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I changed the plugs and wires this weekend (NGK iridiums and 8.5mm Magnecors; yeah I know it doesn´t help performance on a stock engine but I like to upgrade when I can) and found a small quantity of oil pooled around one of the plugs. This was around the base of the insulator, not in the combustion chamber itself; the electrode and tip were dry and a normal looking medium brown. There was also a small amount of oil on the threads of the plug from the neighbouring cylinder.

What´s causing this? In the past few months, the valve cover gasket has started to leak to the exterior of the engine; could this be allowing oil to leak down to where the plugs are seated too?

Just wondering if I should be concerned.

Rob
 

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Ding ding, We´ve got a winner Jonny. That is more than likely exactly what is happening. Especialy if you have a CVH motor, i.e. 1.9L or 2.0L SPI motor. Since the spark plugs are below the gasket line of the valve cover it´s quite easy for oil to drip down into the spak plug area. If the tips are dry then you are in good shape. Had the tips had oil on them too you most likey would have a leaky valve stem seal, or a piston ring problem. Valve stem seals are some what easy to replace, but pison rings.... ha. So run out and get yourself a new valve cover gasket, and slap that puppy in there. While you have the valve cover off look inside the valve springs, and see if you can see any probs with the valve seals, just for peace of mind.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I´ve got a ´95 EGT; that explanation makes sense. I have heard from others (Donnie etc.) that replacing the valve cover gasket can have its pitfalls, though. Since I´m considering swapping out the engine, I´m going to leave it for a while. It´s not leaking too badly yet.

- Rob
 

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reguarding the oil on the plugs , the spark plug tube seals on the valve cover may be leaking , which is a easy fix .
 

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mine is leaking too and I too have heard about complications about changing the gasket. If this is false I am going to do it right away because I have a nice amount in mine.
 
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