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Spark plug gap

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  • Engine: Spark plug gap

    I have a 64 Cruiser 289. I am changing the plugs to new Autolite 437 plugs. What do they gap at?
    Thank you.
    Chris

  • #2
    The 1959 to 1964 Shop Manual calls for a .035 Spark Plug Gap for Standard V8's and OHV Sixes.

    This may vary slightly Today with different Fuels and sometimes a Electronic Ignition System conversion to the Dist.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Rich,
      I only run non ethanol. I just installed a new electric distributor so does that make a difference on the plug gap?

      Comment


      • #4
        I am pretty sure it is ELECTRONIC, so yes the Electronic Dist. and Electronic Dist. Conversion Kit Co's usually recommend a slightly Wider Gap, check your Instructions.

        However, it will likely Run fine either way, don't lose any sleep over it.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Stick to ,032-.035" No wider especially if you have good compression and besides, there is no point to a wider gap. Newer cars have a wider gap because they have super high voltage ignition systems ( I have used Autolite plugs but last spring the Sky Hawk ran rough and I replaced the Autolite plugs with Delco.plugs. And, yes, they too are made in China!!)

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          • #6
            Despite some experts -

            Wider gaps can light a "lean" tune-up better than a smaller gap.
            Wider gaps will, in most cases the idle a "little" smoother than tighter gaps. Starting a bigger flame.

            BUT... Wider gaps have their own problems.
            1. You need new/very good spark plug wires.
            2. You need to have the plug wire "separated" properly.
            3. You need, new / fresh rotor and distributor cap.
            4. You should have the plug wires routed away from other electronic items, and preferably away from other metallic items.

            The things listed above "CAN" and do cause spark plug, crossfire, be it small, and unnoticed, and cause lower power, and a loss in gas milage. Or larger crossfire, and cause a spark plug misfire, that will drive you nuts trying to diagnose.
            I stick mostly to .035" to .040" gap. Measured with a WIRE...gap tool. Not a flat feeler gauge.

            Things you learn after being around for almost 70 years..!

            Mike

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            • #7
              And to add to what Mike calls "Separated Properly".
              That means among others, that the # 5 and 7 which Fire after each other, do NOT ever run together!
              You run the # 5 with #1 and the #7 with #3 across the Valve Cover and apart from there.

              You can cross them if you have to, just do not let them run Parallel.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                And to add to what Mike calls "Separated Properly".
                That means among others, that the # 5 and 7 which Fire after each other, do NOT ever run together!
                You run the # 5 with #1 and the #7 with #3 across the Valve Cover and apart from there.

                You can cross them if you have to, just do not let them run Parallel.
                How much of "thing" is this if you're using new modern 8mm wires?

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                • #9
                  Not to ask a dumb question, but by asking, I learn. So why a WIRE gap tool? Is it simply more accurate or is there something else going on?
                  Studebaker! If you're lucky enough to own one, you're lucky enough!!!

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                  • #10
                    No dumb question here.

                    I was told to use one by my high school shop teacher decade's ago. Never questioned it. I suppose I should have

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Al from Eatonville View Post
                      Not to ask a dumb question, but by asking, I learn. So why a WIRE gap tool? Is it simply more accurate or is there something else going on?
                      If you look at a worn spark plug you will see that the outer electrode is somewhat curved. That's the reason for using a wire spark-plug gauge.
                      --Dwight

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                      • #12
                        Thank you so much for that information. Much appreciated.
                        Studebaker! If you're lucky enough to own one, you're lucky enough!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Any spark plug gap tool that I have seen, used or owned had wire gauges. Flat thickness gauges are used as feelers for other purposes.
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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