not like they make a bad product.

I don't know why so many people on here get so upset over a set of spark plugs. I agree to avoid all the gimmicks (splitfire, E3, Bosch +4, etc.), but other than quality of manufacture, spark plugs from the various manufacturers are pretty much all the same in terms of how they are constructed.

The only difference between an autolite/motorcraft standard plug and autolite/motorcraft platinum is the platinum coating on the electrode tips - the internals, including the copper core, are the same. The platinum reduces electrode wear making the plugs last longer.

The difference in gap between the older trucks and newer ones may coincide with the change to computer controlled dwell. This may generate a hotter spark than the older models where the dwell was controlled by the TFI module. .050" seemed to be a good compromise between quick starting and better performance/fuel economy.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:16 AM
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I have always found NGK to work well in both race and street applications.
I USE Motorcraft copper core plugs in my truck because they work well, are very inexpensive and I can get them anywhere.

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If a product WORKS that's all I need.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jv2290 View Post
Thank you very much! I got a brand new coil on it because I thought that was a possible issue but it wasn't. It's from napa so that's a small plus. I was thinking of getting a Accel high output one.I'll do that
x4-5 on just using coppers. Motorcraft, Autolite, and NGK are the brands to use. Stay away from platinum, irridium, etc, etc... Just use copper core plugs.

x2 on what Lward told you. When you put a high output coil on sometimes you can have old wires spark and jump out. I'd suggest putting a good set of 8mm-9mm wires on when you change to a high output coil. Once you're that far... There is a sixlitre tune up that has been talked about on here quite a bit. You gap to .054, and bump timing 2* so your pistion fires 2* earlier in the rotation. this gives more complete burn and a few more HP. I'll put the link below and let you decide... Either way, just use coppers!

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Old 12-28-2010, 10:11 AM
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doing my plugs on my 150 today! i got my motocrafts gaped at .054
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:11 AM
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