Hi mondo80 - you are a star - absoluteley spot on!! Many thanks. I got a £4 tube of the High Temp Silicone Grease from MAPLIN (thie part no. is RE90X) - the best 4 squid I ever spent!! I will elaborate a bit, as it is not quite as I thought. I removed all 4 plugs to check (as I had done before -but this time I checked them very carefully). I spotted the middle 2 had BOTH got evidence of flash-over tracking from the top, along the porcelain, to the plug body. This appeared to be a hard, carbonised, almost metallic track, and was quite difficult to remove (needed very fine wet and dry, and a bit of that special white sponge that ladies like to use in the kitchen - I think it is by JML - in Woollies. Just damp it a bit, and rotate the porcelain part in it, then polish off with lint-free cloth or kitchen-roll). Once cleaned, I also vacuumed all the small bits of debris from the top of the rocker cover (where the leads run) - so as not to get bits into the plug dwells. I applied the Silicone Grease sparingly on all pocelain surfaces of each plug, and in the insides of the long plug tops (used a metal rod to work it around the insides), and some around the outsides, to also water-seal the top area sealing ribs - plenty on the flat bit at the bottom, to stop water ingress too). ORIGINAL CAUSES: using a cheap plug spanner, and overgapping. The plug-spanner I use has a rubber gripping grommet in each end, but since it is cheap and nasty, they used an inferior rubber, that leaves a line of rubber on the porcelain. This is probably recycled from old tyres, so has a small metal content - perfect to promote tracking and carbonisation with the 30KV or so pushed out by modern electronic ignition systems. A spark gap that is too great (appeared to be over 1.5mm - about 60 THOU on these middle 2 as well, so I knocked them down to a tight 50 THOU (just under 1.3mm). The HIGH VOLTAGE will try to find its way across any weak point that is a lower dielectic reistance than the air-gap - hence the flash-over and tracking (that then MAKES a semi-permanent pathway to loose your proper spark). Tick-over probably uses less than 30KV, so did NOT show up unless the ECU kicked in to increase the ignition power on pull-away loads. Many thanks, TD.
Hiya no problem, my friend said it does help protect it from water and help as a conductor i hope it helps. all i can say is the two we had cured it, as far as im aware the grease you can only get from a ford main agent. Please can you let us know what you find all info on this site is always handy to know about.
Good luck i hope you get it sorted.
TD1947Member Since 29 Jul 2008
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