Does the gap really matter? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-03-2003, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Does the gap really matter?

I recently replaced my plugs in my 92 Bonny N/A. I am going to replace the wires very soon but I was wondering if i am off on the plug gaps how it would affect my engines performance? Also i was wondering if i had an EGR valve and if i dont should I change the stat for a 180? Will I get good heat in the winter with a 180 stat?

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Old 09-03-2003, 07:42 PM   #2
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From what i understand, yes it will affect your car if you do not gap the plugs to the cars specs. on my nissan pickup, i changed the plugs for the first time and didnt even think about gapping them, took it for a drive and it was horrible. so i had to re do the job
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:32 PM   #3
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Yes plug gap makes a difference. Some people say it doesn't, but then when I tell them to gap their plugs at .010 and see how the car runs they say no, so obviously the story is a little different. Actually plug gap can make a significant difference, I have heard of people with L67'* say they gapped there plugs at .050 and got 4kr, but then they re-gapped them to .060 and the KR was gone. Gap the plugs to spec or very close or you may be re-doing the job.
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Old 09-04-2003, 12:19 AM   #4
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Agreed. Plug gap will negatively affect emissions, performance, and efficiency. I would NEVER decrease the gap. With an aftermarket HEI system, I MIGHT increase the gap, but that would be by the new ignition specs.
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Old 09-04-2003, 01:57 AM   #5
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Usually if you go to napa or whatever and get the plugs for your vehicle they're already pre-gapped... but it doesnt hurt to check them... They mite have got smashed around in shipping or somthing...
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Old 09-04-2003, 04:09 PM   #6
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Default plug gap

Most mechanics will tell you that you can be off on your gap about .005 of the gap. Normally on all the Bonnies I have seen or the 3800s for that matter the gap is .060. If you are extremely off on your gapping yes you will be redoing the job but your emmissions will not exit right, firing order can be effected, combustion will be off, as well as other major problems could occur. Normally it will tell you in the manual or on a diagram under the hood what to gap you plugs.
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:19 PM   #7
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Spark plug gaps are listed in Techinfo/specifications. They do differ slightly in the early years.
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Old 09-05-2003, 11:27 AM   #8
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I always check the gap on new plugs, but it'* been my experience that they're always close enough to the correct value that I don't need to re-gap them.
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Old 09-05-2003, 07:13 PM   #9
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Humm my plugs are at .045 and it said on the box that re-gapping wasn't required. Maybe I should re-gap them.
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Old 09-05-2003, 08:33 PM   #10
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Absolutely re-gap them, or replace them now. They should be 0.060".
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