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Old 02-03-2007, 06:10 PM   #1
Ziggyrama
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Default Spark plugs overheating on stage 2 WRX? pics inside

Hey guys,
I've been tuning my car using Enginuity for several months now. I am pushing the stock TD04 pretty far with 21psi in mid range which makes for nice and beefy torque in mid RPMs. I've been tuning my ignition maps recently and I keep seeing minor timing being pulled by the ECU between 3000 and 4000 RPMs. The interesting part is that it comes and goes. It doesn't knock in that range all the time and seems to be very inconsistent. So, I've been a bit puzzled and I turned my attention to my spark plugs. I'm still running with stock heat range and I considered the possibility that my plugs may be responsible for my odd timing issues. So, today, I did a WOT, immediately turned off the car and pulled the plugs for inspection. I'm no seasoned spark plug reader but they seem to be running hot. The electrodes are white in color which tells me they are over heating. Guys, let me know what you think. Here's what I got:

Plug 1:



Plug 2:



Plug 3:



Plug 4:

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Old 02-03-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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yeah i agree, go with one step colder NGK.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:18 PM   #3
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one step colder, especially at that boost.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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Looks lean?
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:34 PM   #5
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I bet you wished you posted in the right forum, I'll just go ahead and move this as a courtesy to the other 139,000 forum users.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Unabomber. My mistake. I figured it would be relevant to others in 2.0 section as many of us run with stage 2.

I'm reaching 1600F EGTs catless, with higher than stock timing and leaner AFRs. The car sees significantly higher loads that average stage 2 car so I thought it was time to put in colder plugs. I replaced the plugs with NGK copper colder plugs. I will datalog the car in the next few days and see how things are doing. I'll post results.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:51 PM   #7
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they look ok to me? One step colder plugs are a good idea though I run them without problem. Although maybe not the best if you just idle around town all day maybe stay with stock range then

those plugs look decent to me though I'd say your doing a good job tuning it so far.. if anything the white would indicate that its running a bit lean. Check your a/f ratio and adjust if nesc. where nesc.

Paul
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:15 AM   #8
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I thought that the max output for a td04 is 18psi and that pushing it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanerex View Post
I thought that the max output for a td04 is 18psi and that pushing it.
....stop thinking
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanerex View Post
I thought that the max output for a td04 is 18psi and that pushing it.
That used to be the belief until we got a hold of the compressor map and found out that TD04 has more in it than we gave it credit for. It's a very good mid range turbo. I am running at 21psi but I've hit and held 22.5psi before and I am sure I could even go up to 23psi. 21psi is just fine for daily driver. The turbo starts to run out of breath above 5K which is why you need a larger turbo if you're going after top end. The high boost will not help your max HP but it will beef up the torque curve significantly.
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggyrama View Post
That used to be the belief until we got a hold of the compressor map and found out that TD04 has more in it than we gave it credit for. It's a very good mid range turbo. I am running at 21psi but I've hit and held 22.5psi before and I am sure I could even go up to 23psi. 21psi is just fine for daily driver. The turbo starts to run out of breath above 5K which is why you need a larger turbo if you're going after top end. The high boost will not help your max HP but it will beef up the torque curve significantly.
^^^^^^
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:43 AM   #12
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Hehe.. i've seen that compressor map before, and it was a suprise... although I am pretty clueless when it comes to tuning, I wonder why the cobb guys didn't tune for 21psi for their off the shelf Stage 2 map.

Free bump. Those plugs look O.K, but do keep in mind that a step colder would be ideal at the moment you are pushing 21psi, but anytime you decide to drive like a granny, the plugs are too cold.
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:20 AM   #13
Ziggyrama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caterpill View Post
Hehe.. i've seen that compressor map before, and it was a suprise... although I am pretty clueless when it comes to tuning, I wonder why the cobb guys didn't tune for 21psi for their off the shelf Stage 2 map.

Free bump. Those plugs look O.K, but do keep in mind that a step colder would be ideal at the moment you are pushing 21psi, but anytime you decide to drive like a granny, the plugs are too cold.
I think Cobb chose not to push their stage 2 map so far because of various reasons. One of them would be the fact that those maps were developed few years ago and at that time it was believed that doing 21psi on the stocker was a mistake. Another reason is that getting to 21 psi requires more modifications to the car. You will not be able to get to 21psi with stock BCS and the stock BPV will most likely be an issue as well. So, now you got more work to do and it requires the users to perform more mods, more tuning by Cobb, etc. You'd be suprised if you saw how little has been changed in Cobb's stage 2 map. Most tables are still stock.

As for my daily driving, the car sees moderate and low loads most of the time. I do run significantly higher timing and leaner AFRs than stock car. I think colder plugs will be OK for the driving I am doing. I was resisting the switch for a while but now I think I made the right move by switching. I will inspect them once the weather gets warmer to see how they're doing.
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:32 PM   #14
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Unless its my screen, I believe you have a bit of flying coolent on one of your banks.. I think I see some green on you spark plug in that last pic?
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:46 PM   #15
Ziggyrama
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My camera isn't so good. In real life, they're not green, light grayish color. The pics are not showing that color very well, I think.
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