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So a few months ago my wife drove the focus up to ohio and it started to have issuses...She pulled off at a pep boys and they told her the valve cover gasket failed and fouled the plugs....400 dollars later and a never fixing the problem....(car got towed home).....i fixed it later.....

I just decided to to run some seafoam and swap out the plugs since i found a box in the trunk, but the plugs i removed were autolite dbl platinum....i decided to check the gap on them and i noticed that one was about .035 and the rest .065...i understand that there is a little carbon on them but that far apart? are autolite dbl platinum not supposed to be gapped?

[offtopic] also found out they broke a valve cover bolt head off....so at least i can say they removed the valve cover.....
 

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Re-gap the plugs to the correct setting, and make sure that those plugs are fit for your car. It's common for the wrong plug to be installed in 00-04 Foci because of the 3 different plugs for 2.0L engines. Zetec plugs in SPIs will be too cold, and vice versa. SVT plugs are colder than Zetec plugs due to the higher compression. I'd compare the part number to what shows up on Rock Auto when doing a search for the proper engine.

As far as pre-gapped plugs- no plugs except center fire plugs are pre-gapped. Centerfire plugs do not have a backstrap. I'm not even sure if any engine is using those any more except maybe rotaries. You should always check gap when doing your plugs. It's alarming to me that something as simple as gapping spark plugs is becoming a lost art for some reason.

As far as the bolt being broken off- that's ridiculous. Hopefully something remains so you can grab it and remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I gapped my new ones to .050 which is on the zetec factory. i just find it intresting that the ones they put in were all different gaps.
I removed the cover to to see if i could grab the bolt but its flush with the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How does a failed valve cover gasket cause fouled spark plugs?
i really have no idea....im fairly confident that the people of pep boys are fairly retarded [idea] because they kept telling her that it wasnt the stock engine and focus doesnt come with a zetec engine. If i wasnt 4 hours away and at work i would have driven up. she bought this car new in 02....thats it the dealer did a swap....whatever....

Turned out to be 2 clips for the injectors were missing and the injectors backed out causeing the problems....they just wanted her money thats all...
 

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How does a failed valve cover gasket cause fouled spark plugs?
It doesn't, however it can coat the outside part of the plugs in oil, and if that oil creeps up the spark plug boot, that can cause random misfiring which will foul plugs. Most of the time platinum plugs won't foul like standard plugs without a very strong cause. Unfortunately deposits don't build up on plat or iri plugs for you to be able to tell what, if anything, is going wrong inside the combustion chamber leaving us guessing. True, data logging is very helpful, but it's difficult to tell if you are really running lean or the O2 sensor just thinks you are without deposits to read.

His current problem is that they likely put incorrectly gapped SPI plugs in a Zetec because he should have an SPI engine in there, and it's unlikely that many mechanics would have the knowledge to know the difference if the parts were pulled up by VIN not visual description. SPI plugs in a Zetec will run rich and probably idle rough after you enter closed loop (after startup idle). I've run engines without FI clips in injector connectors before. If it comes disconnected- you'll know it right away. I've never had one just intermittently make connection- it either does or it doesn't. That's probably what made your wife go to the shop in the first place- I'm sure you know- but the problem now is the plugs.

I think this thread will end up being another fine example of why I ask people with similar problems to start their own thread on the subject instead of jacking another thread.
 

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more spark plug question

I'm thoroughly confused about this whole spark club deal...

I can't find it again, but once say a excel speadsheet with all the different plugs that would work on my car, a 2000 Focus SE Wagon, DOHC ZTEC.

I'n not into performance but wouldn't mind a little more pep or better yet gas mileage...can you point me to a spark plug that is a simple reasonable choice.

ty,
James

oh yes, I can gap spark plugs properly.
 

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We find that Autolite plugs work best in these cars. Since I'm lazy, I typically go for platinum plugs because those last about 50k miles. If you've ever experienced pinging while driving, or periods where the car seems slower then opt for a plug that is one step colder. I'm not sure exactly what the correct Autolite plug is for a Zetec since I don't own one.

My engine uses the A104 plug, but I choose the A103 which is one step colder because it gives me more power in the hot summer because the PCM won't retard timing to avoid pinging.
 

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It's the Autolites then.

Thanks for the speedy reply....the Autolites site suggests AP 5364 with a .50 gap, think I'll stay with that one since I never have pinging and I live in a relatively cool climate.
ty
 
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