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      09-28-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
madmanhiker
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spark plug change... dilemma

not sure who changes their plugs around here, but I decided to go ahead and do it since I'm FBO +meth for about 7K miles - total mileage in the car is 12,500. The only reason I decided to change now was during some WOT runs in Map 3 (meth) I had 2 limp modes and a code which read Cylinder 3 misfire.

Plugs 1-4 relatively clean and still held a gap to 0.8. Ignition coils each looked fine.

Plugs 5 and 6..... WTF. In the pics below... note the discoloration of the metal around the porcelain leads... that tells the story. Bear in mind that the car is always garage kept and had been driven in the rain less 9 times. I did however wash the car 3 days ago... but still the hood was freakin closed!

I took the ignition coil off of plug 6 and found out that the entire cavity was filled with water! Obviously, I needed to get all of the water out of there before taking the plug out. Plug 5 had a little water in the cavity as well.

Couple questions here......

1. The ignition coils has surface rust on them... but... I am concerned about their integrity.

2. How in the fuq did water get past the rubber seals of the ignition coil?????

Anyone have any advice???

PICS BELOW

All 6 plugs and 2 suspect ignition coils (5 & 6)


Spark Plugs 5 & 6


thanks!
robert
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      09-28-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
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Have you removed the rain tray from your car?
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      09-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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You've run some Sunoco 104 through it from Wells Performance, right? When I ran it, I had the same discoloration on the plugs. As for the water, not really sure since I know you keep your engine cover in place. That's really strange!
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      09-29-2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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Did you buy it used or new? Hurricane car???
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      09-29-2013, 02:38 AM   #5
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      09-29-2013, 06:33 AM   #6
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Did you buy it used or new? Hurricane car???
no. brand new 2 years ago - meticulously kept. (garage... never in rain (9 times in it's life)
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      09-29-2013, 06:33 AM   #7
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not really. the vehicle operates fine, this was a proactive finding.
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      09-29-2013, 06:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by e90TiAg335i View Post
You've run some Sunoco 104 through it from Wells Performance, right? When I ran it, I had the same discoloration on the plugs. As for the water, not really sure since I know you keep your engine cover in place. That's really strange!
yea, sunoco 104 and when i run 93 I use the NOS Octane additive with mmt. yes, the orange color is to be expected.

NO, I don't keep the engine cover on (front or rear) for easy access.... I thought that may be the issue (and I figured YOU would hit on that subject which u did) but still, it does not make sense as to how water would get past the rubber seals of the ign. coil. perhaps the water may drain from somewhere else maybe? under another area which may settle back there?

either way, new plugs are in and I have 2 new coils coming in from ecs. I'll put the covers back in place and check again in a month after I wash the car next time. -that's the only time it sees water since this is a garage queen and not my daily driver.....
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      09-29-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BMW 2010 View Post
Have you removed the rain tray from your car?
if you are referring to the rear engine cover, then yes. The thing is, I don't drive the care in the rain, nor is it stored outside. The only time the car sees water is when I wash it which is once a month, otherwise it's stored in a dry clean environment. I have been driving without my engine covers for over a year now.

The removal of the rear engine cover doesn't solve the confusion of water getting past the rubber gaskets of the ignition coils. I guess that is not an airtight cavity, the rubber around the ign. coils must be only for dirt, dust ect. Water must be coming in from another panel or area. Either way, I'll be reinstalling all of the engine covers hence forth (after purchasing 2 new coils). New plugs are in as well. I'm glad I did a proactive spark plug check!
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      09-29-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
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Something is seriously wrong they should not have any rust on them. Given the fact that the have a rubber seal and are completely locked in place there should be zero possibilities of water getting on them. I replaced all my coils on my old 328 (N52) at around 80k miles and none of them looked like that. You are under warranty so take it to the dealer before you start having some serious issues.
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      09-29-2013, 07:51 AM   #11
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Something is seriously wrong they should not have any rust on them. Given the fact that the have a rubber seal and are completely locked in place there should be zero possibilities of water getting on them. I replaced all my coils on my old 328 (N52) at around 80k miles and none of them looked like that. You are under warranty so take it to the dealer before you start having some serious issues.
the "rust" color is normal if you run MMT boosters or Sunoco Race Fuel 104+. That's not rust, the reason your 328 didn't look like that, was because it was a 328 and it wasn't FBO + meth on race fuel.
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      09-29-2013, 07:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
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the "rust" color is normal if you run MMT boosters or Sunoco Race Fuel 104+. That's not rust.
AHHH ok that makes sense then.
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      09-29-2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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      09-29-2013, 08:14 AM   #14
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I may look into going up with you the weekend of the 12th. Shoot me a PM or text with some details.
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      09-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmanhiker View Post
if you are referring to the rear engine cover, then yes. The thing is, I don't drive the care in the rain, nor is it stored outside. The only time the car sees water is when I wash it which is once a month, otherwise it's stored in a dry clean environment. I have been driving without my engine covers for over a year now.

