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  #1   IP: 96.252.12.87
Old 02-13-2011, 04:19 PM
Bigeye Bigeye is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Melrose, Massachusetts
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Use Spark Plug Non-foulers?

Picking up my thread from this fall... I have a "new last year" 1974 A4 and the #1 and #4 plugs foul after a short period of operation, 4-5 hours. Only the #1 and #4 plugs. The plugs are not wet, they foul because of a dry carbon build up.

Compression is 90# and consistent for all cylinders so I don't think it's the rings or a stuck valve. I spoke with a mechanic who suggested doing a cylinder "leak down" test which measures air leakage by pressurizing the cylinder and listening for the hissing air escaping through the rings, valves, exhaust or head gasket. He thought that might indicate that the valve guides in those cylinders are leaking by.

Before I buy/make a leak down tester, I want to ask if problems with the distributor may be the cause of incomplete combustion and fouled plugs rather than an oil leak. Could the #1 and #4 contacts be dirty? I haven't looked because it's very difficult to get access to the distributor (screw down type) because of a lateral bulkhead and because I can't get the laminate top off of the galley because it's screwed down so well!

Regardless, could it be the contacts? If not and I don't want to open the engine up, could I use spark plug non-foulers at least on a temporary basis? They are sleeves of a sort that are supposed to shield the plugs from the combustion product build up while still allowing the plugs to fire.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Big eye,
Salem, MA
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  #2   IP: 173.166.26.241
Old 02-13-2011, 04:27 PM
hanleyclifford's Avatar
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is online now
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I think you need to bite the bullet and get access to that distributor. There are too many issues that can arise around it including the contacts as you mentioned. But don't forget the wires themselves. And how old is the cap and rotor and what is their condition? You need access Cap'n.
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  #3   IP: 96.252.12.87
Old 02-13-2011, 04:35 PM
Bigeye Bigeye is offline
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Use Spark Plug Non-foulers?

Thanks, Hanley. I guess it's pretzel time. I'll get access before the snow melts. But, what do think about the non-foulers in general?

Big Eye
Salem, MA
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  #4   IP: 173.166.26.241
Old 02-13-2011, 05:02 PM
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hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is online now
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Talking

I have never used non-foulers. I think they are simply a spacer that backs the plug slightly out of the combustion chamber. Could give temporary relief from fouling via bad valve guides but really only masks a problem. You could also try a hotter plug in those cylinders.
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  #5   IP: 216.115.121.253
Old 02-13-2011, 08:13 PM
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lat 64 lat 64 is online now
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I cut more access in my engine room and I love it!
Those boat builders did not consider us poor guys 30+ years later.

Do some damage and cut a big nasty hole in the counter top and install a nice removable cut board over it. Your wife will think you're a hero. Now we can mess with that distributor any ol' time we want.
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