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View Full Version : Plugs smell like gas - trouble?


johny123
07-28-2012, 04:58 PM
So I was cleaning the plugs and 6/8 were somewhat wet with some oily color to them (not drenched just somewhat wet) and smelled faintly of gas. The other 2 were dry reg brown color. I didn't write down which were dry/wet.

I tried doing a search of the archives but the search doesn't allow words 3 letters or less. So I found lots of threads on plugs but couldn't narrow to plugs & gas. Just an FYI, that I tried before posting a new thread.

That being said, the boat runs great, no misses, smooth throttle/acceleration through the range. No loss of bottom or top end.

So is this a warning sign caught early or somewhat normal?

Thanks guys.

93Prostar190
07-29-2012, 07:10 AM
It means mostly that you are running rich ...... A carb engine right? Running rich usually feels good performance wise .... I bet you need to clean off some black residue from your transom after every time you take it out of the water?

Not a big deal but you may want to look into dialing back the mixture a bit ....

JimN
07-29-2012, 08:33 AM
So I was cleaning the plugs and 6/8 were somewhat wet with some oily color to them (not drenched just somewhat wet) and smelled faintly of gas. The other 2 were dry reg brown color. I didn't write down which were dry/wet.

I tried doing a search of the archives but the search doesn't allow words 3 letters or less. So I found lots of threads on plugs but couldn't narrow to plugs & gas. Just an FYI, that I tried before posting a new thread.

That being said, the boat runs great, no misses, smooth throttle/acceleration through the range. No loss of bottom or top end.

So is this a warning sign caught early or somewhat normal?

Thanks guys.

"Reg brown"- is that light brown, dark brown, medium brown? Like coffee & cream? That's OK. What about the color of the six that were wet? Black, or brown & wet? How long did you idle before checking them? If you idled for a long time, they will tend to be wet, but the two that weren't may have just been hotter than the others. How old are the plugs?

Where is the PCV hose connected- to the base of the carb, or to one of the intake manifold runners?

johny123
07-29-2012, 11:46 AM
EFI actually and never noticed black at the transom.
It's a 2000 ps 195, 310 predator.
I'll have to check the pcv.
I had checked the plugs after the boat had been sitting for a couple hours. We usually do a small cool down after runs, but not at idle ( more than 800rpm for sure).
The wet ones were wet and black (the reg I'd say medium). These plugs went in at the start of last season, so not really old.

No way to adjust the lean/rich on efi is there? Doesn't the maf sensor regulate that? Is it possible to turn the distributor to achieve this?

Any cause for concern Jim? Would you try adjusting the distr or something easier first?

Thanks guys.

JimN
07-29-2012, 01:26 PM
EFI actually and never noticed black at the transom.
It's a 2000 ps 195, 310 predator.
I'll have to check the pcv.
I had checked the plugs after the boat had been sitting for a couple hours. We usually do a small cool down after runs, but not at idle ( more than 800rpm for sure).
The wet ones were wet and black (the reg I'd say medium). These plugs went in at the start of last season, so not really old.

No way to adjust the lean/rich on efi is there? Doesn't the maf sensor regulate that? Is it possible to turn the distributor to achieve this?

Any cause for concern Jim? Would you try adjusting the distr or something easier first?

Thanks guys.

What plugs did you use? The OEM are AC MR43LTS.

You don't have a MAF sensor, you have a MAP sensor. Any time there's a performance issue, it's recommended that the timing be verified- you must first put the ECM in Diagnostic Mode. If you have access to a scan tool, try to get one with a button for this. Your base timing should be at 10BTDC. You need to leave the idle stop screw alone. That's set at the Rochester factory, to GM spec. All other settings are based on MC/Indmar spec.

Clean your flame arrestor, too.

johny123
07-31-2012, 08:46 AM
Yup, definitely got the right plugs, and the flame arrestor is clean. Yeah, I mixed up the maf for car and map for the boat.

We've put the ECM in diagnostic mode before using the morse code beeping/flashing - is the tool necessary to adjust the timing or are there markings on the distributor for the degrees (can it be eyeballed)?

If the timing is correct (after confirming) - then am I ok? Any cause for concern longterm?

JimN
07-31-2012, 08:54 AM
Yup, definitely got the right plugs, and the flame arrestor is clean. Yeah, I mixed up the maf for car and map for the boat.

We've put the ECM in diagnostic mode before using the morse code beeping/flashing - is the tool necessary to adjust the timing or are there markings on the distributor for the degrees (can it be eyeballed)?

If the timing is correct (after confirming) - then am I ok? Any cause for concern longterm?

You can use a paper clip to put it in diagnostic mode if you want- look for terminals A and B on the diagnostic port (ALDL) and insert it - you need to raise the RPM to 1000 for this. The crank pulley only has one mark at TDC and the indicator's edge is saw-tooth. If you look closely, you may see some numbers on the timing indicator. If you have the kind of timing light with an advance knob, set it to 10BTDC and make sure the timing mark coincides with TDC.

As long as the plugs aren't dry and white, you should be OK. Maybe you could put a can of Sea Foam in the tank or, if you prefer, you could use the 3M injector cleaner that connects at the Shrader valve. You would need to warm up the engine and then remove the fuel pump fuse before re-starting with the injector cleaner (it used this as the fuel, then shuts off when it's empty).

johny123
07-31-2012, 06:26 PM
Just want to confirm the timing light is necessary to check the timing, it's not possible with naked eye?

Thanks for the help Jim.

JimN
07-31-2012, 06:39 PM
Just want to confirm the timing light is necessary to check the timing, it's not possible with naked eye?

Thanks for the help Jim.

The timing light only flashes when the #1 plug wire is energized and the mark isn't visible unless the light is flashing.

johny123
08-01-2012, 08:26 PM
Could it get out of "time" from use (over the years)? Or for the timing to be off, would someone have had to previsouly twisted the distributor in the past?

JimN
08-01-2012, 10:11 PM
Could it get out of "time" from use (over the years)? Or for the timing to be off, would someone have had to previsouly twisted the distributor in the past?

The timing won't drift, like it can lose dwell/gap with points (from wear of the fiber wedge). If it was moved, the timing will change but if it hasn't moved, no- it would still be set the same as the last time but it should still be verified. It's one of the easiest tests- why not do it and be sure?

johny123
08-05-2012, 01:59 PM
Good to know. I will check it, just need to get my hands on a timing light. Much appreciated Jim.