The removal of the rear engine cover doesn't solve the confusion of water getting past the rubber gaskets of the ignition coils. I guess that is not an airtight cavity, the rubber around the ign. coils must be only for dirt, dust ect. Water must be coming in from another panel or area. Either way, I'll be reinstalling all of the engine covers hence forth (after purchasing 2 new coils). New plugs are in as well. I'm glad I did a proactive spark plug check!
Is it possible you are putting gas in that has water in it(bad tank of gas)? It sounds to me like the removal of the engine cover. I would be interested to see what happens after replacing said cover.
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      09-29-2013, 08:53 AM   #16
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I had one coil with slight rust, sanded it of slowly n perfect fix. I would suggest removing that rust and new SP's. Good luck.

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      09-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #17
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Is it possible you are putting gas in that has water in it(bad tank of gas)? It sounds to me like the removal of the engine cover. I would be interested to see what happens after replacing said cover.
No. As there is no other evidence on any other plug. Also, note the metal discoloration of plug 5 & 6. This is a rain or car wash issue with water pooling back there due to the engine covers not being in place.

Lesson learned: KEEP ENGINE COVERS ON AT ALL TIMES - they are there for a reason!!

There is NO water in the motor - the vehicle runs like a scalded dog. The "rust" color is from octane booster with MMT and/or race gas. This is normal discoloration when running these products in a tuned vehicle. Thanks.
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      09-30-2013, 02:26 AM   #18
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I also found the same issue on two of my coils when I changed the plugs on my 135. The rust and white powdery residue was prevalent on my two of the middle cylinders and I also had some light rust/residue on two others. I never spray water directly on the motor so I am not sure how the water managed to get in there. Regardless its obvious that the rubber seals are not sufficient to keep the water out.

As for the standing water. Was it in the furthest back cylinder? (is that 1 or 6). When I changed mine I had to take a break during a rainstorm. When I came back I found the cavity filled with water also. Apparently with the cover off water will run down the windshield and right into the cavity.

Since the coil change the car seems to run better and no misfires so far.
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      09-30-2013, 07:29 AM   #19
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I also found the same issue on two of my coils when I changed the plugs on my 135. The rust and white powdery residue was prevalent on my two of the middle cylinders and I also had some light rust/residue on two others. I never spray water directly on the motor so I am not sure how the water managed to get in there. Regardless its obvious that the rubber seals are not sufficient to keep the water out.

As for the standing water. Was it in the furthest back cylinder? (is that 1 or 6). When I changed mine I had to take a break during a rainstorm. When I came back I found the cavity filled with water also. Apparently with the cover off water will run down the windshield and right into the cavity.

Since the coil change the car seems to run better and no misfires so far.
yep, yep yep. all of it. crazy. so, those covers have to be on at all times. Thanks for the confirmation, I knew it would be a long shot on this thread, but someone had to have the same issue. Once I receive the new coils I'll button everything back up properly and I shouldn't run into this issue again.
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      10-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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For the record, Iím FBO running 94 octane daily. This is my daily driver; itís seen its share of rain, sleet and snow over the past 2.5 years. My engine covers have been on the entire time. I replaced my plugs last month around 65,000km on the clocks and like you was surprised to see light rust on the coils and threaded portions of the plugs. The rear plugs and coils more so than the fronts, I made an extension tool for my vacuum to remove the rust debris before removing the plugs from the cylinders.
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      10-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #21
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Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one to experience this.

A quick tip for anybody coming across this thread. A medium sized wheel wooly works great to clean off the white powdery corrosion/residue from inside the cavities (with the plugs installed of course).
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      10-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #22
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Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one to experience this.

A quick tip for anybody coming across this thread. A medium sized wheel wooly works great to clean off the white powdery corrosion/residue from inside the cavities (with the plugs installed of course).
yea, I've cleaned the cavities out the best I could while awaiting my new coils from ECS. smh
